Community News

2018 Fair Matching Grant Program a Success!

22 Aug 2018, written by

THANK YOU to all of the generous donors who contributed to the featured nonprofits at our fair booth this year. Collectively, you donated nearly $40,000 to support the 8 featured nonprofit projects! The winner of our $1,000 bonus grant is San Juan Community Home Trust, selected by donor Nancy DeVaux, whose name was selected in our special drawing on the last night of the fair.

The Foundation will match 50% of donated funds until each organization’s goal is met. This results in more than $56,000 in totals funds to be granted to the following projects:

  • Family Umbrella Group Preschool Scholarships
  • Hospice of San Juan Volunteer Training
  • PADs for Parkinson’s Wheelchair Ramp
  • San Juan Community Home Trust Forever Affordable Homes
  • San Juan Community Theatre Musical Theatre Production Fund
  • San Juan Island Family Resource Center Building Expansion
  • San Juan Islands Museum of Art
  • Women’s Fund of the SJICF Membership Drive

Congratulations to the featured organizations, and many thanks to our generous community members for their donations!

Women’s Fund Awards Grants, Honors Carolyn Haugen

28 Jun 2018, written by

The Women’s Fund members voted to award $8,385 to 6 local nonprofits during the most recent grant cycle. The San Juan Island Family Resource Center, San Juan Island Library, UW Friday Harbor Labs, WA Vocational Services, Friday Harbor Elementary School and Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood all received funds to help support projects underway this summer.

The Women’s Fund recently celebrated 15 years of giving at their annual member luncheon held at Brickworks on June 21st. After hearing a fascinating update from Jennifer Armstrong of the Family Resource Center, Dr. Carolyn Haugen was presented the first annual Joyce Sobel Memorial Award – created by the Women’s Fund Coordinating Committee as a way to honor Joyce’s legacy of service to the community.

Gay Graham, the emcee of this year’s luncheon and a member of the Women’s Fund Coordinating Committee explained the newly-created award: “Joyce Sobel, throughout her lifetime on San Juan Island, contributed tirelessly to the community through her myriad volunteer activities, nonprofit leadership and advisory roles.  The Women’s Fund Coordinating Committee decided to create an award to recognize an outstanding woman whose efforts are closely aligned with Joyce’s spirit of giving back to the community.  Dr. Carolyn Haugen, for her many years of service to so many different causes, is a perfect first recipient of this award.”

The Women’s Fund was formed in 2003 as a collective giving model to help women participate in philanthropy and make a greater local impact by pooling their funds.  It is structured as a donor-advised fund held by the San Juan Island Community Foundation. Membership is $100 per year and is tax deductible. Members vote to award grants 3 times annually to local nonprofits submitting proposals to the Foundation. More than $200,000 in funds have been granted by the Women’s Fund since its inception. To learn more, or to join the Women’s Fund, visit or contact Amy Saxe-Eyler, the Coordinator, at

Dr. Carolyn Haugen receives 1st Annual Joyce Sobel Award.

SJICF Awards $176,700 in Scholarships for 2018-2019

13 Jun 2018, written by

2018 Friday Harbor High School scholarship recipients

Ten graduating seniors from Friday Harbor High School and two graduating seniors from Spring Street International School were awarded new scholarships for the 2018-2019 academic year from two different funds held at the San Juan Island Community Foundation.  Previous recipients of the following scholarships have also been awarded one year renewals.

Inskeep Legacy Scholarship Fund

Diego Anderson, Rhode Island School of Design: $5,000

Zachariah Fincher, University of Washington: $3,000

Savannah Hoffman, Western Washington University: $3,000

Alen Melic, Western Washington University: $4,000

Tenley Nelsen, Seattle Pacific University: $5,000

Laurel Robertson, University of Victoria: $5,000

Ana Sanabria Velazquez, Western Washington University: $8,000

Emma Schroeder, University of Victoria: $3,500

Vida Wight, Western Washington University: $2,000

Kiana Woods, Whitworth University: $3,000

Total New Applicants: $41,500

The Inskeep Legacy Scholarship Fund was established by a generous donation made by the late Jerry Inskeep, who deeply appreciated the helping hand that he received enabling him to attend college.  He left a legacy through the San Juan Island Community Foundation that will provide a permanent source of funds for the education of our island’s students.

SJICF Scholarship Fund

Otis Cooper-West, University of Washington: $10,000

Lydia Downs, Missoula College: $3,300

Gavin Guard, University of Colorado: $10,000

Blythe Parker, Midwives College of Utah: $4,000

Sierra Truesdale, Seattle University: $10,000

The SJICF Scholarship Fund was established through generous donations to the San Juan Island Community Foundation to provide San Juan Island residents with scholarships for community college, two-year college, four-year college or university, graduate school programs, or vocational/career programs.

