News and Insights

Swimming With the Funders

10/11/2016

Kesley Potdevin, Momentum Fellow | “Hi! I’m a member of Glacier Swim Club. I’m collecting pledges for our annual Aqualaps fundraiser. This year, I’m swimming 200 laps. You can make a lump sum or pledge a certain amount per lap to support the team. If you pledge 1 cent a lap, you'll donate $2, if you pledge 5 cents a lap, you'll donate $10, if you pledge 10 cents a lap, you'll donate $20.” A few weeks ago, this fundraising spiel suddenly popped back into head after a 12-year absence. I had just accepted a position as a program associate of grants and impact at The Alaska Community Foundation after two years at Rasmuson Foundation, most recently as one of Philanthropy Northwest's Momentum Fellows. While I knew aspects of my job would be similar — helping disperse grant money around Alaska — the process would be dramatically different as I shifted from a private foundation to a community one. But it turns out that all those years of fundraising for my youth swim team had sneakily taught me about nonprofits, long before I knew anything about grants strategies and governance structures. more »

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 »

Momentum Fellows: Impressive First Impressions

10/09/2015

Nicole Neroulias Gupte, Communications Manager | I recently had the pleasure of meeting the inaugural cohort of our Momentum Fellowship, Philanthropy Northwest's program aimed at preparing professionals from underrepresented communities for careers in philanthropy. These nine fellows bring a tremendous set of skills and experiences to the table, in addition to their diverse backgrounds. An initiative like this can't solve philanthropy's diversity, equity and inclusion "pipeline problem" all by itself, but as our board member Luz Vega-Marquis of Marguerite Casey Foundation says: "We have to start somewhere." From a communications perspective, the Momentum Fellowship also gives us fresh eyes on the art and business of philanthropy at six Pacific Northwest foundations: Meyer Memorial Trust, Marguerite Casey Foundation, Northwest Health Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation, Pride Foundation and Rasmuson Foundation. more »

Introducing the Momentum Fellows

09/23/2015

Sindhu Knotz, Partner, The Giving Practice | Nine accomplished individuals from incredibly diverse backgrounds are coming together at Philanthropy Northwest this week for the first cohort meeting of our Momentum Fellowship. What began as a conversation in one of our peer learning cohorts on diversity, equity and inclusion is now becoming reality: a program that prepares professionals from underrepresented communities, particularly communities of color, for successful careers in the philanthropic sector through mentoring, networking and professional development opportunities. more »