The Value of Our Network

June 3, 2016

Our board and staff spend a lot of time thinking about ways we can enhance the value of our network. How is philanthropy evolving, and how do we support our members and partners as we navigate this changing landscape? Our hope is that by providing the connections, conversations, tools and spaces to explore the adaptive leadership challenges, we each become better equipped and more effective allies for our communities.

I hope you feel as encouraged as I do by the many ways Philanthropy Northwest members are now sharing strategies with each other, and the range of programs and resources we offer our network and the field. Recent examples that demonstrate creative and flexible partnerships required in our field today include: The Ford Family Foundation's place-based response to the tragic shooting in Roseburg, Oregon last fall; our board advocacy workshop presented with Campion Foundation and BoardSource; and pioneering research on nonprofit leadership development needs from Washington’s Statewide Capacity Collaborative.

Coming together allows us to listen and learn. Even when we disagree, we model respect for each other by embracing our differences and finding commonalities. I am particularly proud of the way we have modeled this in our cohorts and meetings, especially at a time where many are disappointed by the contentious and often disrespectful tone of the public discourse. Our 2016 Philanthropy Northwest conference theme, Under One Sky, embodies this message.

The value of our network is reciprocity. All of you — trustees and staff; corporate giving programs; family, community and private foundations; Native corporations; rural and urban communities; well-established or new to the sector — both receive and offer up incredibly powerful lessons through our shared experiences, learning and action across sectors.

Please share anything that you’re reading or experiencing that others in our network might benefit from, too. The best part of this interim CEO role is hearing from you!

Audrey Haberman is Philanthropy Northwest's interim CEO and managing partner of The Giving Practice, our national consulting team. She can be reached at ahaberman@philanthropynw.org.