You are here:

Spring 2018 Top of Mind Newsletter

Newsletter for specialists in the Nonprofit Resource Directory

Experts are in the house!

Specialists in the Nonprofit Resource Directory will be well-represented at the Washington State Nonprofit Conference May 16, starting with three pre-conference Deep-Dive workshops on May 15:

  • 501 Commons’ HR Essentials for the Accidental HR Manager
    Go over common HR mistakes, how to handle the “life cycle” of an employee (hiring, onboarding, evaluating, and separation), key state and federal employment laws, practices that build an inclusive and diverse workplace, critical policies, and employee handbooks.
  • Risk Management with NPIP
    Regardless of mission, operations, budget, or staff size, all nonprofits face assorted risks that are challenging to navigate. Even knowing where to start can be overwhelming. The Non Profit Insurance Program (NPIP) provides resources to help you assess, manage, and mitigate your risks so you can focus on what is truly important – your mission. Use 100%NPIPComp for free registration!

Staff from Campbell & Company, The Ostara Group, Seattle University, and Washington Nonprofits will also present at the conference itself on May 16 topics such as advancing equity, creating a case for support, leading with your values, getting started with advocacy, lobbying, and civic engagement.

501 Commons’ staff will be joined by Northwest Nonprofit Resources and Wayfind representatives, at the Nonprofit Q&A Center, to field walk-up questions on a half-dozen common nonprofit topics. Plus, Jacobson Jarvis & Co., PLLC will pair up with Washington Nonprofits at Washington Nonprofits Tools Table. Attendees can learn about the association’s “field-tested” tools in areas such as boards, finance, and law.

Something new this year are “The Doctor Is In” tables. Here, specialists – including Cohen Consulting & Evaluation, LLCDavid Owen Hastings DesignMRW Web Design; and The Ostara Group – will offer short consultations on their areas of expertise.

And many of you will also be conference exhibitors, including AFP Advancement Northwest; Bader Martin; PS; Campbell & Company; David Owen Hastings Design; Jacobson Jarvis & Co., PLLC; Non Profit Insurance Program (NPIP); Nonprofit & Philanthropy Resource Center; Parker, Smith & Feek; Seattle U Masters of Nonprofit Management; Strategic Research Associates; UW Professional and Continuing Education; UW Tacoma Professional Development Center; Washington Nonprofits; and Well Done Events.

You can register for a single pre-conference session, but you’ll save $25 on the HR and financial management workshops if you also register for the main conference the next day. See above for promotional code for risk management workshop. Online registration ends today, Friday May 11. You can still register at the door, however.

Get your new seal of approval

The Nonprofit Resource Directory now has a new “Approved Specialist” seal that you can place on your website and marketing collateral.

The seal is very much like the blue verified checkmark found on many social media platforms that tells the public you’re legitimate. Our seal confirms your experience, affirms your dedication to providing high-quality services to the nonprofit sector, and says 501 Commons proudly recommends you.

Email matt@501commons.org to request a JPEG, PNG, EPS, or GIF version of the seal. We even have one with a transparent background. Not sure which one is best for digital or print usage? Tell us how you plan to feature the seal and we’ll provide you what you need.

Learn how to facilitate great meetings on May 24

Resource Directory specialists are invited to our next “Learn to Serve” training on skilled facilitation and how you can devise better meetings/planning sessions. Taught by Annie Paulson, an Executive Service Corps volunteer and the Department Chair of Edmonds Community College’s Business Management Department, this training is free to all Directory specialists and Service Corps members.

Learn to Serve: Strategies for Skilled Facilitation
Thursday, May 24 | 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Pacific Tower (room #810), 1200 12th Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98144
See driving and parking directions

We will discuss three different applications of skilled facilitation:

  1. Information Gathering Facilitation: The facilitator leads focus groups or brainstorming sessions with the goal of learning as much as possible about people’s ideas, feelings, and experiences. The objective is to remain neutral and encourage participants to dig deeper and come up with rich ideas and thoughts.
  2. Meeting Facilitation: The facilitator ensures that attendees are able to participate, stay on track and on schedule, and ultimately achieve the goals for the meeting. Preparing an agenda is important, as is engaging participants constructively to make sure everyone stays focused and feels emboldened to contribute.
  3. Planning Facilitation: The facilitator employs a variety of facilitation approaches (including the two outlined above) in addition to identifying priorities, resolving conflict, and building consensus.

Come away with better know-how of leading more effective group discussions that help your clients achieve their goals. Questions? Contact Gillian Cook at gillian@501commons.org.

Welcome new Resource Directory specialists!

We’d like to welcome the following companies that – after reviews and reference checks – have been added to our referral network.

