Resilience Fund

The Resilience Fund supports community organizations protecting and standing with residents facing increased risks and uncertainty.

resilience pic

Image courtesy of Mauricio Martinez

The Resilience Fund supports and strengthens community organizations that are working to increase the protections and resilience of vulnerable residents in King County. Seattle Foundation created the Resilience Fund in 2017 as a vehicle for timely, flexible grantmaking to address urgent needs due to a shift in federal policies, funding and the national political climate.  Developed with initial support from King County, Medina Foundation, Stolte Family Foundation, Bank of America, The Fund for New Citizens in The New York Community TrustSheng-Yen Lu Foundation, Emerald Fund and individual philanthropists, the Resilience Fund provides grants of up to $20,000 to community-based nonprofits.  

The Resilience Fund has supported community-based nonprofits in King County with flexible funding to address unanticipated and emerging challenges that impact marginalized populations in our region. Grants were made to nonprofits facing increased needs for support, legal guidance, organizing and advocacy to address threats and discrimination based on factors including race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability and country of origin.

Left unchecked, attacks on those most vulnerable among us decrease equity, opportunity and the well-being of our region.


The 2020 Resilience Fund grant cycle is accepting applications from our previous Resilience Fund grantees due to limited resources. Given the current nationwide uprisings related to anti-Black racism and attacks against the Black community, we are additionally accepting applications from Black-led organizations in King County. Black-led organizations are registered nonprofit organizations or community groups with predominantly Black staff, leadership and Board that focus on serving the native-born Black community. Submit your application here, or jump to the  Resilience Fund section of our current grant opportunities page for the most up-to-date information on applying. The latest Resilience Fund updates are on our blog, including recent grantees and previous funding announcements. The 2020 deadline to apply to the Resilience Fund is October 5, 2020 at 5 P.M. (PST). 

Grantmaking Criteria

The Resilience Fund addresses both urgent and systemic issues facing our community. We hope to respond to a broad range of issues and support nonprofits providing direct services and engaging in organizing and advocacy work. Seattle Foundation awards grants to organizations that are based in and have a scope of work primarily within King County. Organizations must have a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status or be fiscally sponsored by a tax-exempt nonprofit entity. The Foundation does not award grants to individuals.

We're looking to fund organizations that:

  • Can make a clear link between specific policy decisions at the national level directly causing amplified threats, erosion of rights or discrimination with the communities your organization serves in King County;

  • Propose projects that are equitable, inclusive, help communities adjust to rapidly changing conditions and offer immediate impact;

  • Have staff and/or board leadership that reflect the communities they serve (e.g., Black, Indigenous people of color (BIPOC),  immigrants,  people with disabilities, low-income residents or LGBTQIA+ community members);

  • Is actively working to advance racial and economic equity;

  • Train and engage community leaders in advocacy, base building and community organizing;

  • Have activities already underway in King County;

  • Demonstrate expertise in their particular issue/field. 

Projects eligible for funding for this round of funding are limited to:

  • Preserving the rights of vulnerable communities;

  • Protecting immigrant families; i.e. access to legal representation for unaccompanied minors or direct support for immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. 

  • Promoting the understanding of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and to support outreach to DACA-eligible residents.

  • Providing support services for transgender residents seeking increased protection from discrimination.

  • Working to end anti-Black racism, police brutality, dismantling systems of oppression and designing new ways of being that center joy and justice for BIPOC communities. 

 Additional Information

Please email Jonathan Cunningham at with any questions. Up-to-date deadlines are on the Resilience Fund section of our grant opportunities page. Seattle Foundation hosted a Resilience Fund public info session on Friday, September 11th for potential grant seekers. A recording of that webinar is available for anyone who wasn’t able to attend but wants to get more information about potentially applying. The webinar PowerPoint file can be downloaded here.

The first round of the Resilience Fund in the spring of 2017 granted $565,000 to 33 organizations. The 2017 fall cycle of the Resilience Fund granted $371,000 to 24 organizations. The 2018 spring cycle of Resilience Fund granted $327,000 to 22 organizations. The 2018 winter cycle of Resilience Fund granted $365,000 to 23 organizations. The 2019 cycle of Resilience Fund granted out $550,000 to 31 organizations. The 2020 cycle of the Resilience Fund granted out $555,000 to 30 organizations. Find more Resilience Fund updates on our blog.


For questions or assistance, please contact:
Jonathan Cunningham
Seattle Foundation

Most recently, Fund for New Citizens in the New York Community Trust, Emerald Fund, and Facebook, which pledged $1 million to support Black business, creators and nonprofits, have also partnered with Seattle Foundation to address these pressing issues.


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