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Member Spotlight: YAMA (Yakima Music en Acción) – Walking the Talk with Leadership and Equity

Yakima Music en Acción, called YAMA by their community, looks like an after-school music program on the surface. With three youth orchestras, they provide a space for third through 12th graders, from 22 different schools in the Yakima School District, to learn how to play classical music. Dig a little deeper and you can see it’s more than an orchestra. It’s a leadership program centered in diversity, equity, and inclusion work, that has a significant impact on the young people who participate. The authenticity of this impact is possible because YAMA walks the talk, striving to incorporate what they teach […]

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Member Spotlight: Sound Experience – Looking to the future

“We have to help each other.” Suchitra Iyer, the Development Director at Sound Experience, sees partnerships as the future for nonprofits. Sound Experience has been operating for over 30 years, offering youth programs aboard the schooner Adventuress on the waters of the Salish Sea. A huge part of their mission is to motivate youth to care about the future of the waterways and to protect the health of the Salish Sea for the coming generations. They are experts at always looking to the future. Their unique mission, combining the historic preservation of Adventuress (a 107-year-old National Historic Landmark), education, and […]

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Member Spotlight: Three advocacy stories

Every year nonprofit leaders from across Washington come together in Olympia for the Annual Nonprofit Legislative Reception. They often meet with their legislators earlier in the day and then gather at the Governor’s Mansion to mingle with elected officials, connect with peers from across the state, and celebrate the accomplishments of nonprofits. The refreshments are excellent and the company even better. We asked three Washington Nonprofits members at the reception this year to tell us what they want their legislators and community to know about their mission. Here are their mini-member spotlights! The Pierce County AIDS Foundation, through education and […]

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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 […]