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July 2017 | Philanthropy Northwest

We are so excited to announce the following organizations will have staff and/or board members attending our annual conference in Vancouver, WA coming up October 3-5. With the theme, "Now is the Time to Lead Through Change," we are on the verge of announcing more information about our great lineup of breakout session topics which will range from funding in rural and Native communities, the importance of engaging at all levels of government, corporate giving strategies and diving into the intersection of community, democracy, and philanthropy.

June 2017 |

Michelle Kauhane, President and CEO of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA), was one of the masterminds behind the recent “Investing in Native Communities Networking Day” I attended that was hosted by Oweesta First Nations Development Institute and CNHA at the UW Intellectual House. The gathering included funders and Native-led CDFIs (Community Development Finance Institutions), Native CDCs (Community Development Corporations) and Native Hawaiian-led nonprofits. When you’re from Hawai’i, layers of commonality ignite from simple conversations. As it turned out, Michelle and I had much more in common than we could have known. 

May 2017 | Philanthropy Northwest

At Philanthropy Northwest, we're at the pinnacle of our service to you when we're creating space for our members and partners to learn together and from each other. We’re beginning to build the program for our 2017 conference, Now is the Time to Lead Though Change, and we need your help! What will YOU be talking about, October 3-5 in Vancouver, Washington? The YOU is in caps because you are our crystal ball, our gut instinct, our look into the future. Tell us your hunches about big issues through our Request for Proposals that closes on Monday, May 8. We’re excited to work with you to design exciting, relevant and memorable breakout sessions for the largest annual gathering of foundation leaders and corporate giving programs in the Northwest.

May 2017 | Philanthropy Northwest

There’s a saying among colleagues in our field: “If you know one community foundation, you know one community foundation.” Every community is different. People in Missoula, Montana have distinct needs, which likely differ from those in Juneau, Alaska. Each community also has its own unique assets; the strengths and potentials present in Missoula and Juneau may not even be in play in Seattle. As our staff prepares for the Philanthropy Northwest 2017 conference and Washington Community Foundation Convening coming to town this fall, I thought it could be helpful to shed light on the undertones that make southwest Washington unique. What defines our community’s brand of philanthropy and how our nonprofits address local needs?

April 2017 |

After an extensive national search with an impressive slate of candidates, Philanthropy Northwest is pleased to announce that Kiran Ahuja will be our next CEO. Ahuja brings more than two decades of public service and nonprofit sector leadership experience, including senior positions in the Obama administration, to our six-state network of foundations and corporate giving programs. In her new role, beginning June 19, she will lead one of the oldest regional associations of philanthropists in the country, joining us at a critical time for the sector and our communities. She looks forward to traveling throughout our region in the summer and fall — culminating in a special reception at our 2017 Annual Conference in Vancouver, Washington.

April 2017 |

Internal communications pose a significant challenge for organizations with growing teams, expanding services and complex collaborations. Philanthropy Northwest has all of the above, with the additional time zone quirks of our six-state membership network and national consulting team. As part of my ongoing work to help improve our internal communications, I've been leading staff through an experiment in Scrum, "a framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value." I first learned about Scrum during my earlier career as a consultant in the tech industry, where it's a widely-used technique in software development, consulting and delivery. But I've long thought that this technique has a lot to offer the nonprofit sector, too, where teams need to constantly generate and reprioritize ideas as we learn more about their impacts on our communities.

April 2017 |

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.