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Summer 2019 Top of Mind Newsletter

Newsletter for Specialists in the Nonprofit Resource Directory

Personalized Assistance: Free help for nonprofit questions

As consultants, educators, and service providers, nonprofits value our knowledge of the sector. But sometimes, there are nonprofit questions we don’t have the answers to. So the next time you’re asked about something you’re unsure of (or don’t have the time for), direct your attention – or the nonprofit – to 501 Commons’ free personalized assistance. Through this link, you or the nonprofit can get connected to free, tailored, information and referral (I&R) help through phone and email.

Since 2011, 501 Commons has provided assistance like this to an estimated 2,000 established and aspiring nonprofits and consultants. So far this year, we've served at least 240 people and organizations. And last year, that number was over 450 from across the state and beyond. Here's what one satisfied nonprofit recently said after using this service:

“Thank you SO much for taking the time to talk with me and then follow through with the resources we discussed. As we move forward, I will be sure to mention that 501 Commons was instrumental in making these referrals.”

So, think of us as your “sector assistant” and take advantage or refer nonprofits our way. These free, very brief engagements – in addition to our online “library” of resources – can provide just the right amount of information to get you or an organization to the “next level.” Spread the word or schedule that call!

Deliver presentations and trainings that get rave reviews

Washington Nonprofits is again offering a series of professional development opportunities to help ensure your events and presentations truly make a difference for the people who attend. We’ve all been to trainings or sessions that, for some reason, missed the mark and have been disappointing and a waste of time. Make sure the events you’re involved with tell a much different story.

These trainings are ideal for those of you who frequently deliver presentations, manage training events at your company, or organize conferences/forums/gatherings. Wouldn’t you like your educational events to get positive – if not rave – reviews? Explore these trainings to register for the ones that speak to you:

Directory specialists use seal of approval to their marketing advantage

You know you have experience, skills, and expertise to tackle the challenges nonprofits face. Thanks to the Resource Directory application and our review process, the team at 501 Commons also knows…and proudly promotes you online and when nonprofits contact us.

But how can visitors to your website and readers of your marketing materials quickly know you’re “tested” and effective? Easy! Sport the Resource Directory “seal of approval” prominently, like Spark the Fire Grantwriting did in a marketing email and these other companies do on their websites:

Marlow FIVE-0 | MRW Web Design, Mark Root-Wiley | NetRaising

Piranha Partners | Rising Sun Accounting | Westby Associates, Inc.

Our seal confirms your qualifications, affirms your dedication to providing high-quality services to the nonprofit sector, and says 501 Commons proudly recommends you. And as more Resource Directory specialists use it, the more its value grows. To add the seal to your website or elsewhere, email Tim Takechi at to request a JPEG, PNG, EPS, or GIF version. 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.

Welcome new Resource Directory specialists!

Please welcome the following companies to our popular referral network and take a minute to get to know your Resource Directory colleagues. They, too, earned their place as vetted service providers:

  • Clare Parfitt Graphic Design – From marketing and branding strategy to project execution, Clare Parfitt Graphic Design (CPGD) delivers a wide range of design solutions on many platforms. Projects range from the physical, like business cards and tradeshow signage, to the virtual, such as website design and social media advertising. Need someone to work with a contractor, like a print or web vendor? CPGD does that too.

  • Stacey Griffin, Ph.D., Griffin Coaching & Consulting – Whether serving as an executive coach or seasoned consultant, Stacey Griffin increases organizational capacity and capability through leader and team development, employee engagement, culture alignment, and change management. Experience working with clients in the public and social sector, coupled with extensive training and certifications, has equipped Stacey to craft approaches that meet an organization’s needs.

  • Piranha Partners – Creative services company Piranha Partners has long produced video content –for various purposes – for community and commercial clients. Recently, though, it became a division of nonprofit Cascade Public Media (home of PBS station KCTS 9 and public-interest journalism site Crosscut). Both are focused on inspiring and motivating storytelling, but it’s Piranha that offers concepting, animation, scripting, voice talent, sound expertise, and other graphic resources.

