Mission Nonprofit Spotlight: The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound

Each month, Thurston Community Media (TCMedia)’s Mission Nonprofit connects with local organizations and agencies that are making positive impacts in our communities. This month, Mission Nonprofit host Robert Kam sat down with Mindie Reule of The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound.

A community foundation is a nonprofit that utilizes donor funds to create grants and scholarships that fill needs within that community. The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound covers Thurston, Mason and Lewis counties. “We’ve been around since 1989,” shares Mindie. “We were founded out of a community visioning project call Olympia 2010. And we were a response to the question, “How are we going to fund emerging needs and opportunities in our community over time.”

As a permeant source of funds, The Community Foundation has the ability to respond quickly to emerging needs. They do this through two goals: Build and manage charitable funds and make grants and scholarships for the community.

Funds are created by individuals, businesses, nonprofits and other organizations and groups. The Community Foundation manages and builds those funds, and then uses the monies in those funds to create scholarships and grants. “Since our founding in 1989, we’ve grown to manage 115 funds and $40 million in assets,” Mindie shares. This includes cash, stocks and even real estate.

Scholarships are available to students planning on either academic or vocational post-secondary education. You can learn more about their scholarships on the website.

Grants are available in Thurston, Mason and Lewis counties. Grants are for a broad range of causes that address social, health and environmental needs in our community. This includes “arts and culture, environment, health and wellness, education, economic opportunity, basic needs and human services, and community and civic engagement,” according to their website. Donors can earmark their funds for certain areas if they wish. To learn more about grants, visit The Community Foundation website.

You can help The Community Foundation further their mission through donations, whether individually or with your business. They have a few different ways you can mark your donation:

  • Unrestricted Fund: where your donation will go to the greatest need at that time.
  • Field of Interest: your donation will go towards a need in the area you choose. “Last year we received a lot of donations for our COVID-19 response fund,” shares Mindie.
  • Donor Advised Funds: the donor stays involved in recommending grants that their fund will go towards.
  • Scholarships
  • Agency Funds: funds are earmarked for another, specific nonprofit organization.

Give Local

Give Local was started five years got as a small, invite-only project says Mindie, that raised $125,000. “Now, five years later, we have raised more than $1.5 million for local charities. Each year in November, the Give Local campaign asks individuals, businesses and organizations to donate to participating Give Local nonprofits in our area. Each donation made during Give Local receives a proportional match from The Community Foundation’s Bonus Fund.

This year’s Give Local will take place November 8-19.

For more information, watch the full video above and visit the The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound website.

You can watch Mission Nonprofit on channel 77 on Sundays at 4:30 p.m., Tuesdays at 7 p.m., Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. You can also watch on TCMedia.org, Video On-Demand or our Roku channel. To learn more about what TCMedia does, visit the Thuston Community Media YouTube channel or the TC Media website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

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