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#GRANTS: Dell Computers & Dell Foundation Offer Resources For Youth & Environment

msdf logo 300x91 #GRANTS: Dell Computers & Dell Foundation Offer Resources For Youth & EnvironmentDell Computers was founded in 1984 in Austin Texas and it became a worldwide leader in online sales of MSDOS/Windows/x86 computers within a decade. Michael and Susan Dell established their foundation in 1999 in an effort to present their booming company as a corporate citizen. The efforts of the foundation are to multiply the work of Dell’s individual employees:

Being a good corporate citizen is more than just writing a check to a nonprofit and checking ‘complete’ next to your external branding strategy. To make a meaningful difference, companies must integrate the process into its business model, strategically align community involvement with business initiatives and avoid diluting efforts by consciously focusing on areas where the greatest impact can be made. That’s the recipe for success in today’s global market.

If your organization would like to apply for support from the foundation, we have collated some resources to help you get started.

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| Category Advocacy, Affordable Housing, Civics, Community, Environment, Fundraising, Grants, Grants and Funding, Greening, Health, How-to, Low-Income, Major Gifts, Nonprofit, Resource, Revitalization, Sponsorship | | 1 Comments

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#Philanthropy: How to Find and Solicit the Biggest Corporate Donors

Corporate Responsibility graphic #Philanthropy: How to Find and Solicit the Biggest Corporate DonorsIn the midst of the present economic crisis, the debate about whether corporations should have social responsibility to give to philanthropic causes has grown heated. Some argue that CR (Corporate Responsibility) departments actually diffuse problems rather than solve them and corporations should put their resources to better, profit-driven, uses for the betterment of all. Others counter that without a role for institutionalized CR, innovation and economic dynamism are often replaced with market suppression and cronyism.

But the present fact is a number of corporations give a good deal of financial and/or goods-in-kind support for social causes (broadly defined). A list of the top 50 (as of July 2011) can be found at The Foundation Center‘s website. What are some of the ways they give? And how might your organization benefit from their philanthropic programs? Over the next few weeks, we’ll present some of the research pursued to see what can be learned about a number of these 50 programs.

We begin with the top 5.

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| Category Affordable Housing, Banking & Finance, Community, Environment, Fundraising, Grants, Grants and Funding, Greening, Health, Healthcare, Low-Income, Marketing, Nonprofit, Public Relations, Resource, Revitalization | | Comments Off

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#INTERVIEW: Steve Frillmann, Executive Director, Green Guerillas

673.x600.at .urban gardening 200x30012 #INTERVIEW: Steve Frillmann, Executive Director, Green Guerillas

A community garden created by local residents with the help and support of Green Guerillas

This is a repost of an article that originally appeared on the MKCREATIVE blog in March, 2010.

Each month we look at a marketing challenge faced by many of our clients. This month the issue is when, or if, to switch from print to web-based and social media, and we chose to present it through the eyes of one of our clients. We recently spoke with Steve Frillmann, executive director of Green Guerillas, a nonprofit organization that supports hundreds of community gardens (and gardeners) in New York City.

We’ve been working with the Green Guerillas for nearly 15 years, a relationship that began when Marco Kathuria (MKCREATIVE’s Creative Director & Social Media Strategist) volunteered as photographer/videographer for a project working with children to create colorful murals within community gardens in New York City. Out of that relationship came a realization of a “shared DNA” – a commitment to enrich the lives of city residents, one neighborhood at time. The collaboration with the Green Guerillas evolved into the creation of the organization’s graphic identity and communications toolkit. The marketing mix and the strategic direction it has taken has evolved over the years as a result of the close collaboration between MKCREATIVE and Steve Frillmann.

