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Utica Observer-Dispatch: charitySTRONG offering to teach local nonprofit boards

Leaders of local nonprofits who want to strengthen their agency have a new resource.

The nonprofit charitySTRONG has expanded access to its educational library of resources for nonprofit directors from the Buffalo and New York City metropolitan areas to the entire state.

Joining a board comes with specific roles and responsibilities, community obligations and legal liability for fiduciary responsibility, said Executive Director Laura Klein. “So before joining a board, you really need to understand what you’re getting yourself into,” she said.

The library, called Directors U, includes about 200 publications, webinars and videos, most of them available for free, that teach board members and would-be board members about a variety of topics, such as what committees boards should have, how to read a nonprofit financial statement and what directors need to know about the New York Nonprofit Revitalization Act.

A cornerstone of Directors U is a 45-minute online course, created by charitySTRONG, on the fundamentals of being a good board member, Good Practices for Good Boards, Klein said. As of Thursday, 742 people have taken the class, she said.

All of the board members at the Buffalo-based nonprofit Crisis Services took the “Good Practices” course, said CEO Jessica Pirro. Having it online let each board member do it at his or her personal convenience, she said.

“It was really helpful because it just continued to spark discussion at each board meeting,” Pirro said.

And a lot detail goes into managing a nonprofit, which the course helped to explain, she said. “That attention to detail is critical to the success of a not-for-profit,” Pirro said.

Crisis Services also benefited from another charitySTRONG service — an online database to pair up people who want to serve on nonprofit boards and nonprofits looking for board members. That service still isn’t available in Central New York, but Klein said she hopes it will be eventually, after the nonprofit builds up a strong, local network.

“What a lot of organizations are finding is that their boards are aging, that there are some of the same people bring tapped for board service over and over again in communities,” Klein said. “So they are looking for ways to expand their network of people that they can call on.

“And by the same token, we’re seeing the younger generation wants to get involved. ... Young people network online. This is a way to bring this additional volunteer opportunity to where the next generation of leaders is ready.”

For more on charitySTRONG, go to www.charitySTRONG.org.

 

Spreading the Word About charitySTRONG

charitySTRONG staff have been busy talking up our free online board recruitment and director education programs.

On June 7, Laura Klein, Executive Director, spoke about developing the talent on your board to a group of local nonprofit leaders convened by Sax LLP as part of their Fist to Five series on nonprofit sustainability.

Later that day, Klein and Allie Schlapp, charitySTRONG’s Program Manager, attended The Board Match’s second annual nonprofit board recruitment fair. Schlapp and Klein met nonprofit leaders from around the city and provided information about charitySTRONG’s free director education program, Directors U, and our core course, Good Practices for Good Boards.

Tapping interest in board service among young leaders, Klein discussed the benefits of joining a board with a group of volunteers at Franklin Templeton Investments on June 14. “It’s a great way to use your skills to help an organization that you care about,” Klein commented. “You are all really smart; there are lots of nonprofits that need you.”

 

charitySTRONG's June Newsletter

charitySTRONG Latest News - June 8, 2017

charitySTRONG's Directors U Expands:
Organizations Across NYS Are Welcome to Join


charitySTRONG is increasing our reach. Now, nonprofit leaders in communities across New York State – from Saratoga to the Southern Tier, and all points in between – are encouraged to create a free account and use Directors U, our online governance education program.
Directors U includes 200 videos, publications and webinars – and most are free. There is material from the New York State Charities Bureau, Nonprofit Finance Fund, BoardSource and other national governance experts. It includes sample policies, board job descriptions and much more.

charitySTRONG’s free core course, Good Practices for Good Boards, covering key aspects of nonprofit governance, will also be available for boards statewide. “We always envisioned the course as one that would be beneficial not only for newcomers to board service but also as a refresher for long-time board members,” said Paul Hogan, Executive Vice President of the John R. Oishei Foundation and one of charitySTRONG’s program advisors. The Oishei Foundation is requiring Buffalo nonprofits seeking governance consulting to take the course first. Now nonprofits in other areas can take advantage of this helpful board education tool.

charitySTRONG will continue to offer board recruitment programming for organizations in the Greater Buffalo and New York City metropolitan areas. But, we will be expanding this service soon too. Please email info@charitystrong.org if you would like additional information about our plans for your area.

