News and Insights

Thank You for Making Our Annual Conference a Success!


Amy Pearson-Wales | Thank you to the more than 300 people who convened October 3-5 at our annual conference to share learnings and exchange ideas on this year’s theme of Leading Through Change!

Throughout the conference, attendees from more than 70 philanthropic organizations explored approaches as individuals and as community partners working to strengthen philanthropy’s impact in our six-state region. Discussions proved dynamic, informative and educational. Some were even difficult. But, guided by our commitment to creating space for all types of conversations—as represented by our attendee-curated Philanthropy Interrupted Talks—we leaned into the hard work of coming together to recognize and reflect on the challenges facing our communities and our sector in these increasingly divisive times. more »

Bank of America Invests $1.32 Million to Create Greater Economic Mobility Across Pacific and Inland Northwest


Kim Vu, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Business and Community Engagement at Bank of America | To support responsible growth in the Pacific and Inland Northwest, Bank of America is giving $1.32 million in grants to 78 nonprofits focused on economic development for individuals and families, along with workforce development and basic needs, such as hunger relief and services for the homeless. The funding is part of the company’s broader philanthropic investment in create pathways to economic mobility and support thriving communities. The bank is partnering with local nonprofits such as Seattle Goodwill, United Way of King County, Greater Portland Inc., and Second Harvest Inland Northwest, which address the foundational barriers to economic mobility such as workforce development, education, and basic needs across the Puget Sound, Portland/Vancouver, Eastern Washington and parts of Idaho. more »

Putting Something in the Middle


Doug Stamm, Chief Executive Officer, Meyer Memorial Trust |  


This is a cross-post from the Philanthropy's Reflective Practices website.

When I read Doug’s announcement about leaving Meyer Memorial Trust at the end of this year, I asked if we might have a couple of conversations about the reflective practices he used to guide his work there. I had admired his leadership of the foundation as it became an early adopter of Mission Related Investments (MRIs) and, more recently, his commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion at Meyer. This first post is about Meyer’s entry into making MRIs nearly twelve years ago. Investing with a mission lens is a high bar for foundations to clear. There is resistance to it, for good and bad reasons. Doug overcame that resistance by using a reflective practice that is often called “putting something in the middle”—using a third object to help participants explore their assumptions at a deeper level than words. This is an unusual practice but it can be a useful one, especially with analytic people. –Jan Jaffe more »

Top 10 Things Not to Miss at #PNW17


Maya Thornell-Sandifor | With so many great things happening at the annual conference next week, it’s hard to narrow it down. But here’s my list of 10 things you don’t want to miss. more »

Introducing Our Cohort II Momentum Fellows


Maya Thornell-Sandifor, Director of Learning Strategies | As we launch the second round of our two-year Momentum Fellowship program, it’s my honor to introduce below 10 leaders from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and communities. I hope you’ll get to meet them at #PNW17, our annual conference coming up next week, Oct. 3-5, in Vancouver, WA. more »

The Hub ribbon cutting in Walla Walla

Walla Walla Valley to Host Funders’ Tour Nov. 1-3


Danielle Garbe, Sherwood Trust, CEO | In the Northwest, most foundations are located in urban areas, and philanthropic dollars are concentrated in those hubs. A June 2015 article in Nonprofit Quarterly found that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s effort to increase philanthropic investment in rural areas failed to significantly move the needle. Rural residents continue to consistently receive less per capita than their urban counterparts, with only approximately 7% of total foundation dollars between 2005-2010 going to rural recipients even though rural communities comprise 19% of the country’s population. more »

Dr. Gail Christopher to Keynote Conference Plenary


Maya Thornell-Sandifor, Learning Strategy Director | We are thrilled to announce the latest keynote plenary speaker at the Philanthropy Northwest annual conference in Vancouver, coming up Oct. 3-5: Dr. Gail C. Christopher, D.N., N.D. Christopher joins former Deputy Secretary of Labor, Chris Lu, as a conference headliner. Other just-announced closing plenary speakers will include:  Maulik Pancholy, best known for his role on NBC's hit show, 30 Rock, and leading the #ActToChange anti-bullying campaign; Becky L. Monroe, Director of the Stop Hate Project, at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; and Eric K. Ward, incoming Executive Director of Western States Center.   more »