By Bryan Troupe, Catalyst Miami Communications Intern
Today's Tip of the Iceberg roundtable discussion, hosted by Catalyst Miami and co-sponsored by Allegany Franciscan Ministries, was informative and thought-provoking. Discussions in the meeting ranged from cuts of federal funding to nonprofit organizations collaborating with one another.
Daniella Levine, CEO and President of Catalyst Miami opened the Tip of the Iceberg roundtable discussion. During her opening she introduced a new program entitled “Nonprofit Leadership and Training Institute.” This program fits squarely in Catalyst's mission, to build individual leadership and strong organizations that work together to improve health, education and economic opportunity in all communities.The program will be launched in September 2011.
Daniella also discussed how the attending organizations need to work together and form a platform for collaboration.
Miguel Milanes of Allegany Franciscan Ministries gave a great quote by JFK: “When the word crisis is written in Chinese, it uses two characters. One character represents „danger‟ and the other represents opportunity.‟ He added, “This is an opportunity today to do something about this issue.”
Here is what some of the other individuals who attended said about the discussion:
“We need to continue meeting like this to bring forward nonprofit organizations--we need to collaborate more.” - Darryll Gaschler of Americorps Alums Chapter
“We need to be our own best advocate. “ - Harry Horgan, CEO of Shake-A-Leg Miami
“Participants had to think about what “real” collaboration is and how we can improve.” - Mario Coryell of NewOrg
The second speaker, Patricia Robbins, is the Founder and Chairperson of Farm Share, Inc. Robbins is the only CBO who had increased funding in the last county budget because of the increased need and tremendous efficiency that her organization provides. However, she was just given a devastating budget cut from the state. She discussed how her foundation has given fruits and vegetables to those in need in cities around the state of Florida, including Miami Dade. Robbins also expressed, “We need to collaborate more to get a share of federal dollars. Our community is hard hit.”Robbins is referring to the state funding for FarmShare and its statewide network of nonprofit distribution affiliates. On May 26, Governor Rick Scott eliminated all state funding for Farm Share, $750,000, half the organization's budget.
“This will have tremendous negative effect on Miami Dade – up to a 50% cut,” Robbins says. The Tip of the Iceberg roundtable discussion gave great ideas for organizations to collaborate with each other in order to make an even bigger impact on specific issues. Attendees will be sure to speak of the discussions with their organizations in the upcoming days.