Many great organizations have reached out to me since joining charitySTRONG. In fact, I was invited to discuss a few potential board positions. As a result, I am now a member of the Community Services Support Foundation Board of Directors, which raises funds and promotes the work of Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled. It has been very rewarding thus far, and it is likely I would not have been granted this opportunity were it not for charitySTRONG."

—Justin Johnston, new member of theCommunity Services Support Foundation Board of Directors

charitySTRONG Congratulates United Way of Buffalo & Erie County
Board Leadership Trainees!

Each year, the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County offers a Board Leadership Training Program for civic minded community members. This time around, participants were asked to sign up with charitySTRONG to complete our core governance course, Good Practices for Good Boards. A total of 88 passed with flying colors – gaining a fundamental understanding of board service and enabling them to take better advantage of additional training offered by the United Way.

Molly Sievenpiper, an AmeriCorps VISTA Leader at the Service Collaborative of WNY, Inc., comments on how she has benefited. "Before charitySTRONG, I had no idea how to get onto a board or what the expectations were. After taking their core course and completing the Board Leadership Training Program through United Way, I feel like I'm ready to look for an opportunity," said Molly.

charitySTRONG Congratulates the Following Nonprofits That Have Recently Found New Board and Committee Members Through onBOARD


charitySTRONG Board Member Profile, Lee Perlman

Lee H. Perlman, charitySTRONG's Treasurer, is President of GNYHA Ventures, Inc., a wholly owned, for-profit subsidiary of the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA). Lee has been with the organization since 1983. Lee is also GNYHA’s Executive Vice President of Administration and is the Chief Financial Officer.

Lee was asked by the Attorney General to serve on the New York State Leadership Committee for Non-Profit Revitalization and then on charitySTRONG's founding board. While Lee is a board member at a number of nonprofit organizations including the Actor’s Fund, Rosie’s Theatre Kids, Ronald McDonald House of New York, Berkshire Theatre Group, and the New York Organ Donor Network, he has been able to make a distinctive contribution at charitySTRONG. "I have worked with so many great groups, and understand the critical role that a board can play," Lee commented. "I appreciate being able to contribute to the development of a small, new nonprofit like charitySTRONG that has the potential for a greater impact."

Featured Board Positions

Behind the Book–New York City
Springville Center for the ArtsBuffalo
Click here to learn more about these opportunities


298 candidates are looking for board positions; 176 organizations are seeking board members; 81 board opportunities can be viewed at onBOARD.

Find your match today!
Things We Love: Free Resources on Improving Board Effectiveness
from OPEN SUNY and University at Albany, SUNY

SUNY Albany offers a well-designed and tested, secure online board performance self-assessment questionnaire that can be used by your organization at no charge! Get confidential input from all your board members and then involve them all in any needed upgrades.

Need more help? Take a look at Guidelines for Improving the Effectiveness of Boards of Directors of Nonprofit Organizations. This resource can be used on its own or in connection with the board assessment.

Both items are available for free on Directors U. Click here to create or sign in to your account.


Adding Muscle for Staten Island Nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations employ more Staten Islanders than any other industry, so it is critical that their boards are in top shape. During Adding Muscle: Building a Strong Board of Directors, Laura Colin Klein, Executive Director of charitySTRONG and Rebecca Gallanter, Assistant Executive Director of the JCC of Staten Island provided advice on recruiting and engaging board members to maximize their effectiveness at the Staten Island Not for Profit Association’s Annual Conference on May 9.

