News and Insights

Philanthropy Northwest Diaries: Alaska On My Mind

06/28/2018

Kiran Ahuja | On a recent trip to Anchorage, after engaging with local philanthropic leaders and learning about Alaska’s unique attributes and challenges, it dawned on me the many lessons funders in the lower 48 can glean from Alaska’s philanthropic leaders. In a geographically large state with a small population, funders wear multiple hats and coordinate easily across organizations to address formidable challenges – including homelessness, lack of affordable housing and healthcare services, access to high-quality P-16 education, workforce development and much, much more.

From this recent visit and in my role with Philanthropy Northwest over the past year, I’d like to share my observations about the unique positioning of philanthropy in Alaska. more »

Building Long-Term Power for Native American Youth

04/05/2017

Jennifer Fairbanks, Native Americans in Philanthropy | #GenIndigenous Regional Convenings, in partnership with Native Americans in Philanthropy (NAP) and My Brother's Keeper, give philanthropy the opportunity to engage with innovative and culturally appropriate approaches to improve lives and opportunities for Native youth. We welcome funders committed to communities in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming to join us at the Northwest Regional Convening, April 28 at Seattle Foundation. more »

Investing in the Health & Prosperity of Native Youth

09/01/2016

Maya Thornell-Sandifor | Given that our region has two states, Washington and Alaska, that are among the top 10 states with the largest Native American populations in the nation, Philanthropy Northwest has a vested interest in increasing awareness of opportunities for philanthropy to support programming for Native communities. Last week, we joined the White House and Native Americans in Philanthropy for the second Generation Indigenous gathering to highlight promising practices in programming that support the development and leadership of Native American youth. Our 2016 conference, Under One Sky, features several sessions and a learning tour related to Native communities, too. more »

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 »

Experimenting and Experiencing: What We Learned at Local Matters: Alaska + Indigenous Communities

11/16/2015

Lyn Hunter, Senior Program Manager | One of our challenges was understanding ourselves how different this gathering would be and then, of course, communicating it. Guided by our board, our Alaska Native and Native American leaders and allies, and our ongoing commitment to community building in Indian Country, we suspected that we were onto something big. What happened exceeded our wildest expectations. Here are the themes we heard from participants, in their own words. more »

Philanthropy Is... Indigenous Ways of Knowing

10/21/2015

Jeff Clarke, CEO | The fourth stop of our Local Matters 2015 series found us in Anchorage, Alaska with leaders from more than 35 organizations, from Bristol Bay to Washington, D.C. For many, it was a life-changing experience. We were welcomed as guests to First Alaskans Institute's 32nd annual Elders and Youth Conference and to the Alaska Federation of Natives — National Congress of American Indians 4th annual Tribal Conference with state and federal policy makers. We were privy to the inner workings of a 10,000-year-old culture as elders passed on their wisdom and traditions to a new generation of Native voices. Despite more than 220 federally recognized tribes in Alaska, each community was honored and rejoiced equally, and spent a week united in both the challenges they share and the opportunities that lie ahead. more »

Why I'm Excited About Local Matters: Alaska + Indigenous Communities

09/08/2015

Lyn Hunter, Senior Program Manager | With "Philanthropy is... Indigenous Ways of Knowing" as our theme, we are stepping beyond our standard programs next month to offer an invitation that echoes our own journey: to listen and experience a very different way of thinking about philanthropy, community and impact. In my nine years at Philanthropy Northwest, I have never been more excited about a program than I am about Local Matters: Alaska + Indigenous Communities next month. Here's why. more »

A River Between Us: Bridging Generations of Conflict on the Klamath

09/01/2015

Jason A. Atkinson, Filmmaker and Former Oregon State Senator | Nearly 300 miles long, flowing from southern Oregon to northern California, the Klamath River has been a source of conflict between conservationists, tribes, farmers, fishermen, and state and federal agencies for generations. My new film, with support from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust and other Pacific Northwest funders, examines this complicated history and documents the largest river restoration project in U.S. history. This unique case of collaboration, in a place most Americans can't find on a map, is a prime example for the rest of the country to follow. more »

What I Learned From Teaching Immigrant and Indigenous Communities

08/25/2015

Paul Kim, Member and Donor Program Associate | Growing up in Los Angeles, one of most diverse cities in the world, I was constantly reminded of the importance of embracing our differences. Before coming to Seattle and joining Philanthropy Northwest last month, I spent four years in Thailand, where I had the opportunity to experience even greater disparities between indigenous peoples, migrant workers, women and the ruling majority. Along the way, I've learned that being a good educator means being a good student. Effective teaching is about listening, questioning, being responsive and open-minded. It’s about reaching out to others and encouraging interaction and responses. I look forward to applying these lessons to my new role at Philanthropy Northwest and learning more from our network of indigenous, rural and urban community leaders, social entrepreneurs, funders and partners. more »

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