Reduce poverty

Ensure our vulnerable citizens have access to tools and resources to achieve sustainable well-being.

Broaden low cost, affordable housing.

Advance quality projects in strategic locations and creative ways.

Foster a more dynamic and powerful constituency.

Grow a voting population armed with knowledge and information, provide civic leadership and create a political environment that favors the work of poverty and social justice non-profits.

The Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund is a 501(c)3 charitable foundation that believes in the Inland Northwest’s quality of life and its great future potential.

Our Region

The Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund is a 501(c)3 charitable foundation that believes in the Inland Northwest’s quality of life and its great future potential.

Our region’s K-12 public schools, community colleges, and burgeoning university system are strong. We are home to large and small, generational and start-up companies. It’s hub, Spokane is the service center to over one million people in Eastern Washington and the Idaho Panhandle. Health care, higher education and service industries are strong and growing and the Inland Northwest boasts some of the most beautiful waterways and mountains in the world.

Our region also possesses its share of challenges. It is home to areas of dense poverty and crime. Compared to Washington State, Idaho and the U.S., the Inland Northwest falls behind in all measurable income categories and has higher unemployment rates. There is a dedicated network of non-profits overburdened by the elimination and/or reduction of services and public and private funding.

The Seattle and Boise areas are often more familiar and recognized, but the Inland Northwest is a critical economic component for both Washington & Idaho. The health of our region is unique in its economic generators, challenges and opportunities and is important to the health of the Pacific Northwest as a whole.

The Inland Northwest

ID & WA Combined

Inland NW Population = 990,170

WA Counties 2012 estimate Change 2010 to 2012   % Inland NW ID Counties 2012 estimate Change 2010 to 2012   % Inland NW
Asotin County 21,888 1.2% 2.2% Benewah County 9,117 -1.8% 0.9%
Columbia County 3,995 -2.0% 0.4% Bonner County 40,476 -1.0% 4.1%
Ferry County 7,705 2.0% 0.8% Boundary County 10,808 -1.5% 1.1%
Garfield County 2,228 -1.7% 0.2% Clearwater County 8,590 -2.0% 0.9%
Lincoln County 10,437 -1.3% 1.1% Kootenai County 142,357 2.8% 14.4%
Pend Oreille County 12,980 -0.2% 1.3% Latah County 38,184 2.5% 3.9%
Spokane County 475,735 1.0% 48.0% Lewis County 3,889 1.8% 0.4%
Stevens County 43,538 Z 4.4% Nez Perce County 39,531 0.7% 4.0%
Walla Walla County 59,404 1.1% 6.0% Shoshone County 12,702 -0.5% 1.3%
Whitman County 46,606 4.1% 4.7% ID Counties 305,654 0.70% 30.9%
WA Counties 684,516 1.1% 69.1% ID Total 1,595,728 1.80%
WA Total 6,897,012 2.60% Inland NW % of ID 19.2%
Inland NW % of WA 9.9%

Source:; updated June 30, 2013

Our Mission

The Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund aims to build upon our region’s strong foundation to ensure those in need have every opportunity to succeed. With strong community partnerships, creativity and tenacity, we work to …

Reduce poverty. Ensure our vulnerable citizens have access to tools and resources to achieve sustainable well-being. Work to eradicate the systemic causes that lead to poverty including incarceration, health and health care, domestic violence, substance abuse, unemployment, wage disparities and unplanned pregnancies.

Broaden low cost, affordable housing. Advance quality housing projects in strategic locations and creative ways. Work to impact all spectrums including transitional, low income and work force housing.

Foster a more dynamic and powerful constituency. Grow a voting population armed with knowledge and information, provide civic leadership and create a political environment that favors the work of poverty and social justice non-profits.

Spotlight our region. Promote other dynamic philanthropic work and projects in the region to help strengthen non-profits. Partner with businesses that are working to advance the Inland Northwest economy and quality of life. All grants and projects originate from and/or benefit the Inland Northwest.

