Bainbridge Gives 2021: Supporting our local nonprofits

  • Saturday, May 29, 2021 1:30am
  • Opinion
Theona Jundanian

While the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, a relatively high vaccination rate on Bainbridge Island and the start of small in-person connections are beginning to portray a glimpse of normalcy. We still have a long road ahead, and many of us will face new challenges due to the impact of COVID, but we now know that we are part of a community that comes together during a time of crisis.

Everyone has played a role, from individual volunteers to small businesses to generous donors who have helped support our local nonprofits. We are deeply grateful for everyone who has contributed to the resiliency of this community. When we opened our 2020 Community Grants Cycle in February of last year, we could not have anticipated the road ahead. Out of precaution, we quickly made coronavirus preparedness and responsiveness a top priority and extended the deadline for applications by two weeks so that each grant applicant could re-examine their needs in a potential time of crisis.

In June 2020, Bainbridge Community Foundation announced that it was able to award a record $507,313 to local nonprofits to support programs such as nutritious meals for children while school was not in session and tuition assistance for childcare. Over $335,000 of that amount was for direct COVID-19 support and stabilization. The generosity of donors was remarkable.

As the landscape is slowly changing this year, nonprofits are emerging with new perspectives—some keeping their virtual programming to reach a broader audience, and some maintaining key partnerships they created during the pandemic. Others are expanding their scope to keep their programs relevant and beneficial to the whole community. Many have prioritized inclusiveness and equity. This year’s grants reflect the innovation of those nonprofit leaders, from providing accessibility programs to supporting low-income households impacted by the pandemic.

This year, the foundation received 56 applications for the grants. The foundation’s 51-member grant evaluation team

approved 52 of those for a total of $430,098 in requests. Each project proposal listed on the foundation’s website

has been thoroughly vetted and approved by volunteers in the community for urgency, program viability, financial health and nonprofit status.

You can visit the foundation’s website at www.BainbridgeCF.org for details or go to www.BainbridgeGives.org if you would like to participate in the Bainbridge Gives campaign. Contact Debbie Kuffel at debbie@bainbridgecf.org with any questions.

Trese Williamson and Theona Jundanian are co-chairs of the Grants Committee at Bainbridge Community Foundation.

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