Quality of Life Grants in Washington
Quality of Life Grants in Washington
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Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation
The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation funds direct service non-profit organizations that help improve the quality of people’s lives by providing them with the tools they need to succeed. Since its inception in 1988, it has funded programs for those with special needs, summer camps for cancer-stricken or troubled children and ensured access to theater, arts and music programs by economically disadvantaged youth and their families. It has granted wishes for terminally ill children, awards for science and math fair winners, and funded programs to purchase clothing, school supplies and toys for needy children. The Foundation also has supported rescue missions, food banks, shelters for victims of domestic violence, free mammogram exams for low-income women, and dental screenings and preventive care for underprivileged youth.
When making a grant decision, we examine each organization’s financial stability, staffing and facility capacity, and relevant partnerships. Additionally, we assess the capability of an organization to sustain a program into the future and their ability to show measurable impact on the population they serve. Finally, funding is guided toward organizations that support low income, rural, and underserved populations through one of our four main focus areas:
Our Four Main Focus:
The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation funds organizations that have accurately identified needs consistent with our mission and scope and who have successfully worked to provide programs and services that give youth and economically and socially disadvantaged individuals, families and those with special needs the tools they need to succeed in life.
Education taps the immeasurable potential of the mind. Reaching children through early childhood education, after-school learning programs, post-secondary and graduate scholarships help our young people get the start they deserve. Providing higher education scholarships and funding educational programs helps build a strong educational foundation for future leaders.
Health and Human Services
Health and Human Services ensures the vitality of the human body and spirit. We target programs that ensure access to basic health care services to the most vulnerable members of our communities, as well as programs that educate our youth about wellness, nutrition, exercise and healthy lifestyles. We also support experiential programs that offer disabled or disadvantaged people opportunities they may not have otherwise.
Arts and Culture
Arts and Culture represents the innovation and creativity of a society. Through cultural endeavors we help bring people together to share their creative talents, intellects, passions, customs and bold initiatives to explore new ways of doing things. In the areas of theatre, art, and music the Foundation grants have helped organizations reach a broader audience, infused new life into programs and created long-lasting cultural traditions within our communities.
Community Service touches the lives of everyone where they work, play and live. Despite our individual differences, we are linked by common interests to do more for the places we call home. The Foundation invests in organizations that fortify this connection. When everyone is involved one way or another in the improvement of their community, the community progresses in a positive direction.
Open Philanthropy Project
NOTE: We expect to fund very few proposals that come to us via unsolicited contact. As such, we have no formal process for accepting such proposals and may not respond to inquiries. In general, we expect to identify most giving opportunities via proactive searching and networking. If you would like to suggest that we consider a grant — whether for your project or someone else’s — please contact us.
Open Philanthropy Project Focus Areas
So far, the focus areas we have selected fall into one of two broad categories: Global Health and Wellbeing and Longtermism, led by Open Philanthropy co-CEOs Alexander Berger and Holden Karnofsky, respectively. We summarize the key differences between these portfolios as follows:
- While Longtermism grants tend to be evaluated based on something like “How much this grant raises the probability of a very long-lasting, positive future” (including by reducing global catastrophic risks), Global Health and Wellbeing grants tend to be evaluated based on something like “How much this grant increases health (denominated in e.g. life-years) and/or wellbeing, worldwide.”
- The Global Health and Wellbeing team places greater weight on evidence, precedent, and track record in its giving; the Longtermism team tends to focus on problems and interventions where evidence and track records are often comparatively thin. (That said, the Global Health and Wellbeing team does support a significant amount of low-probability but high-upside work like policy advocacy and scientific research.)
- The Longtermism team’s work could be hugely important, but it’s very hard to answer questions like “How will we know whether this work is on track to have an impact?” We can track intermediate impacts and learn to some degree, but some key premises likely won’t become very clear for decades or more. By contrast, we generally expect the work of the Global Health and Wellbeing team to be more likely to result in recognizable impact on a given ~10-year time frame, and to be more amenable to learning and changing course as we go.
Focus Area: Global Health and Wellbeing
- Effective Altruism Community Growth (Global Health and Wellbeing) - We want to increase the number of people who work to improve health and wellbeing by as much as possible, and help them to achieve their goals.
- We support organizations and projects that connect people who work to improve the lives of humans and animals around the world. We hope to grow and empower the community of people who use reason and evidence to do as much good as they can.
