Cascade Philanthropy Advisors - Logo Helping Thoughtful Donors Achieve Deep Impact


Click below to read each complete testimonial.

“Lowell is a gift to the world of philanthropy."

Bill Gates Sr.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

"Lowell brings…deep knowledge with sound judgment…”

Paul Brest
Stanford University

“Lowell is a trusted advisor [and] strategist…"

Mario Morino
Venture Philanthropy Partners

“Lowell Weiss is …a great analyst of complex problems who is also deeply insightful about their human dimensions…”

Phil Buchanan
Center for Effective Philanthropy

“We are very lucky to have someone with Lowell’s … philanthropic smarts in Seattle.”

Paul Shoemaker
SVP Seattle

“It is a boon to philanthropy…that Lowell is now [helping to] guide the most serious philanthropists toward greater effectiveness...”

Paul G. Schervish
Center on Wealth and Philanthropy

“Lowell brings a very special…combination of skills and instincts to the field of philanthropic advising.”

Virginia Esposito
Center for Family Philanthropy




Cascade Philanthropy Advisors helps donors use their money, time, and brainpower to create meaningful change in the world. We work with many different types of philanthropists—from multibillion-dollar foundations operating on a global scale to families investing in their own communities. The common denominator is that we help our clients use their resources as effectively as possible.


  • Focusing philanthropic goals
  • Developing grant strategies
  • Producing business plans
  • Sharpening the use of media, public policy, and other advocacy tools
  • Authoring issue briefs that present good opportunities for impact
  • Surveying the landscape of existing efforts in a field
  • Evaluating grant proposals
  • Drafting grant guidelines
  • Creating travel and other first-hand experiences that stretch donors’ thinking and energize them to act
  • Engaging next-generation family members in clients’ philanthropic work

4037 32nd Avenue W
Seattle, WA  98199


The firm is led by Lowell Weiss, who has spent nearly two decades working to spark social change across a broad array of local, national, and global issues. Prior to starting Cascade Philanthropy Advisors in 2008, Lowell served in a leadership role at one of the world’s foremost change-making institutions, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Among his many responsibilities, Lowell served as staff director of the team responsible for providing Bill and Melinda Gates with analytical insights on how to make highest and best use of Warren Buffett’s historic $31 billion gift to the foundation. During his tenure at Gates, Lowell drew upon knowledge he gained as the director of the chairman’s office at a pioneering venture philanthropy organization, the Morino Institute, which is dedicated to improving the lives of at-risk children in the National Capital Region.

Lowell Weiss, President


Lowell has also worked for change through public service and the media. As Special Assistant to the President in the Clinton White House, Lowell traveled extensively with President Clinton, wrote more than 150 speeches for him, and served as a key communications strategist on issues ranging from the environment to economic development. He also served in a similar capacity with Vice President Al Gore during the 1996 presidential campaign. Before that, he wrote a New York Times bestselling book with political consultant James Carville; served as an editor at The Atlantic Monthly; and published articles in magazines including The Atlantic Monthly, U.S. News and World Report, and The New Republic.

Lowell spearheaded a successful statewide campaign to strengthen traffic safety laws in Washington State; serves on the advisory board of Juma Ventures Seattle; served on the board of City Year Seattle/King County; helped create an initiative that inspired 1,000 federal employees to serve as reading tutors in D.C. Public Schools; and for many years served as a mentor in Northeast Washington, DC. He graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College in 1990.


Cascade Philanthropy Advisors helps donors working across a wide range of philanthropic issues—from education in the U.S. to trade in Africa. Our unique value is the way we help clients cut through complexity and apply the art and science of effective giving.

In keeping with the personal nature of philanthropic giving, we do not offer a set of standard, off-the-rack solutions. Instead, we tailor all of our work products to the needs and distinctive operating styles of our clients. Our clients know we meet them precisely where they are and that we will walk through walls to help them get where they want to be.

Cascade Philanthropy Advisors is a small, independent firm. Lowell Weiss is deeply engaged in every phase of the work with each of our clients. To augment his capabilities, he draws upon the expertise of a broad network of philanthropic and issue experts around the world.

The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Mario Morino/Morino Ventures
Walton Family Foundation
Venture Philanthropy Partners
Aviv Foundation
The Center for Effective Philanthropy
The Feldman Family Foundation
The Threshold Group
Asian Venture Philanthropy Network
The Philanthropy Workshop West
The Belk Foundation
The National Center for Family Philanthropy
Jewish Family Service of Seattle
Bipartisan Policy Center
Eastern Congo Initiative
Living Cities




© 2017 Cascade Philanthropy Advisors, Inc. All rights reserved. | Website design and production by Heitman Design