Celebrating 30 Years of Trusted Service
Whether adjusting to changes in community needs, or looking beyond those needs to foster a deeper knowledge of philanthropy itself, for thirty years the Community Foundation of South Puget Sound has made a lasting impact.
Begun in 1989 as a response to a community “visioning” session called Olympia 2010, the Foundation was initially created to build permanent funding sources to achieve this vision.
Originally an all-volunteer organization, the Foundation relied on the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation to manage the funds it created. Its initial focus was on building the capacity of existing local nonprofits through trainings for boards and staff, and assisting with fundraising for operating expenses.
Today, the Foundation holds over 95 separate funds, serves 3 counties, distributes more than one million dollars in grants and scholarships each year, and assets under management have grown to $25 million. Since its inception, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $13 Million in grants and scholarships.
Our growth is a tribute to our community’s recognition of the value of philanthropy, and the vital role nonprofits play in creating a thriving community. Thanks to the generosity of thousands of local donors, the Community Foundation has evolved to become a place to address unmet needs and build strong, lasting community assets so that people want to live, work, and stay here—now and for years to come.
1989: Founded as Greater Thurston County Community Foundation
1993: First scholarship distribution: Set up by L&E Bottling Co.
1994: Established revolving loan fund to enable child care workers to achieve more formal credentialing to enhance the professional nature of their businesses
1996: Hired first full-time Executive Director (Colleen Gillespie)
1997: Name changed to The Community Foundation; expanded service area to include Mason and Lewis Counties
1999: Reached $1 Million in assets; ended reliance on Greater Tacoma Community Foundation for asset management
2000: Initiated endowment building campaigns with $10,000 match per nonprofit
2002: Name changed to The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound
2004: Hired current President & CEO (Norma Schuiteman)
2008: Received National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations accreditation—a rigorous review of community foundation operations, policies, and procedures
2009: Assets under management reached $5.5 Million
2010: Irving A. Lassen Foundation, a private foundation, converted its $5.5 Million in assets to a discretionary fund at the Community Foundation
2012: Received 4-year $500,000 grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to address poverty alleviation; received generous bequest from Neddie Farrington for the benefit of the Westport area
2013: Launched Environmental Grantmaking initiative; renewed accreditation for National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations
2016: Distributed more than $1 Million in grants and scholarships in one year for the first time; received second grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
2017: Launched Give Local—an effort to increase community philanthropy through online giving
2018: Bequest of $5.6 Million from the estate of Hal Marcus received for designated charities and areas of interest determined by the Marcuses; Foundation assets reach $25 Million