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The Best and brightest

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Articles - October 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
The picture of young Cooper Albright says it all. Because of a nonprofit, his wish to be a construction worker for a day came true. Because of a nonprofit, seniors are being helped, a cure for breast cancer is being sought, the homeless are being fed, troubled youths are getting help, consumers are getting a better deal.

Without nonprofits, this state would be a less desirable place. The organizations not only uplift the many communities they serve, the nonprofit and not-for-profit sector also employs hundreds of thousands of Oregonians. Nationally, nonprofits are the fourth-largest employer.

That makes them an important economic force.

So it’s my great pleasure to bring you the second annual 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon.

Last year we developed a groundbreaking workplace best-practices project — modeled after our highly regarded 18-year-old 100 Best Companies project — just for nonprofits. We enlisted as our partner The Nonprofit Association of Oregon to help craft our survey. Research partners Davis, Hibbitts and Midghall and our research editor, Brandon Sawyer, administered the anonymous employee survey and an employer benefits survey.

We place no restriction on the type of charitible nonprofit or other not-for-profits that can enter. Any organization with 10 or more Oregon employees registered as a nonprofit or not-for-profit in the state was eligible to participate in this year’s survey. Those who have entered include a wide range of charitable nonprofits along with business associations, faith-based groups, government entities and civic organizations.

Next year, we will change the rules to allow an organization to count volunteers in its employee total. So all you smaller nonprofits take note: in 2011 you need only 10 employees and/or volunteers to take part. As always, there is no cost to participate and everyone gets a free basic report on survey results.

The feedback from 5,000 nonprofit employees from this year’s participating organizations gives employers a critical snapshot of what it takes to create a great workplace. We feature a few of those, and I wish we could have put the spotlight on every one of the remarkable 100 on the list.

With the debut of the 100 Best Nonprofits, Oregon Business has expanded its 100 Best franchise to three projects. Which brings us to the 100 Best Companies: It’s time to sign up. Entering either the 100 Best Companies or 100 Best Nonprofits survey also qualifies you to be ranked in our 100 Best Green workplaces, which we reveal in June.

If you haven’t participated in the 100 Best survey, now’s your chance. Even though the economy is still struggling, and your company might be, too, now’s the best time to find out what your employees think, and what you can do to keep the best and brightest on your team.

robin-BLOGRobin Doussard
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