We began our conversation by asking Steve to give us his perspective on how he sees the Social Media:Direct Mail mix for his own organization, considering that converting one’s communications from print to social media channels is all the rage in business and nonprofit circles. But how useful is a great website if the bulk of your constituents visit the Web infrequently, or never? (more…)

| Category Advice, Communications, Community, Cross-Post, E-Mail, eNewsletter, Environment, Greening, How-to, Interview, Marketing, Nonprofit, Permission Marketing, Revitalization, Social Media, Special Series, Sustainability, Urban Farming | | 2 Comments

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Sustainability: The Ultimate Guide To Green Conferences

300px Helix of sustainability Sustainability: The Ultimate Guide To Green Conferences

Image via Wikipedia

Kerry Given, a writer with Green Marketing TV, has published a very useful list of conferences focusing on sustainability and green issues that will take place in 2011.

Kerry writes that, “with [the] many different green conferences to choose from, how can you decide which are most important for your business to attend? Choosing wisely will not only save your business time and money, it will also reflect your commitment to green principles.”

Check out the comprehensive listing here.

 Sustainability: The Ultimate Guide To Green Conferences

| Category Climate Change, Community, Conference/Congress, Environment, Events, Greening, Nonprofit, Research, Resource, Revitalization, Sustainability | | Comments Off

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#Tech: The Apple Mac Mini Server – Part 2

 #Tech: The Apple Mac Mini Server   Part 2Scott Caldarelli returns to continue his discussion of the advantages of the inexpensive Mac Mini Server for your office.

In Part One of my review, I talked about the Mac mini server and how it can provide useful services for your organization. I talked about the built in services that are included from Apple. While they are not bad, there are alternatives to use on the mini server to gain more powerful features.

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| Category Apple, Database, Hardware Review, iDevice, Nonprofit, Revitalization, Site Administration, Software Review, Technology, Technology for Nonprofits | | 1 Comments

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Enviro: Effects of BP Oil Spill Won’t Be Clear For 10 Years

While many of us were reminded this weekend that winter is not over, we also got some stark reminders that the effects of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are not over either. Unfortunately, the debates about the effects of the spill, which began in April 2010 and was not capped until September, fall along rather obvious lines, with BP arguing the recovery is well under way.  And on the surface, it seems to be. But what is out of sight/out of mind? (more…)

| Category Environment, News and Current Affairs, Politics, Revitalization | | Comments Off

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NeighborWorks America Helps Small Businesses Too

Screen shot 2010 12 07 at 22.37.46 150x124 NeighborWorks America Helps Small Businesses TooNeighborWorks America has been helping citizens finance their homes since 1968, when Dorothy Mae Richardson, a homemaker and community activist in Pittsburgh, enlisted city bankers and government officials to join with her block club to improve her neighborhood. That early, grass-roots, endeavor to improve the urban housing of Pittsburgh became the successful model replicated across the US in the early and mid-1970s. Now the organization is working with banks to finance small businesses.

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| Category Blogs, Grants and Funding, Nonprofit, Revitalization | | Comments Off

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Meta-Debate About Mega-Cities (Or Not) Of The Future

WellBeingMap1 150x150 Meta Debate About Mega Cities (Or Not) Of The Future

Yesterday we posted news concerning two multi-family buildings opened or in development in Washington DC and Baltimore. These projects, initiated and funded by a bipartisan association of private- and public-sector institutions, are also meeting the gold standard of LEED Certification of environmental stewardship. The project in Washington DC represents a new model of Section 8 housing that has appeared over the last decade or so – a model that encourages the participation and investment of residents inside and around the building to make the community a success (See also our Perspectives interview with Andrew Vincent and Allison Pendell-Jones with the Baltimore AHC). The one in Baltimore is a broader community project meant to encourage an ethnically and economically mixed community in an environment meant to draw on the conveniences of urban living while retaining the space and modern amenities associated with the suburbs. Today we wanted to call attention to a larger debate about how housing, urban populations, and suburban communities might evolve over the next couple of decades as we recover from the Great Recession. How might we live then?

