2 county nonprofits get $440K each in Gates grants

The Bill &Melinda Gates Foundation announced an $880,000 award Tuesday that will help two agencies in Snohomish County fight poverty. United Way of Snohomish County and the Greater Everett Community Foundation will each receive $440,000 over the next four years.

“Most of the money will be regranted to other nonprofits,” said Neil Parekh, a spokesman for the local United Way.

The money will be aimed largely at alleviating intergenerational poverty. “That’s the big-picture theme the Gates Foundation is working on, and it’s a goal we share. It dovetails with a lot of the work we already do,” Parekh said Tuesday.

“So much of the money will go back out into the community,” said Maddy Metzger-Utt, president of the Greater Everett Community Foundation. “It’s just great to be able to support the nonprofits. It’s really exciting.”

According to the Gates Foundation’s announcement, the $880,000 is part of $2.5 million just granted to seven Northwest philanthropic groups in an effort to reduce intergenerational poverty. And in May, the Gates Foundation gave nine other awards totaling $5 million in regranting money to Northwest organizations.

“The Gates Foundation has a long-standing commitment to supporting community philanthropy,” David Bley, director of the foundation’s Pacific Northwest Initiative, said in a statement announcing Tuesday’s awards. “These organizations have established networks of nonprofits that serve families and children quickly and efficiently. Local partners know their community needs,” Bley said.

This isn’t the first time the Gates Foundation has supported the local United Way or the Greater Everett Community Foundation.

When United Way of Snohomish County bought its building near Everett Station in 2007, $300,000 from the Gates Foundation boosted the agency’s capital fund, helping with the purchase.

And three years ago, Metzger-Utt said, the Greater Everett Community Foundation received a Gates Foundation grant to help local nonprofit groups with training and other “capacity-building work.” That money has helped pay for regular training sessions for nonprofit board members and other staff, she said.

The award announced Tuesday — $110,000 per year for four years to each of the two agencies, starting in 2013 — will also provide training for nonprofits supported by United Way, Parekh said.

It will also help United Way in its new role with Project Homeless Connect, an annual one-day event at Everett’s Cascade High School providing direct services to homeless people. In the past, the county’s Human Services Department has been a lead organizer, but Parekh said United Way is taking on that role. Project Homeless Connect is scheduled for June 27.

According to the Gates Foundation, award recipients met criteria that included: making grant decisions with community help; having grant-selection processes that are easily expanded; and serving populations with some of the Northwest’s highest levels of family poverty.

“This will make a huge difference in the lives of many of our friends and neighbors,” said Dennis Smith, the local United Way’s president and CEO, in a statement announcing the award.

“This allows us to do more in the community,” Parekh said.

Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; muhlstein@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Families begin relocating from public housing complex

Baker Heights is in need of repairs deemed to costly to make, and will be demolished and replaced.

Trail work by juvenile offenders builds resumes, confidence

Kayak Point trails were built out this year by groups from Denney Juvenile Justice Center.

Small fire breaks out at haunted house in Everett

Plastic that was supposed to be noncombustable was sitting next to a hot lightbulb.

Rules of the road for ‘extra-fast pedestrians’ — skateboarders

State traffic law defines them as pedestrians, and yet they are often in the middle of the street.

Distress beacon leads rescuers to Pacific Crest Trail hikers

Two men in their 20s had encountered snow and waited two nights for a helicopter rescue.

City of Everett to give $400K to a nonprofit housing project

The city expects to enter a contract with HopeWorks, an affiliate of Housing Hope.

Everett mayoral campaign is one of the priciest ever

Many campaign donors are giving to both Cassie Franklin and Judy Tuohy.

Some damage undone: Thousands of heroin needles removed

Hand Up Project volunteers cleaned up a patch of woods that some of them had occupied near Everett.

Volunteers clean up homeless camp infested with garbage

The organization’s founder used to live and do drugs in the same woods.

Most Read