Tuesday, August 31, 2010

IRS Announces One-Time Relief Program for Small Tax-Exempt Organizations

The IRS recently announced a program that will give small tax-exempt organizations, which have been delinquent in filing annual information returns, another chance to comply with the law and avoid losing their tax-exempt status. The one-time relief program provides small tax-exempt organizations until October 15, 2010 to comply with the annual filing requirements. While this program provides relief to small organizations, which are eligible to file either Form 990-N or Form 990-EZ, it is not available to larger public charities, which are required to file Form 990, or to private foundations, which must file Form 990-PF.

Click here to read the full article on nixonpeabody.com.

Leatherstocking AEA Oct 20th Program: ED and the Board Working Together

ED and the Board Working Together
Special Panel and Break Out Discussion

The panel will feature up to 5 nonprofits, represented by their Executive Director and Board President. The following are confirmed participants:

•Chenango Health Network: Tina Utley Edwards, ED and Debra Marcus, Board President
•Roxbury Arts Group: Susan Kenny, ED and Michael Mathis, Board President

The program will focus on the relationship between the Executive Director and their board of directors, including the role of the ED and how he or she supports and works with the board. The panel will first discuss some general questions, and then break out into smaller groups by organizational budget to discuss questions from participants. The Leatherstocking AEA encourages area Executive Directors to attend with a board officer or member.

Have you ever asked any of these questions of your nonprofit ED or board?
o What is EDs responsibility for board development?
o What is/how do you define the relationship between the board and ED?
o How do you keep reinforcing mission and focus of board?
o How do you (and who) set board expectations, get commitment, and monitor/facilitate them?
o How do you communicate and convey obligations and other related info to the board and make them understand?
o How do you clarify and emphasize the importance of conflict of interests and priority issues for the board?
o How much involvement should board members have in daily activities?


Date: Wed, October 20th
10:00am to 12:00pm- Program
Cost: Free
Location: To Be Announced
Oneonta, NY

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Leatherstocking AEA Steering Committee August 25 minutes

Present: Dan Maskin, Opportunities for Otsego; Debra Marcus, Planned Parenthood of South Central New York; Susan Kenny, Roxbury Arts Group; Lori Solensten, Board Member; Michael Wesolowski, Malignant Hyperthermia Association of the United States (MHAUS); Andrew Marietta, NYCON

Discussed next program meeting, originally set for September 8th.
• Focus on board relationship with ED
o Need to cultivate relationship
o Be able to deal with board member that has own agenda
o Nominating committee plays very important role
o Takes time to develop board
o Sometimes board forgets or loses focus on why they are involved
 Board focus
• Wealth, Wisdom or Worker
• Doer, Donor or Door Opener
o ED needs to be very clear about board’s role in work to avoid micromanagement
o Support board with full info in advance
o Clarify role of ED, especially regarding fund development
o Similar to running a business
• Program will offer panel and breakout discussions
o Panel will consist of ED and board president
o Panel will focus on this discussion
 Possible panelists include
• Tina Utley Edwards, ED and Debra Marcus, Board President for Chenango Health Network
• Dan Maskin, ED and Alan Donovan, Board President for Opportunities for Otsego
• Susan Kenny, Roxbury Arts Group, and Board President
• Janet Erway, Cooperstown Art Association
• Girls on the Run, Paula Huntsman
• M-ARK Project, Peg Ellsworth
• Rescheduled for October 20th at 10am

Also discussed Otsego County social safety net
• Defining what this means and what makes it up.
• Resource that already exists: http://www.parenthandybook.com/Handybook2008.pdf

New Study: Who Gives, Why do They Give, How do They Give to Nonprofits?

Russ Reid "Heart of the Donor™: Insights into Donor Motivation and Behavior for the 21st Century" Research Finds Surprising Answers to Those and Other Questions

NEW YORK, Aug. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- A new research study was released Tuesday that may change the way many nonprofits approach their fundraising budgets. The report, Heart of the Donor, Insights into Donor Motivation and Behavior for the 21st Century, uncovers valuable insights on donor behavior and preferences as well as insight into age, demographic and other factors.

The report will be unveiled at the Direct Marketing Association Nonprofit Federation conference at the Sheraton New York City. The research was commissioned and created by Russ Reid and conducted by Grey Matter Research & Consulting. The survey took place in June of this year.

