For the past two years we supported the Skagit Audubon Society's all volunteer organization with grants for educational materials. In her grant follow up report to the Skagit Community Foundation, Sheila Pera, Skagit Audubon Society's volunteer education coordinator shares the result of the grant and what the Society learned:
We focus on how birds are an integral part of the world's web of life. We learned that partnering with already established youth groups such as the Boys and Girls Clubs was the best way to attract younger audiences. We learned to create our own crafts, games and other activities to meet specific habitats in the Puget Sound ecosystems. Children like to take their craft projects home. At Cama Beach State Park, our Discovery Wagon with bird and mammal displays always ranked high on park evaluations from guests.
We created a "Bird Migration" program for a visually impaired group in Burlington. We adapted the program to their hearing and tactical abilities with the use of mounted birds and recorded calls. It was the most rewarding program we have done, and we have been invited to come back and speak about owls.
Bird mounts and replica skulls are one of the most important visual aids we have. Nothing draws children's attention like skulls and mounts.When children and adults have opportunities to experience and explore the natural world, they are more likely to feel connected to their environment and to develop a sense of stewardship for the Earth's resources.
Some of our adult programs were created from requests. We created a hummingbird presentation called "Jewels in the Garden" at the request of a local nursery. It took three months to create the program. Since that time, we have had numerous requests. With Skagit Community Foundation funds, we purchased bird mounts, study specimens, binoculars and educational materials. In the last few years our presence in the community has increased greatly. In 2016, we engaged 1,200 participants. In 2017, that number increased to 1,600 participants.
Your gifts to the Skagit Community Foundation grow. Every year, we "harvest" a portion of the earnings to share with the community. Non-profit organizations can begin applying now for grants in 2018 by clicking here.
After months of review, the Skagit Community Foundation Board of Directors selected Badgley & Phelps Wealth Managers one of the oldest and most respected independent registered investment advisory firms in the Pacific Northwest.
Established in 1966, Badgley & Phleps has a solid reputation of being trustworthy and ethical, two qualities of paramount importance to our donors.
When you include nonprofit organizations that you trust in your estate plans, your money is used as you intend rather than as taxed money for the government to use as it intends.
Did you know you can avoid capital gains by donating appreciated stock? You can avoid taxes on retirement distributions if you have the distribution sent directly to your favorite cause? It's in your power to direct your assets to the local needs in the community rather than have them leave the county as taxes to the state and federal government.
Recently, a donor made a stock donation to the Lincoln Theatre's Sound and Hearing Campaign through us. Your gifts, your community. Together we can make an impact where you care most
This month, Timothy Lehr, associated attorney at Stiles Law, Inc, became the newest member of our board. Timothy grew up in Mount Vernon and attended Mount Vernon High School. He joined Stiles Law, Inc. in August 2016 and is a member of the Northwest Washington Estate Planning Council, Secretary/Treasurer of Skagit County Bar Association and a member of Sedro Woolley Rotary Club.
Timothy attended Seattle University School of Law where he graduated Cum Laude. While at Seattle U Law, he received the CALI Award for Excellence in Legal Writing II. He sat on the Judicial Board for the Student Bar Association and was the Vice President of the Federalist Society, Seattle U Law Chapter. Prior to joining Stiles Law Inc., Timothy clerked for all four judges at the Skagit County Superior Court.
Timothy joined the Skagit Community Foundation because he wants to be a part of an organization that gives back to the community and connects philathropists with the actual and immediate needs of the area.
This past month, Maiben House, a community building located in Maiben Park, received a $65,000 remodel after sitting vacant for decades. We are encouraged to see the positive change this will have in our community not only for the 70 children with Boys & Girls Club of Skagit County who will be able to utilize it, but also for the many community members who will find the space useful for their own events.
The remodel was headed by Leadership Skagit’s Team World Hues. This was made possible by partnerships with Burlington Rotary, Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County, the City of Burlington, and local business support throughout the community.
As a partner of Boys & Girls Club of Skagit County, we are proud to witness this community effort and we heartily support their presence in our neighborhoods.
The Museum of Northwest Art (MONA) connects people with the arts, diverse cultures, and environments of the Northwest through exhibitions and educational activities meant to foster essential conversations and creativity.
Recently, we were able to provide them with a $5,000 grant for educational programs for the youth of our community. As a part of this grant, students will be able to participate in Family Art Days, Early Enrichment, and other art activities hosted by MONA. We view this as an essential skill in preparing them for career and college readiness in line with the Common Core State Standards. With comprehensive sequential arts education as a requirement for students in Washington State, most school districts are unable to meet this requirement with the exception of music. MONA is able to stand in the gap and partner with these schools to meet the great need.
Many students and adults experience the museum for the first time as a result of our educational programming. We continue to strive to connect more people to the art, diverse cultures and environments of the Northwest.
With close to 8,000 students being served through their programs, MONA is giving our youth a head start as they prepare for their futures. Please visit their website here to learn more about their programs and consider getting involved today.
The grant process is never an easy one. We receive more requests than we are able to provide finances towards. So how do we decide who gets a grant?
First, an organization must meet our basic criteria of being a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, in good legal standing with the IRS and serving primarily Skagit County. Then we consider the likelihood of success given an organization's leadership and resources. We consider the program itself and weigh whether its worthy of funding this one over another one. Lastly, we look at the donor constraints we work within and try to match donor's intent with the requests. If we don't know an organization well, we will make a site visit to learn more about them. In the end, the Board of Directors reads every application and discusses them together over the course of two meetings. The grant decisions reflect much hard work by the volunteers who serve on our board.
We hope this gives you a general idea of the process and we look forward to partnering with your organization.
Did you know that with an endowment fund, the prinicipal of your gift is invested over time while the earnings are used to make gifts to the causes you care about most?
Florence Vaux graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1929. After attending Business College she worked at Seattle First Bank. Always civic minded, she chose to leave a legacy in her will for children. She directed that a portion of the Florence B. Vaux Trust establish an endowment at the Skagit Community Foundation for youth programs.
After she died on June 18, 2003, Skagit Community Foundation received a gift of $900,000. Since then, Skagit Community Foundation has awarded over $300,000 to organizations serving youth in Skagit County. Today, the principal is worth over $1,011,000 and the endowment fund continues to generate earnings for the next generation of children.
Her initial gift of $900,000 is like a young tree sapling while the $300,000 in grants are the fruit of the tree over time. The principal of $1,011,000 is the mature tree that continues to bear fruit.
For more information, contact us at 360.419.3181 or firstname.lastname@example.org.