News and Insights

Looking Ahead, Gazing Up: Under One Sky

04/08/2016

Audrey Haberman, Interim CEO | Thanks to so many of you for your warm welcome and encouragement as I move into the role of interim CEO at Philanthropy Northwest. Our talented staff and thoughtful board continue to be wonderful partners, enabling me to fulfill my commitments to The Giving Practice while taking on additional leadership responsibilities for our learning network. Philanthropy Northwest's 2016 conference theme, Under One Sky, reminds us that from Alaska to Wyoming, from urban to rural, we remain connected by a greater purpose: our shared commitment to advancing philanthropy to support vibrant, equitable and inclusive communities. As interim CEO, I am also guided by you, our members, and I look forward to working with you during our 40th anniversary year. more »

Moving Beyond the Grant: Exploring New Tools Together

03/29/2016

Amber Knox, Campion Foundation | What is your foundation's most ambitious goal, and how can you motivate others to aim as high or higher? Are you willing to invest social and reputational capital to solve critical problems — and will you accept the messiness of that process? As grantmakers, it’s easy to view us (and even to view ourselves) as a checkbook, reacting to the crises of the day. But will that mindset effect the systemic changes needed to create lasting social reform? At Campion Foundation and Campion Advocacy Fund, our answer is an emphatic "no!"  For too long, traditional philanthropy has written checks and relegated the responsibility for devising and implementing solutions to the nonprofit sector. That leaves too much leverage on the table, and too many big problems unsolved. Now philanthropists are moving beyond making grants, in search of additional strategies to advance our overall goals and mission. We deploy every tool we have available to create real and measurable good in the world. more »

From Confetti to Ecosystem Change: What's Your Corporate Philanthropy Strategy?

02/23/2016

Kristen Holway, Director of Learning Strategy | Corporate philanthropists face a set of unique challenges — internal and external expectations — in our sector. They must balance the desire to support their communities and be a force for good, while continuing to provide value to shareholders, engage employees and demonstrate quantifiable results. For even the most experienced and well-intentioned executives, finding and managing a CSR strategy that shifts these competing priorities into complementary goals can prove complex. These challenges brought executives from a dozen companies together, including Philanthropy Northwest members Bank of America, BECU, Microsoft Philanthropies, Premera Blue Cross and REI, for a workshop on best practices for transforming existing CSR portfolios into results-focused, business-aligned societal engagement. more »

Our 40th Anniversary: An Opportunity to Reflect, Celebrate and Look Forward

02/09/2016

Jeff Clarke, CEO | Each new year is a time for reflection and celebration. Looking back, we ask: what went well and what didn’t? Why or why not? Looking forward, we ask: what did we learn that we can apply to the opportunities and challenges we see on the horizon? This year marks Philanthropy Northwest’s 40th opportunity to reflect and celebrate. The Pacific Northwest is a special place, defined by diverse cultures that share a set of values including generosity, humility and integrity. I’m excited about sharing your stories throughout 2016 and distilling our collective learning of 40 years, together with your good thinking, to frame and inform what the next 10 years of philanthropy in this place might look like. more »

Setting the Stage for Culturally Competent Leadership

01/29/2016

Nicole Neroulias Gupte, Communications Manager | As the demographics of our communities shift and evolve, we see growing interest from philanthropy leaders in adopting multicultural approaches so that we can benefit from our differences, rather than assuming people will assimilate into an institutional set of norms, values and customs. Twenty executives from Seattle-area foundations joined us this week for a workshop on "Culturally Competent Leadership in the 21st Century," co-hosted by Pangea Giving, to discuss how we can collectively address systemic barriers to advance equity through philanthropy. more »

Paying for Success in the Northwest

12/21/2015

Jeff Clarke, CEO | The Pacific Northwest has a unique and globally influential culture marked by innovation, entrepreneurship, civic engagement, generosity and stewardship. Our region’s commitment to innovation drives our growing leadership in impact investing — leveraging private capital for social good. Impact investors seek opportunities to earn a financial return while also doing something good for society. Their aspirations are changing the way we think about solutions to big social problems like homelessness, poverty and unemployment. more »

Experimenting and Experiencing: What We Learned at Local Matters: Alaska + Indigenous Communities

11/16/2015

Lyn Hunter, Senior Program Manager | One of our challenges was understanding ourselves how different this gathering would be and then, of course, communicating it. Guided by our board, our Alaska Native and Native American leaders and allies, and our ongoing commitment to community building in Indian Country, we suspected that we were onto something big. What happened exceeded our wildest expectations. Here are the themes we heard from participants, in their own words. more »

Gaining Momentum: A New Fellowship Program Launches

04/14/2015

Sindhu Knotz, Partner, The Giving Practice | 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. more »

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