december 2017

Do you have a social media plan for your organization? Check out this article for tips on doing effective social media outreach.

november 2017

Nonprofit boards are not static, see if your board needs some energizing.

october 2017

Some actual math to determine fundraising efficiencies!

september 2017

The Words you Leave Behind. A very thoughtful, powerful commentary on how we use words. Do read it.

august 2017

Try your freshman year at college for free! This could be extremely beneficial for many of our clients. It also seems to be a gentle entry to the world of higher education.

april 2017

Preserve Decision Making: Look back at pictures of Obama over the course of the presidency and you may notice that he is usually wearing a blue or gray suit. Using the latest neuroscience findings, our former president attempted to extract all the little decisions one makes in a day (what to wear and eat, for example) so that he could avoid “decision fatigue,” and have more energy to decide on the life-or-death matters that come with leading a country. The Lesson: Form habits and routines that eliminate tiny and inconsequential decision from your day, so you can focus on the important stuff.

Be Prepared and Punctual: Unlike some other presidents (former and current), there was rarely a memo that passed by Obama’s desk that he didn’t read. Obama’s economic adviser, Larry Summers, stated it was a certainty that if someone had a meeting with the former president and had sent him a memo, he would have read and understood it, and would be irritated if the author tried to explain it. Obama would start the meeting on time, and end the meeting on time. The Lesson: Time is your most precious resource. Don’t waste yours or others because of a lack of discipline and expectations.

november 2016

Here's a great article about getting your board members more engaged in leading your organization.

Wondering what you can do to start scaling your work? This article from SSIR provides some fantastic insight to help you move forward.

october 2016

Giving is changing - you need to know how.

july 2016

Pro-Bono Consulting Services - Apply by July 29

The Community Consulting Program (CCP) is an outreach effort sponsored by the Organizational Development Network of Oregon and provides pro-bono consulting services to Portland area public benefit non-profits.  CCP is accepting applications through July 29th  for a Fall Round of consulting assistance.  For more information, client testimonials, and to download the application, check out the  CCP page on the ODN Oregon website.

february 2016

Legal update: Notice Before Rent Increases and Evictions – Portland City Council Ordinance. The Portland City Council voted to require landlords to give tenants 90 days’ notice before no-fault evictions and for rent increases of more than five percent a year. Previously, the City only required 60 days’ notice. Effective date: November 14, 2015.

november 2015

Communication Across Barriers will be conducting their Poverty and Coaching Institutes on December 14-15 and December 16-17, respectively, at Portland State University. If you work with folks battling poverty, this is a training opportunity you don't want to miss!

october 2015

If your organization uses an online form to gather donations, you may be losing donations and not even know it. This article/infographic explains the seven most frequent mistakes in online forms that negatively impact donations.

NW Health Foundation now taking applications for sponsorships over the course of the next year!

july 2015

There is growing interest among the philanthropic community in addressing social inequality. The Ford foundation is the latest to join this effort. This article gives you the details you need to stay on top of this issue.

perk of the month: Get pro bono consulting services. Apply by July 31, 2015.

march 2015

If the traffic on your organization’s Facebook page is slowing, here’s why.

Featured Grant Listing (additional grant opportunities are available to our clients on our Client Extras page):
PGE Foundation: Education, arts and culture, safe and healthy families
Deadline: May 1, 2015 (LOI)

perk of the month: jobs at the job fair, April 28th!

january 2015

Google Apps now offers a feature called Forms, which lets you collaboratively create and distribute surveys just like Survey Monkey, but with additional features like Gmail integration. You can have an unlimited number of questions and your response data is automatically collected in Google Sheets for easy analysis. Best part is, it’s free with Google Apps and Gmail.

Here’s something fun and maybe useful too. Now you can use more than just smiley faces.

Featured Grant Listing (additional grant opportunities are available to our clients on our Client Extras page):
DAV Charitable Service Trust: empowering veterans
Deadline: April 20, 2015

perk of the month: The Oregon Nonprofit Leaders Conference promises to be a fantastic expenditure of your time. Go to their site and look at the materials from their 2014 conference.

december 2014

Here’s an excellent article on guidestar detailing the top strategic mistakes nonprofits make. This is part 3 in the series and the first 2 parts are also worth checking out, as well.

Featured Grant Listing (additional grant opportunities are available to our clients on our Client Extras page)
American Honda Foundation: youth education with a specific focus on the STEM subjects and the environment
Deadline: February 1, 2015

perk of the month: Splendid ideas from Dr. Donna Beegle: giving in ways that impact people living in the crisis of poverty.

november 2014

Now may be a good time to go over your organization’s email list and “reactivate” your inactive subscribers. This article on GuideStar lays out a plan for doing just that.

