2018 Annual Conference


Listen. Partner. Lead. Philanthropy Leans In

October 2-4 in Boise Idaho

Our annual conference is the largest convening of grantmakers in the Northwest!

We believe philanthropy is at its best when it is collaborative, transparent and equitable. Our conference provides space to convene together to learn from peers how philanthropy can build capacity in the social sector, commit to racial equity and DEI, and advocate for issues and organizations. 

This year, some of our highlights include: 

Keynote Speakers who Will Push us to Lean In: 

Boise special! Blueprint for Impact Investing: This is a special full-day track to explore the nuts and bolts of impact investing. Peer foundations will discuss the tasks and decisions facing boards, program staff and endowment managers who embrace impact investing. We will also weave in strategies for activating your social capital and purchasing power. The session is fast-paced and interactive. It is led by highly-respected philanthropy leaders. Because the meeting is similar to a custom board retreat, we suggest bringing a team. The session is free for conference participants. We offer special pricing to encourage CEOs, CFOs and board members to take advantage of the high-quality information and networking. See more session details in our flyer, including presenters and information about bringing your team to Boise to create your own impact investing blueprint.

All Blueprint for Impact Investing participants can join the conference welcome reception on Tuesday night at the Basque Block and the plenary lunch on Wednesday with speaker Judy Belk, CEO of California Wellness Foundation.

Fee for one-day attendees: members $400, non-members $600. Additional participants from the same foundation are $200. Register online through Eventbrite. If you want to add on to an existing ticket, you can do so on Eventbrite. 


CEO Track: Following feedback from our 2017 Annual Conference, we are designing a tailored, complementary conference experience for foundation executive directors and CEOs. At the heart of the CEO track is the peer cohort learning model. At Philanthropy Northwest, we believe in the power of cohorts. This program begins Tuesday morning at 9 AM and will run complementary throughout the Annual Conference. Highlights include a CEO-specific workshop on Trust-Based Philanthropy with Phil Li of the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, alongside Brenda Solórzano of the Headwaters Health Foundation of Western Montana; exclusive time with our keynote speakers; a CEO-specific session Wednesday morning during breakfast, and a cohort dinner Wednesday evening with Kiran Ahuja, our CEO. Member price: $250; Non-member Price: $350. You can add this track onto an existing ticket through Eventbrite

Post-Conference Excursion to Minidoka Internment National Monument: When we say we honor 'place' as a core value, we mean including past and present histories of the places in our region. In 1942, almost 13,000 people of Japanese ancestry, many of whom were American citizens, were removed from their homes and sent to a desolate incarceration camp near Twin Falls, Idaho. Minidoka Internment National Monument was established in 2001 to commemorate the hardships and sacrifices of Japanese Americans interned there during World War II. Formerly incarcerated people spent nearly three years detained at Minidoka and other camps during WWII. Today, the site continues to hold a mixture of memories and strong emotions – feelings of denial, distrust, shame, and joy. The intent of the excursion and visit is to understand the full history of Idaho. This includes honoring the first generations of Japanese Americans who suffered most under institutionalized racist laws, to deliver the message of “Never Again,” and to pass on the legacy to anyone who will listen.

Logistics: This excursion departs Boise Thursday afternoon, returns Friday afternoon. Maximum 15 participants. Cost = $200, all inclusive (meals, transportation, hotel) Questions? Contact Elyse Gordon directly to reserve your spot.

Morning Yoga and Wellness Hour: Husband-and-wife team, Vajra Romano and Christina Lagdameo, join us from Olympia, Washington where they established True Self Yoga with a mission to serve your highest good. They award scholarships to young adults (ages 15-24) so they can learn the practical application of yoga and meditation for physical and mental health in their formative years. During the conference enjoy gentle yoga and guided meditation sessions with Vajra and Christina to help bring a sense of ease and relaxation to your days. Through the practice, you will reveal your physical, mental and emotional potential to step into your power and find inner peace.

Register for our Annual Conference Today!