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| Category Affordable Housing, Community, Greening, Opinion, Revitalization | | Comments Off

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Baltimore/Washington Area Expanding Multi-Use and Green Housing

Uplands MF 150x129 Baltimore/Washington Area Expanding Multi Use and Green Housing

Mockup of East Baltimore Uplands Community

The housing market remains in the doldrums and the legal ramifications of the market’s bubble and collapse remain in the news. Nevertheless, the Baltimore-Washington metro region has seen an ongoing commitment from lenders, investors, and construction firms within both the private and public sectors to expand green multi-family housing. Multi-Housing News Online (MHN) has recently reported on a couple of projects that are moving toward completion, even as gloom hangs over the rest of the market.

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| Category Affordable Housing, Banking & Finance, Community, Greening, Revitalization | | Comments Off

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Smarter Cities: Opportunity For Corporate And Community Cooperation?

I had a late night out last night (No, nothing particularly entertaining to report; just a late night) and had to drive home along much of the length of a major urban road in northern Baltimore city. Twice I sat at red lights for over a minute while the non-existent traffic on the small cross street got its turn. While cursing my luck and tempting my inner demons simply to pass through the lights, I also wondered what the cost to the city would be to have either traffic-monitoring cameras retrofitted to the lights or at least to have a timer that moved the lights to flashing yellow for the main street at, say midnight. Why couldn’t we have a light/traffic system ‘smart’ enough to keep the cars moving wherever possible or necessary? My thoughts were mimicking IBM’s periodic commercials for ‘building a smarter planet,’ of course. Could my impatience and my desire to respond to my better angels both benefit? Am I allowing myself to be fitted into a corporate grid of inflexibility and power?

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| Category Community, Opinion, Revitalization, Sustainability, Technology | | Comments Off

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#Interview: Andrew Vincent & Allison Pendell-Jones of Greater Baltimore AHC

If you’ve ever watched Extreme Home Makeover, you’ve seen the kind of satisfaction one group of people can bring to another by providing them with a home that suits their needs. While the Greater Baltimore AHC (GBAHC) hasn’t caught this kind of ‘extreme’ media attention, they’ve certainly caught the attention of the Baltimore area. GBAHC is part of AHC Inc., a private, nonprofit developer of affordable housing that’s been providing quality homes for low- and moderate-income families since 1975. A subsidiary of AHC Inc., an affordable housing developer in Arlington, VA, Greater Baltimore AHC opened in 2004 to address the need for more affordable housing in the Baltimore region. Today GBAHC has six properties with more than 1,100 affordable apartments.

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| Category Affordable Housing, Community, Interview, Revitalization, Special Series, Sustainability | | Comments Off

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#Philanthropy: Baltimore’s Long Tradition Of Civic Philanthropy Unbroken By Great Recession

PHOTO 5 BALTIMORE SKYLINE 150x1501 #Philanthropy: Baltimores Long Tradition Of Civic Philanthropy Unbroken By Great Recession

Baltimore likes to call itself the ‘City of Firsts,’ which has given it a proud heritage of innovation, civic uplift, and educational creativity. The city has struggled, like so many others on the eastern seaboard and in the upper midwest, with declining industrialization and population shifts to exurbs and to the Sun Belt. And yet, perhaps for the same reasons that such cities have endured such flight, Baltimore has not been ravaged by the housing bubble and Wall Street bailout that have so gravely weakened the economy generally and boom towns in places like Florida and Nevada specifically. One of the striking things about Baltimore, in good times and bad, is its long and deep tradition of civic philanthropy that goes back into nineteenth-century industrialism and continues in twenty-first century online and knowledge-based communities. We would like to celebrate that tradition today.

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| Category Affordable Housing, Banking & Finance, Community, Grants and Funding, Greening, Local/Maryland, Nonprofit, Revitalization | | Comments Off

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Failure In Philanthropy Should Also Mean Learning

8493129662 37429ea89a m Failure In Philanthropy Should Also Mean Learning

Success (Photo credit: teamstickergiant)

No one enjoys failure as an end. Indeed, few enjoy it as a means either. Nevertheless, a failed project or an unsuccessful step in that project can lead to some great insights and some important team building. In the philanthropic and mission-based world, a failure might seem like a daunting lost opportunity or resource that will rebound onto any number of people depending on your organization’s good work. But within this philanthropic world, many are trying to encourage fundraisers and heads of departments to encourage risk-taking and post-failure reconstruction. Not only might the fallout not be as bad as we fear, but the experience might lead to greater opportunities quite soon.

