Four Challenges for the City in 2016—and Some Solutions

This op-ed was first published by Crain’s New York Business on December 4, 2015:

By Lorie A. Slutsky, President, New York Community Trust

During 25 years as president of one of New York’s leading charitable foundations, I’ve overseen more than $1 billion in grants to nonprofits doing vital work—from educating preschoolers to caring for the elderly. But I’ve come to understand that good intentions and charity alone can’t fix the city’s problems: Homelessness has reached record highs, graduating teens are ill-prepared for today’s jobs, and heroin deaths now exceed murders.

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New York Nonprofit Sector Events – December 2015

Citi Foundation: Community Progress Makers

The Citi Foundation announced the launch of the Community Progress Makers Fund, a $20 million, 2-year initiative designed to invest in visionary organizations committed to aligning the work of residents, nonprofits, businesses and municipal governments in an effort to create opportunity and drive economic progress for low- and moderate-income communities in the metro areas of New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco and Washington, DC. The Citi Foundation’s full announcement about the Community Progress Makers Fund can be found here.

Selected organizations will receive operating support grants of up to $500,000 over 2 years, in addition to technical assistance, communications support and access to skill-based, pro-bono Citi volunteer teams.

Citi Foundation is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, December 1st, 2:00 PM to answer questions from potential applications about this funding opportunity. Citi Foundation will collect questions in advance to answer during this webinar. Submit your questions to by November 27thRegister for the webinar here.


Advocacy & Lobbying for Nonprofits
December 2, 2015 (Wednesday), 9:30 am – 11:00 am
The Foundation Center: 32 Old Slip, New York, NY

Nonprofits play a vital role in advocating for social issues and informing and influencing public policy. Yet many nonprofit executives are unclear about the laws surrounding lobbying and political activity. Join us for a seminar that will help you to learn about what is and what is not considered lobbying, how much lobbying a public charity can do, and what your organization needs to do to protect its tax status while engaging in these activities. Join us just in time for election season! Register here.

Presenters: John Bennett and Kevin Roe, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

This session is co-sponsored by New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, Foundation Center, Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York, Human Services Council and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.


PennPAC Volunteers (DEADLINE: December 4th)

PennPAC’s University of Pennsylvania alumni volunteers is seeking nonprofit applicants for its Spring 2016 roster of NYC consulting grants. PennPAC’s six person teams provide 8-10 week, project based, strategic consulting engagements customized to meet your business needs. Applications are due by December 4. More information is at


Brooke W. Mahoney Award (DEADLINE: December 4th)

The Brooke W. Mahoney Award recognizes the outstanding work done by a board of directors as it dedicates time and resources to achieving its organization’s unique mission and awards a $5,000 prize. The competition is open to any 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located within the metro area. There is no entry fee. The application deadline is December 4. Go to


Chicago Booth Alumni Board Connect (DEADLINE: December 7th)

Alumni Board Connect matches Chicago Booth alumni with nonprofit organizations to serve as directors on their boards. Through this program, both alumni and the organizations benefit from the effective matching service and subsequent networking and educational opportunities. New York City nonprofits can apply if they have open seats on their board of directors. Applications are due on December 7thClick here to learn more and to apply.


Nonprofit TechCon: How Technology has Changed Everything for Nonprofits
December 10, 2015 (Thursday8:00 am—5:30 pm
Fordham University, Center for Nonprofit Leaders, Pope Auditorium: 60th Street Entrance, Lincoln Center

This full-day conference will bring together leaders in technology, IT and data systems as well as executive management from nonprofits across New York, addressing the impact of technology on the nonprofit community. Click here to learn more and to register.


Junior Boards

BoardAssist has launched a new junior board matching service. Whether your junior board is an established one or needs to be built from scratch, BoardAssist wants to help.  Read more about BoardAssist at and read BoardAssist’s blog post on managing your junior board efficiently at BoardAssist’s new junior board product is offered free of charge to the New York nonprofit community. For more information, contact Cynthia Remec

Gold, Silver and Bronze Prizes Awarded to Three Exceptional Nonprofits

– New York Common Pantry wins the Gold Prize for Overall Management Excellence –

– America Needs You and BRC win the Silver Prize and Bronze Prize for Management Excellence, respectively


New York Common Pantry’s Board Chair Michael Fitzsimons and Executive Director Stephen Grimaldi accept the Gold Prize.

(New York, NY) – Three nonprofit groups have been chosen as winners of the 2015 New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Awards, which include a total of $60,000 in prizes as well as tuition scholarships for the Columbia Business School Executive Education Programs in Social Enterprise.

The announcement of the three winning organizations – New York Common Pantry, America Needs You and BRC – was made by the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York (NPCC), which created and manages the nine-year-old Awards program.

America Needs You’s Founding Board Member Daron Greene and CEO Kimberly A. Harris accept the Silver Prize.


New York Common Pantry won the Gold Prize for Overall Management Excellence. America Needs You and BRC won the Silver Prize and Bronze Prize for Management Excellence, respectively. The prizes were awarded today at a best practices workshop, Awards presentation and reception held at CUNY Graduate Center.