Khatmeh Osseiran-Hanna, Vice President for Institutional Advancement and External Affairs at the College of Staten Island, who moderated the session, led off with a challenge -- ‘the same people seem to be tapped for every board in the community, how do we go beyond this network?’ Gallanter, who works extensively with the JCC’s Board, discussed the importance of looking at your current volunteers, donors and friends and beginning a careful cultivation process. Klein discussed methods for building a deep bench of new leaders including designating a nominating committee to oversee recruitment, adding junior committees to engage younger volunteers, attending board fairs, participating on free online matching sites and asking for suggestions from funders.

Gallanter and Klein also discussed a range of strategies for ensuring board members are responsible and supportive. Gallanter shared the JCC’s comprehensive orientation binder and approach to educating new board members. Klein commented that “you need to make it easy for new board members to get involved,” including providing “job descriptions” and sample e-mails that can be forwarded to friends and prospective donors.

Participants represented a wide variety of organizations and shared thoughtful suggestions with one another. The session ended with a reminder -- nonprofit board members have a fiduciary responsibility to their organizations, and while organized recruitment and education and training may be time consuming, they definitely pay off in the end.

CEOs and Executive Directors Discuss Governance Principles with charitySTRONG and the BBB Foundation of Metro New York

On April 20, Laura Colin Klein, Executive Director of charitySTRONG, and Luana Lewis, Senior Vice President-Programs and Services Better Business Bureau Serving Metropolitan New York, facilitated the first in a series of training sessions on nonprofit governance sponsored by NYC Service’s Nonprofit Board Development Coalition. “The session focused on the fiduciary responsibilities of individual board members and the roles and responsibilities of the board,” noted Klein. “Fiduciary is not a term that gets used a lot in every day conversation, so we wanted to clarify any confusion. We know that there are even some long-time board members out there who never really understood what the term means.” “Too often, board members are afraid to ask basic questions,” added Lewis. “We hope that this session and the Good Governance Blueprint will help nonprofit leaders address concerns about their boards and implement best practices.”

In May 2016, NYC Service’s Nonprofit Board Development Coalition, a group of 20 City agencies and nonprofit organizations, issued the Good Governance Blueprint – a comprehensive set of resources and tools for nonprofit executive directors and board members. Nonprofit organizations are critical to the health of New York City. The Blueprint is there to help leaders ensure that their organizations are operating legally, ethically and to their fullest potential.

Governance Principles was the first in a series of four workshops covering elements of the Blueprint. The three other workshops in the series are Strategic Planning (May 17), Financial Management & Oversight (June 6), and Board & Staff Roles, Responsibility & Assessment (June 20). All workshops are free of charge.  Visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-nyc-good-governance-training-series-tickets-33023517229 to register.

You may also download the Good Governance Blueprint from charitySTRONG’s Directors U Resource Library if you have already created a free account. If not, please visit our website at www.charitystrong.org to register.

 
charitySTRONG's April Newsletter
charitySTRONG Latest News -April 6, 2017

charitySTRONG Unveils Board Honor Roll

charitySTRONG congratulates the first four boards to achieve 100% completion of Good Practices for Good Boards,our signature governance education course. You can check out our new Board Honor Roll here.

charitySTRONG asks sitting board members of organizations registered on our site to complete this free, online course, which was co-created with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit director education. The course serves as a useful refresher for experienced board members and helps ensure that sitting board members and newcomers share a common framework when it comes to approaching board service.

"All of us found the governance course helpful and informative. And, we are continuing to look for educational opportunities on the site," said Cynthia Hammer, President, Crisis Services Agency Board of Directors.

The Erie County Youth Board has added three new board members, thanks to charitySTRONG's innovative and valuable onBOARD tool. We are extremely pleased to have benefited from their unique matching service
to find these quality individuals
.”