Featured Grant Listing (additional grant opportunities are available to our clients on our Client Extras page):
U.S. Bancorp Foundation: Affordable housing, self-sufficiency, economic development
Deadline: February 27, 2015

perk of the month: Have you been strategically planning - all wrong?  Read this article from the trends magazine Shaping Tomorrow, it is persuasive.

october 2014

The folks at SCAFE (Second Chances Are For Everyone) are holding their 2nd annual fundraising event on November 8, 2014, 4-8 PM at CIO (700 North Killingsworth St.). There is also a silent auction that will be running from October 1 through the night of the event. Download the event flyer here (PDF). Hope can join us and support this excellent organization.

Have you heard of the AmazonSmile program? It’s a way that nonprofits can get a small donation every time one of your supporters shops on! Register your organization today and then tell your supporters to choose your organization for the smile program.

Featured Grant Listing (additional grant opportunities are available to our clients on our Client Extras page):
Pacific Power Foundation: Health, welfare, and social service activities
Deadline: December 15, 2014

perk of the month: As we head into the holiday season, here is a list of online fundraising tips to help you maximize your fundraising efforts for your organization.

september 2014

You are probably familiar with TED talks. Here is a list of the top 10 talks for nonprofit leaders. Take some time and check it out!

Featured Grant Listing (additional grant opportunities are available to our clients on our Client Extras page):
Spirit Mountain Community Fund-Small grants: education, health, historic preservation, arts and culture, public safety, environmental preservation, problem gaming
Deadline: October 15, 2014 (LOI) December 15, 2014 (proposal)

perk of the month: Check out this handy, short report (PDF) on content marketing.

The Oregon legislature passed a bill last year that requires digital submission of fingerprints to the Oregon state police. Nonprofits conducting criminal background checks please be aware that Fieldprint, Inc. has been selected as the State of Oregon's Fingerprint Capture and Transmission Services provider. For more information please contact Dion Kerlee, OPBC Procurement Analyst, Business Services at (503) 378-816  or

Thank you to NAO for reposting TechSoup's primer on 'How to Social Media.'  A lot of useful information in a short, easy to follow article.

june 2014

An article was recently posted on Linkedin by Angela Puzzolanti, managing partner at Miratel Solutions.  It offers a simple, easy to implement method of using social media to connect to your audiences. It's a good read.  So, take '5' and try it :)

Featured Grant Listing (additional grant opportunities are available to our clients on our Client Extras page):
Ben & Jerry’s Foundation: grassroots organizing for social justice, environmental justice and sustainable food systems
Deadline: October 15, 2014 (LOI)

perk of the month: Small grants for low-income individuals: These are small amounts of money that are given to people to remedy small, but important issues in the lives of low income folks. These would be wonderful for some of your clients.  Take a look.

may 2014

There are simply lots of free educational resources on the Internet for all ages. Khan Academy has replicated virtually the entire K-12 curriculum online for free. Udacity and other online education sites offer introductions to software programming for free. And then there is, Coursera  - of course :)

Featured Grant Listing (additional grant opportunities are available to our clients on our Client Extras page):
Spirit Mountain Community Fund – small grant program: Arts & culture, education, environmental preservation, health, historic preservation, public safety, and problem gaming
Deadline: July 14, 2014 (LOI); August 15, 2014 (grant application)

perk of the month: iTrulyCare is a new website that offers your organization a way to sell tickets to your events and then take donations completely free of charge. Check it out today and see if it’s a good fit for your organization.

april 2014

Welcome to the social determinants of health! This Washington Post article talks about the just-released report from the Robert Wood Johnson foundation that highlights some of the things that contribute to and detract from healthy living.

Professional Advisor Philanthropy Forum on Friday, May 23, 2014 in Portland, Oregon. Other forums to be held around the state in May, as well. Check the Oregon Community Foundation website for details. Register today!

Featured Grant Listing (additional grant opportunities are available to our clients on our Client Extras page):
Walters Family Foundation: youth, family, elderly self-sufficiency
Deadline: July 15, 2014

perk of the month: Did you know that your congressional delegation can help get funding for your organization? AO can help you make the request.

march 2014

Have you heard about the exciting new way to market your nonprofit? Google one today for nonprofits will get your organization exposure with donors that are interested in causes like yours. Check it out today!

A recent study at Harvard generated some interesting findings about the impact of evictions on poverty. Read the full article at the Harvard Magazine website.

