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2020 Annual Report

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CEO Letter from Susan Boyd

In 2020, we were inspired by you. Thank you for everything you did to make 2020 a year of inspiration.

-Susan Boyd, CEO

Many of us are very happy to have 2020 in the rearview mirror.  The year was one of loss, struggle and pain.  For me, the year was also a source of inspiration.  In this annual report, we mark some things that inspired us about the year, and that we think you will find uplifting. 

Notwithstanding the challenges of the pandemic, in 2020, Bellwether began construction of over 600 new affordable homes in three neighborhoods.  In 2020, we found new ways to support residents struggling with job loss, isolation and anxiety.  In 2020, we were reminded that, while our organization has long been focused on issues of racial equity, there is more for us to understand and do. 

And we were inspired by you. During 2020, you helped us close out our Building Opportunity capital campaign a year ahead of schedule.  You sent notes of encouragement and support.  And by contributing to us, you allowed us to make sure every household struggling to pay rent had the help they needed to pay their rent.

Thank you for everything you did to make 2020 a year of inspiration.

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COVID-19 Response

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Covid-19 Rent Relief Program

Many Bellwether residents lost work during the COVID-19 pandemic and were unable to pay rent. Our Resident Services Team identified all residents eligible for Seattle rental assistance and walked them through the complex application progress. Helping our residents get rental assistance and stay housed is some of the most important work Bellwether has ever done.

Covid-19 Meal Program

We partnered with local restaurants to deliver over 10,000 meals to residents facing food insecurity during the pandemic. The teams at That Brown Girl Cooks,  Kay Catering, and Madres Kitchen were incredible partners in this program to feed our community.

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In 2020, thanks to the determination of community partners and our Real Estate Development Team, we broke ground on three exciting projects: The Confluence in March, Cedar Crossing in June,  and The Rise on Madison in September. The pandemic brought added restrictions to the building process, but the team’s resiliency allowed construction to safely stay on track.


Along with our partners at Mercy Housing Northwest and Plymouth Housing, we hosted two virtual Groundbreakings that brought together hundreds of people to celebrate these two buildings. To see these under construction is a tremendous feat, and it was great to celebrate these buildings with everyone virtually!

Cedar Crossing Groundbreaking

Cedar Crossing is our joint project with Mercy Housing Northwest creating 254 family-friendly apartments in the wonderful Roosevelt neighborhood. Cedar Crossing, slated for completion in 2022, includes innovative community partnerships with Sound Transit, Mary’s Place, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle Housing Authority, and El Centro de la Raza

The Rise on Madison Groundbreaking

This high rise combines two distinct apartment complexes into one landmark building. On floors 1-5, Plymouth Housing will offer 115 studios for seniors who have experienced chronic homelessness. On floors 6-17, “The Rise on Madison”, Bellwether will offer 253 homes. Together, they form vibrant, diverse community in the thriving First Hill neighborhood.  The name our portion of the building, The Rise on Madison, references that this project is the first affordable housing high-rise built in Seattle in over fifty years.

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Building Opportunity Campaign Exceeds Goals

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In October, we successfully completed our Building Opportunity Campaign. 

When we started this campaign, our goal was to raise $9M to build 750 homes. We exceeded our goals:  

•    We raised $9.2M.   
•    We are building nearly 800 homes in four new buildings.   
•    We finished the campaign a year early and in the midst of a pandemic.

The purpose of the campaign was to use private support to create affordable homes and more rapidly respond to the housing crisis in our region.   

Bellwether was the first nonprofit in the nation to use crowdfunding to build affordable homes, attracting 180 investors who ultimately contributed $4.7M.  

We raised $4.5 million in donations from corporations, foundations, and individuals. Thank you to The Wells Fargo Foundation and the Bank of America Foundation who provided lead gifts at the campaign's outset. Deepest gratitude to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Norcliffe Foundation and the Puget Sound Boeing Employees Community Fund whose gifts rapidly advanced our campaign and to Amazon who matched employee giving dollar for dollar. 

Our 800 new homes will be in First Hill, Roosevelt, Rainier Beach, and Tukwila. Three of these projects, The Confluence, Cedar Crossing, and The Rise on Madison are currently under construction. All these developments are near light rail, transit, and host of other community resources.  

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Affordable Housing Remains A GOOD INVESTMENT


In 2015, 35 socially conscious investors did something revolutionary. They contributed $1.8 million in private investments to buy and rehabilitate The Parker Apartments, an affordable housing development in Queen Anne. Today, the Parker is home to 50 families who all benefit from having an affordable home close to great schools, parks, transportation, job centers and more. The first round of investments in The Parker reached maturity at the end of 2020 and we were pleased to have 77% of the fund renewed for a total of $1.4 million reinvested in affordable homes.

