Making an investment in tomorrow, today...

Three Questions With Mary Beth Guyther

Mary Beth manages our foundation’s grantmaking in health and mental health for veterans, hunger, arts, and technical assistance. She also oversees giving from our Long Island Unitarian Universalist Fund. Before joining us, she worked for the Enterprise Foundation and Girls Incorporated. She is a graduate of Northwestern University.

How do you help the Long Island Unitarian Universalist Fund make Long Island fair and equitable?

The Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock set up a fund with us 20 years ago to promote fairness and equity for all people. Over the years, we’ve helped Long Island Unitarian Universalist Fund’s board of advisors fund grassroots groups standing up for the rights of minorities, immigrants, the LGBT community, and people with disabilities.

This is Long Island. Is hunger really an issue?

Not only are people chronically hungry on Long Island, but more are hungry every day. National trends show that poverty is increasing in the suburbs, including Long Island, at a faster rate than in cities. The high cost of living and our still-recovering economy leave more than 316,000 people on the Island facing hunger at any time. We fund large food banks that use economies of scale to get food to smaller pantries in the communities that need it most. We also fund mobile outreach programs. Ending hunger means ending poverty, so we also we support nonprofits that are help people get jobs and affordable housing.

What is technical assistance and why is it so important to nonprofits?

Groups that are run well work more effectively. Period. We make technical assistance grants to nonprofits to train staff and board members to operate, plan, and lead better. For example: we’ve funded Center for Nonprofit Leadership at Adelphi to provide leadership training to mid-level professionals to help prepare them for leadership roles as baby boomers retire.

Long Island Community Foundation | A Division of The New York Community Trust
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