Forum Posts

SkyeTravers
Feb 08, 2020
In Success Stories
"Most people finish a Disney Channel show and think about Hannah Montana’s double life or Zack and Cody’s next prank, but not Shakopee High School senior Grace Myler. After seeing a “Friends for Change” clip highlighting youth service on the channel back in 2012, Myler, then just 10 years old, walked away with an inspiration to change lives. Eight years later, the founder of Threads for Teens Minnesota, a nonprofit boutique store providing free clothes to underprivileged girls, will travel to Washington, D.C., in May to be recognized for her volunteer work by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards." Author: Henry Erlandson Read More: http://www.startribune.com/shakopee-student-receives-national-award-for-nonprofit-clothing-shop/567620402/
Shakopee student whose nonprofit clothing shop changed teen lives now is getting a national award content media
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SkyeTravers
Jan 25, 2020
In Success Stories
Why Changes Fail A 2016 survey from the Human Capital Institute (HCI) found nearly 80% of leaders said their organization was in a “constant state of change.” An even greater percentage of organizations reported that those change management attempts were unsuccessful. This is a scary statistic, considering that “change is a new constant.” So, what can be done to ease the pain and engage employees in the change process? It is surprisingly simple: When employees see change as something that’s happening to them instead of something they’re an active partner in, they are more likely to resist it. That’s why it’s vital for leaders and organizations to focus on people -- not just tactics and logistics--when rolling out a new change initiative. Read More: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesnonprofitcouncil/2020/01/24/how-high-performing-nonprofits-are-getting-ahead-of-change/#6d1db9d63739 📷Magdalena Nowicka Mook Magdalena is Executive Director and CEO of ICF. She has experience coaching, consulting & association management.
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SkyeTravers
Jan 25, 2020
In Success Stories
Just as it can be hard to get to certain areas in the wake of a disaster, it can also be hard to get to people. Earthquakes, tornados and other weather events can leave people trapped in buildings, in their homes or even underground. As search missions drag on, drones can reach places that people can’t. Video footage drones gather can be used to find people who can’t find a way out of the rubble or are too injured to move. Not only can drones help find survivors, but they can bring them aid as well. Sometimes a space will be too small, or a situation will be too dangerous, for a responder to get to a trapped person right away. The drone can drop off food, water and medical supplies to hold survivors until they can be extracted. by Keara Dowd https://biztechmagazine.com/article/2020/01/how-nonprofits-are-using-technology-power-relief-work
How Nonprofits Are Using Technology to Power Relief Work content media
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SkyeTravers
Jan 25, 2020
In General Discussions
These are not simple times for nonprofits; maybe especially for those that receive funding from government organizations. With political races being run at all levels from dogcatcher to mayor and from state representative to president, the use of taxpayer dollars may be scrutinized in the course and aftermath of political races to be sure there are no political entanglements. As NPQ has pointed out, it is critically important to advocate for the issues to which you are committed, but there are rules that govern what’s permissible and what isn’t when it comes to elections, candidates, and the issues for which they advocate. It’s in this arena where a dispute arose at the city council level in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Councilor Theresa Stehly accused the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, a nonprofit and recipient of hundreds of thousands of dollars from the city of Sioux Falls, of crossing the line between remaining nonpartisan and playing into the hands of someone who is running for her elected office. Did they? The issue is complicated. The Sioux Falls Development Foundation is charged with spotlighting area businesses and entrepreneurs. They did this by contracting with the website SiouxFalls.Business to place a series of articles about these businesses and their leaders. While that sounds all well and good, it turns out that one of those leaders, Matt Paulson, is the campaign treasurer for the person running for Stehly’s seat. That fact was mentioned in the article, and that one brief mention was all it took. For Stehly, this was tantamount to political activity by a nonprofit organization, specifically the Forward Sioux Falls (FSF) component of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. “Big business would like to have someone else sitting in my seat,” she said. “Business is Forward Sioux Falls in my opinion. That gives the appearance that Forward Sioux Falls is participating in political activity.” This seemed to split the City Council between Stehly’s supporters and opponents. The CEO of the Development Foundation indicated the articles weren’t meant to support political candidates. Jumping to his defense, some councilors called her accusations inappropriate, stating they amounted to censorship of online speech—one even cited the First Amendment. Not to be outdone, others, including a public watchdog, countered this by saying that as long as the Sioux Falls Development Foundation receives public funds, it should be held to a higher standard around political speech. Paulson defended himself and his actions related to his involvement in political campaigns. He indicated that the article was about his business skills, not his politics, and called Stehly’s actions an “attack” and “bullying.” Paulson also promised to be more forward in confronting Stehly and others than he had in the past because of this. There’s a lot to ponder here. Does mentioning someone’s involvement in a political campaign as a part of a nonprofit’s article about that person’s professional work count as a political action? Does it push the limits of nonprofit boundaries? If this were reported to the IRS, would the nonprofit status of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation be at risk? It’s hard to know, and even the Council itself seemed split. Might this be a case of internal, not partisan, politics? Since Stehly has not declared if she will run again, and no one has asked the IRS to investigate, it may be moot. Then again, it may raise some valuable cautions for nonprofits to consider when going about their “normal” work.—Carole Levine Jan 10 2020 https://nonprofitquarterly.org/another-cautionary-tale-for-nonprofits-during-election-season/
