Latest News

May 26, 2016

Philanthropists from the Northwest and nationwide will flock to Philanthropy Northwest's annual conference this fall. Our conference theme, Under One Sky, reminds us that from Alaska to Wyoming, from urban to rural, we remain connected by a greater purpose: our shared commitment to supporting vibrant, equitable and inclusive communities. Early-bird member rate ends 11:59 p.m. (Pacific time), Thursday, May 26! We're pleased to confirm that leaders from these organizations will be joining us, September 13 to 15 in Missoula, Montana: more »

May 25, 2016

Rosalie Sheehy Cates, Catalyst Fellow | It’s not every day you find the top officers from the biggest foundations in the United States chatting about their commitment to impact investing. It happened, though, at the Mission Investors Exchange (MIE) biennial conference in Baltimore, Maryland. From May 9 to 11, the CEOs of Meyer Memorial Trust and the Ford, Kresge, MacArthur, McKnight and Surdna foundations each took the stage to share their stories, commitment and strategies for "Seizing the Momentum" of impact investing. The size and stature of these foundations are a testament to MIE’s organizational reach and impact investing’s increasingly mainstream appeal. It may be a little overwhelming however, for smaller foundations and organizations just beginning to explore this tool. The MIE conference can feel like the arcade at the state fair: Over here we have real estate strategies to fight gentrification! Over there are fisheries, already accelerated to Version 2.0!  And over there, how to invest our way out of climate change! I think this is overwhelming in a good way, though. more »

May 24, 2016

Nicole Neroulias Gupte, Senior Communications Manager | At a May 24 Seattle gathering of three dozen social media influencers, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann answered questions about the foundation's views of taking risks and applying new knowledge to solve some of the world's biggest problems. Most questions focused on aspects of Desmond-Hellmann's recent open letter to the community, her first such message since joining the foundation two years ago, sharing examples from the foundation's global health and national education work. On behalf of Philanthropy Northwest, I had an entirely place-based query: "I'd like to hear more about the foundation's home being here in the Northwest. How does that influence the culture and what kind of risks are you able to take here at home?" more »

May 20, 2016

Nicole Neroulias Gupte, Senior Communications Manager | The Puget Sound Business Journal honored 75 companies for corporate philanthropy, based on 2015 cash giving in Washington state, at its annual Corporate Citizenship and Healthy Community Champion awards luncheon, in partnership with Seattle Foundation. In the large category, focused on companies with revenue exceeding $500 million, three Philanthropy Northwest members topped the list: Microsoft, Boeing, Starbucks. We will be exploring these and other corporate giving models in a June 6 discussion on The ROI for Corporate Social Responsibility. more »

May 19, 2016

Elizabeth Posey, Momentum Fellow | When I was seven years old, I spent hours hanging upside down from the large cottonwood tree in my front yard during those short summer months, imagining different worlds to go with the shapes of the clouds. During our endless Anchorage winters, I still spent hours outdoors, building whole new worlds out of snow. That little black girl grew up enraptured by the blue majesty of the snow-capped mountains and the sheer vastness of the state that fueled her sense of imagination, nurturing the idea that more was possible. Now my interest in alternate realities is expressed through my work, at the intersection of philanthropy, public policy and public health. At Marguerite Casey Foundation, which I joined as one of Philanthropy Northwest's Momentum Fellows last fall, we build movements by funding organizations that ensure low-income communities have an equal political and economic voice through issue advocacy, organizing and leadership development. Only by ensuring that change is centered on the people most impacted by the inequities will we have a collective opportunity to transform our shared reality. more »

May 18, 2016

Sheila Babb Anderson, Campion Foundation & Remy Trupin, Catalyst Fellow | Our polarized climate may discourage nonprofits and foundation leaders from engaging in advocacy — but to solve many of the challenges we’re working on, government must be part of the solution. And for government to change laws and enact policies, we need engagement and visible support from nonprofits working on these issues. When weighing a proposal, a skeptical policymaker will wonder why leaders of organizations responsible for a related mission are sitting on the sidelines. Nonprofit board members are influential members of the community — that’s why they’re on the board in the first place! — with diverse views, backgrounds and networks. They are a critical piece of this changemaking puzzle. more »

May 17, 2016

Our "virtual roundtable" interviews feature a group of leaders from across our network who work on a common issue area, illuminating the diversity of place-based approaches to the shared topic. We kicked this series off in February with the CEOs of five healthcare conversion foundations, then continued in March with the Pacific Northwest's seven statewide nonprofit associations and April with four leading arts funders. For May, we interviewed grantmakers from five foundations — The Ford Family Foundation, Montana Community Foundation, Northwest Area Foundation, Whatcom Community Foundation and Wyoming Community Foundation — focused on rural communities. more »

May 12, 2016

Anne Kubisch, The Ford Family Foundation | Oct. 1, 2015, was a day that rocked our world and broke our hearts. The mass shooting at Umpqua Community College was so personal, so local, so much about us. The kind of tragedy that we somehow thought only could happen in other communities, or in other schools, actually happened to us — in Roseburg, Oregon, a town of 22,000 residents. We needed to cry, help the victims, and put in place a community response to the crisis — all at the same time. Oct. 1 was also the day we discovered the resilience and capacity of the Douglas County community. We are devoting this issue of Community Vitality [The Ford Family Foundation's biannual newsletter] to telling these stories. more »