Network News

10 Examples of Progress in Washington State


David Bley, director of the Pacific Northwest Initiative at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation looks back at on  memorable moments for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Pacific Northwest partners and our team, helping families achieve stable housing, strengthening local community networks and supporting great schools that help students and teachers realize their potential and reach for their dreams. Here are just a few of his favorite moments of progress over the past year. more »

Microsoft Unveils New Philanthropy Organization


Microsoft, a Northwest-based leader in global corporate philanthropy, has announced a new organization within the company: Microsoft Philanthropies. The new group will be led by Mary Snapp, a 27-year veteran of Microsoft's legal and corporate affairs team, and will "contribute in new and more impactful ways to a societal ecosystem that connects the benefits of technology to those who need it most and work harder to drive inclusive growth of the global economy," said Microsoft President Brad Smith. more »

When Homelessness Becomes an Emergency


David Wertheimer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation | Americans have slowly become accustomed to what was once a shocking presence: people who are homeless settling into library chairs during the day, sleeping on buses and subways at night, setting up urban camp sites within the shadows of office towers and luxury condominiums. While we may be momentarily shocked that 40 percent of the homeless children sleeping in Seattle shelters are infants and toddlers under age 4, that shock seems to dissipate quickly when we hear the same news, over and over again. Over the past several months, Los Angeles, Portland, Hawaii and Seattle have declared homelessness emergencies. What impact can an emergency declaration have when the crisis is a long-standing, slow motion disaster which is far easier to ignore? more »

Capital, Communities and Connectivity


Craig Muska, Canopy | They say every place is unique, a complex melting pot of people, beliefs, history and politics. I’ve been thinking a lot about this “uniqueness” in recent weeks, especially given that earlier this year I launched Canopy, a new place-based investment collaborative. Today, nearly 30 Pacific Northwest leaders will convene in Roseburg, Oregon at The Ford Family Foundation headquarters for an experiential learning session focused on the rural economic development ecosystem, and how we all might help drive capital to our communities that need it most. I would invite you to tune in to the posts that follow as this work develops to watch what we hope will be a beautiful knitting together of our region. more »

Healthcare Foundation Awards $1.3M in Montana


Montana Healthcare Foundation announced more than $1.3 million in new grants to 34 Montana-based organizations focusing on key health challenges in behavioral health (including mental illness and drug and alcohol abuse), American Indian health and new programs that seek to improve health outcomes and control rising healthcare costs, particularly in communities struggling with a lack of resources and personnel. more »

Northwest Area Foundation Grants $4.3M to Low-Income Communities


The Northwest Area Foundation approved 26 grants worth $4.3 million in the third quarter of 2015, focused on access to capital, enterprise development, financial inclusion and work opportunity. Programs within these portfolios advance good jobs and financial capability for low-income communities across the foundation’s region, with a special focus on those that are Native, communities of color or immigrant. more »

Nation’s Largest Philanthropic Network Taps Biemesderfer to Advance New Strategic Direction


The board of directors of the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers has announced the appointment of longtime philanthropy executive David Biemesderfer as the organization’s next president and CEO. David is currently the president and CEO of Florida Philanthropic Network, and a valued colleague and friend to us here at Philanthropy Northwest. We are tremendously excited to continue working with him in this new role, which he will begin in mid-January 2016. more »

All of the Feels (#FailEpic, part 3)


Chris Cardona, Ford Foundation | Why is it so hard to foundations to talk about failure? There are many reasons, including lack of incentives, presence of disincentives, lack of context, lack of clarity about when failure has actually happened and who owns it. In this blog post, Chris explores the the intersection between failure and risk and how that connects to "second discipline" work: the relational and interpersonal skills program officers need. more »