News and Insights

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 Value of Good Data & Philanthropy's Participation

02/28/2017

Kevin Walker, Board Chair | Good data helps us understand the landscape and improve our practices. It’s said that people are moved by stories more than by research, and I agree that this is often true. Still, we also need in-depth research, actual facts and hard data in order to know that our work is effective and to plan our strategies. A commitment to learning from good data aligns with Philanthropy Northwest’s strategy framework, which affirms that philanthropy at its best “is transparent and accountable,” “collaborates with stakeholders” and “assesses and learns from results.” As president and CEO of Northwest Area Foundation, I find it valuable to participate in research that assesses and advances the field of philanthropy. So I hope you will join me and other members of our learning network by learning from and participating in three important data-driven studies coming soon: more »

Welcome New Members and Partners

02/23/2017

Paul Kim, Member and Donor Program Associate | Between the changing political landscape, our membership renewal cycle and planning for major programs, the first two months of this year have kept us busy at Philanthropy Northwest! Before we continue at this rapid pace and scale — adding the next edition of Trends in Northwest Giving and the second cohort of our Momentum Fellowship to the mix — we'd like to pause for a moment to welcome five new organizations to our network this year: Beneficial State Foundation / Beneficial State Bank, The Sheri & Les Biller Family Foundation, Idaho Community Foundation, Legal Foundation of Washington and Washington Research Foundation. more »

Mapping a Foundation's Impact Investing Journey

02/22/2017

Rosalie Sheehy Cates, Senior Advisor | One hundred million dollars.

That’s how much money Surdna Foundation has now allocated to impact investing, just in time for its 100th anniversary. It’s an exciting decision, and you can read all about the private foundation's decision-making process in Mapping the Journey to Impact Investinga new report researched and drafted by Jan Jaffe, senior partner of The Giving Practice, Philanthropy Northwest's national consulting team. more »

Northwest Foundations Sign Immigration Support Statement

02/14/2017

Philanthropy Northwest is partnering with Grantmakers Committed with Immigrants and Refugees on several programs this year, including a monthly immigration policy briefing for funders. Some of our members — including Marguerite Casey Foundation, Ford Foundation, Legal Foundation of Washington, Meyer Memorial Trust, Northwest Area Foundation, Northwest Health Foundation and Satterberg Foundation — have joined a growing list of funders who have signed a Joint Foundation Statement on Immigration organized by GCIR. With a membership as diverse as ours, we understand that not everyone would choose to sign this statement. As a service to our members who have requested we share timely and relevant action and policy information, however, we are making you aware of this opportunity: more »

Our Pursuit of Deeper Impact

02/13/2017

Haley Millet, Cascadia Foodshed Financing Project | As Cascadia Foodshed Financing Project works at the intersection of food, finance, and philanthropy to transform the Pacific Northwest regional food system, we ask the question, “how good is good enough?” With regards to individual investment opportunities, does the investment meet a need expressed by the community? What ripple effects might the investment have? Social impact advisor Katherine Pease of KP Advisors asks this critical question of the impact investing field at large. more »

How Can I Be 1% More?

02/09/2017

In a conversation for Philanthropy's Reflective Practices, The Giving Practice's Sindhu Knotz and Jan Jaffe caught up with June Wilson, board member and executive director emeritus of Quixote Foundation, to learn about her reflective practices and the foundation’s application of reflective practices to racial equity work. "For me, it’s a way of reaching farther when I feel like I’ve hit a limit," she explains "If I can start by finding even 1% more patience, presence, love, imagination, I can break through that barrier." more »

Sharpening Our Advocacy Tools for a New Administration

02/07/2017

Remy Trupin, Catalyst Fellow | Advocacy is an important tool in philanthropy's toolbox. Are you wielding it effectively? With so many policy changes coming from the new White House, Congress and state agencies, foundations and their grantees need to be engaged more than ever. Eager to learn more, sharpen their skills and compare notes, we offered a workshop last month on how private and public foundations can support grantees’ advocacy efforts and engage in advocacy themselves. Abby Levine, director of Alliance for Justice's Bolder Advocacy initiative, provided an overview of activities that constitute advocacy and public policy work, along with examples of advocacy roles for foundations, definitions of lobbying, and rules for private vs. public foundation grants to nonprofits that engage in lobbying (including general support, specific projects and multi-year grants). more »

Rising Up to Meet Our Challenges

02/03/2017

Audrey Haberman, Interim CEO | When Philanthropy Northwest began exploring the relationship of philanthropy to democracy in 2014, Daniel Kemmis wrote, "We find ourselves in the midst of an extended period of fairly acute and widespread uneasiness about the health of our democracy." Those words seem to ring even more true today. In the last two weeks, we have heard statements and seen actions challenging our democracy on a whole new level: a ban on vetted refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries; the disappearance of any mention of LGBTQ people on the White House website; proposed restrictions on women’s reproductive health and rights; reduced access to affordable healthcare; and new threats to our Native and public lands, to name just a few issues at the core of our network's values. Yet it is also heartening to see hundreds of thousands of people around the country exercise their rights to assemble, to protest and to express their opinions. This is what democracy looks like. more »

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