2011-10-07 / Community

Non-Profits Can Access Group Purchasing

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services Linda I. Gibbs have announced that Essensa, a New York-based group purchasing organization, will be offering membership to non-profits working with New York City. As the latest addition to a set of initiatives Bloomberg announced in 2009 to assist New York City’s nonprofits, this group purchasing plan will help maximize savings on purchases and give New York City funded nonprofits access to discounts on a wide range of goods and services.

“With more than 40,000 nonprofits calling New York City their home, a strong nonprofit sector is vital to job creation and it is equally vital that New York City support these businesses,” said Bloomberg. “In 2009 we took several steps to help the nonprofit sector survive and strengthen and today, with group purchasing discounts, we deliver further on that commitment.”

“During this time of economic challenges we must find creative ways to help New York City’s nonprofits by providing ways to operate with lower costs,” said Gibbs. “New York City’s engagement of Essensa is an innovative structure that will harness the purchasing power of the entire sector and drive savings to nonprofits through discounts on goods and services.”

The Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) selected Essensa through a competitive process initiated in fall 2010.

“We are confident in Essensa’s ability to support the nonprofit organizations of New York City,” said DYCD Commissioner Jeanne B. Mullgrav. “Their experience and competency with group purchasing is exceptional. We are excited to bring to the nonprofit sector this benefit to minimize their costs and allow the use of savings to increase service delivery.”

“The not-for-profit housing developers and managers we work with are among our most valued partners,” said Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua. “Allowing them to achieve savings on the goods and services they need to do their jobs will allow them to dedicate more resources toward preserving, creating and managing thousands of units of affordable housing without further stressing or challenging their bottom lines.”

“More than 1,200 nonprofit organizations present arts and cultural activities throughout the City, and we are always looking for new ways to support their business operations,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin. “This group purchasing initiative is a promising model for maximizing resources among nonprofits in this difficult economy, and we look forward to the results of this innovative program.”

Essensa will host orientations for nonprofit organizations throughout the fall to answer questions and enroll service providers. Essensa uses its members’ total purchasing volume to secure discounted prices from manufacturers and suppliers. Benefits of group purchasing include reduced costs for nonprofit organizations as Essensa has committed to offering their highest level of discount to all city-funded nonprofits regardless of their size. Additionally, for the over 3,000 eligible nonprofits under contract with the City of New York, group purchasing will increase efficiency as purchases will be through a streamlined system.

“In the current economy, cutting costs is the key to survival, particularly for small businesses and nonprofit organizations,” said Essensa president and CEO John P. Sganga. “Essensa is proud to partner with the City of New York to deliver savings on the products and services community-based organizations use every day.”

“We are proud to have been part of the development of this unique approach that will reduce costs for New York City nonprofits and enable them to put the dollars saved toward essential services during these challenging times,” said Gordon Campbell, president and CEO of United Way of New York City. “We thank the administration for thinking outside of the box and for this critical support of the sector.”

“Mayor Bloomberg’s team, headed by Deputy Mayor Gibbs, sought feedback and input from the human services sector throughout the development of this innovative approach and have taken into account the unique and diverse needs of nonprofit providers,” said Michael Stoller, executive director of Human Services Council. “This bold initiative will lead to more money for vital programs for the clients we serve.”

New York City is home to thousands of nonprofit organizations. These include cultural organizations enriching communities, social service organization providing critical services, community based organizations strengthening neighborhoods, environmental groups as well as world class educational and health care organizations. The nonprofit sector employs over half a million New Yorkers and serves as a critical economic engine in many NYC neighborhoods.

For more information or for New York City funded non-profits to begin using the service, you can visit www.essensa.org/nyc or contact Greg Warner at warner@essensa.org or 866-430-5330.

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