Our Pooled Fund Grants support five areas: Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, Health, and Human Services. Fueled by the combined strength of member giving, Washington Women’s Foundation makes five annual Pooled Fund Grants of up to $100,000, one grant in each of five funding areas. These grants help nonprofits meet critical needs, spur new projects and foster innovation. And, because the Washington Women’s Foundation’s grant-making process is respected for its rigorous analysis and intensive member involvement, a grant from us often serves as a catalyst for leveraging other foundation grants and individual donations.
All Foundation members are invited to participate on the Grant Committee - no experience necessary! The committee researches and nominates candidate organizations for the Pooled Fund ballot that the entire membership votes on in June. Through a six-month ‘curriculum’ starting in January, members analyze proposals, engage in discussion, and conduct site visits as part of their work. Click here for 2015 Grant Committee calendar.
For grantseekers, click here to learn more about applying for a Pooled Fund Grant.
Introduced as part of our 2010-2013 Strategic Plan, the Washington Women’s Foundation presents a WWF Merit Award to the five finalists who were not awarded the Pooled Fund Grants. The Merit Award is in recognition of the Grant Committee’s strong endorsement of these organizations and includes a $2,000 grant in appreciation for the time and effort invested in WWF’s rigorous grant process.
Submit a Member Suggestion
Members of the Foundation are encouraged to bring projects to the attention of the grant committee at any time. This recommendation usually serves as a resource for the grant committee to learn more about the project. Member Suggestions for the following year's Pooled Fund Grant cycle are due November 1.
Please note that these suggestions are not intended as an endorsement. We do not encourage nonprofits to solicit members to send in suggestion forms on their behalf.
Click the button below to submit a Member Suggestion:
Arts & Culture: Burke Museum Association - $100,000
To expand services provided by BurkeMobile, a portable museum and educational outreach program that brings museum experiences to rural, underserved schools across Washington, and guides students to understand the heritage that makes Washington state unique.
Education: Literacy Council of Seattle - $100,000
To meet accelerated demand for free, on-site English and literacy skills classes for adult learners, empowering them to be successful in their families, jobs and communities.
Environment: Washington State Parks Foundation - $100,000
To increase outreach, raise awareness, inspire community engagement and create sustainable stewardship to save Washington’s State Parks, our state’s invaluable natural assets that are currently under threat.
Health: The Health Center - $100,000
To deliver free, coordinated medical and mental health services at two school-based health clinics near an elementary school and a high school in Walla Walla, keeping students healthy, in the classroom, and ready to learn.
Human Services: Northwest Immigrant Rights Project - $100,000
To meet increasing needs for a full range of critical, life-changing legal services that help over 10,000 individuals a year access basic needs, prevent unlawful deportations and keep families intact.
Arts & Culture: Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras - $85,000
To help fund the program SYSO in The Schools to address the challenges of inequitable access to quality instrumental music education for low-income and minority students by providing free, high-caliber music instruction at the most arts-needy schools in South West Seattle.
Education: YouthCare - $100,000
To support YouthCare's GED program for homeless young people, with support services and a tailored curriculum so that they can gain the skills and education credentials to secure employment or to pursue post-secondary education.
Environment: American Farmland Trust - $90,000
To help launch a multifaceted and timely campaign which seeks to prevent greater loss of regional farmland by broadening communication, building coalitions, and significantly increasing the amount of protected farmland in the Puget Sound region during the current lull in demand from developers.
Health: Bailey-Boushay House - $100,000
To continue its highly successful Outpatient Program so that innovative medication management services and nutritious meals are accessible to very low-income patients living with HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases in King County.
Human Services: Cocoon House - $100,000
To help relocate its U-Turn Drop-In Center serving homeless youth in Snohomish County, to a larger, renovated space that includes shower, laundry and kitchen facilities, and consolidates all Outreach and Advocacy services in the same location so that vulnerable teens can find the resources to escape life on the streets.
