I know I’m not alone in yearning to have 2020 in the rearview mirror.
Before turning the page, I want to acknowledge the year we’ve trudged through together -- with a heartfelt recognition of so much pain caused by loss of loved ones, fear of economic collapse, starkly-revealed injustice, and unrelenting uncertainty.
I also want to celebrate your resilience, determination, and endurance, both as individuals and as organizations. The scope and scale of work that nonprofits did under these challenging circumstances is incredible. Undercompensated, underappreciated, and often under siege, but also life-saving, community-building, and hope-bringing.
May 18, 2020 was my first day with Nonprofit New York, and it looked very different from what I imagined when I accepted the position just a few months earlier. As I signed on for my first Zoom staff meeting that Monday morning, I knew I was joining a great team and had an amazing opportunity to support the nonprofit sector in tough times. It has been a challenging, but so often inspiring, seven months. I’m so grateful for the many ways our members and partners have welcomed me and shared your insight and experiences.
As I look toward 2021, amidst ongoing uncertainty, I feel very certain about a few things:
- The nonprofit sector is ready to change the narratives that have defined us for too long. We see the potential strength of a unified sector and are ready to come together to demand the support and respect warranted by our critical contributions to the economy, safety net, and social fabric of the New York City area. Nonprofit New York is enthusiastic about our collaborative work to develop a 2021 Nonprofit Policy Agenda that will serve as the basis for education, mobilization, policy, budget, and accountability generating efforts, as we head into New York City elections that will result in major shifts in municipal governance. We are going to demand more support, more partnership, and more respect from government for the nonprofit sector.
- Our sector is ready to embrace both the obligations and the opportunities that 2020 revealed. We’re committed to collaborate with you to reimagine and rebuild a sector that meaningfully centers racial equity not only in the work we all do, but also in the ways we do the work. We are looking forward to convening representative and inclusive working groups that will be charged with reviewing our Key Areas of Nonprofit Excellence through a lens of racial equity and initiating exploration of accountability measures to be utilized by individual organizations and the sector as a whole. The ideas, tools and practices that come out of these efforts will inform all of the learning opportunities and resources we provide, shape our definitions of best practices, and help direct our advocacy efforts. Racial equity will be the focus of Nonprofit New York’s annual conference in December 2021.After lots of conversations with the program’s steadfast supporters, we have decided to put the Nonprofit Excellence Awards on hold this year. While we will not be accepting and reviewing applications, we will continue to engage the remarkable talents of our selection committee and draw from the lessons learned from past winners as we focus on centering racial equity in our reimagined sector.
- Nonprofit New York’s staff and board team is strong and energized about the opportunities to help navigate the sector from crisis through an inclusive recovery to a place of greater equity, sustainability, and impact.In an effort to recognize talents, enhance capacity, and reflect our organizational values, we’re making the following team changes as of January 1: