2021 Annual Meeting of the Members Recap

2021 Annual Meeting of the Members Recap

This year’s Annual Meeting of Members was held virtually for the 3rd time on Thursday, March 25, 2021. The meeting consisted of critical business, the announcement of Nonprofit New York’s 2021 Policy Platform, and a panel discussion with Anna Glass from Dance Theater of Harlem, Margarita Guzman from Violence Intervention Program, and Marlon Williams from Philanthropy New York. Jenn Ching from North Star Fund led the discussion on how nonprofits can leverage their collective power.


Ian Benjamin, Nonprofit New York’s Board Chair, opened the business portion of the meeting. Ian welcomed members and expressed gratitude for the dedication of Board members and tremendous work done by staff pivoting to address new needs and remaining steadfastly focused on how best to support the nonprofit sector over the last year. Ian shared a special thank you to Melkis Alvarez-Biaz for her almost ten years of remarkable service to Nonprofit New York and the sector. Ian acknowledged a painful spike in Anti-Asian hate and violence in recent weeks, shouting out Nonprofit New York’s Board member, Jo-Ann Yoo, Executive Director of the Asian American Federation, for her tireless and strategic work on behalf of the communities she serves. After sharing a few highlights from the tremendous work accomplished by Nonprofit New York during these uncertain times, Ian expressed our shared respect for remarkable resilience demonstrated by the sector and our resolve to be there nonprofits, no matter what comes next. 

Charlene Laniewski, Board Treasurer, reported on the finances for Nonprofit New York’s Fiscal Year 2020 (October 1, 2019 – September 30, 2020) and the stub year from October 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020. Nonprofit New York received an unqualified opinion on our financial statements from our independent auditor. As of September 30, 2020, our cash and investment portfolio were approximately $1.1 million, and we have a reserve to cover about 5.6 months of operating costs. Our operations for the 3-month period ended December 31, 2020 were breakeven while the balance sheet remained strong at approximately $1 million.

Karen Pearl, Board Secretary, led the annual Board election. A motion was made, seconded, and a poll vote was conducted amongst members in good standing to re-elect Robert Acton, Michelle Henry, Kamesh Moola, and Jo-Ann Yoo and elect three new members--Alejandra Duque Cifuentes and Joanne Smith--to the Nonprofit New York Board. Nonprofit New York’s full Board of Directors is listed here.


Anna Glass from Dance Theater of Harlem, Margarita Guzman from Violence Intervention Program, and Marlon Williams from Philanthropy New York joined Jenn Ching from North Star Fund to discuss how nonprofits could harness our power and move into recovery for the sector.

  • The nonprofit sector drives the economy, is critical to the city’s safety net, and will be essential to the city’s recovery.
  • We don’t just want a seat at the table, we want to be part of the decision-making process.
  • If we say essential, we need to put resources and respect behind those roles
  • We want to start seeing our legislators checking in with us before introducing legislation
  • Nonprofits need to stand in their power and reckon with it. Then mobilize as a community - find allyship (it’s about us, not about me)
  • Think about how to create a bridge between the coalition and your network that may not be involved.
  • Think about and decide what you are willing to risk.


Visit our webpage to stay updated on news, events, and resources. Please continue to share your stories with us on how you’re innovating, collaborating, and responding so that we can uplift the great work the nonprofit sector is doing to stay strong.