Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mayor Bloomberg Announces Plan to Help Nonprofit Groups

New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, on Monday announced a package of measures to help the city's nonprofit groups weather the recession.  These measures include efforts to streamline government procedures, expand loan programs, and help groups save energy costs.

In a news release issued on Monday, Mayor Bloomberg stated: “As nonprofits face increasing challenges due to the economic downturn, it’s critical that the city take concrete steps to strengthen the sector and help it thrive."

In keeping with this sentiment, Mayor Bloomberg, speaking at a public forum at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, stated that the city would:

  • Set up a program to help nonprofit groups save money by “group purchasing” goods and services, starting with information technology next summer, followed by insurance by the end of the year;
  • Lead an evaluation of energy use by nonprofit groups and use the findings to develop energy-efficiency strategies;
  • Speed up the process under which nonprofit groups demonstrate that they comply with charities regulation;
  • Propose increasing a bridge-loan fund that helps charities under contract with the city cover short-term cash-flow problems — from $8-million to $20-million during the next two fiscal years;
  • Introduce a standard human-services contract for multiple city agencies to reduce red tape;
  • Offer referrals to nonprofit groups that contact the city’s “311” online and phone service on issues like where to get help developing a strategic plan or managing financial resources;
  • Create an “executive director hotline” to allow nonprofit leaders to get strategic advice from senior members of Community Resource Exchange, a nonprofit consulting firm; and 
  • Create a program through the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York that will pair business executives with nonprofit executive directors for two years to work on innovative solutions to nonprofit business challenges. 


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