The mission of the Kerry & Linda Killinger Foundation is to enhance our communities by being advocates for civil discourse, broadening access to the arts, promoting excellence in higher education, and caring for those in need.

The Kerry & Linda Killinger Foundation was started in 2002, and continues to support great organizations today that fulfill its mission in the communities where Kerry and Linda live and work.

Enhancing Community

Vibrant, successful communities require constant attention to support educational, cultural, and economic quality of life for all people. The following are some of the organizations the Killinger Foundation has supported towards that end.

Click on the logos below to see how the Killinger Foundation has enhanced the communities where Kerry and Linda live and work.

Des Moines Water Works Park

Kerry and Linda love the amphitheater at Water Works Park and the enrichment it brings to the Des Moines community.  For four generations, members of the Killinger family have played music, taught music, and brought music to the greater Des Moines region.

It was a fitting tribute to honor the Killinger family’s music legacy by naming the Killinger Stage at the amphitheater, and hosting a kick-off concert and picnic on Labor Day 2019 that featured the Killinger Big Band!

ISU Greenlee Summit

The Killinger Foundation was the founding sponsor of an exciting forum for civil discourse in the fall of 2019 at the Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism. The Civility Symposium brought local and nationally recognized experts together to openly discuss some of the most challenging topics of the day.

It was an honor to have Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller
and former Presidential Press Secretary Mike McCurry
contribute to the 2019 Civility Symposium on a panel moderated by Kevin Cooney.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

In June 2002, Kerry was awarded the E. Donnall Thomas medal of achievement by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. It was given to Kerry for: “vision, leadership, dedication and to commemorate a lifetime of achievement with far reaching benefits to humanity.”

The University of Washington

Linda served on the Foundation Board of Governors during the $1 billion fund drive in the mid-2000’s, and Kerry and Linda co-chaired a successful capital campaign for the College of Education. The Killinger Foundation also funded an endowed Chair in Diversity Studies which has been held by internationally recognized scholar Dr. James Banks.

Cascade Public Media

The Killinger Foundation has been the Founding Sponsor of the Crosscut Festival since it’s inception in 2018, which brings together national speakers, community leaders and students to discuss the important topics of the day. The Foundation sponsors the Crosscut Festival because it is an excellent forum to enhance civil discourse by convening leaders to openly discuss the challenging issues facing our communities.

Linda also served on Cascade Public Media’s board of directors from 2008-2019, supporting great programming at PBS affiliate
KCTS 9 and leading-edge news at Crosscut.

Seattle Art Museum

Linda served on the Board of the Seattle Art Museum and was on the Major Gifts Committee that raised over $100 million for the construction of the downtown museum, the remodel of the Asian Art Museum, and the creation of the Olympic Sculpture Park. Kerry and Linda also funded the Kerry & Linda Killinger gallery in the downtown Seattle museum because they desire to make great art available for all to enjoy.

Seattle City Club

Seattle CityClub is a nonpartisan organization improving the civic health of the Puget Sound region by providing programs that bridge politics, sectors and generations to inform and engage residents and community leaders. On a semi-monthly basis, CityClub puts on a Civic Cocktail program which offers a lively look at important issues facing the Puget Sound region and connects community leaders with residents in engaging conversation. The program’s conversational format features elected officials, community leaders, journalists, political pundits and news-makers.

Kerry and Linda know the importance of having diverse voices present in community forums like the Civic Cocktail, so the Foundation has provided scholarshipped tickets since 2018 for youth, people of color, and immigrants & refugees to attend these important forums for connecting with community leaders and engaging in pressing regional issues.

Iowa State University

Linda and Kerry enjoy supporting Linda’s alma matter by serving on the board of governors of the Iowa State Foundation. Linda also serves on the Dean’s Council of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

United Way

Kerry & Linda are members of United Way’s Million Dollar Roundtable, and have financially supported and been involved in campaigns to raise funds for United Way in all of the communities where they live and work.

Rancho Mirage Writers Festival

Kerry & Linda have enjoyed supporting this world class gathering of writers, thinkers, and people contributing to intellectual vitality. Each year, the Festival welcomes 50 authors to talk about their books, their source of ideas, and the mechanics of writing for publication. Over 1,000 “readers” join in the fun.


Kerry and Linda live part of the year in the Bighorn Community in Southern California. They enjoy supporting the activities of fellow Bighorn members to raise money for breast cancer, scholarships and health and human services in the local community. Over the past ten years, the Bighorn Community has collectively raised over $10 million for these important community needs.

Shriners Hospitals

The Killinger Foundation funded an artificial limb program for disabled children and an operating room at one of the Shriners Hospitals in honor of Linda’s father, Richard, who was a potentate and on the Board of Directors of one of the Shriners Hospitals.

Health and Human Services

The Killinger Foundation has supported many valiant organizations who are providing health and human services across the Northwest, Midwest and Southern California.

In 2020, those organizations have included:
+ St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church – providing meals to those who are hungry in the Greater Seattle area
+ Northwest Family Life – domestic violence treatment and counseling
+ Strategic Alliance to Fight Exploitation (SAFE) – combating sex trafficking in Washington state
+ YWCA of Seattle – eviction prevention assistance
+ LifeWire – services for domestic violence victims


Kerry (left) playing with Doc Severinsen from the Tonight Show (right)

Kerry and Linda love making music performances available to as many people as possible, and over the years have sponsored many concerts in Iowa and Washington state, including the annual Veterans Day concert of the Iowa Veterans Military band which was founded and directed by Kerry’s father Karl.

Kerry’s mom and dad


Kerry and Linda have a long history of working for community building, K-12 and higher education, affordable housing, and social and racial justice.

Kerry has given his time and expertise to many community-building organizations through the years including the Seattle Alliance for Education, the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, the Washington Roundtable, the Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy, the Partnership for Learning, as well as capital campaigns at the University of Washington and Washington State University. He received the National Points of Light Award for work in affordable housing and education and has served on numerous state and national boards. He also received the Thurgood Marshall Award for his work to improve racial and social justice. In addition, Kerry was CEO of a large corporation that continually was selected as the J.D. Power & Associates leader for customer satisfaction, the “Best Place to Work”, the “Best Employer for Women and Minorities”, and a champion for affordable housing.

When Linda was the top executive for the Iowa Department of Human Services she worked tirelessly to help develop and improve programs to bring employment, social services, justice, housing and family assistance to the most vulnerable citizens across Iowa and in the state’s prisons and mental health facilities. Linda also co-chaired many social justice commissions in Iowa, including Governor Vilsacks Housing Task Force, the Mayor’s Drug Task Force, and the Mayor’s High School Equity Committee. In addition, Linda was honored to serve as chair of the Affordable Housing Committee of the Federal Home Loan Bank that awarded millions of dollars each year to affordable housing projects.