NAO Public Policy Principles


NAO prioritizes an ethical, accountable, and fair nonprofit sector. NAO strives to enhance the ability of Oregon’s charitable nonprofits to serve their missions, the people of Oregon, and our communities.[1] We advocate with policy makers for the role of these nonprofits as drivers of thriving communities and the shared prosperity for our state. We support the ability of nonprofits to engage in advocacy and lobbying to the fullest extent allowed by law. We recognize the importance of the “Third Sector’s” independence and the unique perspectives our sector brings to policy discussions.


  1. We believe that lives are enriched and society thrives when all people have an opportunity to prosper. We believe that policy decisions should increase prosperity and result in greater equity.

    It is critical that state and federal spending policies prioritize programs that are demonstrating their promise and effectiveness in increasing economic mobility for all Oregonians and Americans. Programs that provide critical support to Oregon’s most vulnerable populations must be safeguarded.

  2. We believe that every individual and community counts.

    All people have the potential to be agents of renewal and innovation in their own lives, families, and community. As the state association for nonprofits, we are accountable to these individuals and communities. State and federal spending policies must help all Oregonians to realize their potential, regardless of their ability or background.

  3. We believe in the importance our communities place in private action for public good. We recognize the opportunity charitable giving and volunteering present for all Oregonians and Americans.

    NAO advocates for policies that protects, strengthens and encourages Oregonians to contribute to the charitable organizations of their choice by providing tax deductions for their gifts and tax incentives for volunteer service, removing tax obstacles to charitable gifts, and maximizing gifts from private foundations.

  4. We believe in the power of the partnership between government, private sector businesses and the charitable sector.

    A cornerstone strategy of our policy work is partnerships. We collaborate with and represent our members as well as a network of statewide, regional and national advocates, as well as our private and public sector allies. Thoughtful and strategic collaboration across sectors is critical to advancing the common good and scaling important social change. Rigorous and respectful dialogue, with all voices represented and heard, must be a priority as policy decisions are made.

  5. We believe that communities thrive when all people have a voice and an opportunity to be accurately and equitably included in discussions, forums and data that drive policy.

    Demographic and socioeconomic data from key governmental collection mechanisms drive informed, inclusive, and effective decision-making. Both the process and the data itself, assists state and local leaders, businesses, nonprofits, and foundations in defining how to prioritize services, resources, and investments.


[1] When we refer to “nonprofits” we mean organizations that are exempt from federal income taxes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

We do not advocate on issues related to the agendas of various nonprofit subsectors. However, we do facilitate forums in which nonprofit organizations can engage each other in collaboration and discussion on issues important to subsectors.


Approved by the Board of Directors, January 24, 2019