Social profit building in the Adirondack region

Spotlight on regional poverty and leadership skills

Strengthening the community through philanthropy includes supporting the capacity of the diverse organizations throughout the Adirondack region. For the last eight years, members of the Adirondack Nonprofit Network (ANN) have met at the Blue Mountain Center to develop skills, build trust and develop collaborative programming.

This June, 34 staff and board members attended the ANN retreat, which began with a “train the trainer” skills-building session. Participants believe that training good employees and volunteers to help meet their mission is a priority and the retreat was designed to help us do this type of work more effectively.

The retreat ended with a discussion about poverty and isolation in our region. Every person and organization in our region -- community, health, cultural, environmental, and economic -- is touched by poverty and isolation. We came together to better understand what poverty looks like in the Adirondack region, what the nonprofit sector is doing about it and identification of steps we can all take to address rural poverty and isolation.

We are grateful to John O’Neil of Essex County Social Services, Mark Brandt of Indian Lake Central School, Hamilton County Historian Eliza Jane Darling, and Brandy Hammer Richards, prevention educator for Hamilton County, as well as the Blue Mountain Center for hosting us.