January 12, 2023

Happy New Year! I hope that your 2023 has started off well!

I don’t know about you, but I’m glad to have a new year to move into and see 2022 in the rear-view mirror. Of course, that doesn’t mean that we’ve left behind the challenges that have been plaguing our communities: lingering impacts of the pandemic, racism and homophobia, financial downturn, continued threats to democracy, and climate-driven disasters. With so many challenges ahead of us, it promises to be another tough year for our sector. That said, it is the nonprofit sector that has been there for our communities through it all. Even as we have suffered attrition through retirements and resignations, even as prices have skyrocketed but resources to our sector stay static, we nonprofits have continued to keep the light shining for so many. I want to start the year by thanking you all for “coming back” to the sector in this new year. You didn’t have to. You could have bailed, possibly for a higher paying job or one with greater work-life balance, but you didn’t. You made the decision that community is important, the mission that drives you is important, and that optimism is important. Thank you.

To be clear, we all need to change that dynamic. We DO deserve better pay and greater work-life balance. It is our sector that does more for humankind; for the earth; for beauty and art and spirituality than any other work going in society. We ARE civil society – without us for the past three years, how much worse would it have been? That is why we are working on initiatives like the Nonprofit Modernization Act (see more how to join the coalition below) to change the way government works with the nonprofit sector. 

So, the year is starting fresh; we have a new Governor and new opportunities to change the way our sector works with the public and private sectors to create a better place for all of us. I commend newly-inaugurated Governor Kotek for correctly identifying that many of our greatest challenges in Oregon are human-caused: the drug epidemic, the housing and homelessness crisis, the climate-driven disasters, and certainly the inability of us to see the common humanity in each other. I would go further to say that they are often policy-caused and that our collective opportunity is to rethink the approaches we are taking. It was Nobel-prize winning economist Amartya Sen that famously said famines don’t happen in democracies. I implore Governor Kotek to lead by collaborating; to tackle these issues not with top-down approaches that have failed us, but with engagement with the communities and the nonprofits that serve them. NAO stands ready to help those discussions in whatever ways we can.

Stay healthy and be safe,

Jim White

NAO Executive Director

Nonprofit News

Join us for the Oregon Nonprofit Modernization Act Campaign Kickoff!


By passing Senate Bill 606, the Oregon Nonprofit Modernization Act, Oregon’s legislators can help Oregon’s nonprofits retain staff and continue providing essential services and promoting all Oregonians’ well-being.

Join us and the Northwest Health Foundation (NWHF) virtually as we kick off the legislative campaign to pass the Oregon Nonprofit Modernization Act. We’ll provide an overview of the legislation, discuss the legislative strategy, and showcase a set of advocacy tools that you can utilize. 

Register here

At the State Level

Governor Kotek Sworn In; Declares Homelessness Humanitarian Crisis

On Monday, January 9th, Tina Kotek took the oath of office as Oregon’s 39th Governor. After taking the oath of office, Governor Kotek delivered her inaugural address before a Joint Session of the Oregon Legislative Assembly. On her second day in office, Governor Kotek signed two executive orders related to Oregon’s housing and homelessness crisis. She signed an executive order establishing a statewide housing production target of 36,000 new homes per year. That constitutes an 80 percent increase over current construction benchmarks under her predecessor Governor Kate Brown.  

Governor Kotek also declared a homelessness “state of emergency,” which unlocks state funding and may pave the way to receive federal monies. She proposed an urgent $130 million investment that will help at least another 1,200 Oregonians who are experiencing unsheltered homelessness move off the streets within a year. She urged the legislature to start the 2023 legislative session by taking up this investment package as quickly as possible. Governor Kotek has also pledged greater accountability and improved access to services for all Oregonians. 

NAO applauds the initial steps taken by Governor Kotek and calls upon her to set meetings with the nonprofit organizations that are essential to the services that she is prioritizing in her first acts as Governor. The state of Oregon can learn much from the people who are daily working to migrate the impacts of this human-made crisis and we hope that she will seek bottom-up, rather than top-down approaches which have clearly exacerbated, not mitigated the crisis she has recognized. 

