News and Insights

Introducing Our Cohort II Momentum Fellows


Maya Thornell-Sandifor, Director of Learning Strategies | As we launch the second round of our two-year Momentum Fellowship program, it’s my honor to introduce below 10 leaders from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and communities. I hope you’ll get to meet them at #PNW17, our annual conference coming up next week, Oct. 3-5, in Vancouver, WA. more »

The Hub ribbon cutting in Walla Walla

Walla Walla Valley to Host Funders’ Tour Nov. 1-3


Danielle Garbe, Sherwood Trust, CEO | In the Northwest, most foundations are located in urban areas, and philanthropic dollars are concentrated in those hubs. A June 2015 article in Nonprofit Quarterly found that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s effort to increase philanthropic investment in rural areas failed to significantly move the needle. Rural residents continue to consistently receive less per capita than their urban counterparts, with only approximately 7% of total foundation dollars between 2005-2010 going to rural recipients even though rural communities comprise 19% of the country’s population. more »

Dr. Gail Christopher to Keynote Conference Plenary


Maya Thornell-Sandifor, Learning Strategy Director | We are thrilled to announce the latest keynote plenary speaker at the Philanthropy Northwest annual conference in Vancouver, coming up Oct. 3-5: Dr. Gail C. Christopher, D.N., N.D. Christopher joins former Deputy Secretary of Labor, Chris Lu, as a conference headliner. Other just-announced closing plenary speakers will include:  Maulik Pancholy, best known for his role on NBC's hit show, 30 Rock, and leading the #ActToChange anti-bullying campaign; Becky L. Monroe, Director of the Stop Hate Project, at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; and Eric K. Ward, incoming Executive Director of Western States Center.   more »

Closing Plenary Offers Hope for Combatting Rise of Hate


Kiran Ahuja | One of the things I'm most proud of about this year's conference is the way we've curated conversations about timely topics. That's apparent in Day Three's closing plenary, which features four incredible panelists who will discuss the rise of hate in a post-9/11, post-Charlottesville context that's become quite unfriendly toward Arab-Americans, South Asian-Americans, and immigrants, including my friend, former 30 Rock actor Maulik Pacholy.  more »

Local Matters: Why Not Invest Where You Live?


Rosalie Sheehy Cates, Mission Investing Catalyst Fellow | Philanthropy Northwest is exploring a bond fund that would give members an easy new way to make investments in the communities they care about. Modeled after a successful effort in Minnesota, we’re excited to explore this opportunity with our members. I’ll be hosting a lunch meeting during the annual conference where members can learn more and share ideas.  more »

Creating Space for the ‘Elephants in the Room’ at #PNW17


Lyn Hunter, Senior Program Manager | Change appears to be the new normal for our sector. We’re committed to creating the space where you can dive into what’s most pressing in your foundation and learn from your peers who, like you, are working to make sense of the latest news in real time. Philanthropy Interrupted Talks is the part of the conference where you'll get to curate your own experience by leading and participating in discussions on a variety of emergent issues, including the “elephant in the room,” the federal budget. more »

Adaptive Leadership as a Reflective Practice


Caroline Williamson, Executive Director, B. Robert Williamson, Jr. Foundation | This post from Philanthropy’s Reflective Practices site is the result of networks and reverse engineering. I wanted to explore whether philanthropy practitioners have used adaptive leadership, the framework developed by Dr. Ronald Heifetz and colleagues at Harvard’s Kennedy School, as a form of reflective practice. Hanh Le, who wrote a great post on Katy Perry lyrics and foundation strategy on this site, introduced me to foundation director and leadership consultant Marc Manashil, who with Dr. Linda Lausell Bryant created a variety of programs at New York University’s (NYU) Silver School of Social Work using the adaptive leadership approach. Those programs are funded by the B. Robert Williamson Jr. Foundation. I wanted to learn how this foundation came to support a form of reflective practice as capacity building, and that’s how I began my conversation with the foundation’s Executive Director, Caroline Williamson.
— Jan Jaffe
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Monthly Reflection: Charlottesville Calls for Philanthropy to Lead


Kiran Ahuja, CEO | Growing up in the South, Charlottesville felt all too familiar, though no less enraging and saddening to me. There have been counter protests to KKK and white supremacist marches for as long as I can remember. I distinctly recall going to one in North Georgia to “monitor” the protest. The difference was those gatherings were small, and hardly picked up by the media or the general public, though the foreign press often covered them. more »

Chris Lu

Former Deputy Labor Secretary Chris Lu to Headline #PNW17


Lyn Hunter, Senior Program Manager | I am thrilled to announce that Chris Lu, former Deputy Secretary of Labor under President Barack Obama, will participate in a featured breakfast plenary at #PNW17 on Thursday morning, Oct. 5. Lu is a senior fellow at the Miller Center at the University of Virginia and is a senior advisor to FiscalNote, a government relationship management (GRM) technology company that helps organizations manage issues and interactions at all levels of government.He’ll be joined on the panel by Nichole June Maher, President and CEO of Northwest Health Foundation and moderated by Kiran Ahuja, our new CEO. Read on to see some of the exciting and timely conference sessions we have in store for our time in Vancouver, WA. more »