Member Guest Blog: Strengthening Our Global Donors Network in the Pacific Northwest

The popularity of microfinance programs has increased dramatically in recent years, with international funders investing hundreds of millions of dollars. Yet, many question the extent to which microfinance programs help alleviate poverty? One of Friday’s workshops at the Pacific Northwest Global Donors Conference will take a critical look at microfinance programs as a tool for addressing poverty. What do we know about the effectiveness of these programs from a poverty alleviation perspective, and how can funders find projects that are effective in reaching this goal?

The April 1-2 gathering is the second annual Global Donors Conference, designed to bring together Northwest grantmakers and philanthropists active and/or curious about global philanthropy. The conference program includes two days of informative and engaging sessions on how climate change affects donor strategies, what’s new in technology for development, corporate-NGO collaboration, food solutions for people and the planet, approaches to igniting the power of young people, pathways for strategic giving, getting real on evaluation, and much more. 

Greg Carr—Idaho native, high-tech pioneer of voicemail, co-founder of Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights, and global philanthropist whose $40 million commitment to Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique has been profiled in The New Yorker, Smithsonian, and Outside—will deliver the keynote address on Friday.  And Margaret Larson—host of New Day Northwest on KING-5, former NBC foreign correspondent, and communications consultant for international nonprofit organizations including World VisionMercy CorpsPATH and Global Partnerships—will close the conference on Saturday.

If you haven’t already, check out the agenda at and register today. The conference will be an excellent opportunity to learn more about international issues and effective grantmaking practices as well as network with others engaged in global giving.

-submitted by the Henry M. Jackson Foundation