Connecting, improving and advancing Oregon nonprofits!

April has been a busy month – besides April showers that hopefully will bring plenty of May flowers – the nonprofit sector in Oregon has been practically humming with activity.

Earlier this month, more than 380 participants convened in Ashland for the annual Oregon Nonprofit Leaders Conference. Launched in 1988, ONLC is a gathering of nonprofit leaders for professional and volunteer development, networking, and the opportunity for nonprofits and funders to connect. It was a great conference – inspiring and relevant – and NAO was honored to host the networking reception and facilitate connections – both for newcomers and regulars! Hats off to the all-volunteer conference steering committee who did a fantastic job! We are proud that Brad Russell, NAO’s board president and executive director of the Rogue Valley YMCA, is on the steering committee.

Last week Mychal Cherry, executive director and Angela Sears, program coordinator of Spirit Mountain Community Fund, and Levi Williams, associate program officer of The Ford Family Foundation joined me at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport for a Lincoln County Resource Roundup. The roundup – made possible by The Ford Family Foundation – focused on learning and networking opportunities for local nonprofit staff, board, and volunteers to connect, meet funders, and learn about valuable tools and resources designed specifically for nonprofits. Participants discussed challenges and opportunities their nonprofits are facing as they took a health check by identifying areas of improvement and connecting with resources. NAO is convening similar roundups in rural communities across Oregon throughout the year. For a complete listing check here

On the topic of a healthy nonprofit, as we all know, most nonprofits depend on the generosity of donors to help us do the critical work we do for Oregon’s communities. In February-March 2018, NAO partnered with the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Oregon and SW Washington to conduct a survey of executive directors and development officers on individual charitable-giving efforts and results for 2018. We wanted to understand what impacts – positive and negative – the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – had on charitable giving in 2018.

Last week we shared the findings of the survey with an AFP-NAO member webinar I participated in along with my co-presenters Cynthia Thompson, Cynthia Thompson, President, Association of Fundraising Professionals of Oregon and SW Washington and Chief Development Officer for Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia NW and Jeri Alcock, Board Member, Association of Fundraising Professionals of Oregon and SW Washington and Partner & Senior Consultant, Rose City Philanthropy. We had a great group of attendees with whom we had a lively and engaging Q&A session – thanks to all who participated!

Overall, the survey findings are very interesting, surprising in some cases, and give us a lot of food for thought for future planning. Last week we shared the full report with our members and today, we are sharing the 2018 Year-End Charitable Giving in Oregon Report with all of you – our wider audience.

Thanks to those of you who contributed to these findings - your insights and thoughts are tremendously important to us in our research so we can connect, improve and advance our sector. Thanks also to all our members who support our efforts through your continued NAO membership - we couldn't do it without you!

Many thanks to AFP for the partnership, which we are commitment to taking into the future with joint programing, monitoring fundraising trends, and reporting them to you. In addition, we have committed to conducting a similar survey for the 2019 giving period to track what individual charitable giving trend line looks like at this time next year! 

And on the topic of surveys, we will be inviting NAO business affiliate members to share their thoughts/feedback with us via a survey which we’ll be sending out tomorrow. Our last member survey was with our nonprofit members; it’s time to hear from our NAO business affiliate members, so thank you in advance for providing your valuable input.

NAO continues to support and bring timely information to Oregon's nonprofit sector. A big thank you to all of you who are NAO members. We deeply appreciate your continued membership. For others who are not, I invite you to become NAO members and support our mission and efforts. Contact

I hope all of you will enjoy the many blooms of May and the gorgeous weather we hope to have in the coming month!



Jim White,
Executive Director, Nonprofit Association of Oregon