January 2016: Nonprofits Today

Be what’s right with our region this year

Richardson_RandeW-“Those who invest in our treasures are what’s right with Watertown. Make it your resolution to be a part of what’s right with Watertown.” — Mark Walczyk, newly elected Watertown city councilman

It is common at this time of year to look back and dream forward. During the New Year’s Day swearing-in ceremonies at Watertown’s Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library, one didn’t have to listen too hard to find a theme emerge — hope and optimism for a greater community. Those assembled were gathered in a building that itself serves as a living example of civic pride, love of community, respect for heritage and giving back. It is hard to be in that space and not sense the importance of thoughtful stewardship. The best way we honor those who have led before us is by ensuring that this generation and the next recognizes the great responsibility, privilege, honor and joy of being a trustee. We honor yesterday by advancing tomorrow. [Read more…]

December 2015: Nonprofits Today

Local nonprofits react to wage hike

Columnist Bob Gorman

Columnist Bob Gorman

When anyone discusses the north country economy, the usual suspects are Fort Drum, agriculture and tourism. But “nonprofits” should always be part of the conversation.

More than six years ago, the Watertown Daily Times studied the financial impact of nonprofits on the north county and published this: [Read more…]

November 2015: Nonprofits Today

For a sincere ‘ love of humankind’

Richardson_RandeW“I am only one, but I am still one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything I will
not refuse to do the something that I can do.” — Helen Keller

Don’t let the word “philanthropy” scare you. Don’t for a second believe that the experience of philanthropy only belongs to someone else. The word comes from the Greek meaning “love of humankind.” That’s the only requirement. Simple. [Read more…]

October 2015: Nonprofits Today

Transparent nonprofits build trust

Bob Gorman

Bob Gorman

An employee of the Jefferson Rehabilitation Center was recently arrested for allegedly stealing $45,000 from the bank accounts of JRC clients.

Such news is the last thing any nonprofit wants to hear. But the good news is that JRC did the right thing — it investigated the allegations, called police and is now letting the chips fall where they may. [Read more…]

September 2015: Nonprofits Today

A mission statement is your guide

Columnist Rande Richardson

Columnist Rande Richardson

Most organizations have a mission. Businesses have missions, projects and initiatives have missions. Even individuals have internal missions that help guide them, the decisions they make and how they allocate their resources of time, talent and treasure. [Read more…]

April 2015: Nonprofits Today

North country connects with 2-1-1

Columnist Bob Gorman

Columnist Bob Gorman

Since 2000, residents of Georgia and Connecticut have been using 2-1-1, the nationally authorized phone number that connects callers to nonprofit and government services offered in their community.

Since 2007, residents of Plattsburgh and communities in all but 10 New York State counties have enjoyed the same service.

And finally in February, 2-1-1 came to Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. [Read more…]

March 2015: Nonprofits Today

Build better communities together

Columnist Rande Richardson

Columnist Rande Richardson

“Everyone is special in their own way. We make each other strong. We’re not the same. We’re different in a good way. Together’s where we belong. We’re all in this together. And it shows when we stand hand in hand, make our dreams come true.”
— Disney’s “High School Musical.”

In 2010, I attended a nonprofit panel discussion. The reporter covering the event began her accounting of the gathering stating, “Organizations alike have various missions, but also the same problems: availability and affordability of services and programs.” In the same article, Watertown Family YMCA executive director Peter Schmitt said “the only way to solve the common problems is for agencies to put aside their differences and work together to come up with solutions, and create effective partnerships. We’ve got to quit being territorial. We can get more done if we work together. Drop the insecurities, let’s get it done” he said.

Amen! [Read more…]

Some tips for exceptional service

Nonprofits Today column || by Rande Richardson

Nonprofits Today column || by Rande Richardson

A new year always creates a marker between what was and what is yet to be. For the best nonprofits, this is a continual self-assessment process that happens all year long. It is no secret that the nonprofit landscape has changed significantly over the past decade and there is a heightened sense that the “new normal” is moving less from new and more toward normal. [Read more…]

Nonprofits Today: We can make ‘good enough’ better

Some of the best things in our communities came to be not because they were mandated, but because it was the will of the people to make it so. People from all walks of life have built and sustained some of our most cherished community assets. Our museums, libraries, health care organizations and a variety of other human service, arts and culture, environmental and quality-of-life enhancing entities exist as a result of the great north country charitable and can-do, giving spirit. [Read more…]

Ensure a successful partnership

Rande Richardson

Rande Richardson

Each year the Northern New York Community Foundation receives volumes of proposals, seeking support for allocation of finite resources. How do some funders make the critical decisions on who gets the grant? What criteria are contained in a grant proposal that makes it an ideal candidate for competitive funding? While this list is not all inclusive, it touches on the major points of what can help facilitate a successful funding partnership. [Read more…]