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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Oct. 6, 200912:00 PM EST

Nonprofit News

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Highlighting Jacksonville’s Philanthropic Community

As our community continues to face a tight economy and shrinking budgets, the Daily Record has established this page that will each week chronicle the efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Bailey Publishing & Communications invites all members of the local nonprofit community to submit news, announcements, success stories and any other information they feel would be of interest to our readers. E-mail to: [email protected].

We also encourage our readers to become more aware of the needs of these worthy organizations as they try to continue to provide valuable services with reduced resources.

Report reveals nonprofit organizations unders stress

The economic recession has caused significant upheaval in Jacksonville’s nonprofit sector causing cutbacks and downsizing, strategic realignments and changes in organizational governance and advocacy, according to a new study underwritten by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund.

Nonprofits have been impacted by reduced contributions, diminished endowments and cutbacks in government funding at the same time that they have seen demand for services increase, the study reports. As a result, three out of four organizations studied have made strategic operational changes. Almost half of the organizations have frozen or cut wages and/or benefits, and one-third have cut staff.

The study, which was released by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund in collaboration with the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida, was based on face-to-face interviews with 78 chief executives of Jacksonville-based nonprofits. The study is part of an ongoing body of work supported by the Jessie ball duPont Fund assessing the state of the nonprofit sector in greater Jacksonville.

“The news is full of stories about the hard times corporate America is facing during the recession, but the nonprofit sector is struggling as well,” said Sherry Magill, president of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. “It is important for Americans to understand that these nonprofit organizations are businesses, too. They have employees and they are part of our economic infrastructure. As they come under stress, their ability to provide the services on which the community depends is compromised.”

During the interviews, CEOs addressed strategic operations, staffing, governance and advocacy.

• 76 percent reported they had made strategic adjustments to their operations as a result of the recession.

• 35 percent reported they had reduced staffing; 46% reported they had cut wages and/or benefits.

• 52 percent reported they had made changes to governance and board operations.

• 59 percent reported they had increased their advocacy with elected officials and policy makers.

“I think we saw evidence of that emphasis on advocacy during the recent budget hearings held by Jacksonville City Council,” said Rena Coughlin, president of the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida. “Nonprofit leaders have realized that our elected officials often under-appreciate the importance of the nonprofit sector, and they have taken on the responsibility of educating them about the role of the sector in community life.”

The study was prepared by KBT & Associates in collaboration with the Department of Social Science at Jacksonville University. Copies may be found at www.dupontfund.org and www.nonprofitctr.org.

The Jessie Ball duPont Fund makes grants to more than 330 eligible organizations identified by Mrs. duPont in her will. The fund has assets of more than $233 million and has awarded $280 million in grants since 1977.

Dance to benefit Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Dust off your dancing shoes and support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation at “Zumbathon” Oct. 25 from 1-3 p.m. at Bolero’s at 10131 Atlantic Blvd. For $25, instructors will teach a fitness master class consisting of Zumba for adults and Zumbatomic for kids. They will also demonstrate a new type of fitness activity. Participants are encouraged to dress in their best 1950s sock hop attire and come learn what the latest workout craze is all about.

Tickets can be purchased at: http://www.zumbaloco.com or by e-mailing [email protected]. All proceeds benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a local organization that is the largest charitable leader in type 1 diabetes research.

New program at Jacksonville Children’s Chorus

The Jacksonville Children’s Chorus, an arts organization for children ages 7-18, is recruiting singers for its newest satellite choir. The JCC’s latest ensemble, housed at Congregation Ahavath Chesed but open to all local children, will provide choral singing and education opportunities, along with a chance to perform. 

“We are grateful to Congregation Ahavath Chesed for providing a rehearsal site in Mandarin,” said Darren Dailey, JCC artistic and executive director. “A rehearsal site at the temple is very much in line with the mission of the children’s chorus. Racial, religious, ethnic and socioeconomic diversity is at the heart of who we are as an organization. We are most grateful to Goldie Lansky, Ali Korman and Scott and Julie Glass for their support in making this possible.”

The Congregation Ahavath Chesed group will be an intermediate choir, open to boys and girls in grades 4-10 from throughout the community. Students will learn fundamental music theory and skills in a fun and joyful environment that will prepare them for performances in the future. Tuition will be charged for participating, but need-based scholarships are available.

Rehearsals will be held once a week at Congregation Ahavath Chesed, 8727 San Jose Blvd., each Thursday from 5:45-7:15 p.m.

The mission of the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus is to provide a high-quality choral music education for children of diverse backgrounds, fostering teamwork, self-discipline, accomplishment and pride while filling an important cultural need in the community and sharing the beauty of the choral art form through artistically excellent performances.

To schedule an audition call 346-1636 or visit www.jaxchildrenschorus.com.

The JCC is also sponsoring a fundraiser Friday night at The Poker Room at Orange Park Kennel Club.

Cocktails will be served at 6 p.m. followed by a Texas Hold ‘Em tournament at 7 p.m. The $125 buy-in includes hors d’oeuvres, draft beer, wine, soft drinks, trophies to top places and cash prizes to winners.

To reserve your seat at the table call 346-1636.

Donning denim for charity

Throughout the month of October, PGA TOUR employees will trade their khakis for blue jeans in support of local charities. TOUR employees will donate $25 to wear their jeans to work with funds benefiting a different charity each Friday. The 2008 Denim Days’ campaign raised more than $4,100.

• Friday – American Cancer Society

Employees will support the “Get a Grip” PGA TOUR team, scheduled to walk in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event on Oct. 10.

• Oct. 16 – Humane Society of Northeast Florida

The PGA TOUR adopted the Northeast Florida Humane Society shelter during the summer, donating funds and supplies. TOUR employees will use the funds raised on Oct. 16 to once again benefit the shelter.

• Oct. 23 – Jacksonville USO

TOUR staff will support the Jacksonville USO’s “No Dough” dinner, which treats military families to a free dinner every Monday. The USO strives to offer not only meals, but also a supportive environment for families of deployed military.

• Oct. 30 – Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Funds collected will benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, which is dedicated to researching cures and treatments for cystic fibrosis, as well as assisting those suffering from the disease. The PGA TOUR will collect for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in honor of three employees being honored at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s “Single Greatest Night” Nov. 20. The event honors outstanding men and women who exemplify leadership, volunteerism and excelled in the Jacksonville business community.

The Players Championship contributes to a diverse group of charities throughout Northeast Florida, living by the PGA TOUR’s mission to give back to the communities in which it plays. Since 1977, when The Players moved to Ponte Vedra, more than $31 million has been contributed to Northeast Florida charities, ranging from health care to youth and education to human services. This effort continues to prove that golf is the official sport of giving back. UBS, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Jeld-Wen are the exclusive Proud Partners of The Players. For more information, visit www.PGATOUR.com/theplayers.

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