Training + Technical Assistance

Technical Assistance/Civic Engagement Support Services
Technical information and assistance: NECN provides neighborhood boards, as well as individual community members, with ongoing support, basic trainings, resource referrals, advice, research assistance, and one-on-one brainstorming about issues that come up in your neighborhood.

Action planning/strategic planning sessions for boards: Staff can work with your board to craft and execute an annual planning session, creating goals, action-steps and activity plans for events and outreach activities. Due to capacity limitations, requests for immediate assistance cannot always be accommodated.  The farther in advance your board can submit a request, the more likely we will be able to accommodate.

Roundtables, forums and orientations: We supplement our annual Neighborhood Association Board Orientation throughout the year with a variety of training and discussion events. We host roundtables on topics such as outreach techniques, effective NA communications methods, meeting facilitation and more. In addition, we host larger community forums, bringing together neighbors and community members to learn about and discuss important community issues. Topics are chosen based on feedback from individuals, neighborhood associations and our community committees.

Peer sharing opportunities through community committees: We host four monthly coalition-wide committees, the Land Use and Transportation Committee (LUTC), Schools Committee, Safety and Livability Committee (SALT) and Community Economic Development Committee. Each neighborhood is encouraged to send a representative to each of these committees which also encourage non-neighborhood association affiliated community members to get involved. Join us to learn and share topic-related information and gain Coalition-wide perspectives on a variety of issues impacting us all.

Magnify political power through issue advocacy: If an issue is important to one of our neighborhood associations, it is likely important to other neighborhoods as well. Once a neighborhood association takes a position and begins advocating on a particular issue, they can bring their position to one of our coalition-wide committees (see above) and the committee may recommend that the NECN Board take a position as well. The Board may send official position statements to elected officials or others involved in creating policy about the issue.

Administrative/Operational/Organizational Capacity Support

Insurance coverage: NECN pays for General Liability and Directors and Officers Insurance Coverage, allowing our 12 neighborhood associations to host a wide variety of events and protecting neighborhood association board members from personal liability.

Communications funds: NECN provides neighborhood associations with direct funding support eligible to be used towards a variety of communications efforts to help with neighborhood association outreach and visibility.

Website/minutes archiving: NECN keeps a dedicated web page on our website for each of our 12 neighborhood associations. On this page we post minutes, agendas, current board member rosters, meeting times and locations, neighborhood maps and links to neighborhood association websites, if they exist. In addition to posting minutes and agendas on our website,, we also keep a paper archive of minutes and agendas at our office.

Mailboxes/mail handling: All neighborhoods have the option of using the NECN address as their permanent address. Upon receipt of mail, we coordinate pick up with a designated board member.

Two-way hub for information and communications: We receive a variety of notices and updates on governmental and community-based programs and issues – sharing this information through our list serves, online community event calendar, social media and electronic newsletter. Every month we invite neighborhood associations to submit events and updates that they would like to distribute to our mailing list.

Assistance with reporting requirements: We send neighborhoods reminders and provide assistance regarding required annual reporting with the Secretary of State, IRS and Department of Justice.

Access to additional funding: NECN and the Office of Neighborhood Involvement’s small grants program provides an opportunity for neighborhood associations and other community groups to apply for funding for specific community-building projects. We also support and coordinate neighborhood Clean-Up efforts and help NAs access the funding for these events.

Fiscal Sponsorship Program: Another way in which we help community projects access funding is by serving as a fiscal sponsor for projects that do not have tax-exempt status.  The vision of our fiscal sponsorship program is to help take grassroots project ideas and assist them in becoming strong, successful projects. Assistance may include organizational capacity building and fundraising.

The ONI Standards

Standards for Neighborhood Associations, District Coalitions, Business District Associations and the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, also known as the ONI Standards, create a framework by which the people of the City of Portland may effectively participate in civic affairs and work to improve the livability and character of their Neighborhoods and the City. Click here to be directed to a PDF of the ONI Standards.

Included are minimum standards such as:
  • What topics need to be included in Association bylaws in order to be recognized,
  • What are benefits of being recognized by the City,
  • What communication funds can be spent on,
  • How conflicts are resolved through the grievance process,
  • Open meetings and public records rules,
  • What are the roles of District Coalitions and the Office of Neighborhood Involvement to serve the Neighborhood Associations.

Further information, including suggested language for Neighborhood Association Bylaws can be found on the Office of Neigborhood Involvement website HERE.