Creating Meaningful Connections with Local Non-Profits, A Legacy of Empowerment and Community Building

For over three decades, the remarkable women who have been part of ConnectW have woven a tapestry of empowerment, growth, and community in Central Oregon. We’ve stood as a collective force, nurturing each other’s aspirations and fostering connections that transcend industry boundaries. Together, we’ve built a legacy of excellence and compassion, embracing diversity and inclusivity in all that we do. Through our shared journey, we’ve witnessed the transformative power of collaboration, and we’ve harnessed it to make a difference in both our professional lives and the broader community. From business development to the joy of camaraderie, ConnectW blends the worlds of fun, networking, and marketing with professional and personal growth, ensuring its members thrive in both their professional endeavors and personal journeys. But beyond our internal focus, we extend our reach into the community, supporting and participating in Central Oregon’s vibrant non-profit landscape, exemplifying Margaret Mead’s timeless wisdom:

“A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

ConnectW offers a place where women empower women, businesses flourish, and communities thrive.

Supporting Local Non-Profits: ConnectW’s Commitment to Building Community Bridges

ConnectW has actively sought out opportunities to engage with and support local non-profit organizations, recognizing the vital role they play in our community’s well-being. Over the years, we’ve employed various avenues to bridge the gap between our community and these impactful organizations. From offering speaking opportunities that amplify their voices to hosting events that shine a spotlight on their mission and impact, we’ve provided a platform for nonprofits to connect with our members and share their stories.

Moreover, our commitment to supporting non-profit organizations goes beyond one-time engagements. We’ve instituted a quarterly spotlight initiative, where we dedicate time at one of our monthly meetings to showcase a local non-profit organization. This initiative not only increases visibility for the featured non-profit but also provides our community with the opportunity to become actively involved in and support their efforts. By turning our attention to a different organization each quarter, we ensure a diverse range of causes and missions receive our support, amplifying the impact we can collectively make.

In 2023 we offered Speaking Showcases to the following non-profit organizations:

Central Oregon Community for the Arts | Speaker Laura Thompson

Mission: “The mission of the Central Oregon Center for the Arts is to champion an inclusive, vibrant center for the arts that brings transformative performances and diverse cultural experiences to Central Oregon.”

Central Oregon Center for the Arts Logo

The Boys and Girls Club

Mission and Vision: “We provide youth opportunities for growth that inspire and empower them to reach their full potential in the classroom, at home, and in our community.

At our two locations in Bend, we offer youth ages 5-18 life-changing programs, focusing on Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyles and Character & Leadership.

Boys and Girls Club of Bend Logo

Children’s Museum of Central Oregon | Speaker Kenady Wilson

Mission and Vision: “We envision a Central Oregon community where all children have access to hands-on learning and play that enriches their development. We will achieve our vision by executing on our mission to inspire curiosity and creativity through hands-on learning.”

Central Oregon Children's Museum Non-Profit Showcase

Peaceful Presence Project | Speaker Elizabeth Johnson

Mission: “The Peaceful Presence Project reimagines and transforms the way communities talk about, plan for and experience the last stage of life. We are cultivating a Compassionate Communities Model of Care in the United States, and improving death literacy to improve end-of-life experiences for all.”

The Peaceful Presence Project Non-Profit Showcase

MountainStar Family Relief Nursery | Speaker Kara Tachikawa

Mission and Vision: “MountainStar Family Relief Nursery’s mission is to prevent child abuse and neglect through community support and therapeutic services that help vulnerable children and families succeed. We envision communities across Central Oregon where child abuse and neglect are reduced and where parents are supported in nurturing their children’s emotional, physical, and intellectual development in a safe environment. “

MountainStar Family Relief Nursery Non-Profit Showcase

NeighborImpact | Speaker Kara Haeussler

Mission and Vision: “NeighborImpact was created in 1985 to represent and serve economically disadvantaged residents of Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson counties and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. Our mission is to support people and strengthen communities.”

NeighborImpact Non-Profit Showcase

The benefits of this initiative extend beyond the featured non-profit organization. This exposure often sparks interest and inspiration among our members, leading to volunteer opportunities, fundraising efforts, and other forms of support for the featured organization Additionally, our members have the chance to network and collaborate with like-minded individuals who share a passion for giving back to the community. Ultimately, our ongoing commitment to supporting non-profit organizations strengthens the bonds within our community and reinforces our shared values of compassion, support, and empowerment.

Creating Meaningful Connections

At ConnectW, we recognize that meaningful connections with local non-profits go beyond mere networking; they represent an opportunity to forge deep and impactful relationships that benefit both parties. Through our ongoing engagement with the non-profit community, we reaffirm our dedication to empowering women in business and in life by supporting causes that align with our values. Together, we continue to weave a tapestry of compassion, support, and empowerment, creating a brighter future for our community and beyond. In 2023 our pursuit of creating meaningful connections with local non-profits, ConnectW has forged impactful partnerships and collaborations that have enriched both our community and the organizations we support.


Commerce & Coffee with Bend Chamber of Commerce

In January of 2023, we partnered with the Bend Chamber of Commerce to host Commerce & Coffee, a dynamic event that brought together 85 attendees from diverse backgrounds. This collaboration not only provided a valuable platform for networking and knowledge-sharing but also strengthened our ties with the local business community.

Bend Chamber of Commerce Logo

Partnership with SCORE of Central Oregon

ConnectW is proud to have formed a new alliance with SCORE of Central Oregon, a respected mentorship and business counseling organization. Through this partnership, we have gained SCORE Central Oregon as a Corporate Sponsor, reflecting our shared commitment to empowering professional women. Together, SCORE and ConnectW are building a thriving community of women professionals and entrepreneurs, connecting and empowering women in business and in life.


Non-profit Sponsorship with SBDC Central Oregon

In 2023, ConnectW introduced a new opportunity for members with a new Non-profit Sponsorship Program. Sue Meyer, of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), stepped forward to be our Non-profit Sponsor, demonstrating a commitment to supporting our community’s non-profit sector. Through this sponsorship, Sue purchased dinner tickets on behalf of our five nonprofit speaking showcases, furthering our mission of fostering meaningful connections and support within our community.

Oregon SBDC Logo

Inspiring Talks from M Perfectly Non-Profit

Ashley Smith, representing M Perfectly Non-Profit, graced us with her presence twice in the past year, delivering inspiring talks that left a lasting impact on our membership. Ashley’s heartfelt words resonated with our community, reflecting on the invaluable support and contributions received from ConnectW members. Her specific shoutouts to various members underscored the deep connections and relationships fostered within our community, highlighting the power of collaboration and support in driving positive change.

Through these meaningful connections and collaborations, ConnectW continues to champion the importance of community engagement and support for local non-profit organizations. We remain committed to fostering a culture of collaboration, empowerment, and compassion, driving positive change within our community and beyond.

Join Us in Making a Difference

As we reflect on our journey of creating meaningful connections with local non-profits, the women of ConnectW are filled with gratitude for the impactful partnerships and collaborations that have enriched both our community and the organizations we support. Through initiatives like our quarterly spotlight events and strategic alliances with organizations like SCORE of Central Oregon and the Small Business Development Center, we’ve witnessed the transformative power of collaboration and support in driving positive change. As we look ahead, we invite you to join us in our mission of empowering women in business and in life, and in supporting causes that align with our values. Together, we can continue to foster a culture of collaboration, empowerment, and compassion, driving positive change within our community and beyond.

Non-profits interested in introducing themselves and/or publicizing their efforts to ConnectW’s membership are invited to submit showcase requests to

**Photography courtesy of ConnectW Member Miranda Kelton Photography