Western Lane Community Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder supports nonprofits in the Oregon communities of Florence, Mapleton, Dunes City and Deadwood. Unsolicited requests are accepted. 

FUNDING AREAS: Culture, medicine and science, education, social and civic services

IP TAKE:  Grants from this community foundation aren’t huge, but the foundation is very locally focused and accessible to Oregon nonprofits. Local groups have a good chance of getting funded here, given the broad grantmaking categories and small service area.

PROFILE: The Western Lane Community Foundation (WLCF) is based in Florence, Oregon, and has a very narrow geographic focus. It receives, administers and distributes charitable funds that benefit the residents of Western Lane County, Oregon. This comprises the communities of Florence, Mapleton, Dunes City and Deadwood. Some of these funds come from donors, businesses, and other local organizations. From there, WLCF chooses grant and scholarship recipients and awards funds.

The foundation was established in 1973 and has assets of around $5.35 million over more than 60 permanent funds. In a recent year, the foundation awarded about $100,000 in grants and scholarships. You can watch an informational video about their work here.

Interests include culture, medicine and science, education, and social and civic services. WLCF also manages funds designated for use by other nonprofit groups. Assets not subject to immediate expenditure are invested with the Oregon Community Foundation.

Most WLCF grants are between $100 and $5,000, depending on funds available and the nature of the grant requests. In the past, grants applications have been accepted between October and mid-January. You can email your request to the foundation in PDF format to wlcf@wlcfonline.org. The foundation typically chooses grantees in February; it awards grants in late March, and grantees are required to submit grant reports by the end of August.

In a recent year, the foundation awarded grants to 39 nonprofits, totaling $71,000. That year, it received 56 applications requesting over $176,000 in funds. Grantees include the Early Childhood CARES for a parent/child play group, the Florence Evangelical Church for summer camp scholarships, and the Florence-Siuslaw Lions Club for an eyeglass assistant program. The foundation also awards scholarships to high school seniors going to college through approximately 20 scholarship funds.

Keep up with the foundation on its News and Resources page, where announcements of annual grant awards and annual reports are posted.

WLCF is run by a volunteer board of directors with about eight members and a volunteer staff of four professionals. Gayle Waiss serves as the foundation’s executive director. There is also an office administrator, bookkeeper, and scholarship coordinator on staff. The foundation phone number is 541-997-1274, and there’s an online form to submit an email inquiry. The mailing address is 491 Laurel Street West, P.O. Box 1589, Florence, Oregon 97439.

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