Posted: September 30, 2019

Nonprofit Independence: More Important Than Ever

Letter from: Jim White, NAO Executive Director

The rain is splattering down across the state starting the greening process we all relish with the autumnal rains. It also looks like we missed a bad fire season this year (knock wood), so Happy Fall! I'm excited to have seen a great number of you in either Sunriver for the High Desert Conference or in Ontario at the Eastern Oregon Nonprofit Conference. There were great trainings and conversations at both events and lots of opportunities this fall to engage in more. NAO is kicking off our fall series of learning networks and workshops around the state and virtually through webinars. NAO strives to support all nonprofits (small, medium and large; rural and urban; staffed and all volunteer) with tailored learning opportunities and convenings for timely discussions all across the state.

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Posted: September 30, 2019

Best Practices - Fact or Myth? New Research Challenges Convention in Nonprofit Management

Thoughts from: Scott Schaffer, Principal, Public Interest Management Group and Jim White, Executive Director, Nonprofit Association of Oregon

Public Interest Management Group conducted an applied research project in partnership with the Nonprofit Association of Oregon, The Impact Foundry and 43 charitable nonprofits between 2015 and 2017. The research objective was to identify nonprofit management practices linked to organizational success. In this paper we present findings and discuss implications for nonprofit leaders, funders and capacity-builders. The results confirm some commonly-held assumptions about best nonprofit practices and challenge others. The findings further suggest that nonprofits and technical assistance efforts may be out of synch with a range of success factors. We summarize a prevailing approach employed by successful nonprofits in the study and identify important questions for further research.

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Posted: August 20, 2019

Our powerful nonprofit sector!

Letter from: Jim White, NAO Executive Director

The numbers are in and they are impressive! Each year the Oregon Employment Department crunches the number and produces an overview of employment by Oregon's nonprofit sector. The Oregon's Nonprofits in 2018 was just released last week. I have to admit that I geek out a bit on this data. Here are a few of the highlights from the report:

  • 196,300 employees work for the 9,800 staffed nonprofits in Oregon.
  • Health Care and Social Assistance is the largest nonprofit employers.
  • Nonprofits make up 11.9 percent of Oregon's private sector employment.
  • Oregon's nonprofits paid an average $51,844, just $194, or 0.4 percent below the private for-profit industries $52,038 in 2018.
  • Nonprofits reported $23.07 median hourly wage (1st quarter 2018).
  • About 22,500 rural Oregonians are employed by nonprofits.

It is important to note that for this study, the OED includes all types of nonprofits, not just 501(c)(3)s. Kudos to the team at the Oregon Employment Department, especially Nick Beleiciks and Dallas Fridley, for this important data report. The power of the nonprofit sector in economic scale and employment responsibilities is striking.

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Posted: August 20, 2019

2019-2020 NAO Learning Network Season Pass Sales!

Save on individual seats to NAO's 2019-2020 learning network season by purchasing a Season Pass! To learn more, or see a preview of each learning network topic, choose a series below: 

Interested in sponsoring an NAO network? contact lhall@nonprofitoregon.org.


Posted: July 31, 2019

Listening to and connecting with nonprofits across the state!

Letter from: Jim White, NAO Executive Director

Wow, July is already over... YIKES! Can't we slow the summer down to savor the sun, blue skies and warmth of family and friends?! It always seems to go by so fast. I hope that you're getting time to smell the roses, sage, ocean, and pine!

In preparation for NAO's fall learning and convening events, I've been traveling around the state holding focus groups and connecting with nonprofit leaders about the most important issues on their minds. Here's what I heard...Many of you are grappling with staff retention issues with talented staff, concerns about funding, and a general sense of anxiety about the resiliency of your organizations going into the second half of the year and into 2020. You are optimistic about the opportunities presented by collaborations and peer-to-peer networks you are part of. Across the state, your top priorities for support and capacity building are: getting the most from your boards; human resources and back office support; and fund development. Our team is busy working to develop network trainings, workshops, webinars, and NAO's 2019 High Desert Nonprofit Leaders Conference in September that will meet your needs this fall and into the future. We are privileged to be your go-to resource for all things nonprofit.

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Posted: July 8, 2019

An alternative to paying state unemployment taxes

UST Logo

Unemployment Services Trust is a national nonprofit that provides unemployment and workforce solutions to help 501(c)(3) nonprofits reduce costs so they can focus on their missions. NAO members can save significant time and money on their unemployment premium. UST provides the tools nonprofits need to prepare for claims volatility, streamline unemployment procedures and ensure compliance with state regulations. The average unemployment claim in the U.S. costs employers $5,174. UST program participants only pay an average $2,287 per claim. The savings are like a grant for thousands of dollars annually! Aren't you curious to see how much you could save? To find out, click on the link below! Not an NAO member? Join today!

Start saving!


Posted: June 28, 2019

A jam-packed summer -- both work and play!

Letter from: Jim White, NAO Executive Director

Like the lightning and thunderstorms blowing through Oregon in recent days, politically it has been an intense, blustery, and sometimes damaging June as the Oregon legislative session draws to a close and important battles are fought in Washington D.C. At both the national and local level nonprofits played a big role and had much to gain or lose for the missions and communities they serve.

NAO joins nonprofits across Oregon and the U.S. celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court's decision that effectively keeps the untested and unnecessary citizenship question off the 2020 census questionnaire. The SCOTUS decision on June 28 leaves open the possibility that the question may still make it on to the census form; however, the amount of time available to resolve the issues at a lower court level and bring it back makes it highly unlikely. Many nonprofits, including NAO, who are working to ensure everyone is counted in 2020, view the SCOTUS decision as an important victory. The decennial census is mandated by the constitution and census data are used to allocate federal funds and political power between the states. Oregon is expected to gain at least one congressional seat as a result of the 2020 census. Additionally, the census data is used by many businesses, government entities, and nonprofits when making decisions in programming and resource allocations over the next decade. Anything less than a fair, accurate, and complete count would hurt everyone throughout the United States.

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Posted: June 3, 2019

Data Breaches: It is not a matter of if a data breach will occur in your organization, it is a matter of when.

Thoughts from: Steve Miller, Senior Vice President, Brown & Brown Northwest Insurance

High profile cyber attacks and data breaches against large, well-known companies like Target and Marriott continue to dominate the media headlines. The reality is that small and midsize businesses including nonprofits are much more common targets of cyber attacks and data breaches. It only takes minutes for a resourceful hacker, virus or system glitch to shut down your entire network and impact the privacy of your customers, employees, donors, and others. A single cyber event or data security breach could result in damaging consequences to your financials. Nonprofit organizations are especially vulnerable because they retain physical or electronic records for employees, customers, and other third parties.

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Posted: May 31, 2019

Hiking, picnics and opportunities to advance your nonprofit work!

Letter from: Jim White, NAO Executive Director

For many of us, this time of the year calls for some relaxing, enjoying the beautiful Oregon outdoors and ensuring our nonprofits are continuing to perform well. We're almost half way through the year, with solid work behind us and more opportunities ahead of us. Here at NAO we are closing out our 2018-2019 "network series" training season and have launched our planning for the fall series of learning and convening events. In fact, we will soon be launching a request for proposals for presenters for the learning sessions that we are planning across the state.

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