- Many of those people describe themselves as effective altruists, and we think of Open Philanthropy as an organization focused on effective altruism — while acknowledging that this term is subject to multiple interpretations, not all of which apply to us.
- This focus area uses the lens of our global health and wellbeing portfolio, just as our longtermism community growth area uses the lens of our longtermism portfolio. The work we fund in this area is primarily focused on identifying and supporting people who are or could eventually become helpful partners, critics, and grantees.
- Farm Animal Welfare - We seek to improve the lives of the billions of animals confined on factory farms.
- We believe that phasing out the worst factory farm practices and working to promote alternatives could significantly reduce animal suffering.
- We are particularly interested in advocating for reforms that would improve the lives of the greatest number of animals. Especially when directed at chicken and fish — the two most numerous vertebrate farmed animals — we think that these reforms could potentially impact a large share of the animals confined on farms today.
- Successfully developing animal-free foods that are taste- and cost-competitive with animal-based foods might also prevent much of this suffering. We have accordingly worked to accelerate the development and commercialization of plant-based foods and other alternatives to animal products.
- Global Aid Policy - We hope to contribute to a future where wealthy countries’ foreign aid improves the well-being of more people.
- Many high-income countries spend less than 0.7% of their GNP on official development assistance each year. We believe there could be ways to increase aid levels and to increase the impact of current aid spending. We’re interested in funding effective strategies for doing so.
- We are open to any approach that could substantially increase the quantity and/or quality of aid and other forms of development finance. We do not have sector or geographic restrictions, and we may support a range of tactics, from advocacy to technical assistance to research.
- Below are preliminary areas of interest, which we developed largely based on conversations with leading practitioners and funders. We look forward to talking to a wide range of people to refine and shape this list.
- Using policy research and/or advocacy to help expand high-return programs and investments within existing aid institutions.
- Advocating for new, cost-effective global health programs (e.g. PEPFAR for other areas).
- Developing strategies to increase high-level political support for aid investments.
- Building and strengthening aid policy & advocacy fields in high-income countries.
- Supporting investments to improve the cost-effectiveness or quality of existing aid programs.
- Expanding access to capital or helping to reduce debt burdens, e.g. by supporting governments in negotiating more favorable terms from development finance loans.
- We launched our Global Aid Policy program in April 2022. We expect to spend at least $15 million in 2022, and hope to grow the program substantially in future years. Below are several related grants we made prior to launching the program.
- Global Health & Development - We believe that every life has value — and that philanthropic dollars can go particularly far by helping those who are living in poverty by global standards.
- Most of our giving in this category is to organizations recommended by GiveWell, with whom we have a close relationship. We are excited to support cost-effective interventions to save and improve lives in low- and middle-income countries. An additional subset of our giving supports scientific research we believe can help address diseases that disproportionately afflict the global poor.
- Global Health R&D - We seek to support the development of new vaccines, drugs, and other tools to improve global health.
- Historically, health technologies like vaccines and drugs have saved millions of lives around the world. However, diseases primarily affecting the world’s poorest people, such as tuberculosis, malaria, diarrheal diseases, rheumatic heart disease, and sickle cell disease receive much less research and development spending relative to their health burdens than diseases affecting the wealthy. Further investments could prevent millions of deaths and illnesses caused by neglected diseases.
- Open Philanthropy has supported scientific research for human health since 2016. Over time we have learned that there are many excellent opportunities in global health R&D that we could support with increased resources and specialized staff. As a result, we launched this new program in 2023, substantially increasing our total funding in the area.
- The Global Health R&D team works in parallel and in collaboration with our Scientific Research team, but with a greater focus on supporting tools and treatments through the development life cycle, including those requiring early proof of concept studies, human efficacy trials or implementation research. We are interested in funding research and development for new vaccines, diagnostics, drugs, monoclonal antibodies, and vector control tools for diseases with a large global health burden, as well as efforts to make these products more affordable and accessible.
- Innovation Policy - We hope to safely accelerate scientific and technological progress to make life better for billions of people.
- Historically, economic growth and scientific innovation have created enormous social benefits, lifting billions of people out of poverty and improving health outcomes around the world. At the same time, innovation carries risk; some technologies have the potential to do far more harm than good.
