Seattle Philanthropist Gives $14M to TPL

Seattle, WA –?11/17/03: Seattle philanthropist Priscilla “Patsy” Bullitt Collins, in a parting gift that will conserve precious lands and waters in the United States and abroad and educate countless young women in developing countries, donated her $71.5 million charitable trust to CARE, The Nature Conservancy, and the Trust for Public Land.

Ms. Collins, a civic leader and businesswoman who cared passionately about conservation, global poverty, education, and the arts, passed away in her Seattle home on June 25, 2003. The daughter of a wealthy Seattle family, she chaired King Broadcasting—founded in 1946 by her mother, Dorothy Stimson Bullitt—from 1972 until the family sold the company in 1992.

After the company’s sale, she managed her wealth with an unwavering commitment to the causes that mattered most to her. All the while, she lived simply, was averse to fanfare, and hoped that her giving would inspire others—even those of modest means—to become philanthropists in their own right.

“Patsy was a woman with a generous spirit. Although she was a small woman, she had a vast interior. And her philanthropy was both heart-felt and mind-felt,” said Delphine Haley, a long-time friend of Ms. Collins and co-trustee of her charitable trust. “She wished that everyone would give. It didn’t matter about the quantity. She believed that in giving, you enriched yourself, too. She thoroughly blossomed herself by giving. And she was always so grateful to be able to do so.”

The three recipient organizations said Ms. Collins’ remarkable gift would help them enormously in carrying out work reflective of her interests. CARE and The Nature Conservancy each received 40 percent of the charitable trust, or about $28.5 million each; the Trust for Public Land (TPL) received 20 percent, or about $14 million. All three organizations expressed deep gratitude to Ms. Collins, a woman who was an inspiration not only because of her giving, but also because of her modesty, intelligence, wit, and charm.

“Patsy is a great role model for how people can thoughtfully use the resources they have been given to make the world a better place. She was a humble and gracious woman with a clear sense of how to help non-profits be more effective,” said TPL Northwest Regional Director Roger Hoesterey. “We feel truly honored to be trusted with this tremendous gift.”

Peter Bell, CARE president and CEO, who was first introduced to CARE by Ms. Collins, said: “Patsy embraced the idea of stewardship. She believed in giving forward, investing in the future through education. She often said that the station equipment she sold is now a door to a school in Africa.”

“Patsy was and remains an inspiration to us at the Nature Conservancy,” added David Weekes, director at the Conservancy’s Washington chapter. “She was opinionated, courageous, full of life, and believed deeply that everyone could and should give back to the community in ways both big and small. Our natural world has been made richer because of her.”

At the Trust for Public Land, half of Ms. Collins’ gift will go toward TPL’s conservation work in the Northwest and half toward its conservation work across the country. In Washington, TPL plans to use part of the gift to implement a “Puget Sound Greenprint,” a landscape-level initiative that will address the region’s tremendous growth, which is swallowing up open space, reducing public access to shorelines, and causing irrevocable damage to wildlife habitat. The Greenprint will map out priority conservation lands; identify and help secure open-space protection funds; complete acquisitions; and ensure long-term stewardship of protected land and water.

At The Nature Conservancy, one-third of the funds will be used for the stewardship of lands and waters in the Northwest, one-third will be used for the stewardship of lands and waters in other parts of the country, and one-third will be used for international conservation. The Conservancy will use these funds to manage protected lands and waters carefully and thoughtfully—from Washington state to Indonesia—so as to ensure that they sustain life on Earth for generations to come.

CARE, which has an office in Seattle, will put Ms. Collins’ gift to use to improve access to education for girls and young women in the world’s poorest countries. Outside of the classroom, resources will allow CARE to develop model community programs to advance the overall health and education of women and girls, with particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

CARE is a leading international humanitarian organization fighting global poverty, working in 72 countries in the areas of education, health, economic development, civil society, emergency response, food and water. On the Web at

The Nature Conservancy is a private, international, non-profit organization that preserves plants, animals and natural communities representing the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. On the Web at

The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come.