A gathering of community leaders and stakeholders comes together.

Civic Participation Impact Strategy

Increase civic participation, community leadership, and organizing capacity

Seattle Foundation develops long-term strategies and partnerships that empower people in the places where they live, lifting their voices and building their power to shape the policies that affect them. The Civic Participation Impact Strategy is Seattle Foundation’s comprehensive effort to increase civic participation, community leadership, and organizing capacity.

The Need

Research shows that engaging communities in change efforts that affect them leads to more effective and sustainable, long-term outcomes. At Seattle Foundation, we focus where racial and economic inequities are most profound to empower underrepresented communities to create and implement strategies that will remove barriers to power and decision making.

Strengthening Existing Efforts

The Civic Participation Impact Strategy builds on three major areas of Seattle Foundation’s ongoing work:

  • Our Communities of Opportunity (COO) partnership with King County works to address inequities in race, health, housing and economic opportunity.
  • Our Vibrant Democracy Initiative is a three-pronged strategy to strengthen the voice and participation of underrepresented communities.
  • The third effort is our Neighbor to Neighbor program, which supports grassroots efforts that increase engagement, power and influence of community members affected by poverty and racial disparities.

Aligning Partners and Resources

Using our Civic Participation Impact Strategy, we create partnerships and align with others to empower people in communities and increase their voice, participation and power.

One example is our work with King County Elections on the Voter Education Fund, an effort to increase the civic participation and voter registration of limited-English speakers and marginalized populations. 

Another key partnership is our Communities of Opportunity with King County which includes funding from Best Starts for Kids, a voter-approved levy to improve the health and well-being of King County by investing in prevention and early intervention for children, youth, families and communities. Seattle Foundation led efforts to develop the COO effort to create greater health, social, economic and racial equity in King County so that all people thrive and prosper, regardless of race or place.