As many would expect, the study finds that today's most valuable donors – boomers and older donors – primarily give through the mail. But those in the 25-54 age range tended to give both online and through the mail. "One thing we find interesting is this nexus in the 25-54 year old group," said Lisa McIntyre, Russ Reid Senior Vice President, Strategy Development. "The donors who will be most important to us in the coming decade seem equally facile with both mail and online."

But according to the study, older donors are more generous.

"The point is this: if the goal of a nonprofit is to effectively target today's best donors, then they should focus significant and smart attention on the donors giving the most money – seniors and boomers," said McIntyre. "For example, the number of donors in the 18-24 group and 70-plus are comparable, but the 70-plus donor gives three times as much."

"Does that mean nonprofits should turn a blind eye to the younger segments?" McIntyre continued. "Of course not. Their value will likely increase as they age. But fundraising expenditures must be weighted according to a strategy that maximizes those who are giving now."

The report suggests that fundraisers should focus their money on the channels that perform the best. While social media is an exciting means of reaching the younger community, the report indicated those who are active there don't use it for donations.

Another striking result of the survey shows that people want to give to charities that spend money on good management. Given a choice, the respondents preferred organizations that hire top-quality managers, even with higher salaries, over hiring less experienced managers and spending fewer dollars on salaries. An even greater percentage would rather support an organization that spends more on fundraising and brings in more money to help the cause than would support an organization that spends little on fundraising but raises less money. "Only 28 percent would opt for efficiency over effectiveness," said McIntyre.

"Nonprofits are under relentless scrutiny for their fundraising costs," said McIntyre. "The questions on costs tell us that what donors want more than anything else is value for their money. Spending money on salaries is fine, as long as your leaders are effective. If you spend more on fundraising, it's fine as long as it effectively raises more money for the work."

The report also focused on the impact of the disaster in Haiti on nonprofit fundraising. 38 percent of Americans gave to help Haiti. 52 percent of active donors – those who regularly give to nonprofits – donated. Very surprisingly, nearly 30 percent of Haiti donors say they did not support any nonprofits in the last year, including 16 percent of fairly determined non donors. Most likely to give to Haiti were African Americans (51 percent), Latinos (53 percent), Asians (59 percent) as were people not born in the US (59 percent).

Four out of ten donors said that if they had not given to the Haiti disaster, the money would have gone elsewhere. Still, 58 percent of donors believe that what they gave to Haiti was unique – it was over and above what they normally give. Haiti was a first-time giving impetus for 3 percent of all Americans, 6.7 million people.

Haiti donations saw massive channel donation differences, with text-to-give having a big impact. While 32 percent of donors said they gave to nonprofits working in Haiti through places of worship, another 22 percent gave online, and 19 percent through texting. Questioned if the limits on text donations resulted in lower donations, 90 percent of text donors claim they would have donated through another channel had texting not been provided.

"The Haiti experience reminds us that emergency donors and everyday donors are different," said McIntyre. "And the best donors will give over and above what they normally do, not instead of what they typically give."

DMANF participants were able to review portions of the study at the conference, and more elements of the study will be released in the coming months.

More than two-thousand respondents participated in the study. It was conducted both by phone and through a pre-recruited online research panel. The study was also conducted in English and Spanish.

Russ Reid, founded in 1964, is part of Omnicom Group, Inc. (NYSE: OMC). Omnicom is a leading global marketing and corporate communications company. Omnicom's branded networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, strategic media planning and buying, direct and promotional marketing, public relations and other specialty communications services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries.

Grey Matter Research is a market research firm specializing in serving non-profit organizations, offering sophisticated qualitative and quantitative techniques to uncover details that make a tangible difference for clients.

Interviews are available with McIntyre, Russ Reid President and CEO Tom Harrison, Executive Vice President Alan Hall, and Ron Sellers of Grey Matter. To schedule, contact Steve Ruppe or Alison Rienas at the numbers above. Go to www.HeartoftheDonor.com, for additional information.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cook Foundation to Merge with Otsego Land Trust: Otsego County Mini-Grant Recipient

Otsego Land Trust Director Peter Hujik provided the following announcement. This project received funding support from the Otsego County Mini-Grant Program:

The boards of directors of The Cook Foundation and the Otsego Land Trust have approved a merger of the two not-for-profit organizations.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, The Cook Foundation will transfer all of its assets, including the 22-acre Brookwood property, to the Land Trust. The agreement is still subject to the approval of the Attorney General and confirmation by the New York State Supreme Court.