Arts & Culture: Seattle Shakespeare Company - $85,000
To help fund a new program model that will create regional alliances to support affordable Shakespeare education for students across Washington State.
Education: Seattle Education Access -$100,000
To fund gap scholarships in the form of bus passes, textbooks, computers, testing fees, and child care so that motivated, low-income young adults can afford to stay in school and attain two-year or four-year college degrees.
Environment: Washington Sustainable Food & Farming Network - $90,000
To fund the Fresh Food in Schools program, which seeks to reverse farmland loss and epidemic childhood obesity by purchasing and serving more Washington-grown fruits and vegetables in school cafeterias across the state.
Health: Sound Mental Health - $100,000
To support the Children’s Domestic Violence Response Team, which provides comprehensive, intensive support—including safety planning, advocacy, and evidence-based, recovery-oriented mental health treatment—for children and their families who have been traumatized by domestic violence.
Human Services: Family Law CASA of King County - $100,000
To provide an additional advocate supervisor to the team, which will improve their work for children in some of King County's most contentious custody cases so that the children have the best chance possible for a safer, more secure home life.
Arts & Culture: Seattle Music Partners, $85,000
To provide general operating support for this growing organization that provides free, after school music lessons to underserved children in Seattle's Central District schools. These funds will allow for additional staff, curriculum development and evaluation tools.
Education: Healthy Start, $100,000
Healthy Start provides intensive, home-based parenting education of low-income, first-time parents under age 23 which children age 0-3. Healthy Start's early intervention model ensures that both parent and child develop solid foundations for family and school success. The $100,000 grant will support the expansion of this program into Snohomish County and increase their grant writing capacity.
Environment: Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, $90,000
Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition leads a collaborative effort to ensure a Duwamish River Superfund cleanup that is accepted by and benefits the community, and protects fish, wildlife, and human health. This grant will support general operating activities, including education, increased public involvement in the cleanup decision process, and advocacy on behalf of the Duwamish-area community.
Arts & Culture: Northwest African American Museum, $87,500
To provide general operating support for the museum, including funding for educational programming, lectures, and exhibits that document the unique historical and cultural experience of African Americans in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.
Education: College Access Now, $100,000
To fund expansion of their program in Seattle public high schools to help talented, motivated and economically disadvantaged students prepare for and earn admission to college.
Environment: Cascade Land Conservancy, $87,500
To support the launch of the Community Stewards Program to train volunteer citizen leaders to help create vibrant communities that better serve families and protect farms, forests, and open space.
Health: King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, $100,000
To support expansion of the Dando Voz (Give Voice) program, a childhood sexual abuse prevention and intervention program for Spanish-speaking children and their families in South King County.
Human Services: The Mockingbird Society, $100,000
To provide general support to improve the lives of youth in state foster care, including the Mockingbird Family Model, a program that seeks the health, safety, and personal development of foster children and assists them to attain stability and permanency.
Arts & Culture: Artist Trust, $100,000
To fund grants and fellowships to individual artists and projects through a peer-review process, and to enhance professional development and information services for artists.
Education: Friends of the Children, $100,000
To expand this program of long-term, paid mentoring for vulnerable children living in high risk environments to develop the relationships, goals, skills, and resources needed to thrive.
Environment: PCC Farmland Trust, $100,000
To fund the purchase of a conservation easement on farmland in Pierce or Thurston County, and to preserve it as productive organic agricultural land in perpetuity.
Health: First Place, $100,000
To fund the expansion of its on-site mental health services to better meet the needs of children traumatized by homelessness and to break the cycle of violence, poverty and educational failure.
Arts & Culture: Seattle Arts & Lectures, $60,000
To fund expansion of the Writers in the Schools program that brings professional writers into classrooms to promote literacy and creative expression through weekly instruction, mentors, teacher workshops and special projects.
Education: Seattle MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement), $90,000
To fund the Ninth Grade Bridge (High School to College) program to support 100 students of color and girls every year to achieve academic success, especially in math and sciences, during the critical freshman year of high school.
