Tag Archives: economy

An opportunity to support Safe Harbors of Nevada


Helping people obtain the skills they need to become productive citizens.

Guiding people to reconnect with personal values.

Providing an enriching environment, enabling people to experience changes in behavior, thinking, and feeling.

These represent the hallmark of Safe Harbors of Nevada…to change lives.

Each year in northern Nevada, thousands of men and women are released from state prisons and jails, with the vast majority returning to the Truckee Meadows. These returning prisoners face a range of challenges, from securing housing and employment to rebuilding relationships with their families and support networks. They must deal with these issues while, at the same time, avoiding old pathways to criminal behavior and substance abuse, avoiding negative influences, maintaining hope and self-esteem, and adjusting to daily life on the outside.

Safe Harbors provides a premier home-like, clean, safe and secure environment to assist individuals in their gradual reentry into the community.

This local organization, located near the UNR campus, has been helping people get back on their feet for years. Until now, the organization has never asked for contributions from the community. Safe Harbors seeks to team with the greater community to enhance transition results and provide opportunities for those looking to make a fresh start. It starts with the basic necessity of a proper meal service program.

  • Goal – to serve more nutritious meals to more people.
  • Project – to renovate their kitchen to facilitate the increasing cooking needs.
  • Cost – $40,000. Roughly $40,000 in in-kind contributions has already been committed.
  • Timeline – now. The flooring is about to be stripped and existing equipment removed.

Safe Harbors was founded in June 2004 and has helped thousands of ex-offenders and substance abusers regain their lives. At the time, Leonard Guevara had a vision to start the organization after completing a similar one himself. He saw how it helped him get back on his feet and give him a support system that he would not have had otherwise. He wanted to be able to give back to the community, and thought the best way to do so was to open a house where people with substance abuse problems could regain their sobriety by living in a clean and safe environment.

The organization’s leaders provide a supportive environment to qualified individuals to guide them toward retaining their sobriety and chemical independence, and developing living skills to become healthy and productive members of society. Through a 90-day structured program, each client:

  • Is provided with bed liners, laundry facilities, bathing facilities, and a clean living environment.
  • Is offered three nutritious meals each day.
  • Is given access the computer lab for job searches and personal communications.
  • Attend daily meetings and work towards completing the 12-step program.

Through partnerships with local businesses and non-profit organizations, Safe Harbors stores enough food and food products to feed an increasing number of clients. However, the kitchen and cooking appliances severely need updating to adequately prepare three square and nutritious meals to more than 48 clients each day.

Each year in northern Nevada, thousands of men and women are released from state prisons and state jails, with the vast majority returning to the Truckee Meadows. These returning prisoners face a range of challenges, from securing housing and employment to rebuilding relationships with their families and support networks. They must deal with these issues while at the same time avoiding old pathways to criminal behavior and substance abuse, avoiding negative influences, maintaining hope and self-esteem, and adjusting to daily life on the outside.

According to founder, Leonard Guevara, “When clients are released from prison, many of them have no access to the basic necessities. Most have less than twenty dollars in their pocket, no support system, and are unable to cope with the freedom of being out of a controlled environment. Since they know no other way to make money, many go back to the criminal activity that they were indicted for and find themselves back in prison.”

Leonard expressed this during a recent interview on the Nevada Matters Media radio show. Click here to become more acquainted with Safe Harbors and its founder.

The program at Safe Harbor works. Clients are making successful transitions back to society, where they are able to obtain employment, secure proper housing, and build strong relationships with family members. As a result, they are becoming well-adjusted, economically-supportive individuals looking to better themselves.

Community members can help by making financial contributions to Safe Harbors. Funds raised will enhance the organization, starting with the kitchen upgrade. Healthy bodies make for healthier minds and brighter perspectives.

Donations of all amounts are welcome and each dollar helps bring the project to completion. Donations can be made by mail, in person, or online. Below are links to facilitate contributions. All contributors, unless identified as “anonymous”, will be tastefully recognized.

Additional information can be gathered by contacting Safe Harbors at 775-337-6777, by email, or on its website at www.SafeHarborsofNV.com. The mailing address is 469 E. 9th St., Reno, Nevada, 89512.

Non-profit sector provides economic strength


Attending the Reno 2020 Forum last week reminded me of the impact the non-profit sector has on local communities. I was impressed by the Forum, but was disappointed by the absence of the words “non-profit” and “community organizations” from the dialogue.

Local economies are driven by the public, private and non-profit sectors. As local residents know, the non-profit sector in Washoe County is diverse and growing. Contributing to the overall health of our economy, non-profit organizations generate revenue from outside sources, provide jobs, and circulate money through the economy.

I’ve spent my entire career in the non-profit sector because of my belief that its organizations provide tools for community building, foster civil society, and strengthen our social fabric, making northern Nevada an incredible place to live and work.

As I was sitting among well over 200 other leaders at the Forum, I used my Blackberry search the National Center for Charitable Statistics to substantiate my thoughts about the significance the non-profit sector plays on the local economy.

