Thursday, February 26, 2009

How are you using Facebook? Join the discussion!

With our recent announcement about the April 1st program focusing on Facebook use amongst nonprofits in the region, we are hearing from a number of you about your own use. For example, one organization is thinking about using social networking programs as recuitment tools. Do you have an example you would like to share? Join us on Facebook on our Group page to share your input. Click here or sign into Facebook and search for Leatherstocking Agency Executives Association.

Your Peers in Action: Real World Examples of Using Facebook and More

This panel discussion features peers from the Leatherstocking AEA, who will be speaking about real world examples of how their organizations are integrating new online and social networking technologies. This discussion is a follow up to last year's program on Web 2.0. Join us at SUNY Oneonta's computer lab on April 1st for a close look at these local success stories.

Michael Wesolowski, Director of Communications, Malignant Hyperthermia Association of the United States
MHAUS has integrated Facebook into all their communications efforts and is striving to build a strong online community that is contributing information, volunteers, and donations.

Dawn A.M. Stever, Director of Annual Giving, Hartwick College
Hartwick College has recently begun using Facebook in conjunction with our online alumni community. Our goal is to provide our alumni with new ways to connect with each other and with the institution in order to increase participation in giving and engagement with the College.

Kathryn Dailey, Director of Development, Soccer Hall of Fame
The National Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum has integrated a CRM (Constituent Relationship Management) system into their communications and fundraising efforts. The discussion will focus on the application and impact of this CRM system.

Sponsored in part by the Center for Social Responsibility and Community at SUNY Oneonta
Date: Wednesday, April 1st, 2009
Time: 8:15am to 9:45am
Cost: Free
Location: SUNY Oneonta
Human Ecology Room 136
Oneonta, NY 13820


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Special Reports on Economic Stimulus & Recovery

The National Council of Nonprofits is proud to openly share this evolving series of Special Reports about our nation’s economic recovery, including analysis of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (commonly referred to as the economic stimulus bill) that President Obama signed into law on February 17, 2009.
  • Nonprofit Grant Opportunities
    Special Report, Volume I (issued February 23, 2009)
    This core report provides an overview of this historic piece of legislation and identifies key provisions that lend themselves to potential grant opportunities for some nonprofits
  • Stimulus Grant Tips and Thoughts
    Special Report, Volume II (issued February 24, 2009)
    This report offers tips for those thinking about applying for a stimulus-funded grant.
  • Whether and How States Are Accepting & Distributing Federal Stimulus Funds
    Special Report, Volume III – (issued February 25, 2009)
    This report reviews how various states have indicated they will handle the federal funds.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Upstate Student Philanthropy Council to make grants to Central NY nonprofits

The Upstate Student Philanthropy Council, a student-run foundation at Colgate University, announces a Request for Proposals to area non-profits and public for projects that strengthen community engagement, foster cultural heritage and the arts, and address basic and societal needs through creative educational initiatives. Grant applications will be accepted for requests from $1,000 to $6,000 for projects undertaken during 2009-2010. The grant deadline is March 2, 2009. Grant guidelines and the application can be found at the Upstate Institute web site $10,000 is available to provide grants to area non-profit organizations whose service area should focus primarily in one or more of the following central Upstate New York counties: Broome, Chenango, Fulton, Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, and Schoharie.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

2009 Program Plans

The Steering Committee met on February 9 at Planned Parenthood's Oneonta office. The meeting was attended by:
Dan Maskin, Opportunities for Otsego (OFO)
Michael Wesolowski, Malignant Hyperthermia Association of the United States (MHAUS)
Steve Bauman, Soccer Hall of Fame
Susan Kenney, Roxbury Arts Group

The discussion focused on setting the program schedule for the year and program ideas (see details). The first program for 2009 will be a follow up to last year's Web 2.0 program. The topic will focus on the power of Facebook and other online tools, which will be illustrated by real world example from LAEA members. More program details will follow soon.

Program schedule: April 1, June 3, September 16, and November 4.

Program ideas:
  • Green focus/energy savings (NYSERTA, Oneonta school district energy consultant, other resources)
  • Savings money regarding staff
  • Ways to generate income
  • Having large donors share their perspective with EDs
  • Membership development and customer relations
  • Better ways to tell your nonprofit's story
  • Funders' perceptions of changes in environment
  • Individual giving trends and ways to increase

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Socail media marketing resource

The following information from Marketing Sherpa was suggested by Steering Committee member Michael Wesolowski. Marketing Sherpa has put together a 225-page study on social media marketing and PR. The guide has benchmarks based on the knowledge of hundreds of marketing and PR practitioners who shared their experience with Marketing Sherpa. You can download an eight-page introduction and Executive Summary to the 2009 Social Media Marketing & PR Benchmark Guide and look at research highlights and six practical data charts. Click here.