  • Acceptiva, LLC – For nearly a decade and a half, Acceptiva has provided nonprofits with affordable, custom, secure transaction forms for accepting online donations and payments, including event registration. Forms are not only professional looking, but branded to the nonprofit client, making them more effective in converting donations. Industry knowledge and personalized customer service are just two of the company’s many sources of pride.
  • Allison Carney Consulting – From elevator pitches to communications plans, Allison Carney delivers the full breadth of communications services. Most importantly, they’re tailored to fit the organization and its needs and built on client input (facilitating groups and distilling ideas are specialties of hers). Social media/website/email strategy, fundraising support, audience research, copywriting/editing, event marketing, and staff training skills describe additional offerings.
  • Rising Sun Accounting – Owner Samuel Dahlin’s goal is to bring “stability to accounting and bookkeeping processes, so directors can focus on their organization.” He and his colleague do this by exclusively serving nonprofits with bookkeeping, payroll, financial reports, budgeting and planning, grant reporting, audit prep., and many types of license and tax filings. They also specialize in smaller nonprofits with annual budgets from $15,000 to $2 million.
  • Trutina Financial – Ensuring successful planning for organizations and their staff – when it comes to medical benefits, retirement plans, and investment management – is what Trutina is all about. This holds true from the executive director and board to the newest employee. Support ranges from goal-review meetings with management to live, phone, service-team support for all staff – even their dependents.

Sector news: what's on our radar?

Toolkit on rules related to marijuana, liquor and gambling

Nonprofits try many things to fundraise, including auctions and raffles. Even though the state of Washington legalized the sale of recreational marijuana in 2012, incorporating certain cannabis-based products into these activities still comes with legal limitations.

Washington Nonprofits, Wayfind, and the Office of the Secretary of State have partnered with the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board to produce a helpful toolkit and video that guides nonprofits in how to legally integrate marijuana, liquor, and gambling into fundraising events.

Privacy Concerns

In the wake of the revelations that third-party companies have been using data curated by Facebook for politically-motivated purposes, people are concerned about how their data is used. This has also served as a reminder about why nonprofits should clarify their privacy rules in regards to the contact information of donors, volunteers, and clients.

The Better Business Bureau offers a template for crafting a privacy policy statement that can be posted on your website. You can also use it to “freshen up” your current statement if it needs updating. Social Media Examiner provides 5 tools that can help you secure your social media accounts.

Update on Resource Directory recertification

So far, 18 Directory partners have been recertified to continue being listed in the Resource Directory. What’s “recertification” again?  It’s the process where we renew the approval of long-time specialists by updating their listings and reference checks. Recertification, like the original application process, allows 501 Commons to recommend listed providers with confidence and ensures that you are "in good company."

We greatly appreciate everyone who chooses to be found by nonprofits in the Resource Directory. Directory pages were visited more than 100,000 times last year! But a special thank you goes out to those who renew year-after-year and who’ve recently provided us client references for the recertification process.

Heads up: for those of you who were first approved and promoted in 2013, we’ll be reaching out to you in the coming weeks so that you can be recertified by year’s end.

Quick Hits

Great vibes at the Directory Networking Party

We loved seeing many of you at last month’s 7th annual Directory Networking Party on April 3. To check out photos of guests, Wing Luke Museum’s incredible space, and delicious catering from Keiro Northwest, visit our Facebook page.

Also, thanks to Columbia Bank, Hagel Executive Search, 501(c) Services, Beneficial State Bank, First Financial Northwest Bank, Foster Pepper PLLC, Non Profit Insurance Program, Peterson Sullivan LLP, and Third Sector Company for sponsoring the party!

Thank you for your GiveBIG donation

Earlier this week, the final GiveBIG event raised more than $16 million for nonprofits all across King County. We appreciate everyone who gave a gift to 501 Commons and other organizations. Each year, 501 Commons serves more than 1,000 nonprofits and impacts thousands of lives in our community and beyond.

Board training workshops

Please recommend to your clients that they attend the final two Board Training workshops that are coming up in the next few weeks:

Storytelling Made Easy for Boards & Executives – Thursday, May 17, 9:00 a.m. to noon, presented by Jim Shapiro

Governance Matters: A More Powerful Board Through Policy Governance – Monday, June 4, 9:00 a.m. to noon, presented by Nancy Long

Both trainings are at Pacific Tower’s Panoramic Center (8th floor) at 1200 12th Avenue S, Seattle, WA 98144. They’re ideal for board members – especially new ones – and executive directors. Those considering becoming a board member in the future will also benefit.

Puget Sound Nonprofit Consultants Coffee on May 22

The next Puget Sound Consultants Coffee gathering is on Tuesday, May 22 from 10:00 a.m. to noon at the Kirkland Library. Facilitated by Kris McRea, this bimonthly meet-up is for networking, collaborative conversation, establishing partnerships in projects, and talking about trends in the industry to build community among consultants and to better serve our clients.

And there is coffee! Anyone who serves mission-based organizations is welcome. Click here to sign up.