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The Washington County Community Foundation is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2020 by naming 25 non-profit organizations as a Charity of Excellence.

Each honoree will receive an unrestricted grant of at least $5,000, with one organization receiving the top prize of a $25,000 unrestricted grant. One of the 25 selected organizations will also receive the People’s Choice Award for $5,000. In total, the WCCF will distribute $150,000 to local charities through this special grant cycle.

To apply for a Charity of Excellence award, the organization must be recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a non-profit and file a Federal Form 990. It is required to provide at least one charitable program in Washington County and must have operated for at least five years. Interested non-profits should submit an online application via www.wccf.net by March 1. The application must include a compelling written volunteer testimonial.

The Foundation will evaluate applicants on four criteria: quality and variety of programming; community impact as gauged by the number of people served relative to the operating budget; volunteer engagement; and the organization’s financial improvement over the last five years. The 25 Charity of Excellence awardees will be announced in June.

Community members will have the opportunity to vote on their favorite Charity of Excellence through an on-line People’s Choice Award contest. Complete details on the People’s Choice Award will be released later in the year.

The top prize of $25,000 and the People’s Choice Award of $5,000 will be revealed at the WCCF Silver Anniversary Banquet in November.

The grants are made possible by the Alvin and Carol Berthold Fund. Lifelong residents of McDonald, the Berthold’s were longtime supporters of the WCCF. Their fund, valued at more than $5 million, is the largest discretionary grant-making fund of the WCCF. In recognition of the Bertholds’ extraordinary philanthropy, the Foundation will recognize the couple posthumously at its November banquet.

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