BRC’s Board Chair Julie Salamon and Executive Director Muzzy Rosenblatt accept the Bronze Prize.

A selection committee of 34 nonprofit management experts chose the three winners from a group of six finalists – which were previously selected from among 10 semifinalists – following an intensive application and vetting process that identifies excellent and replicable management practices among nonprofits in New York City, Long Island and Westchester.

New York Common Pantry is dedicated to reducing hunger throughout New York City while promoting dignity and self-sufficiency. America Needs You fights for economic mobility for ambitious, first-generation college students by providing transformative mentorship and intensive career development. BRC helps people reclaim lives lost by restoring hope and dignity and offering opportunities for health and self-sufficiency.

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Best Practices: Diversity and Cultural Competence


By Diana Davenport, Vice President for Administration, The Commonwealth Fund

Each year the Nonprofit Excellence Awards Selection Committee pays special attention to diversity and cultural competence in its review of Award applications. While we have seen improvement over the years, the fact is that the committee has found this is a management practice where many organizations continue to struggle. The good news is that there are strong and replicable practices and outcomes among this year’s three winners and all six finalists worthy of highlighting for your information:

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Three Exceptional New York Nonprofits Win 2015 Nonprofit Excellence Awards

– America Needs You, BRC and New York Common Pantry win for exemplary management practices –

– Gold, Silver and Bronze Prize winners to be revealed at the November 18 ceremony at CUNY Graduate Center –

(New York, NY) – Three nonprofit groups have been chosen as winners of the 2015 New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Awards, which include a total of $60,000 in prizes as well as tuition scholarships for the Columbia Business School Executive Education Programs in Social Enterprise.

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New York Nonprofit Sector Events – October & November 2015

Microsoft Office 365 for Nonprofits, a Special Event by TechSoup Global
November 11, 2015 (Wednesday9:30 am—4:00 pm
Microsoft Welcome Center, 11 Times Square, 7th Floor, New York, NY

Here’s your chance to learn more about Office 365 for nonprofits – what it is, how the licensing works, how it can benefit your nonprofit, and what it takes to implement it. Nonprofit staff can learn more about why nonprofits are choosing Office 365, how it’s saving them money, and how to successfully implement it. IT staff and consultants will have the opportunity to learn tips and tricks about implementing Office 365 at nonprofit organizations.  Everyone will have time to ask questions and learn more about the benefits of O365 for nonprofits.  This event will be hosted by TechSoup and its partner organization, Tech Impact.

This is a one-day event for nonprofits will cover the following topics – and much more!

  • Cloud based services: what they are, advantages and disadvantages
  • Office 365 overview including the various components so you can better understand what they are and how you can use them
  • Information on different implementation strategies and resources
  • Technical deep dive for IT folks to learn more about how to best implement Office 365 for nonprofit organizations

Click here to register for this free event.

Strategic Planning for Mission Impact
November 12, 2015 (Thursday9:00 am—11:30 am
Scandinavia House, 58 Park Avenue at 38th Street, Volvo Room, New York, NY

Great strategic plans are based on measurable goals that can help you achieve your nonprofit’s mission. They are vital tools for guiding nonprofit work. Everyone in your organization has a valuable role to play in creating and using your strategic plan. Led by New York City’s Chief Service Officer, Paula Gavin, a panel of seasoned experts will share their insights about how strategic planning can position your nonprofit to manage challenges effectively, and lead to deeper mission impact. Cost is $25 per person.  Click here to register to attend.

Webinar: How an 80’s pop song can help manage 2 critical IT security risks
Thursday, November 12th, 2:00 pm—3:00 pm

“Back at base, bugs in the software / Flash the message, ‘something’s out there!'”

Hacking, botnets and ransomware – the list of threats goes on and on. Following clear advice from international pop hit, 99 Red Balloons, this workshop will guide you through a methodology and toolset to move from anxiety to action. While you can’t eliminate risk, there are many practical steps you can take to better understand your risks and then manage those risks. You will leave this webinar with the ability to identify your biggest security risks, steps you can take and tools you can use to assess and address those risks, and much more. The webinar will be led by accomplished tech leader Joshua Peskay, VP of RoundTable Technology. Click here to learn more and register.

Demonstration of, a free mapping and data tool
November 17, 2015 (Wednesday8:30 am—10:00 am
UJA Federation of New York, 130 East 59th Street, New York, NY

HSC, in partnership with Asian American Federation, Coalition for Asian American Children and Families, Council for Family and Child Caring Agencies, LiveOn NY, and Staten Island NFP Association, is proud to host a demonstration of, a pioneering, free, easy-to-use mapping and data tool.

The website and mobile app bring together for the first time federal, state, and city data on over 350 indicators in a dozen areas vital to improving New Yorkers’ lives – empowering users to pinpoint particular groups and areas in need, craft solutions, target policies and services, track progress, advocate for change, and hold elected officials accountable for results. A one-stop shop for neighborhood-level data broken down by community district (150 indicators are also available by census tract) enables policy-makers, philanthropists, social service delivery agencies, and community-based organizations to create unique data sets, prepare district profiles, test relationships between indicators, and print or share their results at the click of a button.

