The Association of Fundraising Professionals – Washington Chapter, named Sonya Campion ’83 and her husband, Tom Campion, Outstanding Philanthropists for 2011.
They were honored for the charity work they do as individuals, as well as the charity work they do through their two foundations, the Zumiez Foundation and the Campion Foundation.
The Zumiez Foundation works to provide relief to the homeless while educating the company’s young employees to give back to their communities. The Campion Foundation is geared toward protecting the wilderness, ending homelessness and building a vibrant nonprofit sector.
“Tom and Sonya are an important part of a new generation of philanthropists who have decided to use their wealth, while they are still very much alive, to make an impact on the issues they care about deeply,” said David M. Wertheimer of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
In a November editorial the couple wrote for The Seattle Times, the Campions reflected on how philanthropic work should continue even during the current economic crisis, writing, “Taxes are not the enemy – they can provide the catalytic sparks that ignite sustainable solutions.”
The couple pointed to how they started Zumiez, a skateboarding and snow sports apparel store, with a $35,000 loan from the Small Business Administration – a government program – and today have more than 440 stores throughout the United States.
“Think of what a wide positive economic impact that initial government investment created,” the couple wrote in The Seattle Times.
Sonya Campion is a professional fundraiser with nearly 30 years of experience, which includes serving as principal of The Collins Group, a regional fundraising consulting firm.
“We believe that we can achieve the greatest impact by investing in efforts that reflect the same principles that built Zumiez, whether we are working to permanently protect our nation’s largest remaining public lands or by supporting advocacy efforts to end homelessness,” Tom and Sonya wrote.