Monday, December 28, 2009

NYCON Membership: Save Time. Save Money. Stay Informed.

In Today's Economy, NYCON Membership is More Valuable Than Ever Before!

Thank you for being a member of NYCON in 2009! Reflecting on the challenges and changes that nonprofits have experienced this year, makes the fact that you maintained your membership in the New York Council of Nonprofits (formerly the Council of Community Services of NYS, Inc.) a real testament to your organization. We commend you on your continued dedication to sound board governance, best practices in management, organizational efficiencies and economies of scale.

What's Ahead?
In 2009 our 1,600 members helped shape a more promising future for our sector. For the first time ever we saw your stories being taken to Capitol Hill and the White House as our country's elected officials met with national nonprofit leaders to discuss issues such as capacity building and the inclusion of nonprofits in healthcare reform legislation.

On the home front, NYCON members saved valuable dollars that were reinvested into their missions. Nonprofits saved over $1 million in Unemployment costs and over $500,000 in other insurance premiums in 2008 and 2009. Members have also benefitted from purchasing programs in Dental insurance, Flexible Spending Accounts and Life Insurance.

New cost-savings programs this year from the National Council of Nonprofits, of which you are a member by virtue of your affiliation with NYCON, include discounts on background checks, a free color copier program and technology training through Idealware.

You may notice that for the first time in over 5 years, NYCON Membership dues are being raised...but by only $10! NYCON knows that in this economy membership must pay for itself and we are certain that it will continue to do so.

Renewing Your Membership Is Easy!
Steps to renew your NYCON Membership:
1. Click here to log into your account. Forgot your password? Click on "Forgot Password" button and enter your email.
1. Update Your Record. Do we have your correct Phone, Fax and Email Address? Do we have current contact information for your staff and board?
2. Pay 2010 Dues. You can pay easily online.
3. If you would prefer to renew via paper application, please send a check and an updated board list with your application.

Renew by January 15th, 2010 and be entered to win great prizes including a $100 credit to any NYCON Conference, a series of free Build a Better Nonprofit Trainings, and more!

Once again, thank you for all that you do for your community and for the nonprofit sector. If you have any questions about your memership renewal, please feel free to contact me at (800) 515-5012 ext 121 or via email at


Valerie Venezia
Vice President of Membership & Marketing

Join online or click here for a paper application.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bassett, Fox finalize affiliation

The Central NY Business Journal reported that the boards of Bassett Healthcare in Cooperstown and A.O. Fox Hospital in Oneonta signed the paperwork necessary to finalize an affiliation between the two institutions.

The decision approving Fox as a Bassett affiliate is effective Jan. 1, making Fox the fifth hospital in Bassett's eight-county service region to become part of the Bassett Healthcare network.
Bassett will provide management and medical services to A.O. Fox Hospital. John Remillard, current CEO of Fox, will continue in that role and become a member of the senior management team at Bassett.

Fox physicians remain as they are now, either employed by Fox or independent practitioners who have privileges at Fox. Current hospital staff will be Fox employees.

Established in 1900, Fox is a 100-bed community hospital in Oneonta. It also provides long-term care at a 131-bed skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility. Fox's annual operating budget is $84 million, with 86 medical staff members and 950 total employees.

Bassett Healthcare is a network of practitioners, hospitals, and health centers in eight counties that employs over 3,000 people and covers 5,000 square miles in upstate New York.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Area United Ways report mixed results

The Daily Star reported that with several weeks to go for area United Way campaigns, those involved are reporting mixed results.

At the United Way of Delaware and Otsego Counties, Executive Director Terry Capuano said in a recent media release that she was optimistic the campaign would reach its goal of $345,000. Roughly the same amount was raised last year, when the campaign was about $23,000 short of its target.

Contributions from donors were running the same or ahead of last year, she said in the release. She could not be reached for comment Thursday to see how much has been collected so far.

"In this economy, we are so thankful for our faithful donors," Capuano said in the release. Read more here about other area United Way results.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Quality Audit and Process Program Offers Tips and Advice for any Nonprofit

Although the snow storm was an obstacle for many participants, a small group of participants did have a conversation with David Moynihan, President of the NYS Society of CPAs. The discussion focused on defining your auditor and clarifying that he or she gives an opinion on your organization's financial statements, and is not your friend or a member of management. They are hired to verify your financial practices and protect the public interest.

David discussed tips for the audit process, including:

  • Look for an auditor that knows nonprofits
  • Do background beforehand when going out with RFP
  • Used sealed fixed fee aproach
  • Need to guide the auditor and audit process
  • If issues arise, it comes back to the nonprofit and its board of directors

David also discussed how auditors are held accountable:

  • NYS Society of CPAs (volunteer association) and NYS Office of Professions (licensing body) are professional organizations
  • Ethics- complaints are investigated
  • Education- professional development and associations
  • Quality review- a peer review is a best practice, which involves hiring another CPA to look at firm's practices and procedures

The group also discussed how to get the board involved in the process and work:

  • Board may not understand legal and financial responsibilities
  • Ignorance won't stand up in court
  • CPAs should emphasize/require meeting with the board and board involvement
  • Shift in recent years to looking at internal controls (which accounts for increased costs)
  • Test controls- find control deficiencies; if significant deficiencies, reported in writing

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

2010 Program Topic Ideas:

I have been reading how universities start and maintain chapters, which inspired the following program ideas for next year. Please review and comment on them and share ideas you are interested in discussing.
- Why membership is important.
- What development is and is not.
- Why it is important to build membership, relationships; and how to do it.
- What value does your organization have for current and potential members?

Nonprofit Quarterly's Newswire

Nonprofit Quarterly is offering Nonprofit Newswire, which features updated stories about nonprofits. As you can see from the headlines below, the recent news is all about the economic challenges facing organizations across the US. Click here for the November 30th update (headlines listed below).

State Legislators Considering their Approach to Next Round of Cuts
Nov 29, 2009; Rapid City Journal South Dakota lawmakers are preparing for a grim legislative session to decide whether to cut programs across the board, slash some programs more deeply, or simply eliminate particular spending categories.

Strange Blip in Individual Donations
Nov 24, 2009; Spokesman-Review Are Spokane nonprofits struggling due to the collapse of mid-size charitable contributions?

A Blight on Our Collective Name
Nov 25, 2009; The Sacramento Bee A venerable Sacramento nonprofit closed its doors this summer, after providing fewer and fewer services to its clients while a larger share of its charitable contributions went to the group's leaders and their families.

Cresswell Church Coughs Up Almost $26,000 in Real Property Taxes
Nov 21, 2009; Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder A local church has been hit with a $26,000 tax bill (for 5 years of unpaid taxes), due apparently to its housing a nonprofit child care center.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Central NY Business Journal reported that A.O. Fox Hospital in Oneonta is the latest affiliate of Bassett Healthcare.

The two organizations inked a deal Oct. 16 making Fox the fifth and largest Bassett affiliate. The affiliation is effective Jan. 1. Fox is a 100-bed community hospital.

"This is a decision that will benefit the communities we serve, and it's the kind of collaboration the state is encouraging," Bassett President and CEO Dr. William F. Streck said.

In the current recession, the affiliation allows Fox to deliver care in a more cost-effective way, Fox CEO John Remillard said.

The agreements signed by the two institutions' boards state that Fox will become an affiliated hospital in the Bassett Healthcare Network under the Bassett corporate structure. Bassett will provide management and medical services to A.O. Fox Hospital.

The CEO of Fox Hospital will become an employee of Bassett. Fox Hospital retains its status as an independent hospital corporation. Fox physicians remain as they are now, either employed by Fox or independent practitioners who have privileges at Fox.

Current hospital staff will be Fox employees.

