With very few breaks, I have been employed since I was 14. I put myself through college at the California Maritime Academy and worked the entire time to pay tuition and fees. Despite the income I made, my financial struggles came to a head when, at the beginning of my junior year, I was forced to come to the decision that I had feared making since I was a freshman'I'd need to drop out. Scholarships were limited and financial aid barely covered tuition, much less 'room and board.' I tried to figure out how I could take time off from school to save enough money to finish my degree.
And then something extraordinary happened.
I had been for working for a couple of years as a staff assistant for Peg Solveson, the Assistant Director of Housing. Peg invited me out to lunch one afternoon. At the end of lunch, she took me over to my bank, pulled out her checkbook, and asked what I needed. She paid off the credit card I had been using to purchase books and pay life expenses and she then wrote a check that paid off the tuition and fees for the rest of the year.
It was catalytic for me. This incredibly generous act allowed me to keep my educational dreams on track, and it was instrumental in propelling my professional career forward.
To honor this remarkable woman and her life-changing gift, I have established a scholarship fund with the Pride Foundation named for Peg, with whom I am still close. My hope for the scholarship is to provide a similarly catalytic investment for junior or senior students who find themselves in a comparable situation and need that extra push to propel them forward in life. I am happy to note that there are currently three recipients of the Walker-Solveson scholarship.
Review from #MyGivingStory
I sought out the Pride Foundation as the place where I can establish an advised fund and where I will entrust our estate. I did this because alternatives I investigated spent no time with me to hear my goals, my current situation, or my health challenges. I believe that a foundation needs to know these issues about their contributors so that their subsequent actions can be put in alignment with their donors. This past year I had the privilege of attending their annual scholarship event during which $400K were distributed. I also celebrated with them the successes of marriage equality in WA. In every interaction I have found staff, CEO, and board extraordinary in their commitment and care.
I've been a donor for many years and volunteer. I have full faith and trust in the Pride Foundation and their vision/mission. They are an honest and trustworthy organization and have been serving the needs of our LGBTQ community in the Pacific Northwest for over 25 years. There is a reason they are still thriving in the philanthropy, they are leaders in giving.
The Pride Foundation is wasteful and dishonest. First, it wrongly categorizes what should be development/fundraising expenses as program expenses. Further, and more important, it has a history of stealing endowments and not giving first priority to donors' intentions. In one example, it has stolen $500,000+ of an organization's endowment.
The Pride Foundation markets itself as an efficient re-granter. However, it is not. Donors should NOT give to Pride, believing it will be a good pass-through organization for their gifts. Instead, give to an organization directly--the organization will get more of your money, and you won't be paying for the management and administration of an intermediary.
Pride Foundation is always open to answering questions from donors or potential donors, and are happy to share our annual financial audit and IRS Form 990. We are committed to achieving full LGBTQ equality by working with our valued donors and other stakeholders to reach their philanthropic goals. To learn more about our work and our mission please visit www.pridefoundation.org or call 1.800.735.7287.
Pride invests in, inspires, and supports social change through grants, scholaships, shareholder activism, regional outreach, and capacity building. They have a top-notch staff, a great board, and terrific value
Pride Foundation truly lives up to its mission of inspiring a culture of generosity that connects and strengthens Northwest organizations, leaders, and students who are creating LGBTQ equality.
Pride Foundation does an amazing job of making every volunteer, donor, scholarship recipient and grantee feel like a valued member of the family. It's a TRUE community foundation, led by a great bunch of staff and board members.
Both donating time and money to the Pride Foundation has been a great and rewarding experience. The Pride Foundation changes peoples lives though scholarships and stock activism. Moreover, the staff are wonderful!