—John Kordrupel,Youth Services Planning Coordinator, Erie County

New Resources Available to Help Diversify Your Board

Due to overwhelming interest in the topic of board diversity, charitySTRONG has added a number of resources to our Directors U platform. New articles and tip sheets provide information on building a diverse board, why diversity matters in the board room, and how diversity is understood for the nonprofit sector as a whole."Studies show diversity is important because a range of perspectives among directors leads to collaborative tension, and that tension is the essence of good governance," said charitySTRONG Board Member Victoria Bjorklund. Click here to access our resources on diversity (please note that you must first be registered with charitySTRONG to view them).

As a result of our commitment to board diversity, charitySTRONG has received support from several funders, including the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. "The Community Foundation firmly believes that boards which reflect a diverse set of life experiences representative of their community, are better positioned to serve their mission in increasingly dynamic environments. charitySTRONG builds a unique bridge to a diverse talent pool of individuals willing to serve," said Clotilde Pezer-Bode Dedecker, President/CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and charitySTRONG Board Member.

Take charitySTRONG's Directors U Survey for a Chance to
Win a $25 Gift Card to Amazon!


As a new organization, we are always looking for ways to improve our services and are currently seeking feedback on Directors U, our governance education platform. If you are registered with charitySTRONG and have visited Directors U, we ask that you please click here to complete our 3-question survey.

The survey should only take one minute and upon completion your name will be entered into a random drawing for a chance to win a
$25 Amazon gift card.

charitySTRONG Board Member Profile, Victoria Bjorklund

Victoria B. Bjorklund, Esq. is one of charitySTRONG's founding Board Members, Audit Committee Chair and an active participant in charitySTRONG's Program Committee. Bjorklund's name will be familiar to all who have completed Good Practices for Good Boards as she authored and co-presents this course. A nonprofit governance expert, Bjorklund was the founder of the Exempt Organizations Group at the law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, from which she has recently retired as Partner. She also is a Lecturer-in-Law, “The Law of Nonprofits” for Harvard Law School; a post she has held since 2009.

In addition to serving on charitySTRONG's Board, Victoria is on the boards of Friends of Fondation de France, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Princeton University, Robin Hood Foundation, and she chairs the Doctors Without Borders USA Board of Advisors. She is co-author of the treatise "New York Nonprofit Law and Practice" Third Edition, which is widely available in public libraries and online. Victoria earned her BA degree from Princeton University; an MA, MPhil, and PhD degrees from Yale University and a JD from Columbia University Law School.

Featured Board Positions

NYLaughsNew York City
CCNY, Inc. (Community Connections of NY)Buffalo
Click here to learn more about these opportunities


201 candidates are looking for board positions; 143 organizations are seeking board members; 67 board opportunities can be viewed at onBOARD.
Find your match today!
Things We Love: Blue Avocado

Have you checked out BlueAvocado.org, a bi-monthly, free online magazine for community nonprofits that focuses on finance and business management in a hands-on and approachable way? From budgets to the boardroom, Blue Avocado includes practical advice conveniently delivered to your inbox. Sign up today. http://blueavocado.org/

Four Boards Are Inaugural Members of charitySTRONG's Board Honor Roll

charitySTRONG congratulates the first four boards to have 100% completion of Good Practices for Good Boards, our signature governance education course.

 

                                  

                                   



charitySTRONG Teams up with Wendy Seligson Consulting to Discuss Risk Management and Nonprofit Boards

On February 23, Laura Colin Klein, Executive Director of charitySTRONG, and Wendy Seligson, founder of Wendy Seligson Consulting, facilitated a workshop at the New York Nonprofit Coordinating Committee on how boards of nonprofits can identify and address risks their organizations face. “Managing risk makes nonprofits healthier, stronger and better able to meet their mission,” noted Seligson in kicking off the discussion. And, while many of us think of risk as a negative concept, boards also need to prepare for “positive risks (that) fuel growth and innovation.”

