Stolte Family Foundation (SFF)



Seattle, WA

Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2020):

Revenue: $351,403
Expenses: $7,453,471
Assets: $74,036,785


Grantmaking Foundation




Kim Wright

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The Stolte Family Foundation (SFF) is a grantmaking organization which funds left-of-center education and environmental policy advocacy, as well as other activist causes. 1 The Foundation, which primarily backs projects in the Seattle, Washington area, was founded in 2015 by Chris Stolte, the co-creator of the data analytics software platform Tableau, and his wife Heidi Stolte, a former teacher. 2

Guiding Ideology

The SFF aims to advance left-of-center principles in the education system and in environmental policy. The foundation has indicated that it places the interests of ethnic minority groups first when selecting education grant recipients, and that it supports the complete elimination of the use of conventional fuels. Regarding its other funding priorities, such as infrastructure and civic engagement, the SFF has stated that it supports policies which prioritize equality of outcome and bolster the power of identity politics. 3

Funding Priorities

In 2022, the SFF primarily backed left-of-center education projects and environmentalist advocacy in the Seattle, Washington area and the greater Pacific Northwest region. However, the foundation also awarded grants to major left-leaning organizations such as Media Matters for America, which promotes the censorship of right-leaning media under the guise of fact-checking, and United Way, a nationwide philanthropy which also backs various liberal causes. In addition to local environment activist organizations, the SFF provided funding to the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, a national anti-conventional-energy pressure group. Meanwhile, many education-focused grant recipients were organizations which prioritize the interests of immigrant and ethnic minority groups. 4



Heidi and Chris Stolte are the namesake and co-creators of the Stolte Family Foundation. 5 Heidi was a teacher early in her career; since moving to Seattle, she has volunteered and worked with a number of left-leaning, often race-focused nonprofits. She has also volunteered with Planned Parenthood, America’s most prominent abortion advocacy and provider network. 6

Chris Stolte is a former Stanford data researcher who co-founded the software company Tableau Research. 7 He was involved with the company through its going public in 2013, which generated hundreds of millions of dollars in wealth for Stolte, and through its sale to Salesforce in 2019. 8 9

Stolte is a major funder of various left-of-center political initiatives in Washington, including spending $250,000 to support an unsuccessful carbon tax ballot initiative also backed by billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg in 2018. 10 11 He has also been a Top 5 donor to candidate ads paid for by Conservation Voters Action Fund. 12

The Stoltes have also been directly involved in politics, including donating $4,000 to Democratic Party state senator Emily Randall’s successful campaign in 2018. 13


Kim Wright is the executive director of the SFF and a long-time philanthropic consultant to the Stoltes. She has worked for and advised several other left-leaning grantmaking organizations, including the Seattle Foundation and Bolder Giving. In addition to her work for the SFF, Wright also provides consulting services to the Washington Progress Alliance and the National Center for Family Philanthropy, which promotes and facilitates donating to liberal organizations. 14

Whitney Howe is the operations and grants manager at the SFF. She previously worked for the Campion Foundation and its lobbying arm, the Campion Advocacy Fund, as well as the Seattle, Washington-based Loom Foundation. 15

Karen Laughlin is the climate program director at the SFF. She previously worked as a program officer at the Heising-Simons Foundation and a senior analyst with the Climate Policy Initiative. She also spent time as a policy advisor on transportation and air quality to the Environmental Protection Agency. 16


The SFF received its major infusions of funding in 2014, when Chris and Heidi Stolte provided the foundation with its first endowment of just over $23 million, and 2015, when the Stoltes contributed a further sum of just over $45 million. Since then, the foundation has generated revenue through dividends and asset sales. As of 2020, the SFF held total assets of slightly more than $74 million. 17


  1. [1]“Funding Priorities.” Stolte Family Foundation. Accessed November 10, 2022.
  2. “Mission.” Stolte Family Foundation. Accessed November 10, 2022.
  3. [1]“Funding Priorities.” Stolte Family Foundation. Accessed November 10, 2022.
  4. “Our Grantees.” Stolte Family Foundation. Accessed November 10, 2022.
  5. “Mission.” Stolte Family Foundation. Accessed November 10, 2022.
  6. Heidi Stolte, LinkedIn profile. Accessed November 14, 2022.
  7. Chris Stolte, About, Tableau. Accessed November 14, 2022.
  8. Rachel Lerman, “Tableau is about to make one of its founders a billionaire,” Puget Sound Business Journal. May 8, 2015. Accessed November 14, 2022.
  9. Willy Yakowicz, “Sale of tableau to Salesforce returns Stanford professor, cofounder to billionaire ranks,” Forbes. June 10, 2019. Accessed November 14, 2022.
  10. Aaron Kunkler, “Who’s funding Washington state initiatives,” Snoqualmie Valley Record. October 10, 2018. Accessed November 14, 2022.
  11. The Associated Press, “Bloomberg pledges 1M to Washington state’s carbon measure,” November 28, 2018. Accessed November 14, 2022.
  12. Progressive Voters Guide, Fuse Washington, Accessed November 14, 2022.
  13. Emily Randall Cash Receipts Monetary Distribution, 2018 campaign, Public Disclosure Commission. Accessed November 14, 2022.
  14. “Mission.” Stolte Family Foundation. Accessed November 10, 2022.
  15. “Mission.” Stolte Family Foundation. Accessed November 10, 2022.
  16. “Mission.” Stolte Family Foundation. Accessed November 10, 2022.
  17. “Stolte Family Foundation.” ProPublica Nonprofit Explorer. Accessed November 10, 2022.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: July 1, 2015

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2020 Dec Form PF $351,403 $7,453,471 $74,036,785 $5,070 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2019 Dec Form PF $4,714,081 $5,844,254 $66,038,857 $16,241 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2015 Dec Form PF $46,184,541 $1,372,026 $67,702,230 $1 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form PF $22,899,340 $9,625 $22,889,715 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Stolte Family Foundation (SFF)

    4616 25th Avenue NE, No. 193
    Seattle, WA