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SkyeTravers
Nov 26, 2019
In General Discussions
Article Review: I agree with many of these points, especially the need for innovation and change to maintain sustainability. However I do think that recently the over production of apartment spaces in some areas could lead to more affordable housing. There have also been huge innovations in small home technology which allows nonprofit organizations to spread relief funds and property among more people with fewer resources spent. Innovations in alternative power sources will make a difference in program expenses as well. ARTICLE WRITTEN BY: Expert Panel, Forbes Nonprofit Council https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesnonprofitcouncil/2019/11/25/nine-challenges-that-may-impact-the-nonprofit-sector-in-2020/#15b6f3ae6fb8
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SkyeTravers
Jul 21, 2019
In Call for Action
Last week, the president of the United States told four elected members of the US House of Representatives, all women of color, that they did not belong here. For the nonprofit sector, the ever-present challenge of defeating bias was painfully highlighted the week before when the Chronicle of Philanthropy published “Leaders of Color Speak Out.” In their own words, 25 leaders speak of how the nonprofit sector is not immune to the ills of racism. As Nicole Wallace, who conducted the interviews, says, “The picture they paint isn’t pretty.” Each of those who were interviewed has reached a position of power and influence yet still faces the challenge of being seen as alien or different. Their organizations struggle to respond to the needs of those they serve because of the inherent biases of their approach. Wallace notes, “Leaders described feeling isolated, navigating difficult, racially fraught power dynamics with grant makers, and enduring affronts to their dignity—even having people touch their hair. In interview after interview, they talked about the need to prove themselves repeatedly.” While their titles present power and authority, their skin color limits their effectiveness because those they seek to influence challenge their authenticity. “One leader talked about how it took him five years to cultivate a substantial gift from a private foundation but when two influential white women offered to help him get access, he generated an equally substantial gift in two to three months.” In his interview, Jesús Gerena, CEO of the Family Independence Initiative, spoke of “how taxing it is as a person of color to continuously have to go to an almost exclusively white philanthropic community to ask for support to do our work. You get a lot of rejections. I wish that dynamic wasn’t always there.” Niaz Dorry, who directs two nonprofit organizations, observed, “We’re still uncomfortable with the idea of dealing with color, with race, with cultural diversity. The person who looks most like us is the one that’s easiest for us to talk these issues through with.” According to Laura Gerald, president of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust: When we say diversity and inclusion, what we mean is that we want to look around and see something that is different, but we don’t want to really hear anything that is different. We don’t want to really think or approach problems in a different way. We don’t want to give voice to people with truly different backgrounds. We want to see differences around the table yet speak with one voice. It makes it challenging for people of color to enter into and survive in that sort of environment because you still find your actual lived experience often discounted. If we are to shift the needle toward true equality, those who hold power today—too often, wealthy white men—may not be comfortable as cultures shift. Tené Traylor, who oversees grantmaking at the Kendeda Fund said, “We still trust white folks to tackle black folks’ problems.” Philanthropy is really centered on this notion of charity and benevolence to its core. There are assumptions of privilege and power wrapped up in that. For us to see progress, it’s not just about trusting the black leader. It’s not just about having black folks at the table. It’s about right-sizing those investments accordingly. It’s about us trusting black folks to tackle black liberation and black solutions in a meaningful way. We need to continue to have the conversation. Certain folks need to get out of the way. Nathaniel Smith, founder of the Partnership for Southern Equity, captured the challenge we have yet to master: “If we want to see a new world, we have to be willing to speak it into existence—and talk about what we don’t want to see in this world.” This will not be an easy conversation, but it is necessary.—Martin Levine July 13, 2019; Chronicle of Philanthropy https://nonprofitquarterly.org/the-nonprofit-sectors-problems-with-race/
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SkyeTravers
Jul 21, 2019
In Upcoming Non-Profits
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A nonprofit group is preparing to open housing in Indianapolis for LGBTQ youth and young adults who are experiencing homelessness. WISH-TV reports that Trinity Haven would be the first of its kind in Indiana by providing transitional housing for people ages 16 to 21 for up to two years. The center will have trained, licensed staff and initially house up to 10 people. Trinity Haven says it will offer a "safe, welcoming, and family-like environment for LGBTQ youth who do not have homes of their own." The group is partnering with the Indiana Department of Child Services to be licensed to help young people still in the child-welfare system and those who've aged out. An official opening date hasn't been announced, but that's expected to happen sometime later this summer. July 21, 2019 Updated: July 21, 2019 6:28 a.m. https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Nonprofit-set-to-open-Indianapolis-housing-for-14111735.php
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SkyeTravers
Jul 17, 2019
In Upcoming Non-Profits
