501 Commons

A resource for nonprofits. A partner for philanthropy.

Seattle, WA   |  http://www.501commons.org

Mission

501 Commons serves nonprofits as experts, innovators, and partners. Our passion is to amplify the strengths of nonprofits—so people and communities flourish.

Notes from the nonprofit

Donors, foundations, governmental entities, and nonprofit leaders and citizen hav

Ruling year info

1993

Executive Director

Ms. Nancy Long

Main address

Pacific Tower, Suite 1101 1200 12th Avenue South

Seattle, WA 98144 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Executive Service Corps of Washington

EIN

94-3089631

NTEE code info

Nonprofit Management (S50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2020, 2019 and 2018.
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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

There are 1.5 million nonprofits in the United States. They are tackling problems we all want addressed like hunger, youth suicide, and domestic violence; economic development, water policy, or emergency services; drop-out prevention, stronger reading skills, and college access. The staff, boards, and volunteers in these organizations are working hard but there is tremendous untapped potential in our nonprofits. Because most of the funding available to nonprofits can only be used for programs, even large nonprofits have extremely limited budgets for planning, board development, operational improvement, and basic HR, technology, and financial systems. How can we unleash their potential to make the world a better place unless we provide nonprofits with affordable access to the skills and tools necessary to overcome operational and governance barriers and grow effective programs?

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Technology Services

501 Commons wants nonprofits to have access to the best technology available and the knowledge to put it to good use. Our services include technology consulting as well as ongoing support. We offer services in the following areas:

IT Infrastructure support

Database development

Technology strategy

Social media strategy

Collaboration services

Population(s) Served
Adults

501 Commons provides a full range of management consulting services, meeting/retreat design and facilitation, and customized training for schools and nonprofits. Examples of service areas include:

Board Development

Executive Advising

Human Resources

Staff & Client Surveys

Program Development & Evaluation

Meeting & Retreat Facilitation

Marketing & Communications

Resource Development

Emergency Preparedness & Service Continuity

Volunteer Management

Population(s) Served
Adults

501 Commons offers a wide array of financial services. Our bookkeepers and accountants provide a full range of services including check and deposit preparation, account reconciliation, payroll, taxes, related government reporting, Board report preparation, and Form 990 filing. In addition to getting a skilled bookkeeper who knows the ins and outs of nonprofit accounting, participating nonprofits also get access to everything 501 Commons knows about financial management.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Personalized assistance by email and phone as well as a robust website visited by over 6000 (unique) individuals a month. The Statewide Nonprofit Resource Directory on www.501commons.org includes thousands of best practice materials, useful links, the Technology Knowledge Center, an online Volunteer Management Center, and listings of more than 85 consultants and service providers serving nonprofits in Washington that have been reviewed and selected by 501 Commons.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Friend of MEDC Award 2007

Minority Executive Directors Coalition

Management Excellence Award - First Place 1992

The Medina Foundation

Evergreen Award 2006

Executive Alliance

Exemplary Innovative Program - Emergency Planning 2014

America's Service Commissions & Innovations in Civic Participation

Featured Finalist - Innovation and Leadership Awards - Executive Service Corps 2014

Amerca's Service Commissions

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of unique website visitors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Information & Referral

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The 501 Commons website is used by nonprofits throughout the United States and the world because of the extensive curated resources for nonprofits available on the site.

Number of websites and organizations (outside of our organization) that share our resources and information

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Information & Referral

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This is an estimate, based on website searches, of active links to 501 Commons services and resources.

Number of people on the organization's email list

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

501 Commons Master List. Does not include GiveBIG list.

Number of individuals attending community events or trainings

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Nonprofit organizations are tackling problems we all want addressed. The staff, boards, and volunteers of these organizations are working hard; however, they cannot realize their potential without the proper tools, services, and expertise.

501 Commons provides nonprofits with affordable access to an array of resources and customized services necessary to increase the number of people, families, and communities that benefit from nonprofits.

Our board has defined three overarching goals into the following end policies:

End Policies
End #1: Washington nonprofit leaders access and benefit from the skills, knowledge, and practices required for a healthy nonprofit.
End #2: Organizations exhibit the characteristics described in the Five Elements of a Healthy Nonprofit.
End #3: Nonprofits, government, philanthropy, and businesses in Washington are working together to solve community problems.

Strategy 1: Provide customized and affordable services to build nonprofit capacity

HR and Management Consulting Services

Foundational Capacity Building - contracted ongoing services

Information and Referral

Technology Services

Strategy 2: Promote partnerships/collaborations with capacity builders, nonprofits, philanthropy, government and business. For example, we produce the largest giving day in Washington State, GiveBIG and sponsor a "Zap the Gap" initiative to encourage partnerships with business to address the gap in access to technology that is holding back nonprofits.

Strategy 3: Act as a thought leader to the nonprofit, philanthropic, government and business community through speeches, blog posts, research and funding proposal for innovative approaches to increasing nonprofit effectiveness.

Our broad contact with the sector - 1200+ engagement a year and 450 information and referral cases - gives us information on the needs of the sector that we can disseminate to funders, government, and business.

501 Commons is currently the largest nonprofit support organization in the Pacific Northwest and one of the largest in the country. No other similar organization offers such a broad array of services - with the added bonus of generating a $1 million in donated services from volunteers.

501 Commons staff, subcontractors and volunteer consultants, advisors, and coaches worked on over 1200 contracted projects in 2018 with about 700 organizations. In addition our Information and Referral Program Manager, Matt Fikejs, and many expert staff members completed 463 I&R cases. Approximately 650 nonprofit staff and board members attended one of the trainings/convenings offered by 501 Commons.

Our internationally sought out website which includes thousands of pages of carefully curated resources, tools and best practices had 105,000 sessions in 2018. We offer the first of its kind vetted directory of 115+ consultants and service providers.

501 Commons has served nonprofits since 1989. We currently provide services to more than 1000 organizations each year and 650 board and staff members or volunteers participate in training and convenings each year.

Through our online resources, especially the Best Practices section of the Resource Directory, the organization now provides support to individuals throughout the world.

The organization has experienced a very high level of growth over the last 10 years and currently has a staff of 50+, and a Executive Service Corps program that includes 500+ skilled volunteers. This allows us to provide a the broadest array of resources and services available to nonprofits anywhere in the United States.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

501 Commons
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

501 Commons

Board of directors
as of 12/06/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Richard Starnes

Reza Khastou

Bright Futures

Kasa Tupua Pierson

Ballard High School

Richard Starnes

Deloitte

Frank Hagel

Hagel and Co.

Andrea Caupain

Centerstone

Joyce Lee

Marguerite Casey Foundation

Chris Miller

Avanade

Janice DeGuchi

Community for Youth

Greg Dietzal

Former, IBM

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/3/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data