NAO Update: September 22, 2022

I’m often asked why I’ve chosen to work within the nonprofit sector – my answer to this question varies slightly but the takeaway is always because I believe in the mission of the organization. I explain the good work that the sector does and my passion for the work – it’s an honest answer. I’ve recently realized that while this answer is accurate, it’s also incomplete.

I think I can speak for most of us that pre-pandemic, our lives looked very different. Our schedules were packed – in addition to work and family – our calendars were full. We were showing up to networking events, happy hours, fundraisers, galas, coffee meetings, work dinners, and more. Many of us were working more than 8 hours per day, going to work-related or work-adjacent events in our “free” time, managing personal obligations, and more. Nobody thought this type of schedule was sustainable, but nobody seemed to know how to break out of the cycle – the “extras” like networking or showing up for a fellow nonprofits event or attending all the galas that you get invited to were taking over your life, but this part of your work also mattered. I heard many people lament that they wanted a free evening or they needed a break from the work outside of work, but nobody seemed to know how to do that or think it was a real possibility. And then, March of 2020 rolled around and that decision was suddenly made for us all. 

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NAO Update: September 8, 2022

As many of you are aware, we are in the grip of another very dry and hot fire season. Community-based organizations around the state are already responding to fires in Deschutes, Josephine, Klamath, and Wallowa countiesthat have displaced people from homes and businesses. Going into the weekend, other organizations are prepared and bracing for high winds and hot temperatures - both which exacerbate fires - in a number of areas of the state. Power companies are planning power shutoffs in advance of the weekend to mitigate some of the worst possible scenarios.

Remember that NAO has been curating a number of resources over the past two years to help community-based nonprofits prepare for and work in disasters. As you think about how your program participants or organizations may be impacted by wildfires, please avail yourselves of these free resources that can be found here. Also, be sure to connect with your local Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD) or Long-Term Recovery Group (LTRG), both of whom meet to support disaster-impacted communities. A listing of those organizations can be found on the Oregon Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters website. 

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NAO Update: August 18, 2022

In her journal, Sylvia Plath wrote “August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time,” and while I’m not sure I agree that the best of the summer is gone, late August certainly feels like the odd uneven time as we wrap up summer vacations, savor the last bits of sunshine and long days, and start to prepare for the Fall. Once September arrives, many of us have big schedule changes – from the school year starting to year end donation campaigns to beginning to close the fiscal year – September seems to launch us out of the dog days of summer quickly. I hope many of you are taking the remaining weeks of summer to recover, rejuvenate, and refresh with family and friends before entering into what’s typically a more hectic season for nonprofit organizations.  

The staff at NAO is trying to figure out the balance between taking advantage of the end of the season while working on all the upcoming Fall programs that start up in September. We have spent a lot of time over the last several months listening to nonprofit leaders to learn what some of their biggest challenges are and how NAO can help address those issues – we are jumping into our regional Learning Networks, conferences, and webinars with these topics at the forefront. Additionally, we are creating new and updated resources as well as curating robust members only programs and events.  

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