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Fall 2017 Top of Mind Newsletter

Newsletter for Specialists in the Nonprofit Resource Directory

Become a better trainer with best-selling author Ulrich Boser on Tuesday, Nov. 28

Even the most experienced trainers can always improve their ability to convey complex information in an engaging way. It can be challenging to balance the need to make the best of people’s time and to use participatory approaches that speak to all learning styles. You’re invited to a free talk and conversation with best-selling author Ulrich Boser on a subject we all value: How to be the best teacher possible.

You'll learn how to transfer skills and ideas you can integrate into your daily practice and the most recent scientific research on learning. We will discuss developing a “community of practice” among nonprofit trainers.

Learn Better
Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017
3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Capitol Hill Housing (Pike Pine Room), 1620 12th Avenue, suite 206, Seattle, WA 98122
RSVP by Nov. 22 at

This presentation is brought to you by Washington Nonprofits in partnership with Guila Muir and Associates and Cedarmere Foundation.

Learn more about Boser, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and the author of “Learn Better,” chosen by Amazon’s Editors as one of the Best Books of 2017.

Space is limited, so RSVP by Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017.

Share what you know

Last month, the Nonprofit Staff Development Coalition (NPSDC), a former Resource Directory partner, became a part of 501 Commons. The Coalition chooses monthly, day-long professional development workshops provided by respected regional and national trainers that meet the needs of the coalition members, as well as other nonprofits.

Would you like to be a presenter at a future workshop? We are especially looking for trainers with expertise on these topics: Sessions designed specifically for women and for people of color on building leadership skills, organizational change to promote greater diversity, bridging differences in the workplace and creating an inclusive culture, conflict management, communication and listening skills, and effective service to immigrant populations. Email if you’re interested in leading a workshop on any of these – or other topics – in 2018.

We’re also seeking tech-minded trainers to lead in-person or webinar workshops for next year’s 501 Talks Tech workshop series. Previous topics include social media marketing, SEO, video production, website accessibility, Google AdWords, and intranets. Want to teach nonprofits the basics of using design software, HTML coding, photography, or some other area you’re knowledgeable in? Learn more about becoming a presenter.

Be a published author or share a favorite resource

One of 501 Commons’ goals for 2018 is to expand the popular Tools & Best Practices section to address more topics. Resource Directory specialists like you have expertise in many different areas and knowledge about resources that work, including your own, which you might like to get out to nonprofits.

You can help us improve the topics we already have or write/curate content for new ones. Contributions can be as small as forwarding us a few links from trusted industry sources to being a contributing writer on a brand new webpage. With the latter, of course, we would provide you credit on the website (we only give this opportunity to Resource Directory partners).

We are particularly interested in expanding the sections on Communication & Marketing, Facilitation, Facilities & Real Estate, and Fundraising & Development. Review the topics in your areas of expertise and email if you are interested in helping us out in any way.

Welcome new Resource Directory specialists!

We’d like to welcome the following companies and individuals who – after a thorough review and reference checks – have been added to our referral network!

Clark Nuber PS – Clark Nuber’s Not-for-Profit Services Group serves 750+ nonprofits across the country with tax, audit, accounting, and consulting services, including MIP software training. The firm also stays on top of emerging issues through continuing education and by serving on national nonprofit-focused committees.

Greg Scully – 501 Commons’ Service Corps member Greg Scully is also an experienced for-profit consultant to nonprofits and NGOs around the world. In his words, Greg's nonprofit focus includes productive business planning, strengthening boards and their governance, and providing effective meeting facilitation services.

Social Entrepreneurs, Inc. – Community service providers, governmental agencies, foundations, and associations – 675+ projects and more than 225 clients – have turned to SEI for evaluation, board governance, facilitation, and strategic planning expertise. Community and statewide assessments also help inform client decision-making.

Know a consultant or organization who should be in the Resource Directory? Send them here and/or connect ‘em with Sam Hampton at

Consultant recertification is underway

Among the things that set the Resource Directory apart are requirements that those listed have both successful and recent experience. These vetting requirements provide assurance that you are “in good company.” Nonprofits have made the Directory their go-to place for services because they know that all partners listed have a minimum of three years of experience and have provided references whose feedback on our questionnaire was positive enough to qualify to be included.

To maintain these standards, 501 Commons does periodic recertification. The process involves checking references for those specialists who do consulting work. For those of you who were first approved and promoted in 2011-2012, recertification is underway!

501 Commons has reached out to everyone that recertification applies to and thanks those of you who have already provided their references. If you have not, please respond to our request, as you can help keep Resource Directory costs low by making this a quick and efficient process.

Sector news: What’s on our radar?

Here are some noteworthy stories and opportunities we’re keeping close tabs on:

  • Starting on January 1, 2018, employers across the state of Washington – both nonprofits and for-profits alike – will have to adjust to new legislative changes requiring all employers to offer paid sick leave, as well as increases to the minimum wage over several years. There are also changes coming in 2020 in regards to Paid Family and Medical Leave. We’ve published a blog post summarizing the key points every employer should know.
  • Tax reform is at the forefront of what the sector is talking about, including proposals to change the Johnson Amendment, which restricts 501(c)3s from endorsing or opposing political candidates. There’s a lot to wrap your mind around, so visit the National Council of Nonprofits information on Federal Tax Reform and sign up for Washington Nonprofits' Policy Action Alerts and Updates.

Advancing nonprofits, together

Thank you! 501 Commons is grateful for our partnership with Resource Directory specialists. You strengthen the nonprofit sector by reducing the time, risks, and costs for nonprofits to find and engage professionals that help them succeed at their important missions.

So feel proud. Together, we’re making a difference in the quality of life within the communities we serve. The results of our collaboration with you and other “501 Commons Network” members are demonstrated on the new “Our Impact” page at

Please consider a gift. Directory partners can show support for 501 Commons’ success in strengthening 1,000+ nonprofits each year – serving tens of thousands of people and families across Washington and beyond – through our Fall Campaign. 501 Commons’ client fees only cover 44% of the cost of operating our nonprofit enterprise. Therefore, contributions from people like you are crucial.

Can we count on you? Our request for your generosity is on its way to your inbox and mailbox. Please join the members of our staff, volunteer leadership, and Executive Service Corps in making both a donation this year and a pledge for 2018.

Quick Hits

Puget Sound Consultants Coffee

Get to know consultants and other nonprofit specialists at the next free Puget Sound Consultants Coffee on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. Held every other month and organized by Resource Directory consultant Kris McRea (McRea Consulting), consultants gather for networking, collaborative conversations, partnership talks, and discussions about industry trends to build community among peers and better serve clients. This month’s gathering is at 501 Commons’ home in Pacific Tower. Consultants that serve mission-based organizations of any size are welcome. Click here to RSVP.

Book your 2018 events at Pacific Tower

Are you or your clients looking for space for an event happening next year? The time is now to book a room in Pacific Tower for events like board meetings, program gatherings, fundraisers, and other important occasions.

Pacific Tower offers at least three meeting spaces, plus a conference center that features an amazing panoramic view of Seattle and beyond. Guests will be equally impressed with the historic Art Deco architecture and interior. Plus, the FareStart Café inside can meet morning and lunchtime food and beverage needs, as well as FareStart Catering serves for evening and weekend affairs. Learn more here.