Pooled Fund Grants 2020: Top 25 Organizations

Washington Women's Foundation Pooled Fund Grant Committee Update header

The Pooled Fund Grant Committee began reviewing LOIs in January and has selected 25 organizations to submit full proposals. This fall we revised our grant criteria slightly in response to feedback from members and nonprofit organizations. To learn more about those changes, read this blog post.

We seek to support and collectively make grants to organizations that are reflective of and embedded in the communities they serve, draw on the strengths and assets of these communities, and are accountable to these communities in order to achieve the long-term goals of increasing equity and reducing disparities. We’re delighted to share a bit about the 25 organizations that have been invited to submit proposals below.

Arts & Culture

KVRU 105.7 FM: To build capacity by adding outreach and programming staff for their community-based, culturally responsive radio programming in South Seattle.

Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center, T.U.P.A.C.: To support general operating costs and expand their outreach program, fighting inequities Black ballet dancers face through high-quality dance instruction and creating ballets featuring Black stories for the Tacoma community.

The Office of Tribal Relations of Western Washington University: To build a Coast Salish style longhouse on the campus of Western Washington University to honor that the campus occupies the traditional Lhaq’temish (Lummi) territory and respond to requests from the Native American Student Union.

UW Pipeline Project: To sustain the Telling Our Stories program, which creates opportunities for 5th grade students from Neah Bay (primarily from the Makah Tribe) to work on digital storytelling projects and explore pathways to higher education with University of Washington students.

Yakima Music en Acción (YAMA): To strengthen capacity of student leaders and staff and building organizational sustainability, creating greater access to professional-level music learning and leadership development for students in Yakima County.


Geeking Out Kids of Color: To strengthen internal operations in order to expand their computer science program for youth of color in South King County, further develop their Womxn of Color in Tech program, and create a strategic plan aligned with their mission.

Mentoring Urban Students and Teens (MUST): To support Cohort 9 of their professional, long-term, near-peer mentoring program for youth and young adult Black/African-American males in the Rainier Valley neighborhood of South Seattle.

Palmer Scholars: To support Palmer Pathways Scholars, which takes the “Whole Scholar” model of their college access program and applies it to students interested in a career in the trades in Pierce County.

University Beyond Bars: To support degree pathways and expand leadership development, trauma-informed care, life-skills, and vocational offerings, providing access to higher education for incarcerated individuals at the Washington State Reformatory in Monroe, WA.

Young Women Empowered: To create the Y-WE Alum Program, providing young women of color ages 19-26 in Seattle who have graduated Y-WE programs with ongoing academic, career, and social support.


Center for Natural Lands Management: To support the Camas Collaborative, a multidisciplinary group focused on restoring camas prairies, enhancing access to harvesting areas, and promoting food sovereignty of indigenous people on their native lands.

ECOSS: To invest in internal capacity to educate and empower businesses and diverse communities in the Puget Sound to implement environmentally sustainable practices, prioritizing communities that are the most impacted by environmental disparities.

Got Green: To build community power, working to ensure that the benefits of the green movement and green economy reach low-income communities and communities of color in Seattle.

The Common Acre: To support the Urban Farm System Community Coalition, created in partnership with One Vibe Africa and Black Farmers Collective, with the goal of creating a model for community-led stewardship of public lands on three urban farmsteads in Seattle.

Washington Green Schools: To expand their environmental education programming and lesson plans to 300 more school communities of color and meet the demand for their services in underserved regions of Washington State.


Global Perinatal Services: To increase their capacity to provide community-based doula services to more low-income refugee and immigrant women and their families in South King County, expanding beyond their initial focus on Somali families to serve additional immigrant and refugee communities.

New Phoebe House Association: To expand their integrated health program for women in Pierce County who experience homelessness, domestic violence, and behavioral health challenges, providing holistic healthcare, including housing and family-based intervention services.

