From the Editor

May 2004

 

 

 

Features

 

Testimony:  Joint Ways and Means Committee on Economic and Workforce Development, February 23, 2004, by Dr. Kathleen Schatzberg, President, Cape Cod Community College

 

A Proposal for Fair and Equitable Distribution of State Education Aid, by Demetrius J. Atsalis

 

A White Paper on Affordable  Housing, by Thomas N. George

 

Establishing a  Management Support Organization to Serve the Nonprofit Sector

   Nonprofit
   Sustainability
   Scorecard

   Project
   Sustainability
   Scorecard

 

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The Cape Cod Center for Sustainability 
brokers successful partnerships 
among the Cape's nonprofits.
  

       An important part of the work we do at the Cape Cod Center for Sustainability is encouraging individuals and institutions to be active to "sustain" the Cape within their own existing contexts.  The National Science Foundation (NSF) grant recently awarded to Cape Cod Community College for its renewable energy curriculum-development project is a great example of how the Center leverages the interest, experience, and finances of others so that they can achieve their specific project objectives.

      Clearly, the Center is not responsible for the wonderful achievement that is seen in the renewable energy curriculum development project.  The college has put together a collaboration including area high schools, businesses, other educational institutions (Mass Maritime and UMass Dartmouth), and Cape nonprofits.  

       Nonetheless, the Center was the entity that connected the donor (the president of Cape Wind, Jim Gordon) to the college.  We did so to supplement the efforts underway there that had been framed for us very well by Mary Jane Curran in her capacities as an employee of the college and as a board member of the Center for Sustainability.  

       As college trustees and also board members of the Center, Jeff Luce and I were familiar with state budget cutbacks that posed a real risk to the continuation of the program.   These various perspectives lead me to solicit Jim Gordon and then to connect him with the president of the college, Kathy Schatzberg,  and Mary Jane Curran.  

       Ultimately, the support Jim Gordon provided served as something of a "bridge" loan that has now led to the NSF grant of $350,000 announced May 4.  

       I emphasize that the kudos go to the college staff and the participants in the renewable energy curriculum development effort. One reason I inform you of the Center's role is to highlight the types of situations in which we look to find results from our efforts.  (Another example is the role the Center played in making the recent Volunteer EXPO a great success.)  The second reason is that the more regularly we inform others of our supplementing efforts, the easier it will be to encourage others to work with us to achieve similar ends. 

       There are other results as well that we need to showcase.  The Barnstable County commissioners, for example, with whom we have worked jointly to write and publish the Cape Cod Sustainability Indicators Report -- 2003, and the county Economic Development Council consistently ask me to point out successes regarding the Center and to clarify how their efforts to support us realize worthwhile results.  Two clear answers to this question are the stories regarding the National Science Foundation grant to the college of $350,000 and the high level of public participation at the Volunteer EXPO.  A third example is the Jane Goodall Institute's annual Roots & Shoots Youth Summit, a national conference that was held here on the Cape this year from April 30 to May 5 and was assisted generously by Jeff Luce and NSTAR.

       These examples highlight the fundamental point that we keep stressing -- that individuals and nonprofits can achieve great results if they reach out and connect to others.  Doing so encourages off-Cape entities like the NSF to join in and build upon the successful collaboration. Our premise is that off-Cape organizations support and push programs that show positive directions and defined objectives. They have no interest to come and bail us out of our own problems.

       The role each of us can play in this regard is neither too small nor too abstract.  The story about the NSF grant to the college highlights the power of individual participation and action.  Congratulations to our board member Mary Jane Curran and to the members of the college's renewable energy collaboration who have worked well together to achieve this result.

                                      -- Allen R. Larson            

 

We encourage and welcome feedback.  Please send your comments to larson50@comcast.net.  We'll publish as many as we can.