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8/1/2011  
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Seattle Department of Neighborhoods awards more than $1 million
for neighborhood projects

Twelve community organizations receive Neighborhood Matching Funds


Seattle – The Seattle City Council today approved more than $1 million in matching funds to support neighborhood projects across the City. Twelve community organizations will receive awards from Seattle Department of Neighborhoods" Neighborhood Matching Fund Program for projects as diverse as creation of an autistic spectrum disorder-friendly playspace to construction of an outdoor stage for community events. 

The Large Projects Fund annually provides cash awards of up to $100,000 to neighborhood organizations committed to fostering and building a better community. The 2011 awards range from $48,500 to $100,000, and communities have pledged to match the City"s $1.03 million contribution with resources valued at nearly $1.5 million.  For a listing of the 2011 award recipients, visit http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/nmf/largeproject.htm.

"The Neighborhood Matching Fund creates opportunities for the residents of our neighborhoods to turn their creative ideas and their energy into real projects on the ground," said Seattle City Councilmember O"Brien, chair of the Seattle Public Utilities and Neighborhoods Committee. "These modest investments help build community and provide incredible returns for our neighborhoods, which is even more important in these tough economic times."

Recipients of the Neighborhood Matching Fund match their awards through a combination of locally raised money, donated materials and volunteer labor. On average, community volunteers invest $1.52 of donations and sweat equity for every $1 of taxpayer support.

"Neighborhood volunteers make a difference," said Mayor Mike McGinn. "I am proud to live in a city with dedicated residents who work together to improve their communities."

Every application to the Large Projects Funds goes through an evaluation process by the Citywide Review Team (CRT). This group consists of representatives from each of the 13 neighborhood districts and four at-large community members, and includes the District Council Review Teams.  These volunteers commit to reviewing applications, interviewing applicants and making funding recommendations for each applicant.

"I witnessed the pragmatic steps that Seattle Department of Neighborhoods takes in fulfilling its promises," said Hassan Wardere, a CRT member. "Bringing community members in to decide on such large grants is a democratic process that reflects the department's mission. I firmly believe that this fund breaks through the inequality and inequity issues that plague some communities."  

Since the program was created 22 years ago, the Neighborhood Matching Fund has awarded more than $47 million with a community match of more than $68 million.  Projects have involved nearly 85,000 volunteers who have donated over 566,000 work hours. 
Click here to learn more about the Fund.


 
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