Our Grants

The following are some of the organizations and projects the Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund has supported. For funding consideration, please see our grant criteria below.

ACLU-WA Northeast Community Center Rogers HS Debate
CELP Our Place Spokane Public Radio
Mission Community Outreach Center Peace & Justice Action League TeamChild
Hillyard Senior Center Health Care For All Spokane Three Stones Foundation
KYRS Community Radio Priest Lake Food Bank WA State Budget & Policy Center
OneAmerica Planned Parenthood Greater WA & North ID American Indian Community Center
Family Promise Palouse Fuse Washington Greater Spokane Progress / WinWin Network
Terrain Legal Voice Transitions
The Mockingbird Society WSU Health Sciences Spokane Spokane County Bar Volunteer Lawyer Program
Parks & Streets Campaign Second Harvest Spokane NAACP
Team Child United Way Emerging Leaders Society Inland Northwest Permaculture
Spokane Public Schools Spokane County Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program Life at the Core
Refugee Connections Coalition for Economic Vitality (Yes for Buses) OneAmerica
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland NW Center for Justice Center for Women & Democracy
YWCA of Spokane Community Building Foundation Soccer Camp Spokane Alliance
The Lands Council Green Sleeves Project EWU Women’s & Gender Studies Leadership Spokane
Smart Justice  The Grove Community, West Central Affordable Housing Women & Children’s Free Restaurant & Community Kitchen
 Elevations Rotary First Harvest, Edible Tree Project South Perry Neighborhood Networks

Grant Highlights

WSU Health Sciences Spokane University-Community Partnership to Reduce Health Disparities. Healthy housing is the focus of a novel collaboration between Washington State University Health Sciences Spokane and its community neighbors. This robust program will foster student engagement, innovative practice at Spokane’s Teaching Health Clinic and research addressing healthy housing. Specifically, the partnership will support community-based and epidemiologic research aimed at reducing housing-related health disparities in Spokane children; create an inter-professional community of WSU Spokane health sciences students and faculty who are trained and interested in focusing on housing-related needs and health inequities to work with the neighborhood; amplify the positive societal impact of WSU Spokane by extending the university’s reach into local neighborhoods; lay the foundation for strong connections between clinical services and local residents’ needs.An interdisciplinary student organization, the Health Equity Circle, is a key component of WSU Spokane’s strategy to build a relationship with its neighbors and learn about their needs and how best to initiate transformation. The students represent WSU and Eastern Washington University programs in a variety of health sciences.

University participants will work with neighborhood organizations, schools, the Spokane Regional Health District,and the Global to Local program, which already works with WSU and other partners to demonstrate the effectiveness of global health strategies to improve the health status of underserved local communities.

OneAmerica New Americans Program – Inland Northwest. There’s evidence that obtaining citizenship has a positive financial impact on the clients of the program. Out of the people surveyed who had become citizens, 31% of people reported that their financial situation had improved and 30% of people reported a positive employment status change. Among some of the qualitative findings were that participants reported that they were now in school, earning more money, had changed jobs or were able to apply for a government job, were able to travel more easily with work, felt more secure, were able to get a business license, or had gained employment when previously unemployed. building on our successful citizenship programs and community education efforts on new opportunities for immigrant families presented by Administrative Relief, with the goal of reducing poverty in immigrant communities in the Inland Northwest over the long term.The Fund’s grant will focus on the Washington New Americans program model for providing naturalization assistance to eligible individuals.  OneAmerica will work to ensure that the maximum possible number of immigrants in the region are informed and able to take advantage of the economic opportunities provided by Citizenship and Administrative Relief, regardless of delays caused by ongoing court battles over the details of these programs.  An additional benefit will be the increase in coordination and civic power among immigrant community members fostered by OneAmerica’s organizing model.
TeamChild Juvenile Court Records Assistance. Washington is one of the few states that allows public access to juvenile criminal court histories even when that youth never commits another crime. Collateral consequences of a juvenile criminal record may include ineligibility for loans, financing, or public benefits; denial of housing; and difficulties access education and employment. The Fund’s grant will expand help to young adults to obtain record sealing, follow-up after record sealing clinics, create self-help materials that include recent changes to the law customized for Spokane County and assist with relief from registraton, a requirement for young adults who want to seal recors related to a juvenile sex offense.
Planned Parenthood Greater WA & North ID

Broke ground May, 2016!!

