Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development retooling
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Anticipating the retirement of its executive director, the board of the Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development dismissed two top staffers last month with a plan to "retool and look at new strategies," said board president John Bendel, director of community investment at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh.
Ellen Kight announced last year she was retiring in 2012. Several weeks before her last day, the board dismissed deputy director Maureen Hogan and grant officer David Light. Efforts to reach them were unsuccessful.
"We decided to restructure, to keep everything at a minimum for a short period of time, to meet our obligations but step back and see where we can chart our course," Mr. Bendel said. "A lot of money has been going into neighborhoods, and there have been pockets of good results, but maybe we need to reassess so it's possible that with the same amount of money we might have more impact."
The Pittsburgh Partnership was created in 1983 by a group of foundations to act as a nonprofit intermediary between funders and neighborhood organizations. It also helps neighborhoods by providing training and workshops.
The agency gets most of its funding from foundations and has several banking allies. In 2008, it distributed a little more than $2 million; last year, it distributed about $1.2 million.
"I haven't heard concerns from any funders," Mr. Bendel said. "I think they are waiting to see what our revisioning strategy looks like. We are entering our fundraising phase [for next year] now, so we will be talking to foundations about that."
In recent years, the organization has directed most of its funding to four neighborhood clusters in an effort Ms. Kight previously described as getting more bang for the buck. The four areas are in the East End, North Side, southern Hilltop and Greater Uptown.
Mr. Bendel said all outstanding funding commitments have and will be fulfilled.
The exception was that the Northside Leadership Conference was not funded for 2011 because Mr. Bendel said "some of the planning did not meet our priorities." He added that the leadership conference board was apprised of that.
Gloria Rayman, chair of the board of the conference, said two staffers in real estate and workforce development were let go because of the shortfall of $175,000.
"We were informed we weren't getting it after we budgeted it. It was what we got in 2010 and expected the same amount in 2011." She said the conference is not counting on any money from the partnership this year.
First Published July 7, 2012 12:00 am