Giving Compass' Take:

• David Bley, Director of the Pacific Northwest division of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, shares lessons and stories highlighting important partnerships that lead to successful community philanthropy. 

• What are the main differences of community philanthropy and other types? What is a little more nuanced about this kind of impact-giving?

• Read about the blend of family and community philanthropy who prioritize creating neighborhood spaces. 

Community is not merely a geographical place, it is the bonds, shared values, history, and sense of belonging that allows us to make meaning with each other.

In the Pacific Northwest, our casual attire, our avid recycling, and our favorite sports teams build community — as does our bedrock commitment to inclusion, equity, and innovation.

With a pioneering spirit, the people of Washington have always looked to the future with a sense of possibility. At the same time, we recognize that economic and social progress have not benefited everyone equally — we must reckon with a history of discriminatory laws, beliefs, and actions that excluded certain groups.

It is more evident than ever that when solutions are developed by the community and for the community, rooted in authentic relationships with the people most affected, they are more likely to be successful and sustainable. The most profound responsibility of our work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is to help build community capacity to solve tough problems.

That sense of responsibility to the community propels our Building Community Philanthropy (BCP) partnership with Philanthropy Northwest, launched in 2012, which empowers a network of local philanthropy organizations across Washington State.

Philanthropy Northwest oversees the coordination and convening of this network, which collectively reaches 90 percent of high-poverty areas in our state. Over the years of working together, we’ve learned how to better listen and engage with nonprofit grantees, and tap into the experience and wisdom of the communities they serve.

Truly engaged community efforts create a ripple effect of inspiration and empowerment — a cycle of prosperity that benefits us all. That’s a community legacy that makes me proud to be a Washingtonian.

Read the full article about community philanthropy by David Bley at Medium.