NAO Update: February 2, 2023

Happy February and Black History Month! I hope that you are all enjoying the cold, clear weather. 

Since 1976, Black History Month has celebrated the contributions of Black Americans to our communities throughout the country. I’d encourage all nonprofit employees to learn more about the Black Oregonians who have done so much to shape the advancement of our state across all sectors of work. There is so much to celebrate and commend year-round and this is a great time to start or continue celebrating and supporting Black communities throughout the state. Please check out the events and celebrations in your communities this month – additionally, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History is hosting a virtual festival with author talks, panel discussions, and more. Most events are free. For more information visit Black History Month Virtual Festival Schedule – ASALH – The Founders of Black History Month. Please take time to learn more about the significant contributions of Black Oregonians. 

Last week, NAO conducted our annual meeting of our membership and followed that with a Day of Learning. Thank you for all who attended! We also launched the legislative coalition to support SB606, the “Nonprofit Modernization Act.” It was great to see so much enthusiasm for the work that we are partnered on with the Northwest Health Foundation to move forward this session.

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NAO Update: January 12, 2023

I don’t know about you, but I’m glad to have a new year to move into and see 2022 in the rear-view mirror. Of course, that doesn’t mean that we’ve left behind the challenges that have been plaguing our communities: lingering impacts of the pandemic, racism and homophobia, financial downturn, continued threats to democracy, and climate-driven disasters. With so many challenges ahead of us, it promises to be another tough year for our sector. That said, it is the nonprofit sector that has been there for our communities through it all. Even as we have suffered attrition through retirements and resignations, even as prices have skyrocketed but resources to our sector stay static, we nonprofits have continued to keep the light shining for so many. I want to start the year by thanking you all for “coming back” to the sector in this new year. You didn’t have to. You could have bailed, possibly for a higher paying job or one with greater work-life balance, but you didn’t. You made the decision that community is important, the mission that drives you is important, and that optimism is important. Thank you.

To be clear, we all need to change that dynamic. We DO deserve better pay and greater work-life balance. It is our sector that does more for humankind; for the earth; for beauty and art and spirituality than any other work going in society. We ARE civil society – without us for the past three years, how much worse would it have been? That is why we are working on initiatives like the Nonprofit Modernization Act (see more how to join the coalition below) to change the way government works with the nonprofit sector. 

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