We help build a thriving, diverse and equitable community by supporting local organizations that are aligned with the priorities and interests of the Gates family, staff, and the foundation. Our Community Engagement team shows up as a good neighbor, with a commitment to solutions by and for the community, with a range of grants to organizations like the Rainier Valley Corps, Puget Sound Sage, Washington Global Health Alliance, Ballard and Rainier Valley Food Banks, Black Future Co-Op Fund, Plymouth Housing, Seattle CityClub, and many more.
In 2012, we launched a Building Community Philanthropy (BCP) partnership with Philanthropy Northwest, which empowers a network of responsive local philanthropy organizations across Washington State to work together to address local, pressing needs. These community foundations, United Ways, and identity-based organizations have deep relationships within their communities — and can rely on those relationships for rapid action and feedback. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Washington in early 2020, the BCP network quickly collaborated to create community response funds that became models for the nation. Philanthropy Northwest oversees the coordination of this network, which collectively reaches 90 percent of high-poverty areas in our state, bringing partners together share best practices, training and resources.
Our Seattle-based employees also are engaged members of our hometown, and participate as neighbors, parents, volunteers and boosters—our employees give almost $5 million per year – which is then matched 3:1 by the foundation – to locally based nonprofits like KUOW, Pride Foundation, Northwest Harvest, Rainier Scholars, and Arts Corps.
The combined efforts of the Washington State team, the Discovery Center team, and the Community Engagement team come together to promote action and make a difference in the well-being of our communities.