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Community Foundation of Southwest Washington Announces New President Tuesday | Local

VANCOUVER — The regional foundation that awards Cowlitz County up to $1 million a year announced Tuesday that a new president takes the helm after nearly a decade under the same leadership.

Oregon’s Matt Morton is set to take the helm of the Community Foundation of Southwest Washington on April 18, succeeding longtime president Jennifer Rhoads. Rhoads announced in October that she would step down after nine years as president and one year as vice president of the Vancouver-based organization.

The foundation reports that Morton will be the fifth president in 38 years.

the Community Foundation of Southwest Washington is one of approximately 700 similar organizations nationwide that pools donations for targeted purposes. the Community Foundation of Southwest Washington has more than 300 funds that distribute hundreds of grants annually in Clark, Cowlitz, and Skamania counties in areas such as the arts, environment, and education.

Cowlitz County

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A foundation spokesperson reports that nonprofits in Cowlitz County have received an average of 100 grants and $1.09 million over the past three years. Last year, Cowlitz County students also received more than $60,000 in foundation scholarships.

The Cowlitz Community Fund, along with the foundation’s annual online giving campaign called Give More 24!, annually rewards Cowlitz County nonprofits like Family Promise in Kelso and Lower Columbia College in Longview.

Jennifer Rhoads

Community Foundation for Southwest Washington president Jennifer Rhoads announced in October that she was leaving after nearly a decade.

Community Foundation for Southwest Washington, contributed


Morton previously worked at Oregon’s largest private foundation for public schools, where he managed about 200 grant funds. He was also a leader of two Portland-based organizations that support Native American youth. The experience will provide an easy transition, Rhoads said.

Give Plus 24!  organizers are looking to recreate 2020 records this fall in Clark, Cowlitz and Skamania counties

“Matt is ready to go and naturally understands the foundation’s role and trajectory in this community,” she said in a statement regarding Morton’s hiring.

Morton said he looked forward to returning to his home country, with his wife and son, to help communities prosper “on their own terms”, the organization reports.

“I am incredibly excited to join the Community Foundation and direct my leadership toward improving lives and communities in Southwest Washington,” he said in a statement.