Mayor Mike McGinn and the Seattle City Council announced nearly $2 million in matching fund awards to support neighborhood projects across the city in early December. Fifty-one community groups will receive awards from Seattle Department of Neighborhoods’ Neighborhood Matching Fund Program for projects as diverse as reactivating historic alleyways in Chinatown/ID to creating a free math and science drop-in center for Rainier Valley youth.
The Neighborhood Matching Fund awardees applied to either the Large Projects Fund (for projects up to $100,000) or the Small and Simple Projects Fund (for projects up to $20,000). The cash awards go to neighborhood groups committed to fostering and building a better community. In total, the awards range from $5,593 to $100,000, and communities have pledged to match the city’s $1.9 million contribution with resources valued at nearly $3.4 million.
“The Neighborhood Matching Fund awards reflect our commitment to providing concrete ways to help community members make Seattle a better place to live,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. “Neighborhoods initiate and support these projects. The matching fund provides the opportunity, so our community members can turn their creative ideas and energy into reality. Since this program started nearly 25 years ago, thousands of projects have happened across the city.”
Recipients of the Neighborhood Matching Fund match their awards through a combination of locally raised money, donated materials and expertise, and volunteer labor. On average, community volunteers invest $1.69 of donations and sweat equity for every $1 of taxpayer support.
“I am always impressed by the dedication of the volunteers who work so hard to make these projects happen,” said Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, chair of the Parks and Neighborhoods Committee. “With assistance from the Neighborhood Matching Fund and Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, our community members are empowered to make positive contributions; and we are all richer due to their efforts.”
For the Large Projects Fund, the Citywide Review Team (CRT) recommended the awarded projects to the Mayor and City Council through an open competitive application process. Made up of volunteer representatives from each of the 13 neighborhood districts, plus four at-large community members, the CRT reviews applications, interviews applicants, and makes funding recommendations. The applications are also reviewed by members from District Councils.
Created to promote and support neighborhood-based, self-help projects, the Neighborhood Matching Fund is managed by Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. Since the program began 24 years ago, the Neighborhood Matching Fund has awarded approximately $50 million with a community match of more than $71 million. Projects have involved 85,000 volunteers who have donated more than 573,000 work hours. To learn more about the Fund, visit www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/nmf/. To view a list of Small and Simple awarded projects, click here. To view a list of Large Project awards, click here.