When Bainbridge Community Foundation (BCF) started planning for its annual Community Grants Cycle in February of this year, it would have been impossible to predict how a global pandemic would change the lives of individuals, businesses and nonprofits in the Bainbridge community. As the COVID-19 pandemic gained momentum and social distancing became the norm, regular schedules and systems came to an abrupt halt. BCF forged ahead with its annual Community Grants Cycle (CGC) in March, conducting virtual evaluations of the grant proposals and making COVID-19 preparedness and responsiveness a top priority where needed.
BCF is proud to announce it has awarded a record-setting final amount of $507,313 to 60 local nonprofit organizations this year through this year’s Community Grants Cycle, a 58% jump from last year’s previous high mark of $321,813. Program requests included free employment support for low-income individuals, tuition assistance for childcare, free cultural performances, affordable patient care in the community, and many more. Others requested critical financial support in order to maintain operations during the COVID crisis. Awards ranged from $1,000 to $82,650, with an average award of $8,430 up from last year’s average of $6,300. Since the inception of this funding program in 2005, grants totaling over $2.94 million have been awarded.
Several nonprofits were granted significantly more than their requested grant amounts. The Indipino Community of Bainbridge Island and Vicinity was awarded a grand total of $82,650, greatly exceeding the original request of $10,000. This uniquely Bainbridge grant which enjoyed tremendous support will cover the amount needed to produce a documentary about Indipinos, or the descendants of Indigenous mothers and Filipino immigrant fathers. The documentary will tell their stories through the voices of their adult children—many of whom still live on Bainbridge Island—and will share their lives, losses and legacies. BCF’s public online grants platform, BainbridgeGives.org, promoted philanthropy at all levels, resulting in overfunding of several other nonprofits. Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center (KIAC) received $19,675, or $9,675 more than their request of $10,000, for critical operational support for immigrant services in Kitsap County, and North Kitsap Fishline received $18,800 for homeless and housing support services instead of the requested $10,000. Helpline House was also awarded $11,460, or $1,460 more than their request, for a program providing nutritious meals for children while school is not in session. Over 80% of this year’s approved applicants, or 49 organizations, saw their requests fully or overfunded.
The third annual Shel Klasky Award, a special grant in memory of BCF’s beloved board member bestowed in recognition of applications that are outstanding examples of collaboration and/or innovation, was awarded to the West Side branch of Eastside Baby Corner (EBC). EBC-West Sound collaborates with many nonprofits in our community and use local networks to distribute basic childcare goods and supplies to families living in poverty and crisis.
“We know the kind of pressure our community is under due to the COVID pandemic, and we couldn’t be more thankful to our donors who have so generously supported our community this year,” said Debbie Kuffel, BCF Program and Finance Officer. “This is a perfect example of why we all live on Bainbridge. In both good and bad times, we know we can count on each other for help.”
For a full list of nonprofits and grants, please click here.