Greater Tacoma Community Foundation announces 2012 grant recipients

The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation announced this week that it has awarded $606,142 in grants to 76 local non-profit organizations working in the fields of arts and culture, basic needs, education, environment, and neighborhoods and communities.

Both well-known organizations with proven track records as well as innovative and newer programs were selected as grantees. To equip nonprofit organizations with the flexibility needed for success, nearly half the grants were directed toward supporting operating expenses. The average grant size increased from $5,800 in 2011 to nearly $8,000 in 2012, and nine multi-year grants were awarded, up from two the year prior. The total amount awarded was sixty percent higher than the previous year, in part due to funding made available by a regional family foundation to distribute through the Vibrant Community Grantmaking Program.

More than 130 proposals were submitted for consideration, 19 of which were from organizations that had never previously applied.

One of the larger grants awarded this year was to Communities in Schools Peninsula, who received the full request amount of $10,000. “We are very pleased to have been selected,” said Colleen Speer, Executive Director. “The grant will allow our organization to providing caring adult mentors for children who are struggling in academics and lack the one-on-one attention needed to succeed in school.”

Among the nine organizations chosen for multi-year grants was Tacoma Area Literacy Council, a volunteer-run organization that provides adult literacy programs. The three-year funding will allow the organization to expand to new location sites in Puyallup. “The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation has been a loyal supporter of Tacoma Area Literary Council since 1997, when seed money allowed us to start our Half Price Books Program and provided necessary books and learning supplies to over 1,150 students and 950 tutors. We are thankful for their continued partnership,” shared Kai Kushen, Fundraising Chair of the organization.

A full list of this year’s grantees is online at

The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation is a philanthropic organization in Pierce County that aims to foster generosity by connecting people who care with causes that matter. By pooling community funds, the Community Foundation provides effective, long-term social investment strategies to donors and people of Pierce County in order to address emerging issues facing the community. Building a safe, vibrant, engaged community is central to the mission of the Community Foundation. The Community Foundation awarded over $2.8 million in grants and scholarship during Fiscal Year 2011. Over the last 30 years, the Community Foundation has distributed more than $84 million in grants and currently manages $83 million in assets. More information is online at