Elyse Gordon

Senior Manager, Programs

Elyse is a connector, convener and facilitator who wears many hats at Philanthropy Northwest. Born and raised on the East Coast, Elyse has now been in Seattle for almost a decade and is proud to call the Northwest home. Elyse leads the Annual Conference, Conversations in Philanthropy, and is the project manager for From Extraction to Action, our upcoming report on philanthropy in Indian Country. She holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Washington, with a focus on place-based philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. Prior to Philanthropy Northwest, Elyse was a Community Based Learning and Research Fellow at the University of Washington - Bothell, where she taught about philanthropy, equity, nonprofit management, power, identity and culture. Elyse has a passion for making philanthropy more responsive, more inclusive, more transparent and more equitable, and is eager to get to know how our multiple and diverse membership is approaching these values in their specific places. She loves to cook and bring people together around food, and will likely include snacks during any in-person trainings! When not being a nerd about philanthropy, Elyse can be found hanging out with her chatty cat and adorable pup, cooking for friends, adventuring around the NW, attempting to learn Spanish, or dancing. 

Elyse Gordon's blog posts

November 13, 2019

As we gear up for PNW19 here in our backyard of Seattle, WA, the Philanthropy Northwest staff have prepared some of their local favorites. Whether you are a longtime Seattle-ite or just visiting for the conference, check out some of these great recommendations in Seattle (and beyond!). more »

September 11, 2019

Once a month, I attend a professional womxn’s networking event. At the start of each event, the facilitator asks us each to share something that is distracting us, followed by the phrase “but I’m present.” The first time I heard this I cringed. Wouldn’t sharing my distractions mean me admitting my lack of engagement?

What I found is the opposite. more »

May 20, 2019

Every year at Philanthropy Northwest, we take great care in choosing imagery for our conference that reflects the place and character of our host city. We have multiple conversations with our staff, the local representatives on our conference committee, and members from our region. This year, we are extremely proud of the collaborative effort that produced our 2019 conference artwork for our theme: ROOTED. GROUNDED. more »

June 6, 2019

We could not do our annual conference without the incredible support of our peers across the region. This year, we are supported by a dynamic group of philanthropists and practitioners who represent a huge range of foundations: Public, Operating, Community, Corporate, Native, Health and Private. WOW.  more »

May 6, 2019

Our organization and our network are in a moment of growth. At Philanthropy Northwest, we are clarifying our comfort with being bold and taking a stand on policy issues like the Census, increasing DEI across the sector, and rolling out new opportunities like the Northwest Bond Fund. We are amidst a bold campaign to fuel our work for the future, and we’re taking seriously the need for state-by-state strategies for engagement. more »

September 25, 2018

Join over 240 peers and colleagues from 120+ organizations at this year's Philanthropy Northwest Annual Conference - the largest convening of grantmakers and philanthropies in the region!  more »

April 5, 2018

Philanthropy is being called to lead – more than ever before. In these uncertain times, philanthropy is being asked to be more responsive to community needs, be an equal partner alongside grantees, be an influential partner among government and businesses, and leverage its influential and critical voice to foster positive change. And we know that to tackle the most challenging issues of our time, we must band together. more »

March 15, 2018

Each year, Philanthropy Northwest's Annual Conference helps unite our different regional experiences of philanthropy, community and social impact. It offers a rare chance for funders across our region to come together and share approaches and best practices for adapting to the latest social issues and exploring collaboration. Here are my top five reasons to attend this year's conference (#AC18) in Boise!   more »

December 11, 2017

Joining Philanthropy Northwest as Program Manager for the Learning Network helped me combine my academic interests in Geography with my passion for strengthening the philanthropic sector. I also am a great believer in the power of place and truly admire the way by which Philanthropy Northwest honors the diverse peoples and places of our region while simultaneously encouraging connection and engagement between them. All in service to a better, more equitable tomorrow. I'm excited to help organize our annual conference, and can't wait to collaborate with you on its program and impact! more »