Annual Conference 2019


Join us for Rooted. Grounded. Growing.

The Philanthropy Northwest Annual Conference: November 18-19 at The Westin Seattle 


PNW 2019 annual conf banner

We believe philanthropy is at its best when it is collaborative, transparent and equitable. Our annual conference -  the largest convening of grantmakers in the Northwest - provides space for funders 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.

Our 2018 conference was the best yet, highlighting the power of philanthropy and community in Boise, Idaho.  In 2019 we’ll build on that success as we welcome our network to our backyard of Seattle, WA! This year we are uniquely positioned to partner with CHANGE Philanthropy, whose UNITY Summit will bring together over 800 participants from across the country to Seattle.  We are excited to announce that Philanthropy Northwest members will receive a discount on the UNITY Summit if they choose to register for both events. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to bring the Pacific Northwest voice to the national conversation on advancing equity within our sector.

This year, we are extremely proud of the collaborative effort that produced our 2019 conference artwork for our theme: ROOTED. GROUNDED. GROWING. Want to learn more about our conference art and our collaboration with Eighth Generation? Read more about our partnership on our blog. 

Take Action:

Questions? Contact Elyse Gordon for more information. We look forward to seeing you in November!


Register for PNW19

Agenda at a Glance: 

We encourage you to consult our Conference Program to get a more detailed agenda or download our PNW19 App, which will be available in early November.

Monday November 18

7:00 am – Registration Opens

8:30 am - Please Arrive, Grab Breakfast 

9:00 am – 10:30 am – Welcome and Opening Plenary 
(Throughout the conference, we are hosting concurrent content specific to Community Foundation staff and trustees. While all CF track participants are welcome to attend any/all PNW19 content, you will always have an option for CF-specific content and networking opportunities. Not sure which one is right for you? Check in with Mares Asfaha)

10:45 am – 12:15 pm – Lightning Talks
(New this year! Lightning talks are 10-15 minute talks designed to keep the energy going and hear from an array of people in the field. These are stories of transformation, sharing learnings from failures, highlighting collaborations, or a historical look-back of how a community has changed. All talks will be clustered based on thematic interests, such as rural philanthropy, issues facing emerging practitioners, approaches to housing and homelessness, workforce development and the new economy, etc.)   

10:45 am – 12:15 pm – Community Foundation Track - Session A

12:30 – 2:00 – Lunch and Plenary: Transforming Philanthropy from the Inside Out with Michelle DePass and Jeff Raikes 
(Join Jeff Raikes and Michelle DePass as we think about transforming foundations from the inside to lead with equity.)

2:00 - 2:30 pm - Networking Break 

2:30 – 4:00 - Community Foundation Track - Session B 

2:30 – 5:00 – Deepening our Equity Lens: 5 workshops designed to meet you where you are
(Whether you are just beginning to think about diversity, equity and inclusion or you have been advancing this work for years, we will have something for you. With dedicated, trained facilitators for each training, we want people to find their most appropriate workshop and dive in for 2.5 hours of deep, peer learning. There will be five different workshops aimed at helping you name your biggest learning edges and work with your peers to leave with greater skills and adeptness at advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in your work.)

6:00 – 8:00 – Reception (Wing Luke Museum) 

Tuesday November 19:

8:30 – 10:00 – Membership Meeting and Morning Power Speaker
(Join us for the Philanthropy Northwest annual Membership Meeting and a 20-minute power speaker!) 

9:30 - 11:30 - The Blanket Exercise (presented by Native Americans in Philanthropy)
(Please pre-register for The Blanket Exercise when you complete your conference registration. You will miss the PNW morning power speaker but are encouraged to come at 8:30 for breakfast.)

10:15 – 11:45 – Breakout Sessions + Community Foundation Track Session C 
(For anyone NOT participating in The Blanket Exercise, please select one of five concurrent sessions.) 

12:00 – 2:40 – UNITY Summit Opening Luncheon (note adjusted time) 
(Anyone attending both PNW19 AND Unity Summit transitions to Unity Summit – PNW19 attendees are invited to stay for lunch for a modest fee.)

12:30 – 4:30 – Optional: PNW CEO Summit + Reception
(Only available to those NOT participating in the Unity Summit) 

6:00 – 10:00 – Joint Welcome Reception (Please not the reception runs from 6-8 pm, with option to stay and explore the museum until 10 pm!) 

Wednesday November 20:

OPTIONAL: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm - Native Boarding School Healing Conference & Tulalip Cultural Center Tour

Register here.

