Educational Institutions

Death with Dignity National Center

Respect the will of the people

Portland, OR

Mission

The mission of the Death with Dignity National Center is to promote Death with Dignity laws based on our model legislation, the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, both to provide an option for dying individuals and to stimulate nationwide improvements in end-of-life care.

Ruling Year

1995

Executive Director

Ms. Peg Sandeen Ph.D.

Main Address

520 SW 6th Avenue Suite 1220

Portland, OR 97204 USA

Keywords

Death with Dignity,physician assisted death,assisted death,death,dignity,dying,end of life,right to die,civil right,pain,palliative care,medicine,Oregon,Washington,Vermont,Hawaii,euthanasia,aid-in-dyi

EIN

93-1162366

 Number

7067787908

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Education N.E.C. (B99)

Public, Society Benefit - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (W99)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

In the last 50 years, advances in medical technology have fundamentally changed how Americans die. These advances have led to positive outcomes for many individuals, but there are others for whom the extension of their lives through modern medicine has led to a painful and protracted dying process.

Terminally ill individuals seek—and deserve—the freedom to decide how they die. For some, this includes the option of a hastened death as a means to end their suffering and maintain autonomy until their final breath. The Death with Dignity National Center promotes policy reform that makes this option available to mentally capable individuals with six months or less to live. In the process, we strengthen the nationwide movement for greater choice and control at the end of life.

Additionally, we mount legal defense of existing assisted-dying laws at the state and federal levels based on our successful efforts to defend the groundbreaking Oregon Death with Dignity Act.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Public Education

Communications

Dignity50, formerly Oregon Plus One

Where we workNew!

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Number of jurisdictions that have adopted death with dignity laws

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Dignity50, formerly Oregon Plus One

Context notes

Seven states have death with dignity laws which we helped enact: Oregon-1997; Washington-2008; Vermont-2013; California-2015; Colorado-2016; Washington, D.C.-2017; Hawaiʻi-2018.

Number of grassroots organizations supported

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Dignity50, formerly Oregon Plus One

Context notes

Through our Dignity50 State Leadership program we provide financial and strategic support to grassroots leaders. We work/worked with groups in the following states: ME, NC, OH, TX, NY, OR, VT, and WA.

Number of requests for data

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Public Education

Context notes

Students, medical professionals, the media, terminally ill patients and family members request information from us as a recognized and trusted resource on issues pertaining to end-of-life care.

Number of people on the organization's email list

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Communications

Context notes

Email is one of our key advocacy and fundraising tools. We have focused on developing an effective email strategy to engage donors, advocates, and volunteers in specific states and nationwide.

Number of Facebook followers

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Communications

Context notes

We share news/research related to end-of-life care in the US, partner organizations’ news, personal stories from terminally ill Americans. This helps grow the movement for improved end of life care.

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

Death with Dignity National Center works to stimulate changes in end-of-life care by promoting death with dignity policy reform, which provides a dignified and humane option for terminally ill people whose dying process is full of suffering and indignity.

In our decades of work at the local and national levels, we have learned the road to lasting policy change begins not in the halls of power, but at the grassroots. As part of our core program, Dignity50, we provide training, strategic guidance, and critical funding to community leaders on the front lines of the death with dignity movement in states across the country. This coordinated, state-by-state approach catalyzes policy reform in a growing number of states and strengthens the nationwide movement for greater choice and control at the end of life.

We also provide information, education, and support about death with dignity as an end-of-life option to patients, family members, legislators, advocates, healthcare and end-of-life care professionals, media, and the interested public.

In order to act as a leader catalyzing policy reform, we build national-state partnerships with local groups. Through these partnerships, we are able to effectively transfer policy knowledge, research, and analysis to grassroots activists engaged in regional or local work.

For example, in Vermont, which adopted a death with dignity statute in 2013, we were the only national organization active during the entire 10 years of work it took to achieve policy reform. We partnered with a local organization to provide strategic support; raise funds; and educate residents and interest groups about the benefits of death with dignity. In turn, local leaders shared on-the-ground knowledge that helped our team refine our communications and education strategy. Together, we achieved a landmark victory, and the dedicated Vermonters with whom we worked are well equipped to educate their fellow citizens about death with dignity as a compassionate end-of-life option.

