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Spring 2019 Top of Mind Newsletter

Newsletter for Specialists in the Nonprofit Resource Directory

“Tools & Best Practices” content: Another way to gain exposure

For the Nonprofit Resource Directory to be the “first stop” for information and referrals, we’ve long known that content is key. So we’ve worked hard to curate valuable tools and best practices on a wide range of nonprofit topics. We also know we’re partnered with experts – Resource Directory consultants who want to be known for their expertise. The marriage of the two can be a “win-win” where a popular platform meets subject-matter experts.

Take, for example, our newest addition: Facility Management: Overview & Best Practices. Written by Resource Directory partner Tony Kaufmann of Integrated Facility Management Consulting LLC, this webpage introduces readers to best practices around managing a facility, whether they’re owners or not. It also offers a downloadable best-practices checklist and links to additional respected sources.

501 Commons invites you to author original content and share downloadable tools (e.g., templates, reports, guidebooks) and links without a paywall that nonprofits can learn from. You’ll be cited as the contributor and we link to your Resource Directory profile in the credits. If you’d like to help us expand best-practice content while being noted as the expert, please email Tim Takechi at to discuss your content idea(s) and learn more about contribution requirements.

Image caption and source: Contemporary facility management components (IFMA)

April Party celebrates service providers in style

Our 8th annual Directory Networking Party, at Wing Luke Museum, provided the perfect setting for nonprofit specialists to make new connections and strengthen relationships. “It was a superb event with just the right content of program – time to mingle coupled with lavish food and beverage in an iconic location,” one attendee wrote us the next day.

“A fair amount of staff time goes into putting on this annual event. But it’s one of the ways we can embody ‘the commons’ for the consultant and training community,” adds 501 Commons’ executive director Nancy Long, “and it’s rewarding to see how much people enjoy it and attend year after year.”

Thank you to everyone who joined us, and we hope even more of you can attend in 2020. Visit our Facebook montage to get a glimpse of the evening.

A shout out to the organizations who made the event possible – and support our Information & Referral Program – through their sponsorship, including many Directory partners: Columbia Bank; Beneficial State Bank; Greenwood, Ohlund & Company; Hagel & Company; First Financial Northwest Bank; Non Profit Insurance Program (NPIP); Peterson Sullivan LLP; and Third Sector Company.

Thank you for your GiveBIG support

We’d like to express our deepest thanks to everyone who gave a donation to 501 Commons and other nonprofits through GiveBIG, promoted our fundraising assistance opportunities, and helped generate buzz about GiveBIG on social media.

The preliminary results of what we collectively raised during Early Giving and on May 8 are amazing! GiveBIG 2019 inspired 51,155 donations, which will benefit 1,477 nonprofit organizations. We are still tallying the results, but online and donor-advised fund donations, sponsorship support, matching funds, and in-kind contributions currently total $11.3 million.

This was our first year producing GiveBIG, and it was a tremendous undertaking by many people. To us, no contribution was insignificant. Whether you gave a gift, volunteered your time, partnered with us to do outreach to nonprofits, or shared/retweeted our GiveBIG messages, each effort contributed to the 2019 campaign’s success.

Welcome new Resource Directory specialist!

Please welcome the following company to our popular referral network.

  • Mac's List – Serving the Pacific Northwest from its Portland home, Mac’s List connects purpose-driven employers, including nearly 600 nonprofits, with qualified job seekers. Nonprofits have many posting options to choose from. Plus, they receive a discount. There’s also tiered-pricing based on the size of the organization. The company is even the world's first B Corp job board (“making the hiring process more human!”).

Grow the sector’s fundraising capacity and more by training

In the lead up to GiveBIG, Ariel Glassman of The Ostara Group shared her expertise on fundraising, online communication, and planning a giving day campaign through four workshops that 400 attended and many more gained from by downloading the slides or watching the webinar video. We’d love to continue to offer fundraising-themed trainings and resources on fundraising topics  to help organizations be more successful during GiveBIG and year-round, but we need trainers!

We’re inviting our Resource Directory partners to contact us about leading such a session, either in-person at Pacific Tower or online via a webinar. Being the presenter also means more exposure both during and leading up to the training through our advance promotions.

There isn’t a firm schedule of when these workshops will happen, but ideally, we’d like to put on a few during the lead up to Giving Tuesday (December 3, 2019) and the end of the year.

We would also like to create short, focused videos on fundraising topics. Here are a few suggested topic ideas:

  • Using social media to reach new donors
  • Technology tools for planning and executing a fundraising campaign
  • Writing great appeal letters
  • Designing a fantastic GiveBIG profile page
  • Getting board members excited for fundraising
  • Writing a donor thank you letter
  • Strategies for raising a matching fund
  • Recruiting and supporting a peer-to-peer fundraisers
  • Cultivating donors each day

Interested? Please reach out to Isabel Cunningham at to discuss your workshop idea(s), course curriculum, timing, and logistics.

Sector news: What’s on our radar?

B&O tax increase may affect your company

The Washington State Legislature recently passed in late April a $52.4 billion budget, with $800 million coming in from new taxes.

Among those new taxes is an increase in the state’s B&O (business and occupation) tax rate. Companies that deal with architecture, engineering, legal work, insurance and financial work, medical services, software publishing, research for science, online retail, and telecommunications will be affected, according to The Seattle Times. These businesses would pay a 20% surcharge on their current B&O tax rate.