Register for PNW19

We are delighted to feature a dynamic lineup of plenary and keynote speakers as well as local artists at our annual conference.

Join us each morning for our Power Speakers: 


Abigail Echo-Hawk, Director, Urban Indian Health Institute                           Rami Nashashibi, Executive Director, Inner-City Muslim Action Network


Monday, November 18 Lunchtime Plenary featuring: 


Michelle DePass, CEO & President, Meyer Memorial Trust                           Jeff Raikes, Co-Founder, Raikes Foundation


And Diversity, Equity and Inclusion workshops led by: 


Aparna Rae (Co-Founder) and Jessica Walker Beaumont, Moving Beyond 


Maya Thornell-Sandifor, Director of Racial Equity Initiatives, Borealis Philanthropy 


Vanessa Daniel, Executive Director, Groundswell Fund 

Registration will be available until early November! Stay tuned for more conference highlights.

PNW19 Register Button


Full Conference (Early Bird): $345 (ended July 15)

Full Conference: $395 

Community Foundation Track: $295 

CEO track (optional add-on): $150


Full Conference: $695

Community Foundation Track: $350

CEO track (optional add-on): $250


Unity Summit Opening Lunch Only (no summit access): $45 


We have a discounted rate for individual donors who are not part of a foundation staff or board, but interested in deepening their philanthropic practices. Interested? Email Elyse Gordon for more information. 

All participants will receive $100 off of their registration if they register for the CHANGE Philanthropy Unity Summit as well. A discount code will be sent in your registration confirmation email. 

While we encourage members to register for the Unity Summit, we know this might not be feasible. We encourage you to stay for lunch on November 19 as we transition from PNW19 to the Unity Summit. All PNW participants are welcome to join the joint welcome reception on Tuesday, November 19 at 7 p.m. 

For this year’s conference, we are excited to showcase again our CEO track, which has become a popular and coveted space for CEOs and Executive Directors to come together and discuss significant trends in the sector, build important networks, and engage in thoughtful discussions about their experiences as leaders in the sector. This segment of the conference will begin Tuesday afternoon, November 19, and will partially overlap with the beginning of the Unity Summit. Our hope is to have at least 20 leaders or more join us for this segment of the conference to ensure a robust and diverse gathering. 

There is no extra fee for conference participants who sign up for the Community Foundation Track. The rates above are inclusive of all Philanthropy Northwest Conference content. A select number of scholarships are available for community foundations who are Philanthropy Northwest members to attend the conference. Please contact Mares Asfaha at for more information. 

Questions? Contact Elyse Gordon at 206-267-9955 or



Join us at the Westin Seattle, 1900 5th Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98101.


The Westin Seattle is located in the heart of downtown Seattle, two blocks from the light rail to SeaTac Airport. Conference participants will receive a discounted rate of $189.00 per night. Conference attendees will receive a significantly discounted rate on overnight parking of $20.00. The Westin Seattle offers many amenities, including a pool, Peleton bikes, self-guided running tours of the city and more! ​To book your reservation, please visit this link.


Please note the Westin Valet and Self-Parking garage are located IN the Westin hotel.  The entrance for both is off of Westlake Ave off the corner of 6th Avenue.  There is a public parking garage labeled “Westin Parking” on 5th Avenue. This garage is not affiliated with the Westin Hotel, but is a public garage with easy access to the Westin Hotel via a sky bridge. 


We recommend flying with our longtime member and partner Alaska Airlines. There is a convenient light rail that goes from the airport to about 3 blocks from the Westin. 

Getting to the Westin

From Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)

Hotel direction: 13.3 miles N

This hotel does not provide shuttle service.

  • Alternate transportation: Limousine/Town Car Service;on request
  • Estimated taxi fare: 45 USD (one way)
  • Bus service, fee: 18 USD (one way)
  • Subway service, fee: 3 USD (one way)

Visit SEA airport website

Driving directions

From Sea-Tac Airport, get on WA-518 E from Airport Expressway.From WA-518 E, take the exit for I-5 N and travel north on I-5 for 12.4 miles.Take the Seneca Street exit #165. The exit will be on the left. Turn right on 6th Ave and proceed north for six blocks.Cross over Stewart Street. The hotel will be on the left.

From North:
Take I-5 S. Take the Union Street exit #165B. Continue onto Union Street. Turn right onto 6th Ave. Take a left onto Stewart Street (pass the Bank of America Financial Center on the left). The hotel will be on the right.

