Princeton, NJ – Thursday, September 29, 2016 – The MIDJersey Chamber of Commerce has consistently demonstrated strong interest and paid special attention to the local non-profit community. Non-profits are a catalyst and an important element of the economy. By offering an array of services and programs, non-profits impact the community and provide much needed relief to certain groups. Non-profits tackle the toughest challenges and work to resolve some of society’s most daunting social and economic issues. The MIDJersey Chamber embraces this notion and on Thursday, September 29 invited speaker Nina Stack, President of the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers, to its Annual Social Profit Luncheon.
Nina Stack has a distinguished career in the arts and philanthropic sector. Working for several public foundations and charitable organizations, Stack has lived and breathed New Jersey philanthropy for many years. She asserted that the “New Jersey philanthropic community is different than the rest of the country.” The balance and structure is different and fewer charities are left to support diverse and glaring needs across the community. Stack pointed to the Princeton Area Community Foundation (PACF) as establishing a “footprint of innovation and insightfulness” while upholding its status as a community pillar. PACF has over $105M in assets and is considered one of the most active foundations in the United States.
In addition to PACF, more than 30 Chamber non-profit organizations and 140 total guests were in attendance at the luncheon. Stack challenged each to disrupt the status quo and band together in a time of change and upheaval. The fiscal crisis is one of the largest concerns for non-profits. We must “face our future” and prove effectiveness and permanence, she stated. Collectively, the sector must make the “best impact with limited dollars, staff and resources” she continued. These organizations are businesses and must be treated like a business to function and exist. Stack expressed moderate frustration with funders by arguing that strictly supporting costs of a program is counterproductive and is “a hollowing out” for that organization, limiting its capacity and its reach. The cohort of Chamber non-profits in the room voiced their approval of the statement and collective concern over the times ahead.
Stack forecasted significant changes and shifts in the ways of corporate and private giving. Non-profits will have to adjust and be resourceful and creative with funding propositions. Her advice is to “answer your reckoning” and stick to the guiding principles, values and mission of the organization. Part of her responsibility at the Council of NJ Grantmakers is to “help grantmakers become experts” and “connecting dots” that will bridge divide and influence change.
She concluded: “Philanthropy is the love of humankind and the rewards of capitalism.” It is carved into our DNA and an important part of our character and identity.
“Non-profits are the fabric of the community,” according to Chamber President & CEO Robert D. Prunetti. The Chamber hosts the largest contingent of non-profit members in the State. The Non-Profit Executive Council (NPEC) meets quarterly to discuss issues and topics of concern to the community at large. The Chamber, with input from non-profit members, publishes a quarterly newsletter that details programs, trends and opportunities in the community. The Chamber embraces the local non-profit community and supports their causes through a wide range of volunteerism and civic engagement.
Sponsors of the luncheon included: Ancero, Northfield Bank, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, Allies Inc., CollaborationCore & UIH Family Partners.
About MIDJersey Chamber of Commerce
For 148 years, the MIDJersey Chamber of Commerce has represented and supported the diverse Central New Jersey business community through growth-driven solutions and services. The Chamber unites the region with a common goal of collective economic, social and cultural growth, and serves as a hub for business resources and valuable relationships. Please visit www.midjerseychamber.org for more information.