First Federal Community Foundation

OVERVIEW: The First Federal Community Foundation provides funding for community support, affordable housing, economic development, community development in the Washington counties of Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, and Whatcom.

FUNDING AREAS: community foundation, affordable housing, economic development, community development

IP TAKE: While still fairly new on the local grantmaking scene, this foundation has already become one of the premier corporate philanthropies in the Pacific Northwest.

PROFILE: First Federal bank established the First Federal Community Foundation (FFCF) in 2015. The bank, First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Port Angeles, first opened in 1923 and is now a publicly owned stock company. This foundation aims to “benefit the communities in which First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Port Angeles maintains full service branches.” The foundation is located in Port Angeles, Washington. Its grantmaking priority areas include community support, affordable housing, economic development, and community development.

FFCF’s community support priority involves awarding grants to human service organizations, especially to capacity-building projects that benefit low-income people. The funder’s affordable housing program supports access to safe and affordable housing for low-income residents in the areas that the bank serves. Economic development is a program area where FFCF provides funds for public/private partnerships that are sponsored by local groups looking to drive the local economy. Finally, community development grantmaking is centered on capital projects and public/private partnerships that have multiple funding sources.

Foundation grants range from $5,00 to $25,000 for community support grants. Affordable housing, economic development, and community development grants are $25,000 or greater in size. The foundation rarely awards grants for general operating costs, nor does it support event sponsorships, contributions to political or religious organizations, or for completed projects. The foundation reviews grant proposals semi-annually and accepts applications between January 1 and March 1 for review at an April board meeting and between July 1 and September 1 for review at an October board meeting. Geographically, the foundation restricts grants to communities where First Federal operates a full-service bank branch. These communities are the Washington counties of Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, and Whatcom. Past grantees include the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, Boys and Girls Club of Whatcom County, Concerned Citizens, and the Port Townsend Marine Science Center.

FFCF accepts unsolicited grant applications two times per year. Grantseekers can download all of the forms they need on the foundation’s website. Applications should be submitted via email or mail. Grantseeker questions should be directed to the staff at 360-417-3112 or applications@firstfedcf.org.

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