Calling for community help to identify need is The Washington County Community Foundation

Seeking help from the community, the Washington County Community Foundation is calling on local residents within the community to participate in focus groups and a survey.

Manager of the nonprofit leadership and engagement for WCCF, Joann Naser, said, “So, last year the community snapshot was launched, which is the nonprofit central guide for the foundation, so it’s in our eight focus areas which are animal welfare, arts and humanities, education, conservation and environment, health and fitness, human needs, religion and faith based.”

“Then, coming up we are going to be having the focus groups at the end of March and April and that is open to the public, whoever has an interest in that particular area where we are trying to gather what the needs are for Washington County and Washington County residents,” Naser said.

WCCF is calling for community help with focus groups on March 19, 20, 26, and 27, as well as April 2, 3, 9, and 10. For all focus groups, they will occur from 3 – 5 p.m. in the CARE Education Center of WCCF, according to their website.

The focus groups provide individuals the opportunity to get together and determine services that are needed for the community such as housing, health care, transportation issues and employment, according to Naser. 

To participate, you can register to get involved on their website. Naser referenced the small space for the focus groups and stated the groups would consist of around 25 people. In order to ensure enough space, those who are interested must register for the focus groups online at  

WCCF is also asking for community involvement in their annual online survey, which will open in April per their website.

According to Naser, WCCF offers grants and scholarships, noting that the scholarship application process begins on March 1. Grant and scholarship applications are available on their website ( but are also open to fielding inquiries via phone using the number 724-222-6330.

As for grants, Naser stated the WCCF focuses on community improvement and economic development. “Those are our eight areas of where our grants are supporting,” Naser said.

“There are several grant cycles open currently, the capacity building grant cycle, the Range Resources good neighbor fund and the African American community fund,” Naser said. The Range Resources grant, Naser stated, is focused on first responders and where they work.

With the lifelong learning grant, there are different levels for the levels of education. “Which are funded through a tax-benefit program for corporations through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development,” Naser said.

From elementary to graduate school, Naser stated they have funding opportunities. Technical schools are also included in the lifelong learning grant’s list of funding opportunities. Naser said, “We do give out awards to outstanding members in the community annually.”

Working with donors, since WCCF makes grants as well as receives funding, is another aspect of the foundation, according to Naser. Another way WCCF interacts with the community, as stated by Naser, is by encouraging local nonprofits. 

“Well, we do work with encouraging nonprofits that’s one of the focus areas, the strategic plan of the foundation is that we want to support all types of nonprofits in the community, and we provide technical assistance, [and] educational opportunities,” Naser said. “So, a variety of topics that could assist their charity in their work in terms of governance, marketing, fundraising, financial management, and they’re free and you just register online.”

Upon completing the focus groups and survey, the WCCF will use what they learn to address the greatest needs of the communities they serve through their funding.

“And so hopefully we can get members of our community talking with each other,” Naser said of WCCF’s initiatives.