2013 Annual Report

Dear Members and Friends,

Philanthropy is a diverse and dynamic global movement deeply rooted in love for people, place and community. Here in the Northwest, we are fortunate to have a vibrant philanthropic sector that is forging a distinctive regional approach to philanthropy: authentic, open, collaborative, community-oriented and grounded in a strong and abiding sense of place. While the interests of our Northwest philanthropic community span the globe, one thread woven through this tapestry is a shared focus on building strong, resilient communities.
 
We need look no further than the morning newspaper (or, perhaps, at its rapid disappearance!) to realize that we live in a world that is growing rapidly more complex, uncertain, volatile and ambiguous. We live in a time of tremendous change at every scale and in every quadrant of society. Our shared challenge as philanthropists is not only to respond to a changing world, but to recognize that philanthropy itself is changing — and with it the ecosystem of organizations and institutions that support philanthropy.
 
While our core belief in the power of collective action to build strong, resilient communities is enduring, Philanthropy Northwest is a very different organization than it was even as recently as five years ago. In a world of accelerating change, we have made some big bets on what it takes to build and sustain a valuable, relevant and engaged network of philanthropists.
 
As the capstone of Carol Lewis' remarkable tenure, this report and our financials show that these bets — on our consulting business, mission investing, community democracy and on our philanthropic project incubator — are paying off. Our balance sheet is healthy and growing for the right reasons. We are seeing strong growth in demand for our consulting services. Our project incubation platform is vibrant — and its two keystone projects, Mission Investors Exchange and Community Democracy Workshop, are thriving. At the same time, we continue to provide excellent learning opportunities, such as the sold-out conference in Juneau, Alaska, our CEO cohort on diversity, equity and inclusion in philanthropy in our region, supporting local funder groups and issue specific funder collaboratives, and building community foundation networks and capacity. We are working hard across all three arms of our organization to bring you experiences that help you become more powerful and effective in your philanthropic work.

Thank you for joining together with us in this shared journey. We look forward to continuing to walk alongside you.


Jeff Clarke

CEO

The organization continues to grow, fueled by The Giving Practice, Mission Investors Exchange, the arrival of Community Democracy Workshop and investments funded through our capital campaign. Our enterprise systems play a critical role in managing the growth and its increasing complexity. The 2013 audit continued the decade-plus run of clean audit results.

 

Core unrestricted net assets continue to show modest growth, reflecting challenges associated with growing membership. Over the past few years, our growth results from large increases in restricted assets generated by a combination of Mission Investors Exchange, Community Democracy Workshop, capital campaign funds and other project-specific grants.

 

Our revenue mix continues to evolve. The peak in grants/contributions in 2012 is attributable to the conclusion of our capital campaign. Earned income through The Giving Practice continues to grow, as do Mission Investors Exchange dues. Community Democracy Workshop is a new element in the mix for 2013.

 

Mission Investors Exchange's national membership base continues to grow, reflecting strong and growing national interest in mission investing. Philanthropy Northwest's membership remains steady.

 

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