Medina Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder supports a variety of human service causes in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. Letters of inquiry are welcome at any time.

FUNDING AREAS: Human services, homelessness, youth development, education, economic opportunity

IP TAKE: This is a locally focused and accessible funder that welcomes communication from local groups and has an easygoing application process. Rural organizations are gaining particular favor here.

PROFILE: The Medina Foundation is a private family foundation focused on the Puget Sound region of Washington. It was founded by Norton Clapp in 1947, and is based in Seattle. Clapp was the grandson of Matthew G. Norton, co-founder of the Weyerhaeuser Company. Clapp became president of the company after pursuing law and philosophy degrees.

The foundation’s earliest grants focused on education. Today, it's a human services funder focusing on homelessness, youth development, education and economic opportunity. Clapp passed away in 1995, and his family has run the foundation since then. A theme of self-sufficiency defines all funding areas. Specific topics of interest include child welfare programs, financial literacy, hunger, adult literacy and youth mentoring.

The Medina Foundation supports a 14-county region in Washington. It gives most grants to groups in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties. However, other counties also receive grants: San Juan, Island, Clallam, Jefferson, Grays Harbor, Pacific, Thurston, Mason, Kitsap, Whatcom and Skagit. More recently, Medina has expanded funding for rural communities. Recent and past foundation initiatives have focused on rural community building, youth homeless prevention, domestic violence, stable housing, youth development in Pacific County, and alternatives to payday loans for low-income people.

Past grantees can be viewed on the funder’s website. Since it was established, the foundation has given out over $93 million in grants. It gives about $4 million each year. Annual reports are here.

The Medina Foundation accepts letters of inquiry throughout the year, and there are no deadlines. It doesn't give grants for environmental, arts, healthcare, political, or religious programs. You will receive a decision about your LOI within one to three months.

If invited to apply for a grant, you can learn more about the E-grants system for online applications on the funder’s website. Most grants from this foundation are around $25,000. Sample documents for LOI and application questions are provided. A streamlined application is available to organizations with operating budgets under $500,000 that are requesting $15,000 or less. The foundation trustees meet three times per year and review LOIs and applications in the order they were received.

General questions can be directed to the staff at 206-652-8783 or to Alexia Cameron is the office and grants administrator. There are also two program officers and an executive director on staff.


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