Philanthropy Northwest

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Learning to Ride the Wave

Developed in partnership with United Philanthropy Forum and Northern California Grantmakers, this guide shares seven practices and 12 tools for Philanthropy-Serving Organizations who seek effective ways to mobilize resources to sustain their organization’s work. Part of our DIY Series, the guide features perspectives from dozens of leaders of national and regional PSOs and examples from our work with these organizations.

DIY Strategy Improvements

What comes after “strategic...?” If you said, “planning,” you’re not alone. And for many foundation leaders, 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.

Vision and Voice

Despite a field replete with research, analysis, recommended policies and practices — not to mention an abundance of educational programs and frameworks for grantmaking to diverse communities — philanthropic leaders have been slow to advance these values in their foundations. We wondered: what is getting in the way? Why are good intentions, buttressed with theory and practical advice, not achieving better results on measures of diversity, equity and inclusion? We wanted to explore more deeply.

Pretty Good Tool: Collaboration Readiness

Does your organization have what it takes to be an effective collaborator? This Pretty Good Tool from the consultants at The Giving Practice helps you assess and improve your collaborative mindset. After testing an early version of this at an Independent Sector conference session, we have been using this as a guide with several funder collaboratives.

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Enlist Peers

Looking for a more participatory way to get advice on dilemmas at work? This practice takes conversations around the “water cooler” to their next level. Read about a technique for getting and sharing advice that can be a game changer for everyone involved.

Philanthropy’s Reflective Practices

Philanthropy’s Reflective Practices is a collection of tools and practices that can help you develop a theory of action for challenging situations in philanthropy. We’re building this site as a platform for people in philanthropy to reflect on their practices, hone their leadership skills, and get to better outcomes in their work.


Pretty Good Tool: Champion Checklist

We've identified four practices that effective champions use to bring more FANS to their cause: Framing (using ideas for influence), Asking (using inquiry for influence), Networking (using connections for influence), and Storytelling (using emotions for influence). This Pretty Good Tool is designed to help you work on these four practices and sharpen your strategy.

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Discover Your Role

What roles are most important to your work? How do you construct them and bring your unique talents to the role? How do you manage your personal challenges in the role? Borrow a few techniques from fellow practitioners described in this brief.