The Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber's January 2022 Nonprofit Newsletter
The Nonprofit Committee brings you a newsletter once a month that focuses specifically on the issues confronting nonprofit organizations including an educational article and an article highlighting a Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber member nonprofit.
Broaden Your Community Connections

by Mary F. Foster

Some words of wisdom from Cynthia Knox, the CEO of CHHOP (Caring for the Hungry and Homeless in Peekskill), at the Nonprofit Committee’s November Networking lunch, “As you launch your 2022 fundraising plans, don’t miss the opportunity to reinvigorate your community connections and lift your organizations’ profile."
Cynthia shared some real world examples of how collaborations helped CHHOP broaden its reach into the community and with funders. These simple 10 steps might work for you.

1. Looking for collaborators? Think out of the box. Showcase your organization alongside collaborators’ organizations. So it your mission is alleviating hunger, working with Feeding Westchester and the School District can build a bridge from resource provider to those in need.

2. Who else touches your constituents? How do you partner together? Families in need, single adults and senior citizens may be served by schools, churches and community groups. Finding those organizations and developing a cohesive pipeline from resource provider to service providers not only streamlines getting food to people but builds a strong network among service providers. This network raises the profile of each organization to the funders and to the community.

3. What’s in it for you and them? If you can help serve more people as a group then going it alone and if the administrative burden is shared among several organizations, then it’s a win-win for everyone. The side benefit is that each organization makes new connections, taps into new pools of volunteers and can think about other collaborations that can work.

4. Quick impactful actions have an impact. New collaborations allows for new ideas and new ways to relaunch old activities. Keep the activities focused and quick. This year’s Turkey Trot was launched by CHHOP rather than a community group, and its outreach was amplified through the various organizations with which CHHOP had been collaborating. What a huge success. The core event also morphed into side fundraising activities with the Farmers Market and the Chamber of Commerce. Collaborations that can be capitalized upon next year.

5. Don’t forget the publicity. We all have limited publicity budgets, but old fashioned flyers in community gathering places still catch the eye and flyers shared through Clubs and social organizations are more targeted than blanketed social media. This type of targeted publicity gets out participants. It also raises funds.
6. Pick an element of your mission to elevate…what means the most to people in this challenging environment; what can people relate to? Every organization carries out multiple purposes. CHHOP picked hunger as a collaborating platform this year. It worked. It helped to raise more money and feed more people.

7. Stories and anecdotes are nice, but they need to be impactful and to connect across several demographics. We all read fundraising letters and see heart felt stories, but a picture saves a thousand words and simple statistics deliver a punch. Pictures of food lines, pictures of a truck full of donated turkeys, a picture of donated fresh produce purchased by customers at the Farmers Market, pictures of food distribution caravans at the schools…they all tell the story. The simple as is “What can you do to help the percentage of our population that is food insecure?”

8. Follow up in-person interviews, videos, or events with eye-catching and compelling print materials. Build your collaboration campaign for the second year by capturing video and interviews of your first year activities. Capture the spirit of your activities with pictures that make compelling print materials. Plan ahead, think about how you can expand your collaboration and keep your collaborators in the loop.

9. Amplify your message with many megaphones. The beauty of partners is that they all have constituents and donors. Spreading the word of your joint activities through each organization’s network amplifies the message. It also helps to surface other interested parties.

10. Form an army. Finally, marshal the volunteers and staff of each organization to strongly connect to the vision and mission of the collaboration. It might be only a small part of each organization’s broader mission, but it is an intersection point and can attract new volunteers. Sometimes a sliver of one organization’s mission is the sole focus of a volunteer group effort that can grow with some nurturing.

Here’s hoping that your fundraising and profile raising strategies for 2022 bring you unique opportunities to grow your organization and deepen your community connections.
Mary F. Foster is a member of the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce Nonprofit Committee; Vice President of the Peekskill Rotary Foundations Board; Treasurer of The Field Library Board; a founding member of HVH2O; and a retired partner from Deloitte, an accounting and consulting firm. 
To request that your nonprofit be featured in this newsletter, please contact Lynn Amos at
To request an article about a
specific topic, please contact
Lucille Geraci-Miranda at
Featured Organization: HOPE for Youth Foundation

