News and Insights

Raising a Glass to Sustaining Partners & New Friends

10/19/2016

Paul Kim, Member and Donor Program Associate | This fall, Philanthropy Northwest celebrates 40 years as a thriving network of foundations and corporate giving programs committed to Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. Last month, more than 200 philanthropy leaders joined us Under One Sky in Missoula, Montana to explore this work through the lenses of democracy and equity, and to raise a glass with our founding members, valued partners — and several new friends. We're thankful for the support and partnership of our longtime members, along with three organizations that have joined us more recently: Grays Harbor Community Foundation, Group Health Community Foundation and U.S. Bank. more »

Making Connections, Learning Together

10/06/2016

Audrey Haberman, Interim CEO | From the moment I attended my first Philanthropy Northwest program as a Women’s Funding Alliance staff member in 1997, I have always been personally inspired and professionally improved as a result of time spent connecting and learning with our network. It's so easy, yet also dangerous, to believe our best work is done by working hard and in isolation. We are at our best, as a field and individually, when we take the time to sit with others, learn together, reflect and share with colleagues, mentors and community partners. It may be during a conference plenary or a session when someone else’s story sheds light on one of my own relevant challenges. It may be from side conversation, with someone I’ve known for years or someone I just met, where we trade advice and opinions. Or it may be in stepping back and using reflective practices to unveil what we need to see or know by looking at it “from the balcony.” more »

Bright Horizons for Northwest Philanthropy

10/03/2016

Kevin Walker, Board Chair | I’ve been a regular at philanthropy conferences of all sorts for more than 20 years. In all that time, I’ve never participated in a conference that illuminated its guiding themes as successfully as Philanthropy Northwest's Under One Sky conference last month in Missoula. Equity and democracy are profoundly important to me and to the organization I lead, the Northwest Area Foundation. The conference was also special for me because I had the privilege of presenting Philanthropy Northwest’s Mary Helen Moore Ambassador of the Year Award to Natalie Camacho Mendoza, a Boise-based attorney and lifelong advocate for an equitable and forward-looking Idaho, and to welcome three new leaders to Philanthropy Northwest's board, representing The Boeing Company, Northwest Health Foundation and Rasmuson Foundation. more »

What We Learned Under One Sky

09/19/2016

If you joined us for our 2016 conference and 40th anniversary celebration, Under One Sky in Missoula, Montana, you're probably still mentally unpacking all the conversations — particularly around supporting democracy and advancing equity in philanthropy. As we return to our communities in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming, we will continue sharing detailed notes, photos and recaps from our staff, consultants and engaged members on our website, in our programs and through Philanthropy Northwest's e-bulletins. In the meantime, please enjoy this Storify slideshow of #PNW40 social media activity during the conference and video message from Nancy Nordhoff, one of our founding directors. more »

Who Came to Our 2016 Conference: Under One Sky

09/18/2016

Philanthropists from the Northwest and nationwide flocked to Philanthropy Northwest's annual conference last week. Our conference theme, Under One Sky, reminded us that from Alaska to Wyoming, from urban to rural, we remain connected by a greater purpose: our shared commitment to vibrant, equitable and inclusive communities. Leaders from these organizations joined us for an exciting range of session and learning tours, September 13 to 15 in Missoula, Montana: more »

Lucky 13: My Plans for Philanthropy Northwest's Conference

08/26/2016

Cheryl Frizzell, Finance Director | I consider myself lucky that I'm about to attend my 13th Philanthropy Northwest conference. It's been quite a travelogue across our six-state region! So many excellent site visits with funders passionate about their community: Walla Walla, Washington's art walk; Bend, Oregon's food tours; Juneau, Alaska's historical mining park; the late night line dancing in Big Sky, Montana. Each of the diverse places had something special in common: the people. Philanthropy Northwest conferences are filled with unscripted opportunities to meet someone new and share a story. Each one has been special; you’ll have to join me Under One Sky, September 13 to 15 in Missoula, Montana to discover the magic yourself. more »

Under One Sky: Preview Our Conference Program

08/26/2016

Nicole Neroulias Gupte, Senior Communications Manager | My birthday, Christmas morning and Mother's Day all came early this year, in the form of three beautiful new publications arriving in stacks of boxes at my desk: Philanthropy Northwest's 2015 Report to the Community; Daniel Kemmis' Philanthropy and the Renewal of Democracy; and Under One Sky: 2016 Conference Program. Our conference program is especially exciting from a communications perspective because instead of relying on stock photography this year, we've featured photos contributed from four Philanthropy Northwest members: Montana Community Foundation, First Interstate BancSystem Foundation, Sealaska and the Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation. Preview the program online — although it looks even better in person! — and start thinking about which sessions you want to attend. more »

Our Hunch About Democracy, Equity and Philanthropy

08/10/2016

As we mark Philanthropy Northwest's 40th year as a network of family funds, foundations and corporate giving programs, our work in communities is more important than ever. So it's fitting that Philanthropy Northwest's annual conference in Missoula, Montana on September 13-15 — just five weeks away! — will feature a different kind of conversation. Together, “Under One Sky," we will explore the ever-shifting nature of our work and our communities through the lenses of democracy and equity. Are democracy and equity just nice to have? Or in the extreme, can our communities survive without them? We will not be asking you to divert your resources; rather, it is our hunch that you are already supporting these areas as a means to an end. We may not know the answers, but we invite you to lean in with your peers, to question, connect and be inspired. more »

We Need to Talk About Democracy and Equity

07/13/2016

Audrey Haberman, Interim CEO | Nationally and regionally, our communities are dealing with the grief, frustration and anger that results from the persistence of fear, injustice and inequity. We know these issues are complicated. We also know philanthropy has an important role to play in the creation of policies and solutions to address these challenges. Many of us have been having conversations with family, friends and colleagues about the community crises we face, but we are also hearing a strong desire from you for a place to talk more formally with others in our field. While the concepts of democracy and equity have always been part of our annual conference planning, we are now focused on creating and holding space for us to step forward together through those lenses, Under One Sky in Missoula, Montana this fall. As your learning network, we are more committed than ever to addressing the real experiences of people in our communities. We hope you will join us on this journey as we continue to create opportunities to think collectively about supporting and investing in strategies to achieve our shared vision: Northwest communities have vibrant, healthy futures the honor our past, our people and our cultures.   more »

What’s Your ‘Why’ for Learning?

06/28/2016

Maya Thornell-Sandifor, Learning Strategy Director | Have you heard the story of the “Last Girl?" According to Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy, in order to create compassionate communities with respect, equity and justice, we should think about the person or child who is valued the least, who suffers the most, who comes last. I was introduced to this concept a few years ago, when a nonprofit leader I was working with used it to describe a young girl of color who is poor, a survivor of violence without access to education or adequate health care. Ever since hearing that story, when someone asks me "why" I work on building capacity and effectiveness in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector, I share this philosophy. In my new role of developing and implementing learning strategy at Philanthropy Northwest, there are admittedly a few layers between the "last girl" and myself. The purpose of my work remains the same, however: as a trainer, facilitator and strategist, I am helping funders and nonprofits learn to create more effective solutions for those suffering the most from injustice and inequity. more »

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