Lyn Hunter

Director, Regional Strategies and Networks

Taking an outside-in approach, Lyn helps build stronger connections between Philanthropy Northwest partners, communities and the six state region. Her work includes catalyzing collective action and learning in various areas of interest for members including public-private partnerships where authentic, effective and mutually beneficial relationships are key. Her current portfolio of work includes co-managing Building Community Philanthropy, an $8 million dollar multi-year grant from the Gates Foundation to local community foundations, United Ways and identity funds; sleuthing the role of philanthropy in Opportunity Zones; overseeing the Regional Community Foundation Network and Rural Philanthropy. 

Before joining Philanthropy Northwest thirteen years ago, Lyn was a development officer at the United Way of King County. Prior to that, she worked in public relations for a wireless software start-up company in the for-profit sector. Lyn is currently the co-chair of the 2020 Seattle National Philanthropy Day Selection Committee, a former board member of Sound Child Care Solutions, former chapter co-chair of the Seattle Puget Sound Chapter of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders In Philanthropy (AAPIP) and a volunteer Girl Scout troop leader. She is a graduate of Council on Foundation’s Career Pathways, a national leadership development cohort, ProjectLEAD and Lewis & Clark College. Lyn was born and raised in Hawai'i and still proudly refers to it as "home." 

Lyn Hunter's blog posts

July 16, 2019

“Have a great day and let your sun shine!” These are my departing words for my 8-year-old daughter every morning at drop off. It’s my rally cry hoping she unleashes her true self on the world (well, ok, her second-grade classroom) in everything she does.

The 2019 COF Career Pathways cohort has been a tremendous learning opportunity for me. For the last 13 years, I’ve been at Philanthropy Northwest steadily progressing in my responsibility in a variety of programmatic roles. Last year, I was promoted to the first-ever director of regional strategies and networks. What would it mean to move into a leadership position and remain my authentic self? A lot was at stake. more »

September 25, 2017

The next generation of philanthropists, including GenX and Millennials, will shape the world in significant and profound ways. How do you engage, nurture and encourage them as they reshape giving and leave their mark on history? more »

September 21, 2017

It’s become easier than ever to withdraw into our own bubbles of news, politics and friendships that reflect our own beliefs. How can we to talk (and listen) to folks who look, think or believe differently than we do? How can we work to get beyond our echo chambers? more »

September 5, 2017

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 »

August 24, 2017

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 »

July 17, 2017

More than 20 breakout sessions for the upcoming Philanthropy Northwest Conference in Vancouver, Washington have begun to take shape after a record response to our request for proposals. With presenters ranging from leaders at Social Justice Fund and Pride Foundation to the Murdock Trust, we're finalizing the details of conversations that are sure to add value to the work of philanthropists from across the region. New to this year's Annual Conference is an "unconference" element, sometimes referred to as "open space" sessions. Slated for the final day of the conference, October 5, these sessions will combine curated smaller-group conversations led by experts with opportunities to deepen conversations that emerge from the preceding days' breakout sessions. This is one year you won't want to leave early, so keep that in mind as you book your travel. In keeping with our theme, many sessions (though not all!) will be policy-focused on topics such as: health policy, tax reform, housing and homelessness, Indian Country, child welfare, civil/legal issues, and the rule of law in America. more »

July 7, 2017

We are so excited to announce the following organizations will have staff and/or board members attending our annual conference in Vancouver, WA coming up October 3-5. With the theme, "Now is the Time to Lead Through Change," we are on the verge of announcing more information about our great lineup of breakout session topics which will range from funding in rural and Native communities, the importance of engaging at all levels of government, corporate giving strategies and diving into the intersection of community, democracy, and philanthropy. more »

June 29, 2017

Philanthropy Northwest is pleased to announce some of the brightest minds in the sector who are generously offering their time and talent in planning this year’s annual conference in Vancouver, Washington. more »

June 5, 2017

Michelle Kauhane, President and CEO of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA), was one of the masterminds behind the recent “Investing in Native Communities Networking Day” I attended that was hosted by Oweesta First Nations Development Institute and CNHA at the UW Intellectual House. The gathering included funders and Native-led CDFIs (Community Development Finance Institutions), Native CDCs (Community Development Corporations) and Native Hawaiian-led nonprofits. When you’re from Hawai’i, layers of commonality ignite from simple conversations. As it turned out, Michelle and I had much more in common than we could have known.  more »

May 3, 2017

At Philanthropy Northwest, we're at the pinnacle of our service to you when we're creating space for our members and partners to learn together and from each other. We’re beginning to build the program for our 2017 conference, Now is the Time to Lead Though Change, and we need your help! What will YOU be talking about, October 3-5 in Vancouver, Washington? The YOU is in caps because you are our crystal ball, our gut instinct, our look into the future. Tell us your hunches about big issues through our Request for Proposals that closes on Monday, May 8. We’re excited to work with you to design exciting, relevant and memorable breakout sessions for the largest annual gathering of foundation leaders and corporate giving programs in the Northwest. more »

June 1, 2016

Bringing people together across our 1.2 million square mile region (Alaska is really big!) for several days of learning, making it worth their time and money, juggling competing priorities for different types of participants, session proposals, meal preferences and our own goals is always an exciting challenge. I've been planning our conferences for 10 years and every year is different, whether it's the twist of an anniversary celebration or an untested location or a series of five Local Matters convenings instead of one big meeting. So when I attend another organization's conference, while I appreciate being able to sit back and absorb the experience without having to constantly check on vendors, I can't help but actively take in the elements I would like to apply to our own conference. I set a new record for myself in May, attending three major conferences in as many weeks: Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, GRANTMAKERS of Oregon and Southwest Washington, and Native Americans in Philanthropy. I didn't know what I was getting into! But each convening had its own distinct flavor: frank and authentic, strong sense of place, urgency and clarity. These five elements are top of mind as our conference committee finalizes sessions for Philanthropy Northwest's 2016 conference and 40th anniversary celebration, Under One Sky in Montana this fall. more »

February 26, 2016

To celebrate my 10th year at Philanthropy Northwest, I had the opportunity to take two months away from the office to reflect and recalibrate. As word got out about my eight-week leave, plenty of advice followed. Write! Travel! Do something! Do nothing! My research also found that, while extended leaves are becoming more common among environmental nonprofits, they're still unusual for most nonprofit and philanthropy organizations. In a sector filled with individuals who give so much of themselves in service to others, I wonder, does it make us feel selfish or guilty to take care of ourselves? more »