When people think of philanthropy and the work that foundations do, their first thoughts do not usually go straight to public policy and advocacy work. more »
News and Insights
Ankita Patel | Philanthropy Northwest is actively engaged in partnering with members and stakeholders across our region to ensure a robust and accurate count during the 2020 Census. Personally, I am incredibly excited about the launch of the Washington Census Equity Fund, and all the work that has gone into ensuring that communities can mobilize quickly and efficiently by our philanthropic partners. Now we are pleased to announce the opening of the request for proposals to apply for census funding in Washington state. more »
Kiran Ahuja | As you may know, since late 2017, Philanthropy Northwest has been actively engaged in local, regional and national efforts to ensure a fair and accurate Census 2020. We are pleased to announce that in early 2019 we will officially launch a statewide pooled fund, the Washington State Census Funding Partnership (Partnership), seeded with a generous grant by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Partnership will align collective grantmaking strategies to ensure communities across the state are fully counted in 2020. more »
Mary K. Rutherford, Guest Contributor | Being counted matters a lot! Just a few weeks ago, MCF participated in the first Montana 2020 Complete Census Count Committee meeting where people from across Montana gathered to discuss how best to get the word out about the importance of getting an accurate count. April 1, 2020 may seem like it's a long way off, yet it will be here before we know it. more »
Kiran Ahuja | Earlier this year, Philanthropy Northwest committed to a journey that centers equity on the path to achieving a fairer and more just world. This journey compels both reflection and the use of our voice.
Over recent months, we have witnessed the family separation crisis at our border with sorrow and outrage. The federal government’s forcible and prolonged separation of children from their parents as these immigrant families sought refuge is an affront to the values of an equitable and just society, in which all people are treated with decency, respect and compassion.
Today, despite a court-ordered deadline having passed for the reunification of more than 2,000 families, the crisis remains ongoing. more »
Meredith Higashi | The philanthropic community relies on census data to guide philanthropic reach, impact and effectiveness. Philanthropic leaders use census data to understand community and demographic trends and inform fact-based decisions on long-term investments and grants. Inaccurate census data could divert federal resources from communities in need, forcing philanthropy to fill these gaps, while decreasing the effectiveness of these investments. One of the most concerning threats to a full census count is the addition of a new and untested question about citizenship status to the 2020 census form. more »
Susan Weiss, Senior Policy Consultant | Philanthropy Northwest recently hosted a policy briefing on President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget and its implications for the Northwest. Michael Leachman, the Director of State Fiscal Research at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, said Northwest states will be particularly impacted by cuts to three areas: Medicaid, SNAP (also known as food stamps), and other federal aid to programs and services that help produce clean water, affordable housing, nutrition for newborns born into poor families, and infectious disease protections, among others. Trump’s budget would also eliminate the Low Income Housing Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which helps low-income seniors and others pay their home energy bills. This webinar is the first in a series as the budget process rolls out in the House and Senate, so stay tuned for future opportunities to engage. more »
Sheila Babb Anderson, Campion Foundation & Remy Trupin, Catalyst Fellow | Our polarized climate may discourage nonprofits and foundation leaders from engaging in advocacy — but to solve many of the challenges we’re working on, government must be part of the solution. And for government to change laws and enact policies, we need engagement and visible support from nonprofits working on these issues. When weighing a proposal, a skeptical policymaker will wonder why leaders of organizations responsible for a related mission are sitting on the sidelines. Nonprofit board members are influential members of the community — that’s why they’re on the board in the first place! — with diverse views, backgrounds and networks. They are a critical piece of this changemaking puzzle. more »
Gloris Estrella, Program Associate | Every spring, philanthropic organizations from across the country converge on our nation's capital for Foundations on the Hill, a 48-hour opportunity to educate Congress and encourage national policymakers to see philanthropy as a close partners in their communities — as advocates, both for policies important to our representatives and for their constituents. This year's FOTH delegation included staff and board members from the Arctic Slope Community Foundation, Casey Family Programs, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, Rasmuson Foundation and Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation. We met with U.S. senators and congressmen from five states, across party lines, and had an exclusive conversation with Doug O'Brien, White House senior policy advisor for rural affairs, and Raina Thiele, associate director of intergovernmental affairs and public engagement. Our friends at Casey Family Programs also arranged meetings for us with the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means and with members of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee. more »
Gloris Estrella, Program Associate | When the opportunity to join First Alaskans Institute's “Partners for the Next 10,000 Years … A Racial Equity Summit” arose earlier this month, I literally jumped out of my swivel chair with excitement! After gathering 200 people together in a room, all of us passionate about empowering communities and dismantling hundreds of years of oppression, we were bound to walk away with something like a solution, right? Well, not quite. We need to think more about restructuring the current system that is failing so many. More philanthropists should get their hands on the ground, side by side with the communities they so deeply care about. Join the marches, attend town hall meetings, convene your grantees and local businesses around racial tensions they face, write to your local representatives, audit internal policies and ensure they are equitable and inclusive. In an election year, it's even more imperative that philanthropists be at the forefront of the issues we care about. more »