Is your board ready to intentionally embrace DEI?

by Yvette R. Murry, MSW, LCSW

Yvette R. Murry
Yvette R. Murry

Conversations regarding diversity, equity and inclusion abound these days.  A few colleagues and I were bandying about what is essential to ensure not just diversity and equity, but actually an understanding of the big “I”: interconnectedness and interdependence.

During the conversation, I shared with my colleagues from a wide range of racial and ethnic backgrounds one of my experiences of intention.  I had been a university administrator and faculty member for many years and actively engaged in university-community partnerships.  I served on a number of local and statewide boards that addressed and supported these partnerships.  

One day, I was approached by a close respected colleague from across the country to join the prestigious national board that set policy for university-community engagements.  I was thrilled!  I knew that I was likely to be one of the only faces of color in the room, but that is what was often the case in many of the rooms I inhabited.

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Taking Action Against Racism: A Non-Profit Imperative

“If my life doesn’t matter, then my voice certainly doesn’t.”

That gut-wrenching statement came from a non-profit executive, a woman of color who is a titan in her field and one of the most effective leaders I know. We were on a call with colleagues, discussing the widespread outrage against systemic racism, and the protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, another senseless killing of an unarmed Black person.  Urging us all to speak up and take stronger action in this fight, she noted that her voice is being dismissed by some as suspect or “self-serving.”

As non-profits, our entire reason for being is to make society better by our missions and deeds. As part of that promise, we have a responsibility to advance an equitable society, to shine a bright light on the harsh reality of systemic racism and injustice and to actively work against it. If we are avoiding or sidestepping those realities, we are not living up to that promise.

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Condemning Racism: A Statement from the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers and the Center for Non-Profits

Logos of the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers and the Center for Non-Profits

by the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers and the Center for Non-Profits

As the leaders of the major philanthropic and non-profit membership organizations in New Jersey, representing both the wide range of non-profit groups and the multi-faceted funders of those groups, we feel compelled to speak out against the hateful responses we and our members have witnessed in reaction to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Our country has seen countless examples of selfless sacrifice and good works over the past month, both on individual and institutional levels. We are proud that our members have been leaders in responding to the needs of our community.

But, to our distress, some individuals have used the pandemic to put forward their bias and hatred toward their fellow human beings. 

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Conferences: Nonprofit Professional Development Pillars

Paulina Alvarado-Goldman

by Paulina Alvarado-Goldman

Nonprofit Professional Development Pillars
“In order for nonprofit professional development opportunities to be strategically optimized, they have to link skill-building with actionable steps that transform practices.”

Nonprofit professional development opportunities for staff members are often unaffordable for some nonprofits. Attending strategically aligned conferences is one cost-effective way to enhance the skill sets of employees and raise awareness about current trends in the nonprofit field.

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Why Everyone Must Count in 2020

by Peter Chen

Although April 2020 seems far away, communities need to start planning now for the 2020 Census. Communities that are not fully counted in 2020 will miss out for the next ten years. This is the time to get involved.

United States Census 2020 logo, 2020census.gov

New Jersey stands to lose billions in federal funding, including support for critical programs such as children’s health insurance, school funding, school lunch and breakfast programs, Head Start, highway funding, college scholarships, and housing programs. For a list of programs affected by Census counts, see here

As one of the nation’s most diverse states, New Jersey is at particular risk for an undercount. Residents who are part of a racial or ethnic minority, who rent their home, who are immigrants, or who are children under 5 are at high risk of being missed.

How can you help?

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Trends for New Jersey Non-Profits to Watch in 2019

by Linda M. Czipo

Roller Coaster

Congratulations, New Jersey non-profits! We made it through another year. For many of us, 2018 was marked by ups and downs, a mix of significant impact and accomplishment amid a dizzying array of relentless challenges.

A new year brings anticipation, trepidation, optimism and resolve – and the irresistible temptation to predict what lies ahead for the next 12 months. Here are just a few of the trends and issues we’re watching for the coming year. I hope you’ll chime in with yours.

With uncertainty now the norm on many levels, another wild roller coaster ride is in the offing, so buckle up.

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The New Federal Tax Law and New Jersey Non-Profits

by Linda M. Czipo

IRS Form 1040 2017The new tax law, the measure formerly known as the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” represents the most comprehensive overhaul of the federal tax system in decades. Although the full impact of the law is still unfolding, most of the law’s provisions are effective as of January 1, 2018, so non-profits need to take steps now to understand and adapt to the changes. Following is a discussion of some of the key elements of the law affecting 501(c)(3) organizations, as well as some elements that did not make it into the final statute.

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Feeling Burned Out? 7 Steps to Get Back Your NGO Mojo

Yvette R. Murry
Yvette R. Murry

by Yvette R. Murry

You’re probably so busy that you don’t have time to read this post. But, please stop multi-tasking and resist the pull to check your phone.

I have an important question: Lately, when you walk into your non-profit job in the morning, what’s the first feeling that hits you?

If your answer was some variant of “stress,” you’re not alone. According to the World Health Organization, stress causes 300 billion dollars in lost productivity each year for US businesses due to absenteeism, reduced productivity, and employee turnover. Over 75 percent consider it to be a major concern; half aren’t taking vacations; and half are looking for new jobs.

Non-profit employees are certainly no strangers to workplace stress. Whether your organization is large or small, your employees are likely to wear several hats. You may wear at least 10 yourself, from running board meetings to changing toilet paper rolls. But even big-hearted, tolerant, non-profit staff have a breaking point.

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