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Board Development Coming to Prineville

Volunteering is one of the most selfless and generous acts that a person can do. When you give your hard-earned time, money, and knowledge to a cause you are passionate about, it makes the world a better place. Crook County is full of individuals that can be described this way – some contribute a few hours a year to a special event, others give time frequently year-round, and a number of people step up to serve on board of directors. These directors take on a special role – they not only have to dedicate additional time; they are responsible for what happens with the organization.

Many community members in Crook County have served on board for years, decades even, and often sit on multiple boards at one time. These seasoned directors provide continuity, historical information, and become well-known to the community as representing that specific organization. Nevertheless, it is important for boards to have reasonable term limits and look annually for new faces to add to their ranks. Fresh board members can bring new perspectives, contacts, ideas, and visions for the future. Whether you are a new board member, or experienced one, laws and rules continually change, so regular training is imperative.

The Nonprofit Association of Oregon (NAO) recently led a Resource Roundup here in town. Nearly 50 attendees came from all over Central Oregon to learn more about The Ford Family Foundation and MJ Merdock Charitable Trust, as well as spend time in small groups to review their internal organization structure. Trainings like this bring together people from different backgrounds with varying interests, but with the connection of being dedicated to volunteering. They allow conversations to happen, ideas to be shared, and an opportunity to educate each other about our specific organizations.

We believe deeply that you can always be learning. Whether it is for your job, a new hobby, or your volunteer work, you can never stop gaining new skills and information. Traditionally to attend these types of nonprofit trainings, one would have to spend time driving to Bend, Portland, or Salem. With our population growing and new people getting interested in serving on boards and volunteering for organizations, we would like to see more educational opportunities come to Crook County to make it easier for our citizens to attend. The only way to keep these workshops and seminars coming to town is to have strong attendance – so please share them with all the friends and family that you know are interested in volunteering.

The Crook County Foundation is excited to help the Nonprofit Association of Oregon promote another event from 9 am-noon on Saturday June 22nd at the Crook County Library Broughton Room. The topic will be on Nonprofit Board Success and will include information on: Roles, responsibilities and legal duties of a nonprofit board; How the Board Chair, Board and CEO work together most effectively; How to recruit and retain the board members you really need; and Board diversity. The cost is $15 for NAO members, $30 for non-members and includes a continental breakfast. We hope that the room is full and many of the over 125 nonprofits in Crook County can send a representative. If your organization is not a current NAO member, we encourage you to consider it. They offer many in person and online trainings, consulting, networking, advocacy, and more.

On behalf of the Crook County Foundation board, we thank everyone in our community who volunteers to make our nonprofits strong and beneficial. Without you, our county would not have so many amazing youth programs, events, educational opportunities, community projects, or an overall sense of community pride. If you have any suggestions on topics to bring in or how we can assist in strengthening local nonprofits, please reach out to us.

Do you want to find a local nonprofit to get involved with? Contact the Crook County Foundation and we can provide recommendations on what might be a good fit for you. The Foundation also has several opportunities to get involved in Education, Leadership, Arts/Culture, and more. Call Brandi Ebner, Crook County Foundation Executive Director at 541-362-1210 or email Also, please check out our NEW website

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