Listening to and connecting with nonprofits across the state!

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.

In that vein, NAO is honored to be selected by the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation (CODF) to be a state association partner in a pilot initiative to build a learning management system portal for Oregon’s nonprofits. The portal will have video trainings, templates, resources, and tools to help your nonprofit succeed. What drew NAO to CODF and their premier technology platform NonprofitReady is the way they strengthen nonprofit organizations to develop, engage, and empower their employees and the people they serve. NonprofitReady is designed to close the gap most nonprofits face in training and retaining their own talent. NAO is excited to be selected for this partnership and envisions a supportive tool that can be available “on demand” for any nonprofit, located anywhere in Oregon. We look forward to sharing more information as we build the program and roll out new content to help your nonprofit!

We are excited to welcome Janet Yousey, CEO of Shangri-La in Salem as NAO’s newest board member. Janet is replacing the recently vacated board position of Marilyn Hartzog Johnson. Marilyn needed to step down for personal reasons and Janet was selected by the NAO Board to fill out Marilyn’s term. We want to thank Marilyn for serving on the NAO Board for four years and we wish her all the best – she will be missed! We also are happy to announce that Celeste Hill-Thomas, current NAO board member and Executive Director of the Mid-Columbia Health Foundation located in The Dalles, has agreed to serve out Marilyn’s vacated role as NAO Board Vice President. Thank you Celeste!

If you are interested in serving the sector is a unique way, think about nominating yourself or someone you know to be on the NAO Board of Directors. We are accepting nominations through this Friday, August 2. We are looking for motivated nonprofit leaders that love our sector and want to work with us to further connect, improve, and advance Oregon’s nonprofits. I hope you’ll consider serving… we are your state association!

Be sure to take time to slow down and enjoy this beautiful summer and enjoy our magnificent Oregon! Have a wonderful August!



Jim White,
Executive Director, Nonprofit Association of Oregon