Charities looking to raise spirits by ProQuest


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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-
               BY BETH FITZGERALD                     restaurants will cater the food.                             In October, Fisch raised $25,000 for Morris-    dents from 17 local schools took part last year,
FOR A BUSINESS that wants to keep giving to                 Fisch contributes his industry knowledge         town Memorial Hospital at another annual wine-        and judges chose the top three trees; Liberty
charity during a tight economy, it helps to set       and contacts, “as opposed to writing checks,” he       tasting fundraiser, though in previous years, he      House then made cash donations to the art
priorities and stick to what you know.                said. “We want to support every organization we        said, that event has brought in much as $45,000.      departments of the three winning schools.
      So it’s not surprising that Gary Fisch, owner   physically can. But as a business, we can’t write            Jeanne Cretella, co-owner of Landmark                 These are tough times for the economy, but
of a three-store chain of wine supermarkets,          a check for everything. But we can work with           Hospitality, said the company “has not cut back       Liberty House was born in far more trying times.
Gary’s Wine and Marketplace, pours much of            our vendors and coordinate a wine tasting.” It’s       on charitable activities. This would be the worst     The restaurant is directly opposite where the
his charitable energy into wine-tasting fundrais-     only natural for Fisch to promote the event            time — when people in the community need              twin towers of the World Trade Center once
ers. This year, the Taste of Madison, at Fairleigh    through his stores, as his customers form a            help the most.” Landmark owns the Liberty             stood. Liberty House was supposed to open its
Dickinson University’s College at Florham on          ready-made community of wine lovers.                   House restaurant on the Jersey City waterfront,       doors in September 2001; the opening was
March 11, will raise money for the Madison
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