According to The Cook Foundation president, Robert Poulson, “Otsego Land Trust has a professional staff and is in the business of conserving land throughout the Otsego region. We are pleased that they are willing to assume responsibility for this very important property.”

The Cook Foundation was established in 1985 by Bob Cook, who donated his family’s Brookwood property to the Foundation. The property has a main house, parts of which date back to the early 1800’s, a garden house, extensive gardens, wetlands, flood plains, and over a quarter mile of frontage on Otsego Lake. In addition, the Foundation holds conservation easements on approximately 110 acres of land (unrelated to Brookwood) in the Otsego Lake watershed. When the merger is finalized, the Otsego Land Trust conservation holdings in this watershed will total over 975 acres.

Otsego Land Trust Chairman, Harry Levine, said that this merger is a very important step for both Otsego Land Trust and The Cook Foundation as they cooperate to protect a very valuable lakefront property. Mr. Levine said, “Assuming the merger is approved by the Attorney General and the court, we will establish a clear set of objectives for the property, a budget to meet these objectives, and a sustainable business model. Any such model will be dependent upon the public’s ability to provide both financial support and volunteer time.”

“We will be asking for public input in looking at the potential for the property,” Mr. Levine said. Land Trust board member, Francis Nolan, will be chairing a committee to address the opportunities and obligations of the property. This committee will include members of the public and will be charged with advising the Land Trust board about the property.

“Otsego Land Trust recognizes the longstanding and thoughtful efforts of The Cook Foundation. We are excited about planning for the future of this wonderful property. My sincere hope is that the community will provide the support necessary for us to be good stewards,” Mr. Levine said.

Mr. Poulson added, “The financial burden of the property exceeds the Foundation's resources. And while we don't expect the Land Trust to write the checks, we feel that it is far more capable of working with experts and the public to develop a long term plan for Brookwood. Maintaining the property is a daunting task that requires the solid sponsorship of the Land Trust and a great deal of financial support from the public. Realistically, everyone should expect that hard choices will need to be made about what to protect and what to let go. “

The merger agreement provides that Otsego Land Trust will be the surviving entity. Three members of The Cook Foundation Board of Trustees will become members of the Land Trust Board of Directors bringing the board up to 19 directors. Remaining trustees will join an advisory committee to provide assistance. The Land Trust will establish a designated fund to be named for Bob Cook and to be used exclusively for the purposes he set out when he created The Cook Foundation.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Effect of the Economy on the Nonprofit Sector: A June 2010 Survey

More than 7,000 people responded to our June 2010 economic survey, which measured the impact of these difficult economic times on the nonprofit sector. Among respondents, nearly half were CEOs, executive directors, or presidents—our leaders in the nonprofit industry. The results are compelling:

Some 40 percent of participants reported that contributions to their organizations dropped between January 1 and May 31, 2010, compared to the same period a year earlier.
Eight percent indicated that their organizations were in imminent danger of closing.
Sixty-three percent reported a total increase in demand for their organization's services between January 1, 2010 and May 31, 2010, compared to the same period a year prior.

Read all of the survey's findings here, for free:"The Effect of the Economy on the Nonprofit Sector."

Monday, August 16, 2010

Paid vs Unpaid Internships: Info You Need to Know

Info offered by National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE):

Dear Colleagues:
June 30, 2010

As you know, the legal and ethical issues surrounding unpaid internships have been highly debated in recent months. With your input, NACE is addressing this issue. I am happy to share with you NACE’s Position Statement on Unpaid Internships. I will also highlight some of the work we have done surrounding this issue, and detail the information and resources we will provide to you in the near future.

One of our key goals while developing a position statement was to engage our members in the process. In May, we conducted a national survey of employer and college members to gain insight into their internship practices and thoughts on unpaid internships. (Click here for the executive summary of the survey.) Furthermore, we held a roundtable on the topic during the NACE 2010 Annual Conference earlier this month.

