News and Insights

Introducing Philanthropy Northwest's New CEO

04/27/2017

After an extensive national search with an impressive slate of candidates, Philanthropy Northwest is pleased to announce that Kiran Ahuja will be our next CEO. Ahuja brings more than two decades of public service and nonprofit sector leadership experience, including senior positions in the Obama administration, to our six-state network of foundations and corporate giving programs. In her new role, beginning June 19, she will lead one of the oldest regional associations of philanthropists in the country, joining us at a critical time for the sector and our communities. She looks forward to traveling throughout our region in the summer and fall — culminating in a special reception at our 2017 Annual Conference in Vancouver, Washington. more »

Meyer Memorial Trust Announces Leadership Transition

04/10/2017

Doug Stamm, president and CEO of Meyer Memorial Trust and a member of Philanthropy Northwest's board, has announced his plans to leave the foundation in 2018. Stamm has earned a national reputation in the philanthropic sector for his strategic exploration of innovative ways to invest a foundation’s endowment, beyond grantmaking, to further both mission and our financial goals. Most recently, he is perhaps best known for his and the trust’s work to address and dismantle deep disparities and inequities in Oregon. During his leadership, Meyer redesigned its programs to ensure a more flourishing and equitable Oregon, became an early adapter and sector leader in mission related investing and undertook initiatives to tackle longstanding problems in education, affordable housing and the Willamette River. A national search will begin this summer to find Meyer’s next steward. Stamm plans to take a short break before pursuing opportunities to advance equity and inclusion in the independent sector. more »

The Power of Women in Philanthropy

03/07/2017

Jennifer Teunon, Medina Foundation | March is Women’s History Month, including International Women's Day on March 8. While it is important to honor the extraordinary achievements of women and the progress we are making on issues of women’s rights and equality, many discouraging statistics persist. Only 4% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women; only five female CEOs are leading public companies in Washington state today. The Puget Sound Business Journal recently reported that only 18% of the new CEOs named in the Puget Sound region in 2016 were women. Fortunately, these statistics don’t represent my own experience working in the nonprofit sector for the past 20 years. I have always had female supervisors and my most important mentors have been women; in my current role as executive director of the Medina Foundation, I work with amazing women every day who are strong, innovative leaders. I also know that my experience reflects that Northwest foundation statistics are an anomaly. more »

Introducing Our 2017 Momentum Fellowship Host Foundations

03/06/2017

Maya Thornell-Sandifor, Learning Strategy Director | The Momentum Fellowship is designed to prepare professionals from underrepresented communities, particularly communities of color, for successful careers in the philanthropic sector through professional development, networking and mentoring opportunities. We're excited to announce that our next cohort of Momentum Fellows will be placed at seven foundations across the Northwest: Marguerite Casey Foundation, The Collins Foundation, Empire Health Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, Rasmuson Foundation, Whatcom Community Foundation and Women's Foundation of Oregon. more »

The Art and Science of Designing Peer Learning Cohorts

04/28/2016

Sindhu Knotz, The Giving Practice | When The Giving Practice at Philanthropy Northwest partnered with the D5 Coalition in 2012 to study and report on the ways philanthropic leaders were advancing diversity, equity and inclusion, one of our most significant findings was that leaders need support from peer networks to advance this work. Four years later, we continue to witness how peer learning can be one of the most powerful ways to influence leadership and cultural change within organizations. In confidential, trust-based environments, leaders serve as co-consultants to one another, offering advice, knowledge and sympathetic ears. Again and again, we have seen leaders come together to gather the courage to make meaningful advances in policy, practice and organizational change. We use six key principles to create and facilitate these groups, particularly for cohorts designed around diversity, equity and inclusion. While much of this may read as basic facilitation strategies, we have learned that this is more of an art than a science — and it often takes a few meetings before groups begin to develop their own rhythm and cohesion. 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 »

Philanthropy Northwest Welcomes New Board Members

12/01/2015

Philanthropy Northwest's board of directors, representing the range of foundation, family and corporate giving in our six-state region, welcomes two new members today, chosen through the first open nomination process in our 39-year history: C'Ardiss "CC" Gardner Gleser of the Charlotte Martin Foundation and Mary Rutherford of the Montana Community Foundation. more »

All of the Feels (#FailEpic, part 3)

11/13/2015

Chris Cardona, Ford Foundation | Why is it so hard to foundations to talk about failure? There are many reasons, including lack of incentives, presence of disincentives, lack of context, lack of clarity about when failure has actually happened and who owns it. In this blog post, Chris explores the the intersection between failure and risk and how that connects to "second discipline" work: the relational and interpersonal skills program officers need. more »

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