NEW ROCKFORD, N.D. — Hawkes Homestead Animal Sanctuary, located on a fifth-generation farmstead near here, is raising money to apply for nonprofit status through the state and federal government. Jessica Hawkes, 35, founder of the sanctuary, currently has 125 animals on the property, where she trains, feeds and often re-homes them, giving special accommodations to the ones that need it. Hawkes has dogs, cats, horses, miniature horses, llamas, goats, chinchillas, crested geckos, a parakeet, geese, turkeys, ducks, chickens, guinea pigs, pheasants and fish. “It all started when I began taking in surrendered chinchillas about eight years ago, since I had a couple of my own and they required special care,” Hawkes said. “When people couldn't keep theirs for whatever reason, I took them in and worked to re-home them and mentor the new owners.” Hawkes said her farm quickly began acquiring more animals, and her sanctuary became known as a safe place to take unusual animals in need. “The GoFundMe (page) was the sudden leap into formalizing what I was already doing, to get the support and funds to file the nonprofit paperwork and prepare the space for more animals to come,” she said. Hawkes and her partner, Mike Scott, perform all the animal chores twice daily, from feeding, watering and cleaning to basic veterinary care, treating wounds, socializing and training. Scott is a former professional horse trainer. “Some of the animals require special care, either by species, like hand-feeding the gecko twice a week and trimming goat hooves, or by individual, like the injured gosling currently living in my bathroom for rehabilitation before going back out to the flock,” she said. The fundraiser’s goal is $3,000, and as of July 12, she’s raised around $1,600. Aside from the cost of the paperwork, Hawkes intends to use the money raised to hire an electrician to upgrade the wiring in the century-old barn for the safety of the animals, as well as installing more water tank heaters and heat lamps for the winter. “We’ve already started the nonprofit paperwork with the state, so federal filing will be next,” Hawkes said. “After that, improving the fencing for the large animal pastures and expanding the winter quarters for the birds and small animals in the barn. They are free range for about eight months, but winters they have to stay out of the snow.” As for the future of her organization, Hawkes said the possibilities are endless. “We want to be able to accept more animals and offer pet adoptions,” Hawkes said. “We already do youth tours informally, so keeping that a part of our plan is important to us." The Hawkes Homestead Animal Sanctuary plans to have a board with professional veterinarians to help with vaccinations, spays and neuters, trauma cases and other special care. Hawkes will have help from a wildlife expert as well as a barnyard animal whisperer, who is an expert in domestic birds, goats and sheep, she said. “Everything has happened so fast really we are still playing catch-up, so focusing on the most pressing needs now and knowing it will grow to meet the needs of animals in our region,” she said. The fundraiser can be found at www.gofundme.com/hawkes-homestead-animal-rescue-startup-fund. Alex Taylor / Forum News Service | Jul 16th 2019 - 4pm.
North Dakota animal sanctuary raising money to apply for nonprofit status content media
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SkyeTravers
Jul 17, 2019
In General Discussions
LINCOLN COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Troopers issued an arrest warrant Tuesday for a former CEO accused of embezzling more than $100,000 from a nonprofit company in Lincoln County, West Virginia. Brian Crist, 50, of St. Clairsville, Ohio, is facing charges of embezzlement, falsifying accounts, obtaining money by false pretense, and computer fraud -- all felonies. Investigators say Crist had multiple homes in Lincoln County, but recently moved to Ohio. According to the criminal complaint, Crist was the chief executive officer of Lincoln County Primary Care Center Inc. between 2001 and 2018. During that time, investigators say he exploited his position and intentionally diverted money, services, and property "for his own personal use and financial gain." Over the years, Crist allegedly made personal purchases with a company credit card. A majority of the purchases were made in Lincoln, Cabell, Putnam, Logan, and Kanawha counties, according to the criminal complaint. West Virginia State Police troopers say Crist spent thousands of dollars on home improvement supplies for two personal homes in Lincoln County. The criminal complaint states his purchases included decorative ceiling fans, lights, rocking chairs, paint, building supplies, and decorative sink and bath fixtures. The complaint goes on to say Crist also bought nearly $1,000 worth of Orioles baseball memorabilia and baseball equipment from a store in Virginia Beach. Troopers say he also bought thousands of dollars worth of power tools, golf equipment, band equipment, iPhones, Beats headphones and accessories, and a Bose radio. All of these items were for Crist's personal use or his family's use, according to WVSP. "These purchases were not reimbursed, not business related, not authorized by the LCPCC Board, and in direct violation of the company's credit card usage policy," a trooper wrote in the criminal complaint. Troopers say he also bought two full size flatbed trailers in 2013 and 2015. Together, they totaled more than $1,000. "After purchasing the trailers, the defendant had the trailers titled in his own name and not the company name," court records state. In addition to buying items, troopers say Crist also instructed company employees to work on personal home renovations in Lincoln County. "The aforementioned construction work was completed during regular work hours while staff was supposed to be performing work duties on the LCPCC sites," the complaint continues. "The defendant, without the approval of the Board, directed and used company personnel, company supplies, and company equipment to renovate, construct, update, and otherwise work on his personal residence during this two year period, thus enriching himself at the expense of this non-profit entity." After making these purchases and instructing employees to work on his home, troopers say Crist tried to cover up the crimes. He allegedly lied on "time sheet" documents and other paperwork related to the embezzlement. Troopers say that directly resulted in falsified tax returns as well. Crist is charged with computer fraud for allegedly accessing several computer networks -- including the network for LCPCC's payroll system and the networks used for each fraudulent credit card swipe -- to carry out the scheme. In addition to physical evidence and records, troopers say witnesses backed up the allegations, "The aforementioned allegations are supported by the defendant's statements, co-conspirator statements, statements made by multiple individuals and witnesses employed by and directly affiliated with LCPCC who provided credible and corroborate testimony regarding the defendant and his unlawful actions," an investigator explained in the court documents. By WSAZ News Staff |  Posted: Tue 4:48 PM, Jul 16, 2019
