We know that we can't do our work alone. When we work together as a whole community, so much is possible.
The Community Fund supports our projects, programs and initiatives, which are focused on building a stronger and more resilient community through partnerships that connect people, ideas, resources, and opportunities for greater impact. The Community Fund serves as WCF’s general fund, filling gaps and ensuring our can remain nimble when community need dictates.
The Resilience Fund is our community’s bounce-back fund. It gives emergency assistance – such as money, food, or shelter – to our neighbors in need as fast as possible during a crisis, whether a pandemic, a natural disaster, or another startling event. Philanthropic dollars are the first on the ground and the most flexible money available in a crisis. Help build our community’s rainy-day fund – it’s the only way to ensure rapid, orderly, and equitable care for our neighbors in the face of our next community catastrophe.
The Millworks is envisioned as an affordable place for people to live, work and enjoy our stunning waterfront. The Whatcom Community Foundation is working with local partners, including Mercy Housing and RMC Architects, to develop this community benefit project at Laurel Street and Cornwall Avenue, the gateway to the new Waterfront District. The project features a food campus, which connects local producers with buyers, while integrating public assets such as a center for employee ownership, childcare facilities and around 70 units of workforce housing and potentially healthcare services. Combined, these elements will play a crucial role in the waterfront redevelopment, supporting economic growth and fostering prosperity on multiple fronts.
Food Security Task Force
What if we could ensure a market for local farmers and feed our food-insecure neighbors in one program? That’s the Farm-to-Freezer project in a nutshell, and it’s just one idea cooking in the Food Security Task Force (FSTF), convened in late March by the Community Foundation at the request of Whatcom Unified Command. The FSTF addresses six key factors of food security, ranging from production to policy. The task force, which meets virtually twice a week, includes all regional food banks and public schools countywide, as well as the Opportunity Council, Council on Aging/Meals on Wheels and More, Whatcom Family Farmers, Salvation Army, Puget Sound Food Hub, Sustainable Connections, Miracle Food Network, YMCA, and retail grocery stores, including the Community Food Co-Op. Our goal is simple, though by no means easy: To ensure food security for all Whatcom County residents, particularly those with barriers to food access (economic, mobility, health, etc.), while maximizing nutrition and minimizing health risks during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Threshold Fund is designed to put philanthropic dollars to work by guarantying construction loans for affordable housing projects. As a result, your gift helps to significantly reduce the cost of capital which means more affordable homes are built for less money. That means more safe, stable homes for more of our neighbors. Even more exciting, the funds can be used over and over again. More homes, more families’ lives changed for the better.
Employee-owned companies have demonstrable positive impact on job creation, business retention, job quality and stability. Research also shows that employees of worker-owned businesses have better pay and benefits, as well as higher retirements savings. In Whatcom County, researchers counted more than 2,000 small businesses that may undergo an ownership transition in the next decade. These businesses employ 16,810 workers and generate $589.5 million in payroll, showing the profound impact on the Whatcom County economy should even a fraction close or sell. The data also reveals the potential to retain businesses in the community through employee ownership strategies. The Community Foundation is working to ensure that owners and employees who are interested in employee ownership have easy access to the resources they need all along the way.
“Just a quick note of thanks so say how much I appreciate you and the entire Whatcom Community Foundation team’s efforts to coordinate communication and action during this crisis.
The leadership you are providing is SO helpful as we work to meet a growing need in a constantly changing environment. Please pass my sincere thanks on to your team. Blessed by all of you.”
Chris Orr, Executive Director |
Whatcom Council on Aging