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Columbia Foundation Mission and Values


Columbia Foundation's mission is to be a catalytic funder of work to protect and enhance the quality of life within the means of nature.


Philanthropy and the non-profit sector have a critical leadership role to play not only in addressing the present needs of human beings and other species, but also in promoting the transition to sustainability for the future. The goal of sustainability is to secure for the present and future, and within the limits of nature a just and equitable quality of life for all species.

The foundation awards grants: 1) to enhance the quality of life through the arts; 2) to advance human rights; and 3) to create sustainable communities and economies.

The foundation's core values are:

  • Appreciate diversity of ideas and people
  • Pursue social justice with understanding of and compassion for disenfranchised communities
  • Be willing to face controversy in pursuit of the foundation's mission
  • Identify underlying causes of, and solutions to, social and environmental problems
  • Act responsibly as stewards of charitable assets in furtherance of the public welfare
  • Operate the foundation as a professional, efficient family foundation

The foundation's program strategies include the following:

  • Approach grantmaking with a long-term perspective
  • Engage in partnerships that will lead to systemic change
  • Take risks, support new programs, and be willing to experiment when appropriate
  • Consult with community leaders about the highest and best use of grant funds
  • Provide opportunities for feedback from the public on the foundation and its programs
  • Assess and revise the foundation's grants program as needed




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