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| Category Community, Conference/Congress, Grants and Funding, Nonprofit, Revitalization | | Comments Off

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Census Information on Baltimore and Maryland Suggest Mosaic, Not Melting Pot

This past spring most Americans took a few moments to complete and return their census forms. The exercise, mandated by the Constitution to ensure proportional representation in the House of Representatives (and the Electoral College), takes place every ten years and has been a part of the socio-political landscape since 1790. Nevertheless, the last three or four rounds of census-taking have become targets for anti-government challenges (mostly rhetorical) who see in it an opportunity for the federal authorities to pry into our privacy. The facts that the Constitution enshrines and prescribes the practice, and keeps all information aggregated and out of the hands of law enforcement, seem of little importance to them. (more…)

| Category Affordable Housing, Community, News and Current Affairs, Revitalization, Sustainability | | Comments Off

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Nonprofits Continue To Buck Jobless Trends (But Don’t Pop The Champagne)

5049258081 50dd4101f7 m Nonprofits Continue To Buck Jobless Trends (But Dont Pop The Champagne)

Business of Software 2010 (Photo credit: betsyweber)

Welcome back from what we at MKCREATIVE hope was only a three-day weekend from your work. The political talk around the long weekend was the hold on the jobless number at 9.6%, despite production and sales numbers that continue to suggest an expanding economy. The reason the numbers for July-August are being treated as especially foreboding is that these are the last medium-term numbers before the November mid-term elections, so the Democratic Party has to live with them while the out-of-power Republicans argue about how little the Democrats have been able to turn the economy around. Rather than delve into the political fray, though, we want to point out that the not-for-profit sector of the economy continues to show a growth that is slightly better than the for=profit business sector. Such contrasts are not significant enough to move overall unemployment numbers down, but they show both the ongoing strains in the economy and the possibilities for the not-for-profit sector to offer both job-creating stimuli and mission-based opportunities to rebuild communities.

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| Category Grants and Funding, Nonprofit, Revitalization | | Comments Off

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Housing post-Katrina: What FEMA Can’t Do, Brad Pitt and Friends Can

Katrina WipedOutHouses1 150x150 Housing post Katrina: What FEMA Cant Do, Brad Pitt and Friends Can

A neighborhood of east New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina

The hurricane was tracked for a week before it made landfall in western Mississippi. We knew it was coming and had ample time to move people out, to board up homes, to store up supplies… Instead, the planning from the federal administration was desultory, and many within New Orleans admitted that they thought they could just wait out another hurricane, even a Category 5 one. None planned on shoddy engineering from the Army Corps of Engineers. When the levees broke, 200,000-300,000 people were driven to their roofs or out of their neighborhoods, and some 1800 directly to their deaths. Though many in fact escaped with their lives, none of their homes survived. None. If the sweep of water did not dismantle them outright, seepage and mold and a couple of years of abandonment ensured their destruction once heavy machinery and big money returned to the city. In the (ongoing) interim?

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| Category Affordable Housing, Community, News and Current Affairs, Politics, Revitalization | | Comments Off

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The Flooding of New Orleans – Five Years On

The print, broadcast, and online media have all weighed in on the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the resultant flooding of over 80% of the city of New Orleans. Most of the reports we have been reading and watching want to tell a story of recovery, and there are many cases of success to be sure. Yet the reporting also shows how much remains to be done, especially in the areas of housing, medical services, and education. How are they faring according to reports?