This review, albeit from 2011, proffered 10 promising hypotheses regarding the contribution of affordable housing toward better health outcomes. A summary (PDF) can be found on the National Housing Conference website.

perk of the month: Do you know that TriMet has Low-Income Fare Programs that assist nonprofits in helping their clients meet their transit needs? You can get more information on these programs on the TriMet website.

february 2014

Are you familiar with the Fair Housing Council of Oregon? We have a free service here in Oregon. If you feel that you have been denied fair housing, if it just seemed like, "they shouldn't be able to do that" - you might be right. It costs nothing to call 1-800-424-3247 and choose extension #2. Tell them your story, they'll tell you if they can help. Much of the time they can help. Did we mention that it is free? Rather work online?  Go to and speak out.
Please post this information in your newsletter, on your bulletin boards, your whiteboards, mention it when you talk to your constituents and tell them to tell everyone they know.  Discrimination is hard to spot, yet prolific.  We can stamp it out, but only if we take action. If you or yours are having difficulty with housing issues, let the folks at FHCO know about it. Happy to get brochures, posters, and multi-language materials to you; just ask ~

There is a federal proposal for stricter electioneering rules that might include a ban on “get out the vote” programs. Comments due to the IRS by February 27, 2014. Go to the Federal Register website for complete information on this  proposal.

january 2014

If you work with vets, on vet issues, or simply love a vet, this is a project with which you should at least be familiar if not actually involved.  enjoy!

perk of the month: U.S. Bank Foundation Matching Gifts Program - US Bank will match its employees  charitable contributions up to $1000 per employee. See their website for details on how to enroll your organization in this program today!

The ADA has a Free, Voluntary Mediation program. Check this out for your tenants, your clients, your boss! Did you know that, since 1994, the Department of Justice's ADA Mediation Program has achieved remarkable results, eliminating architectural, communication, and attitudinal barriers for thousands of people, while allowing the Department to achieve meaningful compliance with the law without having to allocate scarce resources to investigate or litigate these disputes. Over 4,000 complaints have been mediated in communities large and small throughout the country, with 78% of them resulting in successful resolutions.

october 2013

Do you know what the actual cost is to replace an $8 an hour employee? According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the average cost of replacing an $8 an hour worker is about $3,500 after all related costs were added up.

perk of the month: To stay on top of what’s happening in the nonprofit scene here in Oregon, check out the Nonprofit Association of Oregon’s Nonprofit Event Calendar.

Your organization probably already uses Twitter to communicate with your supporters, but did you know that you can use it for fundraising too? A new service called Givver allows your supporters to utilize the power of social media by tweeting their donations to your organization. Register your organization today!

august 2013

Being consistently on message is essential in today’s fast-paced and rapidly changing nonprofit communications environment. An upcoming free webinar from GuideStar will help you improve and streamline your organization’s communications for better branding and fundraising results.

perk of the month: Does your organization’s website measure up to what today’s generation of younger donors is looking for when choosing an organization to support? This article in The Chronicle of Higher Education gives some good tips and insight into how you can maximize your outreach to this group of supporters.

Are you looking for an easy, cost-effective way to do conference calls with up to 1000 participants? might just be the solution you need. We use it here at AO. Check it out for your organization.

july 2013

HB 2567 has been passed by the Oregon Legislature and signed by the Governor. This bill gives nonprofit boards the ability to meet remotely. You can find a summary of the bill on the state website.

perk of the month: Here are some of the changes to Oregon's employment statutes from this legislative session:

  • Interns: HB 2669 provides that interns are employees for purposes of certain specified legal protections. The bill defines interns as unpaid persons who are closely supervised by the employer for the purpose of providing experience and training to enhance their employability.
  • Bereavement Leave: HB 2950 extends the right to unpaid family leave for up to two weeks to an employee who experiences the death of a family member.
  • Social Media: HB 2654 prohibits current and prospective employers from requiring individuals to provide access to password-protected content on social media.
  • Crime Victims' Rights: HB 2903 requires employers with six or more employees to post a summary of statutes and administrative rules regarding employment rights of victims of domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault or stalking.

Are you finding what you really need on Google? On the PR Daily website, Alexandra Gavlin shares “6 hidden Google tools” that just might help you better find what you’re looking for and in less time.


may 2013

It’s no secret that there have been recent cuts to the federal SNAP program and that the program has been under attack for quite some time by those seeking to reduce our nation’s budget deficit. A new amendment to the farm bill currently under consideration in the Senate furthers assaults on the program and its recipients by banning some folks who have been convicted of felonies from the program for life. You can read about the amendment in this Thinkprogress article.

perk of the month: How can nonprofit leaders advance their missions by using financial data in their planning and decision-making? What are the "right" financial indicators on which to focus? This free Guidestar webinar on June 20, 2013 will answer these questions and more.

