NAO Update: November 24, 2020

Today, my friend Dan Cardinali, the CEO and President of Independent Sector, released a powerful statement on the Stories We tell. I encourage you all to read it. I believe Dan’s message and the learnings he’s taking from Oregon leaders like Sarah Kastelic, CEO of the National Indian Child Welfare Association help us all to better understand the ways in which we engage with each other, with the “truths” we tell ourselves, and the ways in which we pass down legacies in our families. Much like many of us, as he pondered the past 10 months of changes and challenges, Dan asks:

“What are the stories that we will tell ourselves, our communities, and what will become of our national narrative? Whose stories will get told? Who will be our heroes? Who our villains? Who will be forgotten because it is too painful to remember or deemed unimportant? Which stories may never get told and will have to be doggedly pursued to be brought into our narrative? And what is the responsibility on us, as civil society leaders, to balance all of that?”

I encourage us all to ask ourselves the same, and keep in mind the native land on which we will break bread this Thanksgiving. Keep in mind the bounty that we have taken from this beautiful land, and think of the ways in which we can both be grateful and give back as we head toward the end of what has been a terribly difficult year for many of us.

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NAO Update: November 19, 2020

NAO is excited to share that we released the latest episode of The Public Space podcast – How the Oregon Latinx Leadership Network Galvanized a Statewide Latinx Movement with Anthony Veliz, Founder of the Oregon Latinx Leadership Network. Anthony joins NAO’s Lilisa Hall to discuss the transformational work OLLN is doing. We have been extremely impressed and inspired by OLLN’s work – they’ve been galvanizing a movement across Oregon and bringing positive change in the Latinix community and beyond. This is exactly the kind of vision, strategic thinking, and bold action we envisioned NAO’s The Public Space could highlight and we hope that you are inspired, moved to take an action, or make a change for the good of civil society! Be sure to check out all our episodes – subscribe to The Public Space today wherever you get your podcasts.

We want to bring your attention to an op-ed that Susannah Morgan, Chief Executive of the Oregon Food Bank; Jan Musgrove Elfers, President of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon; and Sybil Hebb, Director of Legislative Advocacy at the Oregon Law Center penned that appeared in yesterday’s The Oregonian entitled: Lawmakers must act to prevent mass displacement and homelessness. It’s so on point and Oregon lawmakers must act soon to prevent a new wave of mass displacement and homelessness as we enter the winter months. Thank you to Susannah, Jan, and Sybil for your leadership!

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NAO Update: November 17, 2020

With the November rains come the season of giving, and for nonprofits, the season of asking! With the economic downturn and COVID restrictions that have all but ceased in-person fundraising events, nonprofits are finding innovative ways to keep their donors engaged and meet their year-end fundraising goals. As you plan your year-end funding appeals, remember that the CARES Act passed in late March instituted a provision allowing people to deduct $300 for charitable contributions. Make sure your donors are aware of that! Here are the details:

If a person is married and filing jointly, their deduction is still limited to $300. (There has been some debate on whether the law can be interpreted to say $600 for filing jointly, but an article clarifies why it is capped at $300 for joint filers.) Taxpayers can take this universal deduction no matter whether they itemize or take the standard deduction on their taxes.

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NAO Update: November 10, 2020

Well, the elections are over and the people have spoken. This was an historic election in the number of voters who turned out, even in the face of the restrictions from COVID, to make their votes count. Nonprofits played a big role in getting out the vote. Thank you all for doing this important work!

Congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Congratulations to Senator Jeff Merkley, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Congressman Peter DeFazio, and Congressman Kurt Schrader on their re-elections. Also, congratulations go to Congressman-elect Cliff Bentz on his election to replace Congressman Greg Walden to represent Oregon’s 2nd District.

In Oregon’s legislative and executive branches there are some new, committed, and thoughtful people joining public service to build a better Oregon. Together, we have much work ahead of us. Oregon, like our country, remains divided with competing ideas on the best paths to move forward. As in any election, it will be the responsibility of the majority party to lead with their agenda and to bring along and work with the minority party. It will be the minority party’s role to assert its influence without derailing and obstructing progress on behalf of the people.

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NAO Update: October 29, 2020

As we move toward the final days before the elections, we know that many in our communities are filled with emotions. These emotions stem from our collective desire for an end to Coronavirus, and end to physical distancing restrictions, and loss of income. They stem from a desire to freely engage in the community life they love. With those emotions come anxiety and trepidation for the results of this crucial moment in our history. This has been the most contentious election in my lifetime and I imagine that holds true for most others as well. Across the political spectrum, Oregonians have strong feelings about the future they want to see and strong ideas about this election. Those opinions come with deeply-held convictions of values and about what they want to see happen for their families and the communities they love. For some, there is a sense of impending triumph and for others, I dare say many others, there is a feeling of foreboding for the outcome that is overwhelming our already-taxed nerves from a year like no other in living memory.

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