Advancement Update - 01/15/2019

The campuses of Seattle Colleges -- Central, North, and South
The campuses of Seattle Colleges -- Central, North, and South

Advancement and Foundation Update

With the full support of the Seattle Colleges Board of Trustees, the chancellor and the advancement team have been working together with the college presidents and representatives from each college foundation board of directors over the past 18 months to create a new foundation to serve all the colleges and specialty centers of Seattle Colleges.

Though sometimes controversial and challenging, this process has been deliberate, collaborative, and approached with integrity by all parties. Efforts were focused primarily on streamlining processes and consolidating resources; coordinating with North, Central, and South foundation volunteers and board directors; and aligning our gift solicitation and award disbursement processes districtwide. 

Seattle Colleges Foundation

In April of 2018, we launched a new nonprofit foundation called Seattle Colleges Foundation. The Seattle Colleges Foundation Board of Directors includes four founding members and five ex officio members. In the coming weeks, the board will expand with seven new members who are all recognized community leaders.

The foundations of North and Central decided to merge with this new foundation. South’s foundation chose to become independent from Seattle Colleges but continues to support students and programs at South. The district’s existing Foundation for the Seattle Colleges will continue to manage the Pacific Tower project only. The merger with North’s foundation is complete. We expect to complete the Seattle Central College Foundation merger within the next month.

On December 14, 2018, the Seattle Colleges Foundation received confirmation of its tax-exempt status from the IRS, and we are now able to accept contributions.

The vice chancellor for advancement search is still underway, and we have two of three major gift officers on board.

Website Launch

We are working to launch a website by February 1, 2019. Geared toward an audience of prospective donors, the website will provide information about the Seattle Colleges Foundation: its mission, vision, values; the membership of its board of directors; news, events, and student stories; types of contributions; and online giving options. We will notify you when the website is live.

Appreciation for Your Support during the Transition

As we make the transition to the new Seattle Colleges Foundation, we know that our collective success is only possible thanks to the ongoing advocacy of a number of strong supporters, including you. We are grateful for our community of donors and advocates who believe in the transformational role of Seattle Colleges in the lives of our students and in our community. We are committed to maintaining our donors’ trust, honoring their generosity and intent, and creating long-term success for each of the colleges.

The dedication of all involved in this process is evident, and it drives us to continue to innovate and improve our work on behalf of students. We look forward to working with you as we begin operations of this new foundation. It’s truly an exciting time!

Frequently Asked Questions

Following is a series of questions and answers designed to inform you of the current status of the Seattle Colleges Foundation and related topics.

Q: What is the status of the Seattle Colleges Foundation, and how can I make a gift or donation?

The Seattle Colleges Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with tax exempt status, tax ID 83-0551671. We accept checks made payable to the Seattle Colleges Foundation, and we will accept credit card payments soon via the new website.

Q: Why was the decision made to consolidate to one foundation?

The move to a single, unified foundation follows a prevailing national model for multiple-college districts adopting an integrated approach. It seeks to serve the philanthropic needs for each college as well as Seattle Colleges as a whole. With implemented structural changes, consolidated resources, improved coordination, and renewed strategy and alignment, we increase efficiency and our overall fundraising capacity.

Q: What is the distinction between the Seattle Colleges Office of Advancement and the Seattle Colleges Foundation?

The Seattle Colleges Office of Advancement has staff located at each college as well as the district offices. Our advancement team works with donors, administration, faculty, staff, and students to coordinate fundraising efforts districtwide; to manage scholarships; and to advance the mission of Seattle Colleges. The Seattle Colleges Foundation is an institutionally affiliated, nonprofit entity that is made up of volunteers. It works in partnership with advancement staff to raise private funds to advance the mission and strategic goals of Seattle Colleges.

Q: How will my college be represented?

The Seattle Colleges Foundation serves all the colleges and specialty centers of Seattle Colleges. Program managers are based at Central, North, and South to work directly with students regarding scholarships and with faculty and staff who interact with the foundation. Additionally, the presidents of Central, North, and South all sit on the Seattle Colleges Foundation board as ex officio members. Finally, our new major gift officers are learning more every day about the students and programs at each of our colleges and specialty centers, and they are identifying philanthropic opportunities and donor interests – both college-specific and districtwide. 

Q: What role will the Seattle Colleges Foundation play in supporting the Seattle Promise, part of the recently passed voter levy?

The Seattle Promise program is a public-private partnership that in the next two years will expand from the current six high schools (Cleveland, Rainier Beach, Chief Sealth, West Seattle, Garfield, and Ingraham) to all Seattle public high schools by 2020. The foundation will work with individuals as well as business and community partners to raise funds for the duration of the seven-year levy and to create an endowment fund for long-term sustainability. Learn more at

Q: Who are the members of the Seattle Colleges advancement team?  

Major Gift Officers

  • Erin Cox, major gift officer
  • Julia Katz, major gift officer
  • Major gift officer (position will post soon)

Program Managers

  • Robin Armstrong, program manager – Central
  • Christine Consolacion, program manager – South
  • Brian Rucci, program manager – North

Administration and Support Staff

  • Traci Russell, interim associate vice chancellor for advancement
  • Lyanne O’Connell, scholarship director
  • Kindree Brownbridge, database manager
  • Erin Lewis, executive assistant
  • Julie Railey, finance manager
  • Andrew Svec, director of communications – advancement

Arriving Soon

  • Vice chancellor for advancement
  • Stewardship/annual giving manager (position will post soon)

Q: Where can I get more information about the Seattle Colleges Foundation?

On and after February 1, visit You may also contact us via phone at 206.934.2939 or via email at

Sent to Seattle Colleges employees on January 15, 2019 by Traci Russell, interim associate vice chancellor for advancement