Pooled Fund Grants 2021: Top 25 Organizations

The Pooled Fund Grant Committee began reviewing LOIs in January and has selected 25 organizations to submit full proposals. This fall we updated our grant criteria 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, and what they plan to focus their proposals on.

Arts & Culture
Asia Pacific Cultural Center: To support their arts & culture programming, PLOT Youth program, and Essential Services program, working to promote the greater awareness and understanding of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) people and culture in Pierce County.

International Examiner: To promote critical thinking, dialogue, and action by providing timely, accurate, and culturally sensitive coverage of relevant APA matters, using this grant to increase online reach of articles and continue their successful fellowship program in Seattle.

LANGSTON: To expand organizational capacity to serve the Black community through arts and culture programming that centers collective need with a commitment to cultivating Black brilliance in Seattle.

Look, Listen and Learn: To produce Season Two of the Puget Sound region’s first children’s educational television show intentionally created by Black and Brown folks, for BIPOC children and their families, inspiring early learning and nurturing social emotional skills in young children.

Western Washington University Office of Tribal Relations: To increase capacity of the WWU Office of Tribal Relations by hiring student employees, Indigenous consultants and speakers, convening a Symposium of university tribal liaisons, and advancing the proposed “House of Healing” Coast Salish longhouse project.

Education
East African Community Services: To support the rollout of three new programs for mentorship and career development designed to give East African youth and those at risk of incarceration opportunities for jobs in lucrative trade/STEM careers in South King County.

Equity in Education Coalition: To support the Digital Navigators pilot project and continue their growing COVID-19 food and rental assistance programs, all working towards the goal to eliminate the educational opportunity gap and promote success for all children of color in WA State.

Palmer Scholars: To support their Career-Connected Learning program, and build partnerships with Pierce County employers, working to close the postsecondary success gap and end generational cycles of poverty for economically disadvantaged people of color.

Peace Community Center: To add additional Academic coaches to their team, working to create transformational educational experiences for Tacoma’s Hilltop youth, empowering success in college, career, and community leadership.

Quinault Indian Nation Education Department: To outfit a Teen Center and wraparound services for teens in the Quinault Indian Nation, creating a positive environment for lifelong learning while taking into account the spiritual, mental, physical, and cultural aspects of the individual within family and tribal context.

Environment
Nurturing Roots: To build organization infrastructure by constructing a greenhouse, completing the water-irrigation system, providing better pay to staff and expanding school partnerships and community education activities for this urban organic community farm in Beacon Hill Seattle.

ECOSS: To invest in internal capacity to educate and empower businesses and diverse communities in the Puget Sound to implement environmentally sustainable practices, by strengthening outreach programs, investing in staff safety and skill-building, and expanding program capacity to address community needs.

Bike Works: To implement their 2021-2025 Strategic Plan, focusing on providing more employment opportunities and job access programming for those not traditionally represented in the cycling industry, including individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, female, nonbinary, and trans Southeast Seattle residents.

Na’ah Illahee Fund: To uplift the organization’s infrastructure alongside community-responsive programming, supporting the Yahowt, Climate Justice and Wise Action programs, which bring an Indigenous lens to collaborative environmental policy and justice work with community-of-color-led groups.

Puget Sound Sage: To meet the communications, operations, and leadership development needs of the organization, working to improve the lives of all families by creating shared prosperity in our regional economy.

Health
Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho: To expand mobile health outreach services including COVID-19 & STI testing, primary health issues and family planning to populations who have disproportionately poor health outcomes, including migrant farmworkers, Latinx communities, and individuals outside urban centers.

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 that have been exacerbated by COIVD-19 by increasing access to culturally-relevant healthcare and information, integrating direct service, community-building, research and advocacy.

Tacoma Urban League: To launch their new African American Healthcare Equity Initiative modeled after their successful Community of Practice work, with a vision of a healthcare system that serves everyone equitably.

Ttáwaxt Birth Justice Center: To hire an experienced executive director to support the growth of this grassroots organization working to ensure birth justice and whole-family healing through indigenous practices, systems and spaces that support the complete birth journey as well as child rearing and grief recovery on the Yakama Reservation.

Yakima Neighborhood Health Services: To support a part-time outreach worker to keep university groups and community organizations informed about The Space’s health care, behavioral health and homeless services for LGBTQ+ youth and young adults in the Yakima Valley.

Human Services
Choose 180: To support crucial organizational infrastructure needs to sustain programs serving young people in King County either at risk of or currently engaged in the criminal legal system, offering them the resources and community supports needed to not only avoid criminalization, but to thrive as they work towards their goals.

Community Credit Lab: To hire a Partnerships Manager, who would manage and steward relationships with community-based organizations, working to build an equitable community lending model in Washington by getting affordable credit to people on their terms.

Freedom Project: To support two programs that aim to dismantle the institution of mass incarceration and heal its traumatic effects on our community – a leadership circle centered on Black, Indigenous, and Womxn of Color using the Credible Messengers model and reentry support and advocacy in Eastern Washington.

Innovations Human Trafficking Collaborative: To increase case management and administrative staffing in response to increased demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, thereby making it possible to serve more indigenous survivors of human trafficking in Washington State.

Project Feast: To support continued organizational growth through a larger kitchen space, providing culinary training to low-income immigrants and refugees pursuing a livelihood in the food industry in South 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 25 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 in early June.

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.

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