Project updates: tourism, collaboratives, sustainability, crowd-funding, more!

12 Jun

It’s been a busy spring here at Write to Know, with projects rolling along all over the state. In a departure from our usual blog mini-essays, here’s an overview of some of the fabulous projects and groups with whom we’re working now: Clackamas County (the home of Mount Hood) on a cultural/heritage asset inventory and plan; with Travel Oregon to evaluate and document rural tourism development projects throughout the state, as well as to develop a “baseline” report for a new initiative on the south coast of the state; facilitating a community collaborative in Astoria Oregon to preserve and strengthen a historic community performing arts center, completing strategic planning work for the multi-state Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, and starting work with the Oregon College Access Network to develop a clear vision, strategy and funding plan for its next phase of evolution. We’ve got a couple of interesting nonprofit business planning (for earned income strategies in particular) waiting in the hopper, as well as fun new workshops being designed.

All fun, but I’ve been a bit too much of a road warrior for my liking!  I’m setting up some interesting partnerships so that I don’t get too overwhelmed! After all, I work for myself in order to make time for volunteer work in my own community. This grounds me in my little place on the planet.

Here in Eugene, I’m honored to serve as volunteer Chair of the Eugene Sustainability Commission- honored and challenged because sustaining the city’s work to make our community more resilient economically, environmentally and socially is threatened by major city budget constraints. The good news is, the challenge has energized the creative juices and advocacy skills of our members! Last week, we presented at the local sustainable business networking group, GreenLane, with over 120 people in attendance. We  were expecting 30 or so, so that was a wonderful surprise.

I’m also helping (in a small way) a start-up local crowd-funding project, Impact Grantmaking, by providing articles on philanthropy for its target audience. Founder Jennifer Durand is onto a good thing, by helping you invest in vetted nonprofits with needs that slip between the cracks of traditional philanthropy. For example, frequent Write to Know client organization and Impact Grantmaking-listed NEDCO is doing absolutely fantastic work to nurture farming and value added food production through its Sprout! project. Visit Jen’s site to learn more about what she is doing.

I’m still writing for the national Nonprofit Quarterly, as one of its field-based collaborative journalists and Editorial Board members. This gives me an opportunity to “pay it forward” to others working in this sector. My most recent contribution was about crowd-funding, interestingly enough! And crowd-funding trends are definitely something that all nonprofits should be watching and acting upon.

But, enough about Write to Know. Hope that you are also connected with interesting, meaningful work, experiences that ground you in a wonderful community, and sources of inspiration to keep doing more . . . while leaving time, of course, to just chill and savor the warm summer days ahead!