- Our goal is to accelerate growth and innovation, without unduly increasing risks from emerging technology such as artificial intelligence or genetic engineering. Even small changes to the annual growth rate can compound to great effect over time, which gives us the opportunity to make high-leverage grants.
- We’re interested in pursuing a wide range of strategies. Our current interests include:
- Advocating for policy reform to help more migrants, especially highly-skilled migrants, move to countries operating on the scientific and technological frontier.
- Improving the quality of published scientific research, especially in the social sciences, e.g. by encouraging efforts to replicate influential papers.
- Supporting efforts to accelerate clinical trials for new drugs, without sacrificing standards for quality and safety.
- Providing financial support for the synthesis and communication of published academic research, in order to increase its impact.
- Land Use Reform - We seek to reduce the harms caused by excessively restrictive local land use regulations.
- Local laws often prohibit the construction of dense new housing, leading to higher housing prices, especially in a few large high-wage metropolitan areas (e.g., New York, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C.). More permissive policy could contribute to both affordable housing and the continued growth of centers of economic activity, allowing more people to access high-wage jobs and encouraging economic growth through returns to agglomeration. Working toward more permissive policy in those key regions from a public-interest perspective (as opposed to lobbying for specific developments) appears neglected considering the significant potential gains. For more about our strategy in this area, see our land use reform cause report.
- Scientific Research - We are interested in research that could affect a large number of people.
- We primarily support biomedical research but our interests are not limited to any particular field, disease, condition, or population. Instead, we seek to identify scientific research that has the potential for high impact and is under-supported by other funders. We are excited to support high-risk and unconventional science when the potential impact is sufficiently large.
- We are broadly interested in research that may lead to improved understanding of topics related to human health. We are most interested in research that could affect a large number of people. We typically start by looking for metrics related to the number of lives affected (often starting with the World Health Organization’s Global Health Estimates and IHME’s Global Burden of Disease Study). We begin with landscaping exercises to identify important research topics that could have the greatest impact in a given area.
- Once we understand the research gaps in these fields, we assess which gaps are underfunded and seem most amenable to progress if funded. Often as part of this process, we will attend scientific conferences and interview scientists as advisors, peer reviewers, or potential grantees. For more information, see our Guide for Grant Seekers.
- Some aspects of the following topics are currently of particular interest: broad spectrum antiviral drugs, vaccine development, basic immunology, some aspects of cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, predicting mouse to human translation, control of inflammation, epigenetics, novel scientific tools and methods, malaria, and research on how biomedical research may be improved.
- South Asian Air Quality - We are working to improve health by reducing air pollution in South Asia.
- South Asia experiences some of the world’s highest air pollution levels. Our understanding is that poor air quality contributes significantly to negative health outcomes for more than 1.8 billion people in the region, and that reducing the levels of particulate matter present in the air could save millions of lives. We have seen relatively little philanthropic attention on this issue.
- We have identified a number of activities that could significantly improve South Asia’s air pollution levels, including implementing more widespread and accurate air quality monitoring programs, conducting research to better understand the sources and effects of air pollution in the region, and increasing the salience of air quality among stakeholders. We believe that supporting these activities, and potentially others, could help inform the design, implementation, and enforcement of more effective air pollution abatement policies.
Gary E. Milgard Family Foundations
The Legacy Foundations
Our foundations support the work of a wide variety of non-profit organizations that serve our communities. The foundations are guided by the values of the Milgard family and represent the passions of the individual board members.
The Ruth Foundation supports organizations primarily in Pierce County, Washington that focus on and provide direct services for animal welfare and marine life preservation. The foundation also supports some pre-selected homelessness initiatives.
The Ruth Foundation funding priority areas are animal welfare, marine life preservation and some pre-selected homelessness initiatives.
The Whisper Foundation supports Pierce County, Washington organizations that work to improve the quality of life and impact a positive change in the under-served community.
The Whisper Foundation serves the Pierce County, Washington area with grant requests over $50,000.
The funding priority areas include animal welfare, education, health and social services.
Windows of Hope Foundation
The Windows of Hope Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life for the residents of Pierce County, Washington. We passionately support programs and organizations that work toward the betterment of our community by having a direct, meaningful impact on those they serve.
The Windows of Hope Foundation serves the Pierce County, Washington area with grant requests from $1,000 up to $50,000.
