Maddy Metzger-Utt, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Snohomish County, talked recently at the organization’s Everett offices about the mission of the nonprofit. The foundation that promotes charitable giving has changed its name to reflect a focus on the entire county. In 2001, eight local families made large donations to create the foundation, including the Nysether family seen in one of the photos on the wall behind Maddy. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

Maddy Metzger-Utt, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Snohomish County, talked recently at the organization’s Everett offices about the mission of the nonprofit. The foundation that promotes charitable giving has changed its name to reflect a focus on the entire county. In 2001, eight local families made large donations to create the foundation, including the Nysether family seen in one of the photos on the wall behind Maddy. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

Community Foundation: New name, same critical mission

This is part of The Daily Herald’s annual report on charity in Snohomish County. Complete list of stories

EVERETT — The change came nearly a year ago. It was last October when an organization that helps charitable people support area nonprofit groups announced its new name — the Community Foundation of Snohomish County.

While the name is new, the foundation’s mission has been decades in the making.

It was 1993 when the Everett Parks Foundation was started as a way for local donors to contribute to parks projects. Soon, generous families were looking beyond the parks for ways to help.

By 2001, a Founders’ Campaign had raised a $2 million operational endowment to start the Greater Everett Community Foundation. Contributing to the campaign were eight local families, the foundation’s founders. They were: the Newland Family Fund for Giving, Phil Johnson, John and Idamae Schack, the Bargreen family, the Nysether Family Foundation, the Don and Joyce Tisdel Family Fund, the Roy and Ann Thorsen family, and the Harry and Jeanne Metzger family.

Maddy Metzger-Utt, one of the Metzgers’ daughters, is president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Snohomish County, formerly the Greater Everett Community Foundation. At the organization’s offices in downtown Everett last month, Metzger-Utt talked about the name change and new ways the foundation is helping.

From that $2 million beginning, the foundation now has more than $13 million in investments. Metzger-Utt said earnings from the diversified portfolio, which is overseen by investment managers, provide about $1 million in grants each year to arts organizations, schools, libraries, health and human services groups, and other nonprofit entities.

The amount available for annual grants is expected to grow with the investment earnings, Metzger-Utt said.

Today, the Community Foundation of Snohomish County acts as the umbrella for 110 charitable funds started by families, individuals, businesses and nonprofit groups. There are administrative and investment fees, about 2 percent depending on the types of funds started with the foundation, Metzger-Utt said.

“We don’t give out huge grants,” she said. Through the years, grants have helped homeless shelters, local arts organizations, writing programs in schools, and tree-planting projects.

Grant-making may be the foundation’s most visible goal, but Metzger-Utt said important work is also being done behind the scenes to strengthen local nonprofit groups.

The foundation provides consulting, training, and workshops including one helping nonprofits use Facebook for their benefit. Some nonprofits have been helped more by the training than by monetary grants, she said.

“We work with their volunteer board members and staff people. Not many nonprofit organizations have the luxury of that training,” Metzger-Utt said. “So there are two main focus areas. There are services to donors — managing their money for charitable purposes. The other side is support to nonprofits. We’re here to support people.”

The 2015 name change reflected the foundation’s goal of helping all over Snohomish County, not just in Everett.

“We were surprised that the old name was as big a barrier as it was,” Metzger-Utt said.

As part of the outreach, she has visited Rotary groups around the county to explain the organization’s efforts. “No one knows about us, but we’re trying to get the word out,” she said.

With the name change, the Community Foundation of Snohomish County also replaced an annual fund-raising breakfast in Everett with smaller gatherings in private homes. This year, gatherings of 30 to 40 people took place in Snohomish, Arlington, Lake Stevens and Everett. Next year, Metzger-Utt said, another four events are planned to tell the foundation’s story in other communities.

The foundation also has a “leader link” program that in essence plays matchmaker between nonprofits in need of board members and people interested in serving on boards, Metzger-Utt said.

“One of our big goals is to increase philanthropy in Snohomish County. Nonprofits touch so many people. They support families and the community,” Metzger-Utt said. She has heard people say they don’t have enough money to plan for charitable giving.

“They’ll say, ‘I don’t have a million dollars.’ But you don’t need a million dollars to help your community,” she said.

Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460;

Founding families

The Community Foundation of Snohomish County was created in 2001 as the Greater Everett Community Foundation. It grew from what started in 1993 as the Everett Parks Foundation. Eight local families donated to a Founders’ Campaign to raise a $2 million operational endowment to start the foundation:

The Newland Family Fund for Giving

Phil Johnson

John and Idamae Schack

The Bargreen family

The Nysether Family Foundation

The Don and Joyce Tisdel Family Fund

The Roy and Ann Thorsen family

The Harry and Jeanne Metzger family

Learn more about the foundation at:

Snohomish County Gives 2016

Snohomish County nonprofits: Where to give in 2016

Meals on Wheels is ‘a godsend’ for more than 1,100 in county

Camp Erin in Stanwood offers comfort for grieving children

Mari’s Place gives kids a reason to stay and play

Community Foundation: New name, same critical mission

Volunteers are the heart and soul of the Red Cross

Boeing employees fund helps nonprofits make a difference

Casino Road academy helps immigrants with English

Catholic charity quietly fights homelessness

Everett Museum of History seeks a forever home

United Way gives students varsity letters in community service

Edmonds nonprofit helps homeless children and families

Upcoming Snohomish County nonprofit fundraising events

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Traffic idles while waiting for the lights to change along 33rd Avenue West on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lynnwood seeks solutions to Costco traffic boondoggle

Let’s take a look at the troublesome intersection of 33rd Avenue W and 30th Place W, as Lynnwood weighs options for better traffic flow.

A memorial with small gifts surrounded a utility pole with a photograph of Ariel Garcia at the corner of Alpine Drive and Vesper Drive ion Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Death of Everett boy, 4, spurs questions over lack of Amber Alert

Local police and court authorities were reluctant to address some key questions, when asked by a Daily Herald reporter this week.

The new Amazon fulfillment center under construction along 172nd Street NE in Arlington, just south of Arlington Municipal Airport. (Chuck Taylor / The Herald) 20210708
Frito-Lay leases massive building at Marysville business park

The company will move next door to Tesla and occupy a 300,0000-square-foot building at the Marysville business park.

Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin steps back and takes in a standing ovation after delivering the State of the City Address on Thursday, March 21, 2024, at the Everett Mall in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
In meeting, Everett mayor confirms Topgolf, Chicken N Pickle rumors

This month, the mayor confirmed she was hopeful Topgolf “would be a fantastic new entertainment partner located right next to the cinemas.”

Alan Edward Dean, convicted of the 1993 murder of Melissa Lee, professes his innocence in the courtroom during his sentencing Wednesday, April 24, 2024, at Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Bothell man gets 26 years in cold case murder of Melissa Lee, 15

“I’m innocent, not guilty. … They planted that DNA. I’ve been framed,” said Alan Edward Dean, as he was sentenced for the 1993 murder.

FILE - A Boeing 737 Max jet prepares to land at Boeing Field following a test flight in Seattle, Sept. 30, 2020. Boeing said Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, that it took more than 200 net orders for passenger airplanes in December and finished 2022 with its best year since 2018, which was before two deadly crashes involving its 737 Max jet and a pandemic that choked off demand for new planes. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Boeing’s $3.9B cash burn adds urgency to revival plan

Boeing’s first three months of the year have been overshadowed by the fallout from a near-catastrophic incident in January.

Police respond to a wrong way crash Thursday night on Highway 525 in Lynnwood after a police chase. (Photo provided by Washington State Department of Transportation)
Bail set at $2M in wrong-way crash that killed Lynnwood woman, 83

The Kenmore man, 37, fled police, crashed into a GMC Yukon and killed Trudy Slanger on Highway 525, according to court papers.

A voter turns in a ballot on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024, outside the Snohomish County Courthouse in Everett, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
On fourth try, Arlington Heights voters overwhelmingly pass fire levy

Meanwhile, in another ballot that gave North County voters deja vu, Lakewood voters appeared to pass two levies for school funding.

Judge Whitney Rivera, who begins her appointment to Snohomish County Superior Court in May, stands in the Edmonds Municipal Court on Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Edmonds, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Judge thought her clerk ‘needed more challenge’; now, she’s her successor

Whitney Rivera will be the first judge of Pacific Islander descent to serve on the Snohomish County Superior Court bench.

In this Jan. 4, 2019 photo, workers and other officials gather outside the Sky Valley Education Center school in Monroe, Wash., before going inside to collect samples for testing. The samples were tested for PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, as well as dioxins and furans. A lawsuit filed on behalf of several families and teachers claims that officials failed to adequately respond to PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, in the school. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Judge halves $784M for women exposed to Monsanto chemicals at Monroe school

Monsanto lawyers argued “arbitrary and excessive” damages in the Sky Valley Education Center case “cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny.”

Mukilteo Police Chief Andy Illyn and the graphic he created. He is currently attending the 10-week FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. (Photo provided by Andy Illyn)
Help wanted: Unicorns for ‘pure magic’ career with Mukilteo police

“There’s a whole population who would be amazing police officers” but never considered it, the police chief said.

Officers respond to a ferry traffic disturbance Tuesday after a woman in a motorhome threatened to drive off the dock, authorities said. (Photo provided by Mukilteo Police Department)
Everett woman disrupts ferry, threatens to drive motorhome into water

Police arrested the woman at the Mukilteo ferry terminal Tuesday morning after using pepper-ball rounds to get her out.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.