2018 Annual Conference Program

Tuesday, 10/2

6:00 - 7:00 a.m. Morning Yoga 
9:30-11:30 a.m.  CEO Track Kick-Off - Trust-Based Practice
10:00-11:00 a.m. First-Time Attendee Gathering
12:00-1:30 p.m. Native Blessing, Welcome & Keynote
Anand Giridharadas
1:45-3:15 p.m. Session Block 1
  CEO Conversation: Leading for Civil Dialogue
Anand Giridharadas, Richard Woo
  Embodying Trust-Based Practice
Brenda Solarzano, Phil Li
  In it for the Long Haul: Philanthropy's Role in
Strengthening Democracy

Remy Trupin, Kirsten Harris-Talley,
Liz Dupee, Lauren McLean
  The Art of Social Change: KNOW Native America!
Lulani Arquette, Crystal Echohawk
  Not Your Mother's Scholarship Program: Emerging
Trends for Scholarship Providers

Gunner Scott, Susan Anderson, Shelby Weitzel
  Designing and Facilitating Powerhouse Convenings
Ted Lord
  Community Voice, Community Data: Driving Health Equity
Through Place-Based Health Philanthropy

Kendra Witt-Doyle, Elizabeth Ripley, Diane Oakes
3:15 - 3:45 p.m. Break with Optional Meditation 
3:45 - 5:15 p.m.  Session Block 2
  Census 2020: Philanthropy and the Power of 
Statewide Coalitions

The Foraker Group, Yakima Valley Community Foundation
  What's Leadership Got to Do With it? Investing in Capacity
Building in Changing Times

Susan Dobkins, Mozart Guerrier, Uma Rao
  Building Community Philanthropy: The Power of Networks
  Catalytic Investments for Rural Communities
Roque Barros, Kiki Tidwell, Karla Miller
  Pushing Equity Further: Disability Justice as a Tool
to Work With Those Most Impacted

Michael Reyes Andrillon, Tonisha Toler
Waddah Khaled Sofan, Myrlaviana Perez-Rivier
  Workforce Development and Education
  Equitable Grantmaking and Evaluation 
Mijo Lee, Sarah Tran
5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Yoga Nidra
6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Welcome Reception at the Basque Block


Wednesday, 10/3

6:00 - 7:00 a.m. Morning Yoga 
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Blueprint for Impact Investing: Full-Day Worshop
for Teams of CFOs and Trustees

8:30 - 10:00 CEO Breakfast Session 
8:30 - 10:00 a.m. No Program Breakfast - Networking Encouraged!
8:30 - 10:00 a.m. Optional - Invited Conversation
with Census Bureau Staff
10:00 - 11:30 a.m. Session Block 3
  Funding Real News for Real Impact: Four Case
Studies on Community-Funded Journalism

Joaquin Alvarado, Jonathan Martin
LaMonte Guillory, Venice Buhain
  Incorporating a DEI Lens in Recruitment 
and Hiring Practices

Erin Thomas, Crystal Jackson
  Statewide Nonprofit Associations
Amy Little, Laurie Wolf, Jim White, Laura Pierce
  Partnering Across Generations: Journeys in Action
in Family Philanthropy

Annie Hernandez, Kim Wright
  On the Frontlines of Community-Led Change: 
Reflections from Idaho

Natalie Camacho Mendoza
  Giving Within/To/From Native Communities in the
Pacific Northwest: What We've Heard

Christine Dupres, Se-ah-dom Edmo
  What Gives? Breaking Through Management-Staff
Disconnects to Enhance Effectiveness and Advance Equity

Tamir Novotny, Paul Kim, Liz Posey
11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lunch Plenary: Judy Belk
1:15 - 2:45 p.m. Session Block 4
  Achieving the Big Social Change We Seek: 
Why Philanthropy Must Support Policy Advocacy

Misha Werschkul, Lauren Necochea, Sam Byrd,
Michael Brown, Karen Bilowith
  Statewide Capacity Collaborative
  Employee Engagement through and Beyond
Employee Resource Groups

