Your Community Update

LeadHERship | Honoring Female Leaders

Last week, BCF hosted its annual LeadHERship event in honor of International Women’s Day on March 8. BCF created LeadHERship to provide a platform for female leaders to share their stories and inspire action. This year's event honored women of color in our community, where they shared stories of oppression and talked about the power of resilience and healing. When discussing the work happening here in our community, Akuyea Karen Vargas said, "This community for years has been doing the work on healing and race equity. We have to keep breaking down these barriers, and we have to have race equity work. We can come together to celebrate each other, and we can build healthy relationships."

The reception was surrounded by Bainbridge Island Museum of Art’s Rosa Parks exhibit, which highlighted her power, humanity, and determination, along with her broader civil rights activism. BCF was honored to host this event and we are thankful for everything the speakers do for this community.

When asked what gives them hope, panelists answered the following:

"People are showing up, and they want to hear these stories," – Carol Reitz, Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community

"It's a feeling, actually, rather than being able to articulate from events or actions. There is an energy exchange happening here, and this movement on Bainbridge is what gives me hope." – Gina Corpuz, Bainbridge Island Indipino Community

“The Suquamish Tribe went from 130 in 1950 to over 1,100 today. And now the children are speaking the Lushootseed language better than their parents.” – Barbara Lawrence, Suquamish Tribe

"Children want to be valued for who they are… they want to have an identity, they want to belong. Our young people are now stepping into who they want to be, and they are focusing on truth and reconciliation. We need to keep talking." – Akuyea Karen Vargas, Living Life Leadership

Thank you to Puget Sound Energy for underwriting the event.

The Buzz: Nonprofit Survey and Sector Gatherings

Bainbridge Community Foundation’s 2023 Nonprofit Survey had its highest response rate this year with 65 nonprofit respondents from individual organizations and with over 40 participants in its four Sector Gatherings. This information helps inform BCF's Community Grants Cycle grantmaking and its annual State of the Sector report. A few results are highlighted below:

  • Activities feel the most “normal” since end of the pandemic, and nonprofits can do more strategic planning rather than managing a constantly changing environment
  • Concerns around family economic security was identified as having the greatest impact on nonprofit programming
  • For the second year in a row, affordability and mental health were found as the top two challenges facing our community
  • Increase in demand was rated much higher than usual for nonprofits overall, especially in the younger generation (ages 0-18)
  • Almost 77% of respondents highlighted health services to be “extremely important” for a sustainable and supportive community, and yet only 5% of nonprofits reported that all of the population they serve have access to health services
  • Nonprofits reported a sharp increase in demand for fundraising activities and training, followed by a need for communications/marketing resources

Stay tuned as BCF turns these results into its annual State of the Sector Report: A View of Our Community in the coming months. To review past reports, click here.

Community Grants Cycle is OPEN

BCF’s Community Grants Cycle is now accepting applications for the 2023 Community Grants Cycle from all sectors of our nonprofit community from March 8 – April 4. We encourage nonprofit leaders to reach out and discuss possible funding opportunities for specific programs, capital projects, as well as general operations. We'd love to hear from you! To learn more, visit BCF’s website or feel free to contact Debbie Kuffel at

Personal Finance and Investing: Best Practices

Financial literacy is empowering—yet good, practical education about financial management is too often out of reach for people, especially those with limited incomes. Current events may have also increased uncertainty in our financial institutions, which is why understanding how it all works is even more important. BCF is hosting its annual Financial Education Series where national experts come to talk about personal financial stability for all ages and steps you can take to mitigate risk.

Click here to register for these four free education events.

An additional event is taking place at the Bainbridge Island Senior / Community Center on March 22 from 1:30-2:30PM, where Paul Merriman will talk about Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Funds, their expected returns, and how to choose them.

Celebrating Legacy

Bainbridge Community Foundation hosted its Red

Cedar Council luncheon on Wednesday, February 15th at Heyday Farm to celebrate the gifts of a special group of visionary donors. To become part of the Red Cedar Council, donors include BCF in their wills or estate plans to achieve their long-term philanthropic goals.

At the lunch, Red Cedar Council members had intimate conversations about their visions for the future of Bainbridge Island—and how their legacy will live on through their strong connection to the foundation. These discussions over a Heyday Farm meal led to deeper connections with like-minded individuals, and many formed new relationships while others reconnected with friends.

To learn more about the benefits of joining the Red Cedar Council, click here.

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