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Grant makers to meet with local non-profits

The best way to match grant makers with nonprofits? A funders forum, of course.

United Way of Kitsap County is set to host its first ever Kitsap Olympic Peninsulas’ Funders’ Forum Friday, May 15 at the Clearwater Casino Resort Hotel in Suquamish.

The event is designed to bring grant makers representing private foundations, corporations and government organizations together with non-profit organizations to meet and gather information about giving priorities, deadlines, application processes, contact information and other basic facts relevant to grant programs.

Grant makers expected to attend next Friday’s forum are Ben B. Cheney Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Boeing Employee Charitable Fund, Community Development Block Grants, Federal Appropriations Programs, Kitsap Community Foundation, Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, The Seattle Foundation/C. Keith Birkenfeld Trust, The Suquamish Foundation and United Way.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with United Way and sponsor this event,” said Samuel Askew, hotel director of Port Madison Enterprises and Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort. “None of us can ignore the news about the troubled economy and the impact it is having on charitable giving and non-profits. This forum could not come at a better time and will provide invaluable information to those who need it the most.”

The forum is part of a broader United Way of Kitsap County effort to support and expand frontline services that make a difference in people’s lives, according to Executive Director of United Way of Kitsap County David Foote.

“We want to make sure that our community has a strong and healthy non-profit sector. To do this takes more than just dollars, it is important that organizations that rely on charitable contributions and grants have the knowledge and information to build capacity and remain sustainable,” he said.

United Way of Kitsap County’s Director of Resource Development Patricia Hennessy said events like this have gone on around the Puget Sound, but not in the local area.

“This is actually the first one that has been held on this side of the water,” she said. “We are not doing anything new and spectacular, but this is the first time we have brought a group of funders to the Kitsap Peninsula for non-profits in the region to talk to.”

For more information about the Kitsap Olympic Peninsulas’ Funders’ Forum, e-mail fundforum@unitedwaykitsap.org.

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