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Community Foundation Accepting Applications for Capacity-Building Grants

Eighty Four, PA – The Washington County Community Foundation (WCCF) is currently accepting applications for capacity-building grant requests ranging from $5,000 to $50,000. A minimum of $400,000 will be awarded through two competitive cycles this year, with application deadlines of August 1, 2022 and October 1, 2022. Interested nonprofits must contact the Foundation at 724-222-6330 or prior to submitting an application to ensure the proposed project aligns with the Foundation’s funding priorities.

To be eligible to apply, the applicant must be an incorporated non-profit organization that provides charitable services in Washington County in one or more of the following areas: Arts & Humanities, Community Improvement & Economic Development, Education, Environment & Animal Welfare, Health & Fitness, Human Needs, and Religion & Faith-Based.

Capacity-building is defined as any activity that increases the non-profit’s operational, programmatic, financial, or organizational maturity. Examples include but are not limited to: equipment or material purchases, capital campaigns nearing completion of the campaign, facility upgrades, strategic plans, succession plans, marketing plans or marketing materials, improvements to accounting and financial systems, constituent management software, websites with content management systems, and program design or program expansion.

“We are already seeing the positive impact of the more than $400,000 awarded in our two competitive capacity-building grant cycles last year,” remarked WCCF President & CEO Betsie Trew. “By concentrating on capacity-building projects, our goal is to help strengthen our local nonprofits. From experience we know that capacity-building requires different strategies depending upon where a particular nonprofit is in its evolution. For a smaller nonprofit, a grant to purchase accounting software is needed, but for a larger nonprofit a grant to expand its programming may be needed. We are willing to meet a nonprofit where they are, to help them to get to their next level, wherever that next level may be.”

In addition to capacity-building grants issued annually through two open and competitive cycles, the Foundation has also awarded capacity-building grants through targeted efforts with pre-identified nonprofits. Since it began its focus on capacity-building in 2017, the WCCF has awarded more than $3.8 million in such grants to local charities. The two largest capacity-building grants awarded in 2021 were grants of $250,000 each to Food Helpers to initiate its Community Outreach Program and to Washington Community Human Services for a rebranding campaign.

With assets of more than $50 million, the WCCF is the largest publicly-supported grant-making foundation headquartered in Washington County. It is located in the historic Samuel T. Brownlee House in Eighty Four, PA.