Community Grants Cycle

Investing in Community

The Annual Community Grants Cycle is the heart of the Bainbridge Community Foundation (BCF) grants program. Since its inception in 2005, more than $2.437 million in grant dollars have been awarded through this program that invites applications from nonprofits in all sectors.

Through hundreds of hours of time by BCF staff and more than 40 well-trained community volunteers, applications are reviewed, site visits are conducted, and priorities are set. BCF discretionary funds provide the initial funding for proposals, and later BCF Fund Advisors and the community at large are invited to partner with BCF to support these important programs. This community-based approach to grantmaking ensures not only that needs are being met in the community, but that informed and engaged community members are educated about and ready to address community needs.

Applications to the 2020 Community Grant Cycle will be accepted between February 19 and March 18, 2020. As a community foundation, we are generalists and help sustain all sectors of the nonprofit community. Applications will be accepted from organizations meeting the following requirements:

  • A current 501(c)(3) nonprofit status from the Internal Revenue Service,
  • Serve Bainbridge Island and be located in Washington State,
  • Grant period is July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021, and
  • Requests $1,000 to $10,000 will be considered.

2019 Community Grants Cycle (CGC) Timeline (2020 should be similar)

  • February 20: At 12:00 pm (noon) Pacific, grant applications “go live”
  • March 20: Online submission deadline is 5:00 pm Pacific; applications will not be considered past this 5:00 pm deadline
  • March 21 – June 14: Application evaluation and review
  • April 9 – April 26: Site visits are scheduled with with applicants
  • June 18: BCF Board of Trustees makes final grantmaking decisions
  • June 19: Organizations notified of funding decisions
  • NEW POLICY (effective with 2017 CGC final reporting): Nonprofits not submitting their final reports will be deemed ineligible to apply for funding during the following year’s Community Grants Cycle.  Please contact BCF with any questions regarding eligibility.

We use Common Grant Application to manage our grantmaking process. If this is your first time using the Common Grant Application, log on to the Common Grant Application website and click the sign-up button at the top of the page.

Are you a returning applicant? If so, PLEASE log in to your existing account. If you cannot remember your login credentials, contact Common Grant Application or Debbie Kuffel: [email protected]. Please DO NOT set up a new account.

Only ONE grant application per organization will be accepted. However, additional grant application(s) will be accepted if made with another nonprofit for a collaborative endeavor.  Collaborative/partnership or innovative efforts will be considered for the BCF Shel Klasky Award.

For more information, please see Community Grants Program Overview for Applicants.  Applications will be due at 5:00 pm Pacific on March 20, 2019. If you have questions, please contact Debbie Kuffel, Program & Finance Officer, at [email protected].

2019 Awards

Highlights from the 2019 Community Grants Cycle:

  • Fifty-one grants totaling a record $321,813 was awarded to 49 nonprofits serving Bainbridge Islanders in arts and culture, animal welfare, education, environment, health and human services, and recreation.
  • Two local organizations were funded for the first time (Assistance Dogs Northwest and Special Olympics WA), as the grant program engaged 69 individual donors, private foundations and donor advised funds.
  • Awards ranged from $1,000 to $11,000.
  • Eighty percent of this year’s approved applicants, some 40 organizations, saw their requests fully funded.
  • Grant applications were reviewed by an evaluation team of BCF staff and over 40 community volunteers who interviewed applicants, made site visits, and performed financial due diligence for each organization.

The second annual BCF Shel Klasky Award, a special grant in memory of BCF’s beloved board member and BCF Grants Committee member, in recognition of applications that are outstanding examples of collaboration and/or innovation was awarded to Island Volunteer Caregivers for their Community Resource Navigator collaborative project with BI Senior Community Center.

The success of this year’s Community Grants Cycle is due in large part to the countless volunteer hours given by our evaluation team and generous support by our funding partners and donors. Another key to the program’s growth was “Bainbridge Gives,” our online giving portal. Bainbridge Gives helps bridge the gap between agencies’ approved funding requests under our Community Grants program and available resources.

BCF has seen dramatic growth in its Community Grants Cycle,  more than doubling average grant size in six years. In 2013, 49 local agencies received a total of $139,000 for an average grant of $2,840. This year saw $321,813 in grants awarded and our average grant size grew to $6,310. For more information on our Community Grants Program, please see the following PDFs:

Comparative Overview

Year Grant Total Average Grant Number of Grants
2012 $137,039 $2,538 54
2013 $139,166 $2,840 49
2014 $165,109 $3,839 43
2015 $195,202 $4,067 48
2016 $243,661 $4,597 53
2017 $269,887 $4,353 62
2018 $273,535 $5,583 49
2019 $321,823 $6,310 51

Is your organization a BCF grantee in need of our logo? Access the BCF mark here.

“A grant from BCF is a strong stamp of approval in our community. It helped us leverage a grant from the Harvest Foundation and inspired confidence with our teaching artists for the financial sustainability of the program — since government funding for the program began to decline a few years ago.”
—Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council

Does your nonprofit organization want to apply for a Community Grants Cycle award? Here’s how!