Nonprofit organizations are vital to the health of a community; unfortunately nonprofits now face critical financial hardships and need help from the community.
As federal and local grants become increasingly more challenging to secure, nonprofit organizations are relying upon grassroot, community-driven efforts to raise the capital needed to meet their objectives. The Urban Institute 2010 National Survey of Nonprofit-Government Contracting and Grants found Florida nonprofits are experiencing severe declines in revenue, projected to continue in upcoming years.
Actions to accommodate for the loss of funding include: a freeze or reduction in employee salaries, drawing on reserves, eliminating staff and benefits, increased lines of credit and a reduced number of programs or services. According to Elizabeth T. Boris, founding director for the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, “nonprofits’ first line of defense was to freeze or cut back on salaries, so their employees took an early hit.” Staff cuts mean limited ability to deliver services. “The demand for services from these nonprofits goes up in a recession, but their resources go down, so they end up cutting staff and adding to unemployment,” Boris said.
The Hollywood Gazette has joined forces with the Seminole Paradise and the Hard Rock in 2012 to network, fundraise and increase awareness within the community. Hollywood Gazette publisher Jennifer Sandomir has organized monthly fundraising events, dubbed “Party with a Purpose,” since 2008. Dave & Busters has generously hosted the Party with a Purpose (PWP) events for the last three years, along with event coordinator Marika Guyton. Their combined efforts have helped make each year more successful. Last year PWP events raised more than $33,000 for 11 different nonprofits. “This year, due to the change of venue and the expansion of the team at the Hard Rock coordinating and promoting the events, our concepts have vastly expanded to involve the community on a much greater scale,” Sandomir said.
At the 2012 PWP, expect appetizers, drinks specials, raffles and additional efforts such as a fundraising flash mob, comedy festival and karaoke-a-thon. Murphy’s Law, Renegade, Bluepoint Ocean Grill, Tequila Ranch and Rock N Hookah have committed to hosting PWP events, usually at 5:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month. “We anticipate doubling what was raised last year at a minimum,” Sandomir said.
“Hollywood Gazette’s Party with a Purpose is an extraordinary charitable initiative that brings awareness to 12 local philanthropic organizations, and it gives us great joy to be the official venue for 2012,” said Susan Renneisen, director of special events at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, “With 12 full-service restaurants and 12 bars and lounges, it was an obvious decision to serve as the location for the monthly mixers, where these commendable organizations will have the opportunity to bring awareness to their mission while enjoying South Florida’s ultimate entertainment destination.”
National, state and local reduction of general-fund revenues means cuts in community development programs, education and environmental programs, mentoring programs, legal assistance, public broadcasting and health. Statewide, last year Florida’s county health departments suffered $30 million in budget cuts. According to findings from the 2010 National Survey of Nonprofit Government Contracting and Grants, conducted by The Urban Institute Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, human service nonprofits have taken the hardest hit by the recession. Revenues from major sources such as government and donations have declined, about 42 percent of human service nonprofits faced a budget deficit in 2009. Private funding and individual contributions are essential to the future of many community nonprofits.
The 2011 Fundraising Effectiveness Project, conducted by The Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute and the Association of Fundraising Professionals, found that for every $5.35 that respondent organizations raised in gift dollars in 2010, $5.54 was lost through attrition, a negative 1.9 percent growth-in-giving ratio.
The first 2012 PWP event will be held at Bongos Cuban Café on Jan. 19 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. to benefit the Hollywood Jaycees. Since 1994, the Jaycees have supplied clothes, food and training to local families. Goals for 2012 include increasing volunteer/membership in order to expand their reach in the community. According to the president of the Hollywood Jaycees, Sara Lavenka, the majority of the funding comes from donations and fundraising events.
The Community Enhancement Collaboration serves the community with such programs as Adopt-A House that helps restore a house to code compliance and a program that donates blankets to sick children at Washington Park Community Center and the homeless. “The fundraising events are very vital for the day-to-day operations of CEC. We have no administration, and with funds being cut from the City of Hollywood as well as government funds, we rely on the support of the community,” said executive director Nadine McCrea.
The Ann Storck Center currently serves 300 children and adults with developmental disabilities through its specialized Residential Services, Preschool Early Intervention Program, Developmental Training Program for adults, and a nationally acclaimed Expressive Arts Program that combines fine art and music therapy. “Funding for programs provided to people with disabilities has been cut drastically over the years,” said Director of Community Relations Elisabeth Glynn. The Anne Storck Center relies on community support. “Contributions from members of the community, foundations and corporations are greatly appreciated,” Glynn said.
CasaBlanca Academy provides children with autism and other developmental challenges an educational setting with unique methods. “Private contributions are integral to our continued success,” said Lizzie Bicknell, vice president of Administration and Development. “We are a small, nonprofit school, and we strive to keep our tuition at an attainable level.” This year, CasaBlanca Academy hopes to raise money for increasing training and technology among staff and families.
The Hollywood Women’s Club is the world’s oldest and largest women’s service organizations, dedicated to serving the community through events like their 2nd Annual Bicycle Project. The HWC Day Group raised money for five bicycles that they awarded to deserving, economically less fortunate youths, based on merit and educator recommendations. According to Day Group Coordinator Hermine Vogler, “They are all children of great need and are all innocent victims of their circumstances.”
Nonprofit organizations interested in being considered for the 2013 PWP agenda, should mail a press kit to 3363 Sheridan St., Suite 209 Hollywood, FL 33021. Visit www.hollywoodgazette.com and like them on Facebook to stay up to date on monthly details. Those who would like to donate raffle items, expertise or talent to PWP can contact Miriam at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2012 Party with a purpose line up includes*
Jan. 19 to benefitHollywood Jaycees from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at Bongos Cuban Café
Feb. 23 to benefitBroward Outreach Center at Bongos Sky Lounge
March 15 to benefit Ann Storck Center at Renegade
April 19 to benefit Russell Life Skills and Reading Foundationat Bluepoint Ocean Grill
May 17 to benefit Humane Society of Broward County at Tequila Ranch
June 21 to benefit Art and Culture Center of Hollywoodat Bongos Cuban Café
July 19 to benefit Gilda’s Club at the Improv
Aug. 23 to benefit Covenant House of Broward at Bluepoint Ocean Grill
Sept. 20 to benefit Community Enhancement Collaboration at Renegade
Oct. 18 to benefit CasaBlanca Academy at Tequila Ranch
Nov. 15 to benefit Hollywood Women’s Club at Bluepoint Ocean Grill
*Dates, Venues and nonprofits subject to change.