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Member Spotlight: Phoenix Conservancy – Working for flora, fauna, and humans

Washingtonians know how fortunate we are to live in a state with a beautiful and varied landscape. We also know that non-indigenous settlers have seriously altered that landscape. The Palouse Prairie, which encompasses much of Eastern Washington, has changed significantly in the past 200 years. Today, there’s less than 1% of the native prairie remaining. Can you imagine what it looked like before, not dominated by invasive species, but instead native grasses and wildflowers? The Phoenix Conservancy has been working in partnership with others to restore the flora and fauna of the area. The key to their success? They prioritize […]

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Member Spotlight: Morningside – The Transforming Power of Work

How many times have you been asked at a party, “So what do you do?” Work is a central connector to your community. For individuals with disabilities, having this connection can be especially meaningful to their lives. This month’s member spotlight is special. Beyond offering insights into nonprofit success, member organization Morningside also offers a challenge to nonprofits: “Be open to hiring a person with a disability.” Employers report that their employees with disabilities are dedicated, hardworking, and always enthusiastic to be at work. Plus, their presence creates a more positive work culture for everyone. What’s not to love? Since […]

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Member Spotlight: Port Townsend Marine Science Center – How sea stars and abalone create community engagement

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center (PTMSC) protects endangered species, advocates for marine life, provides education through school programs and events, connects the community to the local environment—and they continually inspire conservation of the Salish Sea with an attitude of hope. What fuels them? Two key strengths: volunteers and partnerships. Janine Boire, Executive Director, talks about how these two strengths work in tandem to fulfill their mission. She named two successful partnerships that have been powered by volunteers in their Citizen Science Program. The first is the Pinto Abalone Recovery project, led by the Puget Sound Restoration Fund. The pinto […]

Member Spotlight

Community Foundations: Community, Connection, and Collaboration

Give where you live. That’s the philanthropy that community foundations inspire. Community foundations bring together the financial resources of local individuals and businesses in support of worthy causes. They invest in deep local knowledge to solve problems and act on opportunities. They make space for nonprofits to learn from each other and visitors from outside the community. Through their work, they weave together all of the elements of a healthy community. Washington Nonprofits’ Nancy Bacon recently spent an afternoon with three community foundations: Pacific Community Foundation, Olympic View Community Foundation (Clallam County), and Whidbey Community Foundation. All three are young […]

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Member Spotlight: Community Enrichment for Klickitat County – Strength in Fiscal Sponsorship

Fiscal sponsorship is a process where a number of worthy community projects can exist under a single nonprofit umbrella, removing the pressure to found and maintain an independent nonprofit in order to do good work in the community. This strategy can be especially effective in rural areas. Community Enrichment for Klickitat County (CEKC, pronounced “Seek”) was formed by a group of local leaders who came together during the Horizons leadership program of WSU Extension from 2006-2008. Horizons was a two-year deep dive into community leadership that trained new leaders and surfaced community assets and goals in nine high-poverty communities in […]

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Member Spotlight: Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho – Membership in a Time of Civic Decline

Let’s talk about membership. Membership organizations, like churches, fraternities, and other civic clubs, have seen decreases in member numbers over the last three decades. Research points to technology, mass media, changing family structure, and urban sprawl to explain this decline. Whatever the reason, only a quarter of Americans volunteered in 2015 and membership organizations are suffering as a result.  Brian Newberry, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho (GSEWNI), talks about how they are dealing with membership in the time of civic decline. Traditionally the Girl Scouts require participation from the whole family. This level of […]

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Member Spotlight: Edith Bishel Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired – Dinner in the Dark

A Different Kind of Dinner Imagine you are attending a nonprofit fundraiser. You have your best gala clothes on and are eyeing the items available for auction. A local chef has meticulously constructed a delicious meal for you to enjoy with the other guests. Soon after you arrive, you blindfold yourself and spend the rest of the evening in the dark, eating your meal without the use of sight. If you live in the Tri-Cities area, you have the chance to join this unique event and support a nonprofit that provides essential services for the blind and low vision communities […]

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Member Spotlight: Ocean Shores Food Bank – Listening to volunteers, a nonprofit’s secret strength

Like many nonprofits, the Ocean Shores Food Bank (OSFB) is an all volunteer run organization. Volunteers handle every task, from stocking shelves to assisting clients to raising money and awareness. It wasn’t on their list of tasks to create a literacy program, but when volunteers found books at the bottom of a food collection bin a year and a half ago, that’s exactly what they did. The Books for Kids program is one example of how an idea from volunteers turned into an innovative way for the food bank to operate. That program has now expanded to providing books for […]

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Member Spotlight: Youth Services of Kittitas County – Mentoring as a way to transform your world

Burnout in the nonprofit sector is a trending topic these days. Best selling books have been written about it, self-care is a popular keynote topic at nonprofit conferences, and many nonprofit professionals feel it. In Ellensburg, WA, the nonprofit organization Youth Services of Kittitas County is demonstrating how their emphasis on the power of mentoring can be a tool to address the challenge of burnout in the nonprofit sector. Youth Services of Kittitas County has been operating in their region since 1969—50 years of providing services to the community. In 2013 they revamped their outreach and created a formal mentoring […]

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Member Spotlight: Helping Link – Supporting an Immigrant Community with ESL and iPads

When you move to a new country with a different language, you take an ESL (English as a Second Language) class. But where do you sign up for a class that teaches the new language of culture? This is when a nonprofit organization that knows the languages and community involved can make a huge impact. Generations of comprehensive support Helping Link, or Một Dấu Nối, was originally created to serve the waves of Vietnamese refugees resettling in Washington State under the Humanitarian Program for Former Political Detainees. Twenty-five years later, they have a thriving inter-generational, cross-cultural community. The key to […]