Oregon’s number 1 nonprofits

1011_Nonprofit_02Profiles of the number one large, medium and small nonprofits.

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#1 Large Nonprofit

Oregon Research Institute

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.”


#1 Medium Nonprofit

Full Access

BACK ROW FROM LEFT:  Jeffrey Fields, Chloe Stallworth with Elfie,  Nancy Hafner, Francie Sullivan. SECOND ROW: Stephanie Beeck, Chrystal Burns, Sarah Fields, Crissy Curley. THIRD ROW: Cathy Mish, Heather Hopkins-Slechta, Marie Sweeten, Anna Bergren. FRONT: CEO Margaret Theisen

This is the second year in a row that Eugene-based Full Access has been named the No. 1 best medium nonprofit. The 35 employees cite teamwork, excellent management and independence as some of the best qualities of their workplace.

“I love being able to manage my time independently without being micro-managed. The workplace fosters personal and professional growth and allows each employee to be responsible for their own actions,” says one employee. Others cite the option of flexible schedules, the annual retreat and the yoga classes as things they love about working at Full Access.

Founded in 2002, Full Access also has offices in Bend, and serves 800 clients in five counties, helping developmentally disabled adults become independent. “Our leadership is wonderful and caring,” another worker says. “When needed, we pull together to help one another.”

During hard family times, the company buys meals for employees, and has not cut staff during the down economy. Actions speak louder than words for this organization.

#1 Small Nonprofit

Child Care Development Services

CLOCKWISE FROM BOTTOM CENTER: CEO Carolyn Morrison with Teddy, Luisa Espinoza, Svetlana Michalchuk, Debbi Hoffmeister, Kayla Young with Gizmo, Trent Morrison, Ken Manske, Shawn McCamman with Harley, Darla Moyer, Amy Morrison, Marta Lyons.

This is the third time on the 100 Best Nonprofit list for Gresham-based Child Care Development Services. In 2009, it was the No. 4 best small nonprofit, and last year it was No. 2. Its steady rise to the top is no surprise for this nonprofit, which was founded in 1977 and facilitates food reimbursement through the Child and Adult Care Food Program, maintains a data base of certified childcare providers, and offers training to those interested in certification.

“I love the diversity, caring, sharing and sense of family,” says one of the organization’s 15 employees. “Staff potlucks and pets in the workplace are common — and babies, too. The unanticipated gift certificates at staff meetings are great.” A robust health benefits package and encouragement to be creative has helped create a very satisfying workplace. “It’s a comfortable, friendly office environment where dogs are welcome and the management is thoughtful,” says a staff member.




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