News and Insights

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 »

Northwest Area Foundation Grants $13M to Communities of Color

02/11/2016

Northwest Area Foundation, a Minnesota-based Philanthropy Northwest member with a grantmaking footprint that includes Montana, Oregon, Washington and 75 Native nations, awarded $13.4 million through 120 grants in 2015. The awards made in late 2015, announced this month, totaled nearly $5 million to 43 organizations in its region, including six organizations in Oregon and Washington. more »

Setting the Stage for Culturally Competent Leadership

01/29/2016

Nicole Neroulias Gupte, Communications Manager | As the demographics of our communities shift and evolve, we see growing interest from philanthropy leaders in adopting multicultural approaches so that we can benefit from our differences, rather than assuming people will assimilate into an institutional set of norms, values and customs. Twenty executives from Seattle-area foundations joined us this week for a workshop on "Culturally Competent Leadership in the 21st Century," co-hosted by Pangea Giving, to discuss how we can collectively address systemic barriers to advance equity through philanthropy. more »

Equity in Grantmaking: Walking the Walk

01/19/2016

Marcelo Bonta, Momentum Fellow | Pursuit of equity in grantmaking is the reason I joined the Momentum Fellowship. It’s a priority of the fellows, it’s a priority of Philanthropy Northwest and it’s a priority for Meyer Memorial Trust — the Oregon foundation hosting me and two other Momentum Fellows for the next 20 months. Overall, my experience has exceeded my expectations, and I feel that I have been set up for success, which leads me to the following question: Why is Meyer succeeding at diversity, equity and inclusion? And what can other organizations learn from this example? more »

10 Examples of Progress in Washington State

12/18/2015

David Bley, director of the Pacific Northwest Initiative at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation looks back at on  memorable moments for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Pacific Northwest partners and our team, helping families achieve stable housing, strengthening local community networks and supporting great schools that help students and teachers realize their potential and reach for their dreams. Here are just a few of his favorite moments of progress over the past year. 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 »

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 »

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