'If we support the community, they will support us' by ProQuest


[...] it's not surprising that Gary Fisch, owner of a three -store chain of wine supermarkets, Gary's Wine and Marketplace, pours much of his charitable energy into wine-tasting fundraisers. Third-grade students from 17 local schools took part last year, and judges chose the top three trees; Liberty House then made cash donations to the art departments of the three winning schools.

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     Charities looking to raise spirits

   After the state eliminated its $250,000 annual grant, New Jersey After 3 warned it may have to cut after-school programs. Clockwise from left are After 3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Photos by Steven J. Dundas
   cheerleaders performing a routine; After 3 President Mark Valli helping a student with her schoolwork; and students performing a Black History Month skit.

   Nonprofits cut expenses to ride out recession                                   ners is working out a merger with another nonprofit.”
                                                                                        Before his next fiscal year begins July 1, “I may have to make more
                              BY BETH FITZGERALD                                   tough decisions — either shrink our staff or serve fewer kids, or some
   NEW JERSEY AFTER 3 provides after-school programs for 14,000 children           combination of all of that,” he said.
   across the state, but that number may soon be headed for a sharp decline.            The tough tradeoffs facing After 3 are rippling through the state’s
   As the fiscal crisis led the state to eliminate the group’s $250,000 annual     nonprofit community. Charities are cutting overhead expenses as the
   grant, a private foundation, whose endowment was pummeled in the                economic crisis pushes donors to cut back on giving, but they’re also
   stock market crash, also cut the organization’s funding by 25 percent.          going back to their most loyal donors and appealing for extra help to
        Mark Valli, president of the New Brunswick-based nonprofit, is             weather the storm.
   leaving a staff position vacant, has cut back on staff development and               “Nonprofits have to run like a business, and right now they are doing
   now faces the wrenching reality that services to children could be              what a business does in difficult times — going over every line-item
   reduced over the next year.                                                     expense on the budget, and deferring any expenses that can be deferred,”
        An After 3 partner organization that delivers the after-school pro-        said Mitchell Lewis, a partner in the not-for-profit services practice of the
   grams “is closing its doors because they’re not able to raise the dollars       Edison-based accounting firm Weiser.
   to support their administrative costs,” Valli said. “Another of our part-                                                 ➤➤ See   CHARITY on page 20

‘If we support the community, they will support us’                                                                                                                dents to the restaurant during Thanksgiving
                                                                                                                                                                   week to trim Christmas trees that decorate the
                                                                                                                                                                   restaurant during the holidays. Third-grade stu-
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