At the Federal Level

118th Congress Seated

After several days of raucous balloting, the Republican party which won back the US House of Representatives was able to elect Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as the new Speaker of the House. This allowed for the Representatives to be sworn in and the House rules to be adopted. Among the newly sworn members are freshmen Representatives Val Hoyle (D- District 4), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-District 5), and Andrea Salinas (D- District 6). They join returning Representatives Suzanne Bonamici, Cliff Bentz and Earl Blumenauer. 

NAO suggest that nonprofits get to know their U.S. representatives and invite them for visits to their projects when they are in state. The better that they know our sector, the better they can advocate for programs we implement, the resources we need and the missions we serve.  

NAO's Upcoming Learning and Convening Opportunities

NAO Conferences

Join us virtually on January 26, 2023, for a conference brought to you by NAO and the Masters of Nonprofit Leadership program at Pacific University!


We have three fantastic learning sessions directly following the NAO Annual Members' Meeting and will end the day with the official legislative coalition kickoff for the Nonprofit Modernization Act. This day-long conference is made exclusively for NAO members at no cost!


Conference sessions include topics on the history of African American and Black nonprofit leaders, situational leadership strategies to meet the needs of your team, and creating spaces for the participation of the Latinx community in planning and decision-making.


NAO members can register for free by logging into the NAO Members Only Area.

Oregon Nonprofit Leaders Conference 2023 – Mark your calendars!

April 3 and 4 in Ashland, OR

Back in person for the first time since 2019, this two-day event hosts a number of expert speakers to provide informative talks and interactive workshops alongside opportunities for networking. More information will be made available here. Registration opens soon!

NAO Webinars

Why Critical Thinking is Essential for DEI Transformation

January 18, 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. | Presenter: Cliff Jones, Capacity Building Partnerships

Your organization’s service recipients, community supporters, organizational volunteers, and staff may have substantially different lived experiences related to inequity and bias. It is important to honor the range of individual and group lived experiences related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. In this session, we will talk about why it is important that the foundation of your organization’s DEI vision, values, and change process be based in critical thinking and evidence-based practices. We will also discuss honoring and integrating the lived experiences of those most marginalized. More details and registration information here.

Oregon Nonprofit Modernization Legislative Campaign Kickoff 

January 26, 1 – 2:30 p.m. | Presenters: Felicita Monteblanco, Northwest Health Foundation and Phillip Kennedy-Wong, NAO

The 2023 state legislative session will be the most consequential one in decades for Oregon’s nonprofit sector. This is an important moment in helping government to ensure support is flowing to communities in need of services and the nonprofits that provide them. It will take advocacy to make that happen. We need to build a coalition of nonprofit organizations if we are to be successful. This means nonprofits need to have their voices heard and be ready and willing to roll-up their sleeves when the time comes to engage our state legislators and Governor to pass the Oregon Nonprofit Modernization Act. More details and registration information here.

Guidance for Leadership: Creating an Equitable Workplace

February 16, 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. | Presenter: Jamila Aurora Dozier, MA, New Theory Consulting LLC

At the peak of the racial justice uprising following George Floyd and Breonna Taylor’s murders, many nonprofit leaders were called to rethink what racial justice means for their organizations. At the same time, public discourse was critical of leaders who implemented changes through trial-and-error, causing harm to staff and the health of their organization. What does impactful racial equity look like in practice? To understand racial equity and work towards true social change, we will start this session by creating a shared understanding of what this means. Then, we will move on to cover how to implement inclusive strategies in all aspects of your work, from hiring processes, to accountability and equity for an inclusive workplace, and finally to opportunities for upward mobility. More details and registration information here.

What Does Mindfulness Have To Do With Anti-Racism?

