Community Foundation grants $1.3 million in 2019

First 2020 application window opened

VANCOUVER — The Community Foundation for Southwest Washington awarded a total of $331,405 in grants to 16 local nonprofits and school districts during its second grant cycle of 2019. Combined, its 2019 discretionary grants provided 74 awards to 41 local nonprofits, totaling $1,317,599. 

The grantmaking organization also announced the opening of its first grant cycle of 2020, which will be accepting applications through March 31. Organizations interested in applying can find more information online at

Grant awards stretched across the organization’s service area in 2019, which includes Clark, Cowlitz and Skamania Counties. Some of the 29 grants benefiting Cowlitz County ($468,907) funded vital basic human needs. For example, Janus Youth Programs received funding for its Cowlitz Street Youth Services. This program provides a bridge between homelessness and stability for local youth through outreach efforts, basic needs provisions, access to safe spaces and case management services. The Cowlitz Indian Tribe is using its grant to expand a culturally-specific Community Garden that supplies Cowlitz Indian families and elders with fresh produce, while also offering educational opportunities through the cultivation and use of traditional and native plants.

Clark County nonprofits benefited from 32 grants ($666,143), which supported efforts such as the Individual Development Account Program operated by Share. Using matched savings accounts and financial literacy skills, this program equips hard-working people with the tools they need to build personal wealth and prosperous futures. Another grantee, the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, received funding for its Latino Technical Assistance Program. By offering consulting services for accounting, technology, marketing and management, this program supports local Latino business-owners from early start-up through every phase of expansion. Asset building programs such as these, provide wealth creation and workforce skills to lift the economic prospects of underserved communities.

In Skamania County, five grants ($79,255) are assisting programs like the Emergency Client Financial Assistance Fund managed by the Skamania County Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. This allows people experiencing domestic violence or survivors of sexual assault to reclaim their self-sufficiency and safety by providing financial support for relocation costs, accessing and maintaining permanent housing, paying utility deposits and supplying emergency food. Eight other grants from 2019 provided support to multiple counties within its service area ($103,249).

The majority of grants were distributed through the Community Foundation’s Focus Grant program, which aims to disrupt the cycle of intergenerational poverty. The organization’s approach to this work revolves around three impact areas: Educational Attainment, Basic Human Needs and Asset Building.

Last year, grants in these areas provided a total of $829,816 to Basic Human Needs through 43 awards. Asset Building, a category that promotes wealth creation and workforce development, received $280,490 through 15 grants. Another 10 grants provided $149,765 to Educational Attainment efforts. The remaining $57,528 was distributed to other innovative efforts addressing intergenerational poverty.

Grants from the first cycle of 2020 will be awarded in June 2020. Additional questions about the grant process and Focus Grant applications can be emailed to

About the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington

Established in 1984, the Community Foundation helps southwest Washingtonians build a more vibrant community by inspiring investments in local philanthropy. The Foundation holds more than 360 distinct funds, which are actively invested to generate growth and income for granting purposes. Governed by an esteemed volunteer Board of Directors, the Community Foundation offers benefits and services to donors, nonprofits and the community at large. Learn more at