Presented by: Kristen Lewis,Co-Director, and Rebecca Gluskin, Chief Statistician, Measure of America

Data2Go was created by Measure of America, a project of the Social Science Research Council, with the generous support of the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

Click here to register.

2015 New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Awards Best Practices Workshop & Awards Presentation
November 18, 2015 (Wednesday8:30 am—12:30 pm
CUNY Graduate Center Auditorium, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY

The New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Awards honor outstanding management and governance practices among New York’s large and diverse nonprofit community. Join us as this year’s three winners participate in a Best Practices Workshop to share their management strengths and detail the strategies that led to their selection. The panel will be moderated by Stephanie Thomas, President of Stetwin Consulting and NPCC Board Member. The Awards Presentation and a reception will follow. This is a free event, but registration is required. Click here to register.

New York Nonprofit 40 under 40 Honoree Breakfast
November 19, 2015 (Thursday8:30 am—10:30 am
LAVO, 39 East 58th Street, New York, NY

New York Nonprofit celebrates its inaugural 40 under 40 nonprofit rising stars. The breakfast serves to launch NYN’s Rising Stars special issue and to celebrate the accomplishments of the forty under forty with friends, colleagues and family. Programming for the morning will feature speeches, award presentation and networking opportunities. Click here to purchase tickets.

Chicago Booth Alumni Board Connect (DEADLINE: December 7th)

Looking for great board members? The Alumni Board Connect program, led by University of Chicago Booth School of Business, matches Booth alumni with nonprofit organizations to serve as directors on their boards. Through this program, both alumni and the organizations benefit from the effective matching service and subsequent networking and educational opportunities. New York City nonprofits can apply if they have open seats on their board of directors. Applications are due on December 7thClick here to learn more and to apply.

There’s still time: October 2015

Conference on Evidence-Based Treatment Interventions for Children and Families (REGISTRATION DEADLINE: October 13th)
October 30, 2015 (Friday8:30 am—3:00 pm
Baruch College Conference Center: 55 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY

The New York Foundling Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection proudly presents the 2015 Annual Professional Conference Evidence-Based Trauma Treatment Interventions for Children and Families in Child Welfare: What Works and What Needs to be Done. The conference will feature Gladys Carrión, Esq., Commissioner for the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) as the keynote speaker.  The registration deadline is October 13thClick here to download the event brochure, including the agenda and registration information.

Funding Opportunity for Nonprofits Serving Communities of Color (DEADLINE: October 30th)

As part of the New York City Council Fiscal Year 2016 Budget, the City Council allocated $2.5 million for the Communities of Color Nonprofit Stabilization Fund (CCNSF) intended for nonprofits serving majority Asian, Latino and/or Black communities to build organizational capacity through board development, financial and organization management grants. CCNSF aims to build the capacity of New York City nonprofits, in  recognition of the fact that organizations led by people of the community are best equipped to meet the needs of their constituents. CCNSF also intends to promote learning among Community Based Organization leaders.

Applications are now available for the CCNSF Year 2. The CCNSF committee is led by theCoalition for Asian American Children and FamiliesAsian American FederationBlack Agency ExecutivesHispanic Federation, and New York Urban League, whose mission is to build the capacity of organizations serving communities of color.

Attend an upcoming Community Briefing to learn more about the grant, and apply today! Deadline is October 30th.

Howie the Harp Accepting Applications for January 2016 Training (DEADLINE: October 31st)

Howie the Harp Advocacy Center is now accepting applications for its comprehensive and intensive Peer Training Program starting in January 2016. This program offers people who have lived experience with a mental health condition the opportunity for a career as a Peer Provider in Human Services. The training gives participants the tools to transform their own experiences in mental health care into skills to support and aid others on their road to wellness and recovery. Click here for additional information including eligibility criteria, application form, and details about upcoming information sessionsThe application deadline is Friday, October 31, 2015.

Melkis Alvarez-Baez Named “New York Nonprofit 40 Under 40 Rising Star”

By Diana Davenport, Vice President for Administration, The Commonwealth Fund

Congratulations to Melkis Alvarez-Baez, Director of Programs for the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York, who has been selected as one of New York Nonprofit Media’s 40 Under 40 Rising Stars.

Anyone who has ever applied for the New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Awards, served on the selection committee, funded or been part of the management of the Awards knows just how good Melkis is at her job. She’s hardworking, detail-oriented, thoughtful, strategic and accomplished—not to mention kind.

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Beware of the “Free Puppies” of Technology Donations

mary oshaughnessy

By Mary O’Shaughnessy, Manager of Information Technology, Her Justice

“Free puppies” sounds so wonderful. Yet once you have acquired an actual puppy, your wallet gets opened for spay/neuter, license, food, toys, dog walker—free isn’t really “no-cost.” The same is true for “free computers” and “free software.” Before you jump to say “Yes,” think carefully about what the real price might be.

“The only thing is…”

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