The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound awarded 97 grants for a total of $399,300 through our 2020 Community Grants Program. We are grateful for every donor whose trust and generosity make these grants possible and allow the Community Foundation to respond to the challenges and opportunities faced by our communities each year.
The goal of the Community Grants Program is to support a broad range of organizations contributing to individual and community well-being in Thurston, Mason, and Lewis Counties. We are honored to partner with so many nonprofit grantees working to improve the physical, social, and environmental well-being of our communities across a variety of focus areas. Funds will be distributed this month and go toward supporting the work of our grantees in 2021.
In response to 2020, we also explored how concentrated funding for specific community goals could positively impact our community. This led us to award two Focus Grants totaling $32,782 in addition to our Community Grants. One Focus Grant will help The Olympia Free Clinic create a satellite clinic and deliver accessible health care to underserved and hard-to-reach communities. The other Focus Grant will help TOGETHER! pilot a Host Homes Program, creating a safe, nurturing home-like environment for unaccompanied homeless youth, freeing them to focus on finishing their education and achieving their future goals.
In addition to Focus Grants, the Community Foundation made several other changes to the Community Grants Program to better support our nonprofit partners this year. One crucial change was to make more of our grants unrestricted. Unrestricted funding—money nonprofits can use as they see fit—creates the freedom to learn, adapt, and take risks. Making more Community Grants unrestricted will empower community-based nonprofit leaders to make responsive decisions and better accomplish their goals in the midst of uncertainty. You can read more about this change and other updates to the Community Grants Program here.