BCF's Commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Social Justice (IDEAS)
Bainbridge Community Foundation recognizes that social, racial, and economic injustices persist in our region, country, and world, and acknowledges that philanthropy has historically had a role in maintaining some of these injustices. BCF also recognizes its unique role as a civic leader working as a bridge builder in partnership with others, to help address root causes of these systemic inequities and to work with our donors and others to help build a region that is more just and free of hate and discrimination as a way of serving the charitable needs of our community.
Discrimination is the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the basis of age, race, national origin, ethnicity, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran or military status, political affiliation, immigration status, or religious belief.
Hateful activities are defined to mean activities that incite or engage in violence, intimidation, harassment, threats, or defamation targeting an individual or group based upon their actual or perceived age, race, national origin, ethnicity, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran or military status, political affiliation, immigration status, or religious belief.
Bainbridge Community Foundation uses the IDEAS Framework for promoting and supporting equal access to opportunities, programs, resources, and services for all. BCF’s support of 501(c)(3) nonprofits extends to Kitsap County and beyond if they provide programs or services to the broader Bainbridge community.
BCF’s Values and Vision
BCF commits to integrating practices that support IDEAS in its internal systems and external activities, including grant-giving, programs, and events. Below are the values we prioritize in our work:
- We value collaboration and inclusive practices across the nonprofit sector
- We focus on promoting impartiality and equity within our own procedures and processes, and welcome different perspectives
- We recognize the critical value of engaging diverse communities across our work, and understand that multiple perspectives will enrich our community, our lives, and our work
- We work to collect data to help us understand the root causes of inequity in our society, and are committed to helping meet the needs of the community
BCF’s Existing Work in This Area
Over the past several years, BCF has already taken steps to identify needs in the community and to
support our more vulnerable populations. Thus far, BCF is implementing this work in the following
- Board Approved Policies: Bainbridge Community Foundation has an anti-harrassment and nondiscrimination policy as well as being an Equal Opportunity Employer. We require grantees, on accepting those funds, to deliver those services in a manner that will adhere to BCF’s own policies.
- Annual Nonprofit Survey: BCF conducts an annual nonprofit survey to identify the needs of the community. The survey is completed by local nonprofit leaders, many of whom offer services to underserved populations. The 2021 survey included in-depth questions about DEI needs and activities across the nonprofit sector. BCF also launched its inaugural State of the Sector: A View of the Community to better understand the specific challenges in our community.
- Housing Action Fund: The Housing Action Fund was opened to address the critical need for affordable housing on Bainbridge Island. It supports both acquisition and bricks-and-mortar housing programs, which may help attract a more diverse socioeconomic population to the island.
- Youth Experiences Support (YES) Fund: BCF has partnered with Bainbridge Schools Foundation, Bainbridge Youth Services, and Helpline House to help create equitable opportunities to participation in school and extracurricular activities. When a student needs assistance (as identified by them, a parent, or another trusted adult), a quick and confidential application process through the YES Fund gives him or her access to funds or services that he or she needs.
- Community Grants Cycle: In the past, the Community Grants Cycle (CGC) has distributed grants to some nonprofits led by minority groups—and in 2020, greatly exceeded expectations by awarding a record $82,650 to the Indipino Community of Bainbridge Island and Vicinity for a documentary about their lives, losses, and legacies. The CGC also awards grants for programs targeting lower-income families, such as free or reduced prices for services. To read about 2021 grants, click here.
- Community Response Fund: This fund provides financial resources to nonprofit organizations for urgent health and human service needs in our community, especially during times of economic hardship such as COVID-19. Most nonprofits that receive this funding provide services to more vulnerable populations.
- Financial Education Seminars: BCF, in partnership with the Merriman Financial Education Foundation, hosts an annual series of seminars on financial education and investing. Financial literacy is empowering—yet good, practical education about financial management is too often out of reach for people, especially those with limited incomes. These programs provide public educational resources for all ages and backgrounds. For more information about upcoming programs and recordings from 2021, click here.
- Committee Actions: Every committee at BCF has developed a strategy for integrating DEI in their programs and practices in 2021 and beyond. Committee members are coordinating activities to ensure close collaboration.
BCF’s New Initiatives
The IDEAS Fund was developed in order to further BCF’s initiatives in support of greater Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Social Justice in the Bainbridge Community. As an Area of Interest Fund, the BCF Board will retain the ultimate discretion over how grants are distributed from the fund. This could include partnering with a Community Grant Cycle or Capacity Building Grant Cycle, or supporting specific initiatives and partnerships that promote the IDEAS principles. To donate, click here.
Convening and Leadership
First and foremost, Bainbridge Community Foundation recognizes that we have a great deal to learn when it comes to this work. With that said, we also recognize the opportunity in our role as a convener within the nonprofit sector. Therefore, we are partnering with other nonprofit leaders and convening to learn and share knowledge about working together to reach a greater outcome than any of us could do alone. In 2021, BCF hosted an Accessibility Workshop and is currently working closely with local nonprofit professionals to collaborate on more training opportunities for 2022.
Bainbridge Community Foundation supports our local nonprofits by analyzing community needs, awarding grants to meet those needs, educating donors and nonprofits, and encouraging collaboration. You can learn more by signing up for Bainbridge Community Foundation’s newsletter by clicking here or following us on Facebook or Instagram.