Public Transit

The Link Light Rail runs directly from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Westlake Station, 2 blocks from The Westin. Fares are $3 each way. There are also ample bus lines that serve the downtown area. If you want to plan your trip via public transit, visit


Thank You to Our Sponsors for Making This Conference Possible!



Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Logo              Casey Family Programs Logo              Marguerite Casey Foundation Logo 



Alaska Airlines Logo      Blackbaud Logo      Catchafire Logo       


Hugh and Jane Ferguson Foundation Logo      Microsoft Logo      Seattle Foundation Logo      



     Clifton Larson Allen Logo     Davis Wright Tremaine Logo     Foundant Logo        


Moss Adams Logo     Raikes Foundation Logo    



Cambia Health Foundation     Dental Foundation of Oregon Logo           Sherwood Trust Logo

Interested in supporting the Philanthropy Northwest Annual Conference as a sponsor? You can also provide joint sponsorship to Philanthropy Northwest and CHANGE Philanthropy for double the sponsor benefits!

Please contact Anjana Pandey or Elyse Gordon for more information on becoming a sponsor. 


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. This is a peer-to-peer learning opportunity for funders. Please contact Elyse Gordon if you are uncertain of your eligibility. 

What time does the conference begin and end? The conference begins Monday, November 18, at 9 a.m. ends Tuesday, November 19, at noon.

What’s going on with CHANGE Philanthropy? Philanthropy Northwest is excited to partner with CHANGE Philanthropy for their 2019 Unity Summit. Philanthropy Northwest attendees are invited to attend both PNW19 as well as the Unity Summit. Guests who sign-up for both PNW19 and Unity Summit will receive $100 off their Unity Summit registration. More information about the Unity Summit can be found here.

CHANGE Philanthropy is a coalition of philanthropic networks working together to strengthen bridges across funders and communities. They are transforming philanthropy from within by building knowledge, fostering diversity, and creating connections.

I don’t want to attend the full Unity Summit, but are there still ways to engage? Absolutely. We invite participants to join us for the opening Unity Summit luncheon for an additional $45 (which covers the cost of lunch). If you don’t want to stay for lunch, you’re still welcome to join us for a joint reception on the evening of November 19, from 7-9 p.m.

I am at a community foundation in the Northwest. Should I attend? Yes! We will have community-foundation specific content throughout the conference, though you are welcome to attend any and all parts of the Philanthropy Northwest conference as well. The cost is the same.

Who is on the conference committee? We have an amazing group of philanthropic leaders who have been very generous with their time, energy and ideas. Our co-chairs are Antoinette Malveaux (Casey Family Programs) and Aleesha Towns-Bain (Bristol Bay Native Corporation Education Foundation). Committee members include: Ami Patel (Women’s Foundation of Oregon); Claire Oatey (Community Foundation of North Central Washington); Leslie Silverman (The Giving Practice); Kendra Witt-Doyle (Blue Cross Idaho Foundation for Health); Darion Jones (Meyer Memorial Trust); Kat Healy (First Interstate Bank); Rebecca Wisotsky (Funders for LGBT Issues) and Carly Hare (CHANGE Philanthropy).

Who is coming to the conference? We anticipate a diverse group of participants from our six-state region. Last year, we had more than 300 attendees. To see which organizations have already registered, check out the list here.

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 2019 membership dues should be up to date. A non-member rate will apply if dues are not paid by June 15. 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 was available for Philanthropy Northwest members between May 22 and July 15. It offered a $50 discount off our Member pricing of $395. This pricing option was in effect until 6 p.m. July 15, 2019.

Are there early bird discounts for non-members? No, early bird discounts are a benefit of Philanthropy Northwest membership. PNW19 Register Button

Are there group discounts? No, group discounts are not available but as a Philanthropy Northwest member, we encourage you to register by July 15 to get $50 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 p.m. November 8, 2019.

Is it ok if the name on my ticket or registration doesn't match the person who attends? Please make all transfers by 1 p.m. November 8, 2019.

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 period has closed.  

When do you expect to have the full agenda available? We expect to have the full agenda available by early September, with information about keynotes and plenaries as they become available.

Is there a cancellation policy? 

Please notify us of cancellation by email at

  • On or before October 21 - Full Refund minus $50 processing fee
  • On or before October 28 - Refund of 50% of the registration fee
  • On or before November 4 - Refund of 25% of the registration fee
  • On or after November 11 - 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.