Frequently asked questions

What is the best way to contact Inatai Foundation if I have a general inquiry?

The best way to reach us is to send a message to info@inatai.org. Your message will be forwarded to the person best equipped to respond to your request. We respond to every message we receive. If you do not have email access, please call us toll free at (866) 389-5532.

Why did you change your name from Group Health Foundation to Inatai Foundation?

The foundation was formed from the proceeds of Group Health Cooperative’s sale to Kaiser Permanente. From the beginning, we had three goals: to be statewide, to be community-oriented, and to be equity-focused. Inspired by our roots, health equity was the term we used early on, and we tried to create a broader definition of health to include more than just health care.

As we connected with and listened to community leaders across Washington, we learned that health equity was simply not big enough to hold people’s hopes and dreams for improving their lives and communities.

We also affirmed that achieving equity of any kind meant achieving racial justice—that they are inseparable goals to pursue. To take responsibility more clearly for our part in driving racial justice and to be accountable to grantees, we revised our mission and value statements in 2022.

With that revision, we began in earnest to evolve beyond health. Yet, our name signaled to many organizations that they were only eligible for funding if they work in medical health. The name “Group Health Foundation” made it more difficult for us to reach the organizations we wanted to reach. So, we started to look for a new name.

What does the word “inatai” mean?

Inatai is a Chinuk Wawa word that means “across” or “other side.”

As a name for our foundation, it expresses our belief that powerful communities working together will move our state toward greater equity and justice.

The Chinook Nation, heirs to the Chinookan people at the mouth of the Columbia River where Chinuk Wawa originates, allowed us to use Inatai as our name. In thanks, we will continue to provide an annual contribution to the Chinook Nation for as long as we are the Inatai Foundation.

Is Inatai Foundation a health organization?

No, Inatai is not exactly a health foundation. We exist to serve the people of Washington and to shift power in Washington state toward equity and racial justice. One way we do that is to provide multi-year flexible funding to grantee organizations. They decide how to use that funding to best serve their communities. If a grantee organization defines health as a part of their equity and justice work, we may fund those efforts. However, health equity work is not a requirement to apply for and receive funding.

What funding opportunities are available?

We support organizations and fiscally sponsored projects whose work advances racial justice and equity in Washington and communities along the state’s borders. We offer sponsorships for events and convenings on an ongoing basis. To keep up-to-date on funding opportunities, sign up for our emails and visit our website.

How much will Inatai Foundation grant each year?

We anticipate granting more than $67 million in 2023.

Do you provide funds to intermediaries or “re-granters,” such as community foundations and United Ways?

We are most interested in intermediaries who have deep and trusting relationships with communities. When deciding on funding for an intermediary, we are interested in hearing whether community organizations prefer to receive direct grants or if they would benefit from a funding partnership with, and receiving funding through, an intermediary.

What does it mean to be a 501(c)(4) organization?

As a 501(c)(4), Inatai Foundation may fund 501(c)(3) nonprofits, 501(c)(4) nonprofits, other tax-exempt organizations, tribes, and even for-profit entities, as long as the organizations and activities we are funding advance “social welfare” and are consistent with our primary purposes. Like 501(c)(3) organizations, we may also engage in direct program activity that advances our purposes, including capacity building, educational activities, and coordination of funded programs.

Nonprofits that receive contributions from a 501(c)(4) have greater flexibility to pursue a range of advocacy, power-building, and political activities.

How is the foundation approaching relationship-building with communities?

We believe that people most impacted by health inequities should be at the center of solutions. The foundation has—and will continue to—prioritize building relationships with Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color; immigrants and refugees; people with disabilities; members of the LGBTQ+ community; and people who have experienced poverty or homelessness. We will also look to connect with these communities in areas throughout the state that have been historically overlooked by philanthropy and corporate donors.

Read “Our Approach to Building Relationships with Communities” to learn more about our priorities for outreach and how we aspire to engage with communities.

How will you use data, research, and evaluation? Will you work with external research partners?

Data collection, research, and evaluation can be helpful to our collective work. At the same time, they may perpetuate harm if they are not conducted with accountability and in partnership with communities. As we outline in “Our Approach to Information, Learning and Evaluation,” we seek to work with communities to understand the kind of information they are interested in gathering as part of their efforts to build community power for a more just and equitable future.

We aim to partner with researchers who share our values, are trusted community partners, and will ensure those most impacted by injustices are centered in, leading, and co-designing research projects.

Is Inatai Foundation hiring? Do you offer informational interviews?

For the latest information on available jobs, visit our jobs page, sign up for our emails, or fill out our candidate interest form. Due to our current staff capacity and the number of inquiries we receive, we are unable to respond to requests for informational interviews. We also want to be mindful about giving all applicants a similar level of information access.