Thursday, June 3, 2010

NYCON CEO speaks at Forum on Strategic Alliances & Partnerships

The blog, Done by People, by Joe Brown, Principal and Founder of Slope Resources, LLC, offered the following recap of the "A Conversation with NYS Comptroller Thomas P. Di Napoli and Panel Discussion on Strategic Alliances & Partnerships."

On Monday, I had the opportunity to attend a highly informative and engaging forum which brought together government and nonprofit representatives to discuss the topic of strategic alliances and partnerships among nonprofit organizations. While the discussion focused on New York State’s nonprofit sector, the challenges, considerations, and ideas discussed are applicable to organizations nationwide. In the absence of a video or audio recording of the session, I wanted to share this detailed recap and my impressions of the session.

The event was sponsored by the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region and the New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON) and held at the headquarters of New York State United Teachers (very nice digs, by the way) in Latham, New York, a few miles northeast of Albany.

Karen Bilowith, President and CEO of the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region, presided over the session. The approximately 75 attendees included representatives of various nonprofits, including arts, cultural, health, and human services organizations, as well as a number of funders and consultants (including yours truly). Following Ms. Bilowith’s welcoming comments, New York Secretary of State Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez provided brief opening remarks. Ms. Cortés-Vázquez assured the attendees that “most in government” recognize the importance of the nonprofit sector and rules and regulations pertaining to the sector should not be so onerous as to provide disincentives for staff, board members, and volunteers to participate.

I’m from the government, and…
Ms. Cortés-Vázquez then introduced the session’s keynote speaker, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. The Office of the State Comptroller has responsibility for the review, approval, and payment of the state’s contracts with nonprofit organizations. Mr. DiNapoli noted the importance of the nonprofit sector to the state and its economy, citing 2006 statistics that the state’s approximately 24,000 nonprofits reported revenue of $133 billion and employed nearly 1.2 million people, or 17% of the state’s workforce. He quantified the state’s contractual bonds with the sector as consisting of nearly 31,000 active contracts totaling $14.6 billion, as of June 2009. Read more here.

The balance of the session was devoted to presentations and discussion by a panel consisting of:
■Doug Sauer, who has served as Chief Executive Officer of New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON) since 1980. NYCON’s membership represents approximately 1,600 charitable nonprofit organizations across New York State.
■Cristine Cioffi, who is a partner in the law firm of Cioffi • Slezak • Wildgrube P.C., but spoke primarily in her role as Chair of the Board of Trustees of Ellis Medicine, an organization which resulted from the recent merger of three nonprofit hospitals in Schenectady County.
■David W. Palmquist, who as Manager of the New York State Museum’s Chartering Program, oversees the chartering of museums, historical societies, and similar cultural organizations with educational purposes across the state.
The panelists responded to questions posed by Ms. Bilowith, as well as several questions from audience members.

Doug Sauer
While all three of the panelists presented interesting perspectives on the potential of various collaborative models for nonprofit organizations, I was particularly impressed by Mr. Sauer’s insight and candor on a number of fronts. Early in his presentation, he discussed the recent proliferation of nonprofits, describing the creation of thousands of new organizations each year, many of which are not active, and the resultant saturated environment. (I was reminded of a recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, which noted that the number of nonprofit organizations nationwide has increased by 90% to 1.2 million since 1996). Read more here.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

your son/daughter is so cute............................................................

Anonymous said...

無一事而不學,無一時而不學,無一處而不學。........................................

彥安彥安 said...

生存乃是不斷地在內心與靈魂交戰;寫作是坐著審判自己。...........................................................................

sdas said...

Better late than never. ........................................