Guiding Principles

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Principle 1 – Building Community Capacity 
By working in partnership with local organizations throughout the communities where First West Credit Union serves and beyond, the Foundation will seek to actively contribute to meaningful projects that make a positive and lasting impact upon community life by nurturing and building on our communities’ strengths and assets.

Principle 2 – Understanding the Changing Nature of our Communities 
To be strategic in all our activities, we need to know our communities well. This involves spending time in community consultation, making ourselves available for discussion, being active participants in the community, monitoring local and national trends, and being aware of the impact of change in our communities.

Principle 3 – Creating Opportunities for Dialogue 
Because of our broad mandate to nurture a vital community, we may engage people with different ideas and points of view to create opportunities for respectful dialogue on issues of importance to our communities.

Principle 4 – Developing Partnerships
We form, encourage, and support partnerships among individuals, neighbourhood and community groups, service clubs, foundations, professional advisors, businesses, governments, the media, and other stakeholders, based on shared vision and mutual responsibility. Our role is to enhance, not replace, funding provided by municipal, provincial, or federal governments.

Principle 5 – Reflecting Diversity
We support organizations and projects representing the diversity of people, activities and organizations in the communities we serve.

Principle 6 – Funding Effective and Imaginative Community Programs 
We will strive to continually improve our skills as grant makers, making a visible and lasting difference in our communities by funding projects that are balanced, flexible, creative and responsive. We look for opportunities to build community resiliency and individual capacity in the projects we fund.

Principle 7 – Building Community Assets and Facilitating Philanthropy 
As we create and grow permanent endowments, we will help our donors derive the maximum possible satisfaction from their giving by providing them with ongoing information regarding the Foundation and providing flexible giving options. We will value and champion philanthropy.

Principle 8 – Evaluating and Sharing Results 
We will evaluate our grants to improve our skills and knowledge and we will share key findings with our stakeholders.

Principle 9 – Implementing Responsive and Accountable 
Processes We will engage in practices that are open and accessible, fair and objective, flexible and timely as we work with grant seekers, donors, volunteers and others in the community. This is essential to our role as credible and reputable charitable foundation.

Principle 10 – Supporting the First West Model 
We will enhance the innovative partnership model devised by First West Credit Union by extending an invitation for new partner organizations to develop regional endowments with the Foundation. We will support regional endowments with all available resources and assist partner regions to, in turn, support their communities with perpetual community funding through the Foundation.


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The Foundation was created on the vision of helping create vibrant and healthy communities. By working in partnership with local organizations, the Foundation seeks to actively contribute to meaningful projects that make a positive and lasting impact upon community life. Read more about us >>