Maryann Fiala, Susi Collins,
Russ StoddardCassandra Mitchell
  Moving the Needle on Youth Homelessness
Raphael Hartmann, Holly Bamford, Nick Bayard
  Supporting Veterans
  Trustee Salon
Ted Lord
2:45 - 3:00 p.m. Groups gather for Learning Tours
3:00 - 6:00 p.m. Learning Tours
  Introspective Learning Journey: Talk Story Workshop
Richard Woo
  Building and Supporting Transformative
Community-Led Campaigns 

Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence
  Education Innovations and Human-Centered Design
One Stone School
  Addressing Homelessness through Diverse Collaborations
Home Partnership Foundation, City of Boise
  Wraparound Services for Refugee Communities
Jannus, Idaho Office of Refugees
3:00 - 4:30 p.m. Walking Tour: Local Art
Karen Bubb, City of Boise
6:30 - 8:00 p.m. Optional: Dine-Arounds
6:30 - 8:00 p.m. CEO Cohort Dinner 
8:00 - 9:00 p.m. Reception Hosted by CHANGE Philanthropy


Thursday, 10/4

6:00 - 7:00 a.m. Morning Yoga 
8:30 - 10:00 a.m. Breakfast Plenary and Membership Meeting: 
Women's Leadership Across the Region

Kiran Ahuja, Karen Bilowith, Aleesha Towns-Bain,
Mary Rutherford, Luz Vega-Marquis
10:15 - 11:15 a.m. Pretty Good Tools With The Giving Practice
  Transformational Governance via 
Generative Conversations

Lisa Fisher
  When Pictures Are Truly Worth 1,000 Words
Jan Jaffe
  De-Clutter Your Grantmaking Process
Anne Katahira, Leslie Silverman
  Talking About Evolutions
Mark Sedway
  Impact Investing
Rosalie Sheehy Cates
10:15 - 11:15 a.m. Tax Reform Impact on Tax-Exempt Organizations
Wendy Campos, Colleen Ramires - Moss Adams, LLP
11:30 - 12:40 Philanthropy Interrupted Talks
  Topics Might Include Opioid Crisis/Response,
Real-Time Policy Conversations, LGBTQ Issues,
Decolonizing Wealth
12:40 - 2:00 Closing Lunch Plenary: Philanthropy Leans In 


Keynote Speakers:

Anand Giridharadas (Tuesday) and Judy Belk (Wednesday)

Anand Giridharadas is the author of The True American (soon to be a feature film), India Calling, and the forthcoming Winners Take All, which will be published in August 2018. He was a foreign correspondent and columnist for The New York Times from 2005 to 2016, and has also written for The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and The New Republic. He is a former McKinsey analyst, an Aspen Institute fellow, a visiting scholar at New York University, an on-air political analyst for NBC News, and has spoken on the main stage of TED. His writing has been honored by the Society of Publishers in Asia, the Poynter Fellowship at Yale and the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Award. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo Credit: Mackenzie Stroh)

Judy Belk is president and chief executive officer of The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF), a private independent foundation created in 1992 with a mission to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention. Throughout her career, Belk has been a strong advocate in promoting diversity, inclusion and equity both within and outside of the philanthropic sector. She has been a passionate voice in raising awareness of the needs of women and girls, as well as communities of color. She has been actively involved in the D5 Initiative, a national coalition of philanthropic leaders committed to increasing philanthropic resources for women, for LGBTQ communities and people of color.

We are also featuing a morning panel of new and seasoned women leaders in philanthropy from across the region: 

Moderated by: Kiran Ahuja: Philanthropy Northwest. Featuring: Mary Rutherford: Montana Community Foundation (MT), Aleesha Towns-Bain: Bristol Bay Native Corporation Foundation (AK), Luz Vega-Marquis: Marguerite Casey Foundation (WA), Karen Bilowith: Idaho Community Foundation (ID). 