New Spokane Health and Community Education Center. Planned Parenthood is building a new, state-of-the-art Health and Community Education Center in Spokane, replacing the current facility on Indiana Avenue. The Fund and the Harriet Cheney Cowles Foundation are providing the two lead gifts toward the new building. The 16,000-square-foot facility will feature:
– Nine exam rooms equipped for comprehensive reproductive health services, family planning, and complementary medical services.
– Two surgical services suites for a full range of procedures, including cervical cancer screening and treatment, colposcopy, ultrasound, abortion, and sterilization.
– An Education Center to plan, design, and implement medically accurate, health and sex education curriculum including the nationally-recognized Teen Council program and evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention programs.
– A community classroom, providing health education programs to families, youth, and community groups.
– A Public Affairs Center advancing public policies protecting access to reproductive health services and reproductive justice, conducting voter education, and community outreach.
– A Customer Care Center, a centralized hub for incoming patient calls, texts, and emails across their nine regional health centers. Along with one other Care Center, this hub handles over 150,000 inquiries annually.
– Administrative Headquarters, home to our CEO, executive leadership, and administrative staff
The new center will also include features to ensure a positive and empowering patient experience, including significant measures to protect patient privacy and dignity. Anticipated opening is Winter 2017.Universities Matching Campaign to Rebuild Pullman Clinic. Maintaining good health and responsible family planning are critical challenges for and worries of those living in poverty as well as the middle class. In September 2015, the Planned Parenthood Pullman clinic was firebombed and  out of pocket costs to rebuild estimated at $250,000. Since so many of Planned Parenthood’s patients are young and low income people and the Pullman clinic sits just a stone’s throw from one of Washington’s great public universities, the Fund is tying it all together and leading a matching funds campaign! Every dollar donated by any WA or ID university student, faculty, staff member, regent/trustee or alum will be matched.

Breaking ground 2017!

