WCF Quick Facts

How do community foundations work?

A community foundation is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of community leaders and is administered by a full-time professional staff. The funds that make Foundation services possible come from a variety of sources: management fees, grants and partnerships with local and national foundations, and from gifts designated by donors.

Are there other community foundations in Washington?

There are community foundations in Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Wenatchee, Walla Walla, Yakima, Olympia, Vancouver, Skagit County, and Grays Harbor. Whatcom Community Foundation is the only one in Whatcom County. Community foundations are defined in part by serving a specific geographic area.

In brief, what is the Whatcom Community Foundation?

  • Publicly-supported tax-exempt organization formed to attract, manage and distribute the income from gifts of capital for community betterment.
  • Grantmaker and adviser available to help compatible nonprofit groups provide and improve much-needed services in health, education, the arts, the environment, social services, and community capacity-building to all the residents of our area.
  • Vehicle through which individuals, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and private foundations can more effectively support non-profit organizations throughout Whatcom County. People do not give to the Whatcom Community Foundation; they give through the Whatcom Community Foundation.

What are the goals of the Whatcom Community Foundation?

The Whatcom Community Foundation's purpose is to strengthen and enhance Whatcom County. With the support of local individuals and organizations, we are building a permanent endowment fund and will use the income from that fund to support innovative community activities by local nonprofit organizations. We also initiate grants when it appears that a major community issue can be addressed by showing leadership in giving.

In addition, we create funding partnerships with corporations, private foundations, and other local nonprofit organizations to bring the right combination of expertise and resources to bear on local problems.

How is the Whatcom Community Foundation funded ?

Contributions of cash, securities, and real property from individuals, corporations, and foundations are our major source of funds. The Whatcom Community Foundation was very fortunate to receive initial funding of $1.75 million over a five-year period. This enabled us to cover the cost of providing services while making significant grants during our first five years. We continue to build on this initial investment in Whatcom County to ensure a foundation which will serve the community in perpetuity.