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2022 Year In Review

Partners, Colleagues and Friends,

This past year was a season of transformation for The Russell Family Foundation (TRFF) as we embarked on a journey of evolution and growth. During this season of evolution, we reflected on our mission, vision and values, as well as the impact we have had on the community and where we want to go next. We are committed to sharpening our focus on climate change as stewards of the environment and champions of inclusion, diversity, equity and access. We were incredibly proud to partner with 32 community groups and nonprofits, making a positive impact throughout our community. These organizations and their leaders inspired us with their dedication and drive to serve despite ongoing challenges with the pandemic, inflation, and more.

Throughout the year, TRFF’s staff and board invested time in learning about regional food systems, including 10 learning sessions and site visits to inform our new program launching in 2023. This included a day-long visit to Skagit Valley, WA to learn about regenerative agriculture, programs serving beginning farmers, innovations in the local food economy and ways to improve regional food systems.

The Jane’s Fellowship Program’s ninth class deepened their connections to their community and gained valuable skills they can use for a lifetime of service. The 13 fellows graduated in the fall and took a moment to celebrate and reflect upon their successes at the Titlow Lodge in Tacoma. The Jane’s Fellowship Program Graduation Network hosted five in-person social and networking events throughout Pierce County to revitalize the connections following a period of virtual networking during the pandemic.

In October, we announced TRFF’s Catalytic Climate Finance Program and commitment to achieving Net Zero by 2030, which includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions across our entire portfolio and organization. TRFF’s commitment to Net Zero is a critical next step for TRFF that builds upon the rich history of impact- and mission-aligned investing supporting healthy communities and a more sustainable future. As we continue to listen to the needs of the communities we serve, the climate crisis deserves our full attention.

It has been a year full of growth and new opportunities. Thank you to all our grantees, partners and friends who have been on this journey with us, and we look forward to continuing the momentum in 2023.


In gratitude,

Kathleen Simpson, CPA, CGMA
Chief Executive Officer
The Russell Family Foundation

Environmental Education

Children participating in one of IslandWood's environmental education programs. Photo Credit: IslandWood

In 2022, TRFF awarded 32 grants totaling $779,500 supporting environmental opportunities for approximately 119,000 youth and young adults in the Puget Sound region. These organizations serve youth in Pierce, Jefferson, Kitsap, King and Thurston counties. 2022 grantees included:

Jane’s Fellowship Program

Jane’s Fellowship Class 9 celebrating their graduation at Titlow Lodge near Titlow Beach. Photo Credit: TRFF

Throughout the year, the ninth cohort of Jane’s Fellowship Program (JFP) participated in and completed their fellowship, where they deepened their understanding of topics including transformative justice, group power dynamics and mindfulness and gained new leadership skills such as story-telling and facilitation to bring to their work in communities across Pierce County. The Fellows graduated in the fall with new perspectives on their work as grassroots and community leaders, enhanced skills and deep connections with their cohort. As Class 9 came to a close, we were already well underway with recruitment for Class 10. Class 9 Fellows are now part of the JFP Graduate Network , representing 100 JFP alum. Class 9 Fellows are:

Committee Updates

TRFF Investment and Audit Committee retreat in April. Photo Credit: TRFF

In the spring, TRFF announced the appointment of three new members to its Investment and Audit Committee. These committee members were selected following an open call for candidates, during which TRFF received an outpouring of exceptional and diverse applicants.  Each member brings a unique approach and perspective to TRFF that helps it reach and succeed in its investment goals. With TRFF in a season of change, these three new members, along with the rest of the committee, will contribute diverse perspectives that will inspire action.

Amrita Vatsal
Owner and Managing Director
EcoTrust Forest Management

Robin Wang
Founding Principal
Vibrant Future LLC

Georgette Wong
Correlation Consulting

Catalytic Climate Finance Program

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

In October, TRFF announced its new Catalytic Climate Finance Program, aimed at taking action on the current climate crisis with a commitment of achieving net zero by 2030. For over twenty years, TRFF has prioritized community leaders, environmental stability and global peace, and this commitment is a pivotal next step in this mission. This includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions across TRFF’s entire portfolio consistent with a maximum temperature increase of 1.5°C while prioritizing diversity, equity, inclusion and access (IDEA), values that will be at the core of this climate work. TRFF also signed onto the UN-convened Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA) and as a first step, invested $500,000 in Carbon Direct which supports growth-stage companies in the U.S. and Europe focused on reducing, removing, and monitoring their carbon emissions. While TRFF has a long road ahead, the key learnings will eventually become a “playbook” that will outline best practices for other foundations who also seek to make a Net Zero commitment.  To learn more about this commitment, see here.


Thank you to our board, staff and community partners who made 2022 a truly impactful year.