PLATINUM2024

Downtown ROCs

Life on every street. Beauty in every space.

SPENCERPORT, NY   |  https://www.downtownrocs.org

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Mission

Our mission is to create economic and artistic opportunities through projects that add beauty and energy to downtown Rochester. Downtown ROCs is a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit Community Development Corporation. We enhance the quality of life in the urban core of Rochester through the development of strategic partnerships that help eliminate blight, create beautiful spaces, and empower residents and businesses to build stronger neighborhoods. We conceive, collaborate on, and commission projects that beautify and energize downtown Rochester.

Notes from the nonprofit

Our primary goal is to improve the quality of life and the business environment for those who live or run a business in downtown Rochester. We aim to accomplish this by first advocating with the city for available resources and support in neighborhoods that need help, and then secondly by directly engaging in cleanup and beautification efforts such as litter removal, flower plantings, public art and other placemaking and "tactical urbanism" approaches.

Ruling year info

2019

Executive Director

Mr. Michael Gilbert

Main address

175 QUEENSLAND DR

SPENCERPORT, NY 14559 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

83-4145110

NTEE code info

Citizenship Programs, Youth Development (O54)

Urban, Community (S31)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Downtown Rochester is the heart of the City of Rochester and the Greater Rochester Community. It's health and success is crucial to the long-term success of the entire region. We believe that a vibrant and beautiful downtown has a real and substantial impact on economic vitality of the city, as well as on the lives of everyone who works, lives or visits the city center.\n\nIn short, a strong downtown radiates outward to foster a strong city.\n\nLikewise, our youth are the future of our community. Our young people have the potential to build a better community if given the economic and educational opportunities to develop as leaders. The mission of Downtown ROCs! is to create these opportunities for growth by developing projects and programs that empower teens and young adults to participate in community development.\n\nIt is the ultimate win-win for our city—removing blight and adding beauty to our downtown, while simultaneously activating the skills and efforts of the next generation.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Creeping Beauty

Creeping Beauty is a play on words. It is an ongoing project to not only halt the slow spread of urban decay known as "creeping blight", but to actually reverse these forces and awaken the "sleeping beauty" of our downtown spaces.

This reversal is accomplished through the involvement of community stakeholders, and the engagement of "Downtown ROCstars" who volunteer their initial time, and then can earn stipends for their ongoing efforts.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people
Artists and performers
Unemployed people
Veterans

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of free admissions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This is a new metric to measure the attendance of our open-to-the-public music series at St. Joseph's Park.

Total number of free performances given

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We aim to facilitate 8 free weekly musical performances throughout the summer, incorporating multiple artists of varied backgrounds and styles.

Number of stakeholders/stakeholder groups with whom communication has been achieved and expectations shared

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric reflects the reach of our communications to stakeholders in the area we serve, as measured by subscribers to our monthly newsletter.

Number of stakeholders or stakeholder groups who agree to engage

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We strive to engage as many neighborhood stakeholders as possible in our projects with the objective of facilitating a sense of ownership and agency in their community.

Number of works exhibited permanently

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Creeping Beauty

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We plan to commission and exhibit one permanent art installation, whether a sculpture, mural, or other project that can have a major impact on the beautification of downtown Rochester.

Total number of works commissioned

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Total pounds of debris collected

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our motto is "Life on every street. Beauty in every space." That is our mission for Downtown ROCs! We envision a future in which downtown Rochester is the recognized regional center of commerce, entertainment, opportunity and engagement. A downtown where beauty and art and vitality is around every corner. We will accomplish this by engaging and empowering the youth of our community to participate in the ongoing work that this will require. By tapping into the incredible potential of our young adults, we can realize the full potential of our city.

Our primary strategy to achieve our mission is to develop modest, manageable projects that can be achieved quickly. Our motto of "Life on every street. Beauty in every space" is based on the belief that every incremental improvement, no matter how small, adds up to major change over time. Other organizations can focus on huge initiatives that take years of planning and fundraising, and we are fully supportive of those efforts. We focus on grassroots work that can be achieved best by rolling up our sleeves and getting our hands dirty (literally).

Downtown ROCs! is a well-organized grassroots organization that focuses on building strategic partnerships and collaborations with city and neighborhood stakeholders. We do not pursue giant projects (or giant grants), instead focusing on implementing human-scale projects that can be achieved quickly (and without a lot of red tape). We are focused on action and results, using our funds to cover the cost of supplies and stipends so that we can achieve noticeable and valuable improvements to the downtown Rochester streetscape. We will not be satisfied until Downtown Rochester is firmly considered the jewel of the region; a place people seek out for an inclusive, eclectic, urban experience.

Our primary projects thus far have centered on re-activating two of downtown's more neglected park spaces: Schiller Park and St. Joseph's Park. These parks have suffered from years of neglect, partly due to the urban blight of their surrounding areas. We have made great progress in bringing these parks back to a condition that encourages use and enjoyment by downtown residents and workers. By focusing on "the little things" like litter cleanup, weed removal, and micro-landscaping, we've played an important role in the re-birth of these parks. We also work closely with the City of Rochester to advocate for improvements such as tree plantings, as well as collaborating on beautification initiatives such as neighborhood banners (we designed the banners that adorn the street lights throughout the St. Joseph's Park Neighborhood).

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

Downtown ROCs
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Downtown ROCs

Board of directors
as of 04/13/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Michael Gilbert


Board co-chair

Mrs. Margaret "Midge" Thomas

Dr. Freddie Thomas Foundation

Term: 2019 -

Douglas Phelps

Christina Manfredi

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/13/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/24/2024

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.