Seattle Foundation Blog

Forterra’s Strong Communities Fund Improves Quality of Life in the Region

This impact investing opportunity provides a return while doing good


June 13, 2017

Forterra is one of Seattle Foundation's Impact Investing options for philanthropists looking to generate both a financial return and a measurable social or environmental return.

Forterra is the largest land conservation, stewardship and community-building organization in Washington. For 25 years, the organization has created positive change by conserving important tracts of land, engaging communities and crafting and advancing forward-thinking policies.

Forterra’s restoration and stewardship programs are dedicated to restoring and caring for healthy forest, natural areas and watersheds that are important to our region’s sustainability and quality of life. These important natural systems provide storm water retention, reduce erosion, improve air quality, enhance buffers for noise, and capture carbon dioxide and pollutants from the air. They help establish a connection between people and place, and foster an appreciation for nature both within and beyond our cities.

To date, Forterra has permanently conserved 250,000 acres of land, and helped to improve the quality of life for people in over 94 Washington communities. Some of its major conservation projects include 118-acre (0.48 km2) Saddle Swamp, 300-acre (1.2 km2) Maury Island Marine Park and 90,000-acre (360 km2) Snoqualmie Tree Farm.

The Forterra Strong Communities Fund (pdf) is a tool to accelerate our ability to strengthen our communities by pooling, leveraging and directing social investment capital. Seattle Foundation philanthropists like Ron Sher have already recommended an investment in the Strong Communities Fund.

“Through my work as a real estate developer, I’ve been dedicated to building spaces that add to the vitality and health of communities. With the rapid pace of development that our community is currently experiencing, Forterra’s Strong Communities Fund plays a critical role in ensuring that spaces are developed well with the community in mind," said Sher, CEO of Sher Partners and founder of Third Place Books. "This is an important investment in livable, affordable places that bring people together and enrich our community.”

The Forterra Strong Communities Fund provides engaged philanthropists with a way to invest in community real estate that creates positive social and environmental impacts while recouping invested capital plus a 2% annual return. Seattle Foundation is inviting philanthropists to participate directly with a minimum of $25,000, using their Community Philanthropy Fund, Family/Personal Foundation or Corporate Foundation.

Learn more about this opportunity by contacting Allison Parker at 206.515.2128 or a.parker@seattlefoundation.org.

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