Who We Are
We all rise when nonprofits thrive. 501 Commons serves nonprofits as experts, innovators, and partners. Our passion is to amplify the strengths of nonprofits—so people and communities flourish.
The values that guide our work are:
- Integrity and transparency
Read about how we’ve built diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into our work with clients and into our internal practices.
How we accomplish our mission
501 Commons provides expertise to nonprofits through 30+ services, including a full range of management consulting; technology consulting (IT planning and database development); outsourced HR, accounting, IT infrastructure, and database management services; professional development and board training; and free information and referral services.
As a nonprofit ourselves, we are grateful for the support we receive from dozens of philanthropic partners to help us keep services affordable to nonprofits of all sizes. Annually, our services strengthen more than 1,000 nonprofits, improving the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities.
501 Commons was founded in 1989 as Executive Service Corps of Washington. In 2010, we changed our name to 501 Commons, reflecting a changing role and broader range of services. In 2012, we absorbed some of the programs and services of the Alliance for Nonprofits and the technology services of NPower Northwest. Most of our clients are in the Pacific Northwest, but many of our services are available to nonprofits in other geographic areas.
The word "commons" refers to a concept deeply rooted in US history and law that the people have access to, and responsibility for, shared assets and resources governed by a shared purpose, with participation based on fairness and mutuality. This belief in mutuality is built into our name and culture. Our Theory of Practice describes how we approach our work and our Team Charter describes how our team of 45+ work together to serve our clients.
501 Commons is a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible, nonprofit, charitable organization and is a member of the Executive Service Corps - United States. By making a donation or volunteering your time to 501 Commons, you are impacting the success of over 1,000 organizations each year. Join us!
Each year, we work with 1,000+ nonprofits in the Pacific Northwest and around the United States. We provide services to all types and sizes of nonprofits organizations.View the List
Our Theory of Practice
At 501 Commons, everything we do is based on a "theory of practice" framework drawn from research on nonprofit capacity building and our nonprofit experience. Through this, we have identified "Five Elements of a Healthy Nonprofit."Learn More
Our Partnerships & Collaborations
We believe in the power of collaboration. Working together with other organizations gets us further faster. Here are some of our connections to other capacity builders doing good in Washington state.Explore Connections
Strengthening Our Sector
We work to unleash the potential of nonprofits in our state by providing access to affordable services, so they can achieve their mission.
- Learn about our work and how we partner with philanthropy.
- Our methods are based on research into effective capacity-building