Capacity Building; .ORG Sale; Road Race; Grants Won, Available

November 26, 2019 — Mass Cultural Council launches nonprofit Capacity Building Network... Nonprofits protest proposed sale of registry responsible for .ORG names... YMCA of Metro North raises $25K via road races... Father Bill’s & MainSpring Ameriprise gets grant from Ameriprise Financial... Grants available to nonprofits looking to help ensure a fair census count.

Mass Cultural Council Launches Nonprofit Capacity Building Network

The Mass Cultural Council recently announced the launch of the Capacity Accelerator Network (CAN), a systematic capacity building capability for nonprofit organizations. During 2020, the new capability will provide:
  • Specially designed workshops to help CAN organizations create customized outputs and help create their own sustainability outcomes.
  • A financial stipend for participating organizations.
  • Business model and capitalization consultants who will provide one-on-one assistance to selected organizations.
  • Curated peer advisor relationships with other nonprofits that have faced similar sustainability challenges and were successful in overcoming them.
  • A 20% overall increase to FY20 unrestricted operating support grants. Initial work with CAN organizations have, among other achievements, enabled participants to more fully engage board and staff are on conversations around vision, mission, equity, and sustainability; develop new business model and capitalization structure plans; create emergency preparedness, leadership transition, and succession plans; and new procedures to help budget managers better understand revenue and expense forecasting and financial management.

Nonprofits Protest Proposed Sale of Registry Responsible for .ORG Names

More than 7,000 nonprofits nationally, including in Massachusetts, have joined an effort aimed at blocking the sale of the Public Interest Registry (PIR), which is responsible for assignment of.ORG web domain names, to a private equity firm.

Many are concerned that the sale could lead to higher registration fees and policies that could be harmful to the more than 10 million with registered .ORG domains, primarily owned and operated by nonprofit organizations.

Earlier this year, the governing body overseeing .ORG domain rights, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), unilaterally removed the price-hike cap of no more than 10 percent annual increase for a .org domain, which made the purchase of the PIR more attractive to venture investors, according to Rick Cohen, chief operating officer of the National Council of Nonprofits.

The existing ICANN agreement with PIR prohibited PIR from charging more than $8.25 per domain per year with annual price increases of no more than 10%. Registrars can add their own fees on top of this base amount, but competition among registrars reportedly helps keep those added fees down.

YMCA of Metro North Raises $25K via Road Races

The YMCA of Metro North, which has sites in Lynn, Melrose, Peabody, Saugus, and Stoneham, concluded its annual road race season last weekend, raising nearly $25,000 for the LiveSTRONG at the Y program at the Torigan Family YMCA in Peabody.

"LiveSTRONG at the Y has been a life changer for adult cancer survivors who want to reclaim their health and return to normal life. It provides a supportive community where participants can improve their strength and overall wellness," said Rob Lowell, executive director of the Torigian Family YMCA, quoted in The Patch. "We are very grateful to the more than 400 people who came out to support this event and helped us widen the circle of support for the cancer survivors in the program."

Father Bill’s & MainSpring Ameriprise Gets $15K from Ameriprise Financial

Father Bill’s & MainSpring (FBMS), a Brockton-based provider of services to prevent and end homelessness in southern Massachusetts, today announced it received a $15,000 grant from Ameriprise Financial in support the organization's food, shelter, and housing programs, which help nearly 7,000 people annually meet their basic needs across the region.

“We need this continued support from philanthropic companies like Ameriprise now more than ever,” said John Yazwinski, FBMS president. “As the cost of housing in Massachusetts continues to rise, it’s crucial that we continue to receive such generous support so that we can keep individuals and families off the streets, out of the cold, and on a path towards stable housing, better health, and self-sufficiency.”

FBMS’ food programs, based in its emergency shelters for individuals in Quincy and Brockton, served nearly 260,000 free, healthy meals to guests and community members struggling with food insecurity last year. The agency’s emergency shelters for individuals and families serve nearly 3,000 people annually.

Grants Available to Nonprofits Looking to Help Ensure a Fair Census Count

The Massachusetts secretary of state recently announced a new statewide competitive grant program, called the Complete Count Grant Program (CCGP), aimed at ensuring a complete and accurate count in the 2020 Census. A total of $2.5 million has been made available.

Funding will support outreach efforts in communities that are at significant risk of being undercounted. At-risk communities considered to have hard-to-count, including, but not limited to: Immigrants (including undocumented residents), populations speaking limited to no English, residents in "group quarters," children under the age of 5, renters and those who move frequently, people with low incomes, formerly incarcerated persons, and people with disabilities.

Projects eligible for consideration include those that plan to conduct outreach to hard-to-count populations or provide census information and articulating what key service centers and access points in the community should be targeted to provide such information.

Deadline to apply: Dec. 20. Details.