“Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.” - Lady Bird Johnson, former first lady of the United States
Children's Savings Account (CSA) Project
Hope. Simple as that. By helping open savings accounts for local children, your gift to the CSA Fund benefits youth, families, and the whole Whatcom community.
Childhood Savings Accounts, with an initial deposit made at birth or during childhood with the long-term goal of supporting post-high school education, help promote financial security for children in households with low- and moderate-income. On top of that, they raise the hopes and dreams of those families for children and adults.
Research shows that CSAs have a substantial impact. Children with college savings of as little as $500 are three times more likely to attend college or trade school and four times more likely to graduate. Additional benefits include improved social-emotional development resulting from child savings accounts – that’s right, a cause-and-effect relationship – and the added economic benefit of reducing the future earnings gap for children based on family income levels.
Youth Philanthropy Project
Help high school students develop personal and professional skills needed by the next generation of community leaders. With staff support, students form a leadership committee to review grant proposals and make funding decisions. They learn about local issues affecting Whatcom County and distribute funding that benefits environmentally focused organizations.
Funding for youth grant making comes from an endowment for the environment started by two high school seniors who biked more than 1,200 miles around Washington State; they raised $14,324.31 and gifted it to the Whatcom Community Foundation to start an endowment for youth philanthropy, which is now over $116,000.
We all know the costs of higher education are growing dramatically. There is more demand than ever from local students seeking financial support to help them continue their education beyond high school and move towards a brighter future. Scholarships help remove the barriers that stand between a deserving young person and the education they need to be successful. You can support our scholarship program with a gift to the Whatcom Scholarship Fund, or you can set up an endowed scholarship fund with a minimum gift of $25,000.
Bellingham Public Schools Foundation Endowment
To support the life-transforming possibilities of education. Strong public schools are a hallmark of our democracy – the great equalizer where the American dream takes shape. The endowment secures a legacy of excellent education and opportunity for our community’s children – now and for generations to come.
Bellingham Public Library Endowment
Each year the Bellingham Public Library touches thousands of lives through hundreds of programs, as well as providing free access to books, music, and movies. Bellingham Public Library circulates 1.6 million items annually to more than 47,000 registered cardholders.
Whatcom County Public Library Endowment
The Whatcom County Library Foundation Endowment provides a stable source of funding to enrich library services for generations to come. More than 50,000 Whatcom County residents actively use the ten community libraries plus the Bookmobile that make up the Whatcom County Library System. These include: Blaine, Deming, Everson, Ferndale, Lummi Island, Lynden, North Fork, Point Roberts, South Whatcom, and Sumas libraries.
In addition to supplementing funding for Whatcom County Library System’s ongoing operations, endowment fund proceeds facilitate key programs like Books for Babies, providing books and literacy information to families of newborns; Books Unbound, a program to foster reading and library engagement for at-risk youth; and Whatcom READS, a countywide book discussion series.
Whatcom Community Literacy Council Endowment
Since 1983, the Whatcom Literacy Council has been helping adults in Whatcom County improve their literacy skills and learn English. Through customized, individual tutoring and focused small group classes, our adult learners acquire critical skills needed to become more self-sufficient. Each year, adult learners work with the Whatcom Literacy Council to set achievable goals to build parenting skills, employment opportunities, access training and education and attain US citizenship.
The Whatcom Literacy Council is a nonprofit organization, funded through its own efforts and with the support of local businesses, organizations and individuals. With the help of hundreds of volunteer tutors, all Whatcom Literacy Council services for adult learners are provided free of charge.
“It has been a joy to work alongside my fantastic peers and the wonderful staff members of the Whatcom Community Foundation as part of the Youth Philanthropy Program (YPP). In the past two years, I have become more informed about our community and environment, I have learned critical skills to succeed in any work environment, I have had the honor to work among great people, and I have done this all while participating in philanthropy, by helping our environment and those in our community who are less fortunate than myself. It’s a win-win-win-win situation.”
– Nikhil Harle, YPP alum