Our position statement is framed by the following principles, beliefs, and assumptions:
  • Internships provide unique and valuable experiences for students both academically and in professional career preparation.
  • The term “internship” encompasses many different program models (i.e. paid and unpaid; full time and part time; of varying length; as a required part of an academic curriculum or as a course option; for academic credit or no credit). The broad use of this term to cover diverse circumstances makes it difficult to apply common and consistent standards, guidelines, and applicable policies.
  • Internships exist or can exist in literally every kind of business, industry, organization, and sector—both public and private.
  • What constitutes an internship is determined in the final analysis by the student’s college or university and the employer.
  • Internship programs should ideally involve a close partnership between the university, the participating student, and the employer in which all accrue some form of benefit.
  • The federal and state governments have significant roles in providing and enforcing laws and guidelines to protect the interests of both employers and employees in the workplace.
  • Unpaid internships in the not-for-profit sector reflect the fiscal realities and limitations for organizations in that sector and are acknowledged accordingly in current Department of Labor guidelines and enforcement practices.
  • All interns, regardless of their compensation, should enjoy similar basic protections in the work setting consistent with all laws, ethical considerations, and sound business practices.

Based on the above principles, beliefs, and assumptions, and the information supplied by our members, NACE’s position statement on the issue of unpaid internships is:

“The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), representing more than 3,000 higher education institutions and employing organizations, recognizes the enormous value of internship programs to individual student participants and both the higher education and employer communities. We believe that the U.S Department of Labor criteria for assessing whether internships in the for-profit sector may be unpaid must be reviewed and further clarified to ensure they account for the incredible diversity of students, higher education institutions, and employing organizations involved in such programs. Further, all interns, regardless of their compensation, should enjoy similar, basic protections in the work setting consistent with all laws, ethical considerations, and sound business practices.”

Going forward, NACE will provide you with the latest information and resources, and keep you apprised of developments concerning unpaid internships. A virtual seminar on the topic is planned for July 26 (details to come). In addition, NACE legal advisers are developing an FAQ document to assist members in their work with interns and internships; we expect to release this resource shortly, and will notify you when it is available.

I appreciate the feedback we received from you, our members, as a result of our survey on the issue. Your input is guiding our response to this important issue. Thank you for your participation.


Shawn VanDerziel
2009-10 NACE President
Vice President, Human Resources & Administration
The Field Museum

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

UCCCA owes us answers

The Daily Star featured this recent opinion piece regarding the Upper Catskill Community Council of the Arts:

Turning 40 can be tough. For the Upper Catskill Community Council of the Arts, its 40th year of existence has been brutal. If UCCCA Board President and CEO Linda MacKenzie-Ranc is to be believed, the organization may not survive to see 41.

Since the departure of executive director Kathleen Frascatore in June 2009, the organization has suffered what we feel justified in calling a crisis of leadership. In fact, the plural “crises” might be more accurate.

Cheri Albrecht sat in as interim executive director _ very capably, by all accounts _ for the better part of a year before a permanent executive director was hired in March. Sara Hammonds lasted about 40 days before leaving the post. A new interim executive director, Scott Ward, hung in there for almost twice as long, but he also left.

Little has been said publicly about this leadership roller-coaster. Hammonds cited “irreconcilable differences” in her departure; Ward, “personal reasons.” Neither of those euphemisms helps us understand why, as MacKenzie-Ranc indicated in July, the organization has found itself struggling for survival.

For 40 years, UCCCA has anchored the local arts community in many ways. The Wilber Mansion has hosted exhibits featuring professional artists of the highest caliber alongside the work of local students. Its staff has led workshops where our children can go to have fun, as well as offering serious educational opportunities for burgeoning artists to hone their skills.

Besides the traditional fine arts it has facilitated, UCCCA has presented film festivals, hosted exhibits of floral art and even started a chili cook-off.

UCCCA has also played a vital role by disbursing thousands of dollars in support and grant money to local artists, schools, nonprofit organizations and projects.

For all those reasons and more, we would like to answer MacKenzie-Ranc’s plea for help. But we need more information. If UCCCA needs volunteers, tell us where and when to show up. If it needs donations, tell us how much. More importantly, tell us what led to these problems, and what the community can do to help remedy them.

The organization is now functioning without an executive director and without any paid staff, so we appreciate that the situation is dire. But we feel we are owed more in the way of explanations.

