Benton Community Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder exclusively supports Benton County, Oregon, with grantmaking for basic needs, youth employment, civic engagement, music, counseling and childcare. Each year, BCF reevaluates local needs and what causes will be funded.

FUNDING AREAS: Basic needs, youth employment, civic engagement, music, counseling, childcare

IP TAKE: This is a great local funder to know for basic needs and direct services at the local level. There are lots of funds held here, so do your research before reaching out.

PROFILE: The Benton Community Foundation (BCF) is based in Corvallis, Oregon, and awards grants exclusively to benefit the residents of Benton County.

In the past, the foundation has given over half of yearly grants toward basic needs. The next largest category has been youth employment programs, followed by civic engagement. It's given other grants to music, childcare and summer activities for kids, and support services and counseling. A list of recent grants is here, and grantee stories are here.

There are many funds at BCF, including donor-advised funds, designated funds, a special project fund, community funds, sustainability funds and agency funds. BCF links to many of these individual funds on its website so you can learn more about them. Agency fund grants, for example, are established by local charities to support future operations.

But each year, often in the fall, BCF determines a new focus for its community grant cycle. Initiatives include summer youth employment and families in crisis in specific communities in the county. In a recent year, BCF awarded over $178,800 to charities from designated funds held at the community foundation. Grantees include the Assistance League of Corvallis, Benton County Health Department and the Oregon Trail Council.

This funder finishes much of its yearly competitive grantmaking by mid-year. However, grants from the donor-advised funds are made throughout the year. In addition to grants, this funder awards scholarships to high school students, college students, ROTC students, and music students.

General questions can be directed to the staff at 541-753-1603. The foundation is run by a staff of four, consisting of a president/CEO/grants manager, finance manager, and operations manager. There are 11 members on the board of directors. The foundation is located at 660 NW Harrison Boulevard, but funder’s mailing address is P.O. Box 911, Corvallis, Oregon 97339. The best contact for grantseekers is the grants manager, Sarah Leskovec, at sarah@bcfgives.org.

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