Momentum Fellows

Learning Alongside Each Other: Momentum Fellows Reflect on Philanthropy, Equity and Leadership

09/23/2019

Mijounga Chang, Zeeba Khalili, Denise Luk, Ami Patel, Tonisha Toler and Lauren Waudé | Guest Contributors | The Momentum Fellowship Program, hosted by Philanthropy Northwest, provides opportunities for individuals from communities underrepresented in philanthropy, particularly communities of color, to join the philanthropic field. The program, which is designed primarily as a professional development experience, offers individuals a robust learning opportunity through a full-time position at a foundation and a suite of activities coordinated by Philanthropy Northwest including executive coaching, leadership development opportunities and access to a cohort with peer fellows from other participating foundations in the Pacific Northwest. more »

Personal Reflections From My Visit to Minidoka

11/07/2018

Lauren Mariko Waudé, Guest Contributor | I grew up with stories of my family just trying to maintain as much a sense of community as possible, and I can feel that when walking along the baseball field or stepping into the fire stations at Minidoka. Scanning photos of the makeshift holiday celebrations and the community gardens, knowing how my family had to completely rebuild their lives after leaving the camps, the resiliency of the Japanese American community is not lost on me. more »

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With New Grants, Whatcom Community Foundation #GivesThanks for Connection and Neighborliness

11/21/2017

Alena Feeney, Momentum Fellow, Whatcom Community Foundation | Neighborliness fuels our mission as a community foundation. It also inspired us to lean into strengthening connections in our community through a small grants program called Project Neighborly, which seeks to catalyze inclusion, encourage collaboration, and inspire convesation with neighbors that might not ordinarily have the chance to connect. more »

Introducing Our Cohort II Momentum Fellows

09/25/2017

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 »

Introducing Our 2017 Momentum Fellowship Host Foundations

03/06/2017

Maya Thornell-Sandifor, Learning Strategy Director | The Momentum Fellowship is designed to prepare professionals from underrepresented communities, particularly communities of color, for successful careers in the philanthropic sector through professional development, networking and mentoring opportunities. We're excited to announce that our next cohort of Momentum Fellows will be placed at seven foundations across the Northwest: Marguerite Casey Foundation, The Collins Foundation, Empire Health Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, Rasmuson Foundation, Whatcom Community Foundation and Women's Foundation of Oregon. more »

What We Can Do About Environmental Philanthropy's White Privilege

10/24/2016

Marcelo Bonta, Momentum Fellow | Environmental philanthropy has a big problem. It’s not our lack of racial diversity, especially at the executive and trustee level. It’s not the lack of funding directed towards organizations led by people of color. It’s not the lack of funding for diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, despite many foundations now talking about it. It’s not the lack of investment in established leaders of color and a professional pipeline for emerging leaders of color. It’s not the underfunding of general support and capacity-building. It’s not the assumption that people of color don’t care about the environment; it’s not the lack of acknowledgement that people of color support environmental issues at higher rates than whites. It’s not the hiring of average white men instead of overqualified people of color. All those are simply the byproducts of the big problem: white privilege. And until environmental philanthropy acknowledges and successfully addresses its white privilege, sadly, our planet will continue to suffer. more »

Swimming With the Funders

10/11/2016

Kesley Potdevin, Momentum Fellow | “Hi! I’m a member of Glacier Swim Club. I’m collecting pledges for our annual Aqualaps fundraiser. This year, I’m swimming 200 laps. You can make a lump sum or pledge a certain amount per lap to support the team. If you pledge 1 cent a lap, you'll donate $2, if you pledge 5 cents a lap, you'll donate $10, if you pledge 10 cents a lap, you'll donate $20.” A few weeks ago, this fundraising spiel suddenly popped back into head after a 12-year absence. I had just accepted a position as a program associate of grants and impact at The Alaska Community Foundation after two years at Rasmuson Foundation, most recently as one of Philanthropy Northwest's Momentum Fellows. While I knew aspects of my job would be similar — helping disperse grant money around Alaska — the process would be dramatically different as I shifted from a private foundation to a community one. But it turns out that all those years of fundraising for my youth swim team had sneakily taught me about nonprofits, long before I knew anything about grants strategies and governance structures. more »

Virtual Roundtable: Momentum Fellowship CEOs

07/19/2016

Our "virtual roundtable" interviews feature a group of leaders from across our network who work on a common issue area, illuminating the diversity of place-based approaches to the shared topic. We kicked this series off in February with the CEOs of five healthcare conversion foundations, then continued in March with the Pacific Northwest's seven statewide nonprofit associations, April with four arts funders, May with five rural funders, and June with four philanthropic banks. For July, we interviewed five CEOs of foundations supporting our Momentum Fellowship, a leadership program designed to expand our sector's diversity, equity and inclusion. more »

Shifting the Balance for Grassroots Funding

07/18/2016

Janelle Choi, Momentum Fellow | How do you measure the growth of the human spirit and the empowerment of formerly isolated and frightened communities? What numbers can quantify this, when so much of the work is relational and transformational, rather than transactional? How do you flip the dynamic so that communities can set their own processes and agendas on the issues that matter most to them, rather than dictating those initiatives from the funding side? After years of working with brutally oppressed ethnic groups in Myanmar, I am learning a tremendous amount about grassroots organizing infrastructure as Marguerite Casey Foundation's program fellow through Philanthropy Northwest's Momentum Fellowship. Similar to what I experienced in southeast Asia, grassroots organizations in rural America are seriously underfunded, yet staffed by some of the most committed and courageous people I’ve met. more »

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