These funds will specifically target nonprofits with reach beyond Deschutes County.
Six nonprofits that serve Crook and Jefferson Counties, as well as the lands of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs have been collectively awarded $35,000 from our second round of grantmaking since this summer. In an effort to reduce barriers to accessing funding faced by nonprofit applicants serving communities beyond Deschutes County, this grant application was much shorter than our standard application, had fewer requirements, and came with a simpler process for the Committee of volunteer reviewers to follow.
These grant recipients are: Redemption House Ministries ($5,000), Every Child Central Oregon ($10,000), Jefferson County Faith Based Network – LINC Madras program ($5,000), The Children’s Learning Center ($5,000), Treehouse Therapies Associates ($5,000), and Warm Springs Community Action Team ($5,000). Along with UWCO’s first round of grantmaking this summer, which awarded $245,000 to 31 Central Oregon nonprofits, we have collectively funded 36 local and regional nonprofits with $280,000.
Our Executive Director, Ken Wilhlem, said of these grants, “Naturally, the grants align with our mission to fight for health, education, financial stability, and resilience. While many of the programs we fund provide services throughout the region, we want to also support agencies that are based in and serve communities beyond Bend-Redmond. We are grateful for local community volunteers who helped us get the word out that we had set aside money for this purpose and helped decide where the grants would make the most impact.”
Each year, we award grants to vetted local nonprofits that focus on health, education, prevention and development, financial stability, basic needs, childhood trauma, community transformation, and building resilience. UWCO is working to ensure all community members are cared for by directing efforts and resources to where they will have the greatest impact, especially for individuals identified as being part of our community’s most vulnerable and marginalized groups.
Since the pandemic began, we have awarded over $1.5 million to local and regional nonprofits. Last year, during COVID-19, we modified our grantmaking process to award funds to address immediate emergency needs created by the pandemic and then to help the nonprofits who serve our community adapt the way they operate. We created two Funds focused on Emergency Response, Recovery, and Resilience that addressed the fallout of COVID-19 across Central Oregon, and from them awarded 44 COVID-19 Partners with $295,000 in emergency relief. Also last year, we created a plan for distributing $500,000 that came from the City of Bend’s CARES Act funding to nonprofit organizations providing essential services to vulnerable populations. And, we were tasked with distributing $260,000+ in federal Emergency Food & Shelter funds in Deschutes County.
We are working towards equitable access to resources for all Central Oregonians. Through grantmaking, the we are striving to reduce disparities and increase equity. As an intermediary funder, we support local, direct-service nonprofits that focus on a wide range of human health and welfare issues – from basic needs to empowerment – through grantmaking that provides direct financial aid to these programs and services. Last year, our grantmaking was focused on community needs formed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, we have returned to our customary annual grantmaking cycle and focused on supporting local and regional agencies as they help our community members adapt and recover from the pandemic. This funding is helping these nonprofits as they stabilize the delivery of services that build resilience in individuals, families, and our Central Orgon community – achieving positive outcomes in the face of adversity.