 

The workshop included 25 senior board and staff leaders from agencies, large and small, across New York City. Discussion focused on the different roles that staff and board members play in managing organizational risk and practical steps that organizations can take to tap positive risks and mitigate negative ones. Klein commented on the importance of recognizing “business critical risks” which have a high probability of occurring or significant consequences. She encouraged participants to provide training to board members, designate a group of board members to focus on risk and set aside time annually for an organizational scan. Seligson emphasized the importance of an organizational culture with positive and open communication that fosters informed discussion of risk and indicated that organizations do not typically need to build new systems to address risk but can deepen current assessment efforts by board and staff to account for risk in an intentional manner.

 

For more information on risk management and nonprofit boards, please click here to access the workshop resource list.




charitySTRONG's February Newsletter
charitySTRONG Latest News - February 2, 2017

charitySTRONG Achieves First Board Match

charitySTRONG is excited to announce our first nonprofit board match. Through participation in charitySTRONG's onBOARD program, Susan Koch, Vice President and Commercial Lines Manager at KeyBank, has recently joined the board of Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village. “For someone interested in board service, charitySTRONG helped me find a nonprofit organization that was not only aligned with my interests and values, but also right for me on other levels,” said Susan. “charitySTRONG helped me find that perfect fit.”

Buffalo Business First featured charitySTRONG's milestone in a recent article. Click here to read more about how Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village used onBOARD to find a community-oriented candidate with marketing skills and how Susan found a meaningful cause to support.

“It was a very good board, but still a bit of a founding board. We’ve been growing the depth of the board, adding people with different skill sets and making it more diverse.”

—Herbert Schmidt III, Executive Director of Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village, on his reasons for joining charitySTRONG

Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation Supports charitySTRONG

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation has made an important commitment to nonprofit board development in Western New York through a three-year grant to charitySTRONG. The grant will be dedicated to helping nonprofit organizations in the Greater Buffalo and Rochester areas identify new board members who can help advance their missions and providing governance education to prospective and current directors. "We look forward to expanding our services throughout the region," noted Laura Klein, charitySTRONG's Executive Director. "This funding is critical to our efforts to establish a presence and work in a hands-on way with organizations and candidates in these communities."

Personalized Matching Service for Board Candidates Now Available!

Looking for one-on-one help finding a nonprofit board that suits your interests, skill set and availability?

Contact us at info@charitystrong.org

charitySTRONG Board Member Profile, Jason Lilien

Jason Lilien, Esq., charitySTRONG's new Board Chair, has extensive experience working with nonprofits on governance and compliance matters. A former Chief of the New York State Attorney General’s Charities Bureau, Lilien now co-chairs the Tax-Exempt Organizations Practice at the law firm Loeb & Loeb.

Lilien was principal author of the Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013, which spearheaded the most comprehensive reform of New York’s nonprofit laws since they were enacted in the 1960s. In 2012, he drafted best practices for cause marketing that were adopted by some of the country’s most prominent charities and have since become a national model.

Lilien has served as a member of numerous boards, including the National Association of State Charity Officials. A lifelong New Yorker, he was instrumental in the formation of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum and was active in establishing the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the state-city agency charged with overseeing the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan.

In discussing the reasons for launching charitySTRONG, Lilien commented, "Our state is home to 102,000 nonprofit organizations that employ 1.25 million workers and generate $262 billion in annual revenue.The value of our nonprofit sector cannot be overstated. This is why it is critical that nonprofits have the resources they need to carry out their missions with maximum effectiveness.”

Featured Board Positions
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility–New York City
Literacy New York Buffalo-Niagara, Inc.
Buffalo
Click hereto learn more about these opportunities


145 candidates are looking for board positions; 110 organizations are seeking board members; 45 board opportunities can be viewed at onBOARD.
Find your match today!
 

charitySTRONG's First Board Match Featured in Buffalo Business First


Matchmaking success: charityStrong coming on --
click here to read the article



charitySTRONG Honors Founding Board Chair Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker
 
Current Board Chair Jason Lilien recently presented charitySTRONG’s founding Board Chair Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker with a Certificate of Appreciation following the end of her term on December 31, 2016.  Dedecker has served charitySTRONG with outstanding leadership, dedication and enthusiasm since the very beginning and we are delighted to recognize her for her tremendous efforts and continued support.



charitySTRONG Participates in Nonprofit BoardCon 
 
On January 18, charitySTRONG participated in NYN Media’s first BoardCon, an all-day conference to discuss best practices and strategies for nonprofit boards. As an exhibitor, charitySTRONG had the opportunity to meet with board members and senior executives to share information about how they can utilize our programs to strengthen their boards.

