Fed Grants to Grow Innovation in Jewish Puget Sound

By Nancy B. Greer
President & CEO
 Do you know of a great idea for an initiative that would open new doors to Jewish life? Have you heard conversations in the community about a cultural event, an educational program, or a human service that would fulfill an unmet need in our community? Heard about a great Jewish program in another community and want to see it brought to Seattle?

The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle’s Ignition Grants program supports creative ideas that have the potential to transform lives. Grant applications for Fiscal Year 2020 Ignition Grants are now open! We invite you to share this information with organizations with which you’re involved and urge them to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.

Every year, the Federation awards up to $7,500 in Ignition Grant funding per organization for new and innovative projects, one-time projects, or pilot programs. By cultivating new ideas and programs to address the evolving needs of the Jewish people through Ignition Grants, the Federation is bringing our core value of “innovation” to life across the Puget Sound area. We’re especially interested in proposals for projects that reach unconnected or unaffiliated community members and/or involve collaboration between more than one organization.

Ignition Grants encourage fresh thinking for serving our growing and changing community. For 2019, Ignition Grants supported 20 programs proposed by 17 community organizations, totaling $109,500 in funding. Those grants supported projects that are as varied as they were impactful. Courses providing practical tools for confronting antisemitism and intolerance. Civil discourse initiatives encouraging Jewish-Muslim and Black-Jewish dialogue. Helping seniors in need with transportation so they can attend community events or get their shopping done. Teaching kids about Jewish culture and values through the lenses of food and the arts. You can check out all of last year’s grantees here.

Ignition Grants are one of three grant programs supported by the Federation’s Special Initiatives Fund (SIF), the other two being Small Agency Sustainability and Women’s Endowment Fund grants. The availability of Ignition Grant funds is one more illustration of the power of endowments to serve as a steady source of support for our community, year after year.

For Ignition Grants, non-profit Jewish organizations in Western Washington that are 501(c)(3) organizations or presumed to be under the tax code, or are fiscally sponsored, are encouraged to apply. We’ll also consider projects from non-Jewish non-profits that have a Jewish theme or that will serve the Western Washington Jewish community specifically.

Grant guidelines, a sample application, the application link, and prior grantees can be viewed by clicking here. Please note that applications submitted by 3 pm PST on Friday, November 8 will be reviewed for any missing documentation, giving applicants a chance to complete the application. The final application due date is 3 pm PST on Friday, November 22. Our goal is to announce grant recipients in February 2020.

Please share this opportunity to bring good ideas to fruition in our community. We look forward to seeing creative proposals for enriching Jewish life.