Skagit Valley Hospital

Client Success Story


Seattle, Washington

For over two decades, FareStart, through its innovative restaurant and culinary job training and placement program, has made an incredible impact on the Seattle community: feeding the disadvantaged, launching careers, and transforming lives.

The Challenge

FareStart works tirelessly to bring its program to as many adults and youth as possible and so has experienced incredible growth and expansion in recent years. Since 2001, FareStart has looked to Collins for help with growing philanthropy for a variety of needs, from finding a permanent home to enrolling more students to making its social enterprise model replicable nationwide through its Catalyst Kitchens network.

The Approach

FareStart first retained Collins in 2001 to test the feasibility of a major capital campaign for a new facility and successfully completed the $8 million “Futures Rising” campaign. In 2011 Collins provided counsel to help FareStart establish the Circle of Impact, its major donor program, and launch its planned giving effort. In 2014 Collins was engaged to advise FareStart on how best to double philanthropic support to achieve the vision set out in its five-year strategic platform.

The Results

Collins’ counsel was instrumental in helping FareStart with its first capital campaign and to scale philanthropy to its overall growth since. As a result of the move into its new headquarters in Seattle’s downtown core in 2007, FareStart was able to double its number of students and graduates within five years. FareStart graduates—most of whom fall into the “hardest to serve” demographics—have high employment rates and are able to move from poverty to true self-sufficiency. As FareStart’s national leadership rapidly expands Catalyst Kitchens, the positive impact of its work is being felt here and across the country.

Collins Group always provides valuable insight and practical recommendations that have significantly assisted FareStart in growing and sustaining our philanthropic resources.”

Michelle McDaniel
Chief development officer / farestart