Celebration of 25 Years

3RCF Biography

In 1999 3 Rivers Community Foundation (3RCF) was established by an all-volunteer group of community-minded individuals who saw a need to provide a flexible method for donors to band together with other donors to serve both the immediate and long-range charitable needs of Benton and Franklin counties. The following year (2000), 3 Rivers Community Foundation received 501c3 nonprofit status.


3RCF awarded its first grants to nonprofits in Benton and Franklin counties starting in 2002. And three years later 3RCF received its first major gift from the estate of Daisy Craddock, growing the organizations endowment to over $2M.


In 2016, 3RCF began administering scholarships to area students, starting with the Pamela and Scott Woodward scholarship Conservation Scholarship created by Tapteal Greenway. The Virgie Robinson Memorial Scholarship soon followed and more recently the Richland Fire Emergency Services Scholarship, Richard C. Emery Scholarship, Regional Youth Scholarship, Gabe Morris Scholarship and Cocoa Morris Scholarship have been added. And over the course of the past five years, 3RCF has given out $87,500 to area students on behalf of our generous partners.


A significant event in 2019 happened when the Benton Franklin Health Alliance selected 3RCF as a third party administer of the Social Determinants of Health Grant from the Greater Accountable Community of Health. This grant provided almost $400,000 in grants to nonprofits tackling food insecurity, mental health, and housing.


As part of the Family Health and Wellness Foundation Fund the Gartner Fund was established. This fund provides up to $10,000 each year in reimbursement medical grants for children under 12 with financial need.


3RCF received a $2.2M gift to establish the Family Health and Wellness Foundation Fund (formerly the Trios Foundation). This fund supports 7 selected nonprofits with $21,800 grants for 10 years, and 3 selected nonprofits with perpetual grants if funds are available.


Then in 2020, 3RCF launched a COVID-19 Response Fund to provide grants on a rolling application basis to nonprofits in Benton and Franklin counties in their response to COVID-19, or whose operations were impacted by the pandemic. The community responded, raising almost $200,000 which 3RCF released in grants throughout the year and into 2021. 3RCF reaches a new high, distributing over half a million dollars to nonprofits in our community.


In grant cycle years 2022 and 2023, 3RCF doubled the grant giving of previous years. Fifty-eight grantees were awarded $269,021 in 2022 and in 2023 sixty-nine grantees were awarded $285,595. And like most of the grants provided by 3RCF, they ranged in subject, scope, and size because 3RCF is committed to serving the whole community.


3 Rivers Community Foundation became nationally accredited in 2022 with the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations. This means 3RCF has met the highest standards for philanthropic excellence.


Currently 3RCF manages a nine-million-dollar endowment, comprised of 12 nonprofit agency partners, 35 endowed funds, 9 scholarship funds, and 5 fiscal sponsorships. Each of these funds generates grants to the community, spreading 3RCF’s impact far and wide across Benton and Franklin counties. As a grantor, 3RCF has long worked behind the scenes, supporting, and encouraging the work of our front-line nonprofit organizations. 3RCF regularly provides over 300 grants to local nonprofits per year, serving as the broadest funder in our area. This work only happens with the support of donors who help build a community endowment that will support Tri-Cities now and into the future. 3RCF staff and board work diligently to provide the highest level of donor services, to be your partner in local philanthropy.