Monthly Archives: April 2015
|April 30, 2015||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Education, Interview Series, Youth Development||
Darelle Porter is a Program Director at Ozanam, Inc., a Pittsburgh nonprofit that provides educational programming, athletic competition, social and cultural activities, and support services to enhance the lives of local youth. Darelle has been involved with Ozanam for 35 years. He is also a volunteer with Cash For Kids – Swin Cash’s foundation that works with youth from the McKeesport area.
Years in the Pittsburgh area:
I was born and raised in Pittsburgh. I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Public Schools.
What was your first job?
My first job after high school was working at Ozanam. I started working at Ozanam in the 11th grade.
How were you drawn to nonprofit work?
I was drawn to nonprofit work to give my children and other kids the experience I had with Ozanam as a youth.
What is the first thing you do each day?
The first thing I do each morning is check my phone for any new messages. My son Darelle Jr. is a freshman in college and my daughter Michaela is a sophomore in high school. My cell phone is my computer, alarm clock, phone book and clock with all the modern technology.
What keeps you motivated?
The thing that keeps me motivated is thinking any kid who walks through the door could have been me 35 years ago. I want to give each and every one of them a positive experience and a place for that to happen.
What is the best piece of advice that you’ve been given?
The best advice I have been given is something my grandfather told me when I was in the 1st grade. He told me in life there are not that many things that are free, but an education is one of them…take advantage of your education so you can live a better life than I have now.
What are you reading?
I am currently reading up on some of the best practices for nonprofit organizations.
What current trend(s) or issue(s) do you see currently affecting your corner of the nonprofit sector?
The current issues I see affecting our program are the difficulty getting funding and getting more parents involved in the program. I think parental involvement is one of the problems that having more funding can address. With proper funding, Ozanam would be able to get a social worker/counselor to establish a safe haven for children and their parents to deal with some of the issues they face on a daily basis. Ozanam would also be able to make dinner available for adults with additional funding that keeps the parents involved. This would allow Ozanam to bridge the gap that is present with family bonding time.
What is one goal that you hope to accomplish in 2015?
The one goal I hope to accomplish in 2015 is to promote the Ozanam brand to more people. I feel if more people know about what we are doing, the more children Ozanam can serve in a positive way.
What is the best thing about the nonprofit sector in Pittsburgh?
The best thing about the nonprofit sector in Pittsburgh is the amount of foundations that support nonprofit organizations. However, there are so many people doing similar things that go after the same funding.
What does Ozanam have coming up?
We have a Youth Leadership Conference on May 27, 2015 at the Ammon Recreation Center at 2217 Bedford Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219.
June 6, 2015, 18U Girls Summer League starts
June 15, 2015, 12U Boys Summer League starts
June 17, 2015, 16U Boys Summer League starts
June 22, 2015, Summer Camp starts
|April 16, 2015||Posted by M. P. under Health, Philanthropy, Research||
This week is National Volunteer Week, a program that began in 1974 by Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service. In 2013, 62.6 million volunteers averaged 32 hours of service each in the United States, with fundraising (25 percent) and the collection/distribution of food (24 percent) ranking as the most popular volunteer activities.
Besides benefiting the organizations and communities receiving these free services – that range from general labor, to tutoring and mentoring youth – volunteerism brings positive outcomes to those who serve. Research from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) indicated a link between volunteering and securing employment, finding that unemployed volunteers were 27 percent more likely to find work than their peers who do not volunteer. A study by UnitedHealth Group and Optum Institute found that participants who volunteered in the last year reported better moods, better health and lower stress levels.
Pennsylvania ranks 26th among the 50 states and Washington, DC with nearly 27 percent of residents volunteering in 2013 – providing over $7.5 billion in service. Just under 70 percent of residents are involved in “informal volunteering,” such as doing errands for neighbors or watching children for a friend. In Pittsburgh during the same time period, 27.7 percent of residents volunteered, putting Pittsburgh in the top half (19th) of the largest 51 Metropolitan Statistical Areas.
Haven’t been able to volunteer this week but looking for an opportunity to get involved? Check out these links to review the volunteer needs at The Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, The United Way of Allegheny County, The Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, and Catholic Charities. A few months ago, Kidsburgh posted an article on places to volunteer as a family. It can be as easy as calling a favorite nonprofit or your local civic organization and asking if they need any help with spring cleanup or an upcoming event. Volunteering is GOOD for you!
|April 2, 2015||Posted by M. P. under Education, Management, News, Research||
With budget season looming, Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children is keeping an eye on the happenings in Harrisburg. They recently commented on the education funding in Governor Wolf’s proposed 2015-16 budget and in February released a brief detailing the state of school readiness among the Commonwealth’s youngest residents. According to their analysis, less than 19 percent of 3- and 4-years-olds have access to quality, public pre-K programs, and 7.5 percent of youth up to age four have high-quality child care. The data briefs on school readiness factors for Allegheny County (and all counties) are also available on the PPC website.
The Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University formed the 74% Project to explore the lives of women leaders in the nonprofit sector. Wage inequality in nonprofits throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania is their current research focus – one that resulted in some interesting data on the salary disparities of male and female executive directors. Their debut fundraiser, “The Great Debate” will be held on Equal Pay Day April 14, 2015 from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. at the Twentieth Century Club in Oakland.
On the other side of the state, nonprofit leaders are, by their own reports, stressed out. A survey conducted by the Nonprofit Center at La Salle University’s School of Business found that half a decade after the official end of the Great Recession, 51 percent of Philadelphia nonprofits are still struggling to bounce back, with little or no economic recovery reported. Of those leaders who reported some recovery, the majority (75 percent) attribute it to individual giving. Long term financial stability and finding the budget to hire additional staff (to meet in the increase for services since the late 2000’s) were the top concerns among nonprofit executives. Exhausted and stressed were the top responses (tied at 22 percent) describing how the respondents felt as leaders, but 19 percent reported feeling optimistic. The complete report is available at the Center’s website.
Pennsylvania Senate Bill 4 continues to be debated in both the press and the Legislature. The bill would grant power to legislators to determine what charities are eligible for tax exemptions through an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution. Rich Lord and Chris Potter of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette look at the impact of this change and why many nonprofits back the amendment in their article Pennsylvania bill debates definition of taxable charities.