News and Insights

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 »

Place-Based Philanthropy Supports Urban Sustainability

03/13/2017

Mitchell Thomashow, Catalyst Fellow | Cities consist of many communities tied together by proximity, infrastructure and networks. But what happens when some communities are overlooked, when neighborhoods are gentrifying or otherwise going through changes that may not necessarily be in everyone's best interest? How do you prevent this from happening — or how do you deal with it when it does? Place-based philanthropy can ensure the sustainability of urban development efforts by providing long-term strategy, mobilizing patient capital and connecting funders with grassroots community leaders. In the Northwest, I recently visited three extraordinary urban sustainability projects that demonstrate the power of place-based philanthropy as a convener and catalyst: Yesler Terrace in Seattle, Living Cully in Portland and the Puyallup Watershed Initiative in greater Tacoma. more »

Welcome New Members and Partners

02/23/2017

Paul Kim, Member and Donor Program Associate | Between the changing political landscape, our membership renewal cycle and planning for major programs, the first two months of this year have kept us busy at Philanthropy Northwest! Before we continue at this rapid pace and scale — adding the next edition of Trends in Northwest Giving and the second cohort of our Momentum Fellowship to the mix — we'd like to pause for a moment to welcome five new organizations to our network this year: Beneficial State Foundation / Beneficial State Bank, The Sheri & Les Biller Family Foundation, Idaho Community Foundation, Legal Foundation of Washington and Washington Research Foundation. more »

Standing Against Injustice

01/31/2017

Doug Stamm, Meyer Memorial Trust | Following two executive orders targeting immigrants and refugees, on Friday, Jan. 27, just a week after his inauguration, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that bars refugees and immigrants from a number of Muslim countries from entering the United States. It’s clear we are at the beginning of a long, hard fight. What comes next? We must stand for the rights of all people of color, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community. In response, Meyer is providing grants to five community-based organizations on the front lines of ensuring the security, safety and civil rights of all people in our community. Although we currently fund these organizations, now more than ever their human and financial resources are being tested by the great work before them. And we need them to be strong in this fight. more »

Meyer Memorial Trust Awards $17M in Oregon

11/16/2016

Meyer Memorial Trust announced 151 grants totaling $17.3 million to nonprofits and organizations supporting work that advances, in some way, the goal of a more equitable and flourishing Oregon. Specifically, these award work to close inequity gaps in the state. The majority of Meyer’s grants are to organizations working to bring policy change, services, knowledge and expertise to rural and urban communities across the state. All 151 grants fall within one or more of Meyer’s focus areas: housing, the environment, and community building. The awards were selected from 675 proposals winnowed through a competitive selection process. more »

Introducing the 2016 Northwest Nonprofit Capacity Report

09/20/2016

A consortium of five northwest state nonprofit associations has released a comprehensive study on the capacity, strengths, and challenges of the region’s nonprofit sector. The 2016 Northwest Nonprofit Capacity Report: Our Strengths — Our Challenges — Our Resilience, developed using survey data from more than 1,000 nonprofits in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington, highlights the progress nonprofits are making in creating a resilient sector. more »

Food Systems Research Reveals Funding Opportunities

08/22/2016

Tim Crosby, Cascadia Foodshed Financing Project | If we want to catalyze a thriving food economy in the Pacific Northwest, where should we invest our philanthropic funds? We commissioned research into the production costs of six categories — no-till grain, grass-finished beef, organic greens, organic storage crops, pastured chicken, and hoop house pork — to identify differentiated and viable production systems aligned with our project's five overarching principles of health, social equity, family wage job creation and preservation. The results have revealed intriguing insights for our regional food economy, venture philanthropy and impact investing. We want to achieve system change to increase more sustainable food production and to build resiliency in rural communities. We want to support enterprise success so that rural communities can generate livable wage jobs and investors can at least preserve capital. We now know where we can do each; we seek the opportunity to do both. Now we're asking a new question: How can we advance system change by supporting success at the enterprise level? more »

Northwest Area Foundation Awards $1M in MT, OR, WA

08/03/2016

The Minnesota-based Northwest Area Foundation approved 27 grants worth $5.3 million in the second quarter of 2016, focused on advancing good jobs and financial capability by funding grantees whose work creates enterprise development, access to capital, workforce opportunity, and financial inclusion for low-income communities, with a special focus on those that are Native, communities of color or immigrant. In the Northwest, these grants included more than $1 million for programs in Montana, Oregon and Washington. more »

Virtual Roundtable: Philanthropic Banks

06/22/2016

Our "virtual roundtable" interviews feature a group of leaders from across our network who work on a common issue area, illuminating the diversity of place-based approaches to the shared topic. We kicked this series off in February with the CEOs of five healthcare conversion foundations, then continued in March with the Pacific Northwest's seven statewide nonprofit associations, April with four arts funders and May with five rural funders. For June, we interviewed representatives of four banks engaged in Northwest philanthropy: First Interstate Bank, Pacific Continental Bank, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo. more »

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