Event Recap: Money Talks Panel, moderated by Tom Pierce

Panel Date: November 23, 2009

“Money Talks” – Moderated by Tom Pierce, Member NYTAP Advisory Board

Amy Houston, Management Assistance, Robin Hood Foundation

Amy briefly described Robin Hood’s mission to fight poverty.  They provide MA through their staff and independent consultants, both paid and pro bono. They choose grantees for MA services on two criteria: the level of urgency to the group and the executive director (which she called “the burning house”), and the Robin Hood staff’s assessment of leadership capacity to indicate the likelihood of success.  They do not keep a referral list of consultants but continually update themselves on the field to make a good match with the grantee/client needs that occur. They are outcome oriented with a          new evaluation system posted on their website.

Deborah Thompson Velázquez, Senior Program Officer, Altman Foundation

Deborah said that Altman strengthens communities in the areas of workforce development and health services. Their capacity building involves grants to federations, TA organizations, and support for grantees. They try to reframe capacity building – it’s not just “growth” but can be “shrinkage.” Effective capacity building can be guidance in making hard choices. Prospects for 2010 funding for TA and generally are not rosy. They are shifting toward more “money-centric” TA, looking at financial functions in order to put out more fires.

Jennifer Walty, Assistant Director for Capacity Building and Oversight, Mayor’s Office of Contract Services

Jennifer said that the City of NY created her unit in 2007 to coordinate capacity building among all city agencies. Nonprofits are being “reframed” as partners rather than just vendors. She noted that 15% of NYC’s workforce is in the nonprofit sector. She listed several agencies offering capacity building funding: Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) gave 7 contracts last year totaling $3M; Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) gave $.25M last year through 8 RFP’s; Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) focuses most TA on fiscal areas and has a current RFP with United Way for about a dozen sub-contractors, both agencies and independent consultants. Some smaller amounts have been contracted through bidding with such departments as Department for the Aging. She chairs a Task Force with these agencies.  Vendors can register with procurement codes to receive information on RFP’S. Details on these are at the bottom of this Summary Report.

Seth Edwards, Vice President, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

Seth is the head of Community Relations for Brooklyn, which gave $2M this year, slightly down from last year ($10M went toManhattan). The Bank’s Social Responsibility program is global. Its goal is vibrant, stable communities, enriching the lives of children, youth and families. They fund efforts in affordable housing, economic development, education and the arts through a contributions committee. Their TA is provided mostly by Seth – these positions used to be called Street Banker. They also give some grants to organizations that do TA.

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