Incubating Innovation

Incubating Innovation

We provide infrastructure so good programs can grow.

Since our founding in 1976, Philanthropy Northwest has been a home for innovative partnerships, collaborations and initiatives. In 2008, we took this a step further and introduced our “Incubation Platform,” a fiscal sponsorship opportunity for projects aligned with our vision and mission.

Philanthropy Northwest is now known for our commitment to project stewardship and work as a fiscal sponsor for complex philanthropic collaborations, both emerging and mature. This commitment flows directly from our mission “to promote and facilitate philanthropic and cross-sector collaboration to build resilient, equitable and inclusive communities.” Our ten-plus years in this business allows us to bring insight and expertise about the nuances of fiscal sponsorship across the full range of a project’s lifecycle.

We support innovative projects by providing fiscal sponsorship of charitable programs, initiatives or donor circles, which seek to grow and/or test opportunities for growth while being supported by a sponsoring organization. Our approach to supporting fiscal sponsorships is to learn and understand your mission and build solid, trusting relationships. We can provide administrative services, human resources, accounting services, grantmaking support and communication support, depending on need. As a fiscal sponsor, we bear legal responsibility for the management of all project funds, and thus work closely with our project managers to ensure they have complete understanding of a project’s financial health.

We work closely with our sponsored projects to customize services to meet their needs. Our fees for services thus vary depending on the level of support provided.


Past Fiscal Sponsored Projects   

  • Cascadia Foodshed Financing Project. From cultural giving traditions to tech boom wealth creation, Pacific Northwest philanthropy has forged a reputation for blending collaboration and innovation. In this spirit, Cascadia Foodshed Financing Project sought to bring foundations and individual impact investors together to improve the regional food economy. The group’s vision included identifying untapped areas for co-investment in Oregon and Washington, and then using a combination of grantmaking and investment strategies for transformational impact. View the website. Read the final report.
  • Hmong Impact Giving Network. Our vision is a Hmong community that embraces a culture of giving and rises together to overcome challenges. The Hmong Impact Giving Network is online-based, with members throughout the United States. Member contributions are essential to our success. The goal is to raise funds to support programs serving the Hmong community. The mission of the Hmong Impact Giving Network is to unite and build a community of Hmong philanthropists to invest together in their communities. View the website.
  • Community Democracy Workshop. Community democracy is alive when communities have the power and capacity and are engaged to take responsibility for the changes they want, and when the needs, desires and wishes of people in the community are the driving force for change. Community democracy’s promise is expressed through powerful evidence that outcomes improve when the people most adversely affected by conditions and decisions are directly involved in taking the actions that lead to improvement. We supported Community Democracy Workshop as a special five-year project that sunsetted at the end of 2019.
  • Mission Investors Exchange. Mission Investors Exchange was a supported project from 2008 - 2016, until they created and launched their own 501c3 organization. They are the leading impact investing network for foundations dedicated to deploying capital for social and environmental change. View the website.

Interested in fiscal sponsorship?

Please contact us to learn more about our fiscal sponsorship services. Meredith Higashi, our chief of staff, would love to hear from you.