KILMARNOCK—In 1997, River Counties Community Foundation (RCCF), which supports the work of nonprofits in Lancaster, Middlesex and Northumberland counties, awarded $1,500 in competitive grants to three nonprofit organizations.
The board recently awarded just under $500,000 to 45 organizations.
“This event celebrates our local nonprofits, whose work impacts the community; donors, with foresight and generosity past and present making the funds available for grantmaking today; and the leadership of RCCF working for over 20 years to strengthen the foundation and its grantmaking,” said board chairman Bill Vose.
In 2017, requests to RCCF totaled over $700,000 for programs and projects. Across the three-county region, nearly 70% of those requests were awarded, a major increase from 52% in 2016.
“Relationships with our nonprofits continue to build. Staff members work throughout the year to better understand changing needs, initiatives and programming. As we move from reactive to proactive in our grantmaking, we are seeing smarter and stronger grant requests coupled with an increase in funds available to such projects,” said RCCF grants committee chairman Susan Pittman.
Nearly half of all competitive grantmaking in 2017 focused on economic prosperity, including access to and maintenance of safe and affordable housing, pathways to self-sufficiency and access to career opportunities. Major investments in this sector included The Middlesex Foundation’s planning and design of affordable housing units in the county—modeled after Mercer Place in Kilmarnock, water connection fee assistance through the Middlesex Water Authority, start-up funding for Northumberland Public Library’s new mobile library and expansion of The Link’s client coaching program in Lancaster and Northumberland.
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