Sea Mar Community Health Centers: To support their Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Workers Promotores Program in Whatcom and Skagit Counties, using community health workers to provide culturally and linguistically-sensitive healthcare services to farmworkers. 

Somali Health Board: To invest in long-term sustainability and organizational growth as they work to reduce health disparities in King County’s Somali community by increasing access to culturally-relevant healthcare and information, integrating direct service, community-building, research and advocacy.

Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences: To build infrastructure of their Roots to Wings program, which works with American Indian-Alaskan Native and Latino youth in Yakima through co-mentoring health science education, ultimately working to reduce health inequities.

Human Services

API Chaya: To build organizational capacity, providing direct services to Asian, South Asian, and Pacific Islander survivors of gender-based violence and trafficking and bringing awareness of and inciting action against gender-based violence in Seattle.

Casa Latina: To expand their employment, education, and community organizing programs to South King County, ensuring that all Latinx immigrants in the area have equitable access to their unique programs no matter where they live.

Gender Odyssey Alliance: To expand programming that provides support for people of all gender identities and expressions, including in-person and online family and youth support groups, discussion forums, webinars, trainings, conferences and resources.

Ingersoll Gender Center: To provide support for transgender and gender nonconforming people including peer-led support groups, advocacy in navigating resources, community organizing and education in Washington State.

Open Doors for Multicultural Families: To increase staff capacity, serving families at the intersection of face and disability through a cultural brokerage model to navigate services, providing specialized programming, and advocating for systems change in King County.

Need a refresher on WA Women’s Fdn’s grantmaking process? Our large-scale, strategic approach to collective grantmaking is a national model that has been tested and refined over the last 24 years.

Here’s a quick recap of our annual Pooled Fund grant making process:

  • January/February – LOIs: The Grant Committee reviews and discusses Letters of Inquiry (LOIs) and invites 25 organizations to submit proposals.
  • March/April – Proposals: The Grant Committee evaluates 25 proposals and selects 15 organizations to receive site visits.
  • April/May – Site Visits: Teams of WA Women’s Foundation members visit 15 organizations and report their findings to the full Grant Committee. The Grant Committee then selects the final 10 organizations to appear on the ballot.
  • June – Member Voting: All active members of WA Women’s Foundation vote by electronic ballot to determine which 5 organizations will receive our $100,000 Pooled Fund Grant Awards. The grantees are announced at our Grant Award Celebration on Tuesday, June 9, 2020.  Mark your calendar now to join us at this special event to be held at Benaroya Hall.

Through our groundbreaking model of women-powered, collective philanthropy, Washington Women’s Foundation has given out more than $19 million in transformative grants. We invite all who identify as women to join us to make a more powerful impact in communities across Washington State.

3 responses to “Pooled Fund Grants 2020: Top 25 Organizations

  1. My name is Pam Knepper and I am the Development Manager at the Free Clinic of Southwest Washington in Vancouver, Washington. I would like to know how we could submit a grant proposal for your 2021 grants? I wasn’t sure if someone in your organization had to recommend us or if we could just apply?

    If you are not familiar with our organization, we have been providing free, compassionate health care to the uninsured in Clark County for 30 years. This includes medical, dental, vision, and specialty care. All of our care is provided by 500+ volunteer health care professionals in the community. For more information about our organization, please visit https://freeclinics.org/. I look forward to hearing back from you.

    1. Hi Pam,

      Thanks for your comment! Our Letter of Inquiry for 2021 will open this fall, and details will be shared on our website and in our community newsletter. The LOI process is open to all eligible organizations, and you do not need a recommendation to apply. I also recommend checking out the “for nonprofits” page on our website for more details about eligibility and criteria. If you have any other questions please feel free to email me directly.

      My best,

  2. How wonderful! Congratulations to TUPAC Ballet! Thank you for bringing this resource to Washington and for this good news of support. Especially during this time of pandemic.
    Shine On!
    Damaris Caughlan
    Artistic Director
    Metropolitan Ballet of Tacoma

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