Latest News

April 28, 2016

Sindhu Knotz, The Giving Practice | When The Giving Practice at Philanthropy Northwest partnered with the D5 Coalition in 2012 to study and report on the ways philanthropic leaders were advancing diversity, equity and inclusion, one of our most significant findings was that leaders need support from peer networks to advance this work. Four years later, we continue to witness how peer learning can be one of the most powerful ways to influence leadership and cultural change within organizations. In confidential, trust-based environments, leaders serve as co-consultants to one another, offering advice, knowledge and sympathetic ears. Again and again, we have seen leaders come together to gather the courage to make meaningful advances in policy, practice and organizational change. We use six key principles to create and facilitate these groups, particularly for cohorts designed around diversity, equity and inclusion. While much of this may read as basic facilitation strategies, we have learned that this is more of an art than a science — and it often takes a few meetings before groups begin to develop their own rhythm and cohesion. more »

April 28, 2016

Seven months after we first met our inaugural cohort of Momentum Fellows, a group of emerging leaders working to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in philanthropy, we continue to be blown away by their insights on our blog and in the field. Leaders at their host foundations — Marguerite Casey Foundation, Northwest Health Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, Oregon Community Foundation, Pride Foundation and Rasmuson Foundation — have also expressed great excitement with this work, which developed out of our first CEO cohort on diversity, equity and inclusion. Before their April meeting at Marguerite Casey Foundation, we asked each of the nine Momentum Fellows to share their thoughts on this prompt: What have you learned about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in philanthropy since becoming a Momentum Fellow — and what do you hope to learn/achieve in the rest of our time together? more »

April 27, 2016

Ten months after launching a coalition pledging to train and hire 100,000 American youths who face systemic barriers to jobs and education, Starbucks, Alaska Airlines, Microsoft and other major companies will hold interviews at Seattle's CenturyLink Field on May 5. more »

April 26, 2016

Anjana Pandey, Donor & Member Relations Director | As Philanthropy Northwest celebrates our 40th anniversary in 2016, we're excited to be working with more than 180 foundations, funds and corporate giving programs committed to Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. Through shared experiences, learning and action across sectors, we help each other become more skillful in our work, advance our missions and build vibrant, equitable and inclusive communities. Strengthening existing connections among our people, places and missions — and forging new opportunities every day — makes us stronger partners regionally and nationally. We are thankful for the support and partnership of our longtime members, along with seven organizations joining us this year from four states. more »

April 21, 2016

Jennifer Teunon, Medina Foundation | In 2011, a King County, Washington nonprofit turned away 25 domestic violence survivors for every 1 who could be housed in its shelter. Those numbers painted a heartbreaking image. I imagined a survivor suffering years of abuse before secretly researching ways to escape, waiting for the right time to risk everything and finally finding the courage to drive away in the middle of the night to the safety of emergency shelter — but instead facing a daunting waiting list. While shelter access has been fundamental to supporting survivors of domestic violence, the Medina Foundation wondered if there could be additional options.  Shelter may still be the safest solution in some cases, but the ability to have a choice — which we learn by really listening to what each survivor needs — is critical. More often than not, they are the ones who can best identify the right solution. more »

April 18, 2016

Mitchell Thomashow, Catalyst Fellow | On the first Earth Day, in 1970, terms like biodiversity, climate change, green building, sustainability and dozens of others had not yet entered the public lexicon. Yet going back to the 19th century writings of Thoreau, American culture has contained a prevailing theme of sustainability: the idea of living within our means and living with respect for interconnected ecosystems. As we approach Earth Day 2016 — this Friday, April 22 — Northwest philanthropic institutions like The Bullitt Foundation are playing a major role in contributing to all aspects of this ethos, including conservation, policy and education. more »

April 14, 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 topic at hand. We kicked this series off in February with the CEOs of five healthcare conversion foundations, then continued in March with the seven leaders of the Pacific Northwest's statewide nonprofit associations. For April, Philanthropy Northwest discussed arts funding in our region with four of our network's leaders, representing The Boeing Company, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, Nesholm Family Foundation and Rasmuson Foundation. more »

April 12, 2016

Gina Anstey, The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation | Three years ago, The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation decided to expand from grantmaking to impact investing. While some community foundations begin their impact investing journey by making small program-related investments (PRIs), we decided to begin through our endowment. Our board felt most comfortable starting with a plan to invest up to 3% of our endowment in projects that help support healthy communities in Pierce County. We have spent decades working here, seeing the tremendous impact of our grantmaking — but also seeing its limitations. Impact investing can amplify and complement our work. more »