Thursday, December 11, 2008

Resource Sharing Roundtable Generates Ideas and Invites Your Feedback

Andrew Marietta, CCSNYS
Debra Marcus, Planned Parenthood of South Central New York
Ed Shafer, Pathfinder Village
Julie Dostal, LEAF
Kathie Greenblatt, Catholic Charities of Delaware & Otsego Counties
Liz Callahan, Hanford Mills Museum
Lynn Glueckert, Catholic Charities of Delaware & Otsego Counties
Susan Kenny, Roxbury Arts Group
Terry Capuano, United Way of Otsego and Delaware Counties

Facing an uncertain economy, growing budget cuts, and increasing demands for services, the Leatherstocking AEA Resource Sharing Roundtable was convened to discuss possible ideas to respond to these challenging times. In preparation for this meeting a brief survey available here was implemented that asked about nonprofit challenges and potential ways to respond. The meeting of executives opened with an introduction by Julie Dostal, executive director of LEAF, who related that she wanted to hear what other directors are doing to cut costs and save staff (which was a focus everyone agreed was a priority). The group proceeded to discuss a number of ideas that their individual agencies are exploring. Ideas ranged from cutting staff benefits and hours to facility improvements and cost sharing. A more detailed list is below.

The group also discussed staff morale and how to address, especially related to these ideas. The group agreed budget updates were essential, although too much information can be an issue. The directors need to be advocates and reinforce confidence. Lastly, the group discussed getting the board involved and helping address these future challenges.

  • Benefits package reductions, such as reduction in pension plan contribution
  • Ask staff to volunteer to decrease their hours
  • Staff furloughs
  • Executive directors reduce their hours
  • If buyout for health insurance offered, reduce buyout
  • Energy audit and improvements, such as lighting, lower temperatures, insulation, etc.
  • Close facility for winter or spring
  • Centralize buying of supplies, such as oil, office supplies, etc.
  • No longer counting on state funding and budgeting based on majority of income coming from fees and donors

The group felt that rural areas will see the largest impact from cutbacks. Centralizing or consolidating services generally moves them to larger population centers, and this will hurt the local region. Thus, the group felt that the rural voice needs to be heard and advocated.

Possible next steps:

  • Collect nonprofit facilities upgrades and capital improvements as a group to communicate to elected officials as opportunities for infrastructure improvements under new administration
  • Explore joint fundraising efforts, such as an appeal or event
  • Create joint annual report for region’s nonprofits (invite local newspaper, like The Daily Star, to discuss this idea)
  • Focus on integrating more technology into communication and fundraising efforts
  • Set follow up meeting to have a more facilitated conversation or address a potential idea more directly

Please share your feedback or additional input here or send them by e-mail. Next steps for this group will follow soon.

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