How We Work

Together we can transform your generosity into fuel for what matters most to you.  We Believe Giving Here Matters.

Our Mission is to amplify the force of philanthropy – by connecting people, ideas and resources – so that communities flourish. Whether responding to long-term challenges, providing support in a moment of crisis or helping to realize new community dreams and projects, we are grateful to be partnering with you.

Collaborative Leadership
We have extraordinary assets here, but significant challenges as well. We believe there is strength, and greater impact, in numbers, and we work hard to cultivate relationships with other funders, and create opportunities for our donors to collectively meet critical community needs.

Investment Management
The Foundation invests assets in a diverse portfolio intended to produce asset growth, security of principal, and income for grant making. We scrutinize investment returns and have our funds independently audited each year.

Thoughtful Grantmaking
With the help of several community members working with the Board of Directors, the Foundation distributes grants based on community needs, opportunities and, in the case of donor-advised and designated funds, donor goals.

Thanks to a growing pool of unrestricted endowed funds, we are able to make a variety of grants from the endowment’s income to improve Whatcom County’s quality of life through literacy programs, health, environmental education, service learning projects, youth and family services, community arts programs and much more.

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We value:
Diversity – Ensure that a range of perspectives, experience and knowledge inform our processes and ideas.
Equity – Make decisions guided by what people need to be successful on their terms.
Inclusion – Exclude no one. Remember that everyone is part of this community.
Relationships – The deeper the connections, the better the outcomes.
Integrity – Be honest, remain steadfast and true to our values.
Curiosity – Ask questions, dig deeper, seek multiple perspectives and root challenges, uncover opportunities.
Creativity – Make room for imaginative, bold and resourceful thinking.
Courage – Dare to speak and act on our values even when, especially when, it feels risky.
Stewardship – Tend with care and responsibility.

About Community Foundations
We are one of more than 700 community foundations across the U.S., building permanent and short-term assets to meet ever changing community needs and opportunities.  As a 501 (c) (3) organization, the Foundation enables donors to take the maximum deduction for charitable contributions under IRS rules. 

Community foundations are charitable organizations created through gifts from people who care about a particular place. Anyone can contribute any amount of money to a community foundation. The community foundation uses those gifts or a portion of the investment income from permanent funds to make grants that strengthen their community. Community foundations operate in perpetuity, meaning that the communities we serve will always have people in their corner.