Sunday, August 28, 2011

September 28th Program Focuses on Board Fundraising: Reluctant to Ready

Reluctant to Ready: A 7-step plan to transform your board into fantastic fundraisers

It is a common problem. Board members are often reluctant to accept their responsibility to financially support and solicit donations for the nonprofits they serve. Working toward a solution is an "inside out" approach, and regardless of the issues, there are effective steps you can take to transform a board whose members evade, resist, or just don't follow through, into one that's fully engaged in fundraising.

Audience: Board Chair, Executive Directors/CEOs, Development Officers.

Description: This half day workshop will provide a step-by-step plan to optimize board responsiveness, effectivess, and productivity in fundraising.

Workshop topics will include:
•Reviewing the fundamentals
•Evaluating your board
•The necessary resources
•Securing commitment
•Establishing accountability
•A look at inside as leadership

Presented by: Susan J. Palmer, Founder and President of The Palmer Westport Group

The Palmer Westport Group is an arts management consulting firm, which speacializes in strategic planning, fundraising and organizational development for nonprofit arts and cultural organizations.

Time: 8:30am - 12:00pm
Cost: FREE
To Be Announced
Oneonta, NY 13820

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Otsego Land Trust received grant for Brookwood Gardens access

The Daily Star reported that Brookwood Point receives grant for improvement of public access.

The historic Brookwood Point property in Cooperstown is one of three projects in New York state to receive a Scenic Byway Grant. The project, which is being overseen by the Otsego Land Trust and Brookwood Citizens' Committee, was awarded $188,000 to improve public access to the site as part of the U.S. Route 20 Scenic Byway Corridor, according to a media release from the Land Trust on Monday.

The 22-acre Brookwood property, on the western shore of Otsego Lake, is the site of the former Cook Estate and includes a main house, gardens, wetlands, flood plains and more than a quarter-mile of lake frontage.

The Cook Foundation, which had managed the property until its merger with the Otsego Land Trust a year ago, was created in 1985 by Bob Cook to oversee his family's estate.

Read more here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tell Governor Cuomo About Your Nonprofit!

Let's Tell Them About The Good Work Of Nonprofits
Submit Your Testimonial to NYCON & the Governor Today!

On August 3rd the Governor announced the formation of a task force charged with investigating executive compensation at nonprofit agencies (full announcement from Gov. Cuomo below).

NYCON is in agreement with the Governor that activities like those recently exposed in the NY Times that were the impetus to the formation of this task force, can have significant detrimental effects on the relationship between nonprofits and the public.

However, we also know that these types of activities are not solely a "nonprofit issue" and, furthermore, that there are many more positive stories than negative ones occurring in nonprofits.

We want to make sure the Governor realizes this too.

We are asking you to help us remind Governor Cuomo that nonprofits employ hard-working New Yorkers who provide much needed services in communities across our state.

Let the administration know the services you provide are essential and are delivered in an ethical, honest and efficient manner that rivals any successful for-profit company. Let's remind them, and all taxpayers, that we're delivering services at costs far below our private sector counterparts, and take on contractual obligations from the State that they would never agree to, often times to our own detriment - because we exist for our mission, not profit.

Please submit your stories here.

NYCON is creating a web page dedicated to publishing your testimonials, and we encourage you to submit your stories which will be shared online and with the Governor's press office. You can also submit your comments directly to the press office at:

Please feel free to contact our membership office if you have any questions or comments.

Thank you again for all you do and for your continued dedication to the nonprofit sector and your community.

Doug's Signature

Doug Sauer

CEO, New York Council of Nonprofits, Inc.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Executive Director, Otsego County Conservation Association

Otsego County Conservation Association
Aug 1, 2011
Cooperstown, New York
Executive Director
Commensurate with experience
Application Deadline:
Review of applicants begins Sept 1, 2011
Employment Level:
Full time

Otsego County Conservation Association
Otsego County’s oldest environmental conservation organization, OCCA is a private, non-profit membership group dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County's natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, and planning. Our major campaign areas are: water quality, land use planning, solid waste management, open space initiative, environmental education, and alternative energy/sustainability.

OCCA is active on numerous environmental fronts – everything from energy conservation to natural resource appreciation, from environmental education to water quality, and from local food initiatives to landscape-inspired art. OCCA is an active local sponsor of, and partner in, environmental initiatives throughout Otsego County: holding regional energy workshops; encouraging and supporting grassroots activism; presenting to local and regional policy makers on pressing issues as diverse as road preservation and forensic watershed monitoring; holding training sessions in conjunction with legal, engineering, agricultural, and planning entities; coordinating state and federal educational initiatives targeting Senate and Congressional leaders.

Since 1968, OCCA has been involved in virtually every major environmental issue facing the county, including high volume hydro fracturing for natural gas and we have accumulated a long list of accomplishments in the arena of environmental improvement, protection, and education.

OCCA's financial documents can be seen online at
There are currently three full-time employees, one full-time volunteer and more than 100 project volunteers throughout the year.

The Executive Director is the Chief Executive Officer of OCCA and is responsible for daily and long-term management and planning for OCCA, including, but not limited to, matters of finance, programs, personnel, buildings and grounds, development, public relations, and special activities.

