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."