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Learn More About 501 Commons

Nonprofit support, management and technology consulting and free information and referral services

Who We Are

Our Mission

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 all people and communities flourish.

The values that guide our work are:

  • Respect
  • Integrity and transparency
  • Inclusion
  • Accessibility
  • Partnership
  • Results

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 2,000 nonprofits, improving the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities.

Our Story

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. 

Our name is based on the principle of the "the commons"  The commons can be characterized as having five distinct attributes:

  1. Free and uncoerced participation
  2. A shared purpose
  3. Jointly held resources
  4. A sense of mutuality
  5. Relationships that are characterized by justice and fairness

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 2,000 organizations each year. Join us!

Our Clients

Each year, we work with 2,000+ 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."

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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.

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