News and Insights

Five Reasons to Attend our Annual Conference—in Boise!


Elyse Gordon | Each year, Philanthropy Northwest's Annual Conference helps unite our different regional experiences of philanthropy, community and social impact. It offers a rare chance for funders across our region to come together and share approaches and best practices for adapting to the latest social issues and exploring collaboration. Here are my top five reasons to attend this year's conference (#AC18) in Boise!   more »

Equity Speaker Series: Dr. Ibram X. Kendi on Antiracism


More than 400 people gathered in Seattle University’s Pigott Auditorium to attend our inaugural Equity Speaker Series featuring Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award winning author of Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. In his remarks, Dr. Kendi urged a new vision and role for philanthropy—one that challenges discriminatory policies and actively works to dismantle racial inequities. more »

Women: We're Stronger Together


Kathi Littmann, President & CEO, Greater Tacoma Community Foundation | I taught middle school, pursued architecture, was an executive in construction management, and then followed my dedication to education and community into the philanthropy sector. Each of those transitions was driven by my passion, but each success depended on mentors and peers who supported me and pushed me out of my comfort zone to go further. more »

Recognizing and Maximizing Black Leadership


Mozart Guerrier, executive director of 21 Progress | 21 Progress in Seattle is committed to antiracist and equity practices as we work to encourage emerging young leaders to build a more just society. For this Black History month, I would like to bear witness to the black leadership in our region. I want to share about three leaders who are working to end inequality and increase justice. more »

The Promise and Challenge of Community Democracy


Garland Yates and Peter Pennekamp | Philanthropy and other potential change-making institutions have grappled with implementing place-based initiatives and funding community-transformative systems. In our new report, The Promise and Challenge of Community Democracy, we detail how successes share one key attribute: they are led by, and realized in collaboration with, the people directly involved and affected. more »

Deeper than Partnership: A Story for Social Impact Investors


Anjana Pandey and Tim Crosby | From cultural giving traditions to tech boom wealth creation, Pacific Northwest philanthropy has forged a reputation for blending collaboration and innovation. A new case study on the Cascadia Foodshed Financing Project (CFFP) identifies the regional food economy as an untapped area for co-investment in Oregon and Washington, then outlines a combination of grantmaking and investment strategies for transformational impact. more »

Monthly Reflection: Hibernating or Gearing Up?


Kiran Ahuja | February is often a time for hibernation and counting down the days to spring—unless you are an avid skier! Having grown up in Savannah, Georgia, I have limited experience with the snow and ice, let alone sports involving them. So, despite lots of inspiration from the Winter Olympics, from the huge gold-medal wins by U.S. Women’s Hockey and Cross-Country (skate sprint) to Jamaica’s first women’s bobsled team, the month of February was a time for our team at Philanthropy Northwest to plan, convene and reflect. Our efforts have yielded results, too! more »

The Role of Community-Based Participatory Research


Theresa Fujiwara, United Way of King County and Lauren Kastanas, El Centro de la Raza |

To better understand how philanthropic investments could help Latino communities to thrive in Seattle and South King County, WA, the United Way of King County partnered with the University of Washington School of Public Health and El Centro de la Raza to design a research process that would center the voices of those most affected by the issues and help funders hear and learn from them, especially regarding what their funding priorities should be. more »

Supercharging the Banking Industry, Fulfilling the Dreams of Underserved Youth


Mark Dederer, Executive Director, The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation |

Many industries struggle with bringing in diverse and young talent into their pipeline, and there is no magic bullet. With more than a decade helping young job-seekers develop banking and financial careers at BankWork$, we have been able to create a solid curriculum and training program -- and build a sustainable road for young people to enter the banking world. Here we share our best learning in workforce development. more »

Powering Diversity and Equity in Black Arts and Culture


Sharon Nyree Williams, Executive Director, Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas | Central District Forum is continuing the legacy that was laid before us, with a mission to provide a platform for provocative arts and ideas that foster awareness of and involvement in Black experiences. I can only imagine how hard it was for the supporters back then to start CD Forum because sustaining the organization in 2018 is challenging work. The good news is that funders throughout the field increasingly agree that it is important to develop a funding practice and structure that includes diversity, equity, inclusion and access. more »