While UCCCA is a private institution, it has a very public role, not only through the programs it presents, but also because of the taxpayer money it handles. By communicating more effectively with the community, UCCCA will be taking an important step toward another 40 years _ and hopefully more _ of keeping the arts alive in the Oneonta area.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Tom Golisano School at Springbrook Groundbreaking

Springbrook held a groundbreaking for a proposed school for autistic children that will create 112 jobs, fuel the local economy and provide instruction and care for pupils sent to other states for services.

This is a $20 million expansion project.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Basic Project Management & Value Stream Mapping For Manufacturing Seminars

AM&T is pleased to offer
Basic Project Management Training

Are you:
· stressed out?
· dropping the ball?
· behind schedule and over budget?
· wondering what to do?

AM&T is offering an 8-hour, "train and do", workshop to introduce the basics of Project Management. The training includes classroom presentation and exercises on how to organize and manage projects and bring them to a close - on time and on budget.

This training is for anyone with project leadership responsibilities, whether new or in need of a refresher.

Course materials are based on methods described in the Program Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), published by the Program Management Institute (PMI).

Course Outline:

1. Introduction to Project Management
2. Individual Roles and Responsibilities
3. Defining the Mission & Approach
4. Methodology Overview
5. Work Plan Review and Sign-off
6. Project Tracking (Working the Schedule)
7. Action and Contingency Plans
8. Project Status Reporting
9. Book shelving Project Management Data

Date & Time:
Wednesday, September 8, 2010, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
(Sign-in and continental breakfast at 7:30 am)

Owego Treadway, Owego, NY (directions)

$200 ($100 for AM&T Associates)
(Cost includes continental breakfast & lunch)

Lloyd Johnson, Certified Project Management Professional

Registration Deadline is Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Register at www.amt-mep.org/events
Contact Norma Cushner at 607-774-0022 x302

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Your Input Needed! Survey for Fall Forum

During these challenging times, your nonprofit's management and governance are critical to the success and sustainability of your organization. With this in mind, NYCON would like to help identify your greatest challenges. Please complete this survey and share your candid feedback. Your input will be used to plan and implement a simple fall nonprofit forum. Feel free to share this survey with your colleagues or boards of directors.
SURVEY (click here)

NYS Attorney General's Workshop on Fundraising Requirements RECAP
Dennis C. McCabe, Assistant Attorney General in Charge from the Binghamton Regional Office presented on:
· Legal Requirements
· Selecting a Fundraiser
· Negotiating a Contract
· Monitoring a Campaign
· BBB Charity Standards

Main highlights include:
  • In order to fundraise, charities must be registered with the NYS Charities Bureau. To search if your nonprofit is registered, visit: www.charitiesnys.com
  • If you are not, you can find the form to register on the website
  • Professional fundraiser must be registered too. Contact the Charities Bureau to see if the professional is: fundraising@ag.ny.gov or 518-486-9797
  • Charity must have a contract with the fundraiser and file it with the Charities Bureau
  • Financial reports are made to the Charities Bureau too
  • Do your homework and protect your investment, as well as those you (or on your behalf) will solicit
  • Visit www.charitiesnys.com for more info, online seminars, other resources, and Frequently Asked Questions

2010 New York State Grand Rounds on the Abuse of Prescription Pain Relievers

September 20, 2010
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Room MS169
Albany Medical College

Live, Video conference and/or webcast
The streaming link is:

Dial in participants will dial
Pass code 800285.

Your phones will be muted during the panel presentations and will turned on when the panel is open for discussion.

If you have Codecs and want to be active participants via ISDN or IP, that can be arranged as well.

Please contact Joyce Davis with any questions you might have at:
518-686-0221 or jnadine@roadrunner.com.

2010 New York State Grand Rounds on the Abuse of Prescription Pain Relievers
Panel Discussion

Non-medical use of prescription pain relievers rose 111 percent between 2004 and 2008, according to a new study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations (SAMHSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In Rensselaer County 4 youth died between September 2009 and April 2010 from abusing prescription pain medications. This CME program is geared to assist medical personnel who prescribe prescription pain medications assure they are not abused by youth and adults.

The training will be offered in four venues: at the Medical College, by video conference and webcast live and an archive stream provided by the Adirondack Area Network. Participants in the webcast will be able to call in and ask questions during the presentation.