Permanent Supportive Housing. The Fund is the lead donor of this capital campaign to help build 24 cottage-style units of decent, safe, affordable, community-based housing on 2 acres of undeveloped land at Transitions curent Transition Living Center in NW Spokane. This housing will povidet enants with the rights of tenancy and links to voluntary and flexible supports and services for people with disabilities who are experiencing homelessness. Permanent supportive housing is a proven, effective means of reintegrating chronically homeless and other highly vulnerable homeless famlieis and individuals with psychiatric disabilities or chronic health challenges into the community by addressing their basic needs for housing and providing ongoing support. Funding is still underway with the tentative occupancy slated for December 2017.
Refugee Connections Refugees’ Harvest Program. In the Refugees’ Harvest Program, refugees from various backgrounds harvest donated produce and ditribute it free of charge at the East Central Community Center. 8,584 lbs were harvested in the 2014 season, 56 refugee harvesters participated in the program, and 3,202 people benefited from the donated produce.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland NW Youth mental health program. This funding is used to identify and refer youth, develop new mental health mentoring tools, train special mentors, and then over see identified youths mentoring relationships. In the first six months of the pilot phase there will only be 20 to 25 kids in the effort. There after the target is approximately 100 annually.
Center for Justice Women’s Relicensing Program. Upon seeing that women were not participating in the Center’s relicensing program, the SBPF provided funding to establish a women’s program to give one-on-one legal assistance in removing the barriers that prevent them from obtaining a valid driver’s license.  It also provides women support and referrals for other issues that pose barriers to women’s employment, health, and long-term self-sufficiency.  It’s designed to have the participants help one another, and in doing so, build trust and empowerment among women.
Center for Women & Democracy Scholarship for one Eastern WA participant. The  Center for Women & Democracy’s signature program, their Leadership Institute, is a weeklong program offering a format built for women, of women, and by women, training them to lead wherever they land. From knowing how to handle money and negotiating for better wages, to listening & leading skills, to appreciating cultural diversity, to achieving balance in your life, this celebrated curriculum also features the best women: elected leaders, professional business women, non-profit geniuses, young entrepreneurs, and women succeeding in all aspects of life. The candidate awarded had  financial need that otherwise made Leadership Institute tuition a barrier to participation in the program.
The Lands Council Green Sleeves program. The SBPF was the founding sponsor of Green Sleeves, a collaboration between The Lands Council and Geiger Corrections Center that involves Spokane County Detention Services Work Crews and jail-alternative sentencing options. The project also includes educational opportunities for offenders at Geiger Corrections Center with a curriculum focused specifically on employable skills. Educational sessions for in-house offenders at Geiger will consist of a lecture and hands-on learning at the on-site native plant nursery. This education can empower the offenders with skills and knowledge required to manage their native plant nursery, provide them with basic and employable knowledge and skills, and increase environmental stewardship. Participants who successfully complete the educational component of Green Sleeves will be prepared to work for local landscaping firms. The project’s first year was extremely successful and the SBPF re-upped for another year.
EWU Women’s & Gender Studies Eastern WA University Activist In Residence program. The Women’s and Gender Studies Program (WGS) and the Women’s Studies Center (WSC) organized the first Activist-in-Residence (AiR) Program in the 2013 academic year on the campus of Eastern Washington University.  AiR supports a local or regional activist to work with WGS students and faculty, the Women’s Studies Center, and numerous other student groups, programs, and units throughout the University for one quarter each year. The invited Activist-in-Residence receives an honorarium for their term of activities on campus. During one quarter, the Activist-in-Residence provides at least 8-10 activities, such as guest lectures or class presentations, presentations for the entire University community, workshops, activist projects, and other events. This unique combination of different disciplines from academia, different levels of students (undergraduate/graduate), community based organizations, and an expert Activist-in-Residence provides a rich experience for all involved.
Leadership Spokane Life Transition Scholarship. This scholarship was awarded to an incoming member of the adult Leadership Spokane program who demonstrated a passion for his/her community, who is making a lasting life transition and who has a desire to step up to leadership. The candidate awarded had  financial need that otherwise made Leadership Spokane tuition a barrier to participation in the program.
Spokane Alliance

Spokane Earned Sick & Safe Leave ordinance passed January, 2017

Civic Leadership & Social Justice Development. The Spokane Alliance, a non-profit member organization of every day people bringing power to the people in government and lawmaking, the economy, public safety, the environment, social justice, and a host of other arenas, is engaged in a three year campaign to identify and create a shared vision for the future of the city and state, and build the future we want by changing policies and rules, and funding the programs and services that we need the most. In addition, funding supports the Spokane Alliance’s Quality Jobs Criteria Ordinance (passed at the end of the year!) and impelementing a paid sick leave ordinance in Spokane.
Smart Justice Smart Justice Symposium. It’s time to reform our expensive, ineffective, and unfair criminal justice system. Instead of warehousing an unreasonably high percentage of our community in jail, people who pose no danger to our neighborhoods, the dedicated Smart Justice team are urging our elected officials to spend our tax dollars on proven programs that are fiscally responsible, reduce crime, and create a strong and healthy community. This symposium brought together hundreds of community citizens and leaders from the public and private sectors to hear from and engage with national & local experts about successful programs & share information & tools to create smart justice in Spokane.
WinWin Network Civic Engagement Training for Nonprofit Direct Service Providers. Direct service providers see a tremendous amount of people every single day and have earned the trust among individuals often underrepresented in the political process. This program gave nonprofits in Eastern WA training regarding the role they can serve, the rules and regulations for nonpartisan voter engagement work and how to incorporate voter registration and civic engagement activities into their programs. Nonprofits engaged in voter registration and turnout efforts throughout the election cycle.
Women & Children’s Free Restaurant & Community Kitchen

Opened 2015!

