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 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 Thuy Hua-Ly at [email protected].

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 [email protected].

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

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 Bernadette Merikle at [email protected].

Crescent Collaborative (previously Yesler Community Collaborative)

Seattle Foundation was an incubator and funder of Yesler Community Collaborative. Crescent Collaborative emerged from Yesler Community Collaborative, which was working with neighborhoods surrounding Yesler Terrace as it was redeveloped. Through Yesler Community Collaborative, partners across the education, housing, environment, health care, business, arts, government and philanthropic sectors worked together to support equitable and sustainable community development at Seattle’s Yesler Terrace and in surrounding neighborhoods. Over time, the focus of the collaborative shifted from specific involvement with redevelopment at Yesler Terrace to broader issues facing the neighborhood. Crescent Collaborative is now leading the work to amplify the voice and vision of a wide range of organizational partners.

To learn more, contact [email protected].