Letter from our new President & CEO, Meg Barnette

New York’s nonprofits have been nothing short of extraordinary during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonprofit New York sees you and applauds the ways you have innovated, adapted, and stepped up in the face of this devastating crisis. With no map for navigating these uncharted and uncertain times, you have put your mission and communities first, managed immense change with no lead time, and found ways to respond to increased needs with diminished resources.

The last three months have presented so many heartaches, challenges, and stark reminders of the inequities that shape our world with devastating results. We have no choice but to see the violent realities of racism in the myriad ways this public health crisis has been particularly brutal for Black and Brown communities. We see it over and over and over again in the ways communities of color are policed, in how social distancing is enforced, in how people are allowed to advocate, protest and just plain exist in shared public spaces. And of course we see these inequities too in access to health care, to jobs, to affordable housing, even to the relief provided by the federal government, from which immigrant New Yorkers are cruelly excluded.

These months (which feel more like a decade) have made it clear that there is no “going back to normal”. We do not know what is to come, but we have re-defined what is essential and demonstrated the crucial roles played by nonprofits in meeting a wide range of community needs -- enough to eat, a safe place to live and learn, and ways to interact with arts, culture, and each other in ways that make us feel more human and connected.

I am proud and humbled to be stepping into the role of President & CEO at Nonprofit New York at this time. I’m very grateful to be joining an enormously talented staff and board team that is excited to chart a new path forward with all of you, as we build on what we are learning, move from crisis to recovery, and transform resilience into innovation and sustainability.

I’m eager to learn more about your work and to hear your ideas for how Nonprofit New York can work with your teams to demonstrate the power and impact of our work together. Please reach out at [email protected].

If there was ever a time when New York City needed a collective, relentless force for good, this is it.