New building capital campaign. By serving nutritious meals in a safe environment, The Women and Children’s Free Restaurant & Community Kitchen builds a supportive community for women and children in need. Having grown in outreach over the past 20 years, they have secured a new facility to meet the expanding needs in one of Spokane’s poorest neighborhoods.
YWCA of Spokane Strong Future Campaign. The YWCA of Spokane is the go-to place in the region for services that empower women and children: childcare, early childhood education, work readiness resources, support for victims of domestic violence and support for homeless youth and families. At the same time, the organization is becoming one of the primary community resources for issues of racial and social justice.  In its racial and social justice efforts, the organization is collaborating with Gonzaga University, Whitworth University and Washington State University Spokane, along with others in the community. This is a 3 year commitment.

2017 Grant Criteria

The Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund continues to maintain a somewhat informal request process to help keep our region’s direct service providers doing their great work versus filling out a bunch of paperwork!

For funding consideration, please provide a brief outline of the following:

(1) the nature of the project or service for which you are requesting funding
(2) how the project/service fits into at least one of our four core missions; see Our Mission
(3) if the request is to fund an action-oriented project/service that is a net addition to the community – i.e. startup of a new program or helping expand an existing successful program are priorities for us – or if the request is to fund ongoing operations
(4) how the project/service benefits the Inland NW specifically
(5) that the project/service is secular or if a religious affiliation exists, that there is no proselytization and it falls under no religious doctrine or oversight – the Fund values freedom from religion as strongly as it does freedom to worship
(6) amount of funding requested

Please email your request to Sharon at info at We look forward to hearing from you!

About Us


Don Barbieri

For over 40 years, Don Barbieri has led development, business and philanthropic endeavors throughout the Pacific Northwest. In Spokane, Washington, Don led the redevelopment of over one mile of the Spokane River including the historic Broadview Dairy, Red Lion Hotel at the Park, Red Lion River Inn and the upscale Riverpoint and Upper Falls condominium developments. In regional work, Don developed over four miles of Priest Lake, Idaho, through a state-of-the-art planned unit development called Huckleberry at Priest Lake resulting in 90% dedicated open space and forest/wildlife restoration and conservation.

Don served as President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Red Lion Hotels Corporation (previously WestCoast Hotels, Cavanaugh’s Hospitality Corporation) leading dramatic growth and success of its hotel, entertainment and real estate divisions. Don retired from the board and his Chairmanship in 2012.

Don served as a member of the Washington Economic Development Board under three governors while chairing the State of Washington’s Quality of Life Task Force. He is a past Chair for the Spokane Regional Chamber of Commerce, served as President of the Spokane Chapter of the Building Owners and Managers Association, was President of the Spokane Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau and chaired Sacred Heart Medical Center in some of its strongest growth years, and currently serves on the steering committee of the Healthy Washington Coalition.

Don was the Democratic candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in 2004 and remains very politically and civically active. Don resides in Spokane with his domestic partner, Sharon Smith. Together they founded and manage the Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund, a 501(c)3 charitable foundation that focuses on eradicating poverty, expanding affordable housing and other quality of life issues in the Inland Northwest.


Sharon Smith

For 25 years, Sharon led national operations and marketing efforts for hotel brands. While living in Arizona, California and Washington state, she was involved in a variety of community efforts focusing primarily on poverty and homelessness. In 2003, Sharon left her career to volunteer with her partner on his campaign for U.S. Congress providing solid political, local, state and federal knowledge.

Sharon served as Chairwoman of the Spokane County Democrats in 2005/6 leading to election victories unparalleled in Eastern Washington in decades, served as Vice Chair of the Washington State Democratic Party in 2009/10 and was instrumental in the Obama for America campaign in 2008.

