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March 2017 |

Philanthropy Northwest members and staff travel to "the other Washington" every spring for Foundations on the Hill, three days of connecting and building relationships with federal elected officials, informing them about philanthropy’s impact in our region, encouraging them to view foundations as resources on public policy issues and connecting with other funders interested in public policy. Last year was my first time attending FOTH, and I found it to be a really transformative experience of educating our representatives and their staff about our work back home, while advocating for our sector and our communities. Staff and trustees from these Philanthropy Northwest member organizations have signed up to attend the 2017 Foundations on the Hill gathering, March 20-22 in Washington, D.C.:

    March 2017 |

    At its March 2017 meeting, Philanthropy Northwest's board agreed to sign 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. According to the Council on Foundations, if the Johnson Amendment were repealed, 501(c)(3) organizations could become entities that are given tax-deductible donations for the purpose of participating in the electoral process, and donors would be completely shielded from disclosure — hindering transparency, a core Philanthropy Northwest value. Other signatories to the letter, drafted by the Forum of Regional Association of Grantmakers, include the Arizona Grantmakers Forum, Council of Michigan Foundations, Council of New Jersey Grantmakers, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations and Minnesota Council on Foundations. This position will be discussed further among Philanthropy Northwest's participants and other Forum delegations at Foundations on the Hill, March 20-22 in Washington, D.C.

    March 2017 |

    March is Women’s History Month, including International Women's Day on March 8. While it is important to honor the extraordinary achievements of women and the progress we are making on issues of women’s rights and equality, many discouraging statistics persist. Only 4% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women; only five female CEOs are leading public companies in Washington state today. The Puget Sound Business Journal recently reported that only 18% of the new CEOs named in the Puget Sound region in 2016 were women. Fortunately, these statistics don’t represent my own experience working in the nonprofit sector for the past 20 years. I have always had female supervisors and my most important mentors have been women; in my current role as executive director of the Medina Foundation, I work with amazing women every day who are strong, innovative leaders. I also know that my experience reflects that Northwest foundation statistics are an anomaly.

    March 2017 | Philanthropy Northwest

    The Momentum Fellowship is designed to prepare professionals from underrepresented communities, particularly communities of color, for successful careers in the philanthropic sector through professional development, networking and mentoring opportunities. We're excited to announce that our next cohort of Momentum Fellows will be placed at seven foundations across the Northwest: Marguerite Casey Foundation, The Collins Foundation, Empire Health Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, Rasmuson Foundation, Whatcom Community Foundation and Women's Foundation of Oregon.

    February 2017 |

    Good data helps us understand the landscape and improve our practices. It’s said that people are moved by stories more than by research, and I agree that this is often true. Still, we also need in-depth research, actual facts and hard data in order to know that our work is effective and to plan our strategies. A commitment to learning from good data aligns with Philanthropy Northwest’s strategy framework, which affirms that philanthropy at its best “is transparent and accountable,” “collaborates with stakeholders” and “assesses and learns from results.” As president and CEO of Northwest Area Foundation, I find it valuable to participate in research that assesses and advances the field of philanthropy. So I hope you will join me and other members of our learning network by learning from and participating in three important data-driven studies coming soon:

    February 2017 |

    Between the changing political landscape, our membership renewal cycle and planning for major programs, the first two months of this year have kept us busy at Philanthropy Northwest! Before we continue at this rapid pace and scale — adding the next edition of Trends in Northwest Giving and the second cohort of our Momentum Fellowship to the mix — we'd like to pause for a moment to welcome five new organizations to our network this year: Beneficial State Foundation / Beneficial State Bank, The Sheri & Les Biller Family Foundation, Idaho Community Foundation, Legal Foundation of Washington and Washington Research Foundation.

    February 2017 |

    Philanthropy Northwest is partnering with Grantmakers Committed with Immigrants and Refugees on several programs this year, including a monthly immigration policy briefing for funders. Some of our members — including Marguerite Casey Foundation, Ford Foundation, Legal Foundation of Washington, Meyer Memorial Trust, Northwest Area Foundation, Northwest Health Foundation and Satterberg Foundation — have joined a growing list of funders who have signed a Joint Foundation Statement on Immigration organized by GCIR. With a membership as diverse as ours, we understand that not everyone would choose to sign this statement. As a service to our members who have requested we share timely and relevant action and policy information, however, we are making you aware of this opportunity: