Stolte Family Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder mainly supports King County, Washington, organizations working to close the education gap. Other interests are climate change and global issues for women and girls.

FUNDING AREAS: Education gaps, climate change, women and girls

IP TAKE:  This is a relatively new foundation but one that’s been taking some big stands on progressive issues. Look for big things to come from SFF in the years ahead.  

PROFILE: The Stolte Family Foundation is based in Seattle, Washington, and was established in 2015. This foundation has three focus areas: narrowing opportunity gaps in education, climate change, and global issues that affect women and girls. The main geographic focus is King County, Washington. Improving education in the county is the foundation’s largest current focus.

In a recent year, SFF focused on early learning and summer learning loss. It is also interested in getting parents and families more engaged in children’s education and strengthening the entire King County education system. This big push for education funding is driven by a belief that education gaps are a root cause of poverty. The Stolte couple is most interested in helping local students reach their potential and achieve post-secondary success.

Heidi Stolte is the president and director of SFF, and Christopher Stolte is the secretary, treasurer, and director. Heidi and Christopher are the founders of SFF and partners with Social Venture Partners Seattle. Heidi has lived in Seattle since 2003 and previously worked as an elementary school teacher in Northern California. She has served on grantmaking committees for the Seattle Foundation’s Global Give Together and the Community Center for Education Result’s Roadmap Aligned Funders workgroup. She has also volunteered with Program for Early Parent Support and Planned Parenthood.

The foundation has supported the Parent Child Home Program, Zeno, Team Read, Neighborhood House, and Thrive Washington. Other support has gone to the Seattle Foundation to help build its Resilience Fund, which protects vulnerable populations in King County, such as immigrants and refugees. The bulk of SFF’s support stays in Seattle; grants have gone to Southwest Youth and Family Services, the Denise Louis Education Center, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, Open Arms Perinatal Services, and the Vietnamese Friendship Association for Greater Seattle. Many recent grants have been around $50,000, with some for hundreds of thousands of dollars. The foundation’s assets have exceeded $67 million in recent years.

SFF has a very simple website with minimal information for grantseekers. It does not provide any grant application forms online, guidelines for applying, or deadlines for open grant cycles. General questions can be directed to info@stoltefamilyfoundation.org. Phone is 206-624-9410, and the address is 6202 43rd Avenue NE, Seattle, Washington 98115.

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