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.