The Seattle Foundation was established in 1946 by Seattle icon Dr. Richard Fuller, business leader, recognized philanthropist and founder of the Seattle Art Museum. Dr. Fuller’s vision to endow long-term support for quality of life in our region has since given way to an enduring tradition of collective giving that thrives at The Seattle Foundation today.
With an initial endowment of $289,000, the Foundation primarily received and administered bequests in its early years. Led by board presidents including Kate Webster, Mike Dederer and Sam Stroum, the Foundation grew over time, making seminal grants to organizations such as Overlake Hospital, the Seattle Opera and Medic One—just when they were getting started.
Anne V. Farrell became President/CEO of The Seattle Foundation in 1980. Her leadership and vision helped the Foundation not only grow the endowment tremendously, but also offer some of the country’s very first donor advised funds—at a time when many of the region’s newly minted millionaires were emerging from the tech boom and looking for meaningful ways to contribute to the community.
By the time the 1990s arrived, The Seattle Foundation was no longer a well-kept secret. Over the course of the decade, its total assets grew to $360 million. Phyllis J. Campbell assumed leadership of the Foundation in 2004 and under her direction, the Foundation first established its Healthy Community framework. With Campbell’s departure in 2009, the Foundation named Former Seattle Mayor Norman Rice its new President/CEO.
Today the Foundation’s assets total more than $600 million and each year it makes more than 1,600 grants to nonprofit organizations.