Philanthropy Northwest

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My Journey to Philanthropy Northwest

04/04/2017

Anbar Mahar Sheikh, Research Analyst | How does a Southern California native end up moving to Seattle during the rainiest winter on record? In my national search, I found that Seattle held exactly what I was looking for: a thriving community of nonprofits and foundations. Specifically, I found my calling when Philanthropy Northwest opened the research analyst position for The Giving Practice, its national consulting team. So much so, that my husband and I packed our bags from Dallas, Texas — where we had been living for the last few years — and moved across the country for me to take this opportunity. Getting to Philanthropy Northwest has been a long journey in other ways, too. more »

To Authentically Show Up, Take Yourself Out of the Picture

03/14/2017

Jan Jaffe and Sindhu Knotz, The Giving Practice | In a conversation for Philanthropy's Reflective Practices, Jan Jaffe and Sindhu Knotz spoke with Nikki Foster, program officer at the Northwest Area Foundation, about reflective practices she has used in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. "I learned from one of my colleagues that I used to jump into agendas too quickly. Especially in my interaction with Native communities," she explains. "It is important to have time to establish a relationship and get to know each other. I was so appreciative of the feedback and the need to be thoughtful about the balance between the personal and the objective work." more »

Mapping a Foundation's Impact Investing Journey

02/22/2017

Rosalie Sheehy Cates, Senior Advisor | One hundred million dollars.

That’s how much money Surdna Foundation has now allocated to impact investing, just in time for its 100th anniversary. It’s an exciting decision, and you can read all about the private foundation's decision-making process in Mapping the Journey to Impact Investinga new report researched and drafted by Jan Jaffe, senior partner of The Giving Practice, Philanthropy Northwest's national consulting team. more »

How Can I Be 1% More?

02/09/2017

In a conversation for Philanthropy's Reflective Practices, The Giving Practice's Sindhu Knotz and Jan Jaffe caught up with June Wilson, board member and executive director emeritus of Quixote Foundation, to learn about her reflective practices and the foundation’s application of reflective practices to racial equity work. "For me, it’s a way of reaching farther when I feel like I’ve hit a limit," she explains "If I can start by finding even 1% more patience, presence, love, imagination, I can break through that barrier." more »

Stepping Back to See More Clearly

01/30/2017

Jan Jaffe, The Giving Practice and Ryan Chao, Annie E. Casey Foundation | The Giving Practice's Jan Jaffe spoke with Ryan Chao, Annie E. Casey Foundation vice president, about developing and using philanthropy's reflective practices individually and in teams. "Our team is organized to effect change for people and place in education, workforce and housing," he explains. "That means we are philanthropy practitioners with very diverse backgrounds working together and working with partners in the community with very diverse backgrounds. Perhaps because of this very multidisciplinary approach, we have to be able to question each other’s answers in order to fine tune our collaborative effort. We’re using three reflective practices to help the team share and problem solve with each other." more »

Systems Thinking: How You Show Up Matters

01/26/2017

Jan Jaffe, Senior Partner, The Giving Practice | In an interview for Philanthropy's Reflective Practices, Jan Jaffe spoke with Katie Hong, a Raikes Foundation director focused on youth and young adult homelessness, about systems thinking. "I am passionate about the topic of reflective practice because I believe in the power of “self” as a tool and this is critical to having impact in the world," she responds. "I’ve been in different roles in the government sector and in the private philanthropic sector always working with others to drive change. I deploy a couple of practices that help me on a daily basis." more »

Giving With Our Hearts This Holiday Season

12/21/2016

Leslie Silverman, The Giving Practice | I always love the last two weeks of the year, partly because the December holiday I observe falls well before the one everyone else celebrates — so I get to relax while everyone else engages in perfectionist Christmas tree trimmings and card creations, messy baking bonanzas, stressful Santa sittings and last-minute shopping sprints. But this year, for the first time in three decades, Christmas and Hanukkah overlap. We will all be in this frenzy together! As in years past, however, I remain determined to stay clear of most of this frenzy and dedicate this time for our family as one of giving, not receiving. In philanthropy, we focus on helping others all year long. But if there's ever a time to bring a little extra kindness and cheer to those around us, it's this time of year. Inspired by my work with family foundations, I'm aiming to make the holiday season more meaningful for my son. more »

Top Philanthropy Northwest Resources of 2016

12/15/2016

As your thought partner, supporting shared learning and action for all types of philanthropy, Philanthropy Northwest creates and curates hundreds of reports, presentations, recordings, studies, websites and consulting tools with our colleagues and partners in the field. This year, we also launched four Digital Resource Centers for our members, focused on Advocacy, Arts Funding, Disaster Philanthropy and Impact Investing. Here are 10 resources released in 2016 with enduring value for a range of philanthropy and nonprofit practitioners in the Northwest and beyond, listed by release date. If you missed them the first time, now's a great time to catch up! more »

Reflective Practice Makes Perfect

11/03/2016

Audrey Haberman, Interim CEO | I was a little shocked when I walked into a Lowe’s Home Improvement store in mid-October and saw the Christmas display. I had several reactions, including a sense of panic about where the year had gone. Did I enjoy summer? Do I need to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions? Where are the paintbrushes?! I was reminded of that all-too-familiar feeling of too many tasks to accomplish while balancing the need to focus thoughtfully and strategically on one thing at a time. After 20 years in the nonprofit and philanthropy sector, I know that the pace and fullness of how we work can be detrimental — sometimes to our relationships, sometimes to ourselves and often to our desired outcomes. My current reflective practice is to set aside 10 minutes every week to review meetings and interactions, not just to make my next to-do list, but to highlight what I’ve learned and which people I need to circle back around with to close out a conversation where an idea is lingering or an interaction felt uncomfortable. more »

Sharpen Your Strategy With DIY Activities

10/04/2016

Jan Jaffe and Mark Sedway, The Giving Practice | When we say “strategic,” what’s the next word that comes to mind? If it’s “planning,” you're like many of our clients. And for many foundation staff and board members, dread is the feeling that follows. It doesn’t have to be that way, however. In consulting with foundations around the Northwest and across the country, we have worked with leaders who are seeing strategy in a new way — as an ongoing practice rather than a discrete planning chore and an opportunity to mobilize continuous curiosity, experiment and learn, and even have some fun. Our new guide contains 10 activities that can help you get there, too. more »

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