The money raised from this tax increase will fund an expansion to college financial aid and efforts to boost STEM and nursing degrees.

Employee paid Long Term Care Insurance Benefits

The Washington State Legislature approved the nation's program creating an insurance benefit to help offset the costs of long-term care. The insurance program has a lifetime maximum of $36,500 per person, indexed to inflation, paid for by an employee payroll premium. Premiums will start being collected from employees in 2022 and benefits could start being collected in 2025.

The benefit would be funded through a monthly payroll fee of just over one half of one percent – 58 cents for every hundred dollars in income – which means someone earning $50,000 a year would pay about $24 dollars a month. All workers would contribute to the trust. However, those covered by other long-term care insurance could opt out of the program when it starts up.

You can learn more from this Forbes article.

DOL issues letter clarifying FMLA rules

The federal Department of Labor (DOL) issued a letter back in March clarifying that employers are required to designate requests for protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) without delay.

According to current FMLA legislation, employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for a number of pre-determined reasons, chief among them the birth of a child or tending to the death or sickness of a family member. There’s been an issue among employers of when such benefits should start, especially when alternative options like sick leave and vacation days overlap – as well as whether or not employers can delay designating FMLA benefits for whatever reason.

In a nutshell, employers should approve FMLA requests as soon as possible in order to avoid the possibility of litigation.

Teaching nonprofits technology can mean new business leads

A fantastic way to gain new business leads is to present a 1-4 hour long technology training to an audience of nonprofit leaders, development staff, and marketing professionals. A great example is the August “video strategies” training led by Hand Crank Films (see below).

Our 501 Talks Tech series is free to attend and covers tools/strategies that are either free or low-cost to nonprofits; such as Google Ads, SEO, social media, intranets, videography, website development, email marketing, Office 365, and security and privacy issues. It’s an effective way for you to promote your expertise in front of an audience that could later become customers.

Presenters will need to provide their own PowerPoint slides. 501 Commons staff will be responsible for all event logistics; including publicity and communications, locating a room (at Pacific Tower), providing light refreshments, and distributing printed materials.

We already have presentations scheduled through August. So get a jump start on getting a presentation together in time for fall.

Interested? Please view the position description for more information and email Jim Pullen at if you have any questions.

Quick Hits

Promote your upcoming trainings and workshops in Learning Connections!

Do you offer trainings, workshops, professional development services (like coaching or networking), networking events, conferences, or internships? If so, list them in Learning Connections. Simply create an account and add or update your listingsThe searchable catalog complements our Featured Training & Networking Events calendar. So it’s additional exposure at no additional cost! Plus, a check mark – alongside a promoted offering – denotes when it’s offered by a Nonprofit Resource Directory partner – a nonprofit specialist, like you, who comes “recommended by their clients.”

You can list upcoming events or just list your capacity to provide customized services, such as on-site trainings, coaching, or presentations on topics that showcase your expertise. You can also see what is being offered by others in the community and identify gaps in topics, audiences, or geographic areas that you might fill. So explore and make the most of this free online tool.

Refer these 501 Commons trainings to your clients:

Executive Director Forum
Friday, June 7
8:00 to 10:30 a.m.
Pacific Tower, Seattle

Trish Dziko (Technology Access Foundation) leads "Building a Board with Influence" andSrijan Chakraborty(Hunger Intervention Program) leads "What Would It Look Like to Democratize Decision-making in Your Organization?"

Microsoft Teams for Nonprofits
Monday, June 17
12:00 to 1:30 p.m.

Want an easy way to collaborate, share files, and talk to colleagues in different locations? Microsoft Teams can help! Set up your whole staff on the platform and start chatting, conducting video conferences, and sharing files and screens.

Collaborating through Team reduces the volume of internal email and it makes collaborating with colleagues and getting work done easier and faster. Learn about the features of Teams and making a plan for implementing it.

Design Thinking for Nonprofits
Wednesday, June 19
12:00 to 2:30 p.m.
Pacific Tower (Panoramic Center), Seattle

“Design thinking” is the process of human-centered creative problem solving. Presenters from DemocracyLab and Dupla Studios will provide you tools and methods for developing empathy for clients, creating solutions that put people first, and testing the viability of these solutions.

Video Strategies that Boost Fundraising
Thursday, Aug. 15
12:00 to 3:30 p.m.
Pacific Tower (Panoramic Center), Seattle

Resource Directory partner
Hand Crank Films will guide you through the process of planning, filming, and promoting videos that drive fundraising success. Learn what it takes to shoot effective videos on a tight budget.

This training highlights tools for finding your unique story, reviews options for funding your video, explains how to distribute/market your video, and provides a step-by-step tutorial on shooting DIY videos.

QuickBooks Made Easy live seminar
Thursday, July 18
Part 1: 9:00 to 12:30
Part 2: 1:00 to 4:30
2100 Building, Seattle

Go in-depth about the functions of QuickBooks at this two-part training workshop designed for both experienced nonprofit bookkeepers and staff/volunteers who act as the bookkeeper by default. Part 1: Essentials covers the basics of setting up and entering transactions specifically for nonprofits. Part 2: Advanced is for those with a more advanced understanding of QuickBooks.