News and Insights

Philanthropist Forum Takes First Collective Policy Stand

03/31/2016

Ted Lord, The Giving Practice | Engaging foundations in policy and advocacy work has been a leading theme and learning edge in philanthropy for a decade. Part of the difficulty in moving these efforts forward is the level of abstraction in many of the discussions and lack of concrete examples. This month, our field gained a new example from a group of Washington and California funders focused on child welfare and juvenile justice issues. As trust and understanding has developed, they have asked each other and The Giving Practice how they might use their other forms of capital — influence, relationships, partnerships — on behalf of our most vulnerable children and families. Within 72 hours, nine members were able to sign onto a letter to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. more »

In 10 Years: Philanthropy Funds Journalism

03/08/2016

What are the opportunities and challenges for funding journalism related to your foundation's mission? In this second installment of Next10, our conversation series about philanthropy trends to watch in the next decade, we spoke with Anne Martens of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Cassandra Stalzer of the Rasmuson Foundation about the rise of foundation funding of newspapers and journalists. more »

The Secret Sauce of Building Community Philanthropy

02/08/2016

Audrey Haberman, The Giving Practice | Over the course of four years, the Building Community Philanthropy (BCP) initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Pacific Northwest team has brought together 20 partners — United Ways, identity-based funds, tribal governments and community foundations — to learn together, challenge each other and shift the way they see their role in their communities. In short, to participate in a peer network that rewards honesty and authenticity while also receiving funding to test new ways of working, and transform their work in positive and meaningful ways. Ted Lord and I recently facilitated a two-day convening for this learning cohort.  We’ve noticed three key shifts that BCP has helped unlock: more »

Paying for Success in the Northwest

12/21/2015

Jeff Clarke, CEO | The Pacific Northwest has a unique and globally influential culture marked by innovation, entrepreneurship, civic engagement, generosity and stewardship. Our region’s commitment to innovation drives our growing leadership in impact investing — leveraging private capital for social good. Impact investors seek opportunities to earn a financial return while also doing something good for society. Their aspirations are changing the way we think about solutions to big social problems like homelessness, poverty and unemployment. more »

A Shared Responsibility for Helping Diverse Communities Thrive

12/17/2015

Eduardo Moreno, Momentum Fellow | Every time I was sick as a child, my mom would make her way over to the medicine cabinet and I knew it was going to be a couple of days in bed with the VapoRub and Broncolin treatment. This was a common home remedy among Mexican families, and one I sometimes catch myself using today. There was no escaping la familia and the Latino community that helped shape all stages of my early education, spirituality, and even my health practices. It was this community that pushed me and kept me on track to become the first one in my family to attend a four-year university. As my learning around philanthropy and funding at the intersections of health and education continues, I know that if we work collaboratively, and support families and communities to lead this work, they will in turn ensure that each student is emotionally and physically healthy, engaged, supported and challenged. more »

What We Learned at Local Matters: Washington

11/25/2015

Jeff Clarke, CEO | How can ­­­­­we better initiate, nurture and participate in conversations that engage communities in creating their own solutions? What are the challenges, risks and rewards of entering into open, authentic conversations that generate shared understanding and joint action? Which practices do philanthropists need to hold space for these conversations? How do we determine whether it’s more appropriate to talk or listen? The fifth stop on our Local Matters 2015 conversation series found us exploring these questions in Bellingham, Washington, with leaders from more than 100 organizations across the state. more »

More Funding for Women Means More Funding for Everyone

10/20/2015

Gloris Estrella, Program Associate | Nonprofits working in the developing world have been making this case for years, and it's also true for women at home: When we invest in women, we invest in entire communities. Our recent program with Women's Funding Alliance, discussing a new report on "The Status of Women in Washington," revealed opportunities to improve not just the status of women and girls in our state, but also the status of our children, families, racial and ethnic minorities, employers, colleges and governing bodies. 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 »

Introducing Cascadia Foodshed Financing Project

09/15/2015

Tim Crosby, Cascadia Foodshed Financing Project | I grew up working on family farms and participating in a family foundation that supports community and environmental vitality. While pursuing a business degree, I realized that food is at the intersection of many social and environmental issues, and that the best way to preserve farmland would be to improve the economics of farming — which means figuring out how to finance good local food businesses and make them more accessible and competitive in the marketplace. This nexus of philanthropy, food and finance has come together in Cascadia Foodshed Financing Project, the latest project to join Philanthropy Northwest’s incubation platform and regional impact investing network. So what is it, and why does it matter? more »

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