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SkyeTravers
Jul 17, 2019
In General Discussions
Renee Bach, an American who started a health charity in Jinja, Uganda, is being sued by two mothers for allegedly impersonating a doctor and operating an unlicensed health center, which, they charge, led to the deaths of their children among many others, as reported by NBC. Jinja is located on the shores of Lake Victoria and is Uganda’s second-largest city. It is also a hub for a significant number of the nation’s 13,000 non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Understanding the density of NGOs in Jinja is important because so many of these NGOs are reliant on international Western volunteers for executing on work needed and raising funds to keep themselves going. Most often, these volunteers are young, in their late teens or early 20s. They’ve rarely traveled to continental Africa or Asia and lack complementary work experience. NPQ’s Tiny Spark podcast covered this complexity really well in “Orphanage Voluntourism.” Bach was a voluntourist when she arrived in Uganda for the first time at the age of 18. She went on to found Serving His Children, a Christian religious charity, which over a 10-year period evolved to provide medical care. As reported in the Roanoke Star in 2010, Bach is quotes as saying, “Some people say I am so young and do not have the training to undertake such a mission, and they are right. Maybe someday the Lord will send a nurse to us, but right now He has me.” Statements such as this bring into sharp focus the audacity and worldview of the Savior Complex. In this instance, it’s the White Savior Complex that most in the Global South constantly battle, and which Tiny Spark also covered. In May of this year, NPQ interviewedNo White Saviors, an organization set up to challenge narratives that center white people as the heroes of the story. NWS has spoken openly about Bach’s organization on their website. Images and blog posts written by Bach, now wiped from the Serving His Children website, were retained and copied by Women’s Probono Initiative (WPI), an organization that promotes women’s human rights in Uganda. They allege that Bach presented herself as a “medical doctor” and that her home was a “medical facility,” as she was often seen “wearing a white coat, a stethoscope and often administered medications to children in her care.” In WPI’s press statement, Beatrice Kayaga, an officer at WPI, says, “There are procedural and regulatory mechanisms that ought to be followed when establishing a medical facility in Uganda. Even so the law provides for licensing agencies and protocols for who should practice medicine in Uganda. It is unacceptable, narcissistic behaviour, for any one, black or white, rich or poor, missionary or angel to pass off as a ‘medical practitioner’ when they are not. By doing so, they mislead unsuspecting vulnerable members of the public. The actions of Renee & SHC have caused so much pain, injustice, a lack of transparency and accountability by the organization Serving His Children. The Judiciary has a role to play in ending this.” Bach’s own lawyer, David Gibbs III, responded to the allegations of the mothers and WPI in a manner that speaks directly to how organizations such SHC act with impunity. In a recent interview with CNN, he starts with, “First of all, we have to remember we are in Uganda, okay?” No, Mr. Gibbs, it is most definitely not okay. Was this truly “serving His children”? No. The case is due to be heard in the high courts in Uganda.—Niduk D’souza June 26, 2019; NBC News
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SkyeTravers
Jul 17, 2019
In General Discussions
The nonprofit foundation established by former Vice President Joe Biden to find a cure for cancer​ after the death of the Democratic candidate’s son from the disease is shutting down, according to a report Monday. ​The Biden Cancer Initiative was founded in 2017 by Biden and his wife, Jill, ​and grew out of the ​White House Cancer Moonshot program​ started by President Barack Obama and shepherded by Biden. ​ ​Beau Biden died in May 2015 from brain cancer.​ ​“Today, we are suspending activities given our unique circumstances. We remain personally committed to the cause, but at this time will have to pause efforts,” said Greg Simon, the nonprofit’s executive director​​. ​While Simon wouldn’t go into detail abut why operations were being shut down, another staffer ​told the Associated Press that the foundation struggled after Biden and his wife left the nonprofit in April before he became a presidential candidate because of ethics concerns. Since then, the nonprofit has failed to maintain momentum in its partnerships with health care companies, drug firms and charities that pledge millions of dollars for cancer treatment, the wire service reported. The initiative receives direct funding for operations, but most of the money supporting the partnerships comes from indirect pledges — funds that are managed by companies and organizations to support their research work. Biden has promoted those partnerships in appearances. An examination of the nonprofit’s partnerships found that some that Biden touted were also lobbying the federal government. In January 2018, the former vice president spoke at a conference sponsored by the health tech firm where his son-in-law is chief medical officer. At the same San Francisco conference, he praised an entrepreneur who helped raise funds for his campaign. In a response to the AP, Biden’s campaign said it would have informed staff about hiring lobbyists and other ethics concerns if he won in 2020. Biden commits to ​”​the highest standards of ethical culture,​”​ deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield ​told the wire service. By Mark Moore July 15, 2019 1:49pm
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SkyeTravers
Jul 17, 2019
In General Discussions
