Ann Saxton, Vice President | Last week I had the pleasure of attending Foundations on the Hill (FOTH) in Washington, D.C. with a number of our Philanthropy Northwest partners and almost 200 others in the philanthropy community from across the nation. Over three days we met with government agency officials and more than 20 members of Congress from across our six-state region to share the vital role our sector plays in supporting healthy and vibrant communities. For some, this was a first opportunity to meet and begin forming lasting relationships with elected officials and for others it was a chance to reconnect and show ongoing commitment to the mission, issues and communities we serve. more »
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Jon Stahl, Communications Director| On March 25, Philanthropy Northwest and Seattle CityClub co-hosted an event featuring Daniel Kemmis, Philanthropy Northwest board member and fellow at the Kettering Foundation and Daniel Stid, director of the Hewlett Foundation's Madison Initiative. more »
Kevin Walker, Vice Chair of Board Operations | I have had the privilege of serving on Philanthropy Northwest’s board of directors since 2010, and have found it to be a remarkable leadership development experience. Our board, like the broader membership, is made up of engaged, passionate leaders who care deeply about the communities they serve. I am pleased to share that for the first time in its history, Philanthropy Northwest is seeking nominations directly from our members for board candidates to be elected this fall. more »
Please join Philanthropy Northwest and FSG for a learning workshop on corporate social responsibility strategies. Corporate leaders will hear from FSG Managing Directors Greg Hills and Patty Russell about three tools for advancing societal engagement efforts. Hills and Russell will discuss their recent publication, "Simplifying Strategy: A Practical Toolkit for Corporate Societal Engagement" and lead participants through interactive exercises to uncover potential applications of the tools to your work.
Nicole Neroulias Gupte, Senior Communications Manager | At a May 24 Seattle gathering of three dozen social media influencers, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann answered questions about the foundation's views of taking risks and applying new knowledge to solve some of the world's biggest problems. Most questions focused on aspects of Desmond-Hellmann's recent open letter to the community, her first such message since joining the foundation two years ago, sharing examples from the foundation's global health and national education work. On behalf of Philanthropy Northwest, I had an entirely place-based query: "I'd like to hear more about the foundation's home being here in the Northwest. How does that influence the culture and what kind of risks are you able to take here at home?" more »
Cheryl Frizzell, Finance Director | I consider myself lucky that I'm about to attend my 13th Philanthropy Northwest conference. It's been quite a travelogue across our six-state region! So many excellent site visits with funders passionate about their community: Walla Walla, Washington's art walk; Bend, Oregon's food tours; Juneau, Alaska's historical mining park; the late night line dancing in Big Sky, Montana. Each of the diverse places had something special in common: the people. Philanthropy Northwest conferences are filled with unscripted opportunities to meet someone new and share a story. Each one has been special; you’ll have to join me Under One Sky, September 13 to 15 in Missoula, Montana to discover the magic yourself. more »
Gloris Estrella, Program Manager | When I started working at Philanthropy Northwest last year, things like donor-advised funds, grant committees and financial advisors were a foreign language that I had to learn quickly while coordinating our Washington Community Foundations Convening. I'm still absorbing many intricacies that make community foundations special, but you don't need native fluency to see that they are, above all, leaders in our communities. Some states, including Alaska and Montana, have one main community foundation serving as an umbrella for smaller funds throughout the state. In Washington, however, almost every county has its own community foundation. This allows each foundation to have a strongly place-based mission, focusing closely on its county's unique needs — but it also means each has to raise most of its funds from the community it serves, with a small staff and limited resources. Through Philanthropy Northwest's Washington Community Foundations Convening, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we connect all these foundations to discuss their challenges and opportunities. more »
The webinar will examine how community wealth building in rural areas and small towns is proving to be a powerful, place-based approach to leverage local benefit from existing assets in new and innovative ways. Presenters will cover a range of examples and tools, and explore the role of funders to catalyze economic development and impact investing in local communities. We will hear what they are learning and the challenges they are wresting with. There will be time afterwards for in depth questions and answers with our speakers.
Daniel Kemmis, Democracy Northwest | No matter which candidates any of us favored, from the presidential race on down the ballot, this election has cast a harsh light on the wounds and weaknesses of our democracy. This deep (and fully bipartisan) unhappiness with our political and governing institutions was never going to be cured by a single election, regardless of the outcome. While elected officials of both parties must certainly play a role in healing the deep wounds in our body politic, it is clear that they cannot do it alone. We all have to do our part — and that must include the philanthropic sector. To that end, Philanthropy Northwest is redoubling its own commitment to this work, primarily through a new initiative we’re calling Democracy Northwest. more »
Anjana Pandey, Member and Donor Relations Director | Philanthropy Northwest's members and foundations across the country make significant investments in communities across Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. In partnership with Foundation Center, we are thrilled to unveil Snapshot of Foundation Giving to the Northwest, a profile of grantmaking data from more than 500 U.S. foundations to communities across Philanthropy Northwest’s six-state region. more »
Please join us in welcoming three new Philanthropy Northwest board members, representing organizations committed to vibrant, healthy communities in Alaska, Oregon and Washington: Nichole Maher of Northwest Health Foundation, Aleesha Towns-Bain of Rasmuson Foundation and Huong Vu of The Boeing Company. more »
Susan Weiss, Senior Policy Consultant | Philanthropy Northwest recently hosted a policy briefing on President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget and its implications for the Northwest. Michael Leachman, the Director of State Fiscal Research at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, said Northwest states will be particularly impacted by cuts to three areas: Medicaid, SNAP (also known as food stamps), and other federal aid to programs and services that help produce clean water, affordable housing, nutrition for newborns born into poor families, and infectious disease protections, among others. Trump’s budget would also eliminate the Low Income Housing Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which helps low-income seniors and others pay their home energy bills. This webinar is the first in a series as the budget process rolls out in the House and Senate, so stay tuned for future opportunities to engage. more »
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 »
Caroline Williamson, Executive Director, B. Robert Williamson, Jr. Foundation | ... in that process, we discovered the power of simply giving fellows from different departments an opportunity to talk to each other. ... more »
Join the Pierce County Funders for a two-part series focused on thinking about the systems that impact homelessness on a national and local level, and specifically in the area of youth and young adult homelessness. This first meeting will feature special guests, Funders Together to End Homelessness, a national network of funders supporting strategic, innovative and effective solutions to homelessness.
Anand Giridharadas (Tuesday) and Judy Belk (Wednesday)
With the passage of last year’s tax code overhaul, Congress created Opportunity Zones—areas in low-income census tracks designated by governors, where private equity investors can invest capital gains in new development ventures in exchange for tax forgiveness after 10 years. However, now that proposed regulations have been released, speculation remains as to whether Opportunity Zones will catalyze needed community infrastructure and economic development opportunities for the people who are residents and small business owners who live in these Zones.
This event will reveal insights from the African American Financial Capability Initiative (AAFCI), a three-year effort facilitated by Prosperity Now (formerly CFED). The initiative supports communities of practice that tailor financial stability projects to the needs of six communities across the Pacific Northwest and the Midwest through the collaborative work of 30+ black-led nonprofits in Portland, Oregon; Seattle and Tacoma, Washington; Des Moines, Iowa; Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. Each community of practice addresses the racial wealth divide with innovative approaches.
Opportunity Zones (OZs) are a new national community investment tool that connects private capital with low-income communities across America. It was created by The Investing in Opportunity Act, part of the American Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. OZs allow investors to reduce their tax burden by putting their capital gains into projects in low-income areas. OZs may help struggling communities find private sources of funding they would not have had access to otherwise.