News and Insights

The Value of Our Network

06/03/2016

Audrey Haberman, Interim CEO | Our board and staff spend a lot of time thinking about ways we can enhance the value of our network. How is philanthropy evolving, and how do we support our members and partners as we navigate this changing landscape? Our hope is that by providing the connections, conversations, tools and spaces to explore the adaptive leadership challenges, we each become better equipped and more effective allies for our communities. more »

The Secret Sauce of Building Community Philanthropy

02/08/2016

Audrey Haberman, The Giving Practice | Over the course of four years, the Building Community Philanthropy (BCP) initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Pacific Northwest team has brought together 20 partners — United Ways, identity-based funds, tribal governments and community foundations — to learn together, challenge each other and shift the way they see their role in their communities. In short, to participate in a peer network that rewards honesty and authenticity while also receiving funding to test new ways of working, and transform their work in positive and meaningful ways. Ted Lord and I recently facilitated a two-day convening for this learning cohort.  We’ve noticed three key shifts that BCP has helped unlock: more »

Ballmer Family Joins $1B Grantmaking Partnership for Youth

02/02/2016

Ballmer Family Giving, the youth-focused philanthropy organization representing former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and his wife Connie, has joined a funding partnership that aims to award $1 billion in grants to high-performing charities that serve low-income youth. The new collaborative, Blue Meridian Partners, is led by the New York-based Edna McConnell Clark Foundation. more »

Nine Predictions for Philanthropy in 2016

01/12/2016

Jeff Clarke, CEO | Welcome to 2016! Philanthropy’s core DNA is love for humanity and community. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we celebrate a unique philanthropic culture marked by optimism, generosity, civic engagement and stewardship. It rests upon our nation’s unique commitment to philanthropic freedom and donor intent. But above all, our big, diverse place defines us, from Alaska’s North Slope to southern Oregon, and the Pacific coast to eastern Montana and Wyoming. In other words, as American farmer and writer Wendell Berry observed, “If you don’t know where you are, you don’t know who you are.” Looking ahead to what is sure to be a dynamic year, philanthropy, with its ability to gather people around the public good, is more important than ever. more »

Paying for Success in the Northwest

12/21/2015

Jeff Clarke, CEO | The Pacific Northwest has a unique and globally influential culture marked by innovation, entrepreneurship, civic engagement, generosity and stewardship. Our region’s commitment to innovation drives our growing leadership in impact investing — leveraging private capital for social good. Impact investors seek opportunities to earn a financial return while also doing something good for society. Their aspirations are changing the way we think about solutions to big social problems like homelessness, poverty and unemployment. more »

Surfing the Boundary Between Order and Chaos

10/27/2015

Ted Lord, The Giving Practice | In my experience, philanthropy too often stays in its safe spot, privileging white-paper expertise over lived experience, inviting compliance rather than building a plan together with the deep understanding that participants bring multiple forms of capital — influence, lived experience, community connectedness, time and energy — in addition to potential grant dollars. Is philanthropy’s job to underwrite what has an established track record? Or is it to provide the risk capital for demonstration projects or the resources for best-in-class organizations to pursue their highest-return ideas? more »

Who's Coming to Local Matters: Washington

10/20/2015

"Philanthropy Is... Convening." That's the theme of Local Matters: Washington, an opportunity for funders, nonprofits and community leaders to discuss how we initiate and facilitate conversations about our work together. We're pleased to confirm that leaders from these organizations will be joining us in Bellingham on November 3-4: more »

The Learning Network's Learning Work: Lessons From Baltimore

08/10/2015

Nicole Neroulias Gupte, Communications Manager | Philanthropy Northwest believes in sharing best practices, convening and collaborating effectively to support our members, partners and communities. Last month, it was our turn: we traveled to Baltimore to meet with our peers from dozens of philanthropy networks and affinity groups working with foundations, corporate giving programs, major donors, impact investors and lawmakers to build capacity locally, regionally and nationally. Here's what we learned: more »

Getting to the Acupuncture Point of Change in Conversations

07/13/2015

Ted Lord, Senior Partner, The Giving Practice | A board retreat. We had just spent 45 minutes parsing the difference between goals and objectives, and it felt like things were heading south. Participants didn’t want to do either the exercise or break into groups, they just seemed to want to argue about planning in general — not unsurprising, since the board had a broad representation of youth, business, government and nonprofits. Then my co-facilitator stood up and offered five minutes of theory on the four types of conversation and how they can either evolve or stay stuck. more »

Philanthropy is... Networks in Action. What We Heard at Local Matters: Montana

06/23/2015

Caitlin Copple, Montana Correspondent | Against the backdrop of Lone Mountain on a patio with a river rock fireplace, nearly 100 philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, nonprofit staff and government leaders spent a day and a half talking, thinking and planning next steps to advance issues that matter most to Montanans. Here's what we learned at Local Matters: Montana in June. more »

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