PNW News

Philanthropy Can & Must Support a Healthy Democracy

01/20/2017

Jesse Beason, Northwest Health Foundation | Much can be said, and indeed much is being said, about the state of our democracy. On this Inauguration Day, after the most divisive and troubling election of my lifetime, there are so many things on my mind. When it comes to fixing what ails our democracy, it is hard to know where to begin. Judging from the conversations I’ve had with peers and colleagues, philanthropy isn’t exactly sure where to begin either. But what better trusted messengers do we have than our community-based nonprofits, the very organizations that philanthropy makes investments in every day? Philanthropy can meet this call. We can go as far and as boldly as our tax status allows us — which, quite frankly, is much further than we pretend. more »

Ground Truth: Between Nonprofit & For-Profit Paths for Impact

01/19/2017

Tim Crosby, Cascadia Foodshed Financing Project | The recent election cycle has reminded us that even though the United States is one nation, we have many different ideas on how to make our country better. As I've been sharing Cascadia Foodshed Financing Project’s recent market research over the past few months, commissioned to identify strategies to grow Washington and Oregon's food economy, I've had a similar realization: We can all read the same research yet come to different conclusions about how to grow our regional food economy. Not surprisingly, our nonprofit and for-profit reviewers have come up with different investment recommendations. This divergence can be attributed to a logic model gap, or a difference in the tools used by different departments to implement a shared mission. For instance, a foundation program department may seek opportunities to catalyze system transformation, while the same foundation’s finance department seeks a positive financial return. As we "ground truth" our research, we are also seeking to understand if the conclusions touch on real investment opportunities. more »

Shaping Advocacy, Rebuilding Democracy

01/12/2017

Remy Trupin, Catalyst Fellow | The beginning of January always signals a mad rush of advocacy alerts to my inbox and phone. As a former lobbyist, I recall the junior high-like atmosphere of reconnecting with your friends and frenemies during the first few days of the legislative session, refreshed from the time away and ready to consider new alliances. This January, however, is like no other. An unprecedented presidential election outcome, followed by continued confusion and rancor, has increased public appetite for activism. The speed in which these debates are happening — in person and online, 24 hours a day — requires immediate and intensive focus. Philanthropy must be involved in the short-term work of shaping policy change and the long-term work of rebuilding the institutions we use to advance the common good. more »

Six Qualities of Effective Servant Leadership

01/11/2017

Erin Thomas, Talent Partner | January is full of new beginnings and a renewed sense of purpose. It's also the month that hosts one of my favorite observances: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. On this third Monday in January, people all over the country honor the legacy and impact of this courageous role model's spirited social activism and selfless community service. I can’t think of a more pressing time to be inspired by these tenets, to come together to help our communities and feel a shared responsibilty to make our places healthy and vibrant for all. I hope you can join me and the thousands of others who will be serving community on January 16, and continue working on six skills to become a more effective servant leader in 2017: more »

Chasing Hope & Opportunity in 2017

01/05/2017

Maya Thornell-Sandifor, Director of Learning Strategy | We have arrived in 2017! Moving forward into the new year, Philanthropy Northwest is excited about what the future holds and prepared to build upon the successes of the previous year. While we leave 2016 with many uncertainties, we have great faith in our Northwest philanthropic community's continued investment in the innovation, resilience and optimism that define our region. We see regional philanthropy stepping up to ensure nonprofit and service organizations have the capacity to drive towards their missions and serve as advocates for what’s needed on the ground. In the past few months, we have been reminded that you place high value on generosity, compassion, human rights and justice. And so, we look ahead with a great sense of hope. Hope that we will find clarity and understanding in how we can move forward collectively as a region and nation. Hope in transparent conversations that make clear the places where we are more alike in our shared pursuits than we are different. Hope that as a sector we take advantage of opportunities to learn from our mistakes, replicate our successes and share in solutions that make philanthropy a more effective institution. In this hopeful spirit, here's a preview of the ways Philanthropy Northwest seeks to engage and have impact in 2017: more »

Grantmakers & Policymakers: Let's Talk

01/05/2017

Susan Weiss, Senior Policy Advisor | I am thrilled to be stepping in to help with the Northwest philanthropic sector's public policy efforts over the next few months, as Philanthropy Northwest's senior policy advisor. My primary roles include leading our six-state network's delegation to Foundations on the Hill in Washington, D.C. this March and supporting the work of our board's public policy committee. I believe all of us in philanthropy have a critical role to define how our investments and partnerships can inform policy decisions and ensure that policymakers fully understand the role that philanthropy plays in our states and local communities. There is an urgency for philanthropy to move sooner rather than later to engage, educate and learn — at the federal and state level — to ensure that philanthropy is an effective resource as well as voice for the needs of our communities. more »

Most Popular Blog Posts of 2016

12/28/2016

Philanthropy Northwest shared more than 180 stories with you on our blog in 2016, including interviews with leaders in the field, member news, public policy updates, program highlights, emerging trends and tools for effective philanthropy. These 12 blog posts captured our network's attention the first time around. In case you missed them, now's great time to catch up! more »

Giving With Our Hearts This Holiday Season

12/21/2016

Leslie Silverman, The Giving Practice | I always love the last two weeks of the year, partly because the December holiday I observe falls well before the one everyone else celebrates — so I get to relax while everyone else engages in perfectionist Christmas tree trimmings and card creations, messy baking bonanzas, stressful Santa sittings and last-minute shopping sprints. But this year, for the first time in three decades, Christmas and Hanukkah overlap. We will all be in this frenzy together! As in years past, however, I remain determined to stay clear of most of this frenzy and dedicate this time for our family as one of giving, not receiving. In philanthropy, we focus on helping others all year long. But if there's ever a time to bring a little extra kindness and cheer to those around us, it's this time of year. Inspired by my work with family foundations, I'm aiming to make the holiday season more meaningful for my son. more »

Top Philanthropy Northwest Resources of 2016

12/15/2016

As your thought partner, supporting shared learning and action for all types of philanthropy, Philanthropy Northwest creates and curates hundreds of reports, presentations, recordings, studies, websites and consulting tools with our colleagues and partners in the field. This year, we also launched four Digital Resource Centers for our members, focused on Advocacy, Arts Funding, Disaster Philanthropy and Impact Investing. Here are 10 resources released in 2016 with enduring value for a range of philanthropy and nonprofit practitioners in the Northwest and beyond, listed by release date. If you missed them the first time, now's a great time to catch up! more »

Welcome New Board Members

12/08/2016

Please join us in welcoming three new Philanthropy Northwest board members, representing organizations committed to vibrant, healthy communities in Alaska, Oregon and Washington: Nichole Maher of Northwest Health Foundation, Aleesha Towns-Bain of Rasmuson Foundation and Huong Vu of The Boeing Company. more »

Pages