News and Insights

Joining a Values-Driven Organization: My First Year at Philanthropy Northwest


Kiran Ahuja | Our pledge to place communities “at the center,” and our commitment to equity resonates deeply with me. At Philanthropy Northwest, I’ve felt at home from the start because this organization leads with a values-driven agenda. During my first year as CEO, I immersed myself in the rich and diverse histories and landscapes of our region. I joke with our members that over the past year there have been many firsts for me – first time in Oregon, first time in Idaho, first time in Montana, first time in Alaska, and the list goes on. Each visit with our members inspired and amazed me because I witnessed how our member organizations support and strive for prosperous and inclusive communities.   more »

Why Reflective Practices for Philanthropy?


Jan Jaffe | In philanthropy, we have two big jobs.
The first is to build deep knowledge about the "what" of the work that we are supporting. It might be human rights, housing reform or having a vibrant arts community in a specific place. We stay current with new knowledge, find networks for ongoing learning, and work to build expertise.
The second job is to put that expertise into play – "the how" of the work. How do we nurture generative thinking when there are power differentials? How do we collaborate with partners who have different perspectives? How do we introduce or sustain diversity, equity and inclusion inside a foundation or a field? more »

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Announcing Our #PNW18 Keynote Speakers


Kiran Ahuja | As I approach my one-year anniversary with Philanthropy Northwest next month on June 19, I think about how much I’ve learned and gained from meeting all of you. Three months into my role, we had our annual conference where I met many of you. Here we are again, looking forward to exploring in Boise this October how to listen, partner and lead in the world of philanthropy and beyond. As part of that theme, I’m excited to announce two of our conference keynote speakers (with more to come): Anand Giridharadas and Judy Belk. more »

Thinking Differently About Leadership


Kris Hermanns, Pride Foundation | From my perspective, the leadership Philanthropy Northwest encourages and supports is not primarily about our titles or tenure. This network is about learning and growing from and with our peers, wherever we are, whatever our roles. more »

Momentum Fellows Explore Adaptive Leadership, Reflective Practices and Self-Care


Mijounga Chang, Momentum Fellow in Data (Meyer Memorial Trust) | In March, I joined the nine other Momentum Fellows of Philanthropy Northwest for a dynamic two-and-a-half-day retreat. This was our first time reuniting since we met six months ago when we began the Momentum Fellowship. The fellowship has placed us at different foundations across the Pacific Northwest and has offered us programming and network opportunities to jumpstart our careers in philanthropy. more »

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Talking About Evolutions


Mark Sedway, Senior Partner, The Giving Practice | Everything is in process. But our ways of thinking about organizational development often don’t account for that. Our tools can be static, designed to look at single slices of time, where things are right now rather than where they’ve been and where they’re headed. To help our clients think in terms of ongoing change, The Giving Practice developed the “Talking About Evolutions” exercise. How is your organization, team, project, strategy or field evolving—from what to what? Our prediction: The process of thinking about evolutions will galvanize your group. We have seen it happen again and again. more »

Bridging Philanthropy and Public Policy: Delegate Highlights from Foundations on the Hill


In mid-March, fourteen Philanthropy Northwest members and staff convened in Washington, DC, as a delegation for Foundations on the Hill (FOTH). Organized by United Philanthropy Forum, in partnership with the Alliance for Charitable Reform and Council on Foundations, the event brought together nearly 250 philanthropic leaders from across the country to raise a collective voice to Congress about the key policy issues impacting philanthropy and the communities in which we serve. more »

The Value of Community Philanthropy


David Bley, Director, Pacific Northwest, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation | Cross-posted from Medium

A sense of responsibility to the community propels our Building Community Philanthropy (BCP) partnership with Philanthropy Northwest, launched in 2012, empowering a network of local philanthropy organizations across Washington State — all working together to address local, pressing needs. These city and regional community foundations, United Ways, and identity-based foundations are in the best position to create deep relationships within their communities — because they’ve been doing it for years. more »