At this time of year when many of us are paying extra attention to giving back to our communities, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is excited to expand our investments in community based philanthropy in the Pacific Northwest. A total of 16 community philanthropy partners have now been granted funds to support local solutions to reducing intergenerational poverty.
We believe in the power of locally-based philanthropy to generate sustainable, community prioritized solutions tailored to local needs. And we’re seeing results already from the community philanthropy investments made earlier this year.
When I had an opportunity to hear from Rose Lincoln Hamilton, CEO of the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, about how our Building Community Philanthropy initiative has impacted her work, I asked her these questions:What is the biggest change that the Building Community Philanthropy investment has created within your community?
The Building Community Philanthropy investment allowed us to double the amount of grant dollars we distributed through our community grantmaking program. In a time of dwindling resources and financial uncertainty, this catalytic investment has positively impacted thousands of people in need in our community.
With this investment, we were also able to increase the number of multi-year grants awarded, providing stability for our nonprofit grantees and support for them to plan ahead and respond to upcoming opportunities and challenges.
What advice would you have for our new partners, who are just beginning to explore how this investment can support their work addressing intergenerational poverty?
Our strategy at The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation was to build upon and strengthen our existing grantmaking portfolio. I would encourage other partners to consider a similar strategy in distributing this extraordinary investment. This approach not only helps to ensure sustainability, but allows the investment to be focused on helping more families in need, rather than creating new infrastructure.
The Gates Foundation announced $2.5 million in re-grants today, and in May 2012, Washington state organizations received $5 million in re-granting money for their communities for a total of some $7.5 million.