Teaming up for science fun

Collaboration is the name of the game, especially in this economy. So, what better partnership than two educational organizations joining forces to provide a great series of programs. Oneonta World of Learning (OWL) and the Science Discovery Center are teaming up to present Science Saturdays: a series of "hands-on" workshops for children aged 5-13 led by SUNY Oneonta faculty and students and additional activities led by OWL for children ages 2 and up.

This partnership is a simple start to a number of opportunities. Could these organizations develop a joint calendar and website? How about a joint fundraising mailing? Take note, if these volunteer-drive organizations can do it, we all can do it. How about a list of collaborations and partnerships between nonprofits? Post your examples here or e-mail us.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Arts in Crisis Support Offered

Arts in Crisis: A Kennedy Center Initiative is a program designed to provide planning assistance and consulting to struggling arts organizations throughout the United States. Open to non-profit 501(c)(3) performing arts organizations, the program will provide counsel from Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser and the Kennedy Center executive staff in the areas of fundraising, building more effective Boards of Trustees, budgeting, marketing, technology, and other areas pertinent to maintaining a vital performing arts organization during a troubled economy.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Nonprofits Scramble for Funding

Business Week featured an article today about the funding challenges nonprofits are facing and how they are responding. The article offers:
"They're shedding workers and cutting programs, but they're also sharing with other groups their workspaces, back-office operations, and employees, and looking to foundations for lines of credit rather than grants." Read more here.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Small Payroll, but Big Woes on Insurance

The NY Times discusses the impact of the economy on small businesses and health insurance benefits:
"Even before the recession, owners of the smallest businesses had struggled to absorb the inexorable annual rise in health premiums. The share of firms with fewer than 10 workers that offer health benefits has declined by 16 percent since 2001, to 49 percent, according to an annual survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust, while the rate in larger firms essentially stayed flat." Read more here.

These issues confront all businesses, including the nonprofit sector. As new ideas and solutions are proposed, we will post them here for your information and discussion.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The 2009 Nonprofit Economic Climate

In December 2008, Fiscal Management Associates (FMA) and the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) joined together to present a workshop that offered nonprofit leaders concrete tools to lead their organizations in response to the current ecnomic challenges. With the support of The Clark, Robin Hood, and Tiger foundations, the tools and presentation from this program are available online here. The link offers a 90 minute webinar and powerpoint and various tools.

Topics include:
  • How the current market environment will affect nonprofits
  • Practical scenario planning and modeling: how to develop smart, strategic responses
  • Recognizing the hidden opportunities to strengthen your standing
  • Revenue and expense considerations
  • Cash flow management and managing credit
  • Role of the Executive Director and Board in leading the organization through a downturn

The link provides assessment tools and checklists to keep you grounded during crisis periods. Also included is a list of cost reduction strategies.

Available tools include:

  • Recession Checklist
  • Recession Tips
  • Cash Flow template
  • Financial Matters for Bankers
  • Reserve Options
  • Scenario Planning Model
  • Cost Reduction Strategies
  • Cost Containment Discussion
  • Scenario Planning Process
  • Strategic Alliances Checklist

NYS Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act Takes Effect Feb 1

Although the Federal WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) Act has been in effect for several years, New York State has now enacted its own version of the employee protection notification scheme. The New York State version imposes more stringent requirements, bringing far more employers under the purview of this legislation that the Federal law. The effect is that where many non-profits would never have been affected by the Federal legislation, many will come under the auspices of the New York State version. Read more here about the WARN Act and its impact on your nonprofit.

This policy update is provided by Kevin M. Stadelmaier, Esq, Legal Advisor, New York Council of Nonprofits (fomerly CCSNYS, Inc.), Legal Accountability and Compliance Services, Western New York Regional Office. Should you have further questions or concerns relevant to the requirements of this New Act, do not hesitate to contact Kevin at (716) 241-5010 x170 or by email.

Helpful Information For A Difficult Topic: Layoffs

Blue Avocado offers a special Layoff Issue, which includes the following:
  • A How-To on layoffs, furloughs, and shutdowns
  • Board Cafe column on a frequently problemmatic topic: the Board's Role in HR
  • An invite for Layoff Stories from Blue Avocado readers
  • A First Person Nonprofit narrative about a layoff experience
  • Some tips on getting health insurance if you've lost your job

This information offers a little bit for everyone. Share your own stories or resource ideas here.