Sharon founded the Inland Northwest Leadership PAC and remains very politically and civically active including currently serving on the board of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest. She resides in Spokane with her domestic partner, Don Barbieri. Together they founded and manage the Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund, a 501(c)3 charitable foundation that focuses on eradicating poverty, expanding affordable housing and other quality of life issues in the Inland Northwest.


Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund, A Charitable Foundation
Selected Financial Information

Description 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Donations $0 $329,250 $955,933 $42,481 $410,620 $28,777.00
Program Service Revenue, net of costs [1] $249,026 $181,578 $365,793 $356,502 $589,659 $0.00
Investment Income $35,284 $147,789 ($118,937) ($4,604) $1,640,559 $251,782.00
Other Income $0 $10,394 $6,649 $52 $452 $172.00
Total Income $284,310 $669,011 $1,209,438 $394,431 $2,641,290 $280,731.00
Grants & Projects $28,740 $370,042 $18,200 $65,148 $224,580 $384,928.00
Management & General $0 $14,142 $13,952 $54,638 $83,517 $91,863.00
Fundraising $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0.00
Total Expenses $28,740 $384,184 $32,152 $119,786 $308,097 $476,791.00
Net Increase in Net Assets $255,570 $284,827 $1,177,286 $274,645 $2,333,193 -$196,060.00
Net Assets $2,599,967 $2,884,794 $4,062,080 $4,334,725 $6,210,433 $6,014,373.00

[1] Affordable housing projects previously in the portfolio.

The Foundation Trustees, Sharon Smith and Don Barbieri, personally donate to the Foundation themselves to fund certain projects and cover ALL overhead costs. They employ no foundation staff, draw no salaries or fees and receive no personal benefit from the Foundation.

100% of every dollar donated (other than those by the Foundation Trustees) goes to initiatives and programs that help build Inland Northwest quality of life. To learn more, click here.

Our Advisors

We are not alone! The Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund has great advisors who are experts in their fields as well as respected community participants.

gosline Brian G. Gosline, P.C. – Attorney

Brian Gosline’s primary practice is in individual, corporate, partnership and estate and gift taxation and planning as well as valuations. Brian received his B.B.A. and J.D. degrees from Gonzaga University in Spokane. He is a member of the Washington State Bar Association and Spokane County Bar Association. Brian is a C.P.A. and is a Past President of the Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants and formerly served on the Board of Directors and as Chairman of numerous WSCPA Committees. He was also a member of Council of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the governing body of the 340,000 member AICPA. Brian was President of the Gonzaga University Alumni Board of Directors and a member of the Gonzaga University Board of Regents.

Brian has served as an officer and member of numerous boards of financial institutions, non-profit and charitable organizations and is a Past President of Spokane South Little League. He has spoken before various groups on corporate and individual tax matters as well as estate and gift taxation and has written numerous articles for national and local publications involving various issues of income, estate and gift tax planning. He is an adjunct professor of federal taxation and business law at the Gonzaga University Graduate School of Business where he was named MACC Faculty of the Year for 2010-2011.

sellKevin R. Sell, CPA – Accountant

Kevin Sell is a Certified Public Accountant with over 28 years’ experience working with businesses, individuals and organizations. He focuses on providing income and estate tax planning and compliance to clients throughout the Inland Northwest. After more than 16 years with the largest accounting firm in the West, 4 years ago he decided to join Heiskell MacGillivray, where he can spend time working individually with his clients. He is also an adjunct professor of income tax accounting at Gonzaga University.

Kevin is a member of the American institute of CPA’s, the Washington Society of CPA’s, the incoming President of the Spokane Estate Planning Council, and is Past President of Spokane Chapter of CPA’s and a Past Board Member of the Washington Society of CPA’s. He has served on many philanthropic boards, including Past President of Healing the Children – Inland Northwest, Past Annual Giving Chair – Community Colleges of Spokane Foundation, Past Treasurer of Healing the Children and Past Treasurer of Planned Parenthood, Inland Northwest. He is an avid sportsmen and enjoys mountain biking and running.


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820 N. Post St., #603, Spokane, WA 99201