In a note to staff and board, GlassRoots Board President Roger C. Tucker III announced that Program Director Lisa Duggan will step in as GlassRoots Interim Executive Director as the organization continues its search to fill the position vacated by outgoing CEO Barbara Heisler. Tucker wrote:
"It is with great pleasure that the GlassRoots Board and I announce that Lisa Duggan will be the GlassRoots Interim Executive Director, effective January 30, 2021. We have full confidence in her ability to do the job and appreciate her willingness to do it. Lisa will have the full support of the Executive Board, and. I ask that you support Lisa, as well.
We are excited about the opportunity to work with Lisa in her new role and look forward to all of us taking on the unique challenges the new year will bring."
Stepping away from her position after nearly 8 years, CEO Heisler shared that she is delighted that Duggan agreed to take on this role to provide stability during this time of transition. "Lisa has been a fully engaged manager since joining GlassRoots, and will excel in this role as well." The Board also announced that Heisler will be staying with GlassRoots as a Grants Advisor through the transition period.
Duggan will assume the Interim leadership role on January 30, 2021. The Board's search committee continues its work through the numerous applications for the Executive Director position aided by a search firm, and expects to fill the position in an expeditious manner.
While administrative staff continues to work from home, Duggan can be reached via email or phone. during business hours.
December 15, 2020
I recently informed the Board of Trustees that I would be leaving my position as CEO of GlassRoots, at the end of January. This was not an easy decision. There are other things I’d like to accomplish professionally before I end my career, and if this COVID crisis has taught us anything, it is that we can’t take time for granted. So this is the right time for me.
It is also a good time for GlassRoots. While construction is still underway at our new home, aside from the massive logistics of moving, much of the “heavy lifting” has already been done. With your support, funding is in place; physical plans have been completed, and we’re clear on the programming that we’ll be able to offer. Our move will come at a time when we’ll be able to join together publicly again, now that the miracle of a vaccine is on its way. The Board now has the task of selecting the leader for this amazing organization who can walk GlassRoots down its new path and welcome you back to our studios.
It has been an honor to lead GlassRoots and serve the thousands of students who have walked through the actual or virtual doors of this singular community organization since I came on board nearly eight ago. I am leaving the leadership of an organization that is poised to have an even greater impact in the community. Today, GlassRoots is touted for its nimbleness, its responsiveness to community needs, and for being a model of a cultural arts organization that successfully works toward multiple outcomes. It is a legacy I will cherish.
None of these accomplishments are ones a CEO makes alone; each requires a committed team of gifted, tenacious individuals who come together to work relentlessly for a common goal. I am exceedingly grateful for all of the long hours and hard work GlassRoots’ employees have put in to boost the organization over the past several years. They are certainly a remarkable team.
I also could not have asked for a more supportive board of trustees. GlassRoots board is creative and committed. I particularly want to thank Linda Morgan, Kathy Markel, Sheila Kenny and Roger Tucker, the wise and wonderful partners who served as Board Presidents during my tenure. GlassRoots is in good hands with the board it has in place.
And I want to thank you. Your role in GlassRoots’ growth is not insignificant. Together with your financial support, your partnership with GlassRoots during these years of growth has been tremendous.
The Board has asked if I would stay on in a consultative role related to institutional funding; so for some period I will continue working with our foundation and corporate funders. A search for a new director is underway, and I’m excited to assist in this transition.
As always, I welcome your calls or emails, and look forward to staying connected.
With my thanks for your continuing support, and best wishes for your good health and joyous holidays,
In honor of Giving Tuesday, we have a very special gift to share with you!
As our travels have been so limited this year, GlassRoots joined with other Glass Art studios and the Glass Arts Society (GAS) to create a Passport - a way to learn about all of our studios and the incredible medium of glass. We hope the family-friendly Passport project will be a fun way to remind us that despite the need to distance ourselves from each other, we are indeed connected, through the wonderful material of glass.
This unique Passport allows you to take a journey around the world, from the NY Metro area to the Southwest of the USA, to Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean and all the way to Australia, to interactively explore ideas and techniques in glassmaking with activities that don’t even need glass! What better way to learn about art than to create your own masterpiece and visit studios at the same time.
We hope you enjoy the Passport as much as we did making it. After you finish an activity, give yourself a stamp to mark it complete, and if you want to post your artwork on social media, please give us a shout-out with the following tags: #gaspassport #glassconnections #glassartsociety #glasspassport #glassroots
November 23, 2020
What a year it’s been! As 2020 draws to a close, we look back with gratitude on the bright spots in a challenging year, and few of them glow brighter than our strong, passionate, and generous GlassRoots community. We also look ahead to next year with hope, knowing that with supporters like you, we will be able to face any challenges that may come and continue providing an impactful educational and life-affirming experience to the students we serve.
The devastating coronavirus pandemic forced us to close our studios in March, but within two weeks, we quickly implemented our innovative Virtual Studios programs. Determined to stay connected to our community, our dedicated and innovative staff created a series of daily, online programs using our social media channels as broadcast stations that engaged more than 20,000 people from around the world!
Additionally, we created GlassRoots At Home, our remote learning programs that expand upon and utilize our expertise and experience in glass-art making, and which promote hands-on learning through the use of at-home activity kits.
When you support GlassRoots, you support innovation, connection, perseverance and resilience - in our spunky organization, and in our students. While we were faced with challenges we never could have anticipated, we also learned new ways of operating that will enable us to stay engaged with an even larger/broader audience going forward.
We have incorporated what we’ve learned into our new hybrid programs, which we have added to very small, socially distanced, in-person classes and private lessons. Our new array of offerings will keep our students engaged and learning until we’re in our new home, within the Newark Arts Commons, early next year.