Although about three out of every four Americans working for nonprofits are women, men hold a disproportional share of the highest-paid nonprofit jobs. What’s more, the share of women in top management jobs decreases as an organization’s budget increases. Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot was the only woman named as being among the highest-paid executives leading one of the nation’s 10 top charities in 2018, according to a Forbes ranking. Men were running the rest, including Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Habitat for Humanity. Because I research both nonprofit management and gender inequality in the workplace, I wanted to learn more about the gender disparity in nonprofits’ top management. Few women at the top When I analyzed the 2015 tax returns of 340 human service organizations with budgets of $10 million or more, I found that only 35% of them had female CEOs, even though women make up the vast majority of their staff. Among nonprofits with budgets of $50 million or more, the share of female CEOs was even lower — 20%. I also found that the scarcity of women in top management positions in high-budget nonprofits explains a large part of the disparity. In other words, the gender pay gap had more to do with the lack of female CEOs in larger organizations than it did with high-ranking male nonprofit executives out-earning their female peers when they are in charge of nonprofits of approximately the same size. This was consistent with earlier findings that the nonprofits with the biggest budgets are less likely to be run by women than smaller ones. For the study, published in the academic journal Nonprofit Management & Leadership, I wanted to go deeper by determining what might explain women being underrepresented in top management positions — and if nonprofits can do something to even things out. That led me to look into the composition of those nonprofits’ boards of directors. Nonprofit boards are responsible for recruiting, hiring and firing CEOs. According to well-documented research, boards are more likely to hire female CEOs when some of their members are female. Nonprofit boards I found that the likelihood of a woman being hired as a nonprofit CEO decreases by 0.2 percentage points with each million-dollar increase in its revenue. A nonprofit with a $50 million budget, therefore, is 8 percentage points less likely to hire a woman as its CEO compared to an organization with a $10 million budget. An organization with a $100 million budget would be 18 percentage points less likely to hire a woman as CEO than a group with a $10 million budget. I also found that an organization is 17 percentage points more likely to have a female CEO when between a third and half of the board’s voting members are women, compared with when less than a third are female. But when a majority of board members are women, the board is no more likely to hire a female CEO than organizations where women account for less than a third of the board. This finding reinforces the results of several other studies that also indicated that when the share of women on boards reaches critical mass, these directors tend to become more apt to hire female leaders. Past research has also suggested that the most progress occurs when women on boards are a minority of members, as long as they aren’t tokens. No cure-all Advocates for board diversity of all kinds say it improves performance, makes nonprofits more responsive to their clients and helps bring in more donations. My findings suggest that board diversity is also a force for narrowing the gender gap among the leaders of the biggest nonprofits. To be sure, there are other obstacles standing in the way of women getting the highest-paid nonprofit jobs. For example, gender stereotypes regarding leadership styles view women as less visionary and as less achievement-oriented and may hinder women’s advancement to top management. Women also tend to spend more time on child care than men, which makes balancing their work and family responsibilities more challenging. And having equal numbers of men and women on the boards of big nonprofits is no cure-all. If it were, women-majority boards would be more likely to hire women as CEOs than boards where women are in the minority. And that was not the case at most of the organizations I researched. Young-joo Lee directs the master’s program in nonprofit management at the University of Central Florida. Her research focuses on human resources management practices and strategies in various contexts. By Young-Joo Lee University of Central Florida
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SkyeTravers
Jul 16, 2019
In Call for Action
Detroit — A nonprofit organization on Detroit's east side was robbed three times in a six-day period over the last week, the group announced Monday. The nonprofit targeted is RecoveryPark, which describes itself in a statement as being "committed to creating jobs for people with barriers to employment." Two of the three break-ins took place in its parking lot; the other at its "soil-based farming operation." Losses are well into the five figures, including some "$25,000 worth of lawn maintenance equipment and personal tools," the organization said. Gary Wozniak, president and CEO of RecoveryPark, said in a statement that "while we are in the process of reviewing security footage, working with local law enforcement and communicating with neighbors, we must still honor our agreement with the city to mow and maintain these lots. We are reaching out to our community for some emergency support funds to do so." According to its website, RecoveryPark has agreed to maintain 105 acres for the city of Detroit, as well as growing "specialty produce for local chefs and restaurants." "Veterans, returning citizens, challenged workers, those in recovery and other marginalized citizens struggle daily for the ability to care for themselves and their families," a page of its website reads. "They deserve opportunities to work a meaningful job, earn a decent wage, own their own business and restore personal dignity." The equipment stolen, which includes tools brought in by volunteers, were used to further those missions. An October 2015 press release from the city of Detroit announced "an agreement to transform a blighted 22-block area on the city’s lower east side into center of urban agriculture and hope for ex-offenders, recovering addicts and others with significant barriers to employment." This would cover a "60-acre footprint' bounded by Interstate 94 to the north, Chene to the east, St. Aubin to the west, and Forest to the south. https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/2019/07/16/detroit-nonprofit-we-were-robbed-3-times-6-days/1741827001/ Author: James David Dickson Published 6:48 a.m. ET July 16, 2019
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SkyeTravers
Jul 16, 2019
In Call for Action
When Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Missoula, Montana, closed in May, after 49 years in operation, it left 84 young people without support. Now, the Kalispell BBBS has stepped in to help. The Missoulian reports that the Missoula BBBS had struggled with the loss of state, federal, and private grant funding totaling $120,000 over two years. A board member told the Missoulian that the organization had lost one-third of its annual budget. Hoping to avoid closure, it had cut staff positions, reduced office expenses, and tried other forms of fundraising, including a social media campaign and a proclamation from the mayor. The nonprofit closed on May 31st, a week before its annual fundraiser, which it cancelled. BBBS matches youth ages 6 to 18 with an adult volunteer mentor with the goal of building a relationship to help the child grow confidence, avoid risky behaviors, and succeed in school. Todd Lengacher, the new executive director of BBBS of Flathead County, located in Kalispell, said he discussed the Missoula closure with his board, then hired an employee from the Missoula office to help him reach out to everyone who was active in the Missoula program. He hopes to “reignite” the matches and provide support. The Kalispell BBBS has faced the same state budget cuts as the Missoula affiliate, Lengacher said, but he cited fundraisers and individual giving as making the difference. Each match costs about $1,800 a year to support, slightly higher than the national average of $1,500 per year, Lengacher said, because of the smaller number of matches over which to spread expenses. Quoted in the Missoulian, Lengacher said, “All nonprofits try to have a diverse portfolio, but yes, we certainly rely significantly on private donors. We would be happy if anyone in Missoula wanted to reach out to us.”—Catherine Jones Author: Catherine Jones July 16, 2019 https://nonprofitquarterly.org/network-benefits-as-one-nonprofit-closes-another-steps-up/
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SkyeTravers
Jun 06, 2019
In General Discussions
On Thursday, we launched a new feature for our Nonprofit Explorer database: The ability to search the full text of nearly 3 million electronically filed nonprofit tax filings sent to the IRS since 2011. Nonprofit Explorer already lets researchers, reporters and the general public search for tax information from more than 1.8 million nonprofit organizations in the United States, as well as allowing users to search for the names of key employees and directors of organizations. Now, users of our free database can dig deep and search for text that appears anywhere in a nonprofit’s tax records, as long as those records were filed digitally — which according to the IRS covers about two-thirds of nonprofit tax filings in recent years. How can this be useful to you? For one, this feature lets you find organizations that gave grants to other nonprofits. Any nonprofit that gives grants to another must list those grants on its tax forms — meaning that you can research a nonprofit’s funding by using our search. A search for “ProPublica,” for example, will bring up dozens of foundations that have given us grants to fund our reporting (as well as a few filingsthat reference Nonprofit Explorer itself). See the Database Nonprofit Explorer: Research Tax-Exempt Organizations Search the full text of over 9.6 million tax filing documents going back as far as 2001. Just another example: When private foundations have investments or ownership interest in for-profit companies, they have to list those on their tax filings as well. If you want to research which foundations have investments in a company like ExxonMobil, for example, you can simply search for the company name and check which organizations list it as an investment. The possibilities are nearly limitless. You can search for the names or addresses of independent contractors that made more than $100,000 from a nonprofit, you can search for addresses, keywords in mission statements or descriptions of accomplishments. You can even use advanced search operators, so for instance you can find any filing that mentions either “The New York Times,” “nytimes” or “nytimes.com” in one search. The new feature contains every electronically filed Form 990, 990-PF and 990-EZ released by the IRS from 2011 to date. That’s nearly 3 million filings. The search does not include forms filed on paper. So please, give this search a spin. If you write a story using information from this search, or you come across bugs or problems, drop us a line! We’re excited to see what you all do with this new superpower. https://www.propublica.org/nerds/new-search-full-text-of-3-million-nonprofit-tax-records-for-free
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SkyeTravers
Jun 04, 2019
In Call for Action
Killeen-area resident Soldier 4theLord has everything he needs to physically get his nonprofit, Soldiers in Need Foundation, ready to start helping treat the root causes that make people want to commit suicide. He has four commercial properties he bought to run operations out of — one in Gatesville, one in Copperas Cove and two in Killeen. He has four concession stands and some mobile barbecue pits to help raise money for the nonprofit. He even has a 35-passenger bus that could get people to and from the services he hopes to provide. And he now has his paperwork from the IRS declaring Soldiers in Need Foundation as a 501(c)(3) public charity. 4theLord has done everything he can think of to lay the groundwork for providing another avenue of assistance to the community, even creating a Facebook page and getting a website. He is lining up people willing to volunteer for him. What he doesn’t have, however, are the experts needed to get the nonprofit off the ground. “I need someone who can be the CEO of this, who knows how to best utilize all of these assets,” said 4theLord, who had his name legally changed in 2004 to continuously remind himself of his mission and as a statement for others. “I need an attorney, a mental health coordinator, the people who can come up with events to raise money to cover expenses. I have so many ideas of what we could do: I just need the people who can help me do it.” . “I need an attorney, a mental health coordinator, the people who can come up with events to raise money to cover expenses. I have so many ideas of what we could do: I just need the people who can help me do it.” 4theLord said the nonprofit is aimed at stopping suicide in both the military and civilian communities by providing a faith-based ministry that will use a variety of ways to help address the root problems of suicide. Some of those root problems he spoke about included hunger, homelessness, no job and family problems such as divorce. “I’m not trying to tell anyone to be a Buddhist, or Muslim or Christian,” he said. “But the belief in a higher power can definitely get you through these things and keep you from killing yourself. If it was not for my Christian faith, I might have committed suicide myself with all the things I’ve been through in my life.” 4theLord said he hopes to find the people needed to run the nonprofit full time, giving him the opportunity to spend more time on the road promoting Soldiers in Need Foundation. Anyone interested in filling those critical positions can reach 4theLord at soldier.4thelord@yahoo.com. Place “Soldiers for Need Foundation” in the subject line.