I found an impressive number of charts, which provided a wealth of information including one illustrating the growing number of non-profit organizations in northern Nevada.

Year #Charities
1995 1,316
2000 1,520
2005 1,744
2010 2,093


That’s a very large number of organizations seeking to improve our local quality of life. As of November 2010, there were 2,093 non-profit entities located in Washoe County.

One other chart was even more impressive. To preview, the Center’s charts broke its reports down to three different types of non-profit organizations, described as:

  • Public (501c3) Charities include most nonprofit organizations involved in the arts, education, health care, human services, and community service, as well as many others;
  • Private (501c3) Foundations primarily include organizations that make grants to other nonprofits;
  • Other (exempt) Non-profits registered with the IRS include trade unions, business leagues, social and recreational clubs, and veterans associations classified under varying sections of the IRS code.


Type of Non-profit Organization # Filed Form990 $ Assets
Public (501c3) Charities 815 $ 1,970,798,737
Private (501c3) Foundations 212 1,965,018,292
Other Non-profits 436 311,675,867
All 1,463 $ 4,247,492,896


Of the 2,093 non-profit organizations located in Washoe County, exactly 1,463 organizations filed Form 990s. As of November 2010, the combined revenue of charities which filed was $1,394,459,945 for the previous twelve months.

The figures are correct. The strength of the organizations which filed 990’s is noteworthy, as they hold over $4 billion in assets and generate nearly $1.4 billion in annual revenue.

The non-profit sector not only represents a significant amount of the employment and wages in Washoe County, but also contributes to quality of life issues. Northern Nevadans have access to quality healthcare, education, job training, social activities, and recreation because of this important sector of our economy.

When looking at the non-profit sector, it’s time to recognize it as not just a source of outstanding community support, but a sector of strength and economic importance.


Charities can succeed during tough economic times

Originally posted on 12/8/08 at http://parkerdevelopment.wordpress.com/2008/12/08/charities-can-…economic-times/.



Charities can succeed during tough economic times


We find ourselves in the middle of very interesting and uncertain economic times. As with many businesses, the sluggish economy is showing its effects on the non-profit sector. Americans donated $306.4-billion in 2007, but fund raising is encountering challenges, especially as the auto, housing and financial-services industries continue to crumble, food costs rise, and the stock market’s volatility strains individuals and businesses.


Charitable organizations are beginning to report figures that are short of goals, many of which are due to delayed, reduced or discontinued contributions. Donors are keeping closer eyes on their financial portfolios and less about charitable giving.


Non-profit organizations are responding in different ways. A fair number are playing the “safe” card and maintaining a status-quo approach until the swells taper. Others are cutting staff, beginning with fundraising and marketing officers. Unfortunately, these organizations fail to see the opportunity that lies beneath the layer of uncertainty.


Despite these economic uncertainties non-profit leaders may want to consider taking closer looks at their organizations and acting proactively. The answers to organizational success may be closer than they think. Here are a few suggestions to inspire thought and action to steer organizations in the right direction.


Reach out to leadership. It’s vital that organizations be led by strong leaders. This person or group of people will guide charitable organizations through a clear plan, which includes enhancing the board, integrating comprehensive marketing and fundraising strategies and focusing on funding opportunities.


Enhance the level of board involvement. Make it a point to share information and invite increased participation from the organization’s board of directions. The board should become more of a resource and help increase giving and create opportunities.


Continue managing annual and major giving campaigns. The important thing is to keep on task and continue managing major gift cultivation and fundraising. When the recession ends, these organizations will be further ahead of the curve than most others.


Build strong relationships with donors. Whether they’re past or current donors, take some time to truly cultivate their financial and voluntary participation. These people will be ready to step to the plate when they’re financially ready. Don’t lose sight on regularly seeking new supporters.


Plan for donors to be savvy about giving and the use of their funds. Accountability will be the watchword and the use and impact of donations will be regularly reviewed. Many will be more strategic with their giving, thus guiding them to create structured giving plans and develop relationships with targeted organizations.


Communicate regularly. Keep constituents informed of the organization’s health, programs and needs. Use both traditional and the growing social media avenues to share news, invite participation, and challenge the interest and involvement of constituents.


By making the right choices, such as reinforcing core values and mission, personally connecting with contributors and leveraging new opportunities, success can be achieved. Simply “playing it safe” could easily create more harm, thus distancing organizations further away from their missions. Moving forward, organizational leaders may want to consider the following questions…and more:

  • Are there ways to improve operations?
  • What is the state of our finances, including investments?
  • Which programs/activities truly connect to your mission?
  • How are these programs/activities managed and assessed?
  • Are we managing our most important relationships?
  • Are we involving our board members and using them appropriately?


How often do we connect with our funders?  


We can do it! Organizational leaders have an opportunity to publicly show the strength of the non-profit community. Making a difference in our communities is an incredible profession. Whether we’re leading organizations, raising funds or managing programs, serving our community is incredibly meaningful experience. Though times are scary, our obligation is to maintain positive frames of mind and show our strengths. This requires tapping into the basics of non-profit management, working harder and building relationships.