Skip to main content

The Bullitt Foundation


Last Updated: 2016-06-06

At A Glance

The Bullitt Foundation

1501 E Madison St., Ste. 600

Seattle, WA United States 98122-4465

Telephone: (206) 343-0807


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor

  • Celebrity: Business; Entertainment

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-12-31)

Assets: $104,213,661

Total giving: $5,421,295






Incorporated in 1952 in WA - Founded by the late Dorothy S. Bullitt, who was a prominent Seattle businesswoman and philanthropist. She had an instinctive business and entrepreneurial sense as shown in her ability to succeed in radio and television where others didn't. She established King Broadcasting Company (now a subsidiary of Gannett Company, Inc.), a major owner of broadcast stations in Seattle, Washington. As such, she was the first woman in the United States to buy and manage a television station.

Purpose and Activities

Support primarily to safeguard the natural environment by promoting responsible human activities and sustainable communities in the Pacific Northwest .

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:

Bullitt Environmental Fellowship

The fellowship provides a two-year $50,000 per year fellowship for graduate students interested in pursuing leadership positions within the environmental field. Applications are encouraged from a broad variety of students with a particular emphasis on students of color and others who have overcome discrimination or other significant hardships. The fellowship is offered to graduate students attending universities physically located within the foundation’s areas of focus: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana, southern Alaska, and British Columbia.

Ecosystem Services Program

The program's objective is to restore and protect the ability of nature to sustain healthy and resilient urban communities and a sound economy. It makes grants to support efforts, based on sound science, to restore and protect the natural green infrastructure that provides ecological goods and services to the region’s major metropolitan areas. Major areas of program engagement include applied urban research and tool development, advanced regional planning and collaborative governance, conservation finance and environmental economics, and ecosystem defense and ecological restoration.

Energy, Industry and Technology

The program's objective is to promote policies and actions to harness the entrepreneurial power of business to create competitive industries built on ecological principles and sustainable technologies. It will promote collaborative problem solving among businesses, non-governmental organizations, governments, and academia. Program Priorities: 1) Secure adoption and implementation of far-sighted regional energy and climate policies; 2) Attain dramatic reductions in industrial energy use through conservation and efficiency; 3) Accelerate and maximize the installation of renewable energy technologies; 4) Instill an ethic of zero waste practices that result in “reduce, reuse, recycle and compost” for all materials; 5) Eliminate to the degree possible the production and use of toxic materials and biologically active pollutants, and seek to contain and safely recycle any essential toxics; 6) Advance the field of “green chemistry” to demonstrate credible and viable alternatives to substances that harm human health and the environment; and 7) Promote innovative systems, fuels, and infrastructure for commercial transportation systems.

Grants to Individuals Program

Fellowships to outstanding, environmentally knowledgeable graduate students who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for leadership as well as scholarship.

Leadership and Civic Engagement

The program's objective is to nurture leadership, strengthen organizations, and broaden the coalition to create a more dynamic and powerful constituency for environmental responsibility. The program will underwrite efforts to develop the next generation of leaders, providing the resources needed to support leadership training, as well as the organizational assistance needed to recruit and retain individuals with great leadership potential. It will support initiatives intended to reach young people from all racial, ethnic, and economic groups to attract them into the environmental non-profit sector. Program priorities: 1) Develop and sustain capacity and leadership in the grantee community; 2) Ensure access to and utilization of best available communications techniques and technologies; 3) Educate voters and inspire civic engagement; 4) Foster effective alliances with a diversity of constituencies; and 5) Recognize extraordinary talent and potential with the award of the Patsy Bullitt Collins Environmental Fellowship. .

Program-Related Investment

The foundation has made a PRI in the form of loans for environmental purposes to organizations in the Pacific Northwest.

Urban Ecology

The program's objective is to advance policies and practices to create vibrant, affordable, diverse, healthy, and environmentally beneficial communities. The program will expand upon the existing leadership that several Northwest cities have displayed in such fields as transit-oriented development, smart growth, green architecture & urban design, recycling & composting, organic farming & neighborhood gardens, permeable surfaces, and climate neutrality strategies. Program priorities include: 1) Promote progressive planning and smart growth; 2) Require green architecture and ecologically sensitive urban design; 3) Build efficient and reliable transportation systems; 4) Prioritize water conservation and efficiency; 5) Substitute information and efficiency for resources; 6) Encourage environmentally friendly infrastructure and waste management; and 7) Eliminate, to the extent possible, human exposure to toxic and biologically-active substances.

Fields of Interest

  • Agriculture
  • Civic participation
  • Climate change
  • Employment
  • Energy efficiency
  • Environment
  • Land resources
  • Leadership development
  • Natural resources
  • Oceans and coastal waters
  • Public transportation
  • Radiation control
  • Renewable energy
  • Toxic substance control
  • Water conservation
International Interests
  • Canada
Population Groups
  • Academics
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Low-income and poor people

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-12-31

Assets: $104,213,661 (market value)

Gifts received: $2,250

Expenditures: $8,550,626

Total giving: $5,421,295

Qualifying distributions: $9,450,316

Giving activities include:

$5,421,295 for grants

$302,468 for 3 foundation-administered programs