Grantmaking at The Seattle Foundation 


Nonprofit Community Conversations in December

This past December, we hosted a series of conversations and a webinar about our 2014 grantmaking activities, which include GiveBIG, collective giving with Foundation fundholders, fundholder consulting, and our new Center for Community Partnerships, where we will invest the majority of our discretionary grant funds across a small number of issue areas. We will post more information about those issue areas and related funding opportunities later this spring.

You can view the December 12 webinar recording or download the slide presentation to learn more about our vision and goals for our grantmaking in 2014 and beyond. We value our philanthropic partnership and the critical role you play in helping us achieve our mission: to foster powerful and rewarding philanthropy to make King County a stronger, more vibrant community for all.

Changes to our Grantmaking Program

The Seattle Foundation is transforming our Grantmaking Program. In 2014, The Seattle Foundation (TSF) will make discretionary grants through two primary channels:

  1. targeted, multi-year community leadership initiatives, and
  2. programs that connect TSF donors to effective King County nonprofit organizations.
Driven by the Foundation’s new strategic plan, the overarching goal of our grantmaking activities is to increase our impact on the communities we serve.

What’s Changing in 2014

  • We’re phasing out TSF’s traditional Grantmaking Program. We’ll no longer operate annual element-based grant cycles in Arts & Culture, Basic Needs, Economy, Education, Environment, Health & Wellness, and Neighborhoods & Communities.
  • We’re increasing our targeted community leadership work, building on our role as convenor, incubator and grantmaker. The Foundation will support 2-3 large, multi-year initiatives at any given time.
  • We’ll build stronger partnerships with TSF fundholders through collective-giving opportunities and in-depth consulting services for individual donors and their families—all with the goal of increasing fundholder investment in King County nonprofits and communities.

Community Leadership

The Seattle Foundation has a successful history of understanding problems and opportunities and then bringing people together to find new solutions and marshal resources. During the past seven years, TSF’s proactive community leadership work has focused on reducing educational and economic disparities in King County. Building on this work, TSF’s Center for Community Partnerships will facilitate opportunities for cross-sector, multi-issue problem solving. The Center will achieve greater community impact through systemic change efforts by using multiple strategies, including grantmaking, mission investing, convening, advocacy, research and technical assistance. The Center for Community Partnerships will be operational in early 2014 with a public launch held in the fall.

Collective-giving Opportunities

Replacing our traditional grantmaking program will be a new effort to involve our fundholders in identifying and funding community needs. We’ll offer a wide range of opportunities, from simple philanthropic “matchmaking” via our web site, to more active involvement through giving circles. We’ll use the Foundation’s funds to seed these efforts and catalyze giving in areas of interest to our fundholders that align with our Healthy Community framework. Input and participation with our fundholders, together with a new Healthy Community Giving Guide to be published in 2014, will provide the platform to launch this new grantmaking approach.

In-depth Consulting Services

Through our in-depth consulting services to individual donors and their families we share our community knowledge with fundholders. We act as a matchmaker—connecting fundholders to local nonprofit organizations. In order to do this well, we must keep our community knowledge fresh and relevant, which means staying in regular contact with our nonprofit partners. During the upcoming months, we’ll hone our strategies for gathering information about community issues and organizations and will share those with you by year’s end.

What’s Continuing in 2014

In the meantime, please review our Grantmaking FAQs for additional information.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us at with your questions or to be notified of upcoming workshops and events.