Kiran Ahuja | As you may know, since late 2017, Philanthropy Northwest has been actively engaged in local, regional and national efforts to ensure a fair and accurate Census 2020. We are pleased to announce that in early 2019 we will officially launch a statewide pooled fund, the Washington State Census Funding Partnership (Partnership), seeded with a generous grant by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Partnership will align collective grantmaking strategies to ensure communities across the state are fully counted in 2020. more »
Mary K. Rutherford, Guest Contributor | Being counted matters a lot! Just a few weeks ago, MCF participated in the first Montana 2020 Complete Census Count Committee meeting where people from across Montana gathered to discuss how best to get the word out about the importance of getting an accurate count. April 1, 2020 may seem like it's a long way off, yet it will be here before we know it. more »
Meredith Higashi | The philanthropic community relies on census data to guide philanthropic reach, impact and effectiveness. Philanthropic leaders use census data to understand community and demographic trends and inform fact-based decisions on long-term investments and grants. Inaccurate census data could divert federal resources from communities in need, forcing philanthropy to fill these gaps, while decreasing the effectiveness of these investments. One of the most concerning threats to a full census count is the addition of a new and untested question about citizenship status to the 2020 census form. more »
Kiran Ahuja | Earlier this year, Philanthropy Northwest committed to a journey that centers equity on the path to achieving a fairer and more just world. This journey compels both reflection and the use of our voice.
Over recent months, we have witnessed the family separation crisis at our border with sorrow and outrage. The federal government’s forcible and prolonged separation of children from their parents as these immigrant families sought refuge is an affront to the values of an equitable and just society, in which all people are treated with decency, respect and compassion.
Today, despite a court-ordered deadline having passed for the reunification of more than 2,000 families, the crisis remains ongoing. more »
Kiran Ahuja | On a recent trip to Anchorage, after engaging with local philanthropic leaders and learning about Alaska’s unique attributes and challenges, it dawned on me the many lessons funders in the lower 48 can glean from Alaska’s philanthropic leaders. In a geographically large state with a small population, funders wear multiple hats and coordinate easily across organizations to address formidable challenges – including homelessness, lack of affordable housing and healthcare services, access to high-quality P-16 education, workforce development and much, much more.
From this recent visit and in my role with Philanthropy Northwest over the past year, I’d like to share my observations about the unique positioning of philanthropy in Alaska. more »
Susan Weiss, Senior Policy Consultant | Philanthropy Northwest recently hosted a policy briefing on President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget and its implications for the Northwest. Michael Leachman, the Director of State Fiscal Research at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, said Northwest states will be particularly impacted by cuts to three areas: Medicaid, SNAP (also known as food stamps), and other federal aid to programs and services that help produce clean water, affordable housing, nutrition for newborns born into poor families, and infectious disease protections, among others. Trump’s budget would also eliminate the Low Income Housing Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which helps low-income seniors and others pay their home energy bills. This webinar is the first in a series as the budget process rolls out in the House and Senate, so stay tuned for future opportunities to engage. more »
Maya Thornell-Sandifor | Given that our region has two states, Washington and Alaska, that are among the top 10 states with the largest Native American populations in the nation, Philanthropy Northwest has a vested interest in increasing awareness of opportunities for philanthropy to support programming for Native communities. Last week, we joined the White House and Native Americans in Philanthropy for the second Generation Indigenous gathering to highlight promising practices in programming that support the development and leadership of Native American youth. Our 2016 conference, Under One Sky, features several sessions and a learning tour related to Native communities, too. more »
Remy Trupin, Catalyst Fellow | Philanthropists agree: Seattle's civic health is strong. But what makes it that way, and how can we support this in other parts of our region and country? What are the conditions that support this recipe? We reflected on the elements, particularly of culture and identity, that explain this civic dynamism? At the recent meeting of Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement. a national network of funders investing in civic engagement and democracy, some speakers suggested that the “secret sauce” in the Puget Sound region boils down to our traditions and culture. more »
Edgar Villanueva, Native Americans in Philanthropy | Like other youth of color, Native American and Alaska Natives in cities and communities across the United States face challenges. Natives Americans have endured a history of racism and colonialism that has resulted in multi-generational trauma. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among Native youth between the ages of 15 and 24 — and that rate is two and a half times the national average. Native youth are five times more likely to end up in the criminal justice system than whites, where they receive disproportionately harsher sentences, and are more likely to be killed by police than any other racial group. Moreover, Native Americans are often categorized in data and reports as "statistically insignificant" or "other," erasing their very existence as a disadvantaged minority. As a result, too many programs, policies, and systems — not to mention philanthropy — ignore or overlook them. I urge philanthropy to see the tremendous potential in our Native communities. And I extend an invitation to all grantmakers to join us at the White House on August 26 for Generation Indigenous: Raising Impact With Innovation and Proven Strategies, where we will seek to engage the philanthropic community in a dialogue about expanding support for Native youth. more »
Remy Trupin, Catalyst Fellow | When Philanthropy Northwest and the Kettering Foundation published the first edition of Philanthropy and the Renewal of Democracy: Is It Time to Step Up Our Game?, the wounds and diseases afflicting our body politic were already causing concern among rising numbers of citizens, including philanthropists. Two years later, as we lurched through one of the strangest election seasons in modern American history and demand for this publication grew, our question became even more urgent. As Daniel Kemmis points out, the relationship between philanthropy and democracy is a matter of both social compact and law. Given the state of our democratic institutions, it’s become crucial to think about philanthropic activity’s place within our political framework. It is clearly time to step up our game — but in what way and how to do so without abusing our power and privilege? Philanthropy has an opportunity to choose a more constructive and optimistic path. more »