Whidbey Community Foundation will join in a nationwide celebration, November 12-18, 2020, to recognize the increasingly important role that community foundations play in fostering local collaboration and innovation to address persistent civic and economic challenges.
For more than a century, community foundations have served as a trusted partner and resource whose effect can be seen in the lives of millions and in the vibrant neighborhoods that continue to thrive through their mission-driven work. During this time, community foundations come together to share and reflect on the stories of impact over the past year.
“The work of community foundations’ spans beyond the practice of giving. There is a tangible impact that can be seen in the lives of those these organizations serve,” said Sara Kelly, Whidbey Community Foundation Board President. “We are more determined than ever to bring our community partners together to find innovative and effective solutions for some of our most challenging social problems and advance the most promising of opportunities to benefit Whidbey Island.”
Community foundations are independent, public entities that steward philanthropic resources from institutional and individual donors to local nonprofits and represent one of the fastest-growing forms of philanthropy. In response to the pandemic, Whidbey Community Foundation formed the COVID-19 Community Resilience Fund which has raised over $230,000 from nearly 200 donors. Among the priority issues of the Fund, WCF has invested in local child care with grants to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Coupeville and Oak Harbor to help offset the cost of care for families, and funding to Opportunity Council as pass-through grants available to all licensed child care providers on Whidbey Island.
“COVID-19 has had devastating impacts on child care programs that have already been running on thin margins. Providers who remain open face even greater challenges than before. These grants help stabilize providers on Whidbey Island that have been forced to adapt quickly with revenue shortfalls and increased costs, all while continuing to provide quality care for the children in our community,” stated Kelly.
As community foundations find solutions for communities large and small, urban and rural – it is the collective work of these organizations that will have the most profound impact. This was most evident amid this year’s coronavirus pandemic where over $1 billion was distributed by community foundations in response to the crisis. Additionally, community foundations went beyond the money to help their communities adapt during this critical time—supporting charities, schools, nonprofits, and small businesses through partnerships with public institutions in cities, states, and in cooperation with the federal government.
Community Foundation Week was created in 1989 by former president George H.W. Bush to recognize the work of community foundations throughout America and their collaborative approach to working with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to address community problems. For more information on Community Foundation Week visit www.cof.org/cfweek and follow #CommunityFNDWeek on Twitter.
Whidbey Community Foundation was founded just 4 years ago by long-time community members, and up until that point had been the only community in Western Washington not yet represented by a community foundation. Since then, we have distributed over $420,000 in grants to Whidbey nonprofits and collaborated with community partners to bring capacity-building resources to our nonprofit sector. Our mission is to improve the quality of life on Whidbey by: providing support for the nonprofit sector, assisting donors to build and preserve enduring assets for charitable purposes, and meeting community needs through financial awards.