2157 N. Northlake Way, Ste. 220
Seattle, WA United States 98103-9184
Telephone: (206) 801-9500
Type of Grantmaker
Established in 2002 in WA - Founded by Jeff and Tricia Raikes. Throughout their lives the Raikes have each had the good fortune to learn from exemplary role models. So to explain their shared enthusiasm and deep commitment to the work of their foundation, we need to start with their earliest and most influential role models. They grew up 1,700 miles apart, in very different settings – Tricia in the city in Seattle, Jeff on a farm near Ashland, Nebraska – but they were each raised by parents who believed in giving back to the community, and who lived their values in big and small ways every day. Whether it was Tricia accompanying her mom on fundraising drives in the neighborhood -- Seattle Children’s Hospital, March of Dimes, United Way -- or Jeff helping his dad aid stranded travelers in a Nebraska snowstorm, they each grew up with a clear understanding of the importance of helping others and strengthening communities when they had the resources to do so. They met as colleagues at Microsoft in the early 1980s, and are proud to own the distinction of being the first couple to meet and marry at Microsoft. Their time at the company was thrilling, challenging and financially rewarding beyond their wildest dreams. A valuable extension of their Microsoft experience was to meet many new and inspiring role models. Tricia built a fond relationship with Mary Gates, who encouraged her to get more engaged in the nonprofit world and join the board of the local Boys and Girls Club. They both spoke often with Bill and Melinda Gates about their interest in philanthropy, and Jeff later helped further their mission while serving as C.E.O. of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. They also had the privilege of learning from Jeff's fellow Nebraskan, Warren Buffett, about the need to reinvest wealth back into society with a willingness to take smart risks for greater impact through philanthropy. Thanks to the guidance of these and many other helpful peers and mentors, they launched the Raikes Foundation in 2002 as their vehicle to help others. The decision to focus their grantmaking on the needs of young people came from their most inspiring role models: their three children. As the children grew, Jeff and Tricia watched each of them struggle with, and ultimately conquer, a range of childhood and adolescent challenges; but they often found themselves searching for approaches and guidance on how to support their children. They realized that if they were struggling to find effective ways to help their kids make the transition to adulthood, even with all of the resources at their disposal, millions of other young people had to be facing far more ominous challenges with far less assistance. Their children have gone off to college and started careers, but the Raikes continue to be inspired and motivated by the many young people they are privileged to meet in Seattle and across the country who are striving to become successful adults. Young people are the ultimate role models for all of the people at the Raikes Foundation. That is why empowering young people to transform their lives is the highest priority at the Raikes Foundation.