A local foundation that aids a wide range of charities and organizations has reported hitting two milestones recently.
Assets for the Blue Mountain Community Foundation have reached a new high, according to Executive Director Kari Isaacson. At the start of this year, assets had grown to $50.2 million as a result of gifts, grants and investment performance.
In comparison, a little over four years ago the foundation’s assets were $34.2 million, Isaacson said.
The second milestone was the creation of the Socially Responsive Investment Fund, a new investment option that has attracted more than $1.1 million in new funds.
This fund is unique, according to Isaacson, in that investments exclude tobacco, alcohol, gambling and adult entertainment companies. Businesses targeted for investment are those strong in areas of social, governance and environmental responsibility, including diversity.
In a release, Isaacson gave “special thanks” to Walla Walla Valley Academy in College Place for giving the foundation “the strongest nudge towards creating the new SRI investment option.
“(The Academy’s) values-based investing was a good match for the community foundation,” Isaacson stated.
In a recent interview, Isaacson explained the foundation, which was started in 1984, is now “the largest source of charitable money in our region.”
“We raise money, hold it and invest it in perpetuity,” she said.
Although the foundation, a public charity, has only four full-time staff members, its process runs with the help of 15 volunteer board members and 25 volunteers on board committees.
The foundation works as an intermediary to match up donors, money and needs, she said. “It’s a place for donors to make a long-term investment in the area.”
The organization offers 330 types of funds and supports about 75 scholarships, serving Walla Walla, Columbia, Garfield and Umatilla counties.
Recipients of funding, which Isaacson said adds up to about $2 million each year, have included cities, nonprofits and churches as well as health care and animal welfare organizations.
Other services the foundation offers are fiscal sponsorships for a variety of projects, such as construction of the new pickleball courts in Walla Walla’s Pioneer Park.
Information about the foundation is available online at bluemountainfoundation.org.