The Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber's March 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.
Let Us Help You Get the Word Out!
Is your organization having a Gala? Fundraiser? Volunteer Recruitment Day?
Chamber member nonprofits please contact us
so we can publicize your event in this newsletter.

Giving Back
Through Volunteerism
The Gift of Time

by Lucille Geraci Miranda, MPA

It is so important to give back to one’s community, and as nonprofits and those that work with nonprofits, we know how true this is. A fantastic way to give back is through volunteerism, a gift of your time.
Volunteering can be extremely rewarding, but it’s important to choose a nonprofit organization whose mission totally sparks your passion. You want to make a difference in the cause in which you believe.
Think about what you enjoy, what you love to do and what sparks your passion! Is it education, music, art, nature, the homeless, kids?   There are so many wonderful nonprofit organizations right here in the Hudson Valley – right within our reach. 
There are many ways to give back through volunteering. That can be to simply "roll up your sleeves" and distribute food for the homeless, help to clean up your local park, volunteer your time at the local hospital, or the library. Or, you can use your business sense and consider joining a nonprofit board committee or the board itself. These volunteer roles run the gamut from helping to run a special event to chairing the board of the organization. 
The nonprofit sector, also known as the independent sector, the third sector, or the philanthropic sector, is fueled by donations and by volunteerism – a gift of time.
Whether you’re giving a financial gift or a gift of your time, volunteerism is about helping others. The reality is that most people who volunteer get something out of the experience for themselves as well. For some, it an opportunity to explore a potential vocation or career path before committing to that path. For the mature, it’s a way to put well-earned wisdom and expertise to good use. And for those somewhere in the middle, the benefits of giving back can be as numerous as the volunteer opportunities themselves.  
But, before becoming involved with a nonprofit organization, a potential volunteer needs to embrace the ideal of a philanthropic culture. This means that everyone in the organization ... the staff, the volunteers and the board ... understand that philanthropy is critical to organizational health AND that everyone has an active role in the process. It is also an attitude, an understanding, a behavior. How can your involvement make a difference?   
Volunteerism takes you to places you have never been before. Without volunteers – board members, committee members, those on the front line – nonprofits would not be able to survive. Volunteers full a critical gap in service. 
Because of the career path I have had – with Con Ed working with hundreds of nonprofits in NYC and Westchester through its corporate giving program, serving on the staff of various nonprofit organizations in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, and now through my consulting work with nonprofit organizations, I have come to fully understand what is meant by giving back and know that helping others is truly personally gratifying. As a Chamber Foundation Board Member and Chair of the Chamber’s Nonprofit Committee, volunteering my time is indeed personally gratifying! 
Back in 2017, I heard a quote from Eli Manning when he accepted his honor as co-winner of the Walter Payton “Man of the Year” Award:
“My commitment is to help sick kids. Their struggle isn’t easy, but their spirit, their laugh, their smile, and their belief that everything will be okay continually amazes me and hurts me at the same time. If we and the NFL and others in our communities commit to step in, we can lessen that struggle, ease that hurt, spark that hope. I challenge everyone here to help some person in need. You choose. But go out of your way to make a difference in someone’s life. I promise you, it’s worth it.”
National Volunteer Month is coming up in April. It gives us the opportunity to recognize the importance of volunteerism. If you are not a volunteer, now’s the time to consider this service. As a nonprofit organization, think about how you can celebrate your volunteers. Perhaps you can gather for breakfast or a for a ZOOM lunch! Think about celebrating them on social media showing posts and sharing what your volunteers have done. 
With that, be sure to join the Nonprofit Committee’s virtual “Coffee and Conversation” on March 22 at 9 am. Our special guest will be Jeanette Gisbert, the Executive Director of Volunteer New York and she will share how we can gear up for National Volunteer Month! The sky’s the limit!
Geranda Projects is ready to offer its vast, integrated experience to help nonprofits create a strong foundation and inspire them to reach their greatest potential, straight from the heart of their mission.
Expert services include strategic planning, board development and enrichment, building organizational capacity, annual budget analysis and assessments, fund development planning, one-on-one coaching and educational workshops tailored to meet the organization’s needs.
Lucille Geraci-Miranda, M.P.A. serves on the Board of the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber Foundation, chairs the Chamber’s Nonprofit Committee and is President and Founder of Geranda Projects – Management Consulting for Nonprofits. Read more about her services at:
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
Join us on Tuesday,
March 22nd via Zoom
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
JEANETTE GISBERT joined Volunteer New York! in 2010 and became Executive Director in July 2020 after serving as an Executive Fellow for Capacity Building and Networks with Points of Light. In her previous role as Deputy Executive Director, Jeanette focused on mission delivery, overseeing programmatic strategy and cohesion and supporting revenue generating specifically related to corporate outreach. Previously, Jeanette was New York Cares' first Director of Volunteer Relations, responsible for the recruitment and management of thousands of volunteers and hundreds of volunteer leaders. Jeanette started her career as an Americorps VISTA member. She holds a BS in Management from Boston College and her Masters in Public Administration from CUNY Baruch. She is a Westchester native and lives in Cortlandt Manor with her husband and son.
Featured Organization: Greater Hudson Valley Council, Boy Scouts of America

