Competitive Grant Round Principles & Policies

The Whatcom Community Foundation invites creativity and imagination in the preparation of grant requests. We hope this application process is an exploration on how to create a community where everyone thrives.

We are primarily interested in working with applicants who want to cultivate a healthy community by:

  • Advancing diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Lifting the community voice
  • Leveraging resources
  • Catalyzing change while building capacity
  • Cultivating Neighborliness

We aspire to invest in relevant and timely activities that utilize a cooperative approach to community building.

Successful proposals will describe not only what the project proposes to do, but also how it involves others in the community who need to be a part of truly successful problem-solving and long-term planning for Whatcom County’s future.

Grant applications should address the underlying causes, not merely treat the symptoms. Effective proposals seek to change policies or institutional arrangements in order to help achieve equity for all people. Applications should link demonstrated needs with opportunities in our community. 

The Foundation’s competitive grant round will:

Place highest priority on ideas that fuel inspiring, actionable, relevant projects which:

  • cultivate neighborliness
  • support diversity, equity and inclusion
  • lift community voice; leverage resources
  • catalyze change
  • build capacity
  • Support work done in Whatcom County
  • Make grants to organizations with a valid letter from the IRS recognizing its 501(c)3 status, Native American Tribes, religious institutions, and, projects with an approved fiscal sponsor
  • Fund projects in the general range of $1,000 to $10,000.

The Foundation’s competitive grant round is Less Likely to make grants for:

  • Organizational operating support
  • Ongoing programs
  • More than one year
  • Direct service without building community
  • Over $10,000
  • Governmental organizations
  • Scholarships

The Foundation’s competitive grant round will Not make grants:

  • To organizations that discriminate based on gender, religion, sexual orientation or identity, ethnicity, national origin or physical ability
  • Incomplete applications or out of the requested format
  • When the activities are not clearly described
  • When the outcomes are not specific or realistic
  • When the budgets are incomplete or unclear
  • For capital requests (bricks and mortar), endowment funds, debt retirement, political campaigns, religious activities, memberships in civic organizations or trade associations, courtesy advertising, tickets for benefits, and fundraising events
  • To individuals or for-profit organizations