How to Give Back to the Best Portland Nonprofits

Get the lowdown on what your donation means to our 2015 Light a Fire winners.

By Emma Mannheimer October 20, 2015

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Our Light a Fire nonprofit awards may happen just once a year, but our winners appreciate your support all year round. We’ve broken down how your donation (in the form of money or time) will be used by each of our six organization winners.


$100 = Helps fund artists to come to Portland from distant lands, goes toward materials for a local artist to complete their most ambitious work, or supports the design/printing of the nationally distributed catalogs to help carry the banner of Portland’s art scene, making sure that the visual arts exhibitions remain free and accessible to everybody.

If you can’t give money: Act as a docent in the gallery, assist with events, or help artists during installation. More info

Friends of Trees

$100 = The planting of three trees in a low-income area.

If you can’t give money: Engage by planting trees and assisting with tree maintenance, pitching in in the office, or train to become a crew leader and help other volunteers get involved 

De Paul Treatment Centers

$100 = An Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous Big Book for eight graduating clients, a sober fun outing for four clients with a Peer Recovery Mentor, or 40 bus tickets/transportation for youth clients to get to daily treatment appointments.

If you can’t give money: Donate your used items such as gardening tools, sporting and fitness equipment, blank journals, and art supplies. More info

Rebuilding Together Portland

$100 = $400 materials and labor for a homeowner in Portland (or around 300 square feet of renovation) provided by skilled and unskilled volunteers at no cost to the homeowner

If you can’t give money: Use your time to work on rebuild days in which volunteers help clean, paint, and work on the house in the capacity that they are able to. More info

Right Brain Initiative

$100 = Two elementary students participating in the program for one year, or an arts-integration workshop for all teachers at a Portland area school, led by a professional teaching artist

If you can’t give money: Use your photographic skills to capture the work done in classrooms, help out at outreach events, or join a committee or task force. More info 

Villages NW

$100 = outreach and growth for the organization

If you can’t give money: Assistant with publicity and help coordinate different events. Bottom line: bring your skills, and Villages NW will find a use for them. More info

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