Thursday, February 19, 2015

Upcoