Mayor Bloomberg Announces Help for Nonprofits at NYU Wagner Forum


SPEAKING in front of 300 public service leaders at an event
sponsored by NYU Wagner on April 6, 2009, New York City Mayor Michael
Bloomberg unveiled a series of initiatives to help the more than 40,000
nonprofit cultural, health and social service organizations of the city
weather the economic downturn. New York University President John
Sexton introduced the mayor, and NYU Wagner Dean Ellen Schall framed
the critical discussion, citing the economic challenges the nonprofit
sector confronts, and the central role the graduate school has in
training students to become leaders in public service.


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Dean Schall said, “Mayor Bloomberg has shown unprecedented
acknowledgement and support of the vital role that the nonprofit sector
plays in New York City. As the Dean of the NYU Graduate School of
Public Service, I applaud the mayor for focusing needed attention on
the critical needs of nonprofits, which have been particularly hard hit
by current economic conditions. Streamlining the process for nonprofits
to contract with the city strengthens the bottom line. Just as
important is the mayor’s call for increased collaboration and
partnership. NYU Wagner, through its faculty, students, and alumni, is
proud to partner with the city in its efforts to maximize the positive
impact of the city’s nonprofit sector.”

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Bloomberg took to the stage from his seat in the Eisner & Lubin
auditorium at the Kimmel Center. He was greeted warmly. His remarks
drew intermittent applause, particularly his plans for a less
cookie-cutter grant application process, and more transparency when it
comes to information about the city’s contract pipeline.

But the mayor’s initiatives go much further. While not necessarily
the stuff of big headlines due to their technical nature — as the
mayor himself pointed out — they are potentially important in these
tough times. They include helping nonprofit organizations reduce fixed
costs through group-purchasing of goods, achieve energy savings, tap
into an increased supply of bridge loans, and receive dedicated
assistance. The initiatives are spelled out in detail on the city
website — www.nyc.gov — and via the 311 city information hotline.

The NYU Wagner event highlighted the enormous, sometimes overlooked,
role the nonprofit sector plays in the life of New York City, and
beyond.

“Almost half a million New Yorkers who make up our nonprofit
workforce contribute profoundly to the heartbeat of our city by helping
residents across the five boroughs — particularly during these trying
times,” said Mayor Bloomberg.

“Whether by training people for jobs, providing access to arts and
culture, or building affordable housing, the nonprofit sector is a
vital part of the City and our economy. 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,” he
added.

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