 

charitySTRONG Newsletter - December 1, 2016

charitySTRONG Launches in Pilot Sites

charitySTRONG launched with a press conference at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. Programs are now open for enrollment in the New York City metropolitan area and greater Buffalo. There are plans to expand to other communities in New York State starting in 2017. charitySTRONG is providing nonprofit governance educational material and board recruitment services. Board Chair Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker commented, "This new resource will help nonprofits and potential board members find each other while enhancing the effectiveness of nonprofit organizations."

Habitat for Humanity Joins charitySTRONG Board Honor Roll

 

Congratulations to Habitat for Humanity Buffalo for being the first nonprofit board to join the charitySTRONG Board Honor Roll. All 16 members of the organization’s board completed Good Practices for Good Boards, charitySTRONG's director education course, to prepare for a governance retreat. Karen Lee Spaulding, Vice President of Philanthropic Support at The John R. Oishei Foundation and a member of charitySTRONG’s Western New York Advisory Council, encouraged Habitat's Board to complete Good Practices after agreeing to facilitate the retreat. "Good Practices for Good Boards is the perfect governance overview, as orientation for the new trustee and refresher for the more seasoned trustee. I wanted to make sure we focused on the right topics and spent our time together wisely. Having a grounding in board roles was essential to a productive conversation. charitySTRONG is an invaluable resource, and I recommend it on a daily basis."

charitySTRONG created Good Practices for Good Boards with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit director education. This free online course can be completed in less than an hour and is available to all who are interested in serving on the board of a New York State public charity. For more information, please register for an account at charitySTRONG.

"If I could give the nonprofits I work with anything, it would be to find them good board members who support organizational missions in a wide variety of ways. Board members are essential partners for nonprofits large or small."
Eileen Newman, Executive Director, The Center for Bronx Nonprofits

Buffalo Funding Community Supports charitySTRONG

The Buffalo funding community is demonstrating its commitment to effective nonprofit governance through support for charitySTRONG. Recent grants from the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, the First Niagara Foundation/Key Bank, M&T Bank, and The John R. Oishei Foundation are aimed at connecting with individuals who want to volunteer as board members and to working with nonprofits aiming to develop their boards. “This support could not have come at a better time for charitySTRONG,” commented Laura Klein, the organization’s Executive Director. “We are enthusiastic about working in Greater Buffalo and contributing to the valuable efforts of nonprofits in the region.” charitySTRONG has convened a group of experienced advisors to guide program development in Greater Buffalo representing the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, the Service Collaborative of Western New York, Leadership Buffalo, Leadership Niagara, The Buffalo Niagara Partnership, and the University at Buffalo School of Management, among others. "These leaders were instrumental in generating interest among local funders and will help spread the word about our programs and services," said Klein.

charitySTRONG Board Member Profile, Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker
Founding charitySTRONG Board Chair, 2013-2016
President/CEO Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo


Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker was one of the key voices on Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s Leadership Committee for Nonprofit Revitalization, so it was no surprise when she was tapped to be charitySTRONG’s founding Board Chair. As President/CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Clotilde is a passionate advocate and champion for the nonprofits in the region and has spearheaded major initiatives to promote racial equity, school readiness, post-secondary attainment, lead-poisoning prevention, organizational development for arts organizations, and environmental stewardship. Clotilde was formerly the Executive Director of the Erie County Commission on the Status of Women and has been an active community volunteer and board leader for years. She sees charitySTRONG as “an excellent resource for individuals seeking board service, nonprofit organizations seeking help with recruitment and governance resources, as well as employers looking to provide their employees with community leadership opportunities” and is “proud to support this effort."

