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The Commons – Our Blog

News, Tips, & Insights from Staff & Guests

News, Tips, & Insights from Staff & Guests

Welcome to The Commons, 501 Commons' blog, where we'll be sharing:

  • How-tos, tips, and tricks from nonprofit tech, finance, HR, and other areas
  • News and updates about upcoming events, programs, and services
  • Thought-provoking pieces around topics, such as skills-based volunteerism, nonprofit management, and more
  • Stories from clients about the impact of 501 Commons' programs and services

Plus, we invite your comments! Add your thoughts to these posts, so our blog truly becomes "The Commons."

Advocacy is a Must for All Nonprofits and Board Members

Published Aug 08, 2018 08:52 AM

In early August, 75+ people attended a workshop with Toren Lewis from the Alliance for Justice on the rules governing nonprofits being engaged in advocacy. The big takeaway was simple: Nonprofits and board members can and should advocate for the causes that matter most to them.

Advocacy is a Must for All Nonprofits and Board Members - Read More…

Helpful Resources: Methods for Advocating Effectively

Published Jul 24, 2018 01:25 PM

While it may seem like well-funded special interest groups are drowning out citizens in the public policy advocacy space, nonprofits shouldn’t feel like they’re voiceless. With proper strategy and allies, creating lasting change at the local, state, and national levels is possible.

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Increase Team Effectiveness by Building Trust

Published Jul 23, 2018 10:30 AM

All teams will experience breakdowns in their effectiveness. These can be more easily and quickly resolved if you do some important work in advance. Building trust and establishing clear norms and expectations can reduce conflicts and increase accountability to organizational goals.

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Know the Law...Before Incorporating Liquor, Cannabis, & Gambling Into Your Event

Published Jul 17, 2018 01:33 PM

Nonprofits in Washington raise millions each year from fundraisers, auctions, and raffles. But – whoa Nelly! – before you plan your next event, read this helpful toolkit.

Know the Law...Before Incorporating Liquor, Cannabis, & Gambling Into Your Event - Read More…

Vietnamese Friendship Association: Looking Ahead to a Changing Community

Published Jul 06, 2018 02:04 PM

For 40 years, Vietnamese Friendship Association has proudly served the Vietnamese and refugee populations in South Seattle. The organization originally sought to help resettle refugees affected by the Vietnam War. As time has gone on, VFA shifted toward supporting education, economic self-sufficiency, and leadership development programs.

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Helpful Resources: Understanding Microaggressions and Unintended Slights

Published Jun 21, 2018 11:14 AM

A “microaggression” is a verbal or nonverbal cue (whether intentional or unintentional) that communicates hostility or bias toward a targeted group of people. These unintended slights may seem harmless on the surface, but they perpetuate the feeling of being devalued and viewed as “the other.”

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Racial Microaggressions: Not All Offenses are Obvious

Published Jun 20, 2018 03:30 PM

When we communicate with people from a racial or cultural background different from our own, there’s always the chance we might commit a “microaggression” – a verbal or nonverbal cue that conveys disrespect or bias.

Racial Microaggressions: Not All Offenses are Obvious - Read More…

Standing for Justice Together

Published Jun 19, 2018 09:45 AM

Your mission may be best tackled by advocating for public policy and budget changes that impact your constituents. Learn the rules so that you can keep your board and organization aligned with the law while advocating for change.

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What Nonprofits Need to Know About Data Privacy

Published Jun 18, 2018 09:31 AM

Recent coverage about political campaigns using data curated by Facebook has awakened your clients, donors, and volunteers to privacy issues. Take those headlines as a heads up to make sure you can secure the personal data you have.

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How Long Should Nonprofits Retain Certain Documents?

Published Jun 05, 2018 12:50 PM

Federal and state laws require the retention of certain documents and electronic records for a minimum amount of time, making it essential for nonprofit organizations to have a written retention policy that is faithfully followed.

How Long Should Nonprofits Retain Certain Documents? - Read More…