Bassett Healthcare is a network of practitioners, hospitals, and health centers in eight counties that employs over 3,000 people and covers 5,000 square miles in upstate New York.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Nonprofit Job: Opportunity for Chenango

In advance, I wish to thank you for sharing the following career leadership opportunity with your colleagues and professional network:

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, Norwich NY: Rural leadership opportunity with Opportunity for Chenango, a Community Action Partnership fostering family, housing, community economic development in the beautiful hills of Chenango Co. Seek executive who enjoys leadership cultivation and team building while adept at managing multiple projects and financial complexity; 46 public contracts plus fee-based energy subsidiary. $7.8m budget; 139 employees. Negotiable mid to high 70k + benefits. Forward resume in Word by 12/10/09 to
Visit to learn about OFC For job detail, click on
Equal Opportunity Employer

Best regards, Susan Maini, Search Consultant
Enterprise Inc
Tel 774-286-9954

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce Networking Seminars 2009-2010

How to Use Web 2.0 for Your Business
October 29, 2009 – Creating Your Website on a Budget
8am-9:30am at Howard Johnson Inn & Suites, Hartwick Seminary
$14 member/$18 non-member
When potential customers search the web for your business what do they find? (Try it.) Without a website, you are entirely at the mercy of what others say about your business or, worse, your business may simply not exist. A website is an important part of letting customers know who you are, what you do, and how to find you. In this breakfast seminar we will look at the importance of being on the web and provide step-by-step instructions to get you started. We will look at the basics of domain names, web hosting, and design options, from DIY to professional design firms. We will talk about selecting content, such as text, images, and links. Finally, we will look at easy-to-add bells and whistles like blogs, video, downloads, and e-commerce. Food and networking opportunities included.
December 17, 2009 – Building Your Business Network Online
11:30am-1pm at Otesaga Resort Hotel, Cooperstown, NY
$20 member/$24 non-member
Businesses need other businesses to survive and thrive. The Web provides excellent opportunities to find suppliers, business partners, business advice, and other resources. We will look at online directories, communities of practice, and business networks as resources for your business. Specific examples will include the Chamber website, LinkedIn, and PartnerUp. We will also talk about how to find and participate in niche online communities that fit your needs. Food and networking opportunities included.
January 21, 2010 – Does Your Business Need Facebook Fans or Twitter Followers?
8am-9:30am at Templeton Hall, Cooperstown, NY
$14 member/$18 non-member
There is a lot of buzz around Facebook and Twitter. Some business owners, family members, and friends may already be using one or both services to socialize, share pictures, and play games. But are they more than a diversion? Can they really help you brand your business, attract new customers, and turn them into repeat buyers and advocates for your products or services? We will explore the basics of what these social media platforms are and how businesses are using them. We will also provide a step-by-step guide for getting started and guidelines for use. Food and networking opportunities included.
March 18, 2010 – Using the Internet for Meetings, Calls, and Chat
11:30am-1pm at Tunicliff Inn, Cooperstown, NY
$18 member/$22 non-member
Did you know that you can talk to almost anyone on the planet that has a computer for free? Have you ever needed to share a presentation and collaborate on documents without expensive or time-consuming travel? Do you understand how “chat” is different from e-mail and why chat is a considered a great customer service tool? We will look at web-based communication tools, like Skype, DimDim, and various chat platforms. We will discuss how to use them, what’s free and what’s not, and how they can support customer, employee, and partner communication. Food and networking opportunities included.
April 8, 2010 – Web-based Tools for Your Business
(tentative) at Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, NY
$14 member/$18 non-member
All businesses have processes that are best managed using software, such as accounting, contact management, and document management. But do you need to buy the software, manage installation and upgrades, and worry that the failure of your computer means loss of critical business information? An increasing number of valuable software applications are now available via the Web. The best part is that many of these applications are free, can enable multiple users (and access from anywhere), and have backup and data recovery built in. We will look at examples including project management from Zoho, office applications from Google, and online storage from Mozy. Food and networking opportunities included.
September 16, 2010 – Web 2.0 Series Finale, Best Practices on the Web
8am-9:30am at Otesaga Resort Hotel, Cooperstown, NY
$20 member/$25 non-member
Wrap up event for the Web 2.0 seminar series. The event will focus on sharing best practices and success stories of member businesses. Food and networking opportunities included.
Members Only: Pre-register today for all six sessions for $90!

Funding to support the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce 2009/10 Business Seminar Series is provided in part by Otsego County Office of Economic Development.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Charities being sued for not paying overtime

A recent story in the Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, IN discussed a case of a nonprofit worker at a Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Florida. The article relates that the employee worked seven days a week at the nonprofit charity that provides housing for sick children and their families during medical treatment. She regularly worked about 70 hours a week, and it turns out, is owed more than $20,000 in unpaid overtime for the job she left in April.

When she asked for some time off, and then to start clocking in and out , and her employer told her that she was not allowed to. She filed a lawsuit against the charity Sept. 10 in Miami federal court, alleging overtime violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

In the troubled economy, charities and nonprofits have been hit hard. Donations are down, staff has been cut, and some corners are being cut.

Michael Casey, managing partner of Epstein Becker & Green's Miami office, said major national nonprofits like the Boy Scouts of America and United Way run sophisticated operations similar to big corporations.

"The problem hits the smaller, local nonprofits just like it hits the smaller employers," he said. "The dismal economy has caused a lot of employers to fudge quite a bit on the wage-and-hour front. They will tell some employees, 'We can't afford the OT, but we need the work done.' The law says you can't do that."

The lawsuit against Ronald McDonald House was not filed on a whim. The Labor Department investigated Siberio's claim and determined her employer was a nonexempt charity violating the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, Scheve said.

"I can only remember a handful of nonprofits we have sued," he said.
"It's not that we target them," Scheve said. "It's just that they are an employer like everybody else. Just because they do something good doesn't mean they get a free pass."

Soraya Rivera-Moya, the executive director of Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Florida, declined to discuss the pending litigation. "We are focused on providing comfort and care to more than 50 families who stay at the Ronald McDonald Houses of South Florida every day."
In some ways, nonprofits are just mirroring other businesses.

A new Labor Department report said the rights many Americans have taken for granted - minimum wage, overtime pay, meal and bathroom breaks, access to workers compensation - are disappearing from the workplace.

The report looked at 4,387 workers in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, and found 22 percent had suffered overtime abuses of some type in the previous week.

The Fair Labor Standards Act stipulates that covered employees must be paid time and a half for all hours worked over 40 in a week.

Nonprofits are prone to push this boundary, said Jennifer Chandler, director of network support at the National Council of Nonprofits in Washington.

"Even though they are mission-based and doing wonderful things in the community, they still have to follow the law," she said.

The Labor Department is cracking down on nonprofits, especially in the recession where nearly a third have cut staff and services, Chandler said.

Lawsuits by former employees also have increased. Read more here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Nonprofit Offers Info on Health Care Reform

LEAF ED Julie Dostal passed on this info from National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) regarding nonprofits and health care reform:

Nonprofits and Health Care Reform
Over the past several months, we have been in consistent communication with you regarding the health care reforms developments and how they impact the treatment of alcoholism and addiction. The following e-mail is an update regarding how health care reform may impact your NCADD Affiliate, as a non-profit organization.

As we're sure you're well aware, the debate to reform the nation's health care system is in full swing. NCADD is working with a variety of human service organizations to monitor and influence the impact of the reforms on the nonprofit sector. Currently, there is a proposal in the House that does not offer nonprofits the same availability to program subsidies that would be offered to for-profit employers to help provide health coverage to their workers. We strongly encourage you to contact your representatives this week regarding this issue and are providing a draft letter (below) from the Independent Sector for you to use….

Dear Representative/ Senator:
On behalf of [organization], I am writing to urge you to ensure that health care legislation includes subsidies to help nonprofit employers provide health coverage to their workers.

Nonprofit organizations employ over 14 million people in the United States -- almost 10 percent of the U.S. workforce -- who are integral to the vital services these organizations provide to communities across the nation. The vast majority of nonprofits are small businesses, employing 50 or fewer workers, and like our for-profit counterparts, we generally lack access to the range of health insurance choices available to larger businesses. During these difficult economic times, we are facing rising demands for our services with fewer private contributions and government resources to help meet that demand. Without assistance, most small nonprofits will be forced to cut staff, cut benefits, and cut programs. [Consider sharing specifics about the number of people your organization employs, the types of services you provide, and the importance of health care reform to your organization.]

We urge you to support the inclusion of some form of financial assistance, like the one offered in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee approved bill, to both nonprofit and for-profit employers to help pay the cost of health insurance premiums. The tax credit included in the bill adopted by the House Ways and Means Committee would generally not apply to tax-exempt nonprofits and so some other form of assistance is needed to provide them with assistance comparable to that being provided to small, taxable businesses.

Again, we feel it is imperative that Congress ensure that any health care reform measures provide direct incentives to nonprofit employers so that they may have affordable access to health insurance options for their employees.

