PNW News

Funding Forward for Stronger Movements

04/13/2017

Gloris Estrella, Program Manager | As a six-state network of community, family, independent and corporate foundations, Philanthropy Northwest has the challenging task of creating programs, conferences and trainings for a range of stakeholders. We learn from each other, our members and partners, including Funders for LGBTQ Issues. Summarizing my takeaways from the conference is a challenge, since I felt like every interaction I had, whether a session or during a break, was so thoughtful and I learned so much. I also cried and laughed a lot! Here is my attempt to share what surfaced for me. more »

Introducing Trends in Northwest Giving 2017

04/11/2017

Audrey Haberman, Interim CEO | Since 2006, Philanthropy Northwest has published biennial reports on grantmaking trends for our region — Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming — based on the most recent data available from a combination of our membership network, Form 990s and intermediaries. These reports aim to reflect our collective giving, encourage more conversations and help inform your strategies. For this sixth edition of Trends in Northwest Giving, we are presenting this report in collaboration with Foundation Center, which collects grants data directly from organizations across the Northwest and nationwide. This partnership enables us to tell a story based on a larger pool of funders, in three parts: key findings, based on a snapshot of $1.8 billion granted to our region by more than 4,000 funders in 2014; trends over time, based on a subset of 1,387 funders that reported data for both 2012 and 2014; and state-by-state variations. Highlights include... more »

Building Long-Term Power for Native American Youth

04/05/2017

Jennifer Fairbanks, Native Americans in Philanthropy | #GenIndigenous Regional Convenings, in partnership with Native Americans in Philanthropy (NAP) and My Brother's Keeper, give philanthropy the opportunity to engage with innovative and culturally appropriate approaches to improve lives and opportunities for Native youth. We welcome funders committed to communities in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming to join us at the Northwest Regional Convening, April 28 at Seattle Foundation. more »

My Journey to Philanthropy Northwest

04/04/2017

Anbar Mahar Sheikh, Research Analyst | How does a Southern California native end up moving to Seattle during the rainiest winter on record? In my national search, I found that Seattle held exactly what I was looking for: a thriving community of nonprofits and foundations. Specifically, I found my calling when Philanthropy Northwest opened the research analyst position for The Giving Practice, its national consulting team. So much so, that my husband and I packed our bags from Dallas, Texas — where we had been living for the last few years — and moved across the country for me to take this opportunity. Getting to Philanthropy Northwest has been a long journey in other ways, too. more »

Help Keep Partisan Politics Out of Philanthropy

04/03/2017

Audrey Haberman, Interim CEO | Nonpartisanship is a cornerstone principle that has strengthened the public’s trust of the charitable and philanthropic community. At its March 2017 meeting, Philanthropy Northwest's board signed onto a statement urging national policymakers to protect the Johnson Amendment, the law prohibiting 501(c)(3) charitable organizations from endorsing, opposing or contributing to political candidates and engaging in partisan campaign activities. During our Foundations on the Hill meetings in Washington, D.C. last week, our delegation and other philanthropy networks from across the country urged our U.S. senators and representatives to maintain this important legal protection. Please consider adding your organization’s name to the growing list of more than 2,300 foundations and nonprofits that have signed a Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship. Philanthropy Northwest members that have already signed on include 501 Commons, Bullitt Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Cedarmere Foundation, The Foraker Group, Ford Foundation, Forest and Sequoia Foundatinos, Foundation for Healthy Generations, Idaho Nonprofit Center, Montana Community Foundation, Montana Nonprofit Association, Nonprofit Association of Oregon, Northwest Area Foundation, NW Children’s Fund, Orcas Island Community Foundation, Pride Foundation, Red Lodge Area Community Foundation, Satterberg Foundation, Seattle Foundation, Sherwood Trust, Skagit Community Foundation, Washington Nonprofits, Whatcom Community Foundation, Wyoming Nonprofit Network and Peg and Rick Young Foundation. more »

Bipartisan Foundations on the Hill: A Sense of Hope

03/30/2017

Nicole Neroulias Gupte, Senior Communications Manager | Perhaps because I'm a New Yorker, Greek American and recovering journalist, I'm often struck by Northwest philanthropy's tendency to avoid conflict. Sure, it's nice when we can all agree before a decision must be made, but realistically? In any large group of stakeholders with competing priorities, it's rarely going to happen. Given my quasi-misanthropic perspective and our country's toxic political climate these days, however, I found myself pleasantly surprised by some common ground in our nation's capital during Foundations on the Hill. Over the course of our three days in Washington, D.C. — walking more than 44,000 steps, according to Fitbit — our delegation of leaders from 12 Northwest foundations talked with Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-WA), Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA), Sen. John Tester (D-MT), Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and met with legislative aides to several other lawmakers and the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. more »

Foundations on the Hill: A Sense of Urgency

03/27/2017

Mike Halligan, Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation | Philanthropy Northwest's recent delegation to Foundations on the Hill 2017 included Mike Halligan, who shared his insights with us as a nine-time participant in this annual visit with national policymakers in Washington, D.C. In contrast to my eight previous experiences as a Foundations on the Hill delegate, I detected a palpable sense of urgency by policymakers and staff this year. It was clear from my time on the Hill that dramatic policy changes are on the horizon — and that philanthropy can and should play a professional, objective role in educating our representatives and their constituents on policy issues that impact the livability and sustainability of our communities in the Northwest. Most importantly, we should use our role as a trusted convener to bring all voices to the table to facilitate the resolution of problems that seem beyond our reach at this time. more »

How We Fund Scientific Research

03/24/2017

Craig W. Stewart, Apex Foundation and Bruce R. McCaw Family Foundation | How can philanthropists amplify the impact of their investments in scientific research and accelerate medical cures? Regardless of one’s motivations, strategic philanthropic investments in biomedical research require a careful consideration of the philanthropist’s priorities and an understanding of the current state of research to achieve satisfactory results, if not substantial ones. Apex Foundation recently joined efforts with the Milken Institute Philanthropy Advisory Service Institute to undertake a landscape analysis of current and best practices and produce a primer for funders that addresses the challenges that come with supporting scientific research in academic institutions. The 38-page report, Giving Smarter Guide for Funding Scientific Research, walks prospective funders through the process with a series of questions and key takeaways. more »

To Authentically Show Up, Take Yourself Out of the Picture

03/14/2017

Jan Jaffe and Sindhu Knotz, The Giving Practice | In a conversation for Philanthropy's Reflective Practices, Jan Jaffe and Sindhu Knotz spoke with Nikki Foster, program officer at the Northwest Area Foundation, about reflective practices she has used in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. "I learned from one of my colleagues that I used to jump into agendas too quickly. Especially in my interaction with Native communities," she explains. "It is important to have time to establish a relationship and get to know each other. I was so appreciative of the feedback and the need to be thoughtful about the balance between the personal and the objective work." more »

Place-Based Philanthropy Supports Urban Sustainability

03/13/2017

Mitchell Thomashow, Catalyst Fellow | Cities consist of many communities tied together by proximity, infrastructure and networks. But what happens when some communities are overlooked, when neighborhoods are gentrifying or otherwise going through changes that may not necessarily be in everyone's best interest? How do you prevent this from happening — or how do you deal with it when it does? Place-based philanthropy can ensure the sustainability of urban development efforts by providing long-term strategy, mobilizing patient capital and connecting funders with grassroots community leaders. In the Northwest, I recently visited three extraordinary urban sustainability projects that demonstrate the power of place-based philanthropy as a convener and catalyst: Yesler Terrace in Seattle, Living Cully in Portland and the Puyallup Watershed Initiative in greater Tacoma. more »

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