The Cathedral Foundation of the Diocese of Olympia, formerly the St. Mark’s Cathedral Foundation, was founded in September 1995 as an independently governed, tax-exempt organization. Its sole purpose is to support the future of the Cathedral by receiving, raising, and managing capital and endowment funds for the Cathedral’s buildings and grounds. In January 2011, the Foundation became affiliated with the Bishop’s Office of the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia.

The Foundation is governed by a Board composed of 15 elected or appointed members, and two ex-officio members (the Bishop or his representative and the Dean of Saint Mark’s). Elected and appointed Board members may be parishioners of Saint Mark’s Cathedral, members of other Episcopal parishes, or from the greater Seattle community. They serve three-year terms, and are eligible for re-election or re-appointment for a second term, for a maximum of six consecutive years. Officers are elected for one-year terms. Board meetings are open to the public and normally held bi-monthly at Diocesan House. Please contact the Foundation at for upcoming dates.

Funds managed by The Cathedral Foundation

The Building and Grounds Endowment

The Foundation received much of its initial funding from the Cathedral Vestry which transferred a portion of the funds received from the sale of development rights for the Greenbelt and the 1990’s Century II capital campaign. These funds, and subsequent bequests and gifts are restricted to providing support for the buildings and grounds of the Cathedral. In accordance with the Foundation’s Spending Policy, a portion of the total return over the previous three years (typically 4-5% of the average principal value) is made available to the Cathedral each year for use by the Vestry in ways that are consistent with the donor’s directives.

Capital Reserve Fund

This fund was established in 2013 to provide disbursements for immediate needs. Recent distributions from the Foundation to the Cathedral have included funding the repair of the floor in the Cathedral Pre-school, a contribution towards the study for the restoration of the Cathedral walls and windows, and funds for the maintenance of pews and lighting in the sacred spaces of the Cathedral.

The Virginia Patty Endowment

The endowment was established by the family of Mrs. Patty, and is restricted to maintaining the gardens surrounding the front lawn of the Cathedral.

Custody and management of these funds is overseen by the Foundation’s Finance and Investment Committee. In accordance with the Foundation’s Investment Policy, the investment portfolio is appropriately balanced and diversified for growth and income.

As well as managing these endowments the Foundation conducts an annual campaign to provide operating funds for its activities. Recently these have included supporting the Cathedral’s outreach to the Diocese through visits to other parishes and underwriting the annual Cathedral Day.

Planned Giving: Leaving a Legacy

A legacy gift through a bequest in your will or other planned gift is a way to offer thanks to God for the gifts and blessings given to you, to affirm the value you attach to your faith community, and to provide for the future by preserving and enhancing the Cathedral’s buildings and grounds.

Types of Legacy Gifts

Legacy gifts may be directed to the Cathedral Foundation of the Diocese of Olympia. Bequests through your will are the most common form of legacy gift. You may specify a dollar amount, or a percentage of the residual of your estate to the Cathedral or the Foundation.

Beneficiary Designations

Some parts of your estate can pass directly to a recipient outside of probate, simply by designating the beneficiary. You can name the Foundation as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, pension, retirement fund, commercial annuity contract, bank account, or brokerage account. When you set up or modify your will, talk with your attorney about possible tax benefits from these arrangements.

Planned Giving

Legacy gifts also include making current gifts (such as charitable gift annuities or trusts) that can provide donors with current tax benefits, pay income to donors during their lifetimes, and leave the remainder to the Foundation. You can learn more about such life income gifts or set up such a fund through the Diocese of Olympia Stewardship Office ( Because planned gifts can be technical and each person’s circumstances are different, it is best to consult with your own financial advisor and legal counsel.

Donors of Legacy Gifts to the Foundation become members of The Bishop’s Society which was formed to honor all those who include any Episcopal ministry in their estate plans.

How your gift will be used

The Foundation honors the donor’s expressed intent. In the absence of expressed donor intent, however, the Foundation Board’s policy is to direct all unrestricted, realized bequests to capital projects for use by the Cathedral, or to the Foundation’s Buildings and Grounds Endowment Fund, from which a portion is allocated annually toward the Cathedral’s maintenance budget.

The Foundation is happy to work with prospective donors to enhance the value of an existing fund, or to create new ones that meet the long-term buildings and grounds priorities of the Cathedral. Current and deferred gifts to support the Foundation’s purposes are gratefully received.


The Cathedral Foundation of the Diocese of Olympia
1551 10th Avenue East
Seattle, WA 98102

The Cathedral Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization; contributions to it are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.