Friday, May 16, 2008

New York Council for Humanities Announcement

New Major Grant Deadlines: September 15, 2008 and March 15, 2009

The New York Council for the Humanities Major Grant deadlines have changed. For the next cycle of Major Grants, of up to $20,000, applications are due by September 15, 2008.

Starting in 2009, the Major Grant Deadlines will be permanently changed to March 15 (notification mid June) and September 15 (notification mid January) to better accommodate projects year-round.

Non-profit organizations are also welcome to apply for the Council’s Mini Grants, of up to $2,500, which continue to be accepted on an ongoing basis throughout the year.
Council grants provide financial support for public programs presented by not-for-profit organizations across New York State that bring humanities scholars and scholarship to a general public audience.
Potential applicants may learn more about both of our grants programs, review grant guidelines, eligibility, and download grant applications by visiting For other inquiries, Council program officers are available for consultation via email or by phone at 212.233.1131.
The Council also a number of other programs including Reading Between the Lines, Speakers in the Humanities, Speakers in the Schools and Together Book Talk for Kids and Parents. For further information about these programs and our organization, please contact us at 212.233.1131 or visit our website at

Lauren Kushnick
Program Associate
New York Council for the Humanities
150 Broadway, Suite 1700
New York, NY 10038

Sunday, May 11, 2008

LAEA June Program Focuses on Nonprofit Lifecycles

Leatherstocking AEA June Program: Lifecycles Model
Presented by Heidi Holtz, The Gifford Foundation, Program Director for Community Grantmaking
The Gifford Foundation's Heidi Holtz will offer the Leatherstocking AEA an informative presentation on the Foundation's new capacity-building initiative, based on Susan Kenny Stevens' Nonprofit Lifecycles. Heidi will discuss the Stevens' model and book, including the seven nonprofit lifecycle stages and the predictable tasks, challenges, and inevitable growing pains that nonprofits encounter and can hope to master on the road to organizational sustainability. The discussion will also address how this model is used to assess nonprofits. The Gifford Foundation and its programs are focused on the Syracuse region.

Register Here!

Program Discussion for 2008

On a recent conference call, the Steering Committee discussed board assessment and succession planning. The conversation focused on the challenges of board governance, including turnover and the limited pool of qualified candidates. They also discussed how board assessment and evaluation play an important role in board operations. The conversation focused on defining appropriate board roles and expectations, and the difference between higher level issues and tools and templates.

The Committee of Executive Directors distinguished between boards that have national and local board members. The topic transitioned into a conversation about nonprofits facing different stages in their lifecycles. Expanding on this topic, an idea was put forward to invite a program officer from The Gifford Foundation to discuss their new focus on Nonprofit Lifecycles.

Another program idea discussed was to focus on nonprofit media relations, including news and public relations and paid marketing. This topic would be split between the last two program meetings for the year. The September program would focus on news and public relations, and involve inviting newspapers (daily and weekly), radio, and television editors and directors. The meeting format would be a panel discussion, and include local and broader regional representatives. Proposed meeting locations include SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Delhi, or SUNY Morrisville.

Friday, May 2, 2008

SUNY Oneonta and CCSNYS Social Media Partnership

Are you interested in developing your online skills and helping local nonprofits? SUNY Oneonta's Center for Social Responsibility and Community and CCSNYS (the NYS nonprofit association) are partnering to help connect the college community to nonprofits through the use of online social networking. We are looking for students who are interested in developing and implementing new ways of connecting with and helping nonprofits. Please share your interest and feedback by completing the following survey here. Thank you.

If you have any questions, contact

Thursday, May 1, 2008

AEA Program Ideas

The Steering Committee is working to set up a conference call to discuss possible program ideas for the next AEA meeting on June 4th. A couple ideas have been mentioned for the Group by different directors. One idea is to replicate the recent efforts of the Oneida and Herkimer ED Group and their staff assessment survey. This survey is going to be used for a program discussion on staff retention in their region. You can read more about it here. Another idea is to focus on the topic of board assessment. As one director remarked recently, a board assessment is a tricky undertaking, but is an integral part of your nonprofit operations. A board assessment helps the board look at themselves collectively and chart their next steps (for example, in identifying areas of need on the board, better defining job descriptions, or addressing committee structures). This process helps answer the question for the board of what do we need right now. Do you have other program ideas? Please feel free to share them by posting your comments here.