Environment: Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, $100,000
To fund the Stormwater Regulation and Clean Water Act Enforcement Project to protect the health of the Puget Sound by monitoring toxic runoff and working with polluters to reduce and mitigate their effects on our ecosystem.
Health: Youth Suicide Prevention Program, $100,000
To fund expansion of the Build Public Awareness project into 360 schools in Washington State in order to recognize and respond to depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts in students, and to combat the second-leading cause of death among youth ages 15 to 24 in our state.
Impact update: Youth Suicide Prevention Program (YSPP) has doubled their reach by adding new regions and field staff. Walla Walla, Yakima, Olympia and Tacoma area schools now have suicide prevention programs available because of the Washington Women’s Foundation grant.
These new areas were targeted for expansion because of their elevated incidences of suicide attempts and deaths. YSPP now supports eight field staff members who are supervised by the Clinic Deputy Director, a position made possible by our grant. The grant also opened up new funding resources.
“Your grant enables us to apply to funders in these new communities and seek local support across the state,” said Executive Director Sue Eastguard. “We were awarded a three-year $51,000 grant from a Walla Walla trust. Never before had they funded an organization based in Seattle, but we were told the Washington Women’s Foundation grant impacted their decision to fund us.”
Prevention is the key and the program incorporates five components of the Building Awareness Program: peer-to-peer awareness, school policies and procedures, teacher training, parent education, and linking school to community resources. YSPP is well on its way to meeting its goal of providing suicide prevention programs to half the secondary schools in Washington.
Human Services: Seattle Milk Fund, $100,000
To fund the Childcare Program that provides financial assistance to low-income parents so they can complete their education as full-time students and achieve economic self-sufficiency more quickly while being assured of good-quality care for their children.
Arts & Culture: The Vera Project, $75,000
To fund operational expenses during the completion of a capital campaign for an expanded facility that will serve as an arts center and a safe all-ages concert venue run by and for youth.
Impact update: VERA evolved in response to the community’s need for an alcohol and drug-free venue for youth to enjoy music, but its hallmark is building skills and developing confidence in young adults.
“It is rare to find a place where kids can govern and learn with the support of adults, rather than adults dictating their course. The VERA Project is a breeding ground for these young artists, engineers and musicians to grow into leaders of our community and beyond,” said Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder.
Volunteers at VERA learn lighting/audio engineering and silk screening, while interns discover how to raise funds and how to collaborate with groups all over the city to produce mega events. Since its founding in 2001, the VERA Project has boldly engaged more than 100,000 patrons, but its most ambitious goal yet was to build a new space to contain new recording studios so artists and students can make music, new offices so young people can collaborate in groups making decisions that affect their interests, and new classrooms for recording engineering, stage managing and lighting design. The WWF grant enabled them to focus on achieving this goal. The new facility at Seattle Center opened in February 2007; the custom-designed space is Vera's first long-term, full-time home, and enables Vera to continue its tradition of innovative all-ages music and arts and education programming for generations to come.
Education: Team Read, $100,000
To fund the expansion of a reading tutoring program that matches high school-age tutors with second- and third-grade students from Seattle’s neediest public schools.
Environment: EarthCorps, $75,000
To fund increased capacity to recruit and engage volunteers to perform critical environmental restoration of Puget Sound area urban forests, watersheds and shorelines.
Health: Pike Place Market Foundation, $100,000
To fund expansion of the Senior Wellness Program that provides hot lunches, nutrition counseling, fitness classes, and mental health/social work services to seniors living in the downtown Seattle and Pike Place Market area.
Human Services: Washington Women's Employment & Education, $100,000
To fund the REACH Plus program that improves computer skills, work habits and the overall employability of welfare recipients and low-income parents in King and Pierce Counties.
Arts & Culture: Academy of Children's Theatre, $50,000
To fund the phase one build-out of its newly acquired building in Richland that will house theatre art classes, outreach programs and performance space for children in the Washington’s Tri-Cities/Mid-Columbia Valley area.
