Summer Update From Chris and Heidi

Posted on June 15, 2023


We are thrilled to bring you some updates about recent changes and developments at our foundation.

First up, we're delighted to announce a significant overhaul of our website. Since our first launch in 2018, we've grown, learned, and evolved, and it was time our online presence did too. The aim wasn't merely cosmetic, although we do hope you appreciate the new design! Most importantly, we wanted a platform that effectively showcases our partners' impactful work. Moreover, based on invaluable feedback from our partners and the Center for Effective Philanthropy survey conducted in 2021, we also aimed to make our strategy more transparent. You will see more on how we approach each pillar, why we have chosen each focus area, and the funding priorities that point us to support specific organizations. By doing this, we hope to foster even better collaborations and further opportunities for growth. We invite you to explore the new site!

In terms of our climate initiative, we continue to make encouraging progress. We remain unwavering in our dedication to decarbonizing Washington's economy. Having achieved substantial policy victories, we're now shifting our focus towards practical implementation of those policies, developing solutions, and driving down emissions at a faster pace. Additionally, we're excited to extend our efforts to Michigan, where we aim to draw on our experiences and successes from Washington. We are very optimistic about the prospects of both states to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and serve as pioneering examples for clean-energy funding, policy, and communication. The potential to transition to clean energy that benefits our environment while strengthening our economy, creating quality jobs, and improving community health is truly inspiring.

On the civic engagement front, we're committed to promoting a vibrant democracy where every voice counts and where policies tangibly improve people's lives. We continue to fund a limited number of state-wide progressive infrastructure and organizing efforts, and we're consciously turning our attention to rural communities. Historically, legislative achievements in Washington State have been powered by movements centered around urban areas like Seattle. We believe rural communities, too, should be able to effectively advocate for policies that reflect their priorities – in areas such as healthcare, affordable housing, broadband access, or economic opportunities. We're privileged to have partnered with some exceptional groups in this venture and look forward to learning from them.

Our commitment to educational equity remains steadfast. We believe all children should have access to high-quality educational opportunities to realize their full potential. That's why we continue to support programs that strengthen home visiting, increase family engagement and build strong systems with a focus on underserved communities. For instance, our home visiting program continues to support ParentChild+, a proven home visitation model designed for families with children aged 16 months to 4 years. As part of our family engagement strategy, we're making concerted efforts to keep families continuously involved in their children's learning journeys. With our more recent investments in strong systems, we're striving to preempt disparities in education by advocating for public funds to be directed towards early childhood supports, such as affordable childcare and expanded access to preschool.

That sums up our recent progress. It's always a pleasure to share these updates with you. If you are interested in giving, and want to learn more about how to get started, please reach out to us. Your ongoing support is highly valued and appreciated. Let's continue to drive positive change together!

Chris & Heidi Stolte