Philanthropy Northwest


Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2018):

Revenue: $4,660,059
Expenses: $8,046,032
Assets: $7,557,993

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Philanthropy Northwest is a network of charitable organizations that promotes left-of-center causes in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. The network receives funding through both government grants and donations from corporations including Microsoft, Boeing, and JP Morgan Chase. The philanthropic consulting organization Arabella Advisors, which manages four major nonprofits that promote left-of-center initiatives, is a dues-paying member of the Philanthropy Northwest network.1 Other members include the Marguerite Casey Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, prominent left-of-center donor organizations.2

In February 2021, President Joe Biden nominated Philanthropy Northwest CEO Kiran Ahuja to serve as the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which manages the federal government’s civilian employees.3 In April 2021, the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee advanced her nomination with a 7 to 5 committee vote. Ahuja did not receive the support of any Republicans on the committee.4


According to Philanthropy Northwest, the philanthropy sector in the Pacific Northwest started growing in the late 1970s due to major corporations such as Microsoft and Boeing, which began promoting philanthropic activity in the region. Philanthropy Northwest was founded in 1976 and was originally known as the Pacific Northwest Grantmakers Forum. Philanthropy Northwest adopted its current name in 2000.5


“Strengthening Philanthropy” is a Philanthropy Northwest project to boost the impact of left-of-center grantmaking organizations. The organization offers resources and training on how companies can make profitable investments in nonprofit organizations to advance left-of-center causes. The organization also connects its member organizations with causes in need of funding and other nonprofits. Philanthropy Northwest claims that members of its network make up nearly half the charity resources in the region.6

In 2008, Philanthropy Northwest launched the Mission Investors Exchange, a separate network of foundations to promote left-of-center “impact investing.” In 2016, Philanthropy Northwest ended its fiscal sponsorship of Mission Investors Exchange and awarded it a grant of more than $590,000 to support its transition to an independent organization.78 Since then, Mission Investors Exchange has promoted far-left policy on race, including calling for the elimination of any policies or societal norms which may result in disparate outcomes for people of different races. The organization also promised to start selecting its board members partly on the basis of race.9

Philanthropy Northwest also runs the “Racial Equity Speaker Series.” In 2018, the organization invited far-left racial-issues scholar Ibram X. Kendi, who claims that all racial disparities are the fault of policies and institutions and argues that any policy that creates disparate racial outcomes is racist, as a speaker.10

In 2019, Philanthropy Northwest distributed more than a dozen grants between $10,000 and $80,000 to local left-of-center groups in order to support their efforts to boost participation in the decennial U.S. Census.11


Kiran Ahuja is the chief executive officer of Philanthropy Northwest pending her nomination to head the Office of Personnel Management in the Biden administration. Ahuja was the OPM Chief of Staff under President Barack Obama. She also oversaw the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.12

During the race protests and riots during the summer of 2020, Ahuja wrote a statement on behalf of Philanthropy Northwest. The statement claimed that the United States is a fundamentally racist country and cited an article by Ibram X. Kendi, which claimed that government policies that do not discriminate based on race but result in disparate outcomes are still racist. Ahuja instructed readers to donate money to the Black Lives Matter movement and to bail funds for rioters who had been arrested. Ahuja also pressured readers to identify an “Accountability Person” who would remind them of their own supposed “complicity” in creating disparate outcomes based on race.13

Mares Asfaha is a senior manager for programs at Philanthropy Northwest. She previously worked for the left-of-center Economic Opportunity Institute.14

JulieAnne Behar is a senior manager for programs at Philanthropy Northwest. She previously worked as a grant manager at the left-of-center Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where she oversaw global vaccination and domestic education initiatives.15


Prior to 2014, Philanthropy Northwest averaged less than $3 million per year in donations and received just over $3 million in 2014. In 2015, this increased to just over $6.7 million and increased further to more than $10.8 million in 2016. Since then, donations have declined significantly and in 2018, the organization once again received less than $3 million in contributions.16


  1. James Varney. “Racial justice activist Kiran Ahuja set to run OPM with likely Senate confirmation.” Washington Times. April 27, 2021. Accessed April 29, 2021.
  2. Our Members. Philanthropy Northwest. Accessed April 29, 2021.
  3. “President Biden Announces Key Nominee for the Office of Personnel Management.” February 23, 2021. Accessed April 29, 2021.
  4.        Nicole Ogrysko. “Senate committee advances Ahuja’s nomination for OPM director.” Federal News Network. April 29, 2021. Accessed April 29, 2021.
  5. “Our Mission & Vision.” Philanthropy Northwest. Accessed April 29, 2021.
  6.   Strengthening Philanthropy. Philanthropy Northwest. Accessed April 29, 2021.
  7. “Mission Investors Exchange Names Social Innovation Leader Matt Onek as CEO.” Philanthropy Northwest. September 10, 2015. Accessed April 29, 2021.
  8. Philanthropy Northwest. IRS Form 990. 2016. Accessed April 29, 2021.
  9. “Our Commitment to Racial Justice.” Mission Investors Exchange. Accessed April 29, 2021.
  10. “Racial Equity Speaker Series.” Philanthropy Northwest. Accessed April 29, 2021.
  11. Philanthropy Northwest. IRS Form 990. 2019. Accessed April 29, 2021.
  12.     Kiran Ahuja. Philanthropy Northwest. Archived from the original August 5, 2020. Accessed May 10, 2021.
  13.   “Building an Anti-Racist Future.” Philanthropy Northwest. June 3, 2020. Accessed April 29, 2021.
  14. Mares Asfaha. Philanthropy Northwest. Accessed April 29, 2021.
  15. JulieAnne Behar. Philanthropy Northwest. Accessed April 29, 2021.
  16. Philanthropy Northwest. ProPublica. Accessed April 29, 2021.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: February 1, 1982

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2018 Dec Form 990 $4,660,059 $8,046,032 $7,557,993 $727,240 Y $2,917,472 $1,711,744 $30,843 $495,126 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $5,171,744 $6,319,938 $10,890,128 $546,362 N $3,331,438 $1,833,132 $11,635 $329,306
    2016 Dec Form 990 $12,349,945 $7,360,351 $11,901,463 $409,503 N $10,823,689 $1,560,282 $9,902 $170,957
    2015 Dec Form 990 $8,416,143 $5,134,643 $7,299,498 $797,132 N $6,712,793 $1,696,680 $9,168 $179,647 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $4,664,048 $4,139,512 $3,995,019 $699,154 N $3,038,200 $1,618,701 $8,982 $181,160 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $3,319,966 $3,377,742 $3,323,946 $552,617 N $2,169,405 $1,142,201 $8,360 $156,422 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $3,275,657 $2,690,184 $3,099,699 $270,594 N $2,450,999 $801,419 $8,764 $143,149 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $2,747,274 $2,152,849 $2,541,095 $297,463 N $2,151,062 $564,501 $9,101 $129,416 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)