Community Foundation Of South Puget Sound Awarded Gates Foundation Grant



Submitted by The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound

Olympia, WA—The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound has received a $500,000 multi-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  The award will be re-granted over four years to nonprofits in Mason, Lewis and Thurston counties working to reduce intergenerational poverty.  The Gates Foundation is working with numerous community partners throughout the Pacific Northwest to support one of its overarching goals to alleviate poverty.

The Community Foundation was selected to allocate the grant money though community defined strategies, including educational support for children and youth, assistance in reaching self-sufficiency for families, and other means to build stronger communities.  Gates selected seven partner organizations based on the following criteria:

  • they play catalytic roles in their communities;
  • their grant decisions are informed by meaningful community input,
  • their processes for grant selection are easily expanded to re-grant funds,
  • the populations they serve are among those with the highest numbers of families in poverty in the Pacific Northwest.

“The Gates grant affirms the work our foundation has done over the past many years and is an exciting springboard to a new level of community engagement in addressing its vital needs,” said Mary Thompson, The Community Foundation’s 2012 Board Chair.  “We are honored to be selected to help the Gates Foundation achieve their goals in the communities we serve.”

“The Gates award will positively impact families today in ways we hope will change the future for children, “says Lori Drummond, The Community Foundation’s 2013 Board Chair.  “We are excited to put these funds to work in three counties.  We are well-positioned to address our community’s needs and this new grant will significantly augment the work we are already doing.”

The Gates Foundation believes community foundations are uniquely qualified philanthropic partners.  “They have established, strong networks that can get resources to families and children quickly and efficiently,” says David Bley, director of the Pacific Northwest program.  “We will help more families with these new grants than we can by only using direct grant making.  Local partners are best positioned to know their community’s needs.”

The Community Foundation will begin re-granting the Gates funds in early 2013.   “Everyone in our organization, board, staff and volunteers are thrilled with this opportunity to improve lives for many families in our service area.  This is above all an honor as well as a tremendous recognition of our ongoing work,” relates Norma Schuiteman, Community Foundation Executive Director.

For more information about The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation please see  Additional information about The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound is available at

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