What is the Kitsap Community Foundation (KCF)?

KCF helps people of all means improve their community now and in the future. At our core, we exist to help people achieve their charitable goals. We are their partner in philanthropy. A public foundation, we help our donors/investors provide grant-making dollars for non-profit organizations that serve primarily Kitsap County, its residents and surrounding areas. However, KCF can also support charitable activities in another region, state or even internationally, depending on what the donor/investor's charitable goals are.

How is the Kitsap Community Foundation Operated?

The Foundation's Board of Directors has ultimate authority over the administration of the Foundation's assets, investments, strategic direction, grantmaking, and governance. You can see a list of the Board members under the "About" section of this website. Numerous other community volunteers serve on various Foundation committees and task forces. Currently, the Foundation has an efficient staff of four people and is supported by volunteers from the community.

What is the Difference Between Charity and Philanthropy?

Many people would say that there is no difference between the terms "charity" and "philanthropy." Both terms refer to giving back to one's community through the donation of time or money. Some people like to make this distinction: charity is money given to meet an immediate need — food for hungry people, shelter for the homeless. Philanthropy also provides charitable funds, but is more strategic, aiming for long-term improvements. It requires not just money, but the commitment of human resources, innovative thinking and effective follow-up and accountability.

Is Kitsap Community Foundation a "Charity" Itself?

Yes. KCF is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization under the tax code and relies on public support of its operating costs. However, our primary role is to encourage and administer philanthropy to benefit effective programming and projects throughout the community. People give to KCF to ensure that the long-term and ever changing needs of Kitsap County are assessed and met.

What Is An Endowment?

An endowment is a permanent fund invested for growth and income. A portion of the income is granted each year to support charitable causes. True endowed funds exist in perpetuity ensuring that each donor/investor's concerns, values, and hopes for the community have the financial resources necessary to continue to improve our quality of life.

What Is the Difference Between Kitsap Community Foundation and the United Way of Kitsap County?

United Way of Kitsap County is an important community organization. It accepts donations each year through an annual campaign format and redistributes what it collects to its partnering human-service organizations in the community for immediate use. United Way focuses those charitable dollars on its member agencies, which also go through a grant request process. KCF accepts gifts for all types of charitable purposes (basic needs, arts and culture, health and human services, the environment, education, neighborhoods and communities, animal welfare) but it only spends the income produced by those gifts. KCF carefully invests all gifts and distributes only a portion of the income produced. Both organizations play a valuable role in our community. United Way can be described as the community's checking account. KCF can be described as the community's savings account, but one which will always be there, due to the permanent nature of endowed 'forever' funds.

What Does Kitsap Community Foundation Charge?

KCF provides a variety of administrative services to donors, including investment management. You can see our fees here.

Is KCF Set Up to Serve Only Wealthy People?

No. As evidenced by many of our funds, anyone can be a philanthropist by making a donation to any of KCF's funds — providing the power of pooling resources with other like-minded individuals and businesses or by creating their own fund to make a lasting statement of their values and hopes for the community. Our donors/investors reflect the face of our community giving at a level that is appropriate for them and their charitable goals — hence we are the 'community's' foundation.

How Does KCF Decide How to Distribute Grant Funds?

An all-volunteer Grant Committee, made up of at least two KCF board members and community members at large, reviews all applications against our stated criteria and measures applicants' capacity to provide the stated service efficiently and effectively. The committee reviews grant proposals reflecting a wide variety of charitable purposes — arts and culture, community development, education, environment, health and human services and youth development. Those applications which are approved by the committee may receive an unrestricted grant or may be shared with our Donor Advised Funds for their consideration. This is a further extension of the services we offer to our donor/investors — vetting proposals carefully to ensure charitable dollars are used effectively. Some grant dollars have already been 'spoken for' — meaning the donor set up the fund with the proceeds from the fund directed to a specified agency.

Frequently Asked Questions