I originally invested in Bellwether because they provide stable housing for the working people who keep our city vibrant. I reinvested because in addition to that important work they provide a consistent return on my capital. With Bellwether, I can do good and do well at the same time.

– Elise Lufkin, Investor

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Bellwether Gets A New Look


In 2020, Bellwether Housing updated our logo and brand identity to better reflect our mission. Our brand refresh was guided by feedback from residents, staff, board members and other key stakeholders, culminating in a bold new logo and appearance just in time for our 40th anniversary.


Since our founding, Bellwether Housing’s core belief is that safe and stable housing opens doors and makes it possible for people to grow and thrive. Our new logo reflects that value. The vivid colors reflect a willingness to take risks and stand out from the crowd. The vine symbolizes our impending growth and our commitment to sustainability. The overall feel evokes warmth, energy, and hope. We were thrilled to share our new image with our community and for the strong positive response.

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2020 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Work

In 2020, Bellwether Housing, guided by our staff-led Equity Committee, took the following actions to be more equitable and further our commitment to anti-racism.


Resident Policies 

  • Changed the screening criteria for new residents to reduce barriers to housing. 

  • Lowered fees charged to residents. 


COVID Response – Resident Support  

  • Created a $250,000 rental assistance fund for residents economically impacted by the pandemic.  

  • Hired Muslim Housing Services to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate support to residents at the Kingway Apartments during the pandemic.  

  • Raised funding to hire three local catering businesses to prepare over 10,000 meals that we delivered to residents.  All three business are women-owned and two are owned by women of color. 

  • Secured $1.22 million in rental assistance for residents impacted by the coronavirus pandemic 


COVID Response – Staff Support 

  • Paid an ongoing equity stipend to compensate front-line employees who were required to be in the field. 

  • Paid a $150 stipend for employees working remotely for home office equipment.  

  • Temporarily changed our PTO policy to allow negative PTO balances in support of employees’ physical and emotional needs during the pandemic and protests for racial justice.  


Compensation and Advancement: 

  • Created a compensation philosophy and transparent pay scale, showing the pay ranges for all jobs, which will be updated annually.  

  • Made equity adjustments for employees whose salaries were low based on historical pay rates. 

  • In 2020, 57% of employees promoted were BIPOC. 

  • Re-evaluated job requirements so fewer positions require a college degree. 


Holidays and Time Off: 

  • Recognized Juneteenth as a company holiday. 

  • Shifted our holiday policy so employees have the flexibility to select alternate holiday(s). 

  • Created a bereavement policy of up to five business days of paid leave per year in the case of the death of a loved one. “Loved ones” was expansively defined to include all family members including step and in-laws, close friends, roommates, and pets. 


Black Lives Matter Support: 

  • On June 12, 2020, we joined the Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County’s Statewide General Strike and March for Black Lives. We closed early and provided employees paid time off. Staff were able to use the day to rest, reflect, protest in person, or act remotely.  

  • Invited all staff and board to attend a virtual “How to Be an Antiracist" event hosted by Ibram X. Kendi, an American author, historian and leading scholar of race and discriminatory policy in America. Provided paid work time to support this session. 

  • All managers attended a four-part training called Engaging Employees About Equity.  

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2020 Financials

Operating Revenue

These figures exclude depreciation from expenses and gains from inter-company transactions from revenue.

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Operating Expenses

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*Bellwether Housing was gifted land on which to build The Rise in the First Hill Neighborhood and Mary's Boathouse, a property located in Capitol Hill.


Thank You to Our 2020 Supporters!

