News and Insights

Stepping Up to Strengthen Our Democracy

11/22/2016

Daniel Kemmis, Democracy Northwest | No matter which candidates any of us favored, from the presidential race on down the ballot, this election has cast a harsh light on the wounds and weaknesses of our democracy. This deep (and fully bipartisan) unhappiness with our political and governing institutions was never going to be cured by a single election, regardless of the outcome. While elected officials of both parties must certainly play a role in healing the deep wounds in our body politic, it is clear that they cannot do it alone. We all have to do our part — and that must include the philanthropic sector. To that end, Philanthropy Northwest is redoubling its own commitment to this work, primarily through a new initiative we’re calling Democracy Northwest. more »

Introducing Our Snapshot of Foundation Giving to the Northwest

11/21/2016

Anjana Pandey, Member and Donor Relations Director | Philanthropy Northwest's members and foundations across the country make significant investments in communities across Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. In partnership with Foundation Center, we are thrilled to unveil Snapshot of Foundation Giving to the Northwest, a profile of grantmaking data from more than 500 U.S. foundations to communities across Philanthropy Northwest’s six-state region. more »

The Power of Networking: Lessons from Dreamforce

11/18/2016

Kelley Bevans, Information Technology Specialist | Confession: I had avoided Salesforce's annual Dreamforce conference in the past, thinking its huge size would be so overwelming that it would be of no benefit to my work. This year’s gathering brought 170,000 attendees to San Francisco, the equivalent of 20% of the city's population. I could suddenly relate to some of Philanthropy Northwest's newer members, figuring out our suite of workshops and resources, and where they fit in our six-state network of family funds, foundations and corporate giving programs. In both cases, it's helpful to focus on smaller subgroups for shared learning, keep an open mind, find your balance and have fun. more »

Protecting Our Communities: Philanthropy's Role in Civilian Police Oversight

11/14/2016

Natalie Camacho Mendoza, Northwest Area Foundation | Police misconduct is a social justice issue that touches every community in this country. Our philanthropy sector has a role to play in supporting communities that are struggling to address and change police conduct to create more equitable and just communities. We must ensure our communities can thrive and all people can be successful in a society where all of us have the chance to live up to our full potential. As Philanthropy Northwest's conference co-chair, 2016 ambassador and Northwest Area Foundation board member, I was asked to speak about my work in Idaho, holding Boise police accountable and ensuring they treat everyone in our community equitably and respectfully. more »

Spotlight on Boeing Philanthropy: Supporting Veterans & Military Families

11/10/2016

Philanthropy Northwest's six-state region has 19 military bases and more than a million U.S. veterans. Our members that fund programs in support of veterans and military families include Alaska Airlines, Alaska Community Foundation, Bank of America, Boeing, JPMorgan Chase, REI, Schultz Family Foundation and Starbucks. In honor of this Veterans Day and Boeing's centennial year, we spoke with Gina Breukelman, Boeing Global Corporate Citizenship Community Investor, about the aerospace and defense company's commitment to veterans and military families. more »

Big Web, Small Threads: Reflecting on Rural Philanthropy

11/08/2016

Amy Hyfield, The O.P. & W.E. Edwards Foundation | Many of our towns and cities in the Northwest are small, rural and geographically isolated. There is real power in the community that develops in these places. The interconnectedness is out in the open, on the surface, evident and real. Economic development depends upon the availability of childcare, housing, recreation and transportation. Housing depends on the availability of jobs, the quality of life, the efficiency of infrastructure, zoning and the layout of a town. Recreation depends on location, community health and investment priorities, land use and access to the outdoors. The web of factors that impact the themes of diversity, equity and inclusion explored at Philanthropy Northwest’s recent conference, Under One Sky, is especially complicated and tangled in rural areas. Grantmakers are charged with keeping the big picture in perspective. more »

Seizing the Opportunity to Expand Our Political Discourse

11/04/2016

Maya Thornell-Sandifor, Learning Strategy Director and Remy Trupin, Catalyst Fellow | In just a few more days, we can finally close the book on the 2016 election season. Needless to say, it’s been an interesting cycle fraught with anxiety and frustration. It would be easy to dismiss the vitriol of the current election as an episodic blip not worth understanding for the long-term work of philanthropy — but experience and common sense tell us that these emotions and currents won’t be put to rest easily after Election Day. This election season has illuminated how many Americans feel that full participation in our democracy is regulated to the privileged and powerful. We are convinced, however, that this climate has created an opening for productive dialogue, moving it further into the places where we continue to be divided as a nation. If anything, the messiness of this political environment has revealed the ways in which we are broken — creating an on-ramp to begin to think creatively and take action. more »

Reflective Practice Makes Perfect

11/03/2016

Audrey Haberman, Interim CEO | I was a little shocked when I walked into a Lowe’s Home Improvement store in mid-October and saw the Christmas display. I had several reactions, including a sense of panic about where the year had gone. Did I enjoy summer? Do I need to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions? Where are the paintbrushes?! I was reminded of that all-too-familiar feeling of too many tasks to accomplish while balancing the need to focus thoughtfully and strategically on one thing at a time. After 20 years in the nonprofit and philanthropy sector, I know that the pace and fullness of how we work can be detrimental — sometimes to our relationships, sometimes to ourselves and often to our desired outcomes. My current reflective practice is to set aside 10 minutes every week to review meetings and interactions, not just to make my next to-do list, but to highlight what I’ve learned and which people I need to circle back around with to close out a conversation where an idea is lingering or an interaction felt uncomfortable. more »

The Sustainability, Equity & Community Democracy Connection

10/31/2016

Mitchell Thomashow, Catalyst Fellow | The presidential election has hijacked America's attention. We have much at stake, of course, but this highly polarized atmosphere has distracted us from what brings us together and alienated too many potential partners. If we look more carefully at communities around the Pacific Northwest, regardless of political preferences, we see that constructive conversations, solutions-based initiatives and community-based approaches have taken root and will bear fruit long after Election 2016. As Philanthropy Northwest's Sustainability Catalyst Fellow, I have an opportunity to take a closer look at eight of these projects and share my findings with our network. more »

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