The competitive process offered local grant-making organizations across the state an opportunity to compete for an influx of funding for their service areas. For the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington, the honor resulted in a four-year, $700,000 grant that will allow the organization to re-grant the funds to local organizations best prepared to meet the strategic goals of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – reducing intergenerational poverty.
Richard Melching, president of the Community Foundation, explained the honor as a testament to the Community Foundation’s effectiveness and said that his staff is excited about the opportunity to participate in this regional effort to address the issues that lead to intergenerational poverty.
“It affirms our belief that Southwest Washington’s most vulnerable populations are in greater need and, due to strong organizations in the region, we are capable of addressing those needs. More importantly, it provides the capacity we need to strengthen our region’s philanthropic sector and mobilize a single, strategic effort,” he said.
David Bley, director of the Pacific Northwest program for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said that philanthropic partners, such as the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington, are on the front lines in their regions and know their communities best.
“We will impact more families with these new grants than we can by only using direct grant making,” Bley said. “Local partners are best positioned to know the needs in their communities and to sustain their work through local support.”