Mayor Bloomberg Announces Help for Nonprofits at NYU Wagner Event
Speaking before about 300 public service leaders at New York University's Kimmel Center, Mayor Michael Bloomberg on April 6, 2009, announced a series of new initiatives to help more than 40,000 nonprofit cultural, health and social service organizations in New York City weather the economic downturn. The event was sponsored by the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, with welcoming words offered by NYU President John Sexton, and with the Mayor introduced and the economic challenges confronting the nonprofit sector framed in opening remarks delivered by NYU Wagner Dean Ellen Schall.
"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."
The mayor's initiatives are aimed at helping nonprofit organizations reduce fixed costs through group-purchasing of goods, energy savings, and other strategies, improving the city's contracting procedures, increasing bridge loans, and providing dedicated assistance through nyc.gov - where the initiatives are spelled out in detail -- and the 311 city information hotline.
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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New York Times spotlights NYU Wagner's 'Visual Explorer' application tool
When NYU Wagner reviews applications for admission, we try to add up the many components that make up an applicant and ask ourselves: Who is this person? Two years ago, we added an optional Visual Explorer essay to our application. This essay section provides all applicants with an opportunity to offer information about themselves that is not always captured through the standard essay question on the application. They are asked to select a photograph from an archive of two dozen conceptual images and then write about it. The process draws out their creativity, while grounding them in a moment of reflection about their motivation to study and work in public service.
"Too often," notes Wagner's dean, Ellen Schall, "applying to graduate school is transactional. We added Visual Explorer because we wanted to signal that the Wagner experience is transformational. Visual Explorer calls for people to slow down enough to reflect on their own experiences, connect their passion for public service to their professional goals, and offer their own perspectives on how to change the world."
On Nov. 1, 2009, the Education Life supplement of The New York Times spotlighted Wagner's pattern-breaking application tool, the images for which are provided in collaboration with the nonprofit Center for Creative Leadership, or CCL.