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Community Foundation of Washington County builds Web site

March 26, 2003|by ANDREA ROWLAND

andrear@herald-mail.com

The head of the Community Foundation of Washington County hopes the organization's new Web site will serve as an information clearinghouse for local nonprofits and the public.

"We want to be a resource for the entire community," Executive Director Bradley Sell said.

The Community Foundation promotes philanthropy by offering a variety of fund options. Contributions remain fully invested, with the returns available to support charitable causes in Washington County.

Launched in 1996 with $9,000, the foundation now boasts assets of about $6 million in endowed and nonendowed funds. Endowment funds are permanent, with the principle remaining untouched while a portion of the returns is distributed to charity.

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In addition to details about the organization and its services, the Web site will have a contact list and special events calendar for all Washington County charitable organizations, said Sell, who expects the Web site to be up and running within the next week.

That information will make it easier for nonprofit workers to share ideas and schedule fund-raisers and other events, he said. The public will be able to surf the calendar and find a variety of nonprofit resources in one location.

Sell is asking all nonprofit groups in the county - a number he estimates at 300 - to send their contact information, a brief description of their services and calendar items for inclusion on the Web site.

"In a lot of cases, it's just a question of sending a brochure or pamphlet they already have," he said.

Foundation secretary Jewel-e George will compile and update the nonprofit data, Sell said.

The Web site will have links to such local organizations as the county government, free library, United Way and Chamber of Commerce, he said.

Three Marketeers public relations and marketing firm of Hagerstown began designing the site last October and is working with Mid Atlantic System Integrators of Hagerstown, which will host the site, to get it online.

Nonprofit organizations may fax or mail their information. The Community Foundation's fax number is 301-791-5752, and the mailing address is 14606 Pennsylvania Ave., Hagerstown, MD 21742.

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