Blue Mountain Community Foundation

OVERVIEW: This community funder supports nonprofits in the Washington counties of Columbia, Garfield, and Walla Walla, in the areas of arts and culture, basic needs, economy, education, environment, health and wellness, and neighborhoods and communities.

FUNDING AREAS: Arts and culture, basic needs, economy, education, environment, health and wellness, neighborhoods and communities

IP TAKE:  Get to know the Warren Community Action Fund Grants. It's a broad new fund; trustees are looking for projects that already have a strong community backing.

PROFILE: The Blue Mountain Community Foundation (BMCF) is based in Walla Walla, Washington, and was started in 1984 to help donors make long-term investments in their communities. This funder has given out over $38 million through approximately 260 charitable funds since then. Current financial data can be viewed here.

BMCF has a discretionary grants program that accepts applications once per year. Topics of interest are arts and culture, basic needs, economy, education, environment, health and wellness, and neighborhoods and communities. General support is provided, but grants don’t go towards annual fund drives or religious or political purposes. The geographical area of focus of this funder are Columbia, Garfield, and Walla Walla Counties in Washington and also Umatilla County in Oregon.

In the past, applications have become available May 1 and due July 1. Interestingly, up to four applications per organization can be submitted for the same grant cycle. Most grants are between $1,000 and $10,000, with an average grant of $3,000. You can expect to hear back with a grant decision in October.

Garfield County Habitat Project Fund Grants are provided through the Puget Sound Energy Lower Snake River Wind Habitat Project Fund. This fund accepts applications for projects that benefit wildlife in Garfield County. Native upland habitats and grasslands are often in focus here. The application deadline has been March 1.

Warren Community Action Fund Grants awards grants in Dayton, Columbia County, and Waitsburg. Support goes to a range of causes, including health, education, basic human needs, children and youth, agricultural education and training, historic preservation, scientific programs, arts, recreation, and the environment. The fund, which provides $500 to $20,000 grants, comes from the extended Warren Family to honor Robert and Nadine Warren.

Since March 2016, the foundation has had a youth in philanthropy program at Columbia High School in Burbank, Washington. This program teaches high school students about the grantmaking process in the nonprofit sector. BMCF also provides scholarships.

There are four staff members at BMCF: an executive director, director of finance, donor services associate, and communication and administration assistant. A grant review committee reviews applications and makes recommendation to the board of trustees for final determination.

Mail correspondence can be directed to the foundation at P.O. Box 603, 22 E. Poplar Street, Suite 206, Walla Walla, Washington 99362, and the foundation phone number is 509-529-4371. General questions can be directed to bmcf@bluemountainfoundation.org.

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