Whether you're creating an organizational newsletter, making a flyer for an upcoming event, or updating your website, having high-quality images to work with is essential to producing engaging content. offers high-resolution stock photography that you can use for free. This is great for organizations on a tight budget!


march 2013

One of the most difficult and cost intensive aspects of running a successful nonprofit is managing all of the data associated with the various aspects of your business. With the Powerofus program from, nonprofits can have the CRM tools they need to manage their supporters, volunteers, grants and fundraising, and more at a price they can afford.

perk of the month: new rules regarding the provision of health insurance by nonprofit employers
AGENCY:  Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.
ACTION:  Notice of proposed rulemaking and notice of public hearing.
SUMMARY:  This document contains proposed regulations providing guidance under section 4980H of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) with respect to the shared responsibility for employers regarding employee health coverage.

Do you like to use inspirational and motivational quotes from famous people in your marketing materials and communications? gives you a free and easy way to verify the source of your quotes so you can give proper credit to the authors.


february 2013

Is your organization utilizing social media to connect with your supporters and broaden your exposure to the general public? What about for fundraising? This infographic tells you why you should be harnessing the power of social media in your fundraising outreach efforts.

Were you one of the many that dismissed Google+ as "just another Facebook"? The search giant's growing social media site has added some new tools that can change the ways nonprofits communicate - both internally and externally. Check out how we will be working differently (again).

low cost resource
Do your website visitors enjoy using your site? Can they readily find the information they’re seeking? Getting feedback on the usability of your website or web application used to be an expensive and time-consuming task that few nonprofits had the resources to pursue. makes this critical data gathering affordable and easy. Check it out and see what you can do to improve your organization’s web presence!


january 2013

Set Your Communications Agenda with LightBox Collaborative’s 2013 Editorial Calendar.
The LightBox Collaborative 2013 Editorial Calendar is here! Please enjoy their calendar. We hope that our fellow nonprofit communicators will be inspired to think of new and interesting ways to get their message out.

perk of the month: There is a bill on its way to the legislature that you should know of. The summary is below, the entire draft is on our site in the client section.

House Bill 2060

Introduced and printed pursuant to House Rule 12.00. Presession filed (at the request of House Interim Committee on General Government and Consumer Protection for Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum)

The following summary is not prepared by the sponsors of the measure and is not a part of the body thereof subject to consideration by the Legislative Assembly. It is an editor’s brief statement of the essential features of the measure as introduced.

Allows Attorney General to issue order disqualifying charitable organization from receiving contributions that are deductible for purpose of Oregon income tax and corporate excise tax if Attorney General finds that charitable organization has failed to expend at least 30 percent of total annual functional expenses on program services when those expenses are averaged over most recent three fiscal years. Provides that Attorney General may decline to issue disqualification order if certain mitigating circumstances exist. Specifies exempt organizations.

Imposes mandatory disclosure requirements for charitable organizations subject to disqualification order. Requires Attorney General to publish on Internet and otherwise make available list of charitable organizations that are subject to disqualification orders.
Takes effect on 91st day following adjournment sine die.

Looking for an alternative to Dropbox for storing and sharing files and photos? Offering more space than Dropbox, SkyDrive, from Microsoft, might be what you’re looking for.


november 2012

Have you ever heard of Howard Zinn, the historian/anthropologist who wrote "The People Speak" (history through the eyes of the people who lived it)? Well, here's an "article" in the same style about living in poverty… Be sure to note and read the comments as well.

perk of the month: LinkedIn recently launched Board Connect for Nonprofit Organizations -- a new board member recruiting program that enables nonprofits to easily tap into LinkedIn’s 187+ million strong network of professionals. This program gives nonprofits free access to LinkedIn's Talent Finder service (a $1,000 annual value). The program is currently in "beta" (the web equivalent of a pilot program), so you will need to register now and attend a Webinar on January 10, 2013.

Get more information and sign up for Board Connect here:


october 2012

We all know that economic inequality in the U.S. is a growing problem for our society. This article in the National Journal provides an interesting look at how individual Metro areas in America compare to other countries in the world.

perk of the month: Many a time we have been asked if a board or staff member is allowed to use the organization's membership list for purposes of their own -- like sharing the list with another organization they volunteer with.

The short answer is not without board consent (and in some cases, not at all).

