How To Apply

2016 Grant Information

  • To join the the Puyallup Watershed Initiative, please visit the Puyallup Watershed Initiative and contact Henry Izumizaki. Note that the initiative does not accept funding requests through TRFF's LOI process. Funding requests are made through a "Community of Interest" process. 
  • We've refined our Puget Sound portfolio (formerly called Polluted Runoff and Green Infrastructure), and we're no longer accepting unsolicited applications for this focus area.
  • If you are looking to apply to the George F. Russell Jr. Fund, unfortunately this fund is does not accept unsolicited proposals.

Application Process

Step 1

We are currently only accepting Environmental Education applications. Before applying, please make sure your organization fits within our grant guidelines:

General Guidelines

  • King, Kitsap, Thurston and Pierce Counties: We support organizations providing opportunities for outdoor experiential learning ("hands in the dirt, feet on the beach") to students in grades 5 through 12 who live in urbanized areas of Pierce, King, Kitsap, and Thurston counties. These programs will have a strong connection between their local environments to the health of Puget Sound waters. 
  • Pierce County Considerations: Through the Puyallup Watershed Initiative, the foundation supports the work of the "Environmental Education Community of Interest" (EECOI), a collaborative effort of approximately 40+ organizations/entities working together toward a long-term vision of environmental education in the Puyallup River Watershed. This is an inclusive, open table collaboration. The foundation does not accept new grant requests from organizations doing work within the Puyallup River Watershed geographic area. To get involved or learn more about this Community of Interest, or to learn more about the Puyallup Watershed Initiative, please contact Henry Izumizaki

Nonprofit intent: Requests are accepted from IRS recognized 501(c)(3) public charities. Governmental entities such as public schools and school districts also may apply.

Please direct eligibility questions to TRFF's Grants Manager Linsey Sauer at Your question may also be answered via our "Grants" section on our FAQ Page.

Step 2

If you are requesting funding for a project that is not currently being funded by TRFF, submit an LOI through our online grantmaking system.

If you are requesting funding for a project that is currently supported by a TRFF grant, please e-mail Fabiola Greenawalt to discuss and get next steps. 

Step 3 (if submitting an LOI)

After submission of your LOI, an automatic confirmation with decision dates will be sent. TRFF will review your LOI along with all other submissions during the time period. If we are interested in considering the request, we will ask you for a more detailed proposal. Full proposals are accepted by invitation only.

Step 4

TRFF will review all invited full proposals and approve or decline the requests.


  • To be eligible to apply for a grant from The Russell Family Foundation (TRFF), organizations must be tax‐exempt as determined by the Internal Revenue Service.
  • TRFF has identified a number of items that we do not typically fund through our Environmental Sustainability Program: capital campaigns; direct grants, scholarships, or loans to individuals; and general fund drives, annual appeals, special events, or sponsorships.
  • TRFF funds cannot be earmarked for purposes of influencing legislation, and the grantee cannot expend any part of the grant in a way that violates its tax‐exempt status.

The next deadline for Letters of Inquiry (LOIs) is:

  • July 18, 2016
Once submitted, LOIs are reviewed by the foundation for potential advancement to the full proposal stage. If an LOI is advanced, organizations have approximately 4 weeks to complete and submit a full proposal. LOIs that are advanced to the full proposal stage may be advanced to one of our 2016 board meetings: March or November. Your invitation will clearly state at what board meeting your proposal will be considered.


The foundation’s Environment Team and Grants Manager will work closely with your organization to ensure you are informed about key information relating to your LOI submission, including: full proposal due date, site visit possibility and funding consideration timeline. If you have any questions about the foundation’s 2016 grantmaking cycles, please contact Grants Manager Linsey Sauer at (253) 857-1658 or at