Thursday, January 29, 2009

Attend a virtual conference?

Have you heard about Second Life yet? A virtual 3D world, Second Life has become an outlet to develop a virtual identity. It has also become a home for many nonprofits. Another development, which may be timely in our present economy, is Virtualis, a convention center in Second Life. As the website relates: "Mirroring lavish real-world convention centers with lush grounds, Virtualis is owned and operated by real life meeting and event management professionals, boasting state of the art facilities with educational breakout rooms, a grand ballroom, exhibition halls and special event space to be used for networking and social gatherings or virtual teambuilding events. Virtualis integrates state-of-the-art technology making your programs powerful, cost-effective and eco-friendly."

Could this have applications for nonprofits? Can you imagine nonprofit professionals attending virtual workshops, conversing with each other, or having an evening dinner, all the while they are sitting at their computer? It definitely seems worth a try.

Nonprofit Insurance Info For Your Board

Thought it was relevant to follow up one insurance post with another one about Blue Avocado's recently published A Board Members Guide to Nonprofit Insurance. This guide outlines types of insurance coverage, issues to keep in mind, and much more. You can find more about the guide and get some great general insurance info for nonprofits here. You can also find insurance information on Council Services Plus website. If you have any other suggestions, let us know.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Health insurers competing for small businesses

A recent article on Crain's New York Business website related how insurers are competing against each other for small-business clients. Eager to capture a greater share of this huge, underserved small business market, two of the largest insurers in New York, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield and Aetna Inc., are fighting to win over small employers. Central to their efforts are fledgling managed care plans for small businesses billed as comprehensive coverage—with benefits like fully covered annual checkups, mammograms and other preventive care—at a relatively modest price. This could be a good development for nonprofits as more products become available. There are negatives to such plans, and as the article relates, more costs are passed on to the employee. We have seen some of these products locally, such as Empire's Prism plan, which had significant renewal increases for 2009. Overall, there are no easy solutions to increasing health insurance costs, but there are options. Have any advice for other EDs? Share your thoughts here. Have general questions about your health insurance? Contact us.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ideas and Info Shared by EDS

Facing tough times, local EDs offer info and suggestions:

More companies using furloughs

MSNBC's Your Career section featured an article by Eve Tahmincioglu discussing how many companies, universities and governments across the country are forcing their workers to take unpaid time off. This was a topic amongst the Leatherstocking AEA group recently. The article also relates the wage and hour laws that complicate the issue. Any suggestions or additional information on this topic would be greatly appreciated. Post it here or send us an e-mail.

Otsego 2000 picks new director

The nonprofit organization Otsego 2000's board of directors has named Robin Krawitz as its executive director, effective Feb. 2. Read more here.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Making A Case For Earned Income Development/Assessing Organizational Readiness

The Center for Nonprofit Management's blog features a guest blog post by Daniel Surface that outlines a discussion about developing earned income for your nonprofit. More importantly, the post outlines some great assessment questions to consider.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Nonprofit Recommendations for President Obama

The National Council of Nonprofits, in collaboration with CCSNYS and other state nonprofit associations across the country, submitted its recommendations to the Obama Administration regarding ways the federal government can work better with nonprofits. The full recommendations, available here, begin with:

Dear President‐elect Obama:

Congratulations. Your election as President is historic for many reasons, including one that journalists completely overlooked: You are America’s first nonprofit President.

Nonprofits have touched virtually every stage of your life. We recognize that your lifelong immersion in nonprofits includes the following:
  • Being born in a nonprofit hospital;
  • Attending middle school and high school at a nonprofit;
  • Studying at a nonprofit college;
  • Earning your undergraduate degree from a nonprofit university;
  • Earning your professional degree from a nonprofit law school;
  • Working several years at nonprofits in New York and Chicago;
  • Honing your community‐organizing skills by teaching at a nonprofit and running another nonprofit;
  • Teaching constitutional law when employed by a nonprofit university;
  • Playing basketball at countless different nonprofits;
  • Serving as a board member of several other nonprofits;
  • Getting married in a nonprofit;
  • Marrying the leader of a community nonprofit who became an executive at a nonprofit hospital; and
  • Soon sending your daughters to a nonprofit school.

Your campaign’s successful use of lessons you learned through nonprofits shows you appreciate the insights available from nonprofits. Thus, nonprofits across America hope you will shine the light on the tremendous value of the sector.

Thank you for your Transition Team’s request to provide our recommendations, which are attached. We hope this signals a new beginning for governments and nonprofits to work together to serve our common constituents.

On behalf of our colleagues and members, we extend our best wishes to you and your new Administration.

Tim Delaney
President & CEO, National Council of Nonprofits

Doug Sauer
Board Chair, National Council of Nonprofits and
CEO, Council of Community Services of New York State, Inc.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

MEMO TO CEO: Advice on making cuts

Harvard Business Publishing's MEMO TO THE CEO offers some advice on making cuts. The article, A Downturn Caution: Be Careful What You Cut, offers other approaches to cuts on rather than the traditional general and administrative (G&A) expenses. Have thoughts on this issue? Share them here.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Arts funding response and readiness kit

American for the Arts has developed a section featuring helpful information and resources that any nonprofit will find of value. As organizations face funding cuts, their is a need for quick action to address the situation. To help take this action, they have developed the following resources by topic area: The Virtues; Budget Axe; Talking Points; Key Industry Stakeholders; Links to Resources (updated 1/13/09); Visibility and Awareness; and Arts and Economic Recovery. Explore this info here.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Nonprofit Requests Teambuilding Advice

Our agency, Catholic Charities of Delaware & Otsego Counties, is looking into holding a team-building retreat for all staff. I am wondering if anyone knows of a good location, as close to Oneonta as possible, for such an activity and also if anyone knows of any presenters/trainers who work with groups on team-building activities. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Lynn Glueckert
Deputy Director
Catholic Charities of Delaware & Otsego Counties
Contact info: 607-432-0061 or e-mail