Tim Crosby, Cascadia Foodshed Financing Project | If we want to catalyze a thriving food economy in the Pacific Northwest, where should we invest our philanthropic funds? We commissioned research into the production costs of six categories — no-till grain, grass-finished beef, organic greens, organic storage crops, pastured chicken, and hoop house pork — to identify differentiated and viable production systems aligned with our project's five overarching principles of health, social equity, family wage job creation and preservation. The results have revealed intriguing insights for our regional food economy, venture philanthropy and impact investing. We want to achieve system change to increase more sustainable food production and to build resiliency in rural communities. We want to support enterprise success so that rural communities can generate livable wage jobs and investors can at least preserve capital. We now know where we can do each; we seek the opportunity to do both. Now we're asking a new question: How can we advance system change by supporting success at the enterprise level? more »
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Tim Crosby, Cascadia Foodshed Financing Project | I grew up working on family farms and participating in a family foundation that supports community and environmental vitality. While pursuing a business degree, I realized that food is at the intersection of many social and environmental issues, and that the best way to preserve farmland would be to improve the economics of farming — which means figuring out how to finance good local food businesses and make them more accessible and competitive in the marketplace. This nexus of philanthropy, food and finance has come together in Cascadia Foodshed Financing Project, the latest project to join Philanthropy Northwest’s incubation platform and regional impact investing network. So what is it, and why does it matter? more »
Philanthropy Northwest is now known for our commitment to project stewardship and work as a fiscal sponsor for complex philanthropic collaborations, both emerging and mature. This commitment flows directly from our mission “to promote, facilitate and drive collaborative action by philanthropic organizations to strengthen communities.” Our ten-plus years in this business allows us to bring insight and expertise about the nuances of fiscal sponsorship across the full range of a project’s lifecycle. We support innovative projects by providing fiscal sponsorship of charitable programs, initiatives or donor circles, which seek to grow and/or test opportunities for growth while being supported by a sponsoring organization. Our approach to supporting fiscal sponsorships is to learn and understand your mission and build solid, trusting relationships. We can provide administrative services, human resources, accounting services, grantmaking support and communication support, depending on need. As fiscal sponsor, we bear legal responsibility for management of all project funds, and thus work closely with our project managers to ensure they have complete understanding of a project’s financial health.
Tim Crosby, Cascadia Foodshed Financing Project | Impact investing seeks to combine financial returns with social and environmental benefits. We have long held the tools to assess financial returns, but measuring social and environmental returns is far more complex. Impact investing in food systems gets even more complicated, because we're aiming for environmental and social goals that may not necessarily be aligned — for example, investing in small farmers who use organic growing practices while funding strategies to make healthy food more available and affordable to low-income families. more »
Rosalie Sheehy Cates, Catalyst Fellow | Business is changing the world. Foundations are built to make grants to nonprofits, but if foundations want to influence change, we have to work in the for-profit business sector, too. It's that simple. The tool for this is investing. If we don’t do this, our foundation efforts are limited to the capacity of the nonprofit sector to steer the course, or clean up the mess. more »
Haley Millet, Cascadia Foodshed Financing Project | As Cascadia Foodshed Financing Project works at the intersection of food, finance, and philanthropy to transform the Pacific Northwest regional food system, we ask the question, “how good is good enough?” With regards to individual investment opportunities, does the investment meet a need expressed by the community? What ripple effects might the investment have? Social impact advisor Katherine Pease of KP Advisors asks this critical question of the impact investing field at large. more »
Tim Crosby, Cascadia Foodshed Financing Project | The recent election cycle has reminded us that even though the United States is one nation, we have many different ideas on how to make our country better. As I've been sharing Cascadia Foodshed Financing Project’s recent market research over the past few months, commissioned to identify strategies to grow Washington and Oregon's food economy, I've had a similar realization: We can all read the same research yet come to different conclusions about how to grow our regional food economy. Not surprisingly, our nonprofit and for-profit reviewers have come up with different investment recommendations. This divergence can be attributed to a logic model gap, or a difference in the tools used by different departments to implement a shared mission. For instance, a foundation program department may seek opportunities to catalyze system transformation, while the same foundation’s finance department seeks a positive financial return. As we "ground truth" our research, we are also seeking to understand if the conclusions touch on real investment opportunities. more »
As your thought partner, supporting shared learning and action for all types of philanthropy, Philanthropy Northwest creates and curates hundreds of reports, presentations, recordings, studies, websites and consulting tools with our colleagues and partners in the field. This year, we also launched four Digital Resource Centers for our members, focused on Advocacy, Arts Funding, Disaster Philanthropy and Impact Investing. Here are 10 resources released in 2016 with enduring value for a range of philanthropy and nonprofit practitioners in the Northwest and beyond, listed by release date. If you missed them the first time, now's a great time to catch up! more »
This webinar will ground funders in the immediate concerns facing immigrant and refugee communities; provide early analyses of the policy and political landscape including the new Congress; and offer a preview of plans to protect due process and fundamental rights at the local, state, and federal level. Funders will have the opportunity to discuss what can be done now to support immigrants and refugees and the organizations that serve them.
Sherwood Trust and Blue Mountain Community Foundation are hosting a tour for private foundations and corporate funders to learn about and explore the Walla Walla Valley, from Dayton, Washington to Walla Walla to Milton-Freewater, Oregon. This program will introduce some of the exciting and innovative collaborations in our rural communities and highlight opportunities for future philanthropic investment.
On June 23, 2016, a deadlocked Supreme Court left in place a lower court decision halting the implementation of expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA). Join Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees and Philanthropy Northwest for a one-hour national webinar to learn the details of this decision and to discuss possible philanthropic responses to address both short- and long-term community needs.
Thank You to Our Sponsors for Making This Conference Possible!
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Join this webinar to learn about a recent survey of nonprofits by the Immigration Advocates Network on technology gaps and needs, examples of emerging technologies in range of programs benefitting immigrants, funding strategies to foster and support technology innovation in the field.