Post written by Adam Creighton, Development Director
In 2013, I began working at InStove, a small, grassroots, international development nonprofit in Cottage Grove. As Director of Development, it was my job to raise funds, recruit volunteers, and write grants. What I found in Oregon was a state that punches above its weight in nonprofit terms, with a philanthropic culture of political, spiritual, and social giving, sophisticated donors, and a high level of volunteerism. (Oregon is ranked in the top half nationally for both giving and volunteering).
I studied in the Ford Institute Rural Leadership Program, and had InStove join the Nonprofit Association of Oregon. For three years, InStove attended the excellent Nonprofit Leadership Conference and meetings of the Emerald Valley Development Professionals.
But, while sessions on “cultivating major donors” and “board development” were of general interest, it was clear that Oregon lacked support for the unique needs of small, international nonprofits. Absent were sessions on:
-Integrating small, focused nonprofit programming with larger humanitarian efforts (and funding)
-Participating in bids for USAID, DFID or other development funding opportunities,
-Which foundations to approach (in Oregon or beyond) for support of international WASH, energy, shelter, clean cookstove, or gender projects.
In 2015, I first heard rumors about the plan by Green Empowerment to launch a resource-sharing, collaborative, membership network (in the style of Global Washington) for International Nonprofits in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. I immediately knew how powerful this opportunity was. Since GlobalPDX formally launched at the 2017 Elevating Impact Summit (where InStove and OSU won the Elevating Impact award)
I have thrown the weight of InStove behind it. I refer new partners to GlobalPDX, share opportunities with fellow members, and most importantly, InStove hosts HEARTH, the Household Energy and Renewable Technologies for Humanity conference. This family and camping friendly conference occurs every August (in 2017, from the 17th to the 20th), as a collaboration between many GlobalPDX members. It brings international development professionals together to build community, share lessons, build capacity, and create connections.
GlobalPDX is an opportunity for our community to be greater than the sum of its parts. And InStove is excited, through opportunities like HEARTH, to add value to this talented, dedicated, and above all, resourceful community who, through their investments of time, talent, and treasure, help make Oregon (and the Pac NW) such a special place to be, and be from. I hope you’ll join us at GlobalPDX, and at HEARTH, to find your tribe.