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Foundation offering grants to county nonprofit groups

September 29, 2004|by WANDA T. WILLIAMS

wandaw@herald-mail.com

Community Foundation of Washington County Maryland Inc. officials have targeted four areas where they feel foundation funds will have the most impact in addressing the strength, safety and security of local families.

Foundation Executive Director Brad Sell said that following a countywide survey, the foundation will look for nonprofit groups that have strong programs dedicated to child abuse and neglect, teen pregnancy and domestic violence to compete for approximately $25,000 in grants.

Sell said the areas of emphasis were derived from a survey to which 177 of 1,877 local organizations, businesses and private individuals responded. Survey participants were asked to rank a list of topics using a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most important.

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"The top areas of need based on the survey were health-care affordability, child abuse and drug abuse," he said.

While health-care affordability ranked high on the survey, Sell said the foundation can't afford to adequately address the problem this year. He said the survey data was used as a guide to develop criteria for selecting next year's grant recipient or recipients.

"Last year, it was basically human-service organizations who served the underserved and disadvantaged," that received the grants, he said.

Organizations with long-range proposals addressing the areas of emphasis will be given priority in this year's selection process.

"It's a one-time grant. We're not apt to grant to agencies that don't have future plans to support the program we're funding," foundation Administrative Assistant Kristy Smith said.

The foundation will not approve grant requests for the following:

· Annual operating expenses

· Endowment campaigns

· Deficit retirement

· Political activities or organizations

· Sectarian religious programs

· Projects that receive public tax support

· Special fund-raising events or celebrations

· Capital campaigns

· Scholarships or financial assistance for grades kindergarten through 12

· Organizations with boards of directors or programs based outside Washington County

Letters of interest must be submitted by Nov. 15. Applications are available by calling the foundation at 301-745-5210 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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