[Executive Director Organization]

Thursday, October 8, 2009

CDO Workforce Offers Special Presentation

Wednesday, October 28th 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Holiday Inn, Oneonta

Since the end the Second World War, the United States has led the world in scientific discovery and innovation, and has been a magnet attracting the best scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians to our educational institutions, industries and laboratories from around the globe.

However, in today’s rapidly evolving competitive world, the United States is losing its competitive foothold as the leading knowledge economy. Nations, such as China, are quickly
challenging the US dominance in scientific excellence and technological innovation, in education, the science and engineering workforce, scientific knowledge, investment and hightech economic output.

Join us for an interactive session with Mr. Martin Booker, General Manager of Amphenol Corporation - Industrial Division who has lived and worked in Asia and China for the past 27+
years to discuss his personal experiences and insights on China and how do we compare, with a
particular emphasis will be on:

􀂙 Business focus and philosophy
􀂙 Economy
􀂙 Educational Systems
􀂙 Workforce preparation

Who should attend?
Business and Community leaders, School District Administrators and Principals, College
Administrators and faculty, Workforce and Economic Development Professionals, and anyone
interested in today’s rapidly evolving global economy and the competitive future of the United

Please RSVP to:
Ona Whaley at (607) 432-4800 ext. 120 or

The Presenter:
Martin Booker was born and raised in the United Kingdom and earned a Masters degree in Geo- Physics from the University of Wales. In 1981, Martin moved to Asia working both in the Peoples Republic of China and Southeast Asia and spent 9 years living and working in Asia before returning to Europe. His work while based in Europe required him to travel and work with customers and suppliers in Asia with a focus on China. Martin was working, living and traveling to China before most businesses contemplated China as a place to do business. He is a pioneer in Asian business development and is uniquely qualified to discuss this timely topic.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

September 30th Program: Employer Resources for Nonprofits

The Leatherstocking AEA held their Septemer 30th program, which centered on the challenges confronting nonprofits regarding downsizing and re-organizing their staff. In response, Executive Directors are looking for ideas on how to do this appropriately and effectively. This panel discussion offered great information and resources to help nonprofits respond to these issues. The panel featured:

The panel addresses a variety of topics, which included:

Shared Work Program Presentation
Internship Presentation

Thank you again to our panelists for sharing their invaluable time and information. Have your own resources or information you would like to add? Share it here or e-mail us.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

$3.9 million grant awared for affiliation between Bassett Hospital and A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital

The Daily Star reported that plans for an affiliation of Bassett Healthcare and A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital received grant funding.

Overall, the legislature provided $436 million in the budget for Health care Efficiency and Affordability Law, or HEAL, of New York State grants to address the needs of health facilities statewide, according to an announcement by Gov. David Paterson. The funds are provided by the state Department of Health and Dormitory Authority.

A $3.9 million grant was awarded to facilitate the proposed affiliation between Bassett in Cooperstown and Fox Hospital in Oneonta, according to a joint release from the two organizations.

The two have been planning for months to achieve greater operating efficiencies and responsiveness to the community. That could be completed later this year, officials from both organizations said.

The funds will be used, according to the release, as follows: $2 million to Fox Hospital for restructuring existing debt; $400,000 to Fox to undertake a comprehensive master facility planning process; $500,000 to support information technology costs involved in connecting the two facilities; $300,000 to support legal activities; $500,000 to support the establishment of Bassett clinical services at FoxCare Center; and $200,000 to assist in recruiting health care provides to serve the greater Oneonta community.

Read more here.

Friday, September 25, 2009

United Way strives to make its goal in tough economic year

The Daily Star reported the kickoff reception for the 40th year of the United Way of Delaware & Otsego Counties was held Thursday at the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

About 75 people attended the opening of the fundraising campaign that runs through Dec. 31, Executive Director Terry Capuano said.

In the current economy, this will be a tough year to meet the goal of surpassing the 2008 total of $343,000, she said. But she is "cautiously optimistic."

The goal should be attainable when the public realizes that 99 percent of their donations "stays local," she said. The donations help fund programs in qualifying agencies in Delaware and Otsego counties that meet the needs of people.

Nonprofit agencies that receive support for specific programs include Planned Parenthood of South Central New York, Opportunities for Otsego, Salvation Army and Hancock Community Education Foundation. Read more here.

September 30th Employer Resources Program Announced!

Many local nonprofits are in the process of downsizing and re-organizing their staff, and are looking for ideas on how to do this appropriately and effectively. In response to these challenges, the Leatherstocking AEA has planned a panel discussion on human resources and employee issues (such as regulations, benefits, and employer resources). This panel discussion will offer you information on local resources, including sources for possible interns and training programs.

New Panel Addition!
The panel will feature presenters Alan Sessions, Business Services Rep. for the Dept. of Labor & CDO Workforce; Tammy Neumann, VP Human Resources and Development at Wilber National Bank; and Melissa Marietta, Internship Coordinator at Hartwick College.
A new addition is Kelly McGraw, Director of Human Resources for Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care.

Here's a peak at some of the material to be covered by the panel:
Wondering how to recruit and utilize interns? Join us to learn about what do students get from internships and why are college campuses promoting them so much. Hear what employers gain from hosting interns and how hiring interns can help your nonprofit. You will even learn about how to get your internship program started, and the legal considerations you need to be aware of and address.

WE NEED YOUR INPUT: Questions for our Panel
In preparation for this Program, please share questions you are hoping will be answered by the panel (click here).

The Program will be hosted by the Foothills Performing Arts Center. Attend the Program and learn about this impressive facility and its growing programming.
Date: September 30th, 9:30 am to 11:00 amLocation: Foothills Performing Arts Center
24 Market Street
Oneonta, NY 13820


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Focus Groups Announced: Arts Council Needs Your Input

Greetings from UCCCA:

As you are aware, UCCCA is moving forward shortly to conduct a search for a new Executive Director and determine the future direction of the organization. With the current economy, our organization needs to set priorities for the best use of its resources. In order for the Board to be well informed we need input and thoughts from our various constituencies. To that end, Justine Woolner-Wise and I will be conducting focus groups in October. Each will aimed at a particular group of constituents, but feel free to attend any one of the three that is convenient for you. The groups will be held at the Wilber Mansion beginning at 5:30 p.m. and ending no later than 7:00 p.m. Light refreshments will be available and we are requesting that you RSVP so adequate planning can take place. Also, please feel free to invite others to attend if they are interested and were not contacted directly by us. Let us know if you and others are coming.

October 1, 2009
5:30-7:00 p.m.
Artists, Galley Owners, Teachers

October 8, 2009
5:30-7:00 p.m.
Art Organizations, Local Business & Government

October 15, 2009
5:30-7:00 p.m.
Community at Large and UCCCA Members

I hope you will mark these dates on your calendar and plan to attend. Again, please RSVP by calling 607-432-2070 or emailing so we can be fully prepared for the meeting.

If you are unable to attend any of the meetings, but want a chance to participate, you may take a survey UCCCA has made available on Survey Monkey. Copy and paste the survey link into your internet browser:

Cheri Albrecht,MPA
Interim Executive Director

Friday, September 18, 2009

September 30th Employer Resources Program Announced

Many local nonprofits are in the process of downsizing and re-organizing their staff, and are looking for ideas on how to do this appropriately and effectively. In response to these challenges, the Leatherstocking AEA has planned a panel discussion on human resources and employee issues (such as regulations, benefits, and employer resources). This panel discussion will offer you information on local resources, including sources for possible interns and training programs.

The panel will feature presenters Alan Sessions, Business Services Rep. for the Dept. of Labor & CDO Workforce; Tammy Neumann, VP Human Resources and Development at Wilber National Bank; and Melissa Marietta, Internship Coordinator at Hartwick College. The Program will be hosted by the Foothills Performing Arts Center. Attend the Program and learn about this impressive facility and its growing programming.

Date: September 30th, 9:30 am to 11:00 am
Location: Foothills Performing Arts Center
24 Market Street
Oneonta, NY 13820

Friday, September 4, 2009

Soccer Hall of Fame to Close

The Daily Star reported that the museum at the National Soccer Hall of Fame will be closed to the public after Labor Day, except for dates when matches are on the field, its President and Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Ullman said Thursday.

