Forum Explores Financial Squeeze Facing Nonprofit Human-Services Sector
More than 100 leaders of nonprofit organizations, along with state and city social services officials, gathered at NYU Wagner on Feb. 24 for the release of an exhaustive report calling for urgent reforms to shore up the nonprofit human-services sector in New York, responsible for delivering essential government services to 2.5 million people each year. The report, "New York Nonprofits in the Aftermath of FEGS: A Call to Action," identifies chronic problems and offers systematic solutions to what it characterizes as a crisis-level financial squeeze facing the large sector.
"The FEGS (Federation Employment & Guidance Services) bankruptcy took place against the backdrop of a chronically underfunded sector, and it gives us an opportunity to have a real discussion about the state of New York's nonprofit human services organizations," said Gordon J. Campbell, Professor of Practice at NYU Wagner, who chaired the 32-member Non-Profit Closure Commission. The commission's deliberations led to the report.
"The commission developed this report to bring desperately needed atttention to the issues our sector is facing, and to offer solutions to bring this sector back from the brink," Professor Campbell said.
The well-attended event was sponsored by the Association for a Better New York (ABNY), the Human Services Council of New York, and NYU Wagner. Associate Dean Ellen Lovitz welcomed the audience to the school's Rudin Family Forum for Civic Dialogue on the second floor of the school's home in the historic Puck Building, followed by introductory remarks from ABNY Chairman and Rudin Management Company President Bill Rudin
Allison Sesso, Executive Director of the Human Resources Council, provided an overview of the report, and Professor Campbell moderated a panel discussion with: Steven Banks, Commissioner, New York City Human Resources Administration; Paul Francis, NYS Deputy Secertary for Health and Human Services; Christine Quinn, President and CEO of Win and former New York City Council Speaker; David Rivel, CEO of The Jewish Board, and Pat Swann, Senior Program Officer at the New York Community Trust.