News and Insights

Big Web, Small Threads: Reflecting on Rural Philanthropy

11/08/2016

Amy Hyfield, The O.P. & W.E. Edwards Foundation | Many of our towns and cities in the Northwest are small, rural and geographically isolated. There is real power in the community that develops in these places. The interconnectedness is out in the open, on the surface, evident and real. Economic development depends upon the availability of childcare, housing, recreation and transportation. Housing depends on the availability of jobs, the quality of life, the efficiency of infrastructure, zoning and the layout of a town. Recreation depends on location, community health and investment priorities, land use and access to the outdoors. The web of factors that impact the themes of diversity, equity and inclusion explored at Philanthropy Northwest’s recent conference, Under One Sky, is especially complicated and tangled in rural areas. Grantmakers are charged with keeping the big picture in perspective. 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 »

Virtual Roundtable: Rural Funders

05/17/2016

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 and April with four leading arts funders. For May, we interviewed grantmakers from five foundations — The Ford Family Foundation, Montana Community Foundation, Northwest Area Foundation, Whatcom Community Foundation and Wyoming Community Foundation — focused on rural communities. more »