Networks of Community-Based Nonprofits – BMe, Citizens Committee for New York City, and the Hispanic Federation – Engage with NFF’s $1 Million “Rising Together” Initiative funded by Morgan Stanley

March 16, 2021

Across the country, neighborhood nonprofits are providing critical resources, connections, and support for communities of color hard hit by COVID-19.  

The networks that support these nonprofits and offer opportunities for community and skill-sharing – BMeCitizens Committee for New York City, and the Hispanic Federation – are uniquely positioned to offer support that will help them weather current crises and build strong futures.   

To respond to member interest in financial management and planning, networks will work with Nonprofit Finance Fund to co-design programs that boost nonprofits’ financial health. To back this important effort, Morgan Stanley has committed $1 million and has partnered with NFF to listen and respond to community-based nonprofits’ opportunities and needs.  

“We are proud to work with Nonprofit Finance Fund and support organizations who are helping those most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis,” said Joan Steinberg, Global Head of Philanthropy at Morgan Stanley. “We have to come together to help those who need it most right now, and supporting nonprofits that provide critical safety net services in underserved neighborhoods is a crucial priority.” 

“BMe is thrilled to be partnering in the Rising Together Initiative to advance our Agenda for Black L.O.V.E. supporting Black people's freedom to Live, Own, Vote and Excel. We will align with like-minded leaders and organizations as a bridge from protests to building sustainable actions that achieve our highest aspirations. Our engagement in this work responds to what Black leaders have told us to emphasize: efforts that prioritize their mental, physical and spiritual health, increase their financial literacy, help them buy and bank Black, remove barriers to voting, end corrupt policing, and expose and promote Black excellence,” said Trabian Shorters, Founding CEO, BMe Community.  

“Passionate, transformational change agents are attracted to their work because of purpose. Nonprofit operational excellence is not the driver of societal change, but it does enable the work. Technical aspects of running an organization can be a barrier to success. We're excited to be a part of the Rising Together Initiative, which allows CitizensNYC to match excellent community leaders to operational practices that will continue to take their efforts to the next level," said Dr. Rahsaan Harris, CEO of Citizens Committee for New York City. 

“We are excited to be partnering on the Rising Together Initiative. Nonprofits are irreplaceable safety nets for our Black and Brown communities, providing much-needed services such as housing, health, education, and other social services.  This initiative will enable us to provide capacity building services that will enable these organizations to continue their important work,” said Jessica Guzmán Mejia, Vice President of Strategy and Program Impact at Hispanic Federation. 

To support these essential groups, NFF will:  

  • Co-design the “Rising Together” initiative with the network partners 

  • Provide tailored financial knowledge and consulting based on community-identified needs identified by the nonprofits in each network  

  • Give unrestricted grants directly to a subset of approximately 30 participating small nonprofits from the three network partners 

  • Facilitate opportunities for participating nonprofits to learn from each other and share knowledge, connections, and experiences with other nonprofit community leaders 

“Recovering from the COVID crisis, advancing racial justice, and mitigating inequities depend heavily on the work of community-centered nonprofits led by and serving people of color,” said Jessica LaBarbera, Chief Business Development Officer at NFF. “We need to show up – with time, money, and partnership – for the groups who show up for so many.”  

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