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 >>

Far Rockaway Leaders Look Ahead

By Maria Mottola, Executive Director, New York Foundation - A half hour into a January 31 meeting with leaders in Far Rockaway, I realized we were not talking anymore about Hurricane Sandy. We were talking about disasters, but not of the sort you can blame on the weather. Somehow the hurricane lost its potency as leaders described how isolation, poverty and incidents of violence persistently disrupt life on the peninsula.  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 >>

Coaching: A Critical Skill for Effective Nonprofit Management

By Mohan Sikka, Managing Director - Corporations – including nonprofit organizations – are not people, as the Supreme Court seems to believe. But they are made up of people: boards, leaders, staff teams, volunteers, clients. In all aspects of leadership, management and operations, these people have to deal with each other, quirks and all. What gets overlooked sometimes by managers is that they, not a strategic plan or a tracking form, have to be agents of change and accountability. In other words, there's no getting around the reality that relationships are key to management success, and that what we think, feel, say and do, our presence as human beings, and how we communicate and relate, are the primary tools we have to organize, motivate, and influence others.  Read more >>

CRE Search - Executive Director - Coalition for Asian American Children and Families - SEARCH CLOSED

The Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF) seeks a full-time Executive Director to lead the nation’s only pan-Asian children’s advocacy organization through its next stage of development. Founded in 1986, CACF successfully advocates for better policies, funding, and services to ensure that children of all backgrounds have an equal opportunity to grow up healthy and safe. Based in New York City, CACF has a $1 million budget and staff of 9 who oversee policy advocacy, youth and parent mobilizing, action research, and coalition building initiatives. This pivotal organization works in strong partnership with other advocates, community based organizations, and policymakers to accomplish its mission.  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 >>

Framing the Impact of the Recession on Nonprofits

By Louisa Hackett, Senior Managing Director - Last week, two presentations about the current state of affairs facing New York City’s nonprofits were a reminder that solutions need to come from within as well as from outside of our sector.   Read more >>

The Power of Collaboration and Why Evaluation Stinks Part II

By Michael Hickey, Independent Community Development Consultant - Just recently I attended a very compelling conference put on by The Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City, and my alma mater the Center for NYC Neighborhoods, entitled The Power of Collaboration. The title of the event comes from the very engaging article “Collective Impact,” published by the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Its authors make the argument that only through collaborative efforts can funders and nonprofit providers rise above the fragmentation of their service niche. The lay out a helpful framework include the following four components of effective collective action:  Read more >>

Why Evaluation Stinks

By Michael Hickey, Independent Community Development Consultant - Ask anybody, and I mean anybody, about evaluating the effectiveness of nonprofit service providers and you will be greeted by winces, whines, shrugs, groans, gnashing of teeth, sighs, and the burying of faces in flattened palms. And by anybody I don't just mean any nonprofit service provider - I mean as well our beloved philanthropic leaders and public sector partners. After all, we're talking about an industry that in 2009 paid 9% of all wages, contributed 5.4% of GDP, reported revenues of $1.4 trillion, and held some $2.56 trillion in assets. Why can't we find a way to tell how effective this industry is with our money (both public and private dollars)? How hard can it be?  Read more >>

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