Incubating Nonprofits

Supporting innovative nonprofit organizations dedicated to positive, community impact.

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Investing in the future of Greater Seattle

Applying a business model common to our region’s technology sector, Seattle Foundation has long served as early investor and incubator for new nonprofit organizations. Promising efforts aligned with our strategic priorities benefit from the practical and strategic support our team provides to help these early-stage nonprofits or funder collaboratives build organizational capacity.

Our current incubations are: 

Seattle Region Partnership

Spearheaded by the philanthropic, public and business community, Seattle Region Partnership aims to align existing economic development, workforce development and education efforts to improve both the creation and retention of middle-income jobs. Parallel to this work is the drive to strengthen the pathways for local residents into these jobs through education, training, supportive services and placement. Seattle Region Partnership, founded in Spring 2016, provides a collective, coordinated and strategic focus to the many initiatives underway to address these goals. This tri-sector partnership is located in Seattle Foundation’s offices.


Seattle Foundation supports HealthierHere, an effort to transform the way health care is delivered to thousands of residents in King County. HealthierHere’s vision is that by 2020, the people of King County will experience significant gains in health and well-being because our community worked collectively to make the shift from a costly, crisis-oriented response to health and social problems, to one that focuses on prevention, embraces recovery and eliminates disparities. Over the next five years, HealthierHere will work to build healthier communities through a collaborative regional approach focusing on social determinants of health, clinical community linkages and whole person care. This transformation will improve the care experience, increase access to health care and lower costs for residents in King County.

Learn more about HealthierHere or contact Susan McLaughlin at

Equitable Evaluation Initiative

The Equitable Evaluation Initiative, fiscally housed at Seattle Foundation, strives to ensure that philanthropic evaluative practices reflect equity values and principles, as well as 21st definitions of rigor and validity. EEI is co-created with national and place-based funders, nonprofit partners and communities to convene and engage in conversations about practices to evolve and advance philanthropy. In addition to serving as fiscal sponsor, Seattle Foundation is an investment partner and has awarded a grant to EEI.

Learn more about EEI or contact Director Jara Dean-Coffey at

These successful nonprofit organizations also began as incubation projects with investment and leadership from Seattle Foundation:

SkillUp Washington

SkillUp is an innovative effort that improves work readiness by connecting individuals with training programs for living-wage jobs in high-demand fields. Seattle Foundation initiated SkillUp Washington in 2007, collaborating with employers, community colleges, government and community organizations to focus on the state’s highest demand fields—manufacturing, transportation, construction, business, healthcare and technology—and partnering with leaders in those fields to bridge gaps between job openings and job seekers. SkillUp received the Systems Change Award from the National Fund for Workforce Solutions in 2013, and the Exemplary Collaborative Award in 2014.

The Roadmap Project

The Road Map Project’s mission is to close the unacceptable opportunity and achievement gaps that exist for many students of color and students from economically-challenged families. It is a community-wide effort aimed at improving education to drive dramatic improvement in student achievement in South King County and South Seattle. The approach is to focus on alignment, strong systems, parental engagement and the power of data to achieve the ambitious goal of doubling the number of students who are on track to graduate from college or earn a career credential by 2020. Led by the Roadmap Project, a consortium of seven school districts received a $40 million award in federal Race to the Top education grants.

Learn more about The Roadmap Project or contact Mary Jane Ryan at

Yesler Community Collaborative

This nonprofit organization brings together partners across the education, housing, environment, health care, business, arts, government and philanthropic sectors to support equitable and sustainable community development at Seattle’s Yesler Terrace and in surrounding neighborhoods. The intent is to foster connections and leverage existing resources to expand the physical revitalization work taking place into all areas of the community and the residents’ lives. Seattle Foundation was an incubator and funder of Yesler Community Collaborative.

To learn more, contact