Jim White

Jim White currently serves as the Executive Director of the Nonprofit Association of Oregon. He began this assignment in October of 2012. Jim is deeply committed to social change and has worked in the nonprofit sector both domestically and internationally for more than 20 years. He has a passion for affecting systemic change in the way that the public, private and nonprofit sectors work together to support and strengthen civil society. He is specifically skilled on working to build alliances and partnerships with mission and results driven outcomes in mind.

When asked what drew him to join NAO, Jim responded: “Oregon is a unique state where we celebrate diverse ideas and diverse cultures. We have an engaged and passionate population; people who want to get involved in their community life. I am excited to bring what I have learned in the international context to apply to the concerns, needs and desires of the people of Oregon. I recognize that NAO is the organization that strengthens those voices and provides the kind of capacity building and leadership development that can have systemic change across the sector and beyond.”

Before joining NAO, Jim worked for Mercy Corps for 15 years, most recently as the Vice President of Operations. He has also worked for the International Organization for Migration and the American Red Cross. Jim earned a BS in Engineering Technology from Temple University and a MA in Central Eurasian Area Studies from Indiana University.

Jim White’s Monday Session:

Building Organizational Resilience: Preparing for Economic Downturns and Other Surprises

Is your organization ready to weather the next economic downturn? Are you prepared to take quick and decisive action to ensure your organization can continue fulfilling its mission despite the ups and downs of the economy or other unforeseen setbacks? Too often, disruptions and upheavals sneak up and surprise us. This session will offer participants critical guidance for making your organization more resilient by planning ahead, getting your finances in order, and learning to recognize the signs of economic downturn before it occurs. You’ll hear from a panel of experts with real-life experience about how data, trends, and specific planned steps can help your nonprofit be more resilient, adapt to changes, and swiftly recover from setbacks. This lively panel discussion, facilitated by Annie Jenkins, Consultant at 28-East, will feature individuals who all gained valuable lessons during the last economic downturn, and who each bring a unique perspective, including the nonprofit sector and the financial services industry: The session will leave participants better-prepared to take preventive action through a list of critical steps before an economic downturn begins.

Jim White’s Tuesday Session:

The Critical Role Nonprofits Play in Embodying and Strengthening Civil Society

This in-depth three-hour session will offer participants a chance to think critically about how you approach both external advocacy and internal decision-making, and how those approaches can either degrade or strengthen the foundations of our civil society based on democratic principles. We will discuss a continuum of engagement from the perspective of the nonprofit organization, including:

  • Engaging in advocacy to influence policies that effect your target populations/causes.
  • Encouraging your target populations to participate in civil society, including not only voting and participating in the census, but also in other ways big and small throughout the year.
  • Examining your own internal processes for making decisions that impact the programs and services you offer, and specifically evaluating if the right people are included.

The session will feature panel discussions interspersed with interactive exercises and dialogue among participants.  Jim White, executive director of the Nonprofit Association of Oregon, will facilitate discussion among our panelists, who bring a wealth of expertise and personal experiences that inform their own approaches to strengthening civil society through their work:

  • Jesse Beason, President & CEO of the Northwest Health Foundation
  • Michelle Carrillo, Initiative Director, Wild Rivers Community Foundation/Building Healthy Communities
  • Kurt Hildebrand, Executive Director of College Dreams
  • Lindsey B. Jones, Communications Coordinator for Illinois Valley Community Development Organization (IVCanDO)
  • Robin Teater, Executive Director of Healthy Democracy

Participants will leave the session inspired and better prepared to consider their own organization’s opportunities to operate in democratically-principled ways that further empower the people they aim to serve and further strengthen the impact of the community’s voice.