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Valuing and Supporting Executive Directors

Executive Directors (EDs) face many pressures, including fundraising, leading the staff team, setting strategy, and maintaining relationships with many donors, funders, partners, and community members. They may struggle to meet the differing expectations of staff, board, and key community stakeholders. Since most nonprofits are chronically under-resourced, they are holding a great deal of day-to-day management of their organizations as well. ED jobs are now more challenging than ever. Last year, we did a lot of listening to EDs across Washington and summarized what we learned in our Executive Learning Needs Assessment. Among other things, we affirmed that EDs have different […]

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

   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: 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 […]