Charlotte Martin Foundation

OVERVIEW: This Seattle-based funder supports youth athletics, education, culture, and wildlife habitats in an era of climate change. It backs organizations in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho and Alaska.

FUNDING AREAS: Youth education, athletics, culture, wildlife conservation

IP TAKE: The board members here are also affiliated with other local grantmaking foundations, so it’s a good idea to make their acquaintance. Request a single-year grant that’s locally focused in the Pacific Northwest.

PROFILE: The Charlotte Martin Foundation (CMF) is a private independent foundation based in Seattle, Washington. It was established in 1987, and primarily addresses the Pacific Northwest. Charlotte Martin was from Montana and attended school in Washington. She established the foundation shortly before her death to carry on the tradition of giving to youth and wildlife causes that she shared with husband.

This place-based funder is rooted in the Northwest and awards grants in urban, rural and tribal communities in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, and Alaska. It rarely makes grants outside of these states.

Today, the foundation still has two distinct grantmaking interests: youth and wildlife. More specifically, it looks to increase opportunities for minority youth and conserve biodiversity in an era of climate change. Youth grants fund groups that keep kids involved in education, cultural experiences and athletic endeavors. Wildlife grants relate to stewardship efforts to protect ecosystems and promote biodiversity.

CMF breaks down its youth grants into athletics, culture and education to serve youths aged five to 18. Guidelines for each of those programs, as well as the wildlife and habitat program, are available on the Program Areas page. Take note of each program's list of what's not supported: CMF has very specific grantees in mind.

The foundation no longer requires letters of interest prior to full application submissions. The spring funding cycle is typically open for applications between February 1 and March 1, and the foundation announces awards in mid-April. The fall funding cycle is typically open between August 1 and September 1, with awards announced mid-October. Applications are only accepted online.

Most CMF grants are under $25,000, which is also the maximum an organization will receive for an unsolicited application. The foundation may award larger grants by invitation. CMF doesn't support health or wellness causes, behavioral issues tied to education, capital projects, pre-K programs or programs for college students.

CMF is governed by a five-member board of directors who also serve as program officers. There is no permanent staff or office, so these individuals research all projects, review proposals and make grant decisions. General inquires can be sent to info@charlottemartin.org.

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