Featured Board Position
Clubbed Thumb –New York
Click here to learn more about this opportunity


    105 candidates are seeking opportunities; 76 organizations are seeking board members; 38 opportunities are posted. Find your match today.

    charitySTRONG Provides Board Guidance to Disability Pride NYC
     
    On November 28, charitySTRONG staff members met with board representatives from Disability Pride NYC, an organization whose mission is to promote inclusion, awareness, and visibility of people with disabilities, and redefine public perception of disability. The organization hosts an annual parade which attracts a great deal of interest and attention but assistance was needed in defining roles and responsibilities for board members who must serve the organization on an ongoing basis. There is also a need to attract new, trained board members. 


    charitySTRONG Connects with Bronx Nonprofits

    On October 21, charitySTRONG provided information about board recruitment and our programs at an Executive Directors Breakfast hosted by the Center for Bronx Nonprofits (CBNP). Participants included Eileen Torres of BronxWorks, Stephen Stritch of Mercy Center and other local leaders. Paula Gavin, Chief Service Officer at NYC Service, and Kajori Chaudhuri, Bronx Community Service Center Director at the NYC Commission on Human Rights kicked off the discussion by describing the services that their offices provide to local nonprofits. Gavin commented that a trend that has been documented nationally is that volunteers want to participate in service opportunities close to home. Eileen Newman, Executive Director of the CBNP, commented that this may be a challenge for organizations that are perceived as having less convenient locations – though the group agreed that technology can help.

    CBNP sponsors the Executive Directors Breakfasts and Speakers Series to provide networking opportunities and bring in outside expert speakers who share the latest on emerging nonprofit innovation. CBNP is part of Hostos Community College’s Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development.


    charitySTRONG Launches in Pilot Sites

    charitySTRONG hosted our launch press conference at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo on September 28 where we announced the opening of our programs in the pilot regions of the New York City metropolitan area and greater Buffalo. We had a great turnout and were able to spread the word about how charitySTRONG is building a bridge between those who want to serve and organizations that can benefit from engaged board members, as well as providing critical resources to new and current board members in New York.


          


    charitySTRONG Launch Press Release

    IMPORTANT NEW INITIATIVE LAUNCHES TO STRENGTHEN NONPROFIT SECTOR IN NEW YORK STATE

    charitySTRONG opens programs to support the recruitment and development of strong and diverse boards for New York State nonprofit organizations

    New York, NY, September 28, 2016 – Today marks the official launch of the pilot phase of charitySTRONG, a new statewide initiative to assist nonprofit organizations in achieving the highest standards of board leadership, governance and oversight. The first pilot regions are the New York City metropolitan area and greater Buffalo with statewide rollout to follow.

    charitySTRONG will accomplish its mission to strengthen board leadership through two programs, which are accessible through the organization’s website www.charitystrong.org.

    The first program, onBOARD, is an innovative matching service designed to connect community-minded individuals interested in board service to nonprofit organizations in need of board members. The second program, Directors U, is an online library of educational and training resources that focuses on governance best practices and nonprofit laws and regulations. It features our signature course, Good Practices for Good Boards, created with BoardSource, the leader in nonprofit director education and research.

    “Our state is home to 102,000 nonprofit organizations that employ 1.25 million workers and generate $262 billion in annual revenue,”[1] said Jason Lilien, partner at Loeb & Loeb, former Bureau Chief of the New York State Attorney General’s Charities Bureau and member of the charitySTRONG Board of Directors. “The value of our nonprofit sector cannot be overstated. This is why it is critical that nonprofits have the resources they need to carry out their missions with maximum effectiveness.”

    charitySTRONG is an outgrowth of the work of the Leadership Committee for Nonprofit Revitalization, commissioned by Attorney General Schneiderman. This group, which included nonprofit leaders from across New York State, was tasked with identifying ways to strengthen governance and create efficiencies in the nonprofit sector. Recognizing that strong board leadership is fundamental to the well-being of nonprofit organizations, the Committee recommended the creation of onBOARD and Directors U to improve director recruitment and training throughout the state.

