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Paul G. Allen Family Foundation: Impact Report 2021

January 31, 2022

Without question, it has been another challenging year. In 2021, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation continued to respond to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, while also managing its robust conservation and ocean health portfolio and supporting new arts and culture projects in the Pacific Northwest.During the rollercoaster of the pandemic, we focused on the needs of our neighbors, particularly underserved communities in our region. This geographic focus enabled deeper and more impactful efforts. We also operated with increased flexibility as emergency situations demanded; given the rapidly evolving nature of the pandemic, we provided trusted partners who have strong roots in communities with greater freedom and flexibility, allowing them to respond to new challenges more quickly.Similarly, we have seen the benefits of grants that support and place trust in Indigenous communities, who are the best stewards of our planet. We also reinforced the power of collaboration – for both funding and knowledge sharing. Tackling formidable challenges requires true partnership with like-minded organizations because working together we can move the impact needle further and faster than just working solo.Building on the work we covered in the 2020 Decade of Impact Report, we remain inspired by our grantees and partners across the Pacific Northwest and around the globe and remain optimistic about the future. The report that follows highlights some of the progress we have seen this year and offers a preview of some of what is to come.

Disrupting Poverty: Coming Together to Build Financial Security for Individuals and Communities

March 1, 2014

Despite the efforts of many groups and partners working to alleviate poverty, national trends concerning wealth are disconcerting because they appear to be moving in the wrong direction. For example, according to The Urban Institute, approximately 30 percent of American households live from paycheck to paycheck, without an adequate financial safety net. The Pew Research Center has found that disparities in wealth between Native populations and white populations are pronounced, while wealth gaps between white households and households of other races and ethnicities are widening.This report highlights organizations that are reversing these trends. We examine six projects that are taking bold approaches to solve one of the biggest challenges in our country today: disrupting poverty by building financial security. The report highlights lessons and best practices gleaned from our examination of a variety of projects that we and other foundations support. We expect that this information can help practitioners and funders as they look for opportunities to stregthn financial security and foster wealth-building initiatives across the country

Bright Spots Leadership in the Pacific Northwest

February 1, 2012

The operating environment for nonprofit cultural organizations today is daunting. Demographic shifts, changing participation patterns, evolving technology, increased competition for consumer attention, rising costs of doing business, shifts in the philanthropic sector and public funding, and the lingering recession form a stew of change and uncertainty. Every cultural organization is experiencing a combination of these shifts, each in its own way. Yet, while some organizations are struggling in this changing context, others are managing to stay healthy and dynamic while operating under the same conditions as their peers. These groups are observable exceptions, recognized by their peers as achieving success outside the norm in their artistic program, their engagement of community, and/or their financial stability. These are the "bright spots" of the cultural sector.Who are they? What are they doing differently? What can we learn by studying their behavior?To explore these questions, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation asked Helicon Collaborative to conduct a study of cultural groups in the Pacific Northwest. The project had two goals: 1) to identify "bright spots," defined as cultural organizations that are successfully adapting to their changing circumstances without exceptional resources, and 2) to see if these organizations share characteristics or strategies that can be replicated by others.