Frequently Asked Questions

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

Washington state boasts a large number of nonprofit organizations, foundations, businesses, academic institutions and corporations that are actively engaged in improving the economic, social and environmental conditions of the world’s poor. 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.

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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:

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How did Global Washington get started?

In Fall 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 resources within the state of Washington that contribute to global development work. The first year  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 through the course of this work that there was an emerging global development sector in the state of Washington. In Summer 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.

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Who are the key stakeholders of Global Washington?

Global Washington’s original founding partners were 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. Today, Global Washington has over 165 organizational members, which include the state’s leading companies, NGOs, foundations and universities. In addition, GlobalWA has close to 100 individual supporters, known as ambassadors.

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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, 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.

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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.

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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.

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What is the governance structure?

Global Washington gains strategic direction from its Board of Directors, in consultation with the Executive Director. We look forward to smart input from members, and guidance in our strategic vision as we grow.

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How do I decide at what level to join?

Please take a look at the benefits offered with each level of membership. If you still are having difficulty making a determination about where you or your organization fits, please contact us. We would be happy to help you determine the level that works best for you or your organization based on your needs. View the Member Benefits page.

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