Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Nonprofit Advocacy Efforts

Sue West, President
From the desk of Sue West

What can a government bureaucrat from Connecticut say that would make a room full of NY nonprofit leaders envious?

No, this isn’t one of those light bulb jokes.

Last Friday, Deb Heinrich told the Dutchess County Coalition of Nonprofits about her work as Nonprofit Liaison to Connecticut’s Governor Daniel Malloy. She’s out to change the way Connecticut does business with nonprofits. She wants the state to change from an adversarial “they’re only out to get money from us” posture to a partnership, working together to serve.

What does that mean?

In Connecticut, that means Heinrich has a cabinet-level position representing nonprofits, ensuring that the interests of the people we serve are at the table when money is being cut during these difficult economic times. According to Heinrich it also means some practical money and time saving changes for nonprofits like standardizing and simplifying state contracts and reporting requirements, and redefining how services are delivered. It means breaking down state agency silos so that data can be collected across agencies and analyzed in ways useful for decision making. And, it means community planning to prioritize needs and shape a shared vision for service delivery.

Heinrich has only been in her job since January, but she’s been making things happen in the nonprofit sector for several years as a legislator before taking on this new role. Both the governor and the nonprofits have confidence in her.

So, how about NY? During questions and comments, Representative Mark Molinaro encouraged those of us in the audience Friday to contribute our thoughts to Governor Cuomo’s SAGE Commission. The Spending and Government Efficiency Commission is the governor’s vehicle for introducing change. Not quite the same focus, but we should take advantage of any opportunity we have.  Governor Cuomo's SAGE Commission has been tasked with improving the efficiency and quality of government services.  They have just launched a website through which the public is invited to make suggestions:<> .  Please share your ideas with the Commission!

I’m getting my thoughts together. How about you?

All the best,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Tell us what you think, please.