Sector news: What's on our radar

Play a role in the 2020 Census

We are less than a year away from the 2020 Census and, according to the National Council of Nonprofits, every nonprofit has a key role to play right away.

It’s important for everyone to get counted – especially people in rural communities, communities of color, children, and seniors – so that federal dollars can be distributed fairly and equitably. Data collected from the census affects government grants, public/private partnerships, and our sector’s understanding of the people we serve.

Washington Nonprofits has created an action toolkit for nonprofits, list of resources, and informative video that explains why nonprofits need to step up to the plate to get everybody counted. While you’re at it, subscribe to WN’s Policy Action Alerts and Updates to be in-the-know about the latest legislative developments (both locally and nationally) that directly affect you.

L&I announces official overtime pay proposal

Washington State’s Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has proposed rules requiring employers to pay overtime to exempt employees at the following levels beginning July 1, 2020:

  • Organizations with up to 50 employees: Employees paid up to $675/week must be paid overtime.
  • Organizations with more than 50 employees: Employees paid up to $945/week must be paid overtime.

The proposed overtime pay thresholds are the minimum below which employees must be paid overtime when working more than 40 hours in a week. It will rise to 2.5 times the minimum wage by 2026, and will stay indexed to the minimum wage as it increases. Changes will be implemented gradually. Employers with 50 employees or fewer will have more time to comply. Read the full draft of proposals.

Want to give Washington State feedback on these rules? You can send comments by email to by 5:00 p.m. on Sept. 6, 2019.

Nonprofits still have time to register for Day of Caring

United Way of King County’s (UWKC) Day of Caring is the biggest volunteer event in the state, connecting thousands of people with volunteer opportunities at nonprofits across the county. This year’s big event is on Friday, Sept. 13.

Nonprofits you work with or know can still submit project ideas by Friday, Sept. 6, but they need to hurry because opportunities are filling up fast. Examples of projects include tutoring students, helping people write a job résumé or cover letter, conducting a phone-a-thon, cleaning up a nonprofit’s database, or tidying up around an organization’s office or building.

See UWKC’s Day of Caring Organization Resource Guide for a list of FAQs, suggested project ideas, helpful tips, a downloadable volunteer waiver, and more. Projects must be 4-6 hours in length and take place between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on Sept. 13. Contact with your questions.

Refer these 501 Commons trainings to your clients:

Addressing Cultural Complexities in a Multicultural World
Tuesday, Sept. 3
9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Pacific Tower, Seattle

Many nonprofits have diverse staff teams that reflect the communities we serve and society as a whole. With this can come unique challenges. Dr. Pamela Hays will share tips and tools for resolving cultural conflict in the workplace, building respectful relationships, and communicating more effectively with people of diverse identities.

Project Management for Nonprofits
Thursday, Sept. 12
1:00 to 2:30 p.m.
Pacific Tower, Seattle

Every organization needs strong project management practices to help drive their missions forward. This training will cover free or low-cost, easy-to-use technology tools that can help you collaborate better as a team. You will also learn what makes a successful project manager, as well as the “big picture” of project management.

Beyond Benefits: Leveling the Field in the Talent Game
Monday, Sept. 9 (Portland)
Monday, Sept. 16 (Seattle)
Monday, Sept. 23 (Tacoma)
10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

In today’s competitive job market, it is crucial for mission-based organizations to get creative when it comes to employee compensation – especially for nonprofits competing with large for-profit companies that have the ability to pay their employees more.

We are teaming up with Nonstop Administration and Insurance Service to present three in-person information sessions on innovative ways nonprofits with 50+ employees can reward and retain great employees. As an added bonus, lunch is on us!

Volunteer Engagement Strategies for Success
Tuesday, Sept. 17 (Vancouver)
Tuesday, Sept. 24 (Olympia)
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Advance your organization’s volunteer strategy beyond the basics by joining us for a deep dive into volunteer engagement either in Vancouver (with support from Nonprofit Network of Southwest Washington) or Olympia. Learn how to structure volunteer programs that support healthy relationships and offer volunteers the opportunity to be fully engaged and empowered to share their unique talents.

This training is made possible thanks to support from Serve Washington.