Omega Offers Unique Grants to Nonprofits Hit Hard by the Economic Crisis | Omega

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Chrissa J. Santoro
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Omega Offers Unique Grants to Nonprofits Hit Hard by the Economic Crisis

Omega Offers Unique Grants to Nonprofits Hit Hard by the Economic Crisis

Omega Institute for Holistic Studies awards 29 nonprofits with special grants

RHINEBECK, NY - Nonprofit organizations are being hard-hit by the economic crisis. With dwindling contributions, budget cuts, and rising health-care costs, smaller organizations may be forced to cut staff or shut down. Reduced resources make nonprofit organizations more vulnerable and less able to dedicate time to planning ahead and evaluating organizational health. Yet for the 5th year, Omega Institute is offering help to its nonprofit peers through its Omega In Service grant program.

The Omega In Service grant program's annual Service Week event will be held May 25-29. During Service Week, 29 nonprofit organizations will attend two-day, two-night organizational retreats at Omega's 195-acre Rhinebeck campus. Some of the grantee organizations are bringing representatives from additional nonprofit organizations, enabling this year's program to broaden its reach to more than 80 organizations.

"Omega Institute's visionary Service Week event helps nonprofits meet two levels of need," said Tim Delaney, chief executive officer of the National Council of Nonprofits. "At the organizational level, these unique grants help strengthen the technical ability of nonprofits to meet operational needs, plus at the human level the grants provide valued community leaders a safe space to learn from each other, thereby reminding them that in the midst of the many challenges facing us today, we are not alone."

Nonprofit organizations representing a broad spectrum of social issues on local, statewide, national, and global levels will be given free accommodations, meals, a private meeting space, and an optional consultation with Omega's partner, the New York Council of Nonprofits, at an on-site Nonprofit Wellness and Restructuring Clinic.

"In light of the difficult economic landscape and increasing pressure on the nonprofit sector, this year we are incorporating a Multiple Organizations Track for nonprofits with similar objectives who seek to work more closely together," said Carla Goldstein, director of external affairs at Omega. "Certain organizations applied to attend Service Week together so they could find ways to collaborate and use shared resources more efficiently and effectively."

"The Nonprofit Wellness and Restructuring Clinic provides professional expertise on the specific issues and opportunities impacting each organization's effectiveness," said Doug Sauer, chief executive officer of the New York Council of Nonprofits, and president of the National Council of Nonprofits.

"It will also provide those in the Multiple Organizations Track with an enriched program designed to enhance collaboration opportunities, which could make the difference for some organizations," concluded Sauer.

During Service Week, each organization creates and leads its own program. In the past, grantee organizations have utilized the time to develop strategic plans, cultivate relationships among their board members and with other grantees on campus, re-engage with their mission statements, heal organizational rifts, deepen staff cooperation, and enjoy some much needed peace and relaxation.

"We were able to get away from our Blackberries and the everyday demands of the office, and devote our attention to our very important discussions on the strategic direction of the organization. Our discussions were thoughtful and productive," said Suzanne Nossel, CEO of Human Rights Watch, a participant at last year's Service Week.

Omega is pleased to award 2009 Omega In Service grants to the following organizations, which are actively engaged in creating a more compassionate and sustainable world:

  • Amethyst Women's Project, Inc.
  • Battered Women's Resource Center
  • Beyond Words
  • Center for Constitutional Rights
  • Common Justice
  • Community Voices Heard
  • Crime Victims Treatment Center, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital
  • Earthjustice - Northeast Office
  • Families First New York
  • Girls Write Now
  • Green Chimneys
  • Kingston Land Trust
  • Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County
  • National Council of Nonprofits
  • National Economic and Social Rights Initiative
  • New York Council of Nonprofits
  • New York Legal Assistance Group
  • NY Youth At Risk
  • Orange County Housing Consortium
  • Pachamama Alliance
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Promesa, Inc.
  • Public Conversations Project
  • Sadie Nash Leadership Project
  • St. Ann's Corner of Harm Reduction, Inc.
  • Sustainable Hudson
  • The Women's International Consortium
  • U.S. Human Rights Network

For more information about Omega's annual Service Week event and the Omega In Service grant program, please contact Marta Szabo, at 845.266.4444, ext. 229 or by email at

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.

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