Mission and History

Mission

The Kirkland Parks & Community Foundation ignites the power of philanthropy by connecting people, ideas and resources to cultivate a healthy, vibrant, inclusive and sustainable community.

Harnessing the Power of Community

Kirkland has an inspired history of pioneers who settled on the shores of Lake Washington to take advantage of nature’s bounty. Today, a thriving network of urban hubs in Kirkland can be found juxtaposed alongside established family neighborhoods, new construction, major company sites and a constellation of parks and greenspace. In the interest of progress, how does a city like Kirkland maintain the delicate balance of a great place to live, work and play?

Community foundations are a great solution to this challenge. US cities with community foundations have a proven track record of building strong philanthropic capacity for their communities. Bainbridge Island and Jackson Hole are two that model the impactful partnership that marries donors with community needs and priorities,  resulting in high-impact outcomes.

With a set of Founders drawn from passionate community members, local businesses, and the City of Kirkland, KPCF is positioned to have that sort of impact right here at home. Since our founding in 2014, our goal was to be the voice for the community, enabling its people to raise funds for projects that have clear community support and contribute to their overall well-being. 

KPCF offers the community many ways to engage in our philanthropic culture. Indeed, our mission is powered by community giving. This includes direct donations to our general fund (which can be matched by many corporations), establishing a donor-advised fund, giving to a specific project like the Fisk Family Park, donating to an Area of Impact fund, or establishing a legacy through planned giving.

Beginning With Parks

Residents and visitors alike are drawn to Kirkland's beautiful park system, which line Lake Washington and dot the city with green spaces. City leaders have done an extraordinary job creating parks to enhance life for all. This all being said, the people in Kirkland are creative and passionate, and they have ideas for things that could be done in our parks to make them even better. To harness and direct this energy, the Kirkland Parks Foundation was started in 2014.  

Over our first five years KPCF funded projects totaling more than $443,000, learning much in the process.  One thing we discovered is that Kirklanders' ideas go beyond just making our parks better; there is a great deal of energy and interest in community projects as well. The essence of any community foundation is awareness of and responsiveness to the community's needs. That is why in 2020 the Board of Directors changed our name and expanding our mission to become the Kirkland Parks & Community Foundation.

A New Chapter

Expanding our mission enabled us to do a number of things: 

First, KPCF will be able to help raise funds for projects that support key issues and projects that are important to the community.  So, in addition to raising funds for improvements in our parks like a picnic shelter, dog fountain, learning garden, etc., we are now able to expand our efforts to include raising money for homelessness, education, etc.  With this is mind, KPCF’s first project was to raise funds for a new counseling center inside The Sophia Way, the homeless shelter that was being built for women & children. As the COVID pandemic struck, we acted quickly to raise funds to help homeless families and hungry schoolkids.

Another thing that we will be able to do is partner with the City of Kirkland to apply for local, state and federal grants that otherwise would not be available to the city.  Often these government entities require a 501(c)(3) organization to be involved in the grant process and KPCF would be able to fulfill this role with the City of Kirkland. This is a wonderful opportunity as Kirkland continues to grow and needs access to capital to fund this growth.

Corporations that are located in our community but headquartered elsewhere will also be able to take advantage of our new expanded focus. They’ve told us that having a community foundation enables them to access more funds from their head office to invest in our community than they otherwise would be able to if they made one-off requests for various local charities and events. There is a benefit for the corporation too -- they can simplify the time spent on philanthropic efforts by making one donation to KPFC with directions as to how the funds are to be distributed.  In this way, the amount of philanthropic dollars is increased for distribution in the community. Since KPCF is a funding and marketing entity – not an operating entity, we do not compete for these donations but simply pass them on as directed.

Finally, having KPCF gives people a place to donate their philanthropic dollars that will support their local community.  Right now, a lot these funds from the Eastside go to Seattle or other organizations because we don’t have a local community foundation. KPCF gives local residents the opportunity to give locally. Many residents open donor-advised funds at KPCF, which they use to simultaneously support the foundation and direct their giving to any qualified charity, be it a global nonprofit or KPCF itself.

Note that all donations received – whether designated for a specific project or unrestricted – are fully tax-deductible. KPCF is an independent organization that works in conjunction with, but separately from, the Kirkland Parks and Human Services Department and the City of Kirkland.

603 4th Ave, Suite 500
Kirkland WA 98033

(425) 505-3348

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KPCF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit.
EIN 46-4931717

Website support generously provided by Sitetherapy.net

© Copyright 2024

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Thank you for your interest in serving on the board of directors of KPCF.

We are seeking passionate and dedicated individuals who share a strong commitment to the Kirkland community to join our board of directors. Board members play a vital role in shaping the organization's direction and ensuring its long-term success. Please complete the following form to express your interest in serving on our board. We are dedicated to the commitment that our board should reflect the diversity of our community.

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Please reach out to us with any inquiries or comments. We'd love to hear from you.