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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: West Seattle Timebank – Going Beyond Volunteering

November 16, 2018 Julia Hunter

Would you be willing to drive a neighbor to the airport? What if you could exchange that hour of driving with an hour of guitar lessons, or help fixing up your bicycle, or for a neighbor to feed your chickens while you’re out of town? Nonprofits depend on volunteers to provide services and promote their mission. But it can be difficult to recruit potential volunteers who feel like they don’t have enough time to contribute to the cause. In West Seattle, a nonprofit organization is re-writing this dynamic, honoring the value of volunteer time in a community culture that exchanges […]

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

September 19, 2018 Julia Hunter

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

August 16, 2018 Julia Hunter

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

July 17, 2018 Julia Hunter

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: The Wishing Star Foundation – Mission Meets World (and baby goats)

June 12, 2018 Julia Hunter

How did baby goats get involved with the oldest wish granting organization in Washington State? Dan Curley, Executive Director of the Wishing Star Foundation, tells the story of how baby goats raised almost $40,000 for the foundation with the help of 110 volunteers. His advice to nonprofits: bring in the community as much as humanly possible. The Wishing Star Foundation grants wishes for children with life threatening illnesses through the help of volunteers, donors, businesses, and the joyfully given support of the local community. Curley explains how inviting the public in as participants of your work, with real investment in […]

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New Insurance Option for Nonprofits

June 12, 2018 Laura Pierce

A New Benefits & HR Management Option for Nonprofits  We hear from our members all the time that healthcare benefits for employees is a huge challenge. The costs are high and rising fast. Small nonprofits have few options and little buying power. With this in mind, Washington Nonprofits has been working to identify options for our members, and we have one new option that you might want to consider: outsourcing your human resources (HR) to a Professional Employer Organization (PEO). We learned of the PEO option when looking to set up benefits for our own staff. A PEO is a company […]