News and Insights

Learning Alongside Each Other: Momentum Fellows Reflect on Philanthropy, Equity and Leadership

09/23/2019

Mijounga Chang, Zeeba Khalili, Denise Luk, Ami Patel, Tonisha Toler and Lauren Waudé | Guest Contributors | The Momentum Fellowship Program, hosted by Philanthropy Northwest, provides opportunities for individuals from communities underrepresented in philanthropy, particularly communities of color, to join the philanthropic field. The program, which is designed primarily as a professional development experience, offers individuals a robust learning opportunity through a full-time position at a foundation and a suite of activities coordinated by Philanthropy Northwest including executive coaching, leadership development opportunities and access to a cohort with peer fellows from other participating foundations in the Pacific Northwest. more »

GROUNDED: Being Present in Our Opportunities

09/11/2019

Elyse Gordon | Once a month, I attend a professional womxn’s networking event. At the start of each event, the facilitator asks us each to share something that is distracting us, followed by the phrase “but I’m present.” The first time I heard this I cringed. Wouldn’t sharing my distractions mean me admitting my lack of engagement?

What I found is the opposite. more »

Reversing the Trend: From Dismantling Islamophobia to Championing Vibrant Communities

08/28/2019

Ankita Patel | Aneelah Afzali and Masih Fouladi are co-contributors to this post

When talking about how historical oppression continues to impact communities today, it’s difficult to understand where to begin or how to advance our work. At Philanthropy Northwest, our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion framework and commitment helps us to understand when and how to enter the conversation with our communities.

Our Muslim communities — which are some of the fastest-growing in the country — are subjected to oppression, discrimination and indignities, otherwise known as Islamophobia. Muslims encounter these acts of injustice through a variety of individual and institutional mechanisms, such as experiencing bias incidents and hate crimes, facing discrimination when applying for jobs or securing housing, seeing children and loved ones bullied at school or being categorically restricted or banned from travel and targeted for surveillance. At its worst, Islamophobia has led to deadly consequences, not just for Muslims, but for other communities as well. more »

ROOTED: The Importance of Place in Philanthropy

08/02/2019

Aleesha Towns-Bain | Guest Contributor, Executive Director, Bristol Bay Native Corporation Education Foundation | My mom gave me a precious gift as a child - knowing exactly where we are from; a small fishing village near the Ugashik River in Bristol Bay, Alaska. Alutiiq people are matrilineal and our identities are passed through our mothers. So while I wasn’t born or raised in Alaska (and my dad is a proud Texan), I’ve always known that my people are from the beautiful waters of Alaska, and that my roots are sunk deep into the berry-studded tundra. My mom gave me the gift of my roots. more »

Appreciation Rounds

08/01/2019

Ted Lord | When people gather to accomplish a common task, they also feel seen, heard and witnessed as individuals—even while tending the shared task of the whole. Appreciation Rounds are a collective call out that help make tacit group culture norms explicit, while also supporting the leadership development and personal mastery of participants. Starting meetings with an appreciative exercise often leads to an increased willingness to learn in public. We are often more able to admit mistaken assumptions and shadow behaviors when we trust that others see and hold us fully.  more »

See Who's Joining Us in Seattle for PNW19!

07/22/2019

We are starting to get so excited about our upcoming annual conference in Seattle, WA this November and it looks like our network is, too! This year we have seen the highest interest in early bird registration and are feeling a ton of momentum leading up to this event. Interested in being a part of a great group of organizations who are coming to Seattle this fall? Register here and check out the friends who will be joining you. more »

That Small Town Investing Magic

07/18/2019

Rosalie Sheehy Cates | It’s magic to watch impact investing happen in a small town. In June, a group of local people met in Missoula, Montana for 90 minutes and crafted a $300,000 loan enabling a nonprofit organization to buy land for an innovative affordable housing development. Their transaction paves the way for Homeword to develop up to 72 new homes and support services that are sorely needed in Missoula.  more »

Career Pathways: Letting the Sun Shine

07/16/2019

Lyn Hunter | “Have a great day and let your sun shine!” These are my departing words for my 8-year-old daughter every morning at drop off. It’s my rally cry hoping she unleashes her true self on the world (well, ok, her second-grade classroom) in everything she does.

The 2019 COF Career Pathways cohort has been a tremendous learning opportunity for me. For the last 13 years, I’ve been at Philanthropy Northwest steadily progressing in my responsibility in a variety of programmatic roles. Last year, I was promoted to the first-ever director of regional strategies and networks. What would it mean to move into a leadership position and remain my authentic self? A lot was at stake. more »

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