PNW News

Who Came to Our 2016 Conference: Under One Sky

09/18/2016

Philanthropists from the Northwest and nationwide flocked to Philanthropy Northwest's annual conference last week. Our conference theme, Under One Sky, reminded us that from Alaska to Wyoming, from urban to rural, we remain connected by a greater purpose: our shared commitment to vibrant, equitable and inclusive communities. Leaders from these organizations joined us for an exciting range of session and learning tours, September 13 to 15 in Missoula, Montana: more »

Philanthropy With Balls: What's Unique About Northwest Funders?

09/13/2016

Vu Le, Rainier Valley Corps | In the past few months, I have been traveling around the country, speaking with different funders and nonprofit professionals and, when possible, collecting free pens from conference exhibitors for my nonprofit in Seattle, Rainier Valley Corps. Through all the traveling and conversations, I’ve noticed a few differences between Pacific Northwest funders and other funders — some of which are exciting, while others are worrisome. These are all observations from my own perspective, with little formal data behind them and thus subject to biases influenced by the people I’ve talked to and worked with. Please feel free to disagree and push back. I am hoping by discussing what makes Northwest philanthropy unique, we can focus on building on our strengths, minimizing our weaknesses and allowing nonprofits and funders to more effectively reach our goals of building a stronger community. more »

Investing in the Health & Prosperity of Native Youth

09/01/2016

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 »

The Secret Sauce of Civic Engagement Philanthropy

08/30/2016

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 »

Lucky 13: My Plans for Philanthropy Northwest's Conference

08/26/2016

Cheryl Frizzell, Finance Director | I consider myself lucky that I'm about to attend my 13th Philanthropy Northwest conference. It's been quite a travelogue across our six-state region! So many excellent site visits with funders passionate about their community: Walla Walla, Washington's art walk; Bend, Oregon's food tours; Juneau, Alaska's historical mining park; the late night line dancing in Big Sky, Montana. Each of the diverse places had something special in common: the people. Philanthropy Northwest conferences are filled with unscripted opportunities to meet someone new and share a story. Each one has been special; you’ll have to join me Under One Sky, September 13 to 15 in Missoula, Montana to discover the magic yourself. more »

Under One Sky: Preview Our Conference Program

08/26/2016

Nicole Neroulias Gupte, Senior Communications Manager | My birthday, Christmas morning and Mother's Day all came early this year, in the form of three beautiful new publications arriving in stacks of boxes at my desk: Philanthropy Northwest's 2015 Report to the Community; Daniel Kemmis' Philanthropy and the Renewal of Democracy; and Under One Sky: 2016 Conference Program. Our conference program is especially exciting from a communications perspective because instead of relying on stock photography this year, we've featured photos contributed from four Philanthropy Northwest members: Montana Community Foundation, First Interstate BancSystem Foundation, Sealaska and the Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation. Preview the program online — although it looks even better in person! — and start thinking about which sessions you want to attend. more »

Why Philanthropy Needs Community Organizers

08/25/2016

Garland Yates, Community Democracy Workshop | At Community Democracy Workshop, we work with residents to put them in more powerful positions to help change their communities. With institutional stakeholders, this community democracy approach might be unsettling, but we have to help them feel comfortable about walking into a process that potentially is confrontational. We must concentrate on making space around the table safe. Not false or phony, but safe. Residents and representatives from institutions will need to be honest and frank with each other and address real issues, but in a productive manner. We must use our influence and role to help create that kind of environment so that our communities can have the power and capacity to see the changes they want to see. more »

Food Systems Research Reveals Funding Opportunities

08/22/2016

Tim Crosby, Cascadia Foodshed Financing Project | If we want to catalyze a thriving food economy in the Pacific Northwest, where should we invest our philanthropic funds? We commissioned research into the production costs of six categories — no-till grain, grass-finished beef, organic greens, organic storage crops, pastured chicken, and hoop house pork — to identify differentiated and viable production systems aligned with our project's five overarching principles of health, social equity, family wage job creation and preservation. The results have revealed intriguing insights for our regional food economy, venture philanthropy and impact investing. We want to achieve system change to increase more sustainable food production and to build resiliency in rural communities. We want to support enterprise success so that rural communities can generate livable wage jobs and investors can at least preserve capital. We now know where we can do each; we seek the opportunity to do both. Now we're asking a new question: How can we advance system change by supporting success at the enterprise level? more »

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