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SkyeTravers
May 30, 2019
In Success Stories
While 3-year-old Sawyer spent a lot of time in the hospital during his leukemia treatment, he deeply missed his beloved pet chickens back at home: Daisy, Fluffy, Snowflake and Rotisserie. Since Sawyer’s family was unable to build them a proper coop, the birds had to sleep in a 10-by-10 dog kennel at night. Despite the battle against a critical illness that he was already fighting, Sawyer worried that his feathered friends would be raided by a fox. “He just loved those chickens. I think he’s just got a big heart,” said Sawyer’s mom, Shelley. Sawyer imagined someday giving his chickens a special “coop mansion.” When he learned that Make-A-Wish® could grant his one true wish, he knew right away what his wish would be: to have a coop to keep his chickens safe. Sawyer’s wish united a community with one common goal: to grant the wish of a child who deserves a bright light during a dark time. When Sawyer laid eyes on his new chicken coop mansion, he wasn’t thinking about the leukemia treatments that still awaited him. He was too busy cuddling his large birds and getting ready to move them into their new home. “The look on his face as that coop was coming together was something I’ll never forget,” Shelley said. Today, Sawyer’s chicken coop mansion houses 17 full-sized birds. “We call it Chicken City. We get about a dozen eggs a day,” Shelley said. “Sawyer looks forward to getting up and going out to collect eggs in the morning.” This continues to be transformative for Sawyer, because he is still undergoing chemotherapy. But now, instead of feeling anxious about visiting the doctor, Sawyer excitedly brings the doctors a carton of eggs.
Make A Wish: Sawyer's Wish for a Chicken Coop content media
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SkyeTravers
May 30, 2019
In Call for Action
PANAMA, May 28, 2019 - The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) today signed a collaboration agreement to strengthen their cooperation in response to the humanitarian needs of children, adolescents, mothers and pregnant women in Venezuela. In the past months, both United Nations agencies have been scaling up their humanitarian aid and development programs in Venezuela. Through this agreement, UNICEF and UNFPA will share information and technical resources in essential areas such as health, nutrition, child protection, water, hygiene and gender-based violence (GBV). Their strengthened collaboration will help meet the needs of children, adolescents and women more effectively. “The situation in Venezuela urgently requires United Nations agencies to increase their cooperation in a coordinated and effective manner," said Maria Cristina Perceval, UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. "This agreement will allow UNICEF and UNFPA to work together to reach more children and pregnant women with coordinated and integrated responses, taking into consideration the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence." “Working together to alleviate the suffering of Venezuelan children, adolescents and women in vulnerable situations is crucial to guarantee a timely response," said Esteban Caballero, UNFPA’s Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. "This way, we can ensure the health, safety and well-being of the families and their communities.” Both UN agencies will join efforts to develop strategies and implement priority actions that will: Provide greater access to health services and guarantee the continuity of priority programs such as prevention of adolescent pregnancy and improvement of maternal and child health, with particular attention to newborns, adolescent pregnancy and teen mothers.Expand interventions aimed at preventing nutritional deterioration, reducing the risk of increasing infant and maternal mortality, and improving the nutritional status of pregnant adolescents.Strengthen protection networks and deliver assistance to children, adolescents and women with specific needs in departure, transit and hosting communities in Venezuela and neighboring countries, including risk of trafficking, abuse and sexual exploitation.Improve water and sanitation services, as well as the promotion of appropriate hygiene practices, essential for the survival and development of boys and girls, with emphasis on menstrual hygiene.Increase prevention and attention to gender-based violence cases against women, girls, children, adolescents and LGBTI persons in all collaborative sectors. In 2019, UNICEF and its implementing partners in Venezuela have provided micro-nutrient supplements to nearly 12,000 children under 5, as well as pregnant and lactating women. In addition, around 29,000 people have had access to drinking water and hygiene items; about 20,000 children and pregnant women received treatment for malaria; more than 4,100 mothers gave birth safely thanks to the midwifery kits distributed by UNICEF; and more than 32,500 schoolchildren received educational and recreational materials. In recent years, UNFPA has been working with the Government and civil society in Venezuela to ensure the delivery of dignity kits (feminine hygiene) to more than 18,000 women. Several primary health centers have been equipped with sexual and reproductive health supplies, including more than 10 million condoms, 75,000 intrauterine devices and 545,000 doses of contraceptive methods. UNFPA has trained more than 1,200 health officers to attend gender-based violence cases, who have managed to sensitize at least 3,500 migrant persons in the Venezuelan states bordering Colombia and Brazil.
