Five Reasons to Attend our Annual Conference—in Boise!

Five Reasons to Attend our Annual Conference—in Boise!


Editor’s Note: We’re well underway planning for Philanthropy Northwest's Annual Conference (#AC18) in Boise, Idaho from October 2-4. Early bird registration opens today, and closes May 15.

Here are my five reasons to attend Philanthropy Northwest’s Annual Conference in Boise:

Unite. Philanthropy Northwest is unique because of the strength and diversity of our regional network. Each year, with each new location, our conference helps unite our different regional experiences of philanthropy, community and social impact. It offers a rare chance for funders across our region to come together and share approaches and best practices for adapting to the latest social issues and exploring opportunities for collaboration.

Mix and Mingle. We’ll have different types of organizations in attendance, from rural to urban, corporate to community foundations. All representing a wide range of issue areas. At many conferences, it’s uncommon for an emerging practitioner to sit next to the CEO of a large family foundation. Our conference is different. Everyone has the chance to connect.

Connect. There will be ample opportunities to dialogue with your peers, across role and with like funders. From program officers, trustees and CEOs to our targeted sessions for community, family and corporate philanthropy, we curate ample opportunities for you to learn from one another. Want more than breakout sessions? Take a morning yoga class, talk over dinner at our popular dine-arounds, or grab a coffee at one of Boise’s local coffee roasters! Why? Some of the best connections happen outside of conference sessions.

Learn. The focus areas of this year’s conference include:

  • Impact Investing. Philanthropy Northwest is launching the Pacific Northwest Bond Fund, which will provide the opportunity for all funders to get involved in driving localized community impact. The conference will highlight the exciting impact investing happening in Idaho, and in the region.
  • Capacity Building. We’re exploring how philanthropy can be more accountable to community partners and nonprofits, helping to build their capacity and responsiveness as they are impacted by major policy changes.
  • CEO Track. Over three days in Boise, our targeted programming for CEOs will enable them to dive deep on the challenges and opportunities facing them in their leadership roles and as liaisons to boards/trustees.
  • Philanthropy and  Public Policy. We’ll unpack the critical role of philanthropy in policy and advocacy, particularly around Census 2020.
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. We’re building on the momentum of previous conferences and centering conversations on equity. From our keynotes to our conference sessions, we’re weaving equity through it all because we believe that philanthropy is at its best and most effective when it is collaborative and inclusive. Read our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Reflective Practices. We can all use more tools to help us navigate challenging situations at work. With Philanthropy’s Reflective Practices, our conference will help us grow our skills to observe what is happening, make sense of what we see, and adjust our approach to get better outcomes.

Explore. Boise boasts strong public-private partnerships with philanthropy, which have led to interesting and innovative collaborations and partnerships. During the conference, we’ll feature some of these efforts in our Learning Tours, where we’ll take an afternoon to visit community-led nonprofits that have strong relationships with local funders. We’ll see firsthand how philanthropic investments have catalyzed change in Boise. Additionally, Boise offers excellent programs and services for immigrants and refugees, and we’re excited to highlight and learn from them.

I am excited by our developing programming, and hope you are too, so be sure to take advantage of early bird registration!

It’s also not too early to start thinking about sessions that you might want to propose. Keep a lookout for our Call for Proposals in the coming weeks. We look forward to hearing from you.

See you in Boise!