John Volk Memorial Scholarship Fund

Nick Armstrong, University of Washington: $3,000

Levi Demaris, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University: $3,000

Zachariah Fincher, University of Washington: $1,000

Abigail Margolis, Tel Aviv University: $1,000

The John Volk Memorial Scholarship Fund was established and is administered by the San Juan Island Pilots Association and honors one of our finest citizens who served us all through his tireless volunteer service, both on the ground and in the air.

Marcia L. Zakarison M.D. Scholarship Fund

Zachariah Fincher, University of Washington: $400

Emma Schroeder, University of Victoria: $1,000

This scholarship is provided in the name of Dr. Marcia Zakarison, a local physician, who believed that every young person should have an equal opportunity to receive the best education possible. This scholarship is for graduating high school seniors, on San Juan Island, pursuing a career in human medicine.

Inskeep Legacy Scholarship Renewals

The following students were previous recipients of Inskeep Legacy Scholarships and have been awarded another one-year scholarship for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Isabella Brown, Santa Clara University: $3,500

Eli Cooper-West, University of Washington: $3,000

Melanie Cope, University of Washington: $5,000

Griffin Cuomo, Chapman University: $7,000

Sophia Dillery, Seattle University: $5,000

Isabel Gabriel, University of Washington: $5,000

Kai Herko, Clark University: $5,000

Sammantha Hopkins, Linfield College: $4,000

Sophia Marinkovich, Western Washington University: $5,000

Hayden Mayer, Western Washington University: $4,000

Alexa Mora, Central Washington University: $4,000

Samantha Pluff, University of Washington: $5,000

Madeline Schroeder, Seattle University: $5,000

Madden Shanks, Central Washington University: $6,000

Thomas Synoground, Washington State University: $8,000

Nayaleah Tucker-Belt, Western Washington University: $7,000

Corbin Williams, University of Washington: $3,000

Echo Wood, University of Washington: $4,000

Total Reapplicants: $88,500

If you would like information about the Foundation’s scholarship funds or would like to contribute, call Carrie Unpingco, Executive Director, at 360-378-1001.

Breakfast of Champions Meets Again!

06 Jun 2018, written by

Carrie Unpingco (left) with Helen Machin-Smith from Island Stage Left (right)

At the invitation of the Community Foundation, directors and board members from thirty-five different organizations gathered to enjoy a delicious breakfast and to cultivate organizational and personal connections on May 31, 2018.

“Our island is fortunate to have so many excellent organizations that contribute to our quality of life but there are times when the people who are dedicated to a specific cause can find themselves with little time or opportunity to connect with others and learn what programs and projects other organizations are engaged in or, even dreaming about,” said Carrie Unpingco, Executive Director of SJICF. “We want to help bridge these gaps and one way to do that, is to bring everyone together.  Feeding them doesn’t hurt either!”

After everyone had an opportunity to freely network over breakfast and coffee, nonprofit leaders spent the remaining time listening to twelve organizations speak about their goals and vision for the rest of the year.  New nonprofits were given the opportunity to tell the group who they were and what their mission was.  A surprise drawing was held at the end of breakfast with, Island Stage Left winning a $1,000 grant from the Community Foundation.  Helen Machin-Smith, Island Stage Left Director & Co-Founder, said that they will use the funds to support their work to provide top quality professional theatre – free of charge – to all islanders and island visitors, no matter what their financial or social status.

The Community Foundation works directly with just about all the local nonprofits, from the arts to the environment to senior support and everything in between.  These are organizations that provide a broad array of programs and services that enrich our community.

Foundation Board member Lauren Levinson said, “The Community Foundation is unique among nonprofit organizations because we aim to be a resource for both our donors and our community nonprofit organizations.  The Foundation provides knowledge and expertise on both sides of the philanthropic exchange. For example, we distribute grants to support and advance local nonprofit activities and projects.  But we also identify current and emerging issues and critical needs, and seek solutions to address short and long-term needs.  It is our goal to help support a healthy thriving community on San Juan Island.”

Laurie Orton, Director of the SJI Library said, “It was inspiring to see representatives from so many organizations and realize how many people here are working for the betterment of our community. I loved hearing about the great projects groups are working on, and to feel the support of others in the room for our individual missions. I loved it!”

Friday Harbor Elementary School Principal, Diane Ball, had this to say about the event, “Thank you for providing the opportunity for us to network with other nonprofit organizations.  I made a valuable connection with Claire Wright from an island arts umbrella organization.  We just posted a position for an art teacher and she could think of a few people who may be interested in this position, thanks to this networking opportunity.”

