I was at the Pacific Northwest Global Donors Conference, Pathways for Strategic Giving in Seattle on March 19th and 20th. The conference was the first-of-its-kind in the region and brought together donors and grant-makers in the Seattle-area that were interested in global giving. On Friday evening, Kavita Ramdas, President and CEO of Global Fund for Women opened the event and Bill Gates Sr., Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, provided the closing address on Saturday afternoon.
I was sending tweets out along with Peter Drury (@seattledrury), Tysen Gannon (@tyseng), and a volunteer from the conference (@PNWGlobalDonor). You can find all the tweets under the hashtag #pnwdgc. Here are a few highlights:
@PNWGlobalDonor: PNW Fdts and corps gave $3.1 billion for international work in 2008
@tyseng Excellent start to #pnwgdc @kramdas talking about the power of small grants, taking risks in making them, and taking a stand on funding arms
@PNWGlobalDonor: Bill Clapp: Seattle will soon be the center of international grantmaking and will have an incredible impact on the world
@asiangiving: Erik Schultz of Arthur B Schultz Fdtn; funds to support women to buy prods for biz, women repays by giving charitable prod/service
@seattledrury: Fascinated by this: Arthur B Schultz foundation’s “pay it forward” approach to #philanthropy & #socent re #smallbiz loans
@asiangiving: Gates FSP strategy: Local deposits can be sustainable source of cap for on-lending; build on top of an e-payment system
@asiangiving: Suggested reading: Portfolios of the Poor for those interested in microfinance
@asiangiving: Observation: Besides Schultz Fdtn’s work in Vietnam, very little conversation from speakers about work in Asia at conf, HT include?
@seattledrury: Nikhil Aziz quotes FM Lappe: “Hunger is not caused by shortage of food, but a shortage of democracy”
@asiangiving: Mary Kay Gugerty: program evaluation- what constitutes evidence? Randomized way of evaluation. Without regard to local nuances
@asiangiving: Interesting: you can turn qualitative data into quantitative data but can’t do the reverse
@asiangiving: Easy to report outputs but difficult to report outcomes: what happened as a result of the project? How do you know that?
@seattledrury: Anuradha Mittal notes that in the US we have more people behind bars than working on farms
@asiangiving: Bill Gates Sr: Knowledge is not a finite resource, neither is compassion
@PNWGlobalDonor: Bill Gates Sr: “there is nothing we did in building the gates foundation that YOU cannot do. We read, we traveled, we got advice”
@asiangiving: Bill Gates Sr mentions Give2Asia!
@tyseng: Major takeaway: donors sml and lrg should find their mission, take risks and make their change. Great global causes in our backyard.