The Executive Director provides the vision and leadership to advance all aspects of the organization. The ideal candidate will have strong management and administration skills, a commitment to and excellence in fundraising with a specific focus on foundation proposals, an overarching strategic vision and a passion for the mission of OCCA.

BA or BS, or equivalent work experience, is required with preference given to those whose educational discipline relates to OCCA’s six major campaign areas. The ideal candidate will have 2+ years experience as an Executive Director, or comparable management experience, with preference given for experience relevant to OCCA’s mission. They will have knowledge of and experience with conservation issues and geography of Otsego County, including energy development, public lands management, wilderness and water issues as well as issues involved with high volume hydro fracturing for natural gas and an understanding of the cultural and economic diversity of the region, strong organizational skills to plan, schedule and prioritize tasks and an ability to balance a complex budget through skillful use of available resources. They will have demonstrated the capacity to involve and motivate staff members, volunteers, patrons, community leaders, and peers in shared endeavors and values and the ability to multi-task and manage time sensitive projects or grants with overlapping deadlines. They will have experience managing staff with diverse talents and backgrounds, strong interpersonal skills, excellent writing and oral skills and demonstrated success managing communications and public relations for an organization. They will have a proven track record of fundraising success, including foundation solicitations, major donor campaigns, or other relevant fundraising experience and experience working with news media, including developing strategic messaging and media plan and experience with non-profit management including a demonstrated success developing and maintaining close and effective relationships with a Board and inspiring the confidence of the Directors.

Compensation and Benefits
Salary starting $50,000 Benefits include health and employer matched Individual Retirement Account, holidays, and a generous vacation package.

Application Process

Please provide cover letter, resume and a list of references via e-mail to with “Executive Director Job Application” in the subject line.. See for additional information.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Governor Orders Review of Executive Compensation at Nonprofits

From the Governor's Website
Albany, NY (August 3, 2011) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that he has created a new task force to investigate the executive and administrator compensation levels at not-for-profits that receive taxpayer support from the state. The task force will be led by the New York State Inspector General Ellen Biben, Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales, the Medicaid Inspector General Jim Cox, and the Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky.

"Not-for-profits that provide services to the poor and the needy have a special obligation to the taxpayers that support them. Executives at these not-for-profits should be using the taxpayer dollars they receive to help New Yorkers, not to line their own pockets. This task force will do a top-to-bottom review, not only to audit current compensation levels, but also to make recommendations for future rules to ensure taxpayer dollars are used to serve and support the people of this state, not pay for excessive salaries and compensation," Governor Cuomo said.

Governor Cuomo continued, "There is a whole range of compensation levels and extremes that have existed for too long and must be reviewed. The use of taxpayer dollars must be scrutinized at every level."

The Governor's task force will determine the protocol and scope of the investigation in order to target the audit to focus on ensuring that state taxpayer dollars meant to help and protect New Yorkers, particularly the poor and indigent, are going to that purpose and are not being diverted to compensation. It will also provide recommendations for State agency policies and procedures that will ensure that taxpayer dollars are not being diverted to excessive compensation.

Commissioners from the Department of Health, the Office of Mental Health, and OPWDD will also serve on the task force.

The Governor's action follows reports of startlingly excessive salaries and compensation packages for executives at not-for-profits that depended on state Medicaid funding through the Office of People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and other State agencies.

The State's Medicaid Inspector General has the authority necessary to exclude providers from participation in the Medicaid program if it is found that they have engaged in fraudulent or abusive practices.

There are currently no state rules governing executive and administrative compensation for not-for-profits that receive state support.

According to the Department of the Budget's January 2010 preliminary analysis of not-for-profit employees contracting with the mental hygiene agencies (Office of People With Developmental Disabilities, Office of Mental Health, and Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services), there were approximately 1,926 employees with annual salaries greater than or equal to $100,000. The total value of their salaries was $324.6 million, with an average salary of $168,555.

NYCON Statement on Governor's
Review of Executive Compensation:

"NYCON supports IRS and state enforcement efforts to root out those relatively few and often large institutional nonprofits, especially in health care and higher education, where charitable resources are used for the private and personal gain of executives. Such abuses are a stain on the sector and the Governor is right, public trust is integral to the mission and work of our state's charities. The Internal Revenue Service already provides compensation guidelines as set forth in the federal tax code and we believe those guidelines should be upheld.

It needs to be emphasized, however, that these cases are very much the exception.

The vast majority of community-based nonprofit employees are doing hard and challenging work at compensation levels that are far below public employees and often the for-profit sector. It should also be noted that the phrase "taxpayer supported nonprofits" is misleading as the state government contracts to buy services from nonprofits, just as it contracts with the for-profit sector; except the nonprofit is often expected to unfairly perform at below the actual cost of doing business. Perhaps it is also time to order an extensive review of the executive compensation levels of "taxpayer supported for-profit businesses."

NYCON asks the Governor to take this opportunity to go beyond the immediate executive compensation issue and take a comprehensive look at how the state's overall regulatory and business relationship with the nonprofit sector can be improved in the interest of all concerned."

Doug Sauer, CEO, New York Council of Nonprofits, Inc.
1-800-515-5012, ext 103