Bullitt Foundation

OVERVIEW: This Seattle-based funder focuses on environmental issues within the Emerald Corridor of the Pacific Northwest. Letters of inquiry are accepted twice per year.

FUNDING AREAS: Environment in the Pacific Northwest

IP TAKE: Bullitt's geographic focus is narrow and its interests are more about sustainable Northwest cities than land and habitat conservation. Pitch an idea that improves the natural environment in Seattle, Portland, or Vancouver.   

PROFILE: The Bullitt Foundation is based in Seattle, Washington, and is solely focused on environmentalism in the Pacific Northwest. It was established in 1952 by Dorothy Bullitt, a Seattle businesswoman and philanthropist. During her lifetime, Bullitt helped establish many Seattle institutions, such as the Children’s Hospital and the Seattle Symphony. The foundation began to focus on the environment in 1983 and strengthened that commitment in 1992 when it brought on conservationist Denis Hayes as president.

This has always been a strong regional funder, but it has narrowed its geographic focus further recently. In early 2016, the foundation shifted grantmaking to the Emerald Corridor, the region bounded by Vancouver to the north, Portland to the south, and the Cascades to the east. Their goal is to turn the Corridor into a global model of urban sustainability.

Bullitt has recently supported five program areas: energy, climate, and materials; regional ecosystem health; resilient cities, healthy communities; deep green buildings; and thought leadership and innovation. The energy program funds efforts to cut fossil fuel use, reduce greenhouse emissions, and stop the use of toxic materials. The ecosystem program aims to preserve open space, working lands, and communities. Resilient cities grantmaking is all about the Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver metro areas. The deep green buildings program promotes a sustainable built environment. Bullitt also awards leadership grants for breakthrough sustainability initiatives, and a two-year, $50,000 per year environmental fellowship to identify environmentally focused leaders in the Pacific Northwest.

View past grants here. Many recent grants have been between $10,000 and $75,000.

The first step to connecting with Bullitt is to submit a grant inquiry via online portal. There are two grant cycles per year, with inquiries due by March 15 and September 15. If invited to apply, grant application deadlines are May 1 and November 1. Expect to wait up to six months for the staff and board review process. Municipal corporations, public agencies, and Native American tribes may also be eligible for Bullitt grants. Keep in mind that this funder does not support capital projects, land acquisitions, construction and equipment costs, lobbying, events, environmental education projects, or film projects.

General questions can be directed to the staff at 206-343-0807 or via email at info@bullitt.org and grants@bullitt.org. Keep up with the latest foundation news and announcement on the news page.

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