Today TANO told us that Barry Silverberg had resigned at head of that organization. TANO or Texas Association of Nonprofit Organizations not only offers trainings to strengthen nonprofits and their boards, but also is a strong advocate for nonprofits at the state level, keeping us informed of legislation that might affect NPOs.
Barry had been a volunteer and executive director of TANO for 13 years. I have no idea how he did this while also leading the Center for Community-Based & Nonprofit Organizations at ACC other than to say their missions are very similar: strengthen the nonprofit community. No doubt, through his leadership, they do that.
I first met Barry after just about everyone on the planet told me, “You really should talk to Barry Silverberg,” when I started GivingCity. Apparently, he was the expert. I was pessimistic. I’d been told by a number of people that GivingCity was not the greatest idea, would probably never work and would not be useful to anyone… so the last thing I needed was discouragement from yet another expert.
Barry took a meeting with me, and at that point he was not only the most enthusiastic expert I’d talked to, he was downright encouraging. He had a publishing background himself with two Jewish newspapers, and, of course, he knew the local nonprofit scene like the back of his hand. It was such a relief to hear that I wasn’t crazy. Barry was GivingCity’s first real supporter.
After talking to Barry, I was more confident about what GivingCity could be. We kept in touch. I’ve heard over the years from other nonprofit folks who have told me how helpful Barry was, how encouraging. And almost always, how he just gives you an hour of his time and his brain, no charge.
Years after I met him, when the Austin Community Foundation stopped funding GivingCity, Barry took us on immediately. GivingCity became one of the few (if not the only) fiscal sponsorships TANO had. Thanks to Barry and TANO, GivingCity has been able to publish two print issues, keep the website going and accept donations — something we could never do at ACF.
Barry is great. Generous, funny, warm, knowledgeable, helpful and encouraging. Okay, he can be a curmudgeon. He does not believe in faking nice. But because of that, he is genuine. The real deal. I wish him best of luck as continued head of Center for Community-Based & Nonprofit Organizations at ACC. I owe you, Barry. Probably a lot of other people do, too.