January 07, 2020
The Washington County Community Foundation is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2020 by naming 25 non-profit organizations as a Charity of Excellence. Each honoree will receive an unrestricted grant of at least $5,000, with one organization receiving the top prize of a $25,000 unrestricted grant. One of the 25 selected organizations will also receive the People’s Choice Award for $5,000. In total, the WCCF will distribute $150,000 to local non-profits through this special grant cycle.
To apply for a Charity of Excellence award, the organization must be recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a non-profit and file a Federal Form 990. It is required to provide at least one charitable program in Washington County and must have operated for at least five years. Interested non-profits should submit an online application via www.wccf.net by March 1. The application must include a compelling written volunteer testimonial.
The Foundation will evaluate applicants on four criteria: quality and variety of programming; community impact as gauged by the number of people served relative to the operating budget; volunteer engagement; and the organization’s financial improvement over the last five years. The 25 Charity of Excellence awardees will be announced in June.
Community members will have the opportunity to vote on their favorite Charity of Excellence through an online People’s Choice Award contest. Complete details on the People’s Choice Award will be released later in the year.
The top prize of $25,000 and the People’s Choice Award of $5,000 will be revealed at the WCCF Silver Anniversary Banquet in November.
“As we reflect on the 25-year history of the Washington County Community Foundation, we are reminded of the many donors who have chosen us to facilitate their charitable goals,” remarked WCCF President & CEO Betsie Trew. “Because of the trust that our donors placed in us, the Foundation has grown from a fledgling charity with only $5,000 in assets, to the county’s largest publicly-supported grant-making foundation headquartered in Washington County. The more than $45 million that donors have entrusted to us has enabled us to grow significantly our grants program, as well as the other charitable services we provide to the community. We are delighted to launch a year-long ‘silver anniversary’ celebration with our Charity of Excellence awards, as this opportunity will highlight 25 non-profits who are performing fantastic work in our community and provide them with resources to help them to grow.”
The grants are made possible by the Alvin and Carol Berthold Fund. Lifelong residents of McDonald, the Bertholds were longtime supporters of the WCCF. Their fund, valued at more than $5 million, is the largest discretionary grant-making fund of the WCCF. In recognition of the Bertholds’ extraordinary philanthropy, the Foundation will recognize the couple posthumously at its November banquet.
Update: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the WCCF made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Philanthropy Banquet; therefore the People's Choice Award recipient and the charity who will receive the Charity of Excellence top prize will be announced in the fourth quarter.