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About Town: Not-For-Profit Leadership Summit

Chronicling Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow.

Today's Not-For-Profit Leadership Summit pulled 600 of the region's health, arts, education, environmental and outreach advocacy groups together in Tarrytown.

The event was sponsored by the United Way of Westchester and Putnam and the Westchester Community Foundation. Non-profit volunteers, board members and staffers worked on topics from social media to work-life balance to managing employees in tough economic times.

At the event, County Executive Robert Astorino announced an initiative designed to help Westchester’s extensive network of non-profit agencies find ways to cut overhead and work together.

Astorino announced that Dr. Grant Mitchell, the commissioner of community mental health, will take on added duties as outreach coordinator to the county’s non-profit sector.

As such, he will develop recommendations over the next three months on ways the county can help the non-profit agencies reduce costs so it has more funds to spend on services.

“What our non-profit network does is incredible, “ said Astorino. “Large and small, these social and cultural agencies are staffed with dedicated, knowledgeable professionals. Westchester could not get along without them. Under my plan, the county would help facilitate their efforts to work together and with the county to cut costs and become more efficient.”

Astorino said that Mitchells’s new tasks will include building and strengthening relationships with all segments of the non-profit community, identifying ways the county and non-profit agencies can create efficiencies, and developing new business models that will apply efficiency savings to offsetting losses in revenues.

Diana Costello May 13, 2011 at 08:01 PM
The sold-out Not-For-Profit Leadership Summit IX, presented by the United Way of Westchester and Putnam in partnership with the Westchester Community Foundation, addressed the economic and political challenges facing the region’s nonprofits – emphasizing the need for unity. Keynote speaker Robert Egger, founder and president of DC Central Kitchen, which turns leftover food into millions of meals while also offering culinary job training, urged leaders to take advantage of their collective strength and to organize politically. “Our council members, they’re looking at us not as partners in the economic rebuild of the state. They’re looking at us as non profits. They look at the DC Central Kitchen and they say, ‘Oh, Robert. You’re doing saintly work there. Feeding the poor every day; God bless you for your work,” he said. “Now I’ll take those accolades, but make no mistake. I am far – and all of you all are far – from charities. And make no mistake; what we create is far from non profit. We create the best profit in America.” With 100,000 employees and revenue reaching $7.3 billion in 2010, Westchester's nonprofit sector is an economic powerhouse. Statewide, nonprofits account for an estimated 17 percent of the economy. “Nonprofits are a powerful sector in New York’s economy,” said Naomi Adler, UWWP president and CEO. “It’s important for nonprofits to learn from one another and not view each other as competing for the same dollars."

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