He spoke during a media conference at the facility about the Soccer Hall's financial difficulties and also confirmed there will be a reduction in staff as it works on "a new sustainable operating model." He did not discuss details of the cuts, saying, "We have some wonderful people that have worked extremely hard and have been dedicated to this organization." Read more here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

OFO awarded $2.4 million stimulus funding to help fight poverty

WKTV reported that Congressman Michael Arcuri made a stop to announce some major funding for Otsego County on Monday.

Arcuri spoke at Opportunities for Otsego, a non-profit organization whose goal is to fight poverty.

On Monday, Congressman Arcuri announced that there is $2.4 million coming to Otsego County under the stimulus package. Much of the money will be used for various programs, including one called "Wheels to Work." It provides many transportation-related services, including helping to secure car insurance. Watch the video here.

Employees Volunteer Services to Charities and Nonprofits, Fostering Potential New Customer Relationships

Some small businesses are following the recession playbook of the unemployed.

Just as many laid-off workers are volunteering more to fill up their free time and enhance their résumés, small-business owners and their employees are doing more pro bono services or volunteer work as a marketing and customer-relations strategy.

The recession hit Studio G Architects Inc. of Boston particularly hard last fall, causing 2008 revenue to drop 30% from the prior year, says Gail Sullivan, the principal. Clients of the 16-year-old architectural firm killed or put on hold 10 projects last October. With work slowing down, the company began providing 15 to 20 hours a week in pro bono services to keep employees occupied and potentially attract future contracts. It worked.

This spring the firm prepared preliminary design projects, such as a playground for severely handicapped children, for various charities. The projects later received full funding and Studio G obtained several contracts, which ranged in value from $16,000 to $100,000. "Offering the pro bono services has given us a chance to maintain our design vigor [and] resulted in people hiring us," Ms. Sullivan says.

For a small business that has lost clients or seen revenue-generating projects dry up, performing free work is a way to keep employees engaged while cultivating new relationships. Donating services to charity groups, churches, schools and other nonprofits can "increase local visibility, deepen local business ties and create opportunity for new business," says Christine Banning, vice president of marketing and communications at SCORE, a Washington-based group that provides free counseling to small businesses. Read more here.

How can nonprofits in the local region better position themselves for attracting pro bono assistance? Share your ideas here.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Steering Committee Minutes

Steering Committee Meeting August 14th

Lori S., Debra M., Michael W., and Susan K.

  • Discussed possible new Steering Committee members
  • Delaware County
    § Liz Callahan, Hanford Mills Museum
    § Peg Ellsworth, M-ARK Project
    § Lisa Rainwater, Catskill Center
  • Chenango County
    § Patty Lockwood-Blaise, Earlville Opera
    § Jane Coddington, Catholic Charities
    § Dave Sheldon, The Place
  • Discussed meeting format
    o Part of value is social interaction, sit next to someone and network peer to peer
  • Discussed issues for Group
    o Health care challenges
    o Aging work force
    o Human resources issues
    § VP of Wilber Bank, Bob Harder, potential speaker
    § Department of Labor, Jim Phillips (432-4800 ext 7)
    · Unemployment benefits
    · Hiring and firing
    · Part-time staff
    · Volunteers
    o Myth of running org with volunteers
    · CDO Workforce
    · Americorps
    · Creative ways to reward employees
    · Other resources
    o Experience Works through Dept of Labor
    § Panel Discussion
    o NYS budget cuts and impact on organization
  • Locations
    o Foothills SPAC
    o Soccer Hall of Fame
    o Wilber Bank

Friday, August 21, 2009

Nonprofits in Rural America: Overcoming the Resource Gap

The Bridgespan Group has released a paper discussing the nonprofit sector in rural America and its challenges around funding. As the article relates:

This paper lays out some of the facts surrounding rural nonprofit funding in the sample states, including original research comparing rural and urban nonprofits. We also take a preliminary stab—in the interest of seeding a dialogue—at some lessons for both nonprofits and foundations interested in addressing rural issues. While it would be presumptuous to consider our lessons as recipes for success, we hope organizations will consider these lessons as they wrestle with the contemporary questions of how to fund the important work of addressing rural poverty during these tough economic times.

The Rural Funding Gap
While the current economic climate has placed tremendous financial strains on the nonprofit community at large, recent studies have found that nonprofits in rural America face amplified funding challenges. "Compared to their urban counterparts, rural nonprofits are significantly disadvantaged,” says Rachel Swierzewski, a research consultant for the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy and the author of a 2007 report on rural philanthropy. “With scarce local funding sources and often insufficient local support systems, rural nonprofits find it incredibly difficult to build strong organizations."[2]

The data on rural nonprofit funding is stark. Consider the rural funding gap in three important realms.
  • Federal government funding: In each year between 1994 and 2001, rural areas received between $401 and $648 less per capita than urban areas for community resources, human resources, and national functions.[3]
  • Private foundations: A 2006 "analysis of grant making of the top 1,000 U.S. foundations shows that…grants to rural America accounted for only 6.8 percent of overall annual giving by foundations,"[4] even though rural America accounts for 18 percent of the nation’s population and 21 percent of those who live in poverty.[5,6]
  • Corporate giving: A 2000 study of giving by 124 Fortune 500 corporations found that rural organizations received only 1.4 percent of the 10,905 grants made.[7]
The scarcity of funding for rural nonprofits means that these organizations—with fewer resources to begin with—must work harder to obtain the money they need to serve rural communities. The result is that rural nonprofits are less able to help disadvantaged residents in rural communities to overcome their challenges. Read more here.

Filling the Void and Making Things Work

Recently we have seen funding cutbacks and grant losses throughout the nonprofit sector, especially with local organizations. In response, we need to find new ways of filling gaps and taking needs to a greater public. I came across one such tool recently that any nonprofit can learn from. The resource,, is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need.

Here's how it works: public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on Requests range from pencils for a poetry writing unit, to violins for a school recital, to microscope slides for a biology class.

Then, you can browse project requests and give any amount to the one that makes your eye twinkle. Once a project reaches its funding goal, we deliver the materials to the school.
You'll get photos of your project taking place, a thank-you letter from the teacher, and a cost report showing how each dollar was spent. If you give over $100, you'll also receive hand-written thank-you letters from the students.

At, you can give as little as $1 and get the same level of choice, transparency, and feedback that is traditionally reserved for someone who gives millions. We call it citizen philanthropy.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Remind the Government Nonprofits Exist!

Dear Nonprofit Leader,
I write to urge you to check out the following blog post. You know I have never done this before, so it must be important. And it is.

As nonprofits across the country have been going to our federal officials to discuss how their health care reform plans affect nonprofits, we keep hearing government officials say things like: "Gee, we hadn't thought about nonprofits as employers."

So, in this blog column, the President of the National Council of Nonprofits points out how nonprofits keep being taken for granted and urges nonprofits to "beat the drum" to "remind government that we exist, and we exist at a scale that should not and cannot be ignored any longer."

In this Great Recession, our nonprofits are being asked to meet increasing community needs with decreasing resources - while also paying escalating costs, such as constantly increasing health insurance premiums. As the blog column warns: that "math just doesn't work."

If you agree that our government officials shouldn't ignore, overlook, or forget about nonprofits, then please join me and the New York Council of Nonprofits by contacting our federal officials to urge them to respect the more than 60,000 nonprofits in New York by including us in health care reform in a meaningful way.

Let's all "pick up a drum" and start making some noise, telling our stories about how New York's nonprofits add real value to local communities and individual lives every single day. Otherwise, we will be forgotten - which would be "unfair and unsafe to those depending on services we deliver and the benefits we provide."

Contact Your Senators:
Gillibrand, Kirsten E. 478 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC, 20510(202) 224-4451
Contact Senator Gillibrand Now.

Schumer, Charles E. 313 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC, 20510(202) 224-6542
Contact Senator Schumer Now.
Click here for your members of Congress
Thank you again for the work that you do and for raising your voice on behalf of our nonprofit community here in New York.

Doug Sauer, CEO
New York Council of Nonprofits, Inc.

CROP programs lose funding

The Daily Star reported on that four area schools are scrambling to make plans for their CROP after-school programs after recently losing their funding.

Programs at Riverside in Oneonta, Jefferson, Stamford and Cherry Valley-Springfield were denied funding in June through an application submitted by Otsego-Northern Catskills Board of Cooperative Educational Services.

