News and Insights

Foundations Forge Ahead: DEI and Investing

11/26/2018

Rosalie Sheehy Cates | Behind every great foundation is… a lot of money. We know those funds have to be invested to generate returns that pay for grants and operations. But can the money at the heart of the foundation business model be responsive to a foundation’s important values of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)? The answer to this question is yes. You can read all about it our new report that includes interviews with executives at eight large foundations that have embraced organization-wide DEI efforts. more »

Surprise! Your Foundation May Owe Taxes to the IRS

08/17/2018

Laura Pierce, Guest Contributor | If your foundation pays for its employees’ parking or transit passes or allows employees to set aside pre-tax dollars for their transit costs, you may be surprised to know that your foundation may now owe the IRS a 21% unrelated business income tax on those payments. And – surprise! – your first payment was due on April 15, so you may face a late-filing penalty, too. If you’re startled by this news, you’re not alone. 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 »

Five Minutes for Philanthropy: Take Action on Charitable Tax Extenders

12/02/2015

Ann Saxton, Vice President | The year-end federal tax bill currently under negotiation is expected to be completed by December 15. In addition to the reauthorizing the currently expired tax extenders which include three important philanthropic provisions — the IRA charitable rollover, enhanced deduction for contributions of food inventory, and enhanced deduction for contributions of conservation easements – the sector is working to include two additional provisions aimed at promoting charitable giving: more »

For a Small Community Foundation, the Right Technology Makes a Big Difference

06/03/2015

Hilary Canty, Executive Director, Orcas Island Community Foundation | In 2011, with assets of $4 million spread across 70+ funds, we had outgrown our "off the shelf" bookkeeping software, spending over half of our precious staff time on accounting. We struggled with finding right sized technology. Like Goldilocks, the existing programs just did not fit, being too cumbersome, too complicated, and far too expensive. Not a recipe for growth. Fortunately, the stars aligned. more »