by Justin Wingenroth
Well…we’re a few weeks into 2022 – and if you know HOPE for Youth Foundation, you’ve been diligently checking your Hudson Valley Weather Calendar with Jim Witt’s Long Range Forecasts. Since 1986, HOPE for Youth Foundation has been using this calendar as one if its most successful fundraising campaigns with all of the monies received going to help their cause – helping children.
The HOPE for Youth Foundation’s mission is simple: raise money for local charitable organizations in the Hudson Valley to help support ill, disabled, and disadvantaged children. Originally founded by Gary Pease, former owner of WHUD/WLNA radio, and Jim Witt, former owner of Fleetweather Inc. and former educator, the organization is still under the direction of Mr. Witt along with a board of approximately 17 members. During their 36 years, the Foundation has distributed over 5.25 million to almost 40 individual organizations including Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Hudson Valley, Gilda’s Club, Camp Horizons Inc., Friends of Karen, and many others.
Not only does the foundation distribute funds to organizations, but it also provides annual scholarships every June to seven graduating seniors from area schools who have demonstrated outstanding scholarship, effort and service to school and community.
In addition to their calendar sales, HFYF raises funds through a variety of other events. Through the efforts of HOPE for Youth Foundation Board members, the Rotary Club of Peekskill and hundreds of sponsors they also hold an annual Golf Outing ~ mark your Long-Range Weather calendars for Monday, June 6, 2022. In addition, HFYF sponsors an annual boat ride on the Hudson River (usually in September) and in the past has hosted a 5k run/walk. Due to CoVid, the run/walk hasn’t happened recently, but looking forward to its return in the future.
The pandemic has been trying times for many organizations, but HFYF has survived because of the many supporters of the calendars, the generous donations of many corporations and private citizens, and the hard work of the Board of Directors.
HOPE for Youth Foundation is unique because they are a totally volunteer organization with little to no administrative overhead. While it relies on the dedication of its board and the many volunteers who support the foundation, it is clear that their function is simple: Raise Money to Support Children.
If you’d like to learn more about HOPE for Youth Foundation or make a donation to help them help children, please visit their website.
Justin Wingenroth is a member of the Chamber's Nonprofit Committee and is Owner/Director of The Dance Conservatory. Read more about his services at:
Join us on January 25th via Zoom
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Mary Lee is a second-generation Chinese American who grew up in Brooklyn and earned a BA from Brooklyn College, where she was an award-winning photographer. She went on to receive a Systems Engineering Certificate and became an entrepreneur in the computer technology field since the 1990s and founded a full-service IT firm specializing in working with nonprofit organizations. An avid sportswoman, Mary played USTA Team tennis and reached the National USTA Championship Tournament. She was voted Captain of the Year by rival Captains. Enjoys kayaking, hiking, and bowling. 
Tuesday, February 22,2022, 9 - 10 am
VIRTUAL Coffee & Conversation with
Deb Milone who will outline the various resources available to nonprofit Chamber members, particularly the marketing and social media benefits.
Tuesday, March 22, 2022, 9 - 10 am
VIRTUAL Coffee & Conversation with
Jeanette Gisbert, Executive Director of Volunteer New York will present in conjunction with gearing up for Volunteer Appreciation Month which is in April. 
Tuesday, April 26, 2022
LIVE Evening Mixer
Details to come
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
LIVE Breakfast Networking meeting and tour at Ronald McDonald House in Valhalla.
Do you have expertise to share with other nonprofits? Ask us about writing an educational article for this newsletter!

Please contact Lynn Amos with your ideas at
Would you like to host an event for your nonprofit colleagues at your facility once COVID restrictions are lifted?

Please contact please contact Lucille Geraci-Miranda at
Follow the Chamber's Nonprofit Committee on Facebook:
The Chamber’s Nonprofit Committee provides meaningful opportunities for nonprofit staff, managers and board members to come together to collaborate, and embrace the importance of growth and sustainability. The Committee serves as a resource for ongoing professional development and as a forum for sharing best practices.

Committee Chairperson
Lucille Geraci-Miranda
Geranda Projects

Committee Members
Lynn Amos, Fyne Lyne Ventures
Ivy Fairchild, Landmark Consultants
Mary F. Foster, HVH2O and The Field Library
Chereese Jervis-Hill, Events To Remember
Tim Warn, Civic Member
Justin Wingenroth, The Dance Conservatory