Thank You for Making Our Annual Conference a Success!

Thank You for Making Our Annual Conference a Success!

Amy Pearson-Wales

Thank you to the more than 300 people who convened October 3-5 at our annual conference to share learnings and exchange ideas on this year’s theme of Leading Through Change!

Throughout the conference, attendees from more than 70 philanthropic organizations explored approaches as individuals and as community partners working to strengthen philanthropy’s impact in our six-state region. Discussions proved dynamic, informative and educational. Some were even difficult. But, guided by our commitment to creating space for all types of conversations—as represented by our attendee-curated Philanthropy Interrupted Talks—we leaned into the hard work of coming together to recognize and reflect on the challenges facing our communities and our sector in these increasingly divisive times.

Additional highlights included:

  • An inspiring keynote from Dr. Gail C. Christopher on the critical work of racial healing, how to bridge divides in our country, and what it will take to sustain societal progress over time.
  • A compelling session on the role of philanthropy in mitigating the proposed changes to the US Census Bureau’s collection tactics, which could undermine the quality of Census data, precipitate dramatic policy changes and funding cuts, and reduce the capacity of grassroots organizations in our region, and beyond.
  • A poignant assessment of new data that underscore year-over-year declines in philanthropic investments in LGBTQ issues across our region, and how funders in the Midwest and South are working to address similar levels of underinvestment in LGBTQ communities in their regions.
  • Offsite Learning Tours where attendees heard firsthand from colleagues working on-the-ground to strengthen and sustain community in the Vancouver, WA area.

Check out the full conference program. We've also created a Storify slideshow of the conference experience and our collective takeaways (plus dance moves!) captured on social media. 

We welcome your feedback

What part of the program resonated with you the most? Which themes should we continue to explore together in the coming year? Please share your conference takeaways and reflections on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #PNW17. We also invite you to host a monthly briefing* to stay connected with colleagues on key topics. Just email us your suggestions!

We look forward to hearing from you.


*Hosting a briefing is a benefit of membership. Contact us to learn more, or to apply to become a member of Philanthropy Northwest.