NAO has created an Oregon Wildfire Response Resources page with curated resources to help you and your organizations navigate these difficult times.

NAO is proud to launch The Public Space with Episode 1. In this episode Steve Patty, Founder of Dialogues in Action, joins NAO’s Lilisa Hall to discuss tangible ways to effectively lead and motivate during a crisis. How do leaders successfully navigate difficult times? And more importantly, how should they? Given the many crises of 2020 – COVID-19, racial injustice, and the wildfires – Episode 1: How to Lead Through a Crisis covers how we can lead, the importance of support structures, and actionable steps we can take during a crisis. Tune in here to listen!


NAO Update: September 24, 2020

We just got word that on Tuesday, President Trump signed an Executive Order titled Combatting Race and Sex Stereotyping. Sadly, the executive order is filled with politically charged language that will divide, confuse and enrage, racial and gender equity in America, rather than heal, clarify and unite us. The President said on Twitter on Tuesday that he had expanded the ban on "efforts to indoctrinate government employees with divisive and harmful sex and race-based ideologies" to contractors doing business with the federal government and those receiving grant funds.

NAO stands firmly with our partners in Oregon and across the U.S. in condemning this type of divisive order. We are working with our state association colleagues and national organizations to get an interpretation on how this order may impact current grants or contracts that originate with Federal dollars, including the Coronavirus Relief Funds. Our colleagues at Nonprofit New York passed along one early legal interpretation by Littler which states: "Based on the language of the executive order, it appears that its requirements will not apply by operation of law but only apply to an employer upon entering into a contract that includes the relevant provisions. Therefore, it seems likely that existing federal contractors and subcontractors will not be subject to the new requirements unless they enter into a new or amended contact."

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NAO Update: September 22, 2020

It’s the first day of fall and while we are still reeling from fire impacts and the on-going Coronavirus pandemic, our nonprofit sector remains resilient, strong and responding to community needs. Nonprofits from across the state are hurting from their own economic and COVID-related restrictions, yet they are still finding solutions, supporting their missions and bolstering individuals and families that need help. We are proud to be engaged with so many of you doing such amazing work! Thank you!

In response to the evolving challenges that many of you are facing, we have been working hard to get the right information and webinars and resources set up for you. You can see a full listing of programs we are producing as well as those from partners like QuickBooks, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Oregon Office of Emergency Management Office.

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NAO Update: September 17, 2020

Wildfires continue to burn across our beautiful state and smoke continues to shroud much of western and southern Oregon. We are all praying that the rains forecast to start this evening will give a reprieve to the firefighters and to so many impacted by this devastation.

Nonprofits across our state continue to provide the thousands that have been displaced with needed shelter, food, and medical services. The work to support these families and communities has only begun and we know that they will rely on your nonprofits for months and even years to come as they assess, grieve, recover, and rebuild. NAO has reached out to our colleagues in California and Washington who are also dealing with these devastating fires and we are planning to bring you the best available thinking and resources on how nonprofits and philanthropy can support our communities. From the outset, we know that a robust State and Federal response will be the only means by which our fire-impacted communities can rebuild. It is absolutely essential that the response be well coordinated to avoid duplication of efforts and systemic inequities that will have some receiving the bulk of the support and others with nothing. Nonprofits will play a critical role in assessing needs, ensuring services are timely and adequate, and avoiding duplications.

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NAO Update: September 15, 2020

We are now well into our second week of fires raging across our state and whole communities have been displaced. An estimated 40,000 people have been evacuated and remain displaced from their homes. There are no complete estimates on damages, as the fires continue to burn in some cases with limited or no containment. In my experience in mass scale disaster events such as these, the damage to homes, properties, and businesses will undoubtedly be in the billions of dollars and the recovery and rebuilding efforts will take a decade or more.

In some heartening news yesterday, Governor Brown announced that, at her request, The Ford Family Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust and the Oregon Community Foundation have established 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund with the goal “to gather resources and plan for what comes next after the extraordinary devastation brought by wildfires across a state already reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic and consequences of racial injustice.” The fund will seek to leverage public investment with private and philanthropic investment to catalyze a rebuilding effort for a stronger Oregon. We deeply appreciate the leadership of these foundations for taking on the enormous responsibility for this rebuilding effort. As the fund has just been launched, we do not yet have information on how it will work, what criteria will be used for eligibility and other key issues that I know community members and nonprofits will be asking. We will work to get that clarity as soon as possible.

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NAO Update: September 11, 2020

The terrible fires that are raging across our state feel nothing short of cataclysmic. For most of us, these fires mean strange yellow and orange skies, and possibly some smoke blown into our communities. For nearly 500,000 of our fellow Oregonians that have either been forced to evacuate or our under threat, these fires are nothing short of tragic. Communities across our state have been shattered. From Detroit Lake, Gates and Mill City to Talent, Phoenix and Medford; along south Highway 97 near Chiloquin and east of Springfield in Blue River and Vida, communities have been devastated. Fires are raging across Clackamas and Marion counties in the Estacada, Molalla, and Colton areas. We send our heartfelt prayers and condolences to those that have lost loved ones, homes and businesses. We are aware a number of nonprofits have been seriously impacted as well and the true impact of these fires may not be known for weeks or even months.

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NAO Update: September 03, 2020

Well, it’s September and coronavirus has now been part of our lives for half a year. Like most of you, we at NAO continue to be hopeful this will be contained soon, but also planning for what could be many months of continued restrictions and programmatic impacts. Given the uncertainty of in-person gatherings and following input and feedback from 10 community focus group sessions that we convened across the state, NAO has made the decision, to hold off on convening our 20120-2021 in-person networks that we usually launch in the fall of each year. Instead, we will extend the strategy deployed in mid-March when COVID-19 restrictions were first put in place – to hold free online sessions – until such time that the State of Oregon and the Oregon Health Authority lift restrictions on in-person gatherings.

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NAO Update: August 27, 2020

Oregon is on fire. Normally, that is a statement that we like to associate with one of our favorite sports teams on a winning streak. Sadly, the fires that I’m referring to are both literal and metaphoric. With the shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha, Wisconsin police, outrage in our community of the way in which Black community members are treated are again enflamed. Yet again another Black man is shot by police. Yet again a family is needing to request of authorities an (any!) explanation of the reasons why, the training and tactics being deployed and the need for reforms. Oregonians never stopped protesting and demanding changes since the murder of George Floyd on May 25th in Minneapolis. The shooting of Jacob Blake is now added to a long list of Black Americans that have died or been shot by police. The pain and fire in our hearts can’t be extinguished until there is justice that results in systemic changes in our society. That change needs to both remove the possibility that these events continue while also creating real accountability.

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