Nonprofit brings deaf Santa to Manhattan

Deaf Santa does sign language with a child
Deaf Santa does sign language with a child
The New York Foundling

Nonprofit brings deaf Santa to Manhattan

And other updates from across New York.
December 11, 2018

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill that will save nonprofits from a tax increase. The legislation decouples the state tax code from a change made to the federal Unrelated Business Income Tax by the federal tax law passed last year. The action by the governor followed a lobbying campaign by nonprofits, who feared that they would have to pay higher taxes because of the commuter benefits they provide to employees.

“Without legislation, New York would automatically follow the new federal statute,” reads a Dec. 10 press release from the governor’s office, “which would impose an additional 9 percent tax on not-for-profits and divert millions of dollars from the nonprofit sector each year. Today’s legislation will ensure that nonprofit employers can continue to subtract expenses for commuter benefits when calculating the state Unrelated Business Income Tax.”


The Robin Hood Foundation is accepting applications for a training program that helps executives get funding. The deadline to apply to the Grant Readiness and Insights Training program is Jan. 31. Participants will receive coaching and take workshops aimed at helping them obtain grants from “results-driven, evidence-based funders,” according to a press release. Eligible executives will lead social service nonprofits based in the New York City metropolitan area that have annual budgets between $500,000 and $10 million, and have been operational for at least three years. More information on the program is available here.


Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman CPAs is doubling down on some growing areas in accounting. The Bethesda, Maryland-based accounting firm – which has an office in New York City – announced on Dec. 10 that it has hired two new principals to “supplement rapidly growing practice areas,” according to a press release. Melissa Musser will serve as a principal in the the outsourced accounting and advisory services group. She previously worked as the director of the firm’s risk advisory practice. Paul Calabrese will be the principal of GRF’s outsourced accounting and advisory services group.


There is a new chief advancement officer at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. Jane McIntosh will assume the position immediately, according to a Dec. 10 press release. She will oversee marketing and communications at the museum, which last year purchased a landmarked building on West 96th Street and Central Park West for a new location scheduled to open in late 2021. McIntosh previously was a vice president at the Central Park Conservancy and before that, a senior director at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.


The Bridge opened a new supportive housing building in Crown Heights, Brooklyn on Dec. 6. The $2.6 million Maple Street Residence will provide 66 units of permanent supportive housing to 50 adults with serious mental illnesses, and 16 low-income families and individuals selected through a lottery, according to a press release. There will be on-site case management in addition to amenities that include a community room, computer lab, and two outdoor spaces. The New York State Office of Mental Health and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York provided financing for the project, along with low-income housing tax credits from Hudson Housing Capital, which had HSBC as an investor.


The Administration for Children’s Services has awarded a $1.8 million contract to the Police Athletic League. The money will fund a mentoring and advocacy program, according to the City Record. The New York Foundling Hospital received a contract for the same amount to provide similar services. Bronxworks received a one-year, $1.49 million contract extension to provide senior services on behalf of the Department for the Aging through June 2020. Homecrest Community Services received a $100,000 contract from the department to provide senior services. Rockland County is getting a three-year contract renewal from the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to provide housing and services for people living with HIV/AIDS at 50 Sanatorium Road in Pomona.


The New York City-based Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts is expanding. Cleveland and Denver are among the 14 cities and states where a total of $1.4 million will be distributed to organizations as part of the foundation's Regional Regranting Program, according to a Dec. 10 press release. About $840,000 of this money will be sent via other organizations for “grassroots, artist-driven projects.”


The New York Foundling brought Santa Claus to deaf children in New York City. A deaf Santa arrived at a midtown Manhattan event on Saturday, Dec. 8 and spoke to the children through sign language, according to a press release from the nonprofit. The Foundling runs the only foster care prevention program for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.


The Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York has photos to share from its 2018 Best Nonprofit Conference. Here are snapshots from the Dec. 6 event in Manhattan, which recognized eight nonprofits. Safe Horizon was the big winner, receiving the overall nonprofit excellence award for its work to help survivors of domestic violence and their families. The nonprofit also received recognition for its innovative IT work, which includes a customized dashboard for its shelters to keep track of vacancies and support staff across 116 locations in New York City, according to a press release. Here’s who else got awards:

  • The Osborne Association was recognized for its use of data in management and programmatic decision-making aiming at transforming the criminal justice system and its associated human, social, and economic costs.
  • St. Nicks Alliance, for its board that exemplifies how to engage with risk assessment and fiscal oversight to further its mission of helping people of all ages.
  • Literacy Inc., for managing its finances to make sure that grant pricing reflects the true costs of programming that benefits young readers.
  • Grand Street Settlement, for hiring from the communities it serves to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion to help its community-building efforts.
  • Day One, for its human resources acumen, as evidenced by its use of teen leaders and domestic violence survivors to end dating abuse.
  • Education Through Music, for striking the right chord with its communications practices and use of social media.
  • The Center for Urban Pedagogy, for using design and art to promote civic engagement among historically underrepresented communities.
Zach Williams
Zach Williams
is a staff reporter at New York Nonprofit Media and sister publication City & State.