Grant funding available for local non-profits

Are you a local non-profit organization searching for a grant opportunity? The Gorge Community Foundation is accepting grant applications from nonprofit agencies serving the Columbia River Gorge area. The grants will be made from the Joan Burchell Fund, which was created through a bequest after her death in December of 2008. Based upon her wishes, the Joan Burchell Fund provides annual charitable grants where they are most needed in the local community.

Last year, eight separate local organizations received grants, including one project which benefits the entire Gorge community. A grant of $1,000 was awarded to Columbia Riverkeeper to support their on-going water quality monitoring project. According to Water Quality Director Lorri Epstein, trained volunteers are assigned to a specific site on the Columbia River or a key tributary. Once a month, each volunteer monitors their ‘adopted’ site for key health indicators, such as water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, E. coli, and more. In 2008, volunteers detected an E. coli problem on Indian Creek in Hood River, which led investigators to a cracked sewage pipe.

GCF Board President Gil Sharp notes that when Joan Burchell created an endowment fund with the Gorge Community Foundation, she insured that she would be part of the community she called home, forever. “After only five years of grants, including this year, Burchell’s legacy gift has put nearly $50,000 into our local communities,” said Sharp.

Eligible organizations must have a 501c-3 designation, and be located or operating in the Columbia River Gorge. In this funding cycle, the total amount available for granting is $10,000, and proposals will be accepted for any amount up to that total. In past years, grants have ranged in size from $600 to $4,000. Applicants must submit proposals by October 31, 2014. Complete grant guidelines are available for download from the Gorge Community Foundation website at

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