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Member Spotlight: IRIS, Initiative for Rural Innovation & Stewardship – How to fall in love with a community

January 14, 2019 Julia Hunter

In a world that is steadily becoming more mobile, the communities of North Central Washington have discovered a great asset in how rooted their culture of community is. Many residents have a practice of cherishing their stories and passing down wisdom. These stories create a very connected community, despite people being spread out over an area that includes Okanogan, Douglas, Grant, and Chelan counties. The Initiative for Rural Innovation & Stewardship (IRIS) is building on this strong sense of place by gathering and sharing stories that enhance a sense of belonging, inspire action, and build community. They intentionally gather stories that […]

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Member Spotlight: Communities In Schools of Benton-Franklin – Cultivating leadership by investing in nonprofit staff

December 17, 2018 Julia Hunter

Students and their families are top priority of for Communities In Schools of Benton-Franklin. This is why they invest in their staff with competitive pay and benefits and investments in professional development. Communities In Schools brings resources and volunteers into schools to help struggling students get back on track. Their evidenced-based, Integrated Student Supports model goes beyond offering resources to students. Their people are in the schools forming sustained relationships with students and their families. Site coordinators in the schools empower students and families to navigate the system, and they walk alongside them through their journey. Lupe Mares served as […]

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Member Spotlight: West Seattle Timebank – Going Beyond Volunteering

November 16, 2018 Julia Hunter

Would you be willing to drive a neighbor to the airport? What if you could exchange that hour of driving with an hour of guitar lessons, or help fixing up your bicycle, or for a neighbor to feed your chickens while you’re out of town? Nonprofits depend on volunteers to provide services and promote their mission. But it can be difficult to recruit potential volunteers who feel like they don’t have enough time to contribute to the cause. In West Seattle, a nonprofit organization is re-writing this dynamic, honoring the value of volunteer time in a community culture that exchanges […]

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Member Spotlight: Bellingham Bay Community Boating Center – Capsizing Assumptions and Removing Barriers

October 17, 2018 Julia Hunter

   This summer the Bellingham Bay Community Boating Center challenged the status quo of how they offer services and risked disrupting their revenue stream. And it was a huge success. Their Free Tuesday Night Paddle Series offered a no-cost, one-hour paddle on Bellingham Bay. They decided to remove financial barriers to outdoor recreation and wanted to see who would come if they offered access to paddling for free. They were amazed to see more than 1,500 people who came for family-friendly, safe experience on the water, expanding the Boating Center’s understanding of the community they serve. What made the Free […]

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Member Spotlight: Mid-Columbia Arts Fundraiser – Collaboration Lifts All

September 19, 2018 Julia Hunter

If you live in the Mid-Columbia area, you might be looking forward to buying your tickets for the 4th Annual Mid-Columbia Arts Fundraiser. What a great way to support four organizations with one ticket: the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers, Mid-Columbia Musical Theatre, Mid-Columbia Symphony, and Mid-Columbia Ballet. At a time when organizations suffer from event fatigue and express concern about donor competition, these four organizations have come together to create one fundraiser: a multi-talented, arts-packed evening of entertainment around a theme. The 3rd Annual Mid-Columbia Arts Fundraiser brought the “fab four” together for a Beatles themed night, to great acclaim. They raised […]

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Member Spotlight: Volunteer Methow – Volunteer Innovation & the Elusive Generation Gap

August 16, 2018 Julia Hunter

There’s got to be a way that we can do this on a smart phone, someone thought. “This” was the connection of community members with nonprofits needing help: specifically, the millennial generation. The Methow Conservancy took a strong interest in engaging this age group in work across their community through the GenNxt project. They convened a volunteer fair to bridge the passion for community that this generation brings with concrete ways to “plug in.” Yet connecting people the old-fashioned way, face to face, brings inefficiencies that come with events requiring the attendance of geographically-dispersed people. Smart phone to the rescue. […]

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Member Spotlight: Washington State CAP – The Beginning of Our Boldness

July 17, 2018 Julia Hunter

Have you recently asked a policy maker for something that would make a positive difference in your community? The Washington State Community Action Partnership (WSCAP) did just that when they decided to be bold in advocating for a rural home rehabilitation fund. In return they were granted millions of dollars and Senate Bill 5647 received incredible bi-partisan support. Merritt Mount, Executive Director of WSCAP, explains how historically their organization had flown under the radar in the advocacy arena. Community Action Agencies, which make up the partnership’s network, work to reduce poverty and provide emergency services. Like many nonprofits, they were […]