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Community Grantmaking

WCF / Nonprofit Partnerships / Community Grantmaking

COMMUNITY GRANTMAKING

Whatcom Community Foundation is investing in the important work of our community and nonprofit partners to help our neighbors flourish.

2023 Project Neighborly Grants

Project Neighborly grants are for people with great ideas of how we can all become better neighbors by connecting people who would not normally come together. They are intended to spark ideas and make the necessary resources available to bring them to life. We believe that enthusiasm for more neighborly communities, from the water to the mountains and between our international and county borders, combined with energy and ingenuity will result in more area residents being neighborly – kind, considerate and helpful – to everyone they meet. Success means more and better relationships communitywide and, a happier, healthier place for everyone.

This year Whatcom Community Foundation’s Project Neighborly grant round is funding for 30 projects across Whatcom County. Activities supported include projects in Lynden, Point Roberts, Ferndale, Deming, South Fork Valley, Happy Valley, Columbia Neighborhood, Birchwood, Lettered Streets, Lummi Island, Kendall, Sudden Valley, Blaine, King Mountain, and County and Bellingham-wide!

Click here to see a listing of the 2023 Project Neighborly Grantees.

2023 Youth Philanthropy Grants for the Environment

The Youth Philanthropy Project helps 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. This grant round provides funding up to $5,000 for environmentally focused projects.

Click here to see a listing of the 2023 Youth Philanthropy Grantees.

2023 Fund for Whatcom County Grant Round: Youth Mental Health

The Fund for Whatcom County is our lead grantmaking fund. Our team considers the biggest opportunities and needs in the community and offers local organizations working on solutions the opportunity to apply for project and/or operational support.

This year, the Community Foundation prioritized Child and Youth Mental Health in its Fund for Whatcom County grant round. The data is alarming. For example: In a class of 30 Whatcom County 10th graders, 21 are dealing with anxiety; 12 are dealing with depression; 6 have contemplated suicide, 5 have made a suicide plan; 2 have attempted suicide. (Healthy Youth Survey 2021).

In February 2023, the Community Foundation Board of Directors approved nearly $400,000 in support from both the Funds for Whatcom County and various Field of Interest Funds, in order to increase award availability.

2022 Fund for Whatcom County Grantees

Recent Youth Philanthropy Project Grantees

Resilience Fund Grantees

Disaster Response & Recovery

We’ve deployed more than $2.638 million to address the urgent impacts of the flooding events of November 2021.  We are grateful to live in a place with strong community partners that stepped up and pivoted services to meet needs of our neighbors over the last year.

COVID/Pandemic Grant funding supported their exceptionally rapid and caring responses here in Whatcom County, including:

Food Security- Alleviating hunger, increasing local food supply and addressing access to healthy food  
Food Banks/Pantries: Bellingham, Blaine, Ferndale, Project Hope, Salvation Army, and Nooksack Valley
Common Threads Farm
Whatcom County Council on Aging

Housing – Stable, safe, supportive housing for people in crisis or facing financial hardship 
Interfaith Coalition
Lydia Place
Mercy Housing Northwest
Northwest Youth Services
YWCA Bellingham
Real Change for Whatcom County

Mental and Physical Health – Affordable, accessible, safe, and comprehensive care during COVID-19 and beyond 
Compass Health
Lifeline Connections
SeaMar Community Health Center
Unity Care Northwest
Alzheimer Society of Washington/Dementia Northwest
ARC of Whatcom County
Max Higbee Center
Pioneer Human Services
Hearing Speech and Deaf Center
Whatcom Family and Community Network

Essential Workers – Assisting farmworkers in meeting housing, safety, health, food and basic needs 
Institute for Washington’s Future/Community to Community Development
Catholic Community Services
Washington Immigration Solidarity Network
Colectiva Legal Del Pueblo

Safety, Violence and Abuse Prevention – Preventing violence, addressing conflict, and providing resources, referrals and assistance during crisis 
Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services
Law Advocates
Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center
Brigid Collins House
Office Moms and Dads

Economic, Employment and Education Supports – Addressing growing barriers and stresses of students, workers, businesses and job-seekers  
Downtown Bellingham Partnership
Seattle Goodwill Industries
Whatcom Literacy Council
Northwest Alliance for College Access/Futures Northwest
Ferndale Community Service Cooperative
Learning Assistance Program through Lummi Youth Academy

Childcare – Safe, caring, supportive learning and engagement for our younger community members 
Bellingham Childcare & Learning Center
Whatcom Center for Early Learning
Whatcom Family YMCA
Opportunity Council
Whatcom Coalition for Environmental Education in partnership with Blaine, Mt. Baker and Bellingham Public School Districts


“It was a privilege working with the Community Foundation on the Ferndale Library project. Not only did they bring financial resources and philanthropic expertise to the table—they also came with the creativity and collaborative spirit that are essential to the success of complex community projects like our library.

—Norine Amend, Chair
Friends of the Ferndale Library