Norcliffe Foundation

OVERVIEW: Norcliffe focuses on the Puget Sound area of Washington and awards grants for education, health, social services, civic improvement, religion, culture and the arts, the environment, historic preservation, and youth programs.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, health, social services, civic improvement, religion, culture and the arts, the environment, historic preservation, youth programs

IP TAKE: This funder keeps a low profile but has been giving big in the Seattle area lately. Topics of strong interest have been the Catholic Church, early childhood, hospitals, hospices, environmental conservation, homelessness, and the elderly.

PROFILE: The Norcliffe Foundation, a private family funder, is a prominent grantmaker in Washington State. It's based in Seattle and focuses giving on the Puget Sound area. The foundation was established in 1952 by Paul Pigott, and the later generations of his family have continued his traditions of support.

Paul Pigott was president of the Pacific Car and Foundry Company from 1934 until 1961. He grew up on Seattle’s Capitol Hill and worked at the Pacific Car plant in Renton. He was on the boards of directors for Standard Oil of California (Chevron), Washington Mutual Savings, General Insurance Company (Safeco), Seattle First National Bank, Boeing, Metropolitan Building Company (Unico), and the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. In philanthropy, he contributed substantially to Seattle University, Stanford University, the Seattle Blood Bank, and United Good Neighbors.

Today, the Norcliffe Foundation funds a wide range of causes in the Puget Sound region, including education, health, social services, civic improvement, religion, culture and the arts, the environment, historic preservation, and youth programs.

The foundation has a bare bones website and lists the types of support requested next to a “yes,” “maybe,” or “no.” The “yes” column shows most support for capital building, capital equipment, challenge/matching grants, PRIs/loans, new projects, renovations, and research. The funder does not award grants to individuals or to finance debts.

You can submit one request per year (from the date of funding or denial). But you must wait two years to reapply if you received a $50,000 grant. The funder uses a common grant application form and reviews submissions year-round. You can expect an acknowledgment of your proposal within two to three weeks; funding decisions are made within three to six months after receipt of a request. Requests should be addressed to the foundation president and ask for support for a capital campaign, operating budget funds, or a special project.

Mary Pigott is the president and one of two staff members of the Norcliffe Foundation. Jennifer Beatty serves as the foundation manager. The best way to initially approach this funder is with a phone call to the staff at 206-682-4820. You can also send Beatty an email at jennifer@thenorcliffefoundation.com.

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