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

September 11, 2019 Laura Pierce

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

August 13, 2019 Guest Blogger

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

July 16, 2019 Julia Hunter

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

June 14, 2019 Julia Hunter

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

May 13, 2019 Julia Hunter

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

April 10, 2019 Julia Hunter

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

March 15, 2019 Julia Hunter

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

February 20, 2019 Julia Hunter

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: 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 […]