CROP director Kris Kaschak said the grant application was one of 387 submitted by organizations in the state and 60 were approved for funding provided by the federal No Child Left Behind program. Read more here.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

7th Annual Rally for Recovery Set for September 20th



Oneonta, NY
Neahwa Park, Large Pavilion

Event T-Shirt to first 50 registrants
Walk Registration: 12 PM
Two Mile Walk: 1 PM $3 donation (or Optional 1 mile)
FOOD served 1:30 ON (additional cost)
Live Music 1:30 – 4 pm
Games and Family Activities

For more information: or call the Turning Point at 607-267-4435

Friday, August 14, 2009

Nonprofit Ventures

The NY Council of Nonprofits started a simple blog, Nonprofit Ventures, after our recent Entrepreneurial Ventures for the Arts trainings in Albany and NYC. This blog is a place to share ideas and ask questions about starting your own for profit venture. As nonprofits face more funding challenges, entrepreneurial ventures are becoming more of focus and opportunity to generate unrestricted operating revenue. Do you have an idea? Share it here on NYNED or visit Nonprofit Ventures.

We also invite to learn from your peers. We recently sat down to speak with Bernadette Cannon, an amazing supporter and advocate for Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care, who attended the very first New York Council of Nonprofits Entrepreneurial Ventures training in Oneonta in 2004. She came to the training with a simple idea: start a thrift shop. For the next couple of years, she worked tirelessly to make her idea a reality. Listen to her share her insight about her for profit venture. Most importantly, hear about her success.

Visit our YouTube channel and watch Bernadette share the rest of her story and her feedback. Have your own story to share? Post it here, or contact us. Interested in contacting Bernadette? You can e-mail her at

Monday, August 10, 2009

Area sales-tax revenues down

The Daily Star reported that sales-tax revenue totals throughout the four-county area showed a sharp decline from last year's revenue during the second quarter, forcing budget cuts and hiring freezes.

Otsego County Treasurer Myrna Thayne said the current quarter's numbers are "not good, but they are not as bad as they could be."

Thayne said Otsego's sales-tax revenue for April, May and June _ the second quarter of 2009 _ totaled $12,756,905, compared with $13,680,656 for the same period last year, which is a 6.75 percent decrease. Read more here.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


The Executive Service Corps (ESC) Board of Directors announces the appointment of Nola Henry to the newly created position of Office Manager for the organization. In this position, she is responsible for the overall management/coordination of the Executive Service Corps of Otsego-Delaware, Inc. Nola assumed this position effective August 3, 2009 upon the resignation of Lori Solensten who was the Executive Director.

Nola brings a wealth of expertise and experience to the position having been the organizations Executive Assistant for four years according to Rich McCaffery, Chair of the Board of Directors. "We are fortunate to have someone with the vast educational background Nola brings to this position as well as her familiarization of ESC and the small businesses and non-for -profit organizations throughout the two county region" McCaffery states.

She possesses a Bachelor of Arts from SUNY Potsdam in Interdisciplinary Social Science with a concentration in Nursery - Grade Six Education and a Master of Science in Early Education/Dev. and Administration from NOVA Southeastern University.

Executive Service Corps Otsego-Delaware is a nonprofit organization devoted to strengthening small businesses and nonprofits through mentoring, consulting and training provided by highly experienced individuals who volunteer their services.

For more information about ESC contact their office at 12 Dietz Street, Oneonta or call 433-1700 or e-mail Regular business hours are Mondays through Thursdays 9am-2pm.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

For Your Consideration: Boards Should Only Have Three Committees

Blue Avocado's Board Cafe offered an article by David La Piana that discusses the challenges boards face with committees and their operation. David states that nonprofits should consider a simple three-committee structure consisting of Internal Affairs, External Affairs, and Governance. He ties the structure together with an Executive Committee that has Chairs from each of the three committees. Read more about his idea here.

Friday, July 31, 2009

D.C. High Schoolers Engage Business Owners For Their Summer Jobs

From WAMU David Schultz reports...

D.C. High Schoolers Engage Business Owners For Their Summer Jobs

July 31, 2009 - Crystal and Briana are both 15 years old. They're filling out a questionnaire with the owner of Soul Day Spa in Ward 5. "Do you ever see children playing on the street?" Crystal asks. "In the last three months, how many car accidents have you seen? Speaking about crime, how safe is the neighborhood?"

The girls are participating in a program called Community YouthMapping. They're approaching business owners in every ward of the city to find out what services they need. Then they will compile their findings and issue a report for the Mayor and the City Council.

The program's coordinator, Amelia Corangy, says YouthMapping teaches children the kinds of "soft" skills that schools often overlook.

"Being able to introduce themselves to somebody that they don't know is something that they're just supposed to know how to do," she says. "But they've never been taught. Forcing kids to speak publicly and talking about things like eye contact and stuff like that, it's important."

The city is paying the students through its summer jobs program. Click here to see story.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Do sad faces make donors give more?


Do pictures of sad children stir more people to give than picture of happy children? In my experience: sometimes.

Recent research in the Journal of Marketing Research offers a more definitive answer than I do at The Face of Need: Facial Emotion Expression on Charity Advertisements (PDF, 54 pages).

From the abstract:
This paper examines how the expression of emotion on a victim's face affects both sympathy and giving. Building on theories of emotional contagion and sympathy the authors propose that (a) people "catch the emotions displayed on a victim's face and (b) they are particularly sympathetic and likely to donate when viewing sad expressions, relative to happy or neutral expressions.
These findings straddle the line between blindingly obvious and just plain wrong.
Obvious because anyone who's done repeated image testing in fundraising will tell you that "sad" images are usually more effective than happy ones.

But wrong because the research didn't look at actual fundraising results. And anyone who does that knows that sad faces are not always more effective. It depends on what you're raising funds for. Sometimes a happy image just kicks butt over a sad one. Click here to read more.

Opportunities for Otsego Launches Re-designed Website

Opportunities for Otsego is pleased to announce the launching of its re-designed website. The purposes of the web site are to convey important information about services, employment opportunities, resources to the board of directors and employees, and establish a convenient way to make donations. “In this day and age, Internet communication is an important and cost effective method for conveying our message” said Dan Maskin, CEO. The Opportunities for Otsego Web Site has links to its services and programs, resources and publications, and information on eligibility and volunteer opportunities. You may visit the site at

Artwork, community to be celebrated Saturday

The Daily Star reported that painting, sculpture and other artworks will line Main Street on Saturday for the seventh annual City of the Hills Arts Festival.

Downtown Main Street will be closed during the free event, which also will have activities for visitors of all ages, organizers said. Some artists will give demonstrations, and the bands Reservoir Road and Blues Maneuver will set the tone musically. Read more here. Visit the Upper Catskill Community Council of the Arts for information.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Area extensions to share services

The Daily Star reported that a shared-administrative services agreement between Otsego County Cooperative Extension and its counterpart in Schoharie County may set the stage for future cooperation and possibly a merger.

The boards of directors of Otsego County CCE and the Schoharie County Cornell Cooperative Extension recently approved an agreement to share the services of Schoharie County's Executive Director Don Smyers for a seven-month period beginning Sept. 1, according to a media release.

Dan Palm, acting executive director of Otsego County CCE, said he would stay on in a one-day-a-week, part-time role to help Smyers examine three options: leave the two extensions the way they are, share services under one administrator or merge into one organization. Read more here.

Monday, July 27, 2009

On the Bright Side: Health center marks 1st year

The Daily Star reported that if birthday candles were patient visits, the Oneonta Community Health Clinic would have 420 in its first year.

The clinic at 22 Academy St. opened July 29 last year, and the volunteer staff will recognize the one-year mark during its hours Tuesday night.

Since its opening, the clinic has provided 420 patient visits to low-income adults who don't have health insurance. The clinic offers basic health care and referrals and also assists those eligible to apply for federal and state health-assistance programs, according to a media release. Although the target area is Otsego and Delaware Counties, individuals needing medical care are welcome regardless of their residence. The clinic is open 5:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays. Read more about the Health Clinic and its important efforts and future plans.

Friday, July 24, 2009

WUOW radio station to expand its reach

The Daily Star reported that SUNY Oneonta's public-radio staff is working to broadcast beyond Oneonta and reach more of Otsego County.

