That’s the philosophy of The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound, based in Olympia. It’s the organization that provides thousands of students with a way to a higher education, offers families an opportunity for good jobs and housing, and encourages efforts in the arts, philanthropy and entrepreneurship throughout Thurston, Mason and Lewis counties.
“We’re this community’s best-kept secret,” says Norma Schuiteman, president and CEO. “It’s a ‘now and later’ organization, because we work with our donors to help them support the causes they care about today, but we’re also making investments in discovering the new issues of tomorrow that we’re not yet aware of.”
In the 25 years since The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound started in 1989, it’s been serving as a catalyst for charitable giving. Whether donors are businesses, families or individuals, the foundation helps them make their charitable gifts more effective, with great flexibility in funding options.
The foundation provides local stewardship while proactively seeking and finding ways to fund the needs of tomorrow. This simultaneous goal of being both visionary and inclusive means there’s constant improvement and innovation that creates positive change, personal growth, and all-around education about the needs of the greater community.
Financial gifts through the foundation generate grants and scholarships to provide opportunities and resources for today’s students and neighborhoods, while preserving resources that will be invested in the community priorities of the future. Last year alone, The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound awarded nearly $900,000 in grants and scholarships for a wide variety of arts, education, health and human services and environmental projects.
“I’m always inspired by the generosity of individuals,” Schuiteman says. “They understand what we’re aiming to do, which is making the community a better place to live and raise your grandchildren.”
HOLLY SMITH PETERSON
The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound
212 Union Ave. SE, Suite 102 Olympia, WA 98501