NAO Update: January 12, 2021

With the impacts of the violent attempt last week to stop the counting of the electoral college votes on Capitol Hill last week still reverberating across the nation, we know that many of you are balancing your feelings about that event and the necessary work you have ahead of you in 2021 for your nonprofit. It is a time when we all had hoped to put 2020 in the past and were optimistic for 2021 being better. We can now see that the difficulties and challenges of 2020 including the Coronavirus, the economic downturn, the awakening to racial injustice, and the impacts of a divided and divisive political landscape are still with us. 2021 may be as tough a year as 2020. We should continue to be optimistic, but also be preparing ourselves for the work we’ll all be doing this year. Part of that work includes creating opportunities for dialogue and discourse on the issues shaping our communities. This is a place where the nonprofit sector excels.

Over the past week, we received quite a few comments about our denunciation of the violence insurrection that was perpetrated against our democracy. Some of that feedback was in support of our message and some were vehemently opposed. We stand by our denunciation and also hold out our hand to try to understand the point of view of those who disagree with us. We believe that charitable nonprofits, as non-governmental organizations, are champions of democracy both here in America and abroad. We serve as an expression of the right to assemble peacefully to solve community problems and even redress grievance with our elected officials. We also serve as safe havens for people to gather away from what has become toxic partisanship and concentrate instead on the important work of addressing community needs.

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NAO Update: January 7, 2021

Yesterday was a sad day for our country as violence unfolded at the U.S. Capitol and we witnessed an attack on America’s democracy. 

NAO, along with our nonprofit colleagues from around the country, strongly condemns this violence. We are united in opposition to the forces that seek to disrupt the peaceful and lawful transition of our government. 

Below is the statement NAO released yesterday:  

“NAO condemns the ongoing violence unfolding at the U.S. Capitol. We stand for the peaceful transition of our government based on the election results of our democracy. We have every confidence that democracy and justice in our civil society will prevail.”

NAO firmly believes in peaceful protests and gatherings to make our voices heard. In a democracy, disagreement is natural and debate is healthy. However, violence is unacceptable and jeopardizes public safety, puts people’s lives at risk, and is in opposition to our nation’s shared value of accepting and honoring the democratic tradition of electing our leaders and following a peaceful transition of political power.

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NAO Update: January 5, 2021

Happy New Year! I hope that you had some time to relax and reflect over the holidays and that the new year has started off well for you.

The team here at NAO has been working hard to curate a selection of learning and convening events for the development of you and your team. 

At NAO we believe that investments in leadership development and capacity building are crucial to the effectiveness, adaptability, and resilience of Oregon nonprofit leaders, organizations, networks, and the sector as a whole. Through programming that prioritizes adult learning for your leadership growth, NAO supports both new and experienced nonprofit leaders. Guided by our Learning Strategy, we have planned a selection of events and nonprofit learning cohorts for the next few months designed to grow your capacity to achieve organizational missions, collaborate strategically, and create lasting impact in Oregon communities.

I hope you’ll take a look at these upcoming sessions and find the ones that are the best fit for you and your team. 

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NAO Update: December 29, 2020

Last week we thought our NAO Update would be the last of the year, but alas, politics in America knows no boundaries and certainly not timelines.

We were happy to report last week that Congress passed the $900 billion COVID-19 relief package bringing some significant relief to families, communities, nonprofits, and businesses reeling from the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. On Sunday evening, President Trump signed the bill into law. This was a turn-about from last Tuesday when the President unexpectedly slammed the COVID stimulus legislation but stopped short of saying he would veto it. The message upended Washington, D.C., drew bipartisan condemnation, and threatened to end a chaotic year with a government shutdown.

In criticizing the bill, the President demanded that the $600 relief stimulus checks included in the bill be raised to $2,000 for Americans weathering the coronavirus pandemic. House Democrats were quick to respond on Monday by approving the standalone Caring for Americans with Supplemental Help (CASH) Act giving $2,000 in the stimulus checks.

The measure will now head to the Republican-controlled Senate where its future remains unclear. Senate Republicans have for months stressed over increased government spending and are likely to oppose the measure despite the President’s demands and the House passed CASH Act.

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NAO Update: December 22, 2020

It is nice to close out 2020 with some final good news for you all from both the federal and state government. As you wind down what has been undeniably a year like no other, I hope that you all take pride in the role that you, your nonprofit, and the network that you are a part of has done to live your values. As nonprofit leaders, you have done so much good for so many at a time when there were so many challenges. Thank you for what you do.

I hope that you will get some rest and the possibility to connect safely with friends and family during the holidays. Here is a heartfelt wish that 2021 will be better for us all.

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NAO Update: December 17, 2020

Congressional leaders are finalizing the terms of a COVID relief deal as I write this. Networked with thousands of nonprofits across America through our colleague state associations and in coordination with national nonprofit leadership coalitions, we are focusing collectively to make urgent requests of Congress for the three priorities below. We recognize that we’ll have the opportunity in the new year to push for our other big-issue items. Please act now, so that they hear your voices! 

As we push strongly for Congressional leaders to do the right thing in the COVID relief bill, the outcome of which will be critically important for nonprofits as we finish out 2020 and look ahead to 2021, I want to share that NAO has just dropped the latest episode of our The Public Space podcast. The topic is “Recapping 2020 and Looking Ahead to 2021” and I partner with Jenn Clemo, Executive Director of the Center for Nonprofit Stewardship and soon-to-be NAO's Director of Nonprofit Leadership and Resources. Jenn and I together recap 2020 and discuss why and how we took the bold step of combining our organizations this year. We also look at what factors and influences will shape the nonprofit sector’s landscape in 2021 and how nonprofits can approach the new year. I am excited to be working alongside Jenn and Jess Hampton who also is joining the NAO Team from CNS. They are continuing their fantastic work in service to Oregon nonprofits! Be sure to check out NAO’s latest episode – subscribe to The Public Space today wherever you get your podcasts.

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NAO Update: December 08, 2020

I hope that your year-end fundraising is going well and that communities across Oregon are showing the care and respect they have for your hard work through their generosity.

As you may know, in response to COVID-19 and with generous support from funders and sponsors, NAO pivoted our programming to web-based learning and convening sessions back in March. Those funding contributions allowed us to provide all workshops and webinars free of charge. Throughout our response to the pandemic and the ensuing economic downturn, we have strived to offer quality programming that addresses the specific challenges that nonprofits across the state have faced in 2020.

As we look forward to 2021, our commitment to the same level of quality programming and support to your missions remains. We know that nonprofits play a crucial role in the vitality of our communities and we are determined to provide affordable offerings in the coming year.

Beginning in January 2021, we return to a nominal charge for our webinars and invite you to continue to take advantage of these programs. You can see a preliminary list of what we have coming up in January below. We have set the rate at $15/each for NAO members and $30/each for non-members (what we call yet-to-be-members!). We hope that you will support us as we work to meet your need for timely information and professional development programs. Recordings of offerings related to COVID-19 response and economic downturn will remain on our website for your use and review.

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