The Road Ahead, A Message from Kim Wright

Posted on June 15, 2018

As the founding Executive Director of Stolte Family Foundation (SFF), I am humbled by the opportunity to shape a new philanthropic endeavor. I am excited to advance our work and partnerships within our three priority funding pillars – narrowing academic achievement and opportunity gaps, mitigating climate change and advancing clean energy solutions, and investing in community movements that engage all people in the political process. The possibilities are immense, and I firmly believe that together, with community partners, we can accomplish our vision of creating a sustainable future where everyone has the opportunity to reach their potential.

Achieving that vision though, will be hard, and the increase in disparities brought about by greater Seattle’s growth makes it even more challenging. As a foundation, we will be listening carefully to the community, working to provide a platform for under-invested voices and looking for opportunities to advance new approaches. We believe that impact-driven philanthropy – the use of data, fact-based research, and community input – will lead to the thoughtful solutions we need. Central to all of this work is building trust and showing up as trustworthy.

The health and vitality of our community partners and the sector are key to achieving impact. As we look at the forces negatively impacting education and a healthy democracy, we know we can do more. We see and hear from our partners that children are avoiding school because of fear, violence, and housing instability. We know there is a widespread increase in racism, felt at the individual, family, and systems levels. We are fueled by movements and advancements at the grassroots level, which lead us forward in fulfilling our promise of a representative democracy.  We face barriers ahead and that motivates us to ensure we are investing in ways that deliver the greatest impact.

Over the next six months, we will be working hard to advance all our pillars. In climate, our focus will be deepening our relationships with our current partners. They have great momentum with their goals and we want to support them as they work to accelerate our clean energy transition this fall and next year. Within education, we will be introducing our current grantees to Anna Guarneri, our new program officer. With Anna’s experience, we will assess the impact-to-date of our early investments and partnerships. We will invite a diverse group of stakeholders to inform our planning, with the goal of identifying a clear course for education equity in 2019 and beyond. This will include looking at opportunities to broaden our public and private sector partnerships with respect to education. Finally, we will be taking a broader look at the needs and opportunities within our advocacy work and looking for places where we can go deeper.

We are committed to the highest level of integrity and accountability. We sincerely believe in our responsibility to be good stewards of philanthropic resources and understand that our decisions should reflect an honest commitment to community and impact-driven philanthropy. I am grateful for the opportunity to lead a new private foundation in King County and to fulfill the vision of the Stolte Family Foundation founders. I look forward to building strong partnerships between the foundation and the community. We hope you will join us in Fremont on July 12, to warm our new office and welcome Anna. 

Kim Wright

Executive Director