Tricia Raikes (’78 Comm.) was recently included among Inside Philanthropy’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Philanthropy.
Raikes is cofounder of the Seattle-based Raikes Foundation, which she and her husband, Jeff, started in 2002. Since its inception, the foundation has awarded more than $201 million to charitable causes.
“Raikes is a hands-on leader, working with her husband … to guide the foundation’s efforts in the areas of youth homelessness and mental health, equitable education, and resourcing democracy,” wrote Inside Philanthropy.
Raikes says her mom, Aileen McGinnis, was a tireless volunteer during her childhood, and inspired her to work to achieve social change through philanthropy.
“She was the first to volunteer for whatever needed to be done, treating everybody—regardless of their circumstances—with dignity and respect,” she says.
Raikes and her husband created the foundation with the goal of helping young people succeed, drawing upon their experience as parents of adolescents dealing with challenges, including bullying.
“I was troubled by a looming question,” Raikes says. “If our children, who had every resource and advantage in the world, were struggling, what about the millions of other less privileged kids?”
By working with partners on education and stable housing for youth, the foundation supports essential systems that all young people need to reach their potential, she says.
Last year, the Raikes Foundation launched a new portfolio, Resourcing Equity and Democracy, that aims to support partners to create a more fair, representative, and effective democracy and civil society.
“My optimism is rooted in my faith in young people,” Raikes says. “Over the past 20 years, I’ve had the chance to see the passion and energy of our next generation in action.
“They are eager and ready to make a better world. And they will, if we create the conditions for their success.”
Optimism in the next generation: Tricia Raikes shares more about the importance of investing in young people and why the next generation fills her with optimism.