Some of our other highlight speakes include: 

Philip Li is the President & CEO of the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, where he oversees all aspects of the Foundation management, including finance, program development, grantmaking, and relationships with peer organizations. Phil currently serves as the board of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations and is the immediate past chair of Philanthropy New York, the regional association of grantmakers in New York City.
Brenda Solarzano is the CEO of the Headwaters Foundation. Brenda has spent her career working for good in the philanthropic world on issues related to health policy, the health care safety net and community health issues affecting vulnerable populations. She is a strategy, evaluation, program and grant making guru with an eye toward local collaboration and a keen sense that change happens when communities come together to engage in good work.

More speaker information to come! 

Register for our Annual Conference Today!


Full Conference: $795

CEO track (add-on): $250

Blueprint for Impact Investing (only): $400


Full Conference: $1,195

CEO track (add-on): $350

Blueprint for Impact Investing (only): $600


Optional Post-Conference Excursion to Minidoka Internment National Monument:
This trip departs following the closing plenary on Thursday, October 4 and returns Friday, October 5 by 3 pm. If you are interested in attending, please indicate interest by reaching out to Elyse Gordon directly. Costs include $200 for all trip-related expenses.

The CEO track option is only available to CEOs or Executive Directors of foundations or grantmaking organizations who are already attending the Annual Conference.

There is no extra fee for conference participants who sign up for the Blueprint for Impact Investing. The rates above are one-day rates to encourage CEOs, CFOs, trustees and other foundation staff to attend as teams.

Not sure which option is right for you? Contact Elyse Gordon at 206-267-9955 or egordon@philanthropynw.org


The conference program takes place at the East Wing of the Boise Centre
850 West Front Street, Boise ID 83702.


You can find lodging at one of two hotels near the Boise Centre.

The Inn at 500 is two blocks from the Boise Centre. Conference participants will receive a discounted rate of $229.00 per night. To book, call Jessie Meldrum at 208-391-2056 or email jmeldrum@innat500.com and reference that you're using the Philanthropy Northwest Group Code. Inn at 500: 500 South Capitol Street, Boise, ID 83702. The hotel has on-site parking available and a free shuttle. 

Hyatt Place is 5 blocks from the Boise Centre. Conference participants will receive a discounted rate of $149.00 per night. You can book your reservation at the Hyatt Place through this link (please note, works in Chrome only). The Hyatt Place is at 1024 West Bannock Street, Boise ID 83702. The hotel has on-site parking. Philanthropy Northwest will offer a shuttle to the Boise Centre. 


All conference registrants will receive a discount code to put towards airfare with our sponsor, Alaska Airlines. The discount code will reduce your fare by 7% and will be available to you via your registration confirmation. 

Directions to Boise Centre

From the Airport

  1. Boise Centre is just seven minutes from the airport and getting there is easy and convenient.
  2. Upon exiting the airport, proceed straight through the intersection and continue traveling north on Vista Avenue for approximately two miles.
  3. Continue traveling past the historic Boise Train Depot (on the left), Vista Avenue turns into Capitol Boulevard.
  4. In approximately one mile, turn left onto Front Street. Boise Centre is on the right, just past The Grove Hotel and Century Link Arena. Boise Centre is on the corner of 9th and Front Street.  Public garage parking is plentiful around the facility.

From I-84 West (Traveling East)

  1. From I-84 take exit 1A-49 on the left for I-184/Franklin Rd – 0.6 mi
  2. Merge onto I-184 E – 4.2 mi
  3. Continue onto W. Myrtle St – 0.4 mi
  4. Turn left onto S. Capitol Blvd – 0.1 mi
  5. Take the second left onto W. Front St.
  6. Boise Centre is on the right, just past The Grove Hotel and Century Link Arena.  Boise Centre is on the corner of 9th and Front Street. Public garage parking is plentiful around the facility.

