Nonprofit Workshops + Events

For many years we have celebrated the vital role our local nonprofits play to sustain and improve life in Oregon. We provide opportunities to build professional relationships, identify ways to meet challenges facing our community, and have honest conversations about sustainability, capacity, redundancies, and collaborations. 

We offer seminar, trainings, and other resources to help bolster the capacity of community organizations and help create meaningful connections between the community and local nonprofits. The sessions are designed to be informative and engaging – both virtual and in-person – and offer networking opportunities with staff and volunteers from other nonprofits serving our region.

*The Family Foundation Affinity Group and the Senior Adult Collaborative are ongoing. You can join those conversations at any time. More to come your way as GOSW grows to meet your needs!

2023 Conference | Embracing Change: Transforming Philanthropy

When: May 10-12, 2023

Cost: $695 for members and $995 for nonmembers


Wildhorse Resort & Casino

46510 Wildhorse Blvd 

Pendleton, OR, 97801 US



Events that our local community partners are hosting will be listed here.

Collaborative Project with Philanthropy Northwest

When: April 19, 2023, 2:00pm-4:00pm

LocationVancouver, WA

Join Philanthropy Northwest in partnership with Grantmakers of Oregon and Southwest Washington and M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust for an afternoon with Mónica Guzmán, author of “I Never Thought of It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times,” as she shares her observations on using curiosity to move through confusion and bridge the increasing polarization that we are seeing across the nation and, specifically, in the Pacific Northwest.



Nonprofit Modernization Act

The Nonprofit Modernization Act is a legislative path to systemically fix underpayment, reduce administrative burden and raise wages in community-based nonprofits. 

Many community based organizations that foundations support have significant contracts with government entities, which has grown during COVID. Whether the work is vaccine rollout, outreach to marginalized community members, after school programming, etc., grantees report frustrating experiences that include delayed reimbursements, low admin rates, unnecessarily complex processes especially for a sector that is undervalued and underpaid.   

Northwest Health Foundation and Nonprofit Association of Oregon (NAO) have assembled a campaign team of individuals who manage, track and negotiate state service contracts to explore and lead a legislative solution to these issues, hopefully in the 2023 legislative session. 

Come learn more about the proposed Nonprofit Modernization Act and what the current plans are to mitigate these challenges for our nonprofit and community partners. Feel free to also share your stories from grantees about frustrating government contracting experiences.  


Investing in Change: Foundation Support for Lobbying and Other Advocacy

Private and public foundations can play an important role in societal change by engaging in advocacy and funding their grantees to advocate on their issues. After this workshop, your foundation will have a clear understanding of the kinds of advocacy activities you can safely engage in and best practices for grantmaking to give your grantees the most flexibility under the law for their advocacy efforts. 

Not sure how to make the case for funding advocacy? Uncertain whether you can fund grantees that lobby? Wondering whether your public or private foundation can speak out on a particular issue? This training answers these questions and more! The workshop is designed for foundation staff and trustees.


Foresight Study to Look at Philanthropic “Future”

Grantmakers of Oregon and SW Washington and Portland State University Studies have entered into a first-time partnership to explore the future in an innovative way. Students taking a futures studies/foresight class with PSU Presidential Futures Fellow, Dr. Laura Nissen, will work with a small cohort of GOSW members to consider what the future might look like in an area of funding that they are most interested in. For example, it might be the future of education, equity, justice, climate or any number of topics.


Collaborating to Address Homelessness

Oregon’s housing crisis is felt in nearly every community in our region. As philanthropic partners, it’s often hard to know where our resources can make an impact, given the scope and scale of this humanitarian crisis.

Grantmakers of Oregon and SW Washington is hosting a collaborative conversation to gather our members around this issue. Kaia Sand, Executive Director of Street Roots will join us in our inaugural discussion on how homelessness is being addressed by governmental institutions and community-based organizations. We will also explore how to create a safe……


Trust-Based Philanthropy in 4D Webinar Series

In follow-up to the 2021 Summer Series on Trust-Based Philanthropy, this new webinar series offers a framework for being proactive in building trust across the various dimensions of a grantmaking organization, regardless of your starting point. In this webinar series, we will break down each of the four dimensions – culture, structure, leadership and practices – spotlight case stories by practicing foundation leaders from across the country, and offer concrete steps you can take to apply these concepts within the context of your grantmaking organization.


Evaluating Equity Impacts in a Grant Program

Join Metro’s Investment and Innovation Program Manager Suzanne Piluso and Evaluation into Action’s President Chari Smith to hear about their journey of defining and measuring equity outcomes for this pilot grant program. The Investment and Innovation grants program seeks to foster economic opportunities and other benefits for communities of color and other historically marginalized communities through projects to prevent waste and make better use of waste in the greater……


The Story that Nonprofit Financials Reveals

This workshop is for the grant reviewer who needs to understand and articulate what a grant applicant has proposed in their grants. Whether you are new to philanthropy or want a reminder about the story that a nonprofit’s financials reveal, our presenters will give you what you need. Topics will include; understanding the various financial statements, internal financial processes that could impact how you review an application, a deep dive into IRS Form 990 (required for all nonprofits), and a number of other financial reporting best practices.


Greater Equity: Changing Oregon’s Property Tax Structure

Did you know that inequitable property tax laws are attributed for the lack of generational wealth in communities of color?

