Nonprofit Assistance Center (NAC) and Wayfind are joining forces as Communities Rise to provide integrated services under one roof. We have created this FAQ to help answer any potential questions.
- Why are NAC and Wayfind joining forces?
- Why now?
- Will services change?
- How will this affect staff and programs at NAC and Wayfind?
- Will there still be opportunities for volunteer attorneys to provide pro bono legal services?
- Will services to microenterprises continue?
Why are NAC and Wayfind joining forces?
The need to build power in communities impacted by systemic oppression is greater than ever. For years NAC and Wayfind have held a deep partnership, referring services to each other and working side by side (literally in the same office space!). With our complementary specialties in legal services and organizational development, we have both worked to support community organizations as more than recipients of service, but as leaders of a collective movement. By joining forces, we are creating a streamlined system for the nonprofits, funders, and microenterprises with whom we partner and provide services.
Both NAC and Wayfind decided mutually that 2019 is the right time. NAC’s former Executive Director Sarah Tran stepped down last October after four years leading the organization. With years of successful partnership, including sharing offices, and Sarah stepping down, the boards decided it was a good time to explore a merger. After a months-long merger exploration process, the NAC and Wayfind boards determined that a new merged organization will benefit the community and that we can be more effective together than we can as two separate organizations.
Will services change?
The high quality of services that you have come to expect from each of our organizations will remain the same. By combining our services under one roof the work of each of our organizations will be strengthened because we will be able to streamline requests for services in one place, create greater efficiencies in how we operate, and provide greater access to networks for everyone.
How will this affect staff and programs at NAC and Wayfind?
All current programs of NAC and Wayfind will continue and all staff will continue doing their great work fulfilling their commitment to community. Jodi Nishioka is now the Executive Director for both organizations. The vision is to expand on our current services. There is no intention to contract or lessen our current services in any way.
Will there still be opportunities for volunteer attorneys to provide pro bono legal services?
Yes! Our model of providing attorneys the ability to share their skills and provide business transactional pro bono legal services to nonprofit organizations and microenterprises will continue just as it did before. Our volunteer attorneys will continue to receive emails with available pro bono opportunities. We will continue to offer our monthly nonprofit and microenterprise legal clinics to the community and will continue to need volunteer attorneys to staff those clinics. We will continue to offer our Nonprofit Advocates mentorships and training cohort program.
Will services to microenterprises continue?
Yes! We will continue our monthly Microenterprise Legal Clinic in partnership with Ventures and continue providing direct legal services to small business owners. Our model of providing attorneys the ability to share their skills and provide business transactional pro bono legal services to microenterprises will continue just as it did before and will continue to need volunteer attorneys to staff our clinics and take on small business matters.