Kevin F. WalkerView Posts by Contributor

Sometimes small grants can have surprisingly large effects, and advance your mission with unexpected potency. Case in point: the Northwest Area Foundation made a $50,000 grant to support the work of the Growing Transit Communities partnership in the Central Puget Sound Region. Planners needed funds to analyze areas of opportunity and access in Seattle. They [...]

I spent the first day of spring 2013 fast-walking Capitol Hill with foundation colleagues from all across the country. Hundreds of us were there for Foundations on the Hill, philanthropy’s annual push to remind lawmakers why giving matters.
In brief encounters with our elected officials and their staffs, we tried to connect the dots between their [...]

On one of the most storied streets in urban Native America, you can see a dynamic future taking shape. Colorful banners along Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis proclaim the only Native American urban business district in the country. Established in 2010, the American Indian Cultural Corridor features five Native-owned businesses, including a [...]

When the mainstream media pay attention to Native American communities at all, they most often tell stories of trauma and tragedy. There is truth in many of those stories, of course, but we at Northwest Area Foundation see a different reality that also is true. When we meet with people on [...]

If I were challenged to list the imperatives facing foundations, here’s where I’d start:

Take smart risks.
Commit for the long haul to the issues at the core of our missions.
Engage grantees and communities in relationships of mutual respect.
Seek sustainable change for the better, not quick fixes.
Learn as we go, adapt [...]



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