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At a Crossroads: What's Next for America's Nonprofit Sector?

Foundation Center West

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 from 2:30 PM to 5:00 PM (EDT)

At a Crossroads: What's Next for America's Nonprofit...

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At a Crossroads: What's Next for America's Nonprofit Sector?

America’s nonprofit sector stands at a crossroads. The path it chooses today will have consequences for its growth and development for years to come. This event will provide an opportunity to examine why the sector is facing such complex decisions and what path presents the best possible outcome for civil society in the long- and the short-term.


Dr. Lester Salamon, director of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Civil Society Studies, will present three potential “futures” for the nonprofit sector and the consequences of each as identified in the 2nd edition of his The State of Nonprofit America (Brookings Press, 2012), including:

  • The Status Quo Scenario: Nonprofits continue to emphasize the virtues of charitable giving and volunteering, while slowly drifting toward a greater reliance on commercial support.
  • The Social Enterprise Scenario: The sector trends toward the creation of a new social enterprise or “4th sector” that explicitly merges social purpose with business methods.
  • The Renewal Scenario: Nonprofits engage in a concerted effort to re-think the role and operations of civil society, with the goal of achieving a new consensus regarding the sector’s functions and relationships with for-profits, government, and the public.

Panelists Gail B. Nayowith, Doug Bauer, and Lorie Slutsky will join Dr. Salamon in a vibrant discussion about which of these paths represents the best choice for the sector and those it serves and what it will take to get there. This robust conversation, followed by Q&A, will help to shape an agenda for the future of nonprofit America.


2:30 pm-3:00 pm: Check-in and networking

3:00 pm-4:30 pm: Presentation and panel discussion

4:30 pm-5:00 pm: Q & A


Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies
Dr. Salamon pioneered the empirical study of the nonprofit sector in the United States and has extended this work to other parts of the world. Author or editor of more than 20 books, his works on the U.S. nonprofit sector include: America's Nonprofit Sector: A Primer, the standard text used in college-level courses on the U.S. nonprofit sector;  The State of Nonprofit America, Volume 2 (Brookings Press, 2012); The Tools of Government: A Guide to the New Governance (Oxford University Press, 2002); and The Resilient Sector: The State of Nonprofit America (Brookings Institution Press, 2003).  In addition, Salamon has authored hundreds of articles, monographs, and chapters that have appeared in a wide variety of publications including Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, Voluntas, Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and Nonprofit Quarterly.

Executive Director, The Clark Foundation and The Scriven and Fernleigh Foundations, Senior Vice President, The Clark Estates, Inc.
Prior to joining the Clark Foundation, Mr. Bauer was a senior vice president with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) from 2002 to 2009, before which he held management positions at Goldman, Sachs and Co., SmithKlineBeecham  (now GlaxoSmithKline), and the Pew Charitable Trusts. Bauer’s opinions and ideas on philanthropy have been featured in the Associated Press, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Financial Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Stanford Social Innovation Review, The Wall Street Journal and on CNBC, NPR and PBS.  Doug co-authored, with Steven Godeke, Philanthropy’s New Passing Gear: Mission Related Investing, A Policy and Implementation Guide for Foundation Trustees.  He also is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania and the Columbia Business School where he teaches about philanthropy and the nonprofit sector.

Executive Director, SCO Family of Services
Ms. Nayowith joined SCO Family of Services in February 2011 to provide leadership across the organization’s broad network of health and human service programs in New York City and Long Island. With a dedicated board and expert staff, Nayowith manages a $250 million budget; orchestrates services that create a strong foundation for the future for 60,000 vulnerable children, youth, adults, and families in 115 locations; and, is responsible for developing and implementing a new strategic direction focused on building a 21st century enterprise able to meet the needs of the community at scale. She is a graduate of the Columbia University School of Social Work and served for many years as adjunct faculty at CUSSW, Milano Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy New School for Social Research, and Hunter College Public Service Scholar Program. Nayowith is currently chairing the NYS Medicaid Redesign Team Children's Behavioral Health Workgroup and continues to provide guidance to city and state officials; publish on issues affecting children, youth, and families; speak publicly on matters of public policy, public finance, and nonprofit management; and provide strategic advice to nonprofit leaders and foundations.

President, The New York Community Trust
Ms. Slutsky has been the president of The New York Community Trust, one of the country’s largest and oldest community foundations, since 1990. She is responsible for the Trust’s more than $2 billion endowment and its $150 million of grants.  Slutsky began her career at the Trust in 1977. Starting as a grantmaker, she was appointed vice president for special projects and then named executive vice president in 1987, when she assumed responsibility for strategic planning, personnel and budget management, and oversight of all departments. Slutsky received her BA from Colgate University and her MA from The New School. She is a former board chairman of the Council on Foundations and BoardSource, and vice chairman of The Foundation Center. She is a director of AllianceBernstein Holding and AXA Financial, Inc., is secretary and a board member of the Independent Sector and co-chaired its Panel on the Nonprofit Sector.

Interested in learning more before the event? Check out these resources.

The Resilient Sector: The Future of Nonprofit America
Chapter 1 in The State of Nonprofit America, 2nd Edition examines the possible futures for the nonprofit sector identified by Lester Salamon in depth, and discusses the underlying circumstances that have led the sector to this crossroads.

What Do Nonprofits Stand For: Renewing the nonprofit value commitment
This report examines the values that lie at the core of the nonprofit sector, unease among nonprofit leaders regarding their success in articulating and communicating these values, and a proposed strategy to initiate a renewal or recommitment to these values. Additional materials on this initiative are available here.

America’s Nonprofit Sector: A Primer (3rd edition)
Lester Salamon’s recent update presents in-depth data on the scope, structure, operation, role, context, changes, and challenges of the U.S. nonprofit sector.

Have questions about At a Crossroads: What's Next for America's Nonprofit Sector?? Contact Foundation Center West

When & Where

Foundation Center
79 5th Avenue (at 16th Street)
New York, NY 10003

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 from 2:30 PM to 5:00 PM (EDT)

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