Our Children, Our Future

Program History

In 2001, The Russell Family Foundation established the Environmental Education Fund with the purpose to connect and increase access for youth to outdoor environmental education experiences throughout Puget Sound. Since then, it has awarded over 400 grants totaling approximately $12 million to support projects and programs resulting in positive impacts to the environment and communities in the region.

Our organizational and community partners are at the core of helping us accomplish our mission to deliver experiential learning to students in 5th to 12th grade. We believe in building the human connection to local environments and healthy Puget Sound waters. The core elements that help us prioritize our environmental education investments are:
  • Support experiential learning with a strong local context
  • Inspire leadership opportunities for youth and their communities to become environmental stewards and environmental champions
  • Continue to support teacher learning, professional development and capacity building
  • Convene grantees for discussion, collaboration and learning
  • Programs in Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Thurston and Pierce County
  • In addition to supporting the Environmental Education Community of Interest, the foundation supports select community partners in Pierce County providing destination Environmental Education experiences for youth (e.g. education centers, camps, etc)

To learn more about our most recent Environmental Education grants, please review the list of 2018 Environmental Education Grantees (January through August), including brief project overview and grant amount.

2019 Grantmaking

Size of Grant Program

Historically, grants range from $10,000 to $40,000 and our average grant size is $25,000. Typically, we do not fund 100% of a project. These guidelines are being shared to help you when deciding how much to apply for.

Grantmaking Timelines

  • Letter of Inquiry (LOI) Submission Period:  The only LOI process for 2019 funding is open September 5, 2018 to October 16, 2018.  Submissions must be made by 11:59pm PST on October 16th to be reviewed.
  • LOI Status Notifications:  Staff will notify applicants via e-mail if the proposal is moving forward on or about the week of November 12 -16, 2018
  • Full Proposal Development:  Applicant will have from November 16, 2018 - January 7, 2019 to create and submit the full proposal.  All proposals will be due by 11:59pm PDT on January 7, 2019.
  • Funding Decision: The Russell Family Foundation 2019 Board Meeting calendar has not been confirmed yet; however, it will take place between late February and early March.  If you are invited to submit a full proposal, an updated timeline will be included in the invitation e-mail.

How to Apply
Step 1: Submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI):

To submit your LOI, log-in to our grantmaking site: https://www.grantinterface.com/russell/common/logon.aspx

  • New Organizations: If you believe your request meets the eligibility criteria as outlined above, create an account through our online grants management system. This portal will be the place where you will submit a full proposal if invited, reports and any other documentation as requested by the grants manager.
  • Returning Organizations: Use existing login information to access your account. Please update your profile information and notify the Foundation if you have any changes regarding your organization (staff, location, etc).

Step 2: Submit a Proposal

  • After your LOI is reviewed, you will be notified as to whether you are invited to submit a full proposal. You will receive instructions via e-mail, however, if you have technical issues please contact Linsey Sauer.