Individual Donors


Anonymous Donor

Jesslyn Howgate

John and Maria Bliss

Mark and Heather Barbieri

Martha Tucker

Peter and Lisa Nitze

Todd MacDermid and Amanda Myre

$5,000 to $9,999

Bart Cima and Micki Brunner

Carol and Steve Latimer

Deva and Orin Hasson

Kate Joncas

Kevin Harrang

Kristen and Glen Scott

$2,500 to $4,999

Barbara Dingfield and Michael Sweeney

Dave Enslow

Dylan Simon

Jerrid Anderson

John Phillips

Mary Pigott

Michaela Barrett

Michele Wang

Nicholas and Diane Lovejoy

Peter Larsen

Peter Miller and Jean Johnson

Scott Koppelman

Shelly Crocker

Susan Boyd

$1,000 to $2,499

Alex Boverman

Alexandra Harmon

Alice Shobe and Eric Svaren

Alicia Goodwin and Ryan Kuykendall

Amy Besunder

Betsy Lieberman

Brian Regan

C David Taylor

Charles and Marni Wright

Christopher Roberts

Dave and Nancy Gillespie

Diana Keys

Douglas and Nancy Treder

Duane Leonard

Elise Lufkin

Eric Campbell

EW Proctor

Frank Bosl

Gabriel Grant and Allegra Calder

Grant Middleton

Gregg Colburn

Heather Bunn

Ian Morrison

Jacob LaSota

Jacqueline Hansen

Jeremiah Roberson

Jilma Jimenez

Jim and Young O'Hanlon

Mark Reddington and Cary Moon

Michael Hill

Michelle Hayden

Nancy Henderson

Paul Weiden

Peter and Laura Orser

Philip and Lenore Defliese

Quentin Kuhrau

Rebekah Bastian

Richard Loo

Sarah Gunter and Maarten Van Dantzich

Shahaf Abileah

Shawn Rhode

Steve and Emma Gillespie

Steven Seward

Stuart and Lucy Williams

Sue Selman

Sunrise Swanson Williams

Susan Takemoto

Terry Cook and John Gosink

Theresia Song

Tom Pozarycki

Tony Souther

Virginia Anderson

Vitaly Kalchik

Whitney Bryant

$500 to $999

Alex Hudson

Andrew DeBruyne

Becky and Jim Burns

BJ Last

Bobbi Geiger

Brad Reisinger

Brent Robinson

Carol Gown

Chad Duncan

Cheri Dennison

Cheryl DeBoise

Cleita Harvey

Dan Suver

Danica Coonan and Phil Manheim

Daniel Seger

Daniel Stoner

Daniel Tuttle

David and Juliette Delfs

David Beitel

David Neiman

Dean Kralios and Scot Partlow

Elizabeth Rinehart

Emily Evenson

Gary Kirk

Greg Inglin

Harry and Therese Grant

Heather Burns

Howard Jensen

Hugh Geenen

Jalair Box

Jason Flynn

Jeff Lundstrom

Jeff Reibman

Jessica Powers

Jill Lewis

Jim Hartz

Joseph Noe

Joseph Polito

Josh Alhadeff

Kathryn Middleton

Kathy Feldman

Kelcee Azure

Kellanne Henry

Kelly Kernan

Kelly Price

Kristin Acker

Larry Benaroya

Larry Numata

Lauren Wisegarver

Lisa Hawkins

Lisa Stewart

Lori Dorn

Marc Stiles and Matthew Haggerty

Martin Gleaves

Marty Goodman

Mary Lonien and Sandra Smith

Matt Parent

Matt Roewe

Matthew Elliott

Matthew Simo

Michael Yukevich

Nanette and Rick Goss

Nicolas Ward

Philip Roberts

Rebecca and Mark Dawson

Rebecca Merrett

Reed Rushing

Rob Miller

Robert Jungerhans

Robert Millar

Sallie Lin

Samantha and Scott Brimacombe

Samantha Getting

Scott Falkin

Sonja Skalbania

Steve Clagett and Jennifer Parker

Suresh Chanmugam

Susan Duren

Tali and Daniel Rausch

Thomas Pehl

Thomas St. Maxens

Tim Overland

Tony Daguanno

Tory Laughlin Taylor

Troy Black

Will Godwin-Austen

Wolf and Leilani Saar

Corporate and Foundation Support

$30,000 to $99,999

Enterprise Community Partners

Wells Fargo

$10,000 to $29,999

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Foss Family Foundation

The Kessel-Frankenburg Family Fund

Turner Construction

U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation

U.S. Bank

Urban Renaissance Group

Walsh Construction Company

$5,000 to $9,999


Goodman Real Estate

Holland Partner Group

Jones Lang LaSalle

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

MUFG Union Bank Foundation

SMR Architects

Umpqua Bank

Washington Federal Foundation Bank

$1,500 to $4,999

ARC Architects

Banner Bank

Beneficial State Bank


Clark Construction

Community Economics, Inc.

Coughlin Porter Lundeen

DCI Engineers

EDCA Roofing, Inc.

Encore Architects PLLC

For the Cause Foundation

Gates Ventures

Geotech Consultants, Inc

Guardian Security Systems, Inc.

Heartland LLC

HEWITT Seattle

James Tjoa & Associates

Kantor Taylor PC


Kidder Mathews

MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions



Morgan Mechanical

National Equity Fund


Pacifica Law Group

Plymouth Housing

Rafn Company

Raymond James & Associates, Inc.

Runberg Architecture Group, PLLC

Rushing Co

The Commerce Bank Of Washington Foundation

USI Insurance Services

VIA Architecture

Weber Thompson


$500 to $1,499

AFB Floors

Baird Private Wealth Management


Compass General Construction

Cross 2 Design Group

Ecotope, Inc.


Google Matching Gifts Program

Housing Development Consortium of Seattle/King County

Marpac Construction

Matthew G Norton Co

MTI Physical Therapy


Plantscapes, Inc.

Puckett & Redford PLLC

The Family Home Foundation

The Greenbusch Group

The Holmes Group

The Seneca Real Estate Group, Inc.

ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas

$100,000 to $499,999

Bank of America



Employees Community Fund of Boeing

The Norcliffe Foundation