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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


New approach to building social equity led by The Seattle Foundation, King County

Summary

Community grants totaling $1.1 million will be focused on outcomes, with communities taking ownership of the efforts to overcome the growing inequities in our region.

Story

Building equity King CountyKing County Executive Dow Constantine and Tony Mestres of The Seattle Foundation are turning innovative ideas into action to address the growing economic, health, and racial disparities in King County, thanks to new grants awarded to 11 community organizations.

The awards, which range from $50,000 to $125,000, will fund a diverse package of health, housing, and economic opportunity projects that aim to close gaps in health and well-being among King County residents.

The grants are part of the Communities of Opportunity initiative, which aims to empower local communities and reverse the downward economic, social, and health trends in their neighborhoods.

“We’re doing more than funding good intentions—we’re focusing on outcomes,” said Executive Constantine. “By working with dedicated partners like The Seattle Foundation, we will help expand opportunities for everyone in King County, regardless of where they live.”

"We launched Communities of Opportunity with King County so that neighborhoods could have a stronger voice in meeting the needs of their residents," said Mestres, president and CEO of The Seattle Foundation. "These investments are the beginning of a long-term strategic partnership that we believe will make a positive impact on people's health, housing, and employability."

The Seattle Foundation logo
King County logo

Communities of Opportunity is a joint initiative between The Seattle Foundation and King County which takes a new approach to building social equity in our region. It is The Seattle Foundation's first program under its new Center for Community Partnerships, which drives targeted efforts to advance greater economic and racial equity in King County. The Center focuses on making collaborative, systemic change to address the root causes of inequity.

Unlike the traditional one-size-fits-all approach, Communities of Opportunity engages people in the community to determine their specific needs and allows them to take ownership of the effort.

"Communities of Opportunity is about equity," said Paola Maranan, executive director of The Children’s Alliance. “But it’s not just about what our goals are, it’s about how we’ll achieve them. The problems are bigger than any one organization can solve on their own, but together we can make lasting change."


Eleven local nonprofits will receive funding to increase equity and opportunity in King County:

The call for proposals garnered over 90 applicants with program ideas totaling more than $10 million, making the selection process extremely challenging. Many excellent ideas were not able to be funded in this round.

In response to the high quality of so many of the proposals, $185,000 was granted to build momentum for 10 grassroots efforts with significant resident engagement and in earlier stages of their systems and policy work. 

"Communities of Opportunity is about equity," said Paola Maranan, executive director of The Children's Alliance. "But it's not just about what our goals are, it's about how we'll achieve them. The problems are bigger than any one organization can solve on their own, but together we can make lasting change."


Relevant links

Quotes

We’re doing more than funding good intentions—we’re focusing on outcomes. By working with dedicated partners like The Seattle Foundation, we will help expand opportunities for everyone in King County, regardless of where they live.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

We launched Communities of Opportunity with King County to bring philanthropic support to empowering neighborhoods to have a voice in meeting the needs of their residents. These investments are the beginning of a long-term strategic partnership that we believe will make a positive impact on the health, housing, and employability of South Seattle and South King County residents.

Tony Mestres, President and CEO of The Seattle Foundation

Communities of Opportunity is about equity. But it’s not just about what our goals are, it’s about how we’ll achieve them. The problems are bigger than any one organization can solve on their own, but together we can make lasting change.

Paola Maranan, Executive Director of The Children's Alliance

For more information, contact:

Chad Lewis, King County, chad.lewis@kingcounty.gov, 206-263-1250

Mary Grace Roske, The Seattle Foundation, mg.roske@seattlefoundation.org, 206-515-2104


King County Executive
Dow Constantine
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