In the midst of this all, we began our celebration of our 20th year! We know that for the past two decades, the transformative power of the GlassRoots experience has changed lives and reshaped the Newark community. By giving to GlassRoots, you’ll help us continue adapting into next year and beyond to ensure our students have access to the exceptional experiences they need and deserve. Your support makes this happen. Within this new reality, your contributions are more important than ever.
If you are able to do so, please support GlassRoots and all of our students and programs by donating today. If you’re able to give online, at glassroots.org/donate, we’ll be able to put your gift to work immediately. Otherwise, we welcome your gift at 10 Bleeker St, Newark NJ 07018. GlassRoots is also able to accept gifts of stock or securities. Our Development Director, Karen Gonon, would be happy to assist you with these gifts, or answer any questions you may have. She can be reached at 973-353-9555
With our heartfelt appreciation and best wishes,
Barbara Heisler, CEO
PIVOT REPORT: GlassRoots held its very first Virtual Youth Entrepreneurial Spirit (YES!) Business Plan Competition in response to COVID-19 to keep some sort of normality to our program for our students. We nervously planned the event – with no idea how it would turn out. Delightfully, the responses to our students’ posts and submissions of votes came pouring in - GlassRoots followers were fully engaged! The students went all out – sharing their Business Competition posts with their classmates and family members to encourage votes. Once all the votes were counted; student Izavia was ultimately awarded 1st place in the competition. We’re so proud that each of the YES! Full day and after-school cohorts completed their programs. While the ending wasn’t optimal, we anticipate incorporating a virtual presence into future Business Plan Competitions.
CARES Act for Nonprofits – On Friday, March 27, the Congress passed and the President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a
$2 trillion economic stimulus package legislated to provide immediate relief for nonprofits. As the extended deadline for tax filing nears, we wanted you to know that donating to nonprofits is important, and can be beneficial to all parties.
High Level Information
New Deduction Available: Up to $300 per taxpayer ($600 for a married couple) in annual charitable contributions. This is available only to people who take the standard deduction (for taxpayers who do not itemize their deductions). It is an “above the line” adjustment to income that will reduce a donor’s adjusted gross income (AGI), and thereby reduce taxable income. A donation to a donor advised fund (DAF) does not qualify for this new deduction.
New Charitable Deduction Limits: As part of the bill, individuals and corporations that itemize can deduct much greater amounts of their contributions. Individuals can elect to deduct donations up to 100% of their 2020 AGI (up from 60% previously). Corporations may deduct up to 25% of taxable income, up from the previous limit of 10%. The new deduction is for gifts that go to a public charity, such as GlassRoots. The old deduction rules apply to gifts to private foundations. The higher deduction does not apply to donations directly to a DAF.
Required Min. Distributions Waived in 2020 for Most Donors: Required minimum distributions (RMD) that would have had to start in 2020 do not have to start until 2021, including distributions from defined benefit pension plans and 457 plans. This change will dampen somewhat the incentive for a donor to make a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) from their IRA in 2020. Even so, making a QCD this year will still allow itemizers and non-itemizers alike to direct up to $100,000 from their IRA to charities in a tax efficient manner.
Details About CARES Act
The inclusion of an expanded charitable giving incentive is a critical acknowledgement by Congress that the work of nonprofits like GlassRoots are essential services.
Here’s How it Works
New Deduction Available: The bill makes a new deduction available for up to $300 per taxpayer ($600 for a married couple) in annual charitable contributions. This is particularly beneficial to people who take the standard deduction when filing their taxes (in other words for taxpayers who do not itemize their deductions). It is calculated by subtracting the amount of the donation from your gross income. It is an “above the line” adjustment to income that will reduce your AGI, and thereby reduce taxable income.
To qualify, you would have to give a donation to a qualified charity. If you have already made your donation since Jan. 1, that contribution counts toward the $300 cap. A donation to a donor-advised fund (DAF) does not qualify for this new deduction.
New Charitable Deduction Limits: Also part of the bill, individuals and corporations that itemize can deduct much greater amounts of their contributions.
Individuals can elect to deduct cash contributions, up to 100% of their 2020 adjusted gross income, on itemized 2020 tax returns. This is up from the previous limit of 60%. Corporations may deduct up to 25% of taxable income, up from the previous limit of 10%.
The new deduction is only for cash gifts that go to a public charity. If you give cash to, say, your private foundation, the old deduction rules apply. And while the organizations that manage DAF’s are public charities, you do not get the higher deduction for donating cash to your DAF. These new limits do not apply to gifts of appreciated stock.
If your assets are substantial enough that you can give more than your income this year, you won’t lose the deduction for the excess amount. You can use it next year, as has always been the case.
Required minimum distributions waived in 2020 for most donors: RMD for individuals over age 70 ½ are suspended until 2021. This includes distributions from defined benefit pension plans and 457 plans. The RMD is an attractive way for donors to make a significant charitable gift directly from their IRA to a charity through a qualified charitable contribution (QCD) while avoiding taxable income. The suspension of the RMD may dampen somewhat the incentive for a donor who makes a gift from their IRA to count toward that minimum. However, the tax benefit of the QCD remains.
The takeaway - donors directing a QCD to charity this year (up to $100,000 per individual) will still reduce their taxable IRA balance. This allows all taxpayers, itemizers and non-itemizers alike, to direct gifts from their IRA to charities in a tax efficient manner.
For more information about how GlassRoots uses your gifts, please contact our Development team!
This information is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in any examples are for illustrative purposes only. References to tax rates include federal taxes only and are subject to change. State law may further impact your individual results.