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SkyeTravers
May 30, 2019
In Call for Action
KABUL/MALLORCA/NEW YORK, 28 May 2019 – Attacks on schools in Afghanistan tripled between 2017 and 2018, surging from 68 to 192, UNICEF said today. It was the first time school attacks had increased since 2015. “Education is under fire in Afghanistan,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “The senseless attacks on schools; the killing, injury and abduction of teachers; and the threats against education are destroying the hopes and dreams of an entire generation of children.”  The ongoing conflict and rapidly deteriorating security situation across the country left more than 1,000 schools closed by the end of last year. Half a million children were denied their right to education as result.  One reason for the increase in school attacks was the use of schools as voter registration and polling centers for the parliamentary elections in 2018.  An estimated 3.7 million children between the ages of 7 and 17 – nearly half of all school-aged children in the country – are out of school in Afghanistan. Worsening insecurity, high rates of poverty and persistent discrimination against girls caused the rate of out-of-school children to increase last year for the first time since 2002. Girls account for 60 per cent of children not in education.  UNICEF is working with the government and other partners to provide informal and accelerated community-based education. This includes running classes in community buildings and homes, helping to reduce the risk of insecurity on the way to school. As the third International Conference on Safe Schools opens in Spain today, UNICEF calls for an end to all attacks on schools and urges all warring parties to protect education during armed conflict. 
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SkyeTravers
May 30, 2019
In Success Stories
Education will be paramount in Nigeria’s quest to grow its economy and build engaged citizens. Like most of Africa, Nigeria’s population skews younger, with more than half of its 190 million people under the age of 20. Volunteers and companies in Georgia are already contributing to this cause through their work with Books for Africa, a St. Paul, Minnesota-based nonprofit that ships most of its books out of its largest warehouse in the metro Atlanta area. 📷Company volunteer teams like this one from MoneyGram have contributed greatly to Books for Africa’s mission. More than 12,000 people spent time volunteering at the warehouse last year, including employees from Coca-Cola, RaceTrack and Home Depot. Students from Morehouse College, Spelman College, Kennesaw State Universityand Georgia Tech also sent volunteers, along with schools from outside the state. Many church groups and people with disabilities also volunteer regularly. Since the warehouse opened on the west side of Atlanta decade ago, more than 26 million books have been shipped from there through the Port of Savannah and on to all 55 countries in Africa. BFA’s Law & Democracy Initiative has also provided law and human rights libraries to 21 countries, including Nigeria. This track record is one reason the African Union has partnered with Books for Africa to populate a library at its secretariat in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The first of many planned shipments containing 22,000 books arrived in January, just in time for the AU’s annual summit. The union’s long-term plan, “Agenda 2063,” acknowledges the challenge of educating youth, noting that “development is people-driven, relying on the potential of African people especially its women and youth, and caring for children.” To further the collaboration, the African Union Ambassador to the U.S., Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, has joined the BFA Law & Democracy Initiative as its co-chair, joining former US Vice President Walter F. Mondale. She replaces the late Kofi Annan, former U.N. Secretary-General. Books For Africa has also recently established the Nigerian Book Trust in Port Harcourt. The book trust, which is a mechanism for providing low-cost books to universities, schools, libraries and the general public in a micro-finance model, is the first such strategic initiative ever created by BFA. Forty thousand books just landed in Nigeria and the initiative is expected to deliver 250,000 books annually when fully operational. A large African diaspora in Georgia is primed to support these initiatives. According to the Migration Policy Institute, the state is home to 105,000 residents of African origin, not to mention their children born here. Nigerians are said to be one of the best educated immigrant groups in the U.S., with manyworking in fields like law and medicine. Most want to see Africa develop to the point where bright young people see a promising future at home, rather than contributing to a continental brain drain. Fifteen years ago there were almost no ex-presidents in Africa because almost all of them were, in effect, “presidents for life.” Things have changed for the better in Africa with more contested elections like those of Nigeria. As we build a new generation of educated citizens, we look forward to seeing continued improvement in these elections in terms of fairness and process in the coming years. About the authors: Atare Agbamu, a native of Nigeria, is a member of the Books For Africa Board of Directors and a Trustee of The Nigerian Book Trust. Patrick Plonski is Executive Director of Books For Africa.
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SkyeTravers
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