Community News

2021 Resilience Fund Grants Program Opening May 5

The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound is excited to announce the launch of our 2021 Resilience Fund Grants Program. Applications will open May 5, 2021, with a rolling deadline through December. Full guidelines, eligibility, and how to apply are now posted on the Resilience Fund Grants page of our website. The purpose of the Resilience Fund is to further address the impacts of COVID-19, bolster our region’s long-term efforts to rebuild, respond to emerging opportunities, help nonprofits adapt, and support creative new approaches and partnerships that will ideally benefit our communities well beyond recovery.  

We began building the fund in late 2020 as we started to look beyond the COVID-19 crisis response that dominated much of last year. It was seeded by a gift from the Bruno and Evelyne Betti Foundation, boosted by matching funds from Puget Sound Energy and AllInWA, and supported by local donors across our communities. Together, we've raised a total of $900,000 so far, and the fund is still accepting donations. The Resilience Fund Grants Program will distribute this funding back into our communities and is expected to remain open on a rolling basis through 2023.

“The Resilience Fund resulted from a truly collaborative effort by people from many backgrounds, reflecting the spirit of generosity that defines our communities,” says Mindie Reule, Community Foundation President & CEO. “This fund brought together family foundations, corporate funders, and individual donors who gave what they could to help build the world they want to live in, whether it was a few dollars or hundreds of thousands. Now, we’re thrilled to get these funds into the community where they’re most needed.”  

Because so much remains unknown and new needs continue to emerge, the Community Foundation has made ongoing learning a pillar of the Resilience Fund grantmaking process. We believe that local communities understand their needs best and that trust-based relationships with those on the front lines leads to more effective solutions. It is important for us to hear from our nonprofit partners and other community members so that we can continually align our funding priorities with our communities’ needs and opportunities.

“We are excited to build on the Community Foundation's progress toward a more proactive and equitable grantmaking process for all,” say Amy Evans and Dan Jones, board co-chairs of the committee that guides our grantmaking programs. “The Resilience Fund Grants, specifically, are intended to nimbly address immediate needs as we recover from COVID-19 and support the ongoing work of strengthening the South Puget Sound. We remain engaged in learning directly from our communities as to how we can best serve and accomplish this work together.”  

Beyond our own learning, we hope the Resilience Fund process will contribute to the broader culture of learning in our region. “The pandemic amplified many long-standing community problems—problems like a lack of affordable housing, food insecurity, unequal access to healthcare and technology, and racial inequity—that people in our communities and a lot of local nonprofits have been working to address for years,” says Daisha Versaw, Director of Community Programs. “Last year not only reminded us how important it is to support that work, but it also challenged us to keep seeking more thoughtful, creative, and effective solutions so that we can all do that work better.”  

To ensure the Resilience Fund Grant Program does its part to help facilitate those solutions, we’ve made funding unrestricted, designed a simple online application process, and will be available to assist any applicants who may need it. We’ve also developed a grantmaking framework that balances the need for flexibility and responsiveness with the need for decisive action that aligns with our mission, vision, and values. We are publishing the full framework on our website, both for transparency and to invite dialogue around what we may be missing. As we learn more, we may adjust or change our funding priorities, but we will keep our most up-to-date framework and guidelines posted on our website. Staff will be available to hear feedback, answer questions, provide clarity, and support applicants however we can through this program.  

Thank you once again to all who contributed to this fund, everyone who will help shape and inform this grantmaking program, and those who will partner with us and apply this funding toward the work of building community resilience.

May 1, 2021

< Back to News