True North Family Foundation: Northwest Funders

OVERVIEW: The True North Family Foundation primarily funds grantmaking related to educational and youth organizations, as well has human services and health causes.

IP TAKE: The foundation lacks transparency, which limits information available on its grantmaking priorities and activities.

PROFILE: Established in 2007, the True North Family Foundation was founded by businessman Robert R. Wilkerson and his wife Peggy. Robert has been president of Genie Holdings since the 1970s, a manufacturer of aerial work platforms. The foundation’s website is sparse, consisting of a landing page with an email address, which limits information available on its grantmaking priorities and activities. According to tax filings, the True North Family Foundation primarily funds grantmaking related to educational and youth organizations, as well has human services and health causes.

Grants range from $500 to $242,000. In a recent fiscal year, the foundation gave away $362,000. Past grantees include Ben Towne Foundation, which supports the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research; Eastside Legal Assistance Program; FareStart a “non-profit, social entrepreneurial organization in Seattle”; Bellevue Boys & Girls Club; Childhaven; University of Washington; and First Presbyterian Church.

The foundation keeps a low profile and does not accept unsolicited proposals.

PEOPLE:

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