Oregon's number 1 nonprofits

Oregon's number 1 nonprofits

Article Index

#1 Large Nonprofit

Oregon Research Institute

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TOP LEFT: Megan Juenemann with daughter Charlotte. MIDDLE ROW: Kathryn Madden, Carol Metzler with Rio, Eric Stice, Missy Peterson, interim executive director Byron Glidden. FRONT: Katie Hoechin with Scooter.
Oregon Research Institute has made the 100 Best Nonprofits list for three years in a row. Founded in 1960, the Eugene-based organization was No. 4 best large nonprofit last year, and No. 3 in 2009. Clearly, the 250 Oregon employees find not only their work meaningful — the study of social and medical problems with the goal of enhancing productivity and quality of life — but their worklife terrific.

“I have a high degree of pride and confidence in the fact that ORI is run by and for the employees as well as for the greater good of the community. I love working for a nonprofit and for the most part I am very happy with our democratic process,” says one employee. That democratic structure includes 15 employee committees that serve as policy advisers to the board of directors, which is also comprised of two-thirds employees. Other perks include  a variety of educational programs and wellness incentives promoting a healthy lifestyle, customized work stations to minimize employee injuries and illnesses related to work, and an on-site gym.

“I’m not sure there’s enough space here to list all the things I love about working at ORI,” says another staff member. “The work itself, my co-workers, the organization’s commitment to work-life balance and community involvement, the opportunities to have fun and contribute to decisions, the phenomenal benefits and opportunities for education and training … and we can bring pets to work. That is the icing on an already very nice cake.”