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| Category Affordable Housing, Community, Media Review, News and Current Affairs, Revitalization, Web and Print | | Comments Off

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#MovieReview: Revisiting Spike Lee’s Documentary “When The Levees Broke”

Screen shot 2010 09 01 at 11.20.18 300x1814 #MovieReview: Revisiting Spike Lees Documentary When The Levees Broke

Five years ago this week, Hurricane Katrina slammed into Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Despite the fact that the worst of the storm was east of New Orleans (by about 100 miles), the largest city in the region received the worst damage when the inadequate levee walls were undermined by the storm surge the day after the eye passed the coastline.

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| Category Affordable Housing, Community, Media Review, News and Current Affairs, Revitalization | | Comments Off

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The Currents Of The Gulf Coast Beat On Beautifully, If Barely

This past week marked the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and its devastating effects on the western Gulf Coast states, especially – and most infamously – on the city of New Orleans. Almost 2000 people died as the hurricane crashed into the Mississippi Delta and then overloaded the dilapidated and antiquated levees of The Big Easy. $81 billion dollars worth of damage, most of it to homes, local businesses, and schools, made it the most expensive natural disaster in US history. Arguably, the costs are still being paid, though, with further degradation of the wetlands (begun by development but, once thinned, sorely beaten by the storm surge) and the ongoing efforts to rebuild New Orleans.

Director Spike Lee went to New Orleans in the fall of 2005 to film “When The Levee Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts,” to document the devastation and give some voice to how and why such devastation might have occurred. He was to return this summer to film a sequel: “If God Is Willing And Da Creek Don’t Rise.” He got more of a story than he planned.

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| Category Affordable Housing, Community, Revitalization | | Comments Off

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Double-Dip Recession Fears Continue To Mute Enthusiasms

Depression Unemployment Line 150x150 Double Dip Recession Fears Continue To Mute Enthusiasms

The Unemployed Await Free Coffee (1934)

We don’t really want to brag about this. We wish we were wrong. But the MKCREATIVE blog was worrying about a double-dip recession before the three-foot-deep snows melted from the double-whammy of Nor’easters born by the eastern seaboard this past winter. The housing market, upon which so much of the US economy depends upon, was considered through the worst of the overextended subprime mortgage fiascoes that had flooded the market. Once the housing market stopped its freefall (leaving aside the political debates about government stimuli helping and/or not being big enough/too big…), the argument went, we could regroup and pick up pieces. Unemployment would also stop ballooning once people quit panicking about the housing market. And now that we are in the dog-days of summer?

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| Category Banking & Finance, News and Current Affairs, Revitalization, Sustainability | | Comments Off

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Giving By Billionaires Getting Some Reflective/Reflexive Pushback

GatesBuffet 150x150 Giving By Billionaires Getting Some Reflective/Reflexive Pushback

Gates & Buffett pledge half their wealth to charity

The pledge of William Buffett, Bill Gates, and a growing number of multi-million and billionaires has received a great deal of press in the last couple of weeks, as Mr. Buffett has made efforts to enlist the super-wealthy from around the world. According to a report in The Washington Post by Donna Gordon Blankinship (5 August, 2010), the giving of the American wealthy could mean some $600 billion in giving. That is double the $300 million given to US charities in 2009. The reception among a number of online established media of such philanthropy has been quite positive, but some considered voices are starting to raise questions about the structural problems that such über-donations might create. Are the challenges valid?

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| Category Banking & Finance, Grants and Funding, News and Current Affairs, Nonprofit, Politics, Revitalization | | Comments Off

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Baltimore Continues To Revitalize Inner Harbor With Residential Park

baltimoreInnerHarbor1 150x150 Baltimore Continues To Revitalize Inner Harbor With Residential Park

The revitalization of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor began in fits and starts as early as the late 1950s by Mayor Thomas J. D’Alesandro, Jr. Though technically a ‘harbor,’ the specific area known as the Inner Harbor was always too shallow for ocean-bound vessels, oven those built in the early nineteenth century. The Inner Harbor thus served as a rump of warehouses and cheap housing for laborers who had to travel a couple of miles east to get to the docks holding the big cargo ships. Almost as soon as the last medium-sized ships stopped coming into the eastern/inner harbor in the late 1950s, work went into finding other uses for the space. The first round of improvements mostly consisted of tearing things down and creating open spaces that could be used when necessary, but hardly grounds (no pun intended) for economic vitality. Rebuilding came in the 1980s, with a focus on tourism and attractions (the National Aquarium, Harbor Place Hotels, a myriad of restaurants, and the Maryland Science Center. Most of this rebuilding was along the eastern rim of the shallow harbor, but housing took a bit longer to enjoy a similar renaissance.