Education: Community for Youth, $100,000
To fund increased capacity to strengthen and expand their programs that support underachieving yet promising high school students to stay in school through mentoring and after-school programs in Seattle.
Environment: Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland, $80,000
To fund the launch of a branding campaign to raise the profile of Skagit Valley produce and support efforts to save open farmland and sensitive ecosystems from the pressures of development.
Impact update: The Skagit Valley, an environmentally sensitive and precious open space just 60 miles from metropolitan Seattle, is under threat from development pressures; the Valley has been listed as among the top 10 most threatened areas by both Futurewise and American Farmland Trust.
The Washington Women Foundation grant is helping the organization to make the link between Skagit Valley farms and the local institutions that need fresh, healthy foods: their hospitals, schools and nursing homes. Not only are the farmers finding a strong local market for their produce, but the local population is benefiting from the bounty of the crops grown in Skagit Valley.
Following the grant award, five Foundation members visited the organization, tasting pickles, visiting gardens and touring dairies. They took away a deep appreciation for the environmental treasure that this valley represents. Says Kari Knudson “[SPF is] taking every avenue available to ensure that this beautiful valley is home to both people and wildlife – not just for today, but always, on to [subsequent] generations.” (Photo by Vince Streano)
Health: Okanogan Family Planning, $85,000
To fund the purchase of medical equipment, fixtures and furnishings for a new family planning clinic to be built in Omak that will allow them to serve 30 percent more patients each year.
Human Services: Jubilee Women's Center, $85,000
To fund general operations to provide safe, affordable and supportive long-term housing in Seattle to women who are homeless or in economic crisis.
Arts & Culture: Arts Corps, $65,000
To support capacity building, program enhancements and evaluation for the Strategic Plan of the agency’s work in providing free arts education opportunities through after-school programs in King County’s most economically distressed neighborhoods.
Education: The New School Foundation, $65,000
To fund the launch of the Parent-Child Home Program, a home-based literacy and school readiness program serving at-risk families with two- and three year-olds, to promote language and early literacy skills.
Environment: Washington Toxics Coalition, $50,000
To fund the Toxic Free Legacy Campaign, a statewide effort to protect the health of the environment and citizens through the phase-out of the use of toxic chemicals.
Health: Northwest Medical Teams, $100,000
To support the Mobile Dental Clinics program to provide free preventive and therapeutic dental services to low-income, homeless and migrant people in South Puget Sound.
Human Services: Children’s Home Society, $100,000
To increase and enhance therapeutic services to severely abused young boys and their families during treatment at the Cobb Center for Boys in Seattle, as well as to pilot of post-treatment was also funded.
Arts & Culture: Town Hall Seattle, $60,000
To aid in the restoration of its elegant historic 1922 building, which provides small- to mid-size arts, literary and community organizations with a practice and performance space as well as shared marketing costs, affordable rents and audience development.
Education: Rainier Scholars, $100,000
To support this rigorous and comprehensive educational program serving students over an 11 year journey from 6th grade to college graduation. Rainier Scholars is dedicated to providing motivated students of color with academic opportunities and support otherwise unavailable to them. Through academic excellence, Rainier Scholars develops tomorrow’s leaders.
Impact update: A quality education and a college degree open innumerable doors to success in today’s world. However, both are beyond the reach of most low income students of color. Rainier Scholars offers capable, ambitious students of color the opportunity to forge their destinies by investing in their own education.
Three years of funding from the Washington Women’s Foundation enabled Rainier Scholars to continue the roll-out of its 11-year program and helped provide a rigorous 14-month enrichment phase for three cohorts of sixth graders, following them into middle school with comprehensive support services. While working with these talented and motivated students, the staff recognized that mentorship and family support were critical, and used funding to enhance these services.
Rainier Scholars is seeing dramatic results. Currently the program serves 274 students from 6th grade to 11th grade with over 90% of scholars thriving in advanced learning programs in public and private school settings. Close to 50% maintain a 3.5 GPA or greater and are on the path to college with over 80% of all students becoming first generation college graduates.