by Lynn Amos
In January of 2021 the Greater Hudson Valley Council was formed by merging the Westchester-Putnam Council (Westchester and Putnam counties; est. 1973) with the Hudson Valley Council (Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan and Pike counties; est. 1996).
The mission of the Greater Hudson Valley Council, Boy Scouts of America is to deliver the highest-quality, values-based youth program of character development and leadership training, based upon the precepts embodied in the Scout Oath and Law, and to prepare their young people to make ethical decisions in order to reach their full potential and to better serve their family, community and country.
Cub Scouts: For boys and girls 6–10 years old or Grades K-5, Cub Scouting is the foundation of the organization and involves the whole family as parents pitch in to plan and deliver activities.

Scouts BSA (formally Boy Scouts): For boys and girls 11–17 years old, this is the traditional Scouting experience. While there's guidance from experienced leaders, Scouts BSA Scouts take their own lead, exploring places they've never been as they dive into the rugged world of outdoor adventure.

Venturing: Venturing is a coed program for young adults ages 13 (and have completed the 8th grade) through 20. Venturing’s motto, “Lead the Adventure,” reminds Venturers to always pursue life in the spirit of adventure.

Exploring: Exploring serves two different age groups, both coed. Explorer Clubs serve middle schoolers, aged 10–13, in sixth through eighth grades. Explorer Posts serve older youth 14–20 years old. The program model is the same for both age groups — hands-on and interactive character and career activities are facilitated by trained business leaders in the local community.
The current volunteer Board is made up of 47 individuals representing each of the seven counties served and many different businesses and trades. Plus there are nine full time staff members, one part time, and three full time camp Rangers.
The Council is grateful for the hundreds of volunteers who help make the programs possible — including Unit Leaders, Merit Badge Counselors, Committee and District volunteers.
COVID was a challenge for the Council – as it was for many program-based nonprofits. Units were not able to gather in-person for 16 months which negatively impacted the retention of Scouts, especially Cub Scouts. That loss has implications for the coming years as Cub Scouts move up into Scouts BSA units.

Once the restrictions began to lessen, they were able to offer small in-person programs, meetings, and trainings. These small steps to reopen were the key to making Scouting feel “normal” again.
The pandemic gave the staff an opportunity to truly understand the core functions of running the Council. Working remotely for almost a year and focusing on surviving gave them all a better understanding of who they are, and what their membership needed to succeed.

With this knowledge they have redesigned many of their standing committees and corresponding assignments. They now have strong committees tackling the three foundations of Scouting: membership, money, and workforce, labor, human resource or people power. The Board has also designated a new Strategic Planning Committee to work on the plan to grow Scouting post-pandemic and post-bankruptcy.

Having fewer more focused committees, has enabled the organization to expand its Marketing Committee reach. Ensuring that they promote one message on both the website and social media channels is very important for their brand.
“Every nonprofit works to benefit its community. To truly succeed you must believe in your mission, understand it, and celebrate your little wins. Celebrate what you are doing to help one, ten, thousands of people. Everyone might not support your nonprofit, but those that do have passion. Use their passions and stories to spread your mission and help all those that ask you organization to provide your service.”

Lynn Amos is Principal of Fyne Lyne Ventures, a Westchester-based website and graphic design studio and is President of Top of Mynd Cards, e-cards for businesspeople. She serves on the Nonprofit and Marketing Committees of the Chamber.
Tuesday, April 26, 2022
LIVE Evening Mixer 5-7pm
3436 Lexington Ave.
Mohegan Lake, NY 10547

Complimentary Appetizers, Cash Bar
Non-members: $10
Chamber members: FREE
Watch for registration information.
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
LIVE Breakfast Networking meeting and tour at Ronald McDonald House at 80 Woods Road, Valhalla, NY 10595
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
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

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
Mary F. Foster, HVH2O and The Field Library
Chereese Jervis-Hill, Events To Remember
Tim Warn, Civic Member
Justin Wingenroth, The Dance Conservatory