Special Projects Fund

Project Title

Merging the New York City and Southern New York Chapters of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Special Projects Fund

Date Awarded

October 12, 2009


Hudson Valley






While every state has been adversely affected by the economic recession that started in 2008, New York was hit especially hard. Diminished resources demand that nonprofit leaders rethink and reform their organizational missions, structures, and practices.

With support from NYHealth, the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society, New York City (NYC) Chapter was awarded an Economic Recovery grant to ensure sustained services throughout the region and to defray the cost of merging with the Southern New York (NY) Chapter. As a result, the NYC and Southern NY Chapters of the National MS Society officially integrated on October 2009 to share operating expenses and increase efficiency.

Due to investment losses and less productive fundraising efforts, the southern chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society is operating at a deficit and is expected to continue in this position for the foreseeable future. To ensure sustained services throughout the region, the New York City Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society will merge with the Southern Chapter.

Because these chapters share a geographical boundary, the merger will increase organizational effectiveness by facilitating a continuum of care; many people with Multiple Sclerosis live in one service area, but work or go to school in the other. The Southern Chapter had already outsourced its financial operations to the New York City Chapter, and the New York City Chapter development staff has a larger pool of donors to help increase the financial strength of the merged chapter.