Frequently Asked Questions

Why is a membership organization needed for the global development sector?

Washington boasts a large number of non-profit organizations, foundations, businesses, academic institutions and corporations actively engaged in improving the economic, social and environmental conditions of the world’s poorest people. The programs and services offered by these diverse organizations contribute significantly to meeting challenging development needs around the world and include: direct service delivery, capacity building, education and training, research, advocacy, product development, corporate citizenship and philanthropy.  However, many barriers to cooperation remain. Too often, organizations dedicated to global development lack the support they need to benefit from the advantages they share by being co-located in the state of Washington. Global Washington has been established to fill this need.

Return to top

What can be accomplished with the help of Global Washington that we cannot accomplish with the resources we already have?

Global Washington is a catalyst for strengthening the global development sector and its member organizations by leveraging resources, increasing visibility, sharing best practices, convening the sector by country, issue and organization type, and advocating around education, global engagement and foreign policy.

As a member of Global Washington you and your organization can:

  • Participate in events designed to help you connect with peers and learn from some of the most successful models and best practices from our region
  • Promote global development activities linked to Washington
  • Share information about and gain visibility for your work
  • Access a centralized repository of information, a clearinghouse and a home base for the diverse groups engaged in global development
  • Enhance community education around global development
  • Benefit from being a part of a network within the state of Washington, where innovation, entrepreneurialism and compassion are shared values

Return to top

How did Global Washington get started?

In the fall of 2006, conversations began between a small group of key stakeholders at the University of Washington, Seattle International Foundation, and Washington State University. These conversations centered on all of the resources within the state of Washington that contribute to global development work. The first year of the effort concentrated on doing research and bringing together experts and practitioners to examine the state of global development, particularly clustered around the issue areas of health, economic development & poverty alleviation, the environment and global learning.

It became clear in the course of this work that there was an emerging global development sector in the state of Washington. In the summer of 2007, Global Washington held a forum which brought together stakeholders from across issue areas and sectors to discuss an action plan to move the sector forward. One of the outcomes mandated by the forum was the formal organization of the sector through the membership organization now known as Global Washington.

Return to top

Who are the key stakeholders of Global Washington?

Global Washington’s original founding partners were The Seattle International Foundation, University of Washington, and Washington State University. Our stakeholders quickly grew to include leadership from Boeing, Microsoft, the Gates Foundation, Laird Norton Company, the Trade Development Alliance, World Affairs Council, Starbucks, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Philanthropy Northwest, and PATH.  Our sponsors include the Seattle International Foundation, the University of Washington, Washington State University, Boeing, Microsoft, Laird Norton, the Gates Foundation, the Center for Global Studies at the UW’s Henry M. Jackson School at of International Studies, PATH and enterpriseSeattle.

Ultimately, we hope that all of the non-profits, businesses and academic institutions based in the state of Washington and linked to global development activities across the issues of global health, poverty alleviation and the environment will become our members and the stakeholders to whom we are accountable.

Return to top

How is Global Washington different from other groups already doing this work, such as the World Affairs Council?

Global Washington recognizes that there are a variety of effective organizations already working in the region on issues and topics related to global development. We have no desire to duplicate their work or compete with them. In fact, we enjoy reciprocal memberships with most. Organizations like the Trade Development Alliance get the message out about international trade – we share that message with the broader community, and ensure that the global development industry is represented in their message. We partner with the World Affairs Council to share wonderful speakers and events with Washington, and help them gain further exposure for their international visitors. While the World Affairs Council works directly with training our state’s teachers on global issues, our global education and engagement work takes place at the level of policy and outreach. Global Washington welcomes collaboration and information-sharing with any organization interested in the global development industry.

Return to top

Why should we invest significant staff time and resources into being a member?

Global Washington’s members invest varying amounts of staff time and resources into the organization, depending on their goals and interests. Some members regularly send staff to professional development events and workshops and directly benefit from expertise from across the industry. Some members will rely on Global Washington to advance the visibility of the industry as a whole, but gain professional development through other means. Many organizations fall in between. Whether you choose to have your staff become directly involved in the strategic directions Global Washington pursues, or you just choose to support the movement, Global Washington has something for you.

Return to top

How can I get more involved in Global Washington? What opportunities will members have for leading the organization?

Global Washington is driven by the input and direction of its members. Each of our member’s ideas is valued. As part of our annual conference as well as during a quarterly review, Global Washington solicits and incorporates feedback and input from every one of our members.

Return to top

What is the governance structure?

Global Washington gains its strategic direction from our executive director, in consultation with our members, the executive committee and the steering committee. We look forward to input from our members, and help in forming our strategic vision as we move forward.

Return to top

How do I decide at what level to join?

Please take a look at the member benefit information, as well as the descriptions of the various levels within the advocate, supporting and leadership member categories. If you still are having difficulty making a determination about where you or your organization fit, please contact Global Washington. We would be happy to help you determine the level that works best for you or your organization. View the Member Benefits page.

Return to top