Seeking Shared Prosperity

In southwest Washington, thousands of working families are not feeling the gains of our broader economic trends. Systemic barriers mean some have faced hardships for generations, with fewer opportunities to advance themselves and their families. These imbalances have widespread implications for every person in our region, which is why we focus our grantmaking efforts on programs and initiatives that provide underserved families and communities with access to the tools and opportunities needed to get ahead in life.

To accomplish this goal we invest in the following community impact areas, which we believe will improve all lives in southwest Washington.

Basic Human Needs

Many in our community are working to survive, and every day presents a challenge to find food, shelter and security. For this reason, we fund organizations and programs that fulfill the basic needs of underserved people, families and communities. This includes needs such as food security, rent and utility assistance, affordable housing, physical and mental health, caregiving, domestic violence services and more. By addressing these pressing needs as they arise, people are better able to plan for their futures.

Educational Attainment

In today’s economy, a good job and upward mobility increasingly depend on educational attainment. Without access, inclusivity and strong social supports, even students with great potential can encounter barriers. We invest in efforts that provide equitable opportunities along the entire educational continuum from cradle to career, so that every child enters school ready to learn and is able to achieve their goals for post-secondary success.

Asset Building

All southwest Washington residents should have the opportunity to achieve financial security. We fund efforts to improve the economic health of the people and communities who face the biggest barriers to mobility. These include asset- and wealth-building strategies, employment services, financial planning and credit repair, small business development, homeownership, community livability, economic development and more.

Decision-Making Criteria

Program Implementation
→ mission and proposed programming aim to advance racial equity and/or disrupt cycle of intergenerational poverty
→ established trusted relationships with program participants
→ understanding of how to implement vision and align work with mission
→ work aligns with our Strategic Grantmaking Framework We focus our grantmaking efforts on programs and initiatives providing underserved families and communities with access to the tools and opportunities needed to get ahead in life in relation to basic human needs, educational attainment and asset building.

Leadership & Sustainability
→ mission and proposed programming clearly align
→ board and staff represent the communities served
→ resources necessary to maintain the work
→ fiscally responsible organization

Equity Framework
→ clearly defined strategies for reducing disparities
→ led by the community they are serving
→ mechanisms in place to operationalize equity
→ practice of incorporating client feedback to shape programs and operations
→ work viewed through a lens of racial equity and justice

→ partners with other organizations to leverage efforts
→ implementing community-informed approaches
This is a holistic approach to community engagement where those who are most impacted by issues are included as key partners in decision-making and developing solutions, strategies and programs that affect their lives.
→ works across systems and silos

Community Impact Lens

The following priorities help guide our funding toward projects and programs that have the greatest potential for community impact.

The program or organization addresses an important community need in
southwest Washington and is focused on dismantling disparities and increasing
opportunities for historically underserved communities.
The proposed project or work is consistent with the organization’s mission, and
the organization has the experience, knowledge and trusted relationships to
address the identified community need.
The organization is committed to and can effectively demonstrate how it
continues to advance diversity, equity and inclusion both internally, through its
institutional practices and policies, and externally, through its partnerships and
program delivery.
The program or organization is working to build awareness around
intergenerational poverty and address its root causes.
The organization’s programs are clearly defined, avoid duplication and are
grounded in strength-based practices.
The organization seeks to include the voices and perspectives of the people
and communities most impacted during program development and conducts
outreach and service delivery with cultural awareness.
The organization has established trusted community relationships and
meaningful community partnerships.
The organization seeks to collaborate and share, carrying out their work in
coordination with partners or through coalition building efforts.
The outcomes and activities noted are realistic and the organization has
demonstrated potential of future impact.
The organization demonstrates competency in fiscal planning and management;
the project budget and grant request are commensurate in size with the
organization’s overall budget and with the proposed impact of the work; and
additional support is sought from other funding sources