Please join us as our panel discusses how philanthropy can help in counteracting Measures 5 (1991) and Measure 50 (1997)—which originally had the intent to clarify and restrict property taxation growth, but have proven to create a significant impact on schools, resource-deficient home….


Participatory Grantmaking from Funders’ Perspectives

Participatory Grantmaking has been around for decades but it hasn’t come into broad public awareness as an intentional strategy for grantmaking until recently. Participatory Grantmaking, or PGM in some circles, stretches the structures of decision-making in philanthropy to include the community that is being supported. This session will feature insight from grantmakers who will share the benefits, challenges, and strategies for engaging in participatory grantmaking.

Our panelists will share their perspectives and discuss the benefits, challenges and strategies they use to make a more meaningful impact with their grantmaking than with traditional funding structures. Empowering communities to make funding decisions addresses equity, power and leverage in ways that create a dynamic response to true community need. Participatory grantmaking has been shifting the philanthropic landscape.


Series: Engaging Indigenous Leadership in Climate and Disaster Resilience

free members benefit

Grantmakers of Oregon and SW Washington is partnering with several other organizations from California, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Washington to present a workshop series featuring tribal resiliency in the face of natural disaster, especially wildfires. 

Increasing impacts from climate change are testing the resiliency of Native peoples and cultures throughout the West. This is exacerbated by more than a century of forced displacement and wealth extraction, marginalization through discriminatory policies and institutions, and land mismanagement….


Transparent Communication, Soliciting Feedback, and Support Beyond the Check

free member’s benefit

In this deep dive session, we will explore the nuts and bolts of the final three trust-based principles: 1) being transparent and responsive as a strategy to minimize power imbalances and build honest communication, 2) soliciting and acting on feedback as an opportunity inform and strengthen…



Funders Conversation About Youth Development

free member’s benefit

Grantmakers of Oregon and SW Washington is partnering with Harbourton Foundation to host an introductory conversation about holistic youth development and emotional well-being. The Harbourton Foundation is a family foundation that champions transformative solutions that foster human dignity and environmental well-being. Recently, they have begun to develop a portfolio designed to address mental health and wellness…….



The Houselessness Crisis

free member’s benefit

The humanitarian crisis of houselenssness that impacts almost every community in Oregon and SW Washington continues to expand with little change in sight, certainly in the near future. It is particularly evident in the city of Portland and Multnomah County. Several nonprofits are working to mitigate the impact on the lives of the unhoused and the economic and social toll it is taking in this area.


Unrestricted Funding, Doing the Homework, and Streamlined Paperwork

free member’s benefit

Too often, foundations get in the way of the work nonprofits doing the work they know best. This can slow down progress, perpetuate inefficiencies, and obstruct nonprofit growth and innovation. In this deep dive session, we will explore the nuts and bolts of the first three trust-based…


Oregon Wildfires: Preparing for the 2021 season and Beyond

The 2020 wildfires came on the heels of public health and social crises that left us all trying to maintain resilience and cope with significant upheavals. In this workshop, you will hear from an expert panel about the ravages of wildfires and how they impacted vulnerable rural, especially Latinx, communities. You will also learn about the community recovery time-lines and lessons learned from the wildfires in rural California in recent years. With another year of below average water supply, it is……..


What Philanthropy Needs to Know About Fiscal Sponsorships

Much has changed since 2020, most significantly in the nonprofit sector. The pandemic forced many organizations to pivot and rethink how they will continue to serve their constituents and it also led to opportunities for new emerging efforts to serve communities that may have never been served. As philanthropy has tried to meet the demand of emerging needs, there is a growing need to respond quickly to opportunities. This workshop will explore the…..


Redistricting and Its Impact in Oregon

free member’s benefit

Now that the 2020 Census has concluded, the next step is to look at how Oregon will be redistricted. Redistricting has significant political and financial implications throughout the state. Our panel of engaging and knowledgeable speakers will share why redistricting is critical for Oregon and how it will affect Oregon’s communities, especially rural areas and under-represented groups. The panel will also…


Family Foundations and Board Composition

Join us for a conversation to explore diversity, equity and inclusion in family foundations. This facilitated discussion will focus on your perceived barriers and opportunities around doing DEI work in your foundation. This will be a precursor to the June meeting, which will host a panel of your peers who are working in this space to discuss where they are on their journey.


Collaborative on Aging

free member’s benefit

The Collaborative on Aging, a group of funders interested in seniors and aging, will be meeting to discuss next steps in creating a Master Plan for Aging in Oregon. Following up the recent discussion with the SCAN Foundation, this meeting will focus on strategic initiatives and broad discussions to frame strategies for the Plan. The Collaborative on Aging welcomes any funder who is interested in participating at any time.


Equity Series: Economic Inequities & Wealth Creation In The Black Community

With centuries of racist policies and social structures, the persistent racial wealth gap in the United States is a burden on blacks and the overall economy. Studies have shown that closing the racial wealth gap increases the economic health for all Americans and can substantially increase the US GDP within a few years. Yet, our black communities face extreme challenges…


The Purpose, Culture and Values of Trust-Based Philanthropy

In this session, we’ll explore why trust-based philanthropy is trending, the fundamental values that undergird this approach, and the roles of staff and board in cultivating the culture of trust that is required in order to make this work successful. We will also preview the six grantmaking principles of trust-based philanthropy and how they go hand in hand with reimagining….