Inland Northwest Community Foundation is honored to have the responsibility of engaging our broad region in order to build and sustain vibrant communities. Following are the key initiatives that the Foundation is currently involved in:
Priority Spokane is a unique collaboration among community leaders who are working to create a vibrant future for Spokane County. The collaboration was spearheaded by Inland Northwest Community Foundation in order to make measurable improvements in key prioritized areas.
Following a series of community meetings, Priority Spokane identified its first priority: increasing high school graduation rates through an emphasis on middle school education. Since then, Priority Spokane has been instrumental in focusing the community’s attention on the importance of on-time high school graduation, putting into place projects and partnerships that are making a difference. In January 2013, the Priority Spokane Steering Committee commissioned a grant to Empire Health Foundation to lead an exciting collaborative that includes Eastern Washington University, Whitworth University, Spokane Public Schools and United Way of Spokane County. The purpose of this grant is to strategically identify and fund school-community partnerships that are most likely to improve high school graduation rates.
Early in 2013, the community task forces reconvened to identify the next community priority issue. It is expected the new priority will be announced by the end of 2013.
To stay connected to Priority Spokane’s progress or learn how to get involved, please visit their site at www.priorityspokane.ewu.edu.
To read more news on Priority Spokane’s progress, click here.
Similar to Priority Spokane, participants in the Bonner/Boundary Priority Planning process spent several months meeting to identify the issues that pose a challenge to the region’s vitality. In 2012, the group identified its first priority: low levels of post-secondary educational attainment hamper the community’s ability to attract and expand business opportunities and limit job prospects for residents.
Earlier this year, the University of Idaho was commissioned to lead a research project to better understand how education and economic vitality intersect in that region, and what future initiatives could best address this priority issue.
This collaboration received initial funding from Inland Northwest Community Foundation and the Equinox Foundation, and is supported by community partners that include the University of Idaho and Panhandle State Bank.
Building Community Philanthropy Initiative
Inland Northwest Community Foundation is thrilled to be a re-granting partner of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Building Community Philanthropy initiative. This program has awarded $7.5 million in the Pacific Northwest to address issues related to intergenerational poverty. INWCF is the steward of $350,000 of those funds, and is dedicating other Foundation funds to the initiative as well.
Over the next three years, INWCF will meet with representatives from communities throughout Eastern Washington to identify key needs related to intergenerational poverty, and award grant dollars to programs that can make a difference. In addition, INWCF will work to identify other funders who want to be a part of this effort.
The target locations of this initiative are the following Eastern Washington counties: Adams, Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens and Whitman.
For more information, please read the Pacific Northwest Communities Launch New Initiative to Expand Local Philanthropy release and Washington State Communities Expanding Local Giving release.
Please stay apprised of our efforts and learn of ways you can be involved in building and sustaining vibrant communities. Submit your e-mail address to stay connected at the bottom of this Web page.