Learning from Jeff Raikes – Part I

Jeff and Tricia Raikes

Jeff and Tricia Raikes

I so admire Jeff and Tricia Raikes. They are terrific philanthropists who live in the Seattle area and I first met them when they where Campaign 2006-2007 Campaign Co-Chairs for United Way of King County,  a record-breaking year for the local United Way and also helped to finish the$140 million  Gates Challenge Endowment.

As a major gifts fundraiser at United Way, our team worked closely with Jeff and Tricia to meet our annual and endowment goals. They are down to earth, strategic in their approach, and were careful to balance their work, family and volunteer lives.

Jeff grew up in Nebraska, where the family still has a farm. He credits the spirit and ethic of the community as teaching him important tenants of charity. You can see that in their impact giving through the Raikes Foundation. They both were early employees at Microsoft; Tricia was about employee 75 and Jeff came on with employee badge 100 or so. They were also the first couple to meet and marry at Microsoft, as lore has it.

Jeff is also part of a group which owns the Seattle Mariners and he is a real baseball fan. After Jeff left Microsoft in January 2008 after 27 years and in December that same year became the President of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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