February 22, 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. | Facilitators: Katharine Quince, Quince Consulting and Erica Briggs, NAO

Being a champion for justice and equity takes energy, compassion, and resilience. Mindfulness practices offer ways to build the inner strength needed to stay engaged in the work, grounded and connected. Informed by leaders and teachers such as Ruth King and Kristin Neff, this interactive workshop will explore how incorporating mindfulness into your personal and professional life can support you as a leader for equity and inclusion. You will be provided resources and instructions for easily accessible and trauma-informed practices and opportunities to engage in discussion and problem-solving with like-minded peers. More details and registration information here.

Making Meetings Work: Simple tools for better, more productive meetings

March 7, 12 – 1 p.m. | Presenter: Anna Young, Anna Young Consulting

Whether we work remotely or in-person, much of our time is spent in meetings. We often hear the complaint, “I couldn’t get any real work done today because I was in meetings the whole time.” Aren’t meetings designed to support the work we are trying to do, not obstruct it? In this webinar, we’ll explore these questions and focus on how to regain control of our meetings, whether we are showing up as organizers or attendees. Participants can expect to learn simple yet powerful tools that will make meetings of all sizes better and more productive. More details and registration information here.

Getting to Know Your Donors: Strategies for Email Personalization 

March 16, 12 – 1 p.m. | Presenter: Maura Paxton, Whole Whale

The magic of email is all in the fact that your donors invited you into their inboxes — but in return, they expect you to know who they are. Join us as we dive into ways to understand your donors better and use that information to create more effective campaign strategies. This webinar will cover: how to send effective surveys to your donors; the role of email personalization in your fundraising campaigns; the difference between first, second-, and third-party data and what that means for your email; and the current landscape of data privacy and the user demand for it. More details and registration information here.

NAO Nonprofit Learning Cohort (Virtual)

Start the Year Right! – Supporting Team and Individual Well-Being in Purpose-Driven Organizations (5-Part Session)

January 19 – February 16, 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. | Facilitator: Anna Young, Anna Young Consulting

This five-session learning cohort is an invitation to start 2023 by revisioning and recalibrating organizational well-being at the individual and team levels. As leaders, how can we share best practices and learn together while creating a safe space to talk about what is and is not going well? We will spend our time together mapping the current level of stress and burnout in our organizations and diagnosing the underlying causes; differentiating between "gravity problems" (that are part of the context and can’t be solved) and actual problems so we can focus our energy on what will make a difference; understanding the relationship between equity and well-being to make sure organizational policies benefit all; naming and defining success; and learning about how individual well-being impacts team dynamics and vice versa. More details and registration information here.

NAO Regional Networks (In-person*)

Want to connect with other nonprofit leaders in your area? Join us at a regional network in Bend, Corvallis, Medford, Portland or Springfield! NAO's regional network sessions are designed for nonprofit leaders, staff, board members, and volunteers. They are open to any nonprofit leader who wants to learn more about best practices while advancing their skills in nonprofit management, financial accountability, equity and inclusion.


Each network typically offers one session per month between September and June. See what’s coming up in a city nearest you, or sign up to receive region-specific promotions here.



Nonprofit Network of Central Oregon (NNCO)



Mid-Valley Nonprofit Network (MVNN)


Portland Metro – *NAO’s Portland Metro series will be held virtually via Zoom until Spring 2023. Anyone from across the state may now virtually participate in sessions from any of our three networks below:

Equity and Inclusions Leaders Network (EILN)

Nonprofit Fiscal Managers Network (NFMA)

Nonprofit Leaders Network (NLN)



Rogue Valley Nonprofit Network (RVNN)



Lane County Nonprofit Network (LCNN)

If you have any questions or difficulties registering, contact NAO's Training team at training@nonprofitoregon.org.
Thank you to the following FUNDERS and SPONSORS who are supporting NAO’s online events and communications during these challenging times. Their support is vital in helping NAO to bring much-needed resources and information to Oregon’s nonprofits – thank you.
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