United for Change: Celebrating All We’ve Accomplished Together in 2021

United for Change: Celebrating All We’ve Accomplished Together in 2021

 United for Change: Celebrating All We’ve Accomplished Together in 2021

With 2021 almost behind us, Philanthropy Northwest is looking forward to a merrier, brighter and stronger 2022. As I reflect on the difficulties and continuing challenges facing our region this year, I am incredibly proud of our network’s collective work in support of communities to build a resilient, equitable  and inclusive future that honors our past, our people  and our cultures.

Philanthropy has been challenged to think differently about our relationship with communities, and in 2021 our network broke down historical barriers in grantmaking processes to fund those directly impacted by racial injustice and the pandemic's economic and social aftershocks. Our network came together to reimagine a bolder vision of philanthropy, with 3,000 attendees joining us for over 140 network programs this year.

As we navigate our leadership transition and search for Philanthropy Northwest’s next CEO, our organization remains grounded in our values of racial equity, inclusion, learning  and accountability. We also believe that we are at our best when we embrace the future as an opportunity to do more in collaboration with you. We are inspired to keep moving forward, recognizing that together as a network we are one community united for change.

Philanthropy Northwest is here to help support you in transforming the sector and actualizing a more just future for our region by continuing to create the space and tools that encourage reflection, learning  and action. We truly believe that philanthropy is and must be a shared journey, one in which our ability to effect change is measured mainly by the strength of our partnerships.

"We truly believe that philanthropy is and must be a shared journey, one in which our ability to effect change is measured mainly by the strength of our partnerships."

Our annual conference is our greatest example of that shared learning and collaboration. After another uncertain year, PNW21 gave us all a much-needed boost with over 330 of our peers gathering for The Future is FORWARD to build a shared road map of how we can return to better instead of normal. I was thrilled to see so many new faces and feel the energy and momentum generated around creating meaningful systems change.

Like so many of you, Philanthropy Northwest has had an incredibly busy year and we’ve been invigorated by our new partnerships, expanded opportunities and growing staff. I am thankful to work with such incredibly committed people at Philanthropy Northwest and I’m inspired by what we’ve done together this year. Some additional 2021 highlights include:

  • Welcoming our fourth Momentum Fellows cohort, an incredible group of thirteen emerging leaders of color in philanthropy. After some program reflection and evaluation, we strengthened the fellowship structure to be more impactful for professionals of color in the sector.
  • Investing in our Rural Funders Series, for rural funders and rural nonprofits nationwide to facilitate alignment and share best practices in addressing the needs and opportunities of rural communities.
  • Deepening the equity skills and practicesof foundation leaders through our second Trust-Based Philanthropy Cohort, focused on bringing greater humility to philanthropic practices and advancing more transparent funder-grantee relationships.
  • Developing in-depth evaluation reports including the Regional Community Foundation Network’s first shared action project, We’re Built for This: Nimble Network Responds to 2020, highlighting community foundations’ response to COVID-19. Our 2020 Washington Census Equity Fund Evaluation Report explores the impacts and lessons learned throughout the process of collective grantmaking, collaboration and advocacy.
  • Applying lessons from shared learning through two new impact reports highlighting the power of the peer cohort model. Leading for Racial Equity with Peer Support captures insights into common leadership dilemmas on race, inclusion and power in philanthropy, and the effect peer support has in helping leaders move to action. Journeys in Building Community Philanthropy details the impact of peer convenings on centering community for better philanthropy across Washington State as part of the Building Community Philanthropy initiative.

I am grateful for your partnership and inspired by what we aspire to achieve together for the future. No doubt 2022 will hold new joys and challenges but with your continued commitment and support we enter the new year energized and motivated by the abundant possibilities of all we will accomplish as a network.

There is exciting work on the horizon, thank you for joining us in this journey and recognizing the strength in our network. From all of us at Philanthropy Northwest, we wish you a safe and restful holiday season filled with joy and hope for the future.

In gratitude,

Anjana Pandey, Interim CEO