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Community Foundations Fill NY Charitable Gaps in 2014

PHOTO: A Kindergarten to Career program that encourages students to explore job options is just one of the funding recipients of the Long Island Community Foundation. The organization says 2014 has been a tough year for nonprofit groups. Photo courtesy of Long Island Community Foundation.
PHOTO: A Kindergarten to Career program that encourages students to explore job options is just one of the funding recipients of the Long Island Community Foundation. The organization says 2014 has been a tough year for nonprofit groups. Photo courtesy of Long Island Community Foundation.
December 15, 2014

MELVILLE, N.Y. – When federal and state funds fall short, someone has to step up and in 2014, charitable donations played a major part in addressing health and social service needs across the state.

David Okorn, executive director of the Long Island Community Foundation, says 2014 has been a tough year for nonprofit organizations that serve New Yorkers because of shortfalls in both state and federal funds.

He says his group works with a variety of donors to help fill many of those gaps.

"The largest impact really seems to be on social service providers and social service agencies,” he adds, “organizations that are providing food to the hungry, housing to homeless people. "

During the largest round of grants this year, Okorn says the Long Island Community Foundation provided $500,000 to 23 nonprofit groups on the island.

Marie Smith heads up donor relations for the Community Foundation, and says immigrant issues have also been at the forefront in 2014.

"The new population that's coming in of unaccompanied minors, the immigrant children that are coming in,” she explains. “Long Island has a huge influx of that going on right now. We're trying to work with nonprofits that are going to address those issues. "

The very first Community Foundation in the U.S., based in Ohio, is celebrating 100 years of service this year.

Okorn says his group is an operating division of the New York Trust, which just marked 90 years of service.

"We spend a lot of time educating our donors, so that they really understand not only the issues, but also which organizations are effectively addressing those issues," he explains.


Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NY