Eddie has helped transform who we are as a foundation, how we work and how we engage with community. Eddie brings graciousness and presence to everything he does, making sure everyone feels welcome and connected to each other. Eddie also brings joviality and curiosity, is quick to laugh, is game for the mundane and the novel, and is dogged at getting resources to the communities that deserve it most! He naturally sees the ways our local funding community can work together differently to better serve community-based organizations and encourages us to work harder to build those connections.
Through The UnWind, in partnership with Kaiser Permanente Community Fund, Eddie gathered leaders from across our region to come together, build relationships and learn about sustainable practices for social change organizing.
Eddie helped build the Health & Education Fund, convening five regional funders (no small feat!) to find shared values and develop a strategy focusing on the resilience and strength of parents and families, challenging our assumptions and pushing us to learn and fund in different ways.
We hope we can carry on his approach—centering people, honoring the power of relationships and building trust through working together.
Eddie will be deeply missed. We wish him the best on his next adventures!
Q&A with Eddie
A. What are you most proud of having worked on during your time at NWHF?
Q. This a tough one to answer, because I love every aspect of my work. The Health & Education Fund, Oregon Active Schools and the Momentum Fellowship are all prime examples of how diverse and unique our work at NWHF is, but when I started working here in 2012, we used to host community dinners where I had the opportunity to engage with familiar faces and meet rising community leaders from around the state. Spending that unstructured time over a meal to learn about one another helped inspire what I think my answer is…. The UnWind. From inception to implementation, I worked with our friends/partners at Kaiser Permanente Northwest to design a people-focused investment. I am proud of the two fearless facilitators and the 19 incredible community-based organizations who understood our vision and brought this program to life. I hope they continue to support one another and teach others in our sector the importance of unwinding.
Q. What’s something you’ve learned at NWHF that you’ll carry with you?
A. Relationships matter. Go where community is. We all have conflicting personal lives that sometimes limit our ability to travel, but our team at NWHF (board and staff) often plan tirelessly to bring our foundation to people and places outside of the Portland metro area. This is something I will continue to advocate for, and if you don’t believe this is effective, check out how our grant giving and community partnerships have changed over the years.
Q. What’s something that you contributed to NWHF that you hope will continue after you’ve left?
A. Work hard and have fun. We live in a topsy-turvy world, so let’s not burn ourselves out or think we are in this alone. I hope that NWHF will continue to invite our close friends and family to visit community. Sometimes it takes a little more time and energy, but in the end we all have a shared fate, and we need to include our loved ones in sharing both the good and the tough moments in our NWHF lives.
Q. What will you miss most about NWHF?
A. Hands down, the NWHF family. I look forward to working every day, because the NWHF family extends beyond those who work here. Every day I interact with many thoughtful and hardworking leaders from community groups, philanthropy and government dedicated to making our region a better place to live for every person who calls Oregon and Southwest Washington home.
Q. What advice do you have for the philanthropic sector?
A. Nothing is set in stone, and it’s time to evolve. Don’t let made up (sometimes archaic) rules get in the way of advancing your mission. Our community partners seek strong and unapologetic leadership in the philanthropic sector. The sector needs to continue to partner with community and step up to take risks when there are opportunities to do so.
Q. What’s next?
A. Wouldn’t you like to know?
Eighteen years ago I left El Centro, California and moved to this beautiful city. That meant I had to leave behind a loving, supportive family network I miss every single day. Today, I’m still fortunate to have five generations of Moreno-Araiza’s (that’s right, my grandparents are also great-great-grandparents) excited to reconnect and spend some much-needed uninterrupted quality time together. That’s about as much as I will share for now, but if you are in the SoCal area these next few months feel free to reach out and who knows… I may have mastered my Nana’s empanada making skills by then.