The Community Foundation is a non-profit philanthropic organization which serves as a trusted resource on San Juan Island and seeks to ensure the long-term health of our community by supporting projects and programs that benefit our citizens, meet community needs, test new ideas and, by awarding educational scholarships to deserving San Juan Island students.

Unlike most other charitable organization that exist to support the needs of a single cause, the Community Foundation helps many of our local nonprofits carry out their work in our community through grant guidance and support, organizational assistance and philanthropic resource management.

To learn more, contact Carrie Unpingco, Executive Director of the San Juan Island Community Foundation, 360-378-1001.



See What SJI Nonprofits Are Saying About SJICF

12 Apr 2018, written by

Click below to read how funding from the Community Foundation is helping organizations, like the San Juan Islands Museum of Art, address fundamental needs that will improve all aspects of the organization.

Thanks for San Juan Islands Museum of Art support | Letter

SJICF Spring Newsletter

11 Apr 2018, written by

It’s Scholarship Season! Click here to read SJICF’s Spring Newsletter!

SJICF Women’s Fund Awards $6,000 to Local Nonprofits

13 Mar 2018, written by

Local nonprofits got a boost in funding for their projects after the most recent San Juan Island Community Foundation grant cycle. The Women’s Fund, a donor advised fund of the Foundation, awarded $6,000 to support the following 4 community programs:

  • The San Juan EMT Association “Every 15 Minutes” program
  • The Salish Sea Sciences 2018 Summer program
  • The San Juan Islands Agricultural Guild San Juan County Food Hub/Producer Engagement project
  • The San Juan Islands Museum of Art Database and Technology Renovation

Founded in 2003, the Women’s Fund is a group of 126 (and growing) San Juan Island women committed to educating and expanding the pool of women engaged in philanthropy, making a significant impact in our community, and increasing awareness of important issues facing San Juan Island nonprofit organizations.

As the Women’s Fund enters its 15th year, it has granted nearly $200,000 to local nonprofits.

Join us! New members are welcome to join the Women’s Fund at any time during the year. For more information or to join today, please visit or contact Amy Saxe-Eyler, the Women’s Fund Coordinator, at

$50,000 Raised for SJI Family Resource Center!

06 Mar 2018, written by

YOU DID IT! THANK YOU! Matching donations for the SJI Family Resource Center Building Expansion Project, in honor of Joyce Sobel, have exceeded the $50,000 goal! Thank you to the many donors who contributed to such a worthy project in Joyce’s honor. This was raised in just 21 days!

The Community Foundation will continue to fund-raise for this project, and will be posting more details about the building expansion soon.

If you would like to donate now, you can do so online by clicking here; by writing a check to SJICF, PO Box 1352, Friday Harbor, WA 98250; or in person at 640 Mullis St. Suite 104. Please specify that your donation is to be directed to the Family Resource Center Building Expansion project.

Contact Carrie Unpingco, Executive Director, at 360-378-1001, with questions.

Women’s Fund Awards Another $8,000 in Grants to Local Non-Profits

06 Nov 2017, written by

The San Juan Island Women’s Fund is a pooled donor-advised fund of the San Juan Island Community Foundation. For nearly 15 years, more than 100 local women have pooled their annual membership fee of $100 or more to fund local non-profit projects. In October, 6 proposals were selected by Women’s Fund members to share in a total of $8,000 in allocated grant funds. The projects included: Family Umbrella Group (Preschool Scholarships), San Juan Island Family Resource Center (Special Needs Parent Support Group, Kindergarten Kickoff Event and Spanish Language for Human Services Professionals), San Juan Island Library (English Language Learning) and Island Stage Left (Equipment Replacement).

Founded in 2003, the San Juan Island Women’s Fund has a 3-pronged mission: to educate and expand the pool of local women engaged in philanthropy, to combine and build resources in order to make a significant impact in our community and to increase awareness of important issues facing San Juan Island non-profit organizations. To date, the Women’s Fund has donated $217,000 to more than 40 local non-profits via the Foundation’s grant program.

Women’s Funds have been established all over the country to engage women in the power of collective giving. If you want to make an impact through local collective grant-making, consider joining today! You can sign up online by visiting or by calling Carrie Unpingco at the San Juan Island Community Foundation at 360-378-1001. For more information about the Women’s Fund, contact our facilitator, Amy Saxe-Eyler, at or 360-317-8120.

Women's Fund Logo

2018 Grant Application Deadline Dates

27 Sep 2017, written by

2018 Grant Application Deadline Dates: January 15, May 14 and September 17 by 5pm.

Our process requires a Pre-Application Meeting.  Please call us at (360) 378-1001 to schedule a meeting.  We would be happy to help you through the process.  Thank you!