BCF awards record $606K to 65 nonprofits

Bainbridge Community Foundation’s 2023 Community Grants Cycle awarded a record $605,975 to local nonprofits, exceeding the previous high of $561,692 last year.

Total funding since it began in 2005 is more than $4.5 million.

“I had no idea how many nonprofits were working in this community,” said Jen Suntrup, one of the 53 volunteers who reviewed applications. “It was inspiring.”

Applications included supporting mental health services and counseling for vulnerable populations, expanding creative education for youth and older adults with cognitive challenges through arts and cultural activities, and providing childcare assistance for low-income families. Every proposal fulfills a community need within the sectors of arts and culture, animal welfare, education, environment, recreation, health, housing and human services.

Of the 68 applicants, 65 were approved.

Shortly after, BCF opened up Bainbridge Gives, a monthlong fundraising effort to pay for the gap between the amount BCF has and the amount approved by the committee. Applications ranged from $1,000 to $11,000 and 60 nonprofits received the full amount requested. Of those, 11 received bigger grants than requested. If nonprofits were not approved, BCF communicated to them about how to strengthen applications next year.

BCF provided special funding to five organizations for prioritizing Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Social Justice as part of their work. This year’s IDEAS Awards went to: Bainbridge Island Historical Museum, Housing Resources Bainbridge, Kids In Concert, Kitsap Legal Services and Neurodiverse Connections. Each received $2,000.

In addition, BCF awarded the Klasky Collaboration Award to Helpline House to support its new program with Kitsap Homes of Compassion for low-wage earner housing on BI. The total grant was $15,675, more than the original $10,000 requested.

In a recent thank you card to BCF, Bainbridge Book Festival wrote: “We are so very grateful for your grant. It’s our first, and it means so much to have this vote of support and encouragement from the community.”

For details on the grants, contact Debbie Kuffel at debbie@bainbridgecf.org.

Many agencies received $11,000 or less, but five received more: Bainbridge Youth Services, $13,150; Helpline House, $15,675; Housing Resources Bainbridge, $13,700; Island Volunteer Caregivers, $13,300; and Kitsap Legal Services, $13,500.