Taking Pride in My New Role in Northwest Philanthropy

November 6, 2015

Kim Sogge, Momentum Fellow

I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest — and have no plans to leave anytime soon, either! And now I'm excited to be part of Pride Foundation, a community foundation I have supported for many years, through Philanthropy Northwest's Momentum Fellowship.

The Momentum Fellowship was inspired by Philanthropy Northwest’s CEO cohort on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion — which included Kris Hermanns, Pride Foundation's executive director — to create an entry point into the field of philanthropy for underrepresented communities. I chose to apply for three reasons: I was interested in a career in philanthropy; the position seemed like a good blend of my professional experience and personal interests; and the fellowship itself seemed like a great learning opportunity that was very intentional about providing the support and network necessary to succeed in the field of philanthropy.

I had the opportunity to meet the other Momentum Fellows for the first time in September at our learning retreat, and continue to stay connected to each of them individually. They are all bright, passionate, driven individuals with powerful stories, and I’m proud to work alongside each of them to change the way we do philanthropy. We each have differing roles, tenures and work plans at our host foundations, but we come together monthly for learning calls, and quarterly for in-person retreats.

I have been explaining my role and experience at Pride Foundation as “an inch deep and a mile wide,” which doesn’t seem to convey the full picture when I put it on paper. I am immersed daily in the impactful, strategic investments that Pride Foundation makes in the LGBT community in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. I have been able to participate in our annual grantmaking review and discussions, attend plays as a part of our partnership with Intiman Theatre, and read stories that gave me goosebumps from our courageous community members across the region who simply want to live openly and safely in their home communities. I also attended Local Matters: Washington, Philanthropy Northwest's statewide convening, with my colleagues earlier this week in Bellingham.

The work of Pride Foundation is deeply personal and deeply relational. I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to work alongside passionate people dedicated to empowering each person in our community to be who they are, where they are.

The philanthropic sector is small — only 20,000 staff across the country — but I believe that our field has the ability to drive change on so many levels. Philanthropy is an incredible tool, and I am looking forward to embarking on this new learning opportunity at a community foundation with a mission close to my heart. I am proud to officially be a part of the Pride Foundation family and can forever say that this is where I got my start in the field of philanthropy!

Kim Sogge is a Momentum Fellow hosted by Pride Foundation. An earlier version of this blog post ran on Pride Foundation's blog. Read more about the Momentum Fellowship on our website, and stay tuned for more blog posts from our first cohort.