Turbulent Economic and Budget Times: What Lies Ahead and How Should Grantmakers Respond?

Monday, July 19, 2010 -
3:00pm to 5:00pm EDT
Philanthropy New York, 79 Fifth Ave., 4th floor, NYC
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A Philanthropy New York Members Briefing sponsored by New York Community Trust, New York Foundation, and Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, with Philanthropy Connects.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND: This session is for all funders who want to be updated on New York City and State budgets and discuss how funders might respond.


  • Should grantmakers try to fill the funding gaps created by government budget cuts?
  • Should grant triage be the order of the day? 
  • Can philanthropic dollars be used strategically to influence government actions?  If so, how?
  • And what about advocacy –should we fund more of it . . . or less? 
  • Should grantmakers speak out about budget cuts and share their experience with government leaders? 
While the recession might technically be over, unemployment remains very high and the prospect, at best,  is for a very slow recovery that will keep economic pressure on low- and moderate-income families and their communities. Recession-lowered revenues coupled with the loss of state aid and federal stimulus dollars do not bode well for the city budget currently being negotiated.  The Mayor proposes reducing basic services, freezing teacher salaries, and cutting city funding for everything from after-school programs to senior centers to homelessness prevention.  Albany is in even worse shape, with the Governor projecting deficits totaling $40-50 billion over the next 5 years.  
This disastrous fiscal and economic environment will affect New York families for some time to come.  It also will affect the way we practice philanthropy.  But how?  Join your colleagues to discuss possible answers about the philanthropic sector’s appropriate response to the current fiscal environment.  We’ll begin with a briefing on the city budget due to be adopted at the end of the month, and an update on the status of the state budget. 


  • Doug Bauer (moderator), Executive Director, The Clark Foundation; Vice President, The Clark Estates, Inc.
  • James Parrott, Deputy Director and Chief Economist, Fiscal Policy Institute
  • Susan Stamler, Director of Policy & Advocacy, United Neighborhood Houses