SaxBST’s “How to Survive Change in the Not-For-Profit Community” event panelists (L-R): John Uzzi, Jeanine Moss, Todd W. Polyniak, Thomas Dykhouse and Walt Guarino

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Release Date: Friday, May 30, 2014

Media Contact: Caryl Bixon-Gordon (201) 796-7788

Panelists Share Leadership, Communication and Fundraising Strategies with Not-for-Profit Community Leaders

CLIFTON, N.J., May 30, 2014 – The strategies and skills today’s not-for-profit leaders need to be effective change leaders was the subject of the most recent “Fist to Five” event hosted by SaxBST, one of the nation’s top 100 accounting firms. More than 60 not-for-profit professionals attended the interactive panel discussion, entitled “How to Survive Change in the Not-for-Profit Community,” at The Venetian in Garfield, N.J.

Fist to Five programs are held throughout the year to bring together not-for-profit thought leaders to address topics and issues that are critical to their success. “The term ‘Fist to Five’ is a metaphor for creating consensus among a group of people,” said Todd W. Polyniak, CPA, director of SaxBST’s Not-for-Profit Industry Services Group. “We adopted the name to describe our mission of supporting individuals and organizations in experiencing transformation and reaching their full potential.”

Polyniak moderated a panel of experts, each of whom shared strategies for dealing with ongoing change in the not-for-profit sector. Consultant John Uzzi kicked off the program by discussing the importance of employee engagement to the change process. “Not-for-profits have an advantage over commercial businesses because their missions are what motivate their employees,” said Uzzi. “As a change leader, the most important thing you can do to gain the support of your people is to create an energizing future vision around your mission – and stay focused on it.”

Jeanine Moss, president of Turning Point Solutions, provided practical marketing strategies for increasing stakeholder engagement, emphasizing the need for not-for-profit organizations to get back to the basics of establishing meaningful dialogue and relationships with those most connected to their mission.

Walt Guarino, partner at Practicomm LLC, addressed some of the challenges organizations face in keeping pace with social media, and stressed the importance of embracing this essential communication tool. “Building on the relationships that are created through social media is essential in the not-for-profit world,” said Guarino. “Technology is a gift, and it’s imperative that you invest in learning how to maximize the unique opportunities it offers.”

Attendees also were inspired by Thomas Dykhouse, executive director at Eastern Christian School, who shared how the school successfully navigated challenging financial times by developing and implementing social enterprise programs. “Change is easier when the alternative is dire,” Dykhouse said. “We knew we had to alter the way we did business or we wouldn’t be in business.”

The next Fist to Five event in New Jersey will be held on November 5, 2014. For more information, visit fisttofive.com or contact SaxBST’s Danielle Atkinson at datkinson@saxbst.com or call (973) 472-6250.

SaxBST is a multi-disciplinary accounting, tax and advisory firm serving the needs of closely held companies, family-owned businesses, not-for-profit and governmental entities and high-net-worth individuals throughout the New York tri-state area. Based in Albany, N.Y.; Clifton, N.J.; Mineola, N.Y. and New York City, SaxBST is the outgrowth of a merger between two of the area’s most prominent accounting firms, Sax Macy Fromm & Co., PC (SMF) and Bollam, Sheedy, Torani & Co. LLP (BST). SaxBST’s expertise covers a range of industry areas and niches including real estate, construction, manufacturing and distribution, employee benefits, retail, financial services, healthcare, professional services, not-for-profit, governmental entities and labor unions.


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