The longer answer is in our well-thumbed Oregon Nonprofit Corporations Statute:

65.782 Limitations on use of membership list.
Without consent of the board, a membership list or any part of a membership list may not be obtained or used by any person for any purpose unrelated to a member’s interest as a member.
Without limiting the generality of this section, without the consent of the board, a membership list or any part thereof may not be:
(1) Used to solicit money or property unless such money or property will be used solely to solicit the votes of the members in an election to be held by the corporation;
(2) Used for any commercial purpose; or
(3) Sold or purchased by any person. [1989 c.1010 §168]

Do you need a way for multiple members of your organization to access and share a single online repository of files and important documents? A free service called Dropbox may be the solution. We use it here at AO and we find it to be a valuable tool in our productivity toolbox.


september 2012

The new census figures on poverty have been released. Check out a summary of the findings in this article.

The future is here and new ways of financial support and here with it. Has your organization tried a Pay for Success funding model?

NOLS (Oregon State Bar Nonprofit Organizations Law Section) helps Oregon attorneys to better serve the very diverse range of non-governmental and nonprofit entities.  NOLS offers attorneys opportunities to be on the cutting edge of the laws governing and the best practices for working with nonprofits.  NOLS members also advise the bar and, when appropriate, the legislature, on matters affecting nonprofits. You do not have to be an attorney to be a member.

Do you wish that there was a way to securely Web conference and collaborate online? Try Yugma for free!


august 2012

perk of the month: With the Spirit of Portland Awards, the City of Portland has been recognizing those who make a positive difference in our city since 1985. You can nominate a neighborhood association, business of any size, nonprofit or individual. Consider nominating your staff, volunteers, board members or partners. 

Nomination forms are now available for the 2012 awards. Visit to download the form and view past winners. Nominations only require a simple form and a one-page narrative on why your nominee should win. 

Deadline for nominations in September 5, 2012.

Stay Exempt Workshop - Tuesday, September 25th, 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM, Portland State University, Smith Center Ballroom. Offered by PSU's Center for Public Service, learn to navigate tax compliance and regulations from IRS Exempt Organizations Specialists in a one-day workshop for small and medium sized 501(c)3 organizations. $50 fee includes all materials and a box lunch. Check the website for registration info

Just about everyone knows that you can send pictures, office documents, or other small files to someone else via e-mail. But what if you need to send a large file that's too big for e-mail? Sendspace has a solution. With Sendspace, you can send a file up to 300 MB to as many recipients as you want for free!


july 2012

How do you think the U.S. compares to other countries insofar as children living in poverty are concerned? A new report from UNICEF might surprise you…

perk of the month: Make certain that all your board members have read Oregon's Guide to Nonprofit Board Service. You can download it, call and order physical copies, or e-mail the link to your board and ask them to be prepared to have a brief discussion at the next meeting.

How long should it take to tweet? Most nonprofits know there are benefits to social media engagement, but many are clueless as to the time required to reap these benefits. Trying to figure out how long it should take? (Or, trying to convince a supervisor why one hour a week on Facebook won't cut it?) Nonprofit Tech 2.0 wrote a great overview of how much time you should expect to invest in your social media.

Do you need information or help developing the skills you need to find funding, manage your nonprofit, or improve your community? Check out GrantSpace for articles and resources on everything nonprofit.


june 2012

The Oregon Nonprofit Sector Report for 2011 is now available. Check it out!

perk of the month: One of the most noxious myths in the nonprofit world is "If our written materials look too good, donors will think we're spending too much money on these materials and not enough on programs." If you are to make headway with your capital campaign, you must convince donors and grantors that your organization is a serious "player." Nothing communicates this seriousness like a case statement on high-quality paper that boasts attractive photographs and imaginative design. Scrimping on the case statement is a classic case of "penny-wise, pound-foolish."

Does your team need help learning to use the Microsoft Office programs? Give this entertaining and interactive learning tool from Microsoft a try.

Need assistance doing research? The "Ask a librarian" service from the Library of Congress may be able to help – and it’s free.


may 2012

Meyer Memorial Trust's Grassroots Grants reopened April 1 (and will be due July 15). These grants are specifically designed to give smaller nonprofits an opportunity to apply for a grant from Meyer.

perk of the month: Can volunteers deduct expenses? No; however, your volunteers can deduct their out-of-pocket expenses on their individual tax returns. They can also deduct the direct costs of using their vehicles OR the standard charitable mileage rate when doing volunteer work.

A growing number of Americans can't afford to buy food despite dropping unemployment numbers, according to a recent article in the Huffington Post.

Coming soon: a new client only section for more perks, tips and grant information. Check back here soon.

AO Non-profit Strategies and Affairs