By: Maury Harris
Mary Granger shaking hands and smiling.

A tireless visionary who cared deeply for southwest Washington, Mary Granger found solutions, rallied people and always delivered results.

In 1984, she founded the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington. Her purpose: to create lasting charitable support for local projects and programs. A recession was raging, and many doubted it could be done. Mary knew it had to be done. Determined, she assembled a caring group of residents, and they went to work raising the initial funds—the hardest dollars to find.

With Mary leading the way, the group secured $1 million in three years to cement this bold idea into our region’s charitable landscape. Today, their vision of a community endowment has become a reality. The Community Foundation now manages $385 million in charitable assets on behalf of local donors, and the Community Giving Fund has become a primary source for local grantmaking.

While this may be her crowning achievement, Mary also used her talents to launch several other successful community initiatives, including I Have a Dream of Southwest Washington, the Principal’s Checkbook Program and the Mary Granger Sculpture Garden. Each reflects her passion for the community and compassion for her neighbors.

By pursuing her purpose, Mary sparked an unparalleled legacy that will continue to light our region’s spirit of generosity for generations to come.

“A lot of foundations measure in just dollars. I think the community is beginning to understand we can be more than that.”
– Mary Granger
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About The Author

Maury Harris

Maury Harris crafts key messages that promote the foundation’s products, services and brand. Outside of stringing words together, he is passionate about the natural world and tries to hit the trail as much as possible with his family.