In This Issue
CEO Message
PSEG Networking Event
RFP: Toys "R" Us
Outstanding Board Leadership Award
Staff Update
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Considering Collaborations?

The new economic challenges we are all facing have given rise to a dramatic up-tick in conversations around building collaborations and exploring mergers. Not surprisingly, when I talk to nonprofit CEOs and board members about their success in such endeavors, the reports are mixed.Don Crocker 


Regardless of the results, our sector will need to learn more about what makes collaborations and mergers work.  We will need to stay nimble, flexible and innovative if we are going to be able to meet the needs of the communities we serve. The Forbes Funds of Pittsburgh recently commissioned research on mergers and collaborations and highlighted the following issues:

  • The primary driver for merger exploration is expansion of capacity to deliver on the mission, closely followed by increased competition and the viability of one of the two organizations
  • Leadership questions are key in mergers
  • The chances for success are heightened when strong ties already exist with a potential partner
  • Although the timeline to complete the merger typically met leaders' expectations, full integration takes much longer to address due to challenges and obstacles resulting from cultural differences

Are you considering a new partnership, alliance or merger for your organization? Take a look at some of the things that are being learned about mergers ("What Makes Mergers and Collaborations Work?" from The Forbes Funds).


Let me know what you are learning. You can reach me at 

Don Crocker

Don Crocker,
Executive Director/CEO
PSEG Networking Breakfast 


On March 1, nearly 100 people attended a networking breakfast hosted by PSEG at its Newark headquarters to kick off the 2011 Professional Development Workshop series. 

The morning was divided into two sections.  During the first session, Support Center CEO Don Crocker facilitated small group discussions focusing on how nonprofits embrace (or don't embrace) current trends in performance assessment. 

Charity Navigator CEO Ken Berger then introduced participants to the organization's updated evaluation system, CN 2.0, and discussed the benefits to nonprofits.  The morning concluded with a lively Q&A session.  Here's a sample of participant feedback:

"We are thrilled to see PSEG taking the corporate lead to help nonprofits communicate with each other, share ideas and learn from each other."

"The information we gain at these workshops and networking sessions are vital for the success and sustainability of the work we do and clients we serve."
Toys "R" Us: 2011 New Jersey Grant Initiative
Toys R Us
The Toys"R"Us Children's Fund has announced plans to award up to $1 million to benefit nonprofit organizations supporting children in New Jersey during the 2011 calendar year.

Through a statewide grant initiative, the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund will help alleviate economic challenges and sustain organizations that favorably impact children across New Jersey, where both the Fund and Toys"R"Us, Inc. are headquartered.

Proposals are being accepted from 501(c)(3) organizations through May 31, 2011 for grants between $10,000 and $25,000; recipients will be announced in October.

For complete information about grant criteria and proposal submission, please visit:

2nd Annual Brooke W. Mahoney Award for Outstanding Board Leadership

Applications are now being accepted for the Second Annual Brooke W. Mahoney Award for Outstanding Board Leadership, presented by Governance Matters.

Applicants should be prepared to talk about how their boards effectively adapted to the "new normal" of 2010--reduced public funding, increased demand for service, and the ever-growing need to show the impact of an organization's services.

The winning organization will receive a $2,500 grand prize.

The application deadline is Tuesday, April 5, 2011. Click here to access the application form.

Staff Update 
Sammi Collidge
We are pleased to welcome Sammi Collidge to our Training Department as the new Program Associate.

She brings a diverse mix of skills, including fundraising, special events, and research, honed while serving as an intern with Amnesty International, American Friends of Beit Issie Shapiro and Mercy Corps. 

Sammi is currently the Vice-Chair of Generation Next, the Young Leadership Board of the American Friends of Beit Issie Shapiro.

For questions about workshops and certificate programs please contact Sammi at: 
917-522-8321 (direct line) or

>>> Training