Through over 20 years of end-of-life policy practice, we have developed a sophisticated analysis of policy opportunities throughout the country. This helps guide our investments of movement resources to states with the highest potential for success.

Other strategies include evaluating policy reform lessons from other social movements and applying them to our own and building relationships across issue advocacy nonprofit organizations to facilitate policy reform in the broadest sense possible.

Death with Dignity National Center has been at the forefront of the assisted-dying movement since its inception nearly 30 years ago. Our policy work led to the passage by voters of the nation's first assisted-dying statute, the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, in 1994. The Act, which we defended successfully before the U.S. Supreme Court, has been used as a model for death with dignity statutes in other states. We have played a central role in successful efforts to expand policy reform to Washington State (2008), Vermont (2013), California (2015), Washington, D.C. (2017), and, most recently, Hawaiʻi (2018). And we have spearheaded robust efforts in states that did not result in policy reform but greatly increased public support for death with dignity and helped us hone our national strategy.

The breadth of our work, the depth of our experience, and the strength of our reputation put us in a position to lead the death with dignity movement into the future. We have the capability to provide both a broad spectrum of services to a multitude of states, while still allowing us to focus in on the specific needs of each state through our unique mix of social movement expertise, funding capabilities, and wealth of knowledge gained from managing and assisting efforts in many states. Our process of maintaining a narrowly- focused mission and continually re-examining the tasks and activities necessary to achieve our mission helps us maintain effectiveness and efficiency and allows us to act quickly to address emergent issues.

We are committed to transparency, and we invest resources in evaluating our work and reporting our accomplishments and challenges to our donors, board members, and contributors. To that end, our strategic plan outlines goals, activities, benchmarks, and outcome criteria against which we track our progress. In the spirit of full disclosure, we catalog and quantify our progress toward achieving our goals in our Annual Report and on our website.

In a quarter-century's worth of work, we have changed end-of-life policy to provide greater comfort and control to the terminally ill, both through the promotion of death with dignity policy reform and by influencing key decision-makers to increase awareness and availability of options such as hospice and palliative care.

Seven jurisdictions representing nearly 1 in 5 Americans now have policies authorizing death with dignity. And a 2017 New England Journal of Medicine analysis found that residents of Oregon, where the death with dignity movement began, were more likely to die at home—something 85 percent of Americans wish for— and have other end-of-life wishes honored than residents of any other state.

Currently, we are working with 10 local partner organizations in a diverse group of states. We hope to double the number of partner organizations in the next two years. We will accomplish this by promoting and increasing participation in our Dignity50 State Leadership Incubator, through which we provide essential tools and training to dedicated activists seeking to launch and grow organizations dedicated to promoting death with dignity in their respective states.

We will continue to provide thought leadership in the media, education to a wide range of constituencies, and referral services for terminally ill patients and their families.

And we are actively engaged in defending existing assisted-dying laws through the U.S. court system, which has been a cornerstone of our work since the mid-1990s. Nowhere is this work more urgent than in California, where opponents continue to bring challenges to the End of Life Option Act enacted in 2016. We are working with the California Attorney General's office in its case against opponents attempting to overturn the law on a procedural technicality.

In Washington, D.C., we have joined a coalition of organizations focused on defending D.C. laws, including the Death with Dignity Act passed in 2017, from congressional interference. Some members of Congress are attempting to nullify D.C.'s assisted-dying law through the federal budget process. We have defeated their efforts in the past and will continue to work to protect the District's statute.

External Reviews

Awards & Accreditations

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance

Affiliations & Memberships

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance - Organization

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance - Organization

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance - Organization

Financials

Death with Dignity National Center

Fiscal year: Apr 01-Mar 31

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2017 and 2016
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to see what's included.

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Yes

Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Gender

Race & Ethnicity

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Disability

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Diversity Strategies

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We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
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We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
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We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
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We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
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We have a diversity committee in place
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We have a diversity manager in place
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We have a diversity plan
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We use other methods to support diversity