About Olympic View Community Foundation
OVCF’s origin story differs from that of most community foundations. Typically, a founding donor or group of donors establishes a community foundation with a large initial gift and the intention of accomplishing charitable goals within a specific geographic area. Over time other donors in the community are invited or inspired to contribute, with the community foundation providing myriad ways for individuals to participate.
Conversely, OVCF formed around a monumental event that would bring a huge impact on the City of Sequim: the scheduled construction of the Highway 101 bypass. The bypass would divert traffic from Washington Street and while it would relieve traffic congestion through town, business owners feared their customers might bypass them.
With this in mind, the Sequim-Dungeness Chamber of Commerce formed Sequim 2000, a committee of volunteers who represented the interests of local businesses and residents. The committee saw that the bypass had the potential to inspire a renaissance for Sequim’s downtown and raised money to realize their vision.
From Committee to Community Foundation
After the initial projects were completed, the Sequim 2000 group resolved to continue their work “to enrich the quality of life in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley.” With this mission in mind, the committee members incorporated in September 2001 as an independent, 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, calling itself The Community Foundation of the Sequim-Dungeness Valley (later renamed Sequim Community Foundation, and now known as Olympic View Community Foundation).
Community foundations improve lives, solve problems & create futures …
What is a Community Foundation?
A community foundation is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3), charitable organization created by and for a community of people. It is supported by local donors and governed by a board of trustees who work to build and strengthen their communities by bringing together people and organizations that want to positively improve lives, solve problems, and create futures by donating money and establishing funds.
Funds come from a variety of sources, including bequests and living trusts, and are invested in perpetuity. In turn, community foundations invest contributed funds back into the community as grants to effect positive change and to help local nonprofits, which are at the heart of every strong, vibrant community.
Characteristics of Community Foundations:
- Give grants to support nonprofit organizations and community projects
- Operate from a broadly defined mission (e.g. to improve quality of life in a community)
- Serve geographically defined communities – a city, state, region, or district
- Receive support from private and public donors
- Seek philanthropic contributions from within the community
- Build capital endowments, an important element of sustainability
- Are governed by boards whose members reflect the diversity of their community