Stewardship Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder primarily supports Christian organizations in the Puget Sound region of Washington, as well as globally. Letters of inquiry are accepted with no deadlines.

FUNDING AREAS: Poverty, religious leadership, reconciliation and justice, relational evangelism and discipleship, children at risk

IP TAKE: Washington nonprofits that don’t have a Christian base should probably look elsewhere. Otherwise, there are good opportunities here for groups that protect vulnerable children from abuse.

PROFILE: The Stewardship Foundation is based in Tacoma, Washington, and focuses much of its attention on the Puget Sound region. It supports Christ-centered organizations that share faith in Jesus. It was established in 1947 by Dave Weyerhaeuser, the grandson of the founder of Weyerhaeuser Company, the large lumber and forest products company. He began his life of philanthropy with a conviction to Christian faith, providing general operating support. Weyerhaeuser served on the board of over 60 Christian organizations, many of which received his donations before his death in 1999.

In a recent year, the foundation gave $6.7 million. It gave approximately 12 percent locally in the Tacoma area and 19 percent in the Puget Sound region. It also backed causes in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

Most of the foundation’s recent giving has been focused on poverty, about 25 percent of total giving in a recent year. Interestingly, the foundation includes a range of economic, health, agriculture, water and educational initiatives in its poverty giving. However, this is largely focused in the developing world. Leadership, relational evangelism and discipleship, and children at risk are other top interests. It gives many grants to local agencies that serve citizens in King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties in Washington. Initiatives based in the U.S. but outside the Puget Sound region are not funded.

Individual churches and denominational entities are not generally funded. Instead, the foundation favors “non-denominational parachurch organizations.” Although it gives the vast majority of Stewardship Foundation grants to Christian groups, it gives about 8 percent to non-faith-based groups, lately. Current annual report data can be viewed here.

Letters of inquiry should be mailed to the foundation president, Cary A. Paine. There are no deadlines for letters of inquiry, and you can submit a new one once per year. You’ll receive notification within a month regarding invitation to submit a full proposal.

The deadlines for full proposals are January 1 for a March meeting decision, April 1 for a June meeting decision, July 1 for a September meeting decision and October 1 for a December meeting decision. Don’t request more than 10 percent of your organization’s operating revenue for a new grant. Grants are made for program support and operating expenses, but rarely for capital projects. Multi-year grants are rare.

General questions can be directed to the three-person staff in Tacoma at 253-620-1340 or info@stewardshipfdn.org.

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