News and Insights

Foundations Forge Ahead: DEI and Investing

11/26/2018

Rosalie Sheehy Cates | Behind every great foundation is… a lot of money. We know those funds have to be invested to generate returns that pay for grants and operations. But can the money at the heart of the foundation business model be responsive to a foundation’s important values of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)? The answer to this question is yes. You can read all about it our new report that includes interviews with executives at eight large foundations that have embraced organization-wide DEI efforts. more »

My Journey to Philanthropy Northwest

04/04/2017

Anbar Mahar Sheikh, Research Analyst | How does a Southern California native end up moving to Seattle during the rainiest winter on record? In my national search, I found that Seattle held exactly what I was looking for: a thriving community of nonprofits and foundations. Specifically, I found my calling when Philanthropy Northwest opened the research analyst position for The Giving Practice, its national consulting team. So much so, that my husband and I packed our bags from Dallas, Texas — where we had been living for the last few years — and moved across the country for me to take this opportunity. Getting to Philanthropy Northwest has been a long journey in other ways, too. 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 »

Five Ways to Improve Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Family Foundations

02/17/2016

Audrey Haberman and Sindhu Knotz, The Giving Practice | ast fall, we had the pleasure of hosting a conversation with a group of 10 family foundations attending the National Forum on Family Philanthropy in Seattle. The session was focused on how foundation leaders can begin to address the topic of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) with your staff and trustees. Through storytelling about successes and a discussion about mistakes and anxieties related to DEI, the group identified five essential practices any family foundation should consider to improve diversity, equity and inclusion. more »

From Ally to Accomplice: Leading for Equity in Complex Systems

12/01/2015

Ted Lord, Senior Partner, The Giving Practice | After spending two days in November with 80 other local philanthropic, nonprofit, education and government colleagues at the National Equity Project’s (NEP) Leading for Equity in Complex Systems Institute, we were invited to take home one of the many quote posters that decorated the walls. I chose this from Meg Wheatley: "When we begin listening to each other, and when we talk about things that matter to us, the world begins to change… Listening and talking to one another heals our divisions and makes us brave again." As a white ally, I often feel frustrated by my inability to take clear and quick action in the face of persistent disparities based on skin color. This quote captures how listening is essential in continually learning about issues and dynamics that are beyond my lived experience. more »