Flexible community funds established to ignite generosity in Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille Counties
Spokane, Wash. (Dec. 21, 2022) — Innovia Foundation is pleased to announce two new community funds and the restructuring of a third to support the greatest needs and opportunities for three counties in Northeast Washington. Inspired by Innovia’s 5% Transfer of Wealth Campaign and local volunteer Leadership Councils, the Ferry County Community Fund, Stevens County Community Fund and Newport Community Fund each aim to further ignite generosity and build vibrant, sustainable communities for generations to come.
Denise Stewart, Founding Attorney at Estate & Long Term Care Law Group in Newport, Washington, is the fund advisor for the Bobby Elizabeth Endowment Fund at Innovia, which was established with an estate gift in 2016. Via that fund, she recently recommended grants of $105,000 to the three funds, including the establishment of the Newport Community Fund and Ferry County Community Fund to support Pend Oreille and Ferry Counties, respectively.
“This is such an incredible opportunity for our community!” said Stewart. “Innovia’s ability to make this possible with such ease for all of us to contribute, maintain and benefit our towns and counties is awesome. The legacy we are creating for our families, neighbors and businesses, a place we and our children can continue to love and come home to, is both practical and inspiring.”
The existing Northeast Washington Community Fund, founded in 2020 with a $10,000 seed gift by Washington State University Stevens County Extension Director Debra Hansen, has been renamed to become the Stevens County Community Fund, narrowing its focus specifically on Stevens County.
“This is such wonderful proof in the power of the 5% Campaign,” said Hansen. “To see another leader in our region establishing community funds and thinking about local impact, that’s exactly what it is all about. We can identify the needs we see in our three counties and fund projects that make a difference.”
Regional volunteer groups at Innovia, known as Leadership Councils, advise the grantmaking from flexible community funds for their respective area. Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille Counties make up Innovia’s Tri County Region, of which both Stewart and Hansen are Leadership Council members. The collaborative process allows each community fund to evolve over time, reflecting the most pressing challenges and needs.
“I hope everyone looks into this and gives some thought about the ways it can be used for their own legacies, but moreover to benefit our community long-term,” added Stewart.
All three funds will have awards available to distribute during the 2023 grant cycle. Donations can be made to each fund via the Innovia website at innovia.org/give.
If you are interested in learning about establishing a fund to benefit your community or county, please contact the Innovia Gift Planning team at 509-624-2606.