WUOW, the National Public Radio/Pacifica affiliate station at the State University College at Oneonta, has received approval from the Federal Communications Commission for a construction permit. It will change the two-year-old station from a low-power station broadcasting at 104.7 FM to a full-power station broadcasting at 88.5 FM. Read more here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Catskill Area Hospice Launches New Social Media Website

Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care has completed a new website featuring social media tools, including Flickr, YouTube, and FaceBook. They shared that they they have had great feedback, and board members are thrilled with the new capabilities. Hospice feels this new website will give them more exposure and provide better access to their services and programs. They are also able to post events, reach the community in new ways, and raise money online.

Interested in learning more about web 2.0 tools, and how they can help your nonprofit? Contact us and learn more about what to consider and our endorsed corporate vendors who provide this assistance. Catskill Area Hospice's website was implemented by GrafiQa Creative Services, an endorsed NYCON corporate member.

NYSERDA Grant Opportunity for NYS Nonprofits

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announces a new grant opportunity through the Energy Conservation Study ARRA Assistance Program. This opportunity provides funding to complete Energy Conservation Studies, which can be used to support applications to upcoming project implementation funding opportunities through NYSERDA's administration of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds. All New York State non-profits [501(c)3] will be eligible participants. The studies can address the following topics: energy efficiency; renewable energy; and alternative fuel vehicles. Under this program, each applicant will be eligible to receive funding of 100% of the study cost up to $30,000. The completed study can then be used as supplemental material for future ARRA grant applications.

For the full PON description and application, visit the website below.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hot Tunes for Hard Times Benefit on August 23 to Aid Landis Arboretum

Nine Area Bands and Performance Artists Donate Time, Talent, Goodwill

Beyond the pursuit of principled goals and community enrichment, many non-profit entities are gasping for air in today's oxygen-depleting economy. Business as usual and Kumbaya over afternoon tea have long given way to frenetic and creative fundraising -- especially as traditional sources of financial support have ebbed in a seachange of economic upheaval. The 1966 Broadway hit Cabaret offers a tune and a reality check that is as apt today as it was in the past, Money Makes the World Go Round. *

Enter Walter Wouk and Finnegan's Wake Music (, a not-for-profit organization that promotes local bands and musicians. Alarmed by news reports of on-going and pending cutbacks at the Landis Arboretum, the Summit, NY resident and long-time independent music promoter approached the Arboretum with an idea. Quietly and behind the scenes, Wouk, long a presence in upstate New York's music scene since his successful summer concert series at Summit Lake, worked with the Arboretum to produce the upcoming Hot Tunes for Hard Times, which he believes will be the start of regularly scheduled, fundraising concerts at Landis.

Slated for Sunday, August 23, the afternoon concert will feature performances by nine regional bands and soloists - all who have donated their time and talent to benefit the Landis Arboretum. For a suggested donation of $10/person, visitors can stretch out on the lawn at Landis with its sweeping vista of the Schoharie Valley, or sit in the meetinghouse, relax, and enjoy the music at the 548-acre Arboretum.

Mr. Wouk, too, is donating his time for the love of music and the Arboretum. He considers the Landis Arboretum "a green resource that must be maintained." Mr. Wouk, who moved to Schoharie County in 1982, was quick to realize the area's wealth of local musical talent and drew upon local musicians to raise funds for Project Children (, an organization that provided summer vacations in the U.S. to children from then war-torn Northern Ireland. He has been involved in promoting local bands and musicians since that time. Recent efforts include a three-and-a- half year stint hosting underground music shows at the Lake View House in Summit, NY. After the Lake View House closed in 2007, Wouk became director of Finnegan's Wake Music and continues to support local music byseeking out venues for local bands and musicians.

Hot Tunes for Hard Times could not be better timed, says Barbara Brabetz, chief financial officer of the non-profit Landis: "This past year, global economic issues, coupled with the proposed New York State budget cuts. have created a "perfect storm" of financial challenges for our Arboretum, and potentially endangering our noteworthy Collections. "Above and beyond the obligations of the day-to-day costs of operating the Arboretum, we continue to face the looming and very real threat of massive cuts from traditional funding sources. "Through judicious use of our limited resources and stringent belt tightening over the past year, we managed to enter 2009 with a positive balance sheet. Generosity from supporters such as Walter Wouk and the artists who will perform at the Arboretum on August 23 are a new -- and welcomed -- source of funding and rekindling of member involvement and support."

Hot Tunes from Cool Bands
Mr Wouk's familiarity with the music scene and the respect he elicits from area performance artists made it easy for him to assemble a lineup of performers ready share their talents to showcase and aid the Landis Arboretum. Among the talented performers and groups who will create Hot Tunes for Hard Times are:
The Blank - Math Rock without all the Math,;
Loathsome Ritual - experimental heavy metal;
Bearfoot Bob - acoustic folk rock;
Mark Baptiste - acoustic and electric guitar. Sings a mix of folk and traditional American tunes;
Wild Mountain - Celtic and traditional folk;
Organized Chaos - Home-grown folk rock; maintains the spirit of the Grateful Dead;
Owen Nied - 11-year-old blues guitarist;
Rodney Louis Baker - original R&B, Pop and Soul ;
Pat Paterson - Acoustic originals from a local singer songwriter.
Rain or Shine, Hot Tunes for Hard Times starts at 2 PM on August 23 at the Arboretum Meetinghouse. Participants are encouraged to bring their own picnic basket. Soft drinks and water will be available for sale.

"We're excited about this event," says Arboretum President Anne Donnelly. "Walter envisions this play date as an attempt to enable Arboretum supporters to help out at the grassroots level, to buy-in to its future during these very difficult times for them and for us for as little as $10 - and to have fun doing it. Like all events at the Arboretum, this will have a family focus - from musical phenom Owen Nied to the presence of the bands and their own families and friends."

A mark, a yen, a buck, or a pound Is all that makes the world go around,That clinking clanking sound Can make the world go 'round.* -- -- especially when joined with the sounds of music on August 23 at Landis, the Capital Region's Arboretum.

For more information about Hot Tunes for Hard Times, contact the Arboretum at 518-875-6935 or visit

Monday, July 13, 2009

Catskill Center marks its 40th

The Daily Star reported that The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development will mark its founding 40 years ago with a celebration on Saturday, July 18, at the Delaware & Ulster Railroad Park in Arkville.

According to a media release, in recognition of its four decades of service in the Catskill Mountain Region, the Catskill Center will be bestowing its Alf Evers Award for Excellence on four Catskills businesses that contribute to the local economy, serve as sustainable business models and provide cultural opportunities to local residents and visitors: Apple Pond Farm and Renewable Energy Center, The Belleayre Conservatory, Merrick Tackle and Catskill Craftsman.

Headlining the festival is Grammy-nominated, kid-friendly Trout Fishing in America, followed by traditional hometown mountain music from The Tremperskill Boys. Read more here about the Catskill Center.

NYCON launches Interim Executive Leadership Program

Are You Looking for an Exciting Opportunity to Lead a Nonprofit Organization?
Consider becoming an Interim Executive Director!

What is the Interim Executive Director Leadership (IEL) Program? The Interim Executive Director Leadership (IEL) Program is designed to help meet the needs of nonprofit agencies as significant numbers of nonprofit executives are expected to retire over the next 5 years. The Interim Executive Director Leadership (IEL) Program is a comprehensive training, placement and support initiative designed for qualified, experienced nonprofit professionals in transitional nonprofit Executive Director/CEO positions in New York State. Interim Executive Directors trained through our program will provide effective transitional leadership to nonprofits in order to strengthen organizational health and effectiveness during a time of transition.

Consider Becoming an Interim Executive Director if you are a:
Current and/or former executive director with successful experience in nonprofit executive management;
Nonprofit professional who is currently or have already served as an Interim Executive Leader who would like to be involved with this initiative and receive specialized training to augment and build upon their current skills;
Nonprofit Professional or consultant who clearly demonstrates executive leadership knowledge, abilities, maturity and effectiveness.

Program Dates & Locations: Please note that space in the training sessions listed below is limited. Registrants must complete an application process that includes submission of a writing sample and at least one reference. Candidates who successfully complete the training and secondary evaluation process may be placed into Interim Executive Director positions through this program.