The funding priority areas include social service programs, senior services, youth, homelessness, health and wellness, and education
The Skylight Foundation focuses on the improvement and health of the greater Los Angeles, California community by supporting organizations that provide well managed programs and projects.
The Skylight Foundation serves the greater Los Angeles, California area.
The funding priority areas include social service programs, education, health and wellness and youth programs.
The Norcliffe Foundation
The Norcliffe Foundation is a private family foundation established to improve the quality of life for all people in our community.
What we fund
Areas of support include human services, healthcare, civic and community projects, education, and arts and culture.
The foundation makes grants in the following areas:
- Arts & Culture
- Civic & Community
- Healthcare & Research
- Human & Social Services
The Norcliffe Foundation provides support to a wide variety of organizations and projects. Grant size depends on the scope of the project and the capacity of the organization.
Nearly 60% of the grants we make are $15,000 or less.
Things to consider when determining the appropriate amount to request:
- What is the gift range already committed or pending from other funders and foundations? The Norcliffe Foundation is most interested in joining a community of funders and is rarely the largest donor to a project.
- Is there a history of funding from The Norcliffe Foundation and what is the range for those grants?
Funding types include:
- Capacity Building
- Capital and Infrastructure
- Challenge or Matching
- General Operating
- Program Support
M J Murdock Charitable Trust
NOTE: Updated August 8, 2023: The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust has received and requested proposals that will carry us into 2024 with our current staff capacity for review. We are making improvements to our systems, updating our application process, and expanding our staff capacity, all to better support our grantees and the communities we serve. To allow us the opportunity to complete this work, the Trust has instituted a temporary pause on new applications to our strategic project grants process.
Starting September 5, 2023, Letters of Inquiry (LOIs) received for the remainder of 2023 will be reviewed in a 2-3 week window in the order they were received. LOI’s received prior to September 5, 2023 will also be reviewed in the order they were received.
About the Trust
Since 1975 the Trust has invested nearly $800 million into nonprofit organizations in the form of grants and enrichment programs. Jack Murdock’s desire to “nurture and enrich the educational, spiritual, cultural, and social lives of individuals, families, and communities" continues to be reflected in grants, enrichment programs, and all of the Trust’s activities to this day.Mr. Murdock was an avid learner, innovator, and entrepreneur. His informal education was continuous and lifelong. The special importance he placed on education has been the beacon leading Trust support of many colleges and universities in the five states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Organizations involved in advancing culture and the arts are welcomed each year, as are projects targeted to elevating human services, health, and health care in the region. These include community-based and faith-based organizations, particularly those that serve youth. From a founder who was thoroughly unpretentious, the Trust has taken his lead to welcome the best ideas from all across the region’s urban and rural areas. The Trust’s founder believed in science and technology as one of the most important sources of knowledge and inventiveness, knowledge that he believed to be strategic to resolving many issues. As a result, the Trust has long been at the forefront of private support for scientific research and innovation. In recent years, this has realized more than 60 scientific research grants annually. Mr. Murdock was vitally interested in community issues and encouraged the convening and collaboration of diverse leaders to focus on questions of importance. The Trust continues to bring many voices together to examine and explore ideas and trends in various fields and sectors.
We believe in transformational ideas that help individuals, families and communities flourish — and since 1975, the Murdock Trust has invested nearly $850 million into nonprofit organizations that embody our mission.
Every day, we work to further our founder Jack Murdock’s desire to “nurture and enrich the educational, spiritual, cultural and social lives of individuals, families and communities.” We make grants that help improve the quality of life in the Pacific Northwest, and we welcome nonprofits that share our commitment to thinking bigger, challenging problems and making a true difference.
The Trust makes grants for building the capacity of nonprofit groups in these primary ways for the following three types of projects:
Capital: Is capital growth or expansion important to your nonprofit’s vision for long-term growth and success? The Murdock Trust regularly makes grants that support construction, renovation, land purchase and other capital projects. In most cases, we prefer to receive requests for these types of projects once your organization has raised a portion of the needed funds.
Equipment & Technology: Best practices suggest that a healthy equipment and supporting technology infrastructure is essential. Please note that with these grants, recipient organizations are responsible for 50% or greater of the purchase cost.
Program & Staff: Expanding programs and adding staff are important markers of nonprofit success. Murdock Trust grants help fund both new programs and the expansion of existing programs, and may be used to cover start-up costs and/or related staff member additions. Typically, we fund program and staff grants on a declining basis over three years (100/67/33%).
Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation
NOTE: Grant requests must be endorsed by a Perdue Associate in order to apply.
Perdue Farms is the family-owned parent company of Perdue Foods and Perdue AgriBusiness. Perdue Farms are dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for everyone we touch through innovative food and agricultural products.Through Perdue Farms Perdue, Harvestland and Coleman Natural food brands; through Perdue Farms agricultural products and services; and through Perdue Farms stewardship and corporate responsibility programs, Perdue Farms are committed to making Perdue the most trusted name in food and agricultural products.At Perdue, Perdue Farms believe in responsible food and agriculture.What We SupportWe believe in putting our resources where there is direct benefit to a broad-based spectrum of the community.We strive to strengthen our communities by focusing our efforts on education, agriculture, the environment, health and social services, public safety and fighting hunger and poverty.We also support events that celebrate the heritages and cultures of our communities.
Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation
NOTE: Perdue Farms states in their guidelines that they "... may give additional preference to organizations in which [their] associates have direct involvement, but the overarching consideration is the betterment of the community." However, please note in their online form if you select "No" when answering the question "Is this grant request endorsed by a Perdue Associate?", you will be considered ineligible for a grant.
Perdue Farms is the family-owned parent company of Perdue Foods and Perdue AgriBusiness. Perdue Farms are dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for everyone we touch through innovative food and agricultural products.
Through Perdue Farms PERDUE®, HARVESTLAND® and COLEMAN NATURAL® food brands; through Perdue Farms agricultural products and services; and through Perdue Farms stewardship and corporate responsibility programs, Perdue Farms are committed to making Perdue the most trusted name in food and agricultural products.
At Perdue, Perdue Farms believe in responsible food and agriculture.
What We Support
We believe in putting our resources where there is a direct benefit to a broad-based spectrum of the community.
We strive to strengthen our communities by focusing our efforts on education, agriculture, the environment, health and social services, public safety, and fighting hunger and poverty
We also support events that celebrate the heritages and cultures of our communities
Ash Grove Charitable Foundation
NOTE: Requests will be considered quarterly.
Ash Grove Charitable Foundation Grant
As one of the largest cement companies in the United States and one of the oldest still in operation, Ash Grove plays an important part in the foundation and infrastructure of our country. And with plants from coast to coast, being a good neighbor in the communities in which we live and serve is a priority and part of our DNA.
Ash Grove territory is a lot of ground to cover. We believe in active participation to improve the existing and future quality of life in the communities we serve. This participation includes financial support to charitable activities. We aren’t just focused on building highways and buildings – we are also helping to build better communities.
We're honored to be part of the communities in which our employees live and work.
The Foundation’s goal is to provide significant support to organizations each year. In general, the following grant types are funded within these ranges:
- Capital grants and special projects – up to $25,000
- Program grants – up to $10,000
- Only monetary grants are funded through the Foundation
Joseph E. and Marjorie B. Jones Foundation
The Joseph E. and Marjorie B. Jones Foundation is a private, philanthropic institution dedicated to improving the quality of life for all people, particularly those residing in the greater Washington, D.C. region (DC/MD/VA), by funding human services and health care initiatives and furthering the cause of education.
- We believe that civic duty is not a choice; it is an important responsibility of living in a vibrant and progressive community.
- We believe that all individuals have inherent worth and dignity.
- We believe that given the right opportunities and resources, all people can improve their lives regardless of race, sex, religion or current social-economic condition.
- We believe that seemingly complex and insurmountable civic problems can be solved using cooperation, respect, hope and the combinations of physical, spiritual and financial resources.
- We believe that we must work as partners with other businesses and individuals in supporting the charitable institutions through which the Jones Foundation assists residents of Washington D.C. and its surrounding communities.
- We will strive to build partnerships that help us fulfill our mission of making a difference in the Metropolitan Washington D.C. and surrounding areas.
- We will preserve our credibility by remaining independent and objective.
- We vow that although our financial resources are limited, we will aid organizations that inspire, uplift and motivate. With our financial help, our grant awardees will foster progression of the individual and therefore, the community at large.
- We will seek to support organizations that create strong and sustainable bonds of trust between those living in the communities we support, and the infra-structure of that community.
- Human Services
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