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The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation Awards Grants Totaling More Than $600,000

TACOMA, WA (May 10, 2012): As part of its work to improve life for all in Pierce County, The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation today announced that it has awarded $606,142 in grants to local nonprofit organizations. Annual and multi-year grants were distributed to 76 nonprofits working within the Community Foundation’s 5 focus areas highlighted under its Vibrant Community platform: arts & culture, basic needs, education, environment, and neighborhoods & communities.

Both well-known organizations with proven track records as well as innovative and newer programs were selected as grantees. To equip nonprofit organizations with the flexibility needed for success, nearly half the grants were directed toward supporting operating expenses. The average grant size increased from $5,800 in 2011 to nearly $8,000 in 2012, and nine multi-year grants were awarded, up from two the year prior.

The total amount awarded was sixty percent higher than the previous year, in part due to funding made available by a regional family foundation to distribute through the Vibrant Community Grantmaking Program.

“We greatly appreciate the confidence that other funders have in our organization and our ability to provide effective giving strategies to support local nonprofits,” shared Rose Lincoln Hamilton, President & CEO of The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation. “Using our in-depth knowledge of the community, we selected grant opportunities that will help sustain and strengthen not only the nonprofit organizations themselves, but the broader community.”

More than 130 proposals were submitted to the Community Foundation this January for consideration, 19 of which were from organizations that had never previously applied. Community Foundation staff and members of its Vibrant Community Grants Committees reviewed and evaluated all applications. As a catalyst for change, the Community Foundation prioritized organizations that were identifying systemic challenges and supporting community-driven solutions.

“We were extremely impressed by the breadth and depth of the applications that we received and were able to fund,” shared Jessica Stokesberry, a second-year volunteer of the Vibrant Community Environment Grants Committee. “It’s a very rewarding process to be a part of. You’re evaluating proposals that are coming from the community and creating programs and opportunities for the people of the community. Seeing the innovation and variety of projects that are taking place throughout the County was invigorating.”

GRANTEE SPOTLIGHTS

One of the larger grants awarded this year was to Communities in Schools Peninsula, who received the full request amount of $10,000. “We are very pleased to have been selected,” said Colleen Speer, Executive Director. “The grant will allow our organization to providing caring adult mentors for children who are struggling in academics and lack the one-on-one attention needed to succeed in school.”

Among the nine organizations chosen for multi-year grants was Tacoma Area Literacy Council, a volunteer-run organization that provides adult literacy programs. The three-year funding will allow the organization to expand to new location sites in Puyallup. “The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation has been a loyal supporter of Tacoma Area Literary Council since 1997…(when) seed money allowed us to start our Half Price Books Program and provided necessary books and learning supplies to over 1,150 students and 950 tutors. We are thankful for their continued partnership,” shared Kai Kushen, Fundraising Chair of the organization.

For over 30 years, the Community Foundation and its donors have helped strengthen the region by awarding grants to support nonprofit organizations that are making a difference in Pierce County.

For a full list of this year’s grantees, and for more information on the Vibrant Community Grantmaking Program, please visit The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation website at: www.gtcf.org.

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About The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation
The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation is a philanthropic organization and trusted partner with the Pierce County community, fostering generosity by connecting people who care with causes that matter. By pooling community funds, the Community Foundation provides effective, long-term social investment strategies to donors and people of Pierce County in order to address emerging issues facing the community. Building a safe, vibrant, engaged community is central to the mission of the Community Foundation. The Community Foundation awarded over $2.8 million in grants and scholarship during FY2011. Over the last 30 years, the Community Foundation has distributed more than $84 million in grants and currently manages $83 million in assets. More information at: www.gtcf.org


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