Omega Plays Leading Role in Helping Nonprofits Leverage Impact
RHINEBECK, NY – According to the Nonprofit Finance Fund's annual survey of more than 1,900 nonprofit leaders in markets nationwide, there is a rising demand for nonprofit safety net services and a lack of adequate resources to meet the needs of society's most vulnerable. It is against this backdrop that Omega Institute today announced that, for the 7th year in a row, it will award grants to 27 nonprofit peers, allowing them to attend Service Week, a one of a kind, free strategic planning and networking retreat on Omega's 195-acre Rhinebeck campus.
"For nonprofits to survive in this economy, we have to collaborate and leverage our resources and networks. In the face of scarce resources, strategic planning and networking are often the first things to go," said Carla Goldstein, chief external affairs officer and director of the Women's Institute at Omega. "At Omega we are committed to helping preserve the nonprofit safety net, which is threatened by continual underfunding and increased need. Our grants recognize the power of collaboration and allow organizations to come together for the greater good."
During Service Week 2011, May 30–June 3, nonprofits representing a broad spectrum of local, statewide, national, and global issues, will attend two-day, two-night organizational retreats that include free room and board, a private meeting space, and use of all the facilities at Omega. Service Week is funded in part by a grant from the Dyson Foundation, and all grantees are offered a consultation with Omega's partner, the New York Council of Nonprofits, at an on-site Nonprofit Wellness Clinic.
"These are extremely challenging times for nonprofits as service demands and needs are high, resources down, and public policy in flux. Omega's Service Week, including the Women's Summit, offers a tremendous and unique opportunity for the grantees to meet their organizational challenges through reflection, teamwork, planning, and networking," said Doug Sauer, chief executive officer of the New York Council of Nonprofits.
During the first half of Service Week, organizations representing work being done in the fields of human services, the arts, political activism and cultural support will gather. During the second half of Service Week, the Women's Institute at Omega is piloting a program called the Women Serving Women Summit. All grant recipient organizations coming for the Summit work toward women's empowerment locally, nationally, or globally.
"We are very pleased to be offering the Women Serving Women Summit for the first time during Service Week. At this time in history, bringing the organizations together who are working to help lift women's lives can play a pivotal role in creating a more cohesive effort to bring about greater equality and justice," said Goldstein.
Grantee organizations can utilize the time to develop strategic plans, cultivate relationships among their board members and with other nonprofits on campus, re-engage with their mission statement, deepen staff cooperation, and enjoy some much needed peace and relaxation.
"The Hudson Valley Resource Center for Sustainable Communities took form at Omega through time spent together by representatives of county planning, local and state government, and regional NGOs. The focused, facilitated work sessions, in the conducive space, brought clarity and buy-in to shared goals," said Melissa Everett, executive director of Sustainable Hudson Valley. "These working relationships and programs have continued to solidify. The partners collaborated on an initial federal grant, which was not successful but will be resubmitted based on further insights gained. This coming summer, the Resource Center's first public offering will be held at Omega, a Master Class called Placemaking in a Changing Climate," concluded Everett.
Omega is pleased to award 2011 Omega Service Week retreat grants to the following organizations, which are actively engaged in creating a more compassionate and sustainable world:
- 2020: Project Women
- Artists Striving to End Poverty
- Children's Law Center
- Children of Promise, NYC
- Civil Liberties & Public Policy Program
- Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess County
- Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County
- Dutchess County Community Action Agency
- Girls Inc. of NYC
- Grace Smith House
- Literacy Connections
- Mind Builders Creative Arts Center
- Ms. Foundation for Women
- National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum
- Network Support Services
- New York City Community Garden Coalition
- Paley Center for Media
- Pathfinder International
- RightRides for Women's Safety
- Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center
- Somos la Llave del Futuro
- Sustainable Hudson Valley
- Teen Voices
- Urban Atabex
- Women for Women International
- Women Make Movies
- Women's Venture Fund
For more information about Omega's annual Service Week event and the grant program, please contact Marta Szabo, at 845.266.4444, ext. 403, or by email at MartaS@eomega.org.
About Omega Institute for Holistic Studies
Founded in 1977, Omega Institute for Holistic Studies is the nation's most trusted source for wellness and personal growth. As a nonprofit organization, Omega offers diverse and innovative educational experiences that inspire an integrated approach to personal and social change. Located on 195 acres in the beautiful Hudson Valley, Omega welcomes more than 23,000 people to its workshops, conferences, and retreats in Rhinebeck, New York, and at exceptional locations around the world. eOmega.org