Vibrant Democracy

Strengthening the voice and participation of underrepresented communities.


Seattle World School


Creating a more equitable future in Greater Seattle.

Seattle Foundation created the Center for Community Partnerships to advance collaborative, systemic change that increases economic and racial equity in the region. The Center’s Vibrant Democracy Initiative strengthens the voice and participation of underrepresented communities as a path to more equitable systems change.

Our ability to create a more equitable future in Greater Seattle requires skilled and informed community partners. Without these leaders and movements, representative and truly democratic processes are not possible.

To strengthen these efforts, Vibrant Democracy concentrates its investments in three areas:

Engagement Pipeline

The engagement pipeline, in contrast with traditional leadership programs, invests in individual leadership development coupled with broader organizing strategies. The aim is to strengthen the voice of communities through leaders who participate in broader community change and mobilization efforts.

The first of these multi-year grants, ranging from $75,000 to $125,000 per-year, were awarded to grantees representing a variety of communities. As part of a cohort, each will engage in peer learning and technical assistance designed in partnership with grantees to strengthen their ability to have meaningful influence over systems and policies.


Learn more about Engagement Pipeline here.

Partnership Mobilization

Partnership mobilization grants are flexibly designed to foster new and unique partnerships that strengthen community influence and collective engagement.

Addressing the organizational and financial barriers that can prevent underrepresented communities from coming together effectively, we created one-time grants of up to $30,000 to fund partnerships that increase the civic voice and participation of underrepresented communities.


Learn more about Partnership Mobilization here.

Voter Education Fund

In order to increase the civic participation of limited-English speaking and other underrepresented populations, Seattle Foundation has invested in efforts in partnership with King County Elections to increase democratic engagement.

Our first effort worked with King County Elections to support voter education and culturally-relevant technical assistance within limited-English speaking communities. We worked with 22 community-based organizations whose expertise and deep community ties increased the participation of under-represented communities in the broader democratic process.

To further expand this work, we partnered with King County Elections again to create the Voter Education Fund, a government, philanthropic and community partnership to remove barriers to voting in diverse communities. This partnership is investing $400,000 in community-based organizations to provide either a 9-month campaign or a series of smaller events. You can read about our 2017 grantees here.


To learn more about our Vibrant Democracy Initiative, contact Aaron Robertson at a.robertson@seattlefoundation.org.




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