The Giving Practice

We help philanthropy's changemakers tackle their biggest challenges

From strategy and governance to collaboration and facilitation, we bring deep sector experience and a unique client-centered approach that embraces both the art and the science of effective philanthropy.

We are experienced grantmakers, trusted advisers and knowledgeable experts. But more than that, we are a team of people who are passionately committed to the transformative potential of philanthropy.

 

It all starts with a conversation

Our clients bring us many types of challenges, and we approach them all with curiosity, a willingness to dream big and the skills to help you turn those ideas into reality.

If you're interested in exploring a project with us, contact managing partner Audrey Haberman (ahaberman@philanthropynw.org) or at 206-267-9956. 

 

Pretty Good Tools

DIY Strategy Improvements: 10 Activities for Community Foundations

Publication date: 
11/2015

What comes after “strategic...?” If you said, “planning,” you’re not alone. And for many leaders of community foundations, especially small ones who don’t have the time or money for a big process, anxiety is the feeling that follows. If that’s the case, this guide is for you.

Latest Articles

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.

March 31, 2016

Ted Lord, The Giving Practice | Engaging foundations in policy and advocacy work has been a leading theme and learning edge in philanthropy for a decade. Part of the difficulty in moving these efforts forward is the level of abstraction in many of the discussions and lack of concrete examples. This month, our field gained a new example from a group of Washington and California funders focused on child welfare and juvenile justice issues. As trust and understanding has developed, they have asked each other and The Giving Practice how they might use their other forms of capital — influence, relationships, partnerships — on behalf of our most vulnerable children and families. Within 72 hours, nine members were able to sign onto a letter to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

February 17, 2016

Audrey Haberman & Sindhu Knotz | Last fall, we had the pleasure of hosting a conversation with a group of 10 family foundations attending the National Forum on Family Philanthropy in Seattle. The session was focused on how foundation leaders can begin to address the topic of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) with your staff and trustees. Through storytelling about successes and a discussion about mistakes and anxieties related to DEI, the group identified five essential practices any family foundation should consider to improve diversity, equity and inclusion.

February 8, 2016

Audrey Haberman, The Giving Practice | Over the course of four years, the Building Community Philanthropy (BCP) initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Pacific Northwest team has brought together 20 partners — United Ways, identity-based funds, tribal governments and community foundations — to learn together, challenge each other and shift the way they see their role in their communities. In short, to participate in a peer network that rewards honesty and authenticity while also receiving funding to test new ways of working, and transform their work in positive and meaningful ways. Ted Lord and I recently facilitated a two-day convening for this learning cohort.  We’ve noticed three key shifts that BCP has helped unlock:

February 3, 2016

Anne Yoon, The Giving Practice | Once an organization is more than a generation old, it can become paralyzing to decide which resources to keep, donate or toss. Like Philanthropy Northwest, many of our partners have also have amassed decades of artifacts, including Boeing (celebrating its centennial this year) and our founding members Ben B. Cheney Foundation, Medina Foundation, Seattle Foundation and Weyerhaeuser. With the start of the new year, and as we thought more about how to reflect on our 40th anniversary this fall, we decided it was time to go through everything and make an informed decision about which materials should be saved — to reference in upcoming programs and future publications — and which to let go.