There’s a lot of work that goes into identifying the right interventions on a community level. Fortunately, Worcester County enjoys a strong network of thoughtful and strategic nonprofit organizations committed to doing what works -- mobilizing people, learning from practice, and working collaboratively with others. This makes our job of investing the funds entrusted to us ever more satisfying and productive each year. After a year-long “learning tour” – exploring the issues and speaking with leaders as well as those who use the services – our Community Grants Committee had early this year announced a revised set of priorities for 2016 and a streamlined granting process. With a focus on five areas of interest – civic/cultural/natural environment, early childhood wellbeing, youth development, economic security, and healthy communities – we are pleased to announce the opening of our annual community grants cycle with a deadline of September 15. Community grants are available for first-time applicants as well as past grantees. Several fundamental values inform us: access to opportunity, respect for diversity, and sustainable institutions. With these in mind, we are confident that a healthy and vibrant community can be realized.