News and Insights

Reflecting on Racial Equity and Civic Engagement

02/11/2016

Gloris Estrella, Program Associate | When the opportunity to join First Alaskans Institute's “Partners for the Next 10,000 Years … A Racial Equity Summit” arose earlier this month, I literally jumped out of my swivel chair with excitement! After gathering 200 people together in a room, all of us passionate about empowering communities and dismantling hundreds of years of oppression, we were bound to walk away with something like a solution, right? Well, not quite. We need to think more about restructuring the current system that is failing so many. More philanthropists should get their hands on the ground, side by side with the communities they so deeply care about. Join the marches, attend town hall meetings, convene your grantees and local businesses around racial tensions they face, write to your local representatives, audit internal policies and ensure they are equitable and inclusive. In an election year, it's even more imperative that philanthropists be at the forefront of the issues we care about. more »

Action Alert: IRS Reporting Proposal Threatens Donor, Nonprofit Security

12/10/2015

Ann Saxton, Vice President | When should donors provide their Social Security number to a nonprofit? Common wisdom and universal advice says "never." But a dangerous new proposal from the IRS would change the answer to "it depends," confusing the public, stifling donations for charitable works and opening the floodgates to fraudsters. The IRS is seeking your comments on this proposal before December 16. The proposed regulations would give nonprofits the option of filing a separate new information return with the IRS and individual donors by February 28 every year to substantiate contributions of more than $250 in value. A similar mandatory proposal was considered and rejected in the past based on numerous legal, policy and confidentiality problems it raised.  more »

A River Between Us: Bridging Generations of Conflict on the Klamath

09/01/2015

Jason A. Atkinson, Filmmaker and Former Oregon State Senator | Nearly 300 miles long, flowing from southern Oregon to northern California, the Klamath River has been a source of conflict between conservationists, tribes, farmers, fishermen, and state and federal agencies for generations. My new film, with support from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust and other Pacific Northwest funders, examines this complicated history and documents the largest river restoration project in U.S. history. This unique case of collaboration, in a place most Americans can't find on a map, is a prime example for the rest of the country to follow. more »

Is This The State We Want? Shared Prosperity in Washington

08/31/2015

Kristen Holway, Senior Manager, Learning Practice | Philanthropy Northwest and Dr. Lori Pfingst of the Washington State Budget & Policy Center recently hosted a discussion about Washington's budget and the progress the state is making towards creating a prosperous future for all. A new report from the Washington Budget & Policy Center maps six areas: economic security, education, healthy people and a healthy environment, community development and trust, good jobs, and revenue generation. An overarching theme is that people of color are being left behind, and we emerged with four ideas on how funders can accelerate progress. more »

Advocacy: Part of Every Board Member's Duty

08/14/2015

Advocacy is becoming an increasingly important part of our work in the nonprofit and philanthropy sectors. Campion Foundation Trustee Sonya Campion, a Philanthropy Northwest member and one of four Pacific Northwest nonprofit leaders on the 2015 Nonprofit Times Power & Influence List, has issued a call to action in The Chronicle of Philanthropy for nonprofit board members to embrace this new role — as she has done through the Stand for Your Mission campaign and her foundation's policy work. more »

New Considerations for Arts Education Advocacy, Policy Work

08/04/2015

Richard Kessler, Mannes School of Music, The New School | A new report, Foundation Funding for Arts Education: An Update on Foundation Trends, examines the Foundation Center’s data sets of grants of $10,000 or more awarded to organizations by one thousand of the largest U.S. foundations from 1999 to 2012. It is clear from the report overall that advocacy and policy are lagging well behind. But if programmatic work cannot achieve equitable access to quality arts education, then the challenge to the field is substantial. Some of the reasons why this area has been slow to emerge have to do with concerns around concrete results, confusion around what is allowed by law, and a general fear of conflict. more »

Don't Miss Your Chance to Support the America Gives More Act

08/19/2014

As summer begins to wind down, the philanthropic community across the country is gearing up for a big legislative effort that has been more than a decade in the making: the America Gives More Act (H.R. 4719). Take advantage of the next few weeks to support the passage of the America Gives More Act by communicating with your Senators while they are home for the August recess. more »

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