Founded by Astoria resident Nancy Konipol, she said the goal of the program was for nonprofits to collaborate and work together rather than compete. She started the group after 9/11, but gave up control of the organization in 2008 to a third party. She recently brought it back as a brand new organization.
“When I decided to take back management of NYNonProfit, it was important to me that our meetings were open, processes were transparent and that our mission was clear,” Konipol said. “Real-time feedback from elected officials is equally important.”
While NYNonProfit does not run programs itself, Konipal said the group works to facilitate collaboration between the private and nonprofit sectors to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. She said last week's event was extremely successful and received great feedback from many of the attendees.
Shawn Dove, manager of the Open Society Institute’s Campaign for Black Male Achievement, also spoke at the event, stressing how foundations look to fund nonprofit organizations that collaborate rather than compete.
In addition to efforts at addressing poverty, Constantinides spoke about the plight of ex-convicts, and noted that his district also includes Rikers Island.While being in prison is difficult, he said that adjusting to life on the outside is a big challenge as well.
After being released from prison, many ex-prisoners are dropped off at Queensboro Plaza at 3 a.m. with a Metrocard and very little else, Instead, Constantinides argued, they should be provided with job training, so they can succeed, the councilman said.
“I’m trying to work with good nonprofits to give everyone a better sense of hope,” he said.
Constantinides also said that his district includes more than 20,000 families living in concentrated pockets of poverty, as it is home to several large housing projects.
“The numbers are sobering,” he said.