We shared more than 150 stories with you on this blog in 2015, including interviews with leaders in the field, member news, public policy updates, program highlights, emerging trends and tools for effective philanthropy.
These 10 blog posts captured our network's attention the first time around. If you missed them back then, it's great time to catch up!
Gaining Momentum: A New Fellowship Program Launches
We are excited to announce that Philanthropy Northwest has launched the Momentum Fellowship, a program designed to prepare professionals from underrepresented communities, particularly communities of color, for successful careers in the philanthropic sector through professional development, networking and mentoring opportunities.
- Why I Always Start a Meeting with a Check-In
One antidote to over-designed collaboration is the check-in. Check-ins are a way to open every gathering, whether a generative conversation or an implementation meeting. They can be as simple as asking everyone to share their current personal weather or as corrective as asking participants to share one thing from the last meeting that shifted or hasn’t sat well.
- Announcing Trends in Northwest Giving 2014
We are thrilled to share with you the fifth edition of Trends in Northwest Giving, our signature biennial report on foundation and corporate giving across our six-state region: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. We analyzed 24,013 grants to Northwest organizations from 245 funders in 2012, totaling $979,171,356. This represents a 2% decline in giving over 2010.
- Finding Our Place in the Regional Impact Investing Ecosystem
Like Chambers Bay, our region's impact investing network is a complex course: alluring with breathtaking views, but filled with hidden bumps, tough climbs and other potential hazards. By mapping out this ecosystem, we see that our role is to build on our strengths as a community foundation: sharing place-based knowledge, building relationships and engaging donors. Here's what we learned while developing The Seattle Foundation's Impact Investing "2.0" program over an 18-month period.
- Introducing the Momentum Fellows
Nine accomplished individuals from incredibly diverse backgrounds are coming together at Philanthropy Northwest this week for the first cohort meeting of our Momentum Fellowship. What began as a conversation in one of our peer learning cohorts on diversity, equity and inclusion is now becoming reality: a program that prepares professionals from underrepresented communities, particularly communities of color, for successful careers in the philanthropic sector through mentoring, networking and professional development opportunities.
- Beyond Gifts: Planning a Meaningful Holiday Season
Growing up, I was the only "Hanukkah kid" in my class, so my parents felt compelled to offer me a similar experience in what kids talked about most — the gifts! So, they would give us a gift each evening after we lit the candles. Often, this would amount to seven small toys and games, then a big gift on the eighth and final night. A few years ago, inspired by my work with family foundations, I started to think about how to make the holiday season more meaningful for my son. We created a new tradition: planning out what each night of Hanukkah should be about, beyond buying and exchanging a lot of presents. After a little brainstorming, my 7-year-old son and I came up with eight days of themes.
- Microsoft Unveils New Philanthropy Organization
Microsoft, a Northwest-based leader in global corporate philanthropy, has announced a new organization within the company: Microsoft Philanthropies. The new group will be led by Mary Snapp, a 27-year veteran of Microsoft's legal and corporate affairs team, and will "contribute in new and more impactful ways to a societal ecosystem that connects the benefits of technology to those who need it most and work harder to drive inclusive growth of the global economy," said Microsoft President Brad Smith.
- Action Alert: IRS Reporting Proposal Threatens Donors, Nonprofit Security
When should donors provide their Social Security number to a nonprofit? Common wisdom and universal advice says "never." But a dangerous new proposal from the IRS would change the answer to "it depends," confusing the public, stifling donations for charitable works and opening the floodgates to fraudsters. The IRS is seeking your comments on this proposal before December 16. The proposed regulations would give nonprofits the option of filing a separate new information return with the IRS and individual donors by February 28 every year to substantiate contributions of more than $250 in value. A similar mandatory proposal was considered and rejected in the past based on numerous legal, policy and confidentiality problems it raised.
- A River Between Us: Bridging Generations of Conflict on the Klamath
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.
- Bringing Strategic Focus to a Vast Region: An Interview with Natalie Camacho Mendoza of the Northwest Area Foundation
Jeff Clarke interviews Natalie Camacho Mendoza, board member of the Northwest Area Foundation, about her work with Idaho, Native communities and public policy. This is the sixth in an ongoing series of interviews with key leaders in philanthropy from across the region and around the nation.
We welcome contributions from our members and partners to our blog. If you're interested in writing a guest blog post in 2016, contact Nicole Neroulias Gupte, communications manager.