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| Category Community, Greening, Local/Maryland, News and Current Affairs, Revitalization | | Comments Off

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Possible New Role For Pollution Credits: Lowering Runoff Into The Chesapeake Bay

ChesapeakeBay 260x300 Possible New Role For Pollution Credits: Lowering Runoff Into The Chesapeake Bay

The idea for a carbon tax to create a carbon credit market seems politically a dead letter in the current economic crisis, but the idea that credits could be traded for those who are able to achieve stated limits on pollution still might have some influence. A micro-economy has been suggested for the Chesapeake Bay region, with pollutant run-off being the currency that might be traded. The Foundation Center gives us access to a report on how such an exchange might be developed, how it might improve conditions in the bay, and perhaps how it could be used successfully to deal with other pollutants.

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| Category Climate Change, Greening, Local/Maryland, Politics, Revitalization | | Comments Off

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Baltimore Finding Ways To Urban Renewal That Do Not Adversely Dislocate

In so many ways Baltimore spent much of the second half of the twentieth century as a city that snatched defeat from the jaws of victory: A vibrant industrial and trading city with a notable financial sector as well (in the decade after World War II), a city of some 2 million people who enjoyed the second most extensive trolley-car network in the US, a city with a pennant-winning baseball team (Yes, it was that long ago…). But by the late 1960s, the city was riven with racial violence, ‘white flight,’ and the secretly organized dismantling of much of its public transport for the sake of union jobs in a GM plant (now greatly reduced and outside the city). Needless, to say, the Orioles remain comfortably buried in the cellar of the AL East. Fortunately, he most recent efforts to revitalize the city, with the overwhelming input of Johns Hopkins University (disclaimer: the blogger is a graduate of said institution), are drawing support, ever-growing funds, and even praise — all of which deserve our attention.

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| Category Affordable Housing, Grants and Funding, Local/Maryland, News and Current Affairs, Politics, Revitalization | | Comments Off

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#Interview: Bernell Grier, CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City

BG headshot 150x150 #Interview: Bernell Grier, CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City

Bernell Grier, CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services of NYC

The board of directors of the Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City recently appointed interim chief executive officer Bernell Grier as the CEO of the organization. Ms. Grier has built up an impressive resume as a banker having over her career serving as EVP, Retail Community Banking; SVP Middle Marketing Lending; Community Development Director; and credit program co-manager – all before moving full time to NHS of NYC. As COO, Bernell helped steer the NHS offices in New York City’s five boroughs through the rough waters of the collapsing housing market, and has continued to work to expand NHS’s base of donors and projects. We had the pleasure of talking with her on a bright June morning in midtown Manhattan before her full docket of business got under way.

Bernell’s career trajectory is a wonderful example of how preparation and consideration can meet serendipity, as she has moved between the corporate and nonprofit worlds with ease, a smile, and a strong sense of calling to community. Her first job as a teenager living in Harlem, New York, was as a Community Outreach Coordinator with “Neighborhood Board No. One.” She began with a plan to teach mathematics in the very public school system that gave her the good start she enjoyed, so she went to City College of New York for teacher accreditation in education and math. The need for a summer job took her to Chase Bank Manhattan, where her people-skills were already evident enough that she was offered a spot in management training. One is tempted here to say “And the rest is history.” But ‘the rest’ is where it gets interesting.

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| Category Affordable Housing, Community, Grants and Funding, Interview, Nonprofit, Revitalization, Special Series | | Comments Off

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