News and Insights

The Promise and Challenge of Community Democracy


Garland Yates and Peter Pennekamp | Philanthropy and other potential change-making institutions have grappled with implementing place-based initiatives and funding community-transformative systems. In our new report, The Promise and Challenge of Community Democracy, we detail how successes share one key attribute: they are led by, and realized in collaboration with, the people directly involved and affected. more »

Deeper than Partnership: A Story for Social Impact Investors


Anjana Pandey and Tim Crosby | From cultural giving traditions to tech boom wealth creation, Pacific Northwest philanthropy has forged a reputation for blending collaboration and innovation. A new case study on the Cascadia Foodshed Financing Project (CFFP) identifies the regional food economy as an untapped area for co-investment in Oregon and Washington, then outlines a combination of grantmaking and investment strategies for transformational impact. more »

Monthly Reflection: Hibernating or Gearing Up?


Kiran Ahuja | February is often a time for hibernation and counting down the days to spring—unless you are an avid skier! Having grown up in Savannah, Georgia, I have limited experience with the snow and ice, let alone sports involving them. So, despite lots of inspiration from the Winter Olympics, from the huge gold-medal wins by U.S. Women’s Hockey and Cross-Country (skate sprint) to Jamaica’s first women’s bobsled team, the month of February was a time for our team at Philanthropy Northwest to plan, convene and reflect. Our efforts have yielded results, too! more »

The Role of Community-Based Participatory Research


Theresa Fujiwara, United Way of King County and Lauren Kastanas, El Centro de la Raza |

To better understand how philanthropic investments could help Latino communities to thrive in Seattle and South King County, WA, the United Way of King County partnered with the University of Washington School of Public Health and El Centro de la Raza to design a research process that would center the voices of those most affected by the issues and help funders hear and learn from them, especially regarding what their funding priorities should be. more »

Supercharging the Banking Industry, Fulfilling the Dreams of Underserved Youth


Mark Dederer, Executive Director, The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation |

Many industries struggle with bringing in diverse and young talent into their pipeline, and there is no magic bullet. With more than a decade helping young job-seekers develop banking and financial careers at BankWork$, we have been able to create a solid curriculum and training program -- and build a sustainable road for young people to enter the banking world. Here we share our best learning in workforce development. more »

Powering Diversity and Equity in Black Arts and Culture


Sharon Nyree Williams, Executive Director, Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas | Central District Forum is continuing the legacy that was laid before us, with a mission to provide a platform for provocative arts and ideas that foster awareness of and involvement in Black experiences. I can only imagine how hard it was for the supporters back then to start CD Forum because sustaining the organization in 2018 is challenging work. The good news is that funders throughout the field increasingly agree that it is important to develop a funding practice and structure that includes diversity, equity, inclusion and access. more »

Q&A: Effective Philanthropy Is Heart Work and Hard Work


Jan Jaffe, Senior Partner, The Giving Practice | In celebration of Black History Month and continued observance of this year’s National Day of Racial Healing, our team sat with Dr. Gail C. Christopher, a former Senior Advisor and Vice President at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and architect of the foundation's Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) framework, to discuss what reflective practices she has used to meet challenges as a philanthropic practitioner. more »

Because We Said Yes: Our Journey Into Disaster Recovery Philanthropy


Jessica Stewart-Kuntz, Dir. of Operations and Grants, Montana Community Foundation | At Montana Community Foundation, Inc. (MCF), we have been reflecting on what happens when we say yes—yes to new programs, yes to new ideas and yes to taking big risks. If you had asked us, a statewide community foundation, to discuss disaster philanthropy six months ago, we wouldn’t have had much to say, at least not in the personal meaningful manner we desire. But, things change and they change fast. Fortunately, we said yes. more »

Q&A: What is the Work of Racial Healing?


Amy Pearson-Wales | In observance of this year's National Day of Racial Healing, our team had the honor and privilege to sit in conversation with Liz Medicine Crow, President and CEO of the First Alaskans Institute and a longtime member of Philanthropy Northwest’s Board of Directors. The following is an excerpt of our dialogue on racial healing, and the ongoing work required for achieving it. more »

Monthly Reflection: Action on National Day of Racial Healing


Kiran Ahuja | Conversations on America’s legacy of racism and xenophobia can be difficult, even make us uncomfortable. But silence would signal indifference, and we are not indifferent to the historic and contemporary effects of racism, or the racial divisiveness resurfacing across our country today. That’s why we join the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in recognizing the second annual National Day of Racial Healing and promoting the their Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation framework as a means for building a more equitable tomorrow. more »