From I-84 East (Traveling West)

  1. From I-84 take exit 53 for Vista Avenue toward Boise Airport – 0.2 mi
  2. Turn right onto Vista Avenue – 2.1 mi
  3. Continue onto S. Capitol Blvd. – 1.0 mi
  4. Turn left onto W. Front St.
  5. Boise Centre is on the right, just past The Grove Hotel and Century Link Arena. Boise Centre is on the corner of 9th and Front Street. Public garage parking is plentiful around the facility.

Public Transit

Valley Regional Transit operates bus service throughout the Boise area. Route 3 departs the Boise Airport and arrives at Main Street Station underneath Boise Centre East in less than 20 minutes. The fare is $2.00 one-way.

Thanks to our Sponsors! 










 Empire Health Logo     




Interested in sponsorship opportunities? Please contact Anjana Pandey or Elyse Gordon


Who should go to the Philanthropy Northwest Annual Conference?
Participants include corporate giving offices, private and public foundations, community foundations, tribal grantmaking entities, nonprofit grantmaking organizations, government grantmaking offices and impact investors. Because this is a peer-to-peer learning opportunity for funders, it is not appropriate for nonprofit organizations to participate. Please contact Elyse Gordon if you are uncertain of your eligibility. 

What time does the conference begin and end? The conference begins Tuesday, October 2 at 12:00 p.m. and ends Thursday, October 4 at 2:00 p.m.

Who is on the conference committee? Co-chairs include Karen Bilowith (Idaho Community Foundation); Kris Hermanns (Pride Foundation); Antony Chiang (Empire Health Foundation) - Committee Members. Zeeba Khalili (Marguerite Casey Foundation); Jesse Beason (Northwest Health Foundation); Alex McKay (Rasmuson Foundation); Deanna Ward (Home Partnership Foundation); Nicole Bascomb-Aaron (HomeStreet Bank); Amy Little (Idaho Nonprofit Center); and Tara Dowd (United Way Spokane County).

What does it mean that Philanthropy Northwest members need to be in good standing to get the member rates? We are delighted to offer member rates and early bird discounts to current members of Philanthropy Northwest. To be in good standing, your 2018 membership dues should be up to date. A non-member rate will apply if dues are not paid by May 15. Paul Kim or Danielle Crystal can help you with dues and membership questions and payment.

Is there an early bird price for the Annual Conference? Yes! An early purchase price is available for Philanthropy Northwest members. It offers a $100 discount off our Member pricing of $795. This pricing option is in effect until 6:00 p.m. May 15, 2018.

Are there early bird discounts for non-members? No, early bird discounts are a benefit of Philanthropy Northwest membership.

Are there group discounts? No, group discounts are not available but as a Philanthropy Northwest member, we encourage you to register by May 15 to get $100 off your registration.

Can I pay by check? Sorry, no checks, please. We are using an online registration system which only accepts credit card payments.

Can I update my registration information? Yes, you can edit your registration information very easily.

Is my registration fee or ticket transferrable? Yes, you can transfer your ticket to another person at your organization. Please make all transfers by 1:00 p.m. September 26, 2018.

Is it ok if the name on my ticket or registration doesn't match the person who attends? Please make all transfers by 1:00 p.m. September 26, 2018.

Are there sponsorship opportunities? Yes! Please contact Anjana Pandey for more details or see the Sponsorship tab on this page.

Will there be a Request for Proposals for conference sessions? The Request for Proposals is now closed. If you wish to submit additional topics, stay tuned for our Philanthropy Interrupted talks on Thursday, October 4. 

When do you expect to have the full agenda available? We expect to have the full agenda available mid-summer, with information about keynotes and plenaries as they become available.

Is there a cancellation policy? 

Please notify us of cancellation by email at info@philanthropynw.org.

  • On or before September 5 - Full Refund minus $50 processing fee
  • On or before September 12 - Refund of 50% of the registration fee
  • On or before September 19 - Refund of 25% of the registration fee
  • On or before September 26 - No refund available

Forfeited registration fees may not be applied to future Philanthropy Northwest programming. Individuals who need to cancel are encouraged to transfer their registration to another eligible attendee.

Register for our Annual Conference Today!