How your contribution helps unleash the potential of youth

What do you think happens when you donate to a charity? What are you supporting and are you really making a difference? For many people, the decision to support a charity is a deeply personal one led by a desire to give back to something that is truly meaningful to them. The mission of an organization will align with their values, a touching story will speak to their heart or an injustice will spur them into action. Whatever the motivation, that feeling has been sparked.

What usually comes next is a review of the credibility and impact. The equivalent of looking under the hood before buying a car. Is this organization transparent and trustworthy? Does my contribution matter and what am I supporting? In this blog, we will providing some answers to these important questions.

Understanding Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland

As an organization supported by generous donations, we feel it is important to share how donations are used to support self-identifying girls, non-binary, transgender and gender-diverse youth.

We are the only mentorship charity supporting girls and gender-diverse youth in the region, which means we are uniquely placed to tackle a range of issues facing young people today. Mental well-being, gender equity and academic performance are just some of the key areas addressed through mentorship. We are proud to provide programs that facilitate the development of youth as they overcome these barriers to reach their full potential.

In our 2022-2023 fiscal year, we served 469 youth across our programs, helping Little Sisters like Flynn, Matida and Jasmeen to become the best versions of themselves before stepping into the world as Big Sisters’ alumni. Read our Annual Report to learn more about our impact and read the stories of these three amazing young people. Click here for details.

How your contribution makes a difference

Now that you know a bit more about what we do, it’s time to look at how your support helps our community.

How your contribution helps unleash the potential of youth
  1. Building connections – The first area we focus on is building connections. We employ a team of passionate and dedicated staff who act as the bridge between mentors and mentees, or Bigs and Littles. About 40% of the funding we receive is put towards making that perfect match. The matching process is rigorous with a number of key criteria that must be met before matches can be made. The minimum commitment for our standard program is at least 1 year, so it is crucially important that Bigs and Littles are a good fit. Thanks to the work of our expert team, many of our matches stay connected far beyond one year, with many becoming lifelong friends.
  2. Attracting engaged mentors – We couldn’t do the work that we do without the mentors who donate their time to our cause. The demand for our service is high and we currently have over 100 Littles waiting to be matched with a Big. A quarter of our funding is dedicated to sourcing, processing, training and supporting our mentors throughout their mentorship journey.
  3. Mobilizing our community – We are fortunate to have a strong community of supporters. Just under 13% of our funding goes towards supporting volunteers by mobilizing our community which we do through sharing details of our impact, hosting events and coming up with new and innovative ways for people to support the work that we do.
  4. Keeping the lights on – Finally, an important priority for any charity is to remain operational and sustainable. A portion of our funding is committed to keeping our operations running smoothly and effectively. We are committed to developing our office space as a hub for mentorship for the girls and gender-diverse youth that we serve so it is vitally important that this space remains available and accessible. Our vision is to develop this space utilizing the principles of trauma-informed design, reflecting the diversity of our community and evoking a feeling of welcome and belonging for all, no matter their journey into our programs.

How you can support Big Sisters

There are so many ways for you to contribute towards making a difference to the lives of the girls and gender-diverse youth supported by Big Sisters. Find out more about the different ways to give.

Our Big Sisters’ 50/50 Raffle is live! More people participating means more cash for the lucky winner and more funding for Big Sisters to continue serving our community. Click here to enter:

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