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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 […]

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Member Spotlight: Washington Main Street Communities – Strategy Transforming Communities Across Washington

The Main Street Story Have you ever had a lovely vacation in a delightful town with a charming Main Street? Maybe you have fond memories of a Main Street in the community where you grew up. Or you might even be lucky enough to live in a place with a Main Street Community! Since 1984, the Washington State Main Street Program has been helping communities revitalize the economy, appearance, and image of their downtown commercial districts. They do this by building a strategy centered around a community’s unique heritage and attributes, lifting up what is special about it to make […]

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Member Spotlight: Happy Pastures and The Council On Aging & Human Services

This is a story of Skeeter, Hammie, and a place called Happy Pastures. It is also a story about community and how nonprofits weave together services for people in need. Paige Collins serves as the Executive Director of The Council on Aging & Human Services and as the founder of Happy Pastures, a nonprofit livestock rescue based in LaCrosse, WA. As in other places, it’s not unusual for people in Whitman County to serve their community in many ways. Nonprofit volunteers and employees offer a variety of skills that contribute to a thriving community that, though may be spread out […]

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

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

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

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 […]

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Member Spotlight: NAMI Yakima – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on a Nonprofit Board

Why work for greater diversity, equity, and inclusion on a nonprofit board? What are the benefits? NAMI Yakima can answer that. With their transformed board, community relationship improved, leadership stabilized, and programming became more strategic. Mary Stephenson, President of NAMI Yakima’s board, tells the story. After a losing their paid staff and experiencing a time of relative instability, NAMI Yakima decided to firmly define themselves as mission focused. Mary, new to the board herself, attended Washington Nonprofits’ legal, finance, and board leadership webinars to get the organization to a healthy place. With help from regular volunteers, NAMI Yakima stabilized their […]