August 18th, 2009 - Albany, NY NYCON Main Office, 272 Broadway, Albany, NYTime: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Cost: $150, Training Materials & Lunch Provided

August 20th, 2009 - Rochester, NY United Way of Greater Rochester, 75 College Avenue, Rochester, NY Time: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Cost: $150, Training Materials & Lunch Provided

For more information click here or please contact: Jennifer Lockwood, Program Director 454-5062 x. 102

New owner planning Oneonta Theatre future

The Daily Star reported on the recent purchase of the historic Oneonta Theatre, and the owner's call for ideas to restore entertainment to the stage and screens at 47 Chestnut St.

``This building has some great potential,'' owner Thomas Cormier said.

The purchase is a ``fine'' resolution to questions about the theater's fate, said Patrice Macaluso, president of the Friends of the Oneonta Theatre. The group formed last year to preserve the historic site, and launched plans to buy the complex in downtown Oneonta. Read more about the theatre and the new nonprofit launced around it here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Girls on the Run at the Utica Boilermaker Expo

"The Boilermaker 15K road race hosts at least 10,000 runners per year. Boilermaker Weekend, which offers events for participants of every age and skill level, has grown to include fitness and special events, such as a 5K Run, 3 Mile Walk, Youth Run, Health and Fitness Expo., and more. Designed around the weekend's crown jewel, the Boilermaker 15K Road Race, Boilermaker Weekend promotes a healthy lifestyle with a focus on fun, family, and community spirit"

This Friday and Saturday, July 10th and 11th, Girls on the Run -Otsego County and Girls on the Run International will be have a booth at the Utica Boilermaker Expo. Our goal is to increase awareness of Girls on the Run and raise scholarship money through the SoleMates team.

The 5K is on Sunday July 12th starting at 7:30 am. Preregistration is required. The Kids Run is Saturday at 8:15. Registration is on Friday from 12-3 at the Kid's Tent and is free.For more information click here: The Utica Boilermaker

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Facebook Follow Up

Facebook Follow Up

Figured out how to add custom tabs to the MHAUS Facebook Fan Page that include a resources tab with helpful links back to the MHAUS web site, and another tab where visitors can invite their friends, see it at:

Happy to share “how to” and code if you interested, email me at; glad to help.

Make Marketing a Board Priority

Marketing is often an afterthought for many nonprofits, and convincing a board of directors of its importance can be a challenging task.

Ann, an executive director from a Central New York nonprofit relates just how challenging this can be.

"My Board is never very supportive of our marketing efforts and they don't see how important this can be to our success," she says. "It's a challenge to approve the budget to create materials and the website we so desperately need. I'm frustrated because at each board meeting it's discussed how we need to secure more donors, the big-time donors, and have better turn out at our events. My Board just doesn't make the connection that without marketing ourselves, people don't really know who we are or our impact on the community."

Here are some steps to help a board of directors make marketing a priority:

Hold board training
Utilize a communications consultant to train the board to understand the benefits of developing marketing strategies to promote the impact and message of the organization. Sometimes an outside perspective is necessary for the board to understand the value of marketing and for added support of the CEO or executive director's ideas.

Diversify the board of directors
Seek out new board members from the private sector that either have a marketing and communications background or that utilize marketing effectively in their businesses. Diversifying the board can help with marketing, fund development, finance and many other challenges that nonprofits face.

Develop a marketing plan
Work with the board to develop a marketing plan for the organization to lay the foundation for marketing efforts. Don't forget to include marketing in the overall organizational strategic plan.

Include communications in grant proposals
Always include a communications piece in all grant proposals to help build a marketing budget. Also, seek local business support to help underwrite marketing efforts.

Show concrete results
Relate the impact of marketing efforts in a language boards can understand. Instead of stating a goal to increase the awareness of XYZ nonprofit, state the goal in a measurable way. Through marketing efforts, as determined in the marketing plan, XYZ nonprofit will develop 4 new media contacts this year, increase foundation support by 20 percent and have 150 attendees at an event.

Keep the Board updated on the progress and evaluate whether the marketing strategies utilized are effective. Most importantly, show the return on investment of marketing efforts.

Stacy Jones is a nonprofit marketing consultant based in Troy, N.Y. and a Shoestring Creative Group Network Affiliate. She can be reached at

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Looking for Ideas to Raise Money: Check This Out

I came across this info on Twitter, which is a great place to quickly find interesting ideas and information for your nonprofit. Someone "tweeted" about Meals On Wheels And More (MOWAM) in Austin, Tx, and their response to raising money in hard times. As they related on their website:

"In a challenging economy, people are finding economical and creative ways to help Meals on Wheels and More. Here are a few folks who have set the bar for finding unique ways to raise money without spending money."

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Six Rules for Brand Revitalization

"McDonald's Did It, and You Can Too" by Larry Light Published: June 29, 2009 in Advertising Age

Larry Light Brands do not die natural deaths. However, brands can be murdered through mismanagement. Some brands are beyond hope -- but others can be revitalized.

Of course, it's not easy. But it is well worth the effort. We at Arcature developed the following principles and practices over the years while working with a variety of clients in a variety of businesses. They're also practices we applied during my tenure as global CMO of McDonald's from 2002 to 2005.

For a brand to be successfully revitalized, everyone needs to be on the same page. Then they must follow the six rules of brand revitalization listed here. This "Plan to Win," as we call it, is built around the eight P's: purpose, promise, people, product, place, price, promotion and performance. Read more at:

Monday, June 29, 2009

Bugbee Children's Center Offers Fund Development Workshop Opportunity July 7th

The Bugbee Children's Center is sponsoring a workshop with Joanne Yepsen, owner of Coltivare Consulting in Saratoga Springs, who specializes in fund development/capital campaigns. The workshop focusing on donor solicitation, "the big ask", will be in the Bacon Activity Room on the SUNY Oneonta campus on Tuesday, July 7th from 1pm - 4pm. Fee for the afternoon session is $50 per person. Register at by July 6th. Contact Marie Petta, Center Director for further information.

Date: Tuesday, July 7th
Where: Bacon Activity Room, SUNY Oneonta
Fee: $50 per person
For more information, call Marie Petta at 607-436-2484

Online Discussion Tuesday: Talk to Prominent Corporate Grant Makers

The following event was shared by Tara Collins from the Watershed Agricultural Council:

Join The Chronicle on Tuesday, June 30, for a live online discussion about the state of corporate philanthropy, with leaders from giving programs at Starbucks and Wal-Mart as well as other philanthropy experts.

Our guests will be:

  • Rodney Hines, executive director of the Starbucks Foundation and director of community investments for the Starbucks Coffee Company's Global Responsibility division. Previously, he was a community-affairs manager at the Microsoft Corporation.
  • Jackie Liao, manager of community investments for the Starbucks Coffee Company's Global Responsibility division. She also oversees the Starbucks Social Entrepreneurs Fund.
  • Margaret A. McKenna, president of the Wal-Mart Foundation.
  • Thomas Tighe, chief executive of Direct Relief International, an international medical aid organization, in Santa Barbara, Calif.
  • Mark Shamley, president of the Association of Corporate Contributions Professionals, in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
The Chronicle's online discussions are free and open to everyone. People who ask questions in advance have a better chance of getting answers.

Have a training opportunity you want to share? Let us know.

Friday, June 26, 2009

UCCCA has change in leadership

Former OFO Executive Director Cheri Albrecht will become the interim executive director at the Upper Catskill Community Council of the Arts. Albrecht will help in the search for a permanent executive director. Read The Daily Star article here.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Otsego trims budget by 6.4%

The Daily Star reported that with slow sales-tax collections, the Otsego County Board of Representatives cut the county's 2009 budget by about $712,000 at Wednesday's meeting.
The resolution came from the county's Administration Committee, which has been working to pare expenses to match the revenue expected this year.

Last fall when the budget was crafted, the county planned to collect $33 million in sales tax in 2009. Otsego is ``about 6 percent behind so far,'' said Rep. James Johnson, R-Otsego, Administration Committee chairman, on Thursday.

Weeks ago, the committee asked department heads to propose cuts within their own budgets to help offset declining revenues.

``We asked what they'd cut if they had to reduce their budgets by 5 percent and by 10 percent,'' Johnson said.

Then, for the most part, the committee _ comprising Reps. Richard Murphy, D-Oneonta, Betty Anne Schwerd, R-Burlington, and Johnson _ took the larger proposed cuts, combined them and came up with savings of more than $700,000.

Johnson said more cuts may be in the offing, as other department heads have proposed reductions since the last Administration Committee meeting.

