PNW News

Raising a Glass to Sustaining Partners & New Friends

10/19/2016

Paul Kim, Member and Donor Program Associate | This fall, Philanthropy Northwest celebrates 40 years as a thriving network of foundations and corporate giving programs committed to Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. Last month, more than 200 philanthropy leaders joined us Under One Sky in Missoula, Montana to explore this work through the lenses of democracy and equity, and to raise a glass with our founding members, valued partners — and several new friends. We're thankful for the support and partnership of our longtime members, along with three organizations that have joined us more recently: Grays Harbor Community Foundation, Group Health Community Foundation and U.S. Bank. more »

Never Stop Learning: An Integral Approach to Continuous Education

10/14/2016

Anna Gallich, Staff Accountant | Everyone experiences feelings of professional disappointment sometimes. In September, I had to miss Philanthropy Northwest’s 2016 conference in Montana, after months of working with the team to help put it together. When I heard our staff’s stories and saw the photos, I felt I had fallen behind on my philanthropy learning curve — and missed a a lot of fun celebrating our 40th anniversary! But I had a very good reason: I was getting my long-awaited master’s degree in psychology. Growing up in Russia with Lenin's ideology of “Learn, Learn, Learn” hanging on a poster in every classroom, I absorbed the importance of a good education from a young age. As an adult, I also think about the importance of an integral education: a comprehensive and continuing process that does not stop at any point in life. more »

Swimming With the Funders

10/11/2016

Kesley Potdevin, Momentum Fellow | “Hi! I’m a member of Glacier Swim Club. I’m collecting pledges for our annual Aqualaps fundraiser. This year, I’m swimming 200 laps. You can make a lump sum or pledge a certain amount per lap to support the team. If you pledge 1 cent a lap, you'll donate $2, if you pledge 5 cents a lap, you'll donate $10, if you pledge 10 cents a lap, you'll donate $20.” A few weeks ago, this fundraising spiel suddenly popped back into head after a 12-year absence. I had just accepted a position as a program associate of grants and impact at The Alaska Community Foundation after two years at Rasmuson Foundation, most recently as one of Philanthropy Northwest's Momentum Fellows. While I knew aspects of my job would be similar — helping disperse grant money around Alaska — the process would be dramatically different as I shifted from a private foundation to a community one. But it turns out that all those years of fundraising for my youth swim team had sneakily taught me about nonprofits, long before I knew anything about grants strategies and governance structures. more »

Making Connections, Learning Together

10/06/2016

Audrey Haberman, Interim CEO | From the moment I attended my first Philanthropy Northwest program as a Women’s Funding Alliance staff member in 1997, I have always been personally inspired and professionally improved as a result of time spent connecting and learning with our network. It's so easy, yet also dangerous, to believe our best work is done by working hard and in isolation. We are at our best, as a field and individually, when we take the time to sit with others, learn together, reflect and share with colleagues, mentors and community partners. It may be during a conference plenary or a session when someone else’s story sheds light on one of my own relevant challenges. It may be from side conversation, with someone I’ve known for years or someone I just met, where we trade advice and opinions. Or it may be in stepping back and using reflective practices to unveil what we need to see or know by looking at it “from the balcony.” more »

What's On Your Program Wish List?

10/05/2016

Maya Thornell-Sandifor, Learning Strategy Director | Access to skill-building workshops, funder briefings and shared learning opportunities are and have always been a benefit of being a member of Philanthropy Northwest. We make a concerted effort to be responsive to the diverse needs of our members across the six states we serve — while simultaneously getting ahead of developing trends and burgeoning issues in the sector. This summer, we asked those who have attended Philanthropy Northwest programs in the past two years to tell us what they think by participating in a 5-minute survey. And wow: 87 of you responded, including several folks who emailed or called me personally to provide more in-depth feedback. The following topics ranked high on your area of interest for deepening knowledge, expertise and capacity more »

Sharpen Your Strategy With DIY Activities

10/04/2016

Jan Jaffe and Mark Sedway, The Giving Practice | When we say “strategic,” what’s the next word that comes to mind? If it’s “planning,” you're like many of our clients. And for many foundation staff and board members, dread is the feeling that follows. It doesn’t have to be that way, however. In consulting with foundations around the Northwest and across the country, we have worked with leaders who are seeing strategy in a new way — as an ongoing practice rather than a discrete planning chore and an opportunity to mobilize continuous curiosity, experiment and learn, and even have some fun. Our new guide contains 10 activities that can help you get there, too. more »

Bright Horizons for Northwest Philanthropy

10/03/2016

Kevin Walker, Board Chair | I’ve been a regular at philanthropy conferences of all sorts for more than 20 years. In all that time, I’ve never participated in a conference that illuminated its guiding themes as successfully as Philanthropy Northwest's Under One Sky conference last month in Missoula. Equity and democracy are profoundly important to me and to the organization I lead, the Northwest Area Foundation. The conference was also special for me because I had the privilege of presenting Philanthropy Northwest’s Mary Helen Moore Ambassador of the Year Award to Natalie Camacho Mendoza, a Boise-based attorney and lifelong advocate for an equitable and forward-looking Idaho, and to welcome three new leaders to Philanthropy Northwest's board, representing The Boeing Company, Northwest Health Foundation and Rasmuson Foundation. more »

Who's Coming to the Washington Community Foundations Convening

09/28/2016

Gloris Estrella, Program Manager | Philanthropy Northwest coordinates a network of community foundations in Washington state, including our annual Washington Community Foundation Convening, bringing together the leadership of community foundations and other place-based investors across our region. This is my second year working with this network, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and this year's convening will be better than ever! Our gathering in Leavenworth has a great lineup of speakers, facilitators and confirmed participants.   more »

Thrive Washington Announces New CEO

09/27/2016

Thrive Washington’s board of directors has announced that Alan Cohen will lead the state’s public-private partnership for early learning, starting November 7. He succeeds Sam Whiting, who stepped down in May to become director of global corporate citizenship for the Northwest region of The Boeing Company, also a Philanthropy Northwest member organization. more »

What We Learned Under One Sky

09/19/2016

If you joined us for our 2016 conference and 40th anniversary celebration, Under One Sky in Missoula, Montana, you're probably still mentally unpacking all the conversations — particularly around supporting democracy and advancing equity in philanthropy. As we return to our communities in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming, we will continue sharing detailed notes, photos and recaps from our staff, consultants and engaged members on our website, in our programs and through Philanthropy Northwest's e-bulletins. In the meantime, please enjoy this Storify slideshow of #PNW40 social media activity during the conference and video message from Nancy Nordhoff, one of our founding directors. more »

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