Graduate Hawe Beshir said it best, “We must take the skills and opportunities we’ve been given and help give the same chances to all future scholars who may choose to follow our path.”
Environment: Bike Works, $60,000
To expand the facility and program that teach Rainier Valley youth to fix bicycles, thereby clocking hours to earn their own bicycles. This fosters responsibility, encourages cycling as a transportation alternative, and models a recycle rather than throw-away community.
Health: Center for Women's Sports Medicine and Lifetime Fitness (UW), $60,000
To support medical research which seeks to prove that use of a known bone-growing method will prevent, not simply retard, osteoporosis and lead to a "lifetime fix" for this crippling and often life-threatening disease experienced by more than half of women over 50.
Human Services: Family and Adult Service Center, $100,000
Operational support to build a solid financial base for the Family Center as they sought a larger facility that would keep homeless families intact, supplied with food, showers, laundry and transportation, provided with parenting skills and job counseling and placed in transitional or permanent housing secured by follow-up visits.
Arts & Culture: Friends of Washington Music – Building Harmony, $50,000
For an organization founded to expand student participation in Washington Middle School's award-winning music education program, the grant will purchase musical instruments and repair others to provide loaned instruments for 5,400 students over the next 30 years. Study after study has shown that students who participate in music over a sustained period of time score higher on academic tests and are less likely to drop out of school.
Education: Daniel Bagley Elementary School, $50,000
For this K-5 Seattle public school that offers a successful dual traditional and Montessori program for its students, the grant will create one additional Montessori classroom per year for the next three years to extend its program through 5th grade.
Health: Pediatric Interim Care Center, $100,000
PICC is a non-profit 24-hour medical facility for newborns suffering from prenatal drug exposure providing short-term care during the withdrawal process.
Human Services: Child Care Resources – Child Careers Program, $100,000
CCR provides technical support and training for welfare recipients to begin careers in child care, either as teachers or owners of home-based child care businesses. The Child Care Careers Program enables welfare women to fulfill the requirement of going back to work while allowing them to stay with their children and also increases the supply of quality care for other women who are low-income, refugee or recent immigrants.
Arts & Culture: Rotary Boys & Girls Club – Innovative Arts Program, $50,000
To add an innovative arts program to the club's already excellent educational assistance, computer and sports programs as one more powerful way of motivating kids to realize their full potential and connect in positive ways to their community.
Impact update: “With increased violence, deaths, homeless families, lack of arts programs in schools and kids dropping out of school it has become necessary to get more positive options to our kids. The Rotary Boys and Girls Clubs can help and will not fail these kids. A dream and desire lies deep within all of them. They have to be given the opportunity.
“As I began my eighth year, I’m excited and please to inform you that we are making a difference. Many of our kids are staying in school and preparing for their future as productive and caring citizens. I am blessed to have caring individuals like… the Washington Women's Foundation providing the necessary funds and helping our kids stay on a positive track which is opening windows of opportunity for them.
“I'd like to personally thank the Washington Women's Foundation for believing in us and giving us the necessary funds to show our kids a different way of living. Showing them that we care about their future. We believe today's dreams will become tomorrow's reality! Thanks again for caring about all kids and their future.”
Patrick Carter, Executive Director Rotary Boys and Girls Club
Education: Powerful Voices – MAPS Program (Making a Positive Step), $100,000
For a program to reduce recidivism among adolescent girls released from juvenile detention by providing them with an adult mentor and training them to be a part of a network of peer educators who conduct workshops for girls who are not yet offenders.
Environment: People for Puget Sound – Saving Puget Sound's Shoreline, $50,000
For an innovative campaign to reverse the decline of our shoreline by engaging the owners of shoreline property, as well as the general public, in a stewardship program based on the successful block watch model.
Health: Pregnancy and the Female Bias in Autoimmune Disease, $50,000
To medical researcher Judith Lee Nelson, MD, to research the hypothesis that retained fetal cells from prior pregnancies contribute to the risk of developing autoimmune disease which so disproportionately affects women.
Human Services: Childhaven – Washington Women’s Foundation Play Therapy Center, $100,000
For a state-of-the-art play therapy center for healing neglected and abused pre-school children in Childhaven's new $15 million facility. The center will also be used as a model to other agencies and as a training facility for medical and psychology professionals.
Health: Puget Sound Neighborhood Health Centers – Children's Dental Outreach Project, $50,000
To hire a full-time community health coordinator whose responsibility it is to connect the children of a low-income, ethnically diverse population with low- or no-cost dental services. In addition, education programs will familiarize families with the concept and practice of preventive oral health.
Health: Planned Parenthood – Checkpoint, $50,000
To prevent premature pregnancy by helping middle school boys develop positive concepts of masculinity that preclude teen fatherhood. The program is proactive, helping teens build strong personal skills to help them make important judgments and decisions.
Human Services: Medina Children's Service (now Amara) – Family Connections, $100,000
To hire a full-time staff person dedicated to dramatically increasing the pool of prospective adoptive families for older foster children who are waiting for adoption in King County. The goal is the adoption of at least 70 older children over the two-year period of the grant.
Health: Country Doctor Community Health Centers, $75,000
To provide a 30%-time psychiatrist for three years. The Country Doctor provides primary health care to low-income residents in Seattle's Capitol Hill and Central Areas. More than half its patients require mental health treatment. An estimated 1,000 patients are served annually by the expanded mental health team.
Human Services: Seattle Children's Home – The Center for Improving Futures, $75,000
To provide comprehensive care for children and families with emotional and behavioral disorders, mental illness and/or a history of abuse and neglect. By linking the various service providers, SCH prevents families from getting lost in the system.
Human Services: STARS: Structured Treatment Alternative Restorative Services, $100,000
To target first-time and repeat offenders between the ages of 13 and 15 with an intervention and rehabilitative program to prevent them from reoffending. STARS coordinates academic, mental health and juvenile justice components in a unique collaboration with other local agencies. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Environment: Nature Conservancy of Washington, $50,000
To purchase timberland to serve as a critical habitat and watershed for native salmon runs. The grant enables the NCW to partner with Seattle City Light to connect several pieces of the Skagit preserve into a contiguous habitat/watershed and to qualify for a challenge grant from Paul Allen.
Health: Children's Hospital's Brain Tumor Research Project, $50,000
To increase understanding of the origins of childhood brain tumors and develop therapies that are less toxic and more effective than current approaches. The ultimate goal is to increase the survival rate and quality of life of children with brain tumors.
Social Services: FareStart, $100,000
In support of FareStart's mission to understand the reasons people become homeless and to transform their lives by providing job training and placement in the food industry. A particular focus of this grant is to bring more women into the program by offering shelter and childcare.
Education: Alliance for Education, $100,000
To launch the program for integration of the arts with the core academic curriculum in the Seattle Public Schools. John Stanford, the late Seattle Schools superintendent, characterized this program as representing the best of two worlds: the revitalization of the arts and the systematic reform of the way basic subjects are taught.
Human Services: Washington Works, $60,000
For the implementation and development of the program to meet the "work first" mandates of welfare reform. The project supports welfare recipients transitioning into the labor force and "reimburses" employers for their commitment to hiring workers from this population.
Human Services: Mothers Against Violence in America (MAVIA) , $100,000
In support of MAVIA's Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) program, an anti-violence program for children and youth now operating in 27 schools and communities in the Puget Sound Region.
On the Boards
Center for Environmental Law and Policy
Antioch University Seattle: Community Counseling & Psychology Clinic
Communities in Schools of Tacoma
Museum of History and Industry
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
UW Medicine’s Center for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Burke Museum Association
Little Red School House
Seattle Audubon Society
Eastside Domestic Violence Program
Para Los Niños
Theatre Off Jackson