     “We are looking forward to helping organizations develop a pipeline of talented, enthusiastic and diverse new leaders,” said Laura Colin Klein, Executive Director of charitySTRONG. “Because our programs are so convenient and accessible, they will encourage more interest in nonprofit board service and lead to better informed boards.”

    “The Community Foundation is proud to support this effort in collaboration with all of our dedicated partners that have committed their time and talents to make this announcement today a reality,” said Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, President and CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and Chair of the charitySTRONG Board of Directors. “charitySTRONG is an excellent resource for individuals seeking board service, nonprofit organizations seeking help with recruitment and governance resources, as well as employers looking to provide their employees with community leadership opportunities.”

    charitySTRONG has received financial support from organizations across the state including the Office of the New York State Attorney General, the Walker Family Foundation, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, the New York Community Trust, Citibank, the John R. Oishei Foundation, the M&T Bank Charitable Foundation, the First Niagara Foundation/Key Bank, KPMG, the Burt Flickinger Jr. Leadership Fund, The Hyde and Watson Foundation, and the Western New York Foundation.

    charitySTRONG’s services are free of charge. All are welcome to learn more at www.charitySTRONG.org.

    ###

    About charitySTRONG

    charitySTRONG is a new 501 (c)(3) organization whose mission is to assist charitable organizations in achieving the highest standards of board leadership, governance and oversight. The organization offers training and educational resources for prospective and current board members and chief executives and an online board recruitment program helps organizations seeking board members connect with community-minded individuals who want to participate in board service. charitySTRONG proudly serves public charities located in New York State. www.charitystrong.org

     

    About the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

    The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, a 501(c)(3) organization, was established in 1919 to enhance and encourage long-term philanthropy in the Western New York community. The Community Foundation’s mission is: Connecting people, ideas and resources to improve lives in Western New York. For over 95 years the Community Foundation has made the most of the generosity of individuals, families, foundations and organizations who entrust charitable assets to the Community Foundation’s care. www.cfgb.org

    [1] http://nccsweb.urban.org/ and http://ccss.jhu.edu/publications-findings/?did=369


    charitySTRONG Commences Soft-Launch Phase of Directors U and onBOARD

    charitySTRONG is excited to announce that we have begun the soft launch of our two, free online programs. Directors U and onBOARD have been introduced to more than 200 nonprofit umbrella groups and civic and professional associations throughout our pilot sites in the New York City metropolitan area, including Westchester and Long Island, and Greater Buffalo. Our official launch will take place on September 28 during a press conference at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.

    charitySTRONG to Hold Press Conference Announcing Launch of Programs

    charitySTRONG will hold a press conference announcing the official launch of our director education and board recruitment programs on September 28 at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. Stay tuned for more details!

    charitySTRONG Serves as Board Service Expert at Board Match New York Event

    charitySTRONG served as a expert on board service at Board Match New York’s event on June 8 at the New York Hilton Midtown. In addition to offering resources to individuals interested in joining nonprofit boards in the Metro New York area, we spread the word about our upcoming programming to candidates and representatives of nonprofits. More than 100 nonprofit organizations attended the event along with upwards of 600 candidates.

     


    charitySTRONG Begins Beta-Testing its Director Education and Board Recruitment Programs

    charitySTRONG has started the beta-testing phase of our two, free, online programs: Directors U, our governance education resource center, and onBOARD, our matching service for director candidates and organizations seeking new board members. We anticipate launching our services in our pilot sites of New York City and Buffalo in fall 2016.

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     charitySTRONG
     c/o ABNY; 355 Lexington Avenue, 8th Floor
     New York, NY 10017

     Phone: (646) 861-3602
     Email: info@charitystrong.org