Member Benefits

Foundation membership has benefits far beyond the impact of grant making.   Our grant process and educational programming inspire our members to learn about pressing issues and get involved.

Click below to learn more about the elements of the Foundation that our members enjoy:

More than 40 educational programs and events annually
Make a big impact together
Make an impact individually
Equal influence: One Woman, One Vote
Connection with hundreds of women
Tailor your involvement: do a little, or do a lot
Join a committee
Advanced grant making curriculum: 3 Partner Grants

In their own words: member testimonials



More than 40 educational programs and events annually

We present a broad spectrum of learning opportunities, such as educational forums, philanthropy skill-building programs and workshops, issues discussions, and “hands-on” grant making through site visits and committee work.   Below are a few of our hallmark events:

  • Discovery Days is our signature educational event, a 2-day series of panels featuring expert speakers on critical and emerging needs in our five pooled grant funding areas: Arts, Education, Environment, Health, and Human Services.
  • Our annual Philanthropy Celebration honors our members and nonprofits in our community with a program and reception at Seattle Art Museum. 
  • Member Discussions:  Engage with fellow members in discussions that feature a timely article or book on the topics of community needs and philanthropy.
  • Education Forums and Gatherings: We offer many educational forums featuring speakers on topics related to community issues and philanthropy.  Gatherings highlight the work of a fellow member or the work of a nonprofit.
  • Outings: Visit and learn about the work of nonprofits in our community, or former grant award winners.
  • Workshops: Attend workshops on varied philanthropic topics, such as planned giving, nonprofit financial training, measuring impact, and much more.
  • Our Pooled Grant Award Celebration in June celebrates our five Pooled Grant Award Winners, and provides an opportunity for members to hear firsthand about the work of the projects we fund.

Click here to see current upcoming events.

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Make a big impact together

Leverage your philanthropy through the experience of collective giving.  Members each combine $1,000 of their annual contribution so that, as a Foundation, we make large impact grants of $50,000 - $100,000 each year to nonprofits in Washington State.  Together, our members make a large impact.

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Tailor your involvement: do a little, or do a lot

We recognize that our members have multiple commitments and varying time available.  Each member can tailor her participation from year to year as her life and responsibilities allow.  Members value the ability to scale their individual participation to a degree that is personally meaningful.  This is a "no-guilt" membership organization.

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Join a committee

Committees undertake much of the work of the Foundation and their success depends upon active members. 

  • The Pooled Fund Grant Committee represents the cornerstone of our work, demonstrating the power of high impact collective grant making using a proprietary process and curriculum that is recognized as a national model.  Click here to learn more about the Grants process. The Pooled Fund Grant Committee researches and nominates candidate organizations for teh pooled fund ballot that is voted upon by the entire membership each June. Committee members analyze proposals and conduct site visits. A new Pooled Fund Grant Committee is formed in late December/early January of each year. The are no prerequisites for participation. Some meetings are mandatory. Contact Laura Ciotti if you are interested in learning more.  Active January – June  
  • The Impact Assessment Committee (IAC) monitors the progress of Foundation grants, to communicate the impact of these grants to the membership, to provide feedback to the Grant Committee, and to strengthen relationships with our grantees. Prior experience on the Pooled Fund Grant Committee is generally required. Openings on IAC are publicized each fall;  contact Laura Ciotti if you are interested in learning more. Active January – June (plus orientation in October)
  • The Member Engagement Committee builds and fosters a vital, diverse and satisfied membership – one in which members feel connected to one another and the community. This committee works with staff to develop programs and events that engage and educate members on topics that expand their knowledge of the needs in our community and how philanthropy can have the most impact. The Member Engagement Committee also plans and hosts our annual book discussion, a service event for members, and the New Member Social. There is no prerequisite for participation and members are welcome to join as any time. Contact Emily Feicht if you are interested in joining. Active September - June 
  • The Discovery Days Planning Committee works with staff to develop the curriculum and recruit expert speakers for Discovery Days, two days of educational sessions that focus on emerging, urgent community issues and trends, and how philanthropy can best address them. There is no prerequisite for participation. Openings on this committee are publicized each spring. Contact Megan Davies if you are interested in joining. Active June - November
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  • These committees would welcome your talents and involvement.

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Advanced grant making curriculum: Partner Grants

Building on the success of our well-established Pooled Fund grant process, three additional funding initiatives provide a deeper level of inquiry through an advanced curriculum of hands-on grant making. 

  • International Grant Committee: Honoring our members’ strong interest in global philanthropy, we build relationships with, and learn from, local organizations doing important work abroad. This program also highlights Seattle’s growing prominence as a center of global giving and serve as a vehicle for the Foundation to participate in this work. 
  • Diversity Grant CommitteeMaking our commitment to diversity and inclusiveness actionable, and learning more deeply about the needs of specific communities.
  • Emerging Issues Partner Grants: Recognizing special interest topics and emerging needs, and learning about innovative solutions (shifting from the previous Innovation Partner Grant)

Each committee operates over 10-12 weeks, with six meetings plus site visits, as appropriate.  These initiatives are constructed as advanced grant making programs, and therefore have prerequisites for participation:

  • Prior experience on the WWF Grant Committee or equivalent
  • Echoing our model of collective giving, each participant will make a financial contribution of $500 by directing her Individual Grant to the initiative, or by making a personal contribution.
  • Commitment to attend all required meetings (which will be pre-scheduled)

For more information about these committees, or to join a committee, contact Laura Ciotti

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Make an impact individually

Each member brings to the table her own unique experiences in giving and her own passion for community causes. As part of her annual membership contribution, each member also directs $1,000 to her preferred nonprofit organization. Continue your giving to your favorite nonprofits through Washington Women’s Foundation, or discover new organizations that speak to your interests.

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Equal influence: One Woman, One Vote

Every Foundation member makes an equal annual contribution to the Pooled Grant fund and has an equal vote in deciding the final outcome of which organization will receive the Pooled Grant awards.

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Connection with hundreds of women

Sharing expertise and networking with fellow members builds community, further empowering the Foundation, our members, and the communities we support. Members build lifelong and powerful friendships through participating in the work of the Foundation.

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In their own words: member testimonials

Hear from current members about the benefits of involvement with Washington Women's Foundation - click here to read what our members have to say. (.pdf file)