New Yorkers Go to Washington For Nonprofit Congress
Approximately 500 representatives from charitable organizations across the country gathered in Washington DC on June 2nd for the second, national Nonprofit Congress. Convened by the National Council of Nonprofit Associations, the Congress’ goal is to strengthen the nonprofit sector by uniting to speak with one voice on behalf of all nonprofits.
“It was clearly an inspirational, rallying event for nonprofit organizations of all kinds,” said Doug Sauer, Executive Director of the New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON), who also serves as Chair of the NCNA board.
State delegations shared what they had done and planned to do to advance the “top priorities” of the sector as established by the 2006 Congress. These priorities are:
• Nonprofit Organizational Effectiveness: Ensuring that the sector has the resources it needs to serve communities and is effectively and efficiently managed. This priority emphasizes Accountability/Best Practices and Leadership.
• Advocacy and Grassroots Community Activities: Advocate for the sector at large and engage our constituents to solve problems at the grassroots level.
• Public Awareness and Support of the Sector: Increase public understanding and support so that nonprofits can continue to do their best work.
On June 4th, Congress delegations turned their attention to the U.S. Congress for Lobby Day. The primary item on NCNA’s advocacy agenda is the Nonprofit Capacity Building Initiative (NCBI). This proposal is designed to secure federal support through grants to organizations that have a proven ability to deliver training, technical assistance and other support to small and midsize nonprofits. It would authorize $25 million in grant funding each year for three years to serve 501(c)(3) nonprofits with annual operating budgets of less than $5 million.
There was strong participation at the Congress by New York State’s nonprofit community. Staff members from both NYCON and the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York (NPCC) – the two organizations which had convened lo