News & Views

A blog for those interested in what affects, motivates and drives the New York City Nonprofit Sector — written by CRE’s crackerjack consulting team. We hope you use this space to share your thoughts, ask questions and engage in conversations about our city, social justice and the nonprofit sector.

What Can the Rockaways Teach Us About Collaboration?

By Pamela Dicent - The Far Rockaway/Arverne Nonprofit Coalition was created nearly three years ago by a core group of nonprofit service providers that recognized the value of coming together to address common issues in the Rockaways, particularly around engaging and developing young people on the Peninsula. From the very start of CRE’s involvement as facilitator, it was clear that this was a new kind of collaboration in town – one that has already fulfilled its promise of strengthening the network of nonprofit organizations.  Read more >>

Leaving the Projector Behind: CRE’s Community-Based Training Efforts

By Jeff Ballow, Senior Consultant - Is training more valuable for participants when you bring the training experience to their communities? This is one question that has emerged during the last year as part of our Neighborhood Based Capacity-Building Initiative funded by the New York Community Trust. So far we’ve taken this mountain-to-Mohammed approach to management development in East New York in Brooklyn and Far Rockaway in Queens, and in early May we launched a similar training series in the High Bridge section of the Bronx. Here’s what we have learned so far:   Read more >>

An Update on the Rockaways

By Barbara Turk and Pamela Dicent - The situation in the Rockaways is far from normal this week, but has improved since our last report on the status of CRE’s nonprofit partners in Arverne and Far Rockaway. Members of the Far Rockaway/Arverne Nonprofit Coalition convened by phone on Wednesday and reported that collaboration between groups has been challenging, with duplication of efforts inevitable given the isolation created by initial communication challenges. Each organization is making progress in getting back in touch with its colleagues and clients, and is identifying opportunities to partner with their Coalition colleagues and others to best serve the immediate needs of their clients.   Read more >>

Far Rockaway Nonprofits Speak Out on Post-Hurricane Needs

By Barbara Turk, Senior Fellow – CRE has been visiting our clients in areas most affected by the Storm to understand their immediate and long-term needs, and to start the process of helping these community-based organizations recover. Since last week, I have made three visits to Far Rockaway and Arverne, Queens. CRE has been fostering the formation and development of the Far Rockaway/Arverne Nonprofit Coalition for nearly two years.   Read more >>

The Broken Machine

By Rashid Littlejohn, Program Assistant/Public Ally - My name is Rashid Littlejohn, a Public Allies Fellow and Program Assistant for Community Resource Exchange (CRE). Public Allies is a nonprofit organization that develops new leaders who are focused on strengthening communities, by partnering us with other nonprofit organizations advocating for social change. I started a nonprofit social justice and environmental leadership group called GCAMP (Genuinely Care About My Planet) in mid-2010 in Brooklyn, NY, which led me to Public Allies. Partnered with CRE for the next ten months, I’ll learn more about the nonprofit sector as Program Assistant and will also blog about some experiences at CRE. This first post, “The Broken Machine,” is a reflection of my first two weeks with CRE.  Read more >>

Every Vote Counts: Stepping Up Your Nonprofit's Role in Civic Engagement

By Louisa Hackett, Senior Managing Director - Community Resource Exchange is joining hundreds of other nonprofits across the country to promote National Voter Registration Day on September 25th. We support nonprofit civic engagement activities because we believe participating in our democracy furthers our mission of fighting poverty and advancing social justice.  Read more >>

6 Key Reforms to Restore NYS Budget Cuts

By Rona Taylor, Social Work Intern - In 2009, New York State was faced with a $20 billion budget gap due to the weak economy. With the help of stimulus dollars, a personal income tax surcharge on New Yorkers making over $250,000, and new income tax reforms, that $20 billion budget gap has been reduced to a little over $1.5 million. However, the ongoing weak economy, in addition to the slow recovery, continues to undermine New York State’s efforts to restore those cuts. The following blog outlines information obtained from a Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) briefing.  Read more >>

CRE’s Neighborhood Work: A View from Highbridge

By Ximena Rua-Merkin - This past fall, CRE embarked on a neighborhood based capacity building initiative to bring our services directly to organizations working in four of New York City’s neighborhoods most affected by the economic downturn. One of these neighborhoods is Highbridge. Located north of Yankee Stadium and West of the number 4 Subway line, Highbridge has been described by public authorities as one of the poorest neighborhoods in the City. However, as I get to know and work in this community, I realize that while its residents may face tremendous challenges, Highbridge is in no way poor.   Read more >>

Free Services for CBOs During Hard Times

By Linda Levine, Member of Gray Matters - Has there ever been a time of greater need for NYC’s underserved urban communities? If you direct or work in a CBO, you know the struggle to provide a multiplicity of crucial services at a time when funds are scarce! Many communities suffer from lack of decent housing, medical and legal services, educational opportunities, as well as the impact of environmental injustice, limited access to the arts and the many other benefits enjoyed by citizens in more prosperous communities. Typically understaffed for the services they seek to provide, CBO's are keenly aware of how much more they might do with some professional assistance.  Read more >>

Rapid Response to Support the Sector

 by Holly Delany Cole - A recent report by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Ph.D. and Cameron Smith, funded by the Philanthropic Collaborative, found that Foundations responded in “a targeted and timely manner”, with grants appropriately directed to recession relief to the hardest-hit parts of the country.    Read more >>

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