Our History

Our Roots

In 1974, as Spokane was preparing to host the World's Fair, a group of concerned citizens saw a need for a foundation that could continue revitalizing the communities of the Inland Northwest. That year, the Junior League of Spokane founded the Greater Spokane Community Foundation, a new entity that replaced the original Spokane Foundation, which had been established in 1915 with a single trust.

Our Reach

In the 1970s and 1980s, the Foundation’s understanding of “community” grew, and we began to reach beyond the Spokane area. Recognizing that people with common interests and concerns know best how to meet local needs, the Foundation’s territory expanded to include 10 counties in Eastern Washington and 10 counties in North Idaho. The name was changed to Foundation Northwest to reflect the expanded region. In 2006, the Foundation conducted 500 interviews with community members and developed a comprehensive strategic plan. This launched another period of major growth. Our name was rebranded to Inland Northwest Community Foundation (INWCF) to clearly identify that we are the community foundation and a public entity, not a private foundation.

Our Growth

Inland Northwest Community Foundation celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2010 with more than $50 million in assets and nearly 300 funds established by individuals, families, nonprofit agencies and corporations. More than $37 million had been awarded in grants and scholarships since the first grants were made in 1976. The charitable funds at INWCF provide grants to support community development and environment, health and human services, education (including scholarships) and arts and culture.

Our Present

Read more about our growth by reading our Fast Facts.

We are grateful for your continued support and your trust in what we do. Please call us anytime with your questions, comments and suggestions. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you achieve your charitable goals.