News and Insights

Career Pathways: Letting the Sun Shine

07/16/2019

Lyn Hunter | “Have a great day and let your sun shine!” These are my departing words for my 8-year-old daughter every morning at drop off. It’s my rally cry hoping she unleashes her true self on the world (well, ok, her second-grade classroom) in everything she does.

The 2019 COF Career Pathways cohort has been a tremendous learning opportunity for me. For the last 13 years, I’ve been at Philanthropy Northwest steadily progressing in my responsibility in a variety of programmatic roles. Last year, I was promoted to the first-ever director of regional strategies and networks. What would it mean to move into a leadership position and remain my authentic self? A lot was at stake. more »

Introducing Philanthropy Northwest's New CEO

04/27/2017

After an extensive national search with an impressive slate of candidates, Philanthropy Northwest is pleased to announce that Kiran Ahuja will be our next CEO. Ahuja brings more than two decades of public service and nonprofit sector leadership experience, including senior positions in the Obama administration, to our six-state network of foundations and corporate giving programs. In her new role, beginning June 19, she will lead one of the oldest regional associations of philanthropists in the country, joining us at a critical time for the sector and our communities. She looks forward to traveling throughout our region in the summer and fall — culminating in a special reception at our 2017 Annual Conference in Vancouver, Washington. more »

The Power of Women in Philanthropy

03/07/2017

Jennifer Teunon, Medina Foundation | March is Women’s History Month, including International Women's Day on March 8. While it is important to honor the extraordinary achievements of women and the progress we are making on issues of women’s rights and equality, many discouraging statistics persist. Only 4% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women; only five female CEOs are leading public companies in Washington state today. The Puget Sound Business Journal recently reported that only 18% of the new CEOs named in the Puget Sound region in 2016 were women. Fortunately, these statistics don’t represent my own experience working in the nonprofit sector for the past 20 years. I have always had female supervisors and my most important mentors have been women; in my current role as executive director of the Medina Foundation, I work with amazing women every day who are strong, innovative leaders. I also know that my experience reflects that Northwest foundation statistics are an anomaly. more »

Introducing Our 2017 Momentum Fellowship Host Foundations

03/06/2017

Maya Thornell-Sandifor, Learning Strategy Director | The Momentum Fellowship is 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. We're excited to announce that our next cohort of Momentum Fellows will be placed at seven foundations across the Northwest: Marguerite Casey Foundation, The Collins Foundation, Empire Health Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, Rasmuson Foundation, Whatcom Community Foundation and Women's Foundation of Oregon. more »

The Art and Science of Designing Peer Learning Cohorts

04/28/2016

Sindhu Knotz, The Giving Practice | When The Giving Practice at Philanthropy Northwest partnered with the D5 Coalition in 2012 to study and report on the ways philanthropic leaders were advancing diversity, equity and inclusion, one of our most significant findings was that leaders need support from peer networks to advance this work. Four years later, we continue to witness how peer learning can be one of the most powerful ways to influence leadership and cultural change within organizations. In confidential, trust-based environments, leaders serve as co-consultants to one another, offering advice, knowledge and sympathetic ears. Again and again, we have seen leaders come together to gather the courage to make meaningful advances in policy, practice and organizational change. We use six key principles to create and facilitate these groups, particularly for cohorts designed around diversity, equity and inclusion. While much of this may read as basic facilitation strategies, we have learned that this is more of an art than a science — and it often takes a few meetings before groups begin to develop their own rhythm and cohesion. more »

Nine Predictions for Philanthropy in 2016

01/12/2016

Jeff Clarke, CEO | Welcome to 2016! Philanthropy’s core DNA is love for humanity and community. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we celebrate a unique philanthropic culture marked by optimism, generosity, civic engagement and stewardship. It rests upon our nation’s unique commitment to philanthropic freedom and donor intent. But above all, our big, diverse place defines us, from Alaska’s North Slope to southern Oregon, and the Pacific coast to eastern Montana and Wyoming. In other words, as American farmer and writer Wendell Berry observed, “If you don’t know where you are, you don’t know who you are.” Looking ahead to what is sure to be a dynamic year, philanthropy, with its ability to gather people around the public good, is more important than ever. more »

Philanthropy Northwest Welcomes New Board Members

12/01/2015

Philanthropy Northwest's board of directors, representing the range of foundation, family and corporate giving in our six-state region, welcomes two new members today, chosen through the first open nomination process in our 39-year history: C'Ardiss "CC" Gardner Gleser of the Charlotte Martin Foundation and Mary Rutherford of the Montana Community Foundation. more »

Guided by Native Values: An Interview with Anthony Mallott, Sealaska CEO

08/06/2015

Anthony Mallott is CEO of Sealaska, a Juneau-based Alaska Native corporation owned by 22,000 Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian shareholders. In addition to leading Sealaska, he serves on the Rasmuson Foundation board and The Alaska Community Foundation investment committee. He recently spoke with Philanthropy Northwest CEO Jeff Clarke about his work, as part of our ongoing series of interviews with key leaders in philanthropy from across the region and around the nation. more »

Getting to the Acupuncture Point of Change in Conversations

07/13/2015

Ted Lord, Senior Partner, The Giving Practice | A board retreat. We had just spent 45 minutes parsing the difference between goals and objectives, and it felt like things were heading south. Participants didn’t want to do either the exercise or break into groups, they just seemed to want to argue about planning in general — not unsurprising, since the board had a broad representation of youth, business, government and nonprofits. Then my co-facilitator stood up and offered five minutes of theory on the four types of conversation and how they can either evolve or stay stuck. more »

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