News and Insights

Ballmers, Microsoft Commit $21M to Washington State Opportunity Scholarship

09/02/2015

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and his wife Connie, joined by Microsoft, have committed $21 million to the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship to support low- and middle-income students pursuing studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and health care fields. The scholarship, which Boeing and Microsoft each helped found with $25 million each in 2011, matches public and private money to deserving scholars and encourages recipients to work in Washington state once they complete their degrees. more »

New Considerations for Arts Education Advocacy, Policy Work

08/04/2015

Richard Kessler, Mannes School of Music, The New School | A new report, Foundation Funding for Arts Education: An Update on Foundation Trends, examines the Foundation Center’s data sets of grants of $10,000 or more awarded to organizations by one thousand of the largest U.S. foundations from 1999 to 2012. It is clear from the report overall that advocacy and policy are lagging well behind. But if programmatic work cannot achieve equitable access to quality arts education, then the challenge to the field is substantial. Some of the reasons why this area has been slow to emerge have to do with concerns around concrete results, confusion around what is allowed by law, and a general fear of conflict. more »

Road Map Report: Designing Equitable Parent-School Collaboration

07/31/2015

Jondou Chen, Ann Ishimaru and Joe Lott, University of Washington | Research consistently finds that strong parent–family–school relations is critical to student success. Traditional parent involvement efforts assume that schools are neutral places that treat everyone equally, but that ignores cultural context, and leads to a focus on changing the parents in order to match a preconceived notion of what a good parent should be. For parents who are struggling to make ends meet, who did not have positive experiences in school when they were students, or who are new Americans unfamiliar with how the system works, traditional efforts to engage them in their children's education may instead highlight barriers between the culture of the community and the culture of the school. more »

Adverse Childhood Experiences: None of Us Are Immune

06/08/2015

Kristen Holway, Senior Manager, Learning Practice | Findings from several large, peer-reviewed research studies over the last 15 years show that some of the worst health and social problems in our country arise as a consequence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). A recent study by experts from Washington State University and the Foundation for Healthy Generations is shedding light on the incredibly predictive role trauma plays in our communities and schools. more »

Philanthropy is... Enterpreneurial: What We Heard at Local Matters: Idaho

06/02/2015

Jon Stahl, Communications Director | Last week we were thrilled to welcome a capacity crowd of 70+ philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, government officials, nonprofit leaders and academics to Boise, Idaho for the second event in our 2015 Local Matters series. Here's what we talked about. more »

Internet Policy and Communicating for Policy Change

05/04/2015

Jon Stahl, Communications Director | In the past few days, we’ve hosted a pair of events with our friends at Media Impact Funders, the national network of funders working on media and technology issues. In different ways, both touched on the power of communications — both medium and message — to drive forward the social change issues that animate philanthropy. more »

College Affordability: How Can Philanthropy Help?

04/16/2015

Kristen Holway and Nicole Neroulias Gupte | College applications have skyrocketed in the past decade — and along with them, tuition and student debt. As high school seniors and undergraduates weigh their options for Fall 2015, Philanthropy Northwest, Washington Women in Need and College Spark Washington convened a group of funders and state organizations to share efforts to address this mounting crisis. more »

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