County Board Chairman James Powers, R-Butternuts, said the county needs to cut about $1.1 million to avoid going over budget. The county has a budget of more than $111 million, but much of the money originates with the state and federal governments.

The county's revenue comes primarily from sales taxes and property taxes.
At least part of each item cut Wednesday is paid for with local funds, Powers said.
``One thing I should mention is this is not fat in the budget,'' he said. ``We've cut things we should be doing, but given the state of the economy, we have no choice.''
The resolution to cut expenses was approved by all representatives present Wednesday except for Scott Harrington, R-Oneonta.

``I voted `no' because I don't think the cuts went far enough,'' Harrington said after the vote.
Among cuts made was $167,164 from the county's road fund, including nearly $70,000 in salaries and benefits at the Highway Department, $50,000 for asphalt, stone, sand and oil, and
$40,000 earmarked for local bridge repairs.

The Department of Social Services's contract line saw a subtraction of $34,117. Public health nursing lost $58,356 in salaries and benefits, and the county jail's medical expenses budget was reduced by $13,000.

The board of representatives cut its information technology equipment-hardware budget by $8,475, as well as lodging meals and tolls by $600 and its telephone budget by $1,100.
Powers and Johnson noted that last spring, the board adopted a similar but less-sweeping resolution, opting not to fill all vacant funded positions.

On Thursday, Martin Donnelly, who chairs Delaware County's Finance Committee, said most counties in the state are in the same fix this year and are following a similar course.

``Our sales-tax collection is down, and we're watching every nickel we spend,'' he said.
Delaware County has a freeze on hiring, and equipment purchases are scrutinized closely, allowed only if absolutely necessary, he said.
``We're having a tough year," Johnson said, "but we have to remember the taxpayers are having a tough year, too."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Crisis as an Opportunity Panel Discussion

The LAEA held their June 10th meeting called Crisis As Opportunity: Employing Strategies to Reduce Expenses that may Strengthen your Organization. The meeting began with a small group activity of participants looking at how they are responding in their personal lives to today's economic challenges. Ideas shared were:
  • Cut cable
  • Doing more with home
  • Being outside
  • Modify mortgage
  • Cutting eating out
  • Change brand of dog food
  • Cut down on garbage
  • Recycle
  • Plant a garden
  • Yard sale
  • Ride bus to work
  • Change utility provider
  • Move from land line to cell phone
  • Stay with grocery list
  • Use cash
  • Energy efficiency
  • Economize on vacations
  • Work multiple jobs to build up income
  • Thinking about purchases that aren't essential
  • Careful about what were we put our money
  • Pool as neighbors, share lawnmower, kids clothes, etc
  • Educate kids and setting good examples for them

The program then transitioned to a panel discussion featuring the following EDs:

  • Susan Kenny, Roxbury Arts Group
  • Debra Marcus, Planned Parenthood
  • Liz Callahan, Hanford Mills Museum
  • Jonathan Ullman, Soccer Hall of Fame
The panel began by discussing the challenges facing their nonprofits. Jonathan Ullman began by sharing that the Soccer Hall of Fame is looking at a long-term plan. The Museum can't just put a band-aid on to address issues. They are focusing on deferred maintenance needs now. They need to revitalize the museum to grow and attract audiences. They need to reinvent the organization.

The panelists all agreed that the problems they have now existed before the downturn, but these issues were exacerbated by the economic challenges.

Each organization is facing different challenges. Planned Parenthood is facing staffing issues and business costs associated with implementing electronic medical records. Roxbury Arts Group has seen funding cuts from the state and foundations. Donations and art sales are down too. Hanford Mills Museum has seen similiar developments.

A number of panelists developed different budget scenarios to help their nonprofit proactively respond to funding cuts. Their organizations have put more effort into fundraisers. They are scaling back and focus their efforts. They are working to cover what they are doing now. The panelists also agreed that funders need to look at general operating instead of emphasizing new programs or efforts. Overall, their organizations need to be more productive and effecient.

Cost cutting
Cost cutting is a focus for many nonprofits. These organizations are looking at many areas, including: promotions; how staff are used; different ways of compensating employees; and staff furloughs.

Revenue generation
Generating more money is a main focus for many of the panelists. Ideas include: facility rentals; new membership campaign; new fundraisers; new approaches to sponsorship; and contracting services out (like food service).

Role of staff
The panelists found consensus about the role of staff in meeting these economic challenges. In order for the organization to survive, staff must adapt and change. The staff who don't engage will eventually leave or be asked to leave the organization. Overall, flexibility is key.

The panelists also addressed the importance of the board and engagement. Nonprofits are faced with doing business in a new way. They can't look short-term, but need to change their behavior. Core ideas to help make this happen are:
  • Planning
  • Board education
  • Transparency
  • Communication

Watch some of the meeting below:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Foothills looks to big acts

The Daily Star reported that the Foothills Performing Arts Center is raising the curtain on acts to attract audiences.

Entertainers from New York City and throughout New England are coming to perform at the Market Street center in Oneonta.

Music, drama, poetry and films are planned this month. A vaudeville series for adults and children's workshops are set for July and August. Ticket prices range from $5 to $25.

The programming is a sea change for Foothills, said Jennifer McDowall, who started as executive director about two months ago.

The development and prospects are exciting, supporters said, but challenges remain to sell tickets and find sponsors.

The 624-seat theater, scene shop and atrium are under construction on the site of the former West Nesbitt feed mill. The adjacent 10,350 square-foot production center was completed in 2005 and has been the site of many shows and activities.

As work continues on building the theater, the center has taken risks by spending money to present performers in its existing spaces, McDowall said Thursday.

Goals include increasing revenue and sponsorships and satisfying different theatrical and musical tastes by offering a range of entertainment options. Read more here.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Health plan would tax medical benefits

The Washington Times reported that Congressional leaders searching for ways to fund an overhaul of the nation's health care system are prepared to tax for the first time employer-provided medical benefits.

But growing bipartisan support for a tax on the most expensive health benefits belies the pending battle on how to use revenue to reform the health care system. And there are vocal opponents of the plan that Senate leaders are expected to introduce this week, including business groups and labor unions.

"None of the proposed ways of expanding health care benefits are going to be easy to enact politically," said Mark McClellan, director of the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at the Brookings Institution.

Democrats favor taxing the most expensive plans and using revenues to help pay for a public insurance plan. Republicans favor giving individuals, instead of employers, a tax credit to buy private insurance. And opponents to the proposal say taxing the one aspect of the current health care system that works may not be a good idea. Read more here.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Executive Director Job Posting

WAC Executive Director
Position Description

The Executive Director will serve as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer and is responsible for day-to-day management, supervision and administration of all Watershed Agricultural Council programs and as Chief Financial Officer responsible for management of Watershed Agricultural Council resources.


A) General
· Support WAC Board and Committees
· Assure legal and ethical propriety of all activities

B) Personnel
· Manage WAC staff including hiring, terminating, and evaluating.
· Develop written position descriptions for all WAC staff
Ensure annual written performance reviews of all WAC staff are performed.
· Take appropriate course of action for unsatisfactory performance in accordance with WAC personnel policies.

C) Contracts
· Manage fiscal and physical resources of WAC including preparation of budget and financial statements, and inventory of physical assets.
· Negotiate all contracts.
· Develop subcontracts as appropriate to complete Council tasks. Supervise subcontracts and provide fiscal oversight plus compliance with contract deliverables.
· Act as contracting and procurement officer.

D) Budget
· Prepare all WAC budgets.
· Ensure Council expenditures are consistent with the adopted budgets; seek Board approval for budget modifications.

E) Liaison
· Act a liaison with WAC partners, stakeholders, media, and grantors.

F. Fund Development
· Direct fund development activities

· Bachelors Degree required, Master degree a plus
· Two years executive management experience preferably in leading organizational change focused on staff accountability for results
· Demonstrated strong leadership skills
· Established track record of program development and administration
· Fund development experience
· Strong communications skills
· Experience with contract and budget development and management thereof.
· Proven ability to provide supervision consistent with written policies.
· Experience in working with Board of Directors and resulting committee structures.
· Ability to work well and maintain relationships with a wide variety of people including rural and urban, public agency staff, farmers and foresters, and elected officials.
· Strong delegation, team building and consensus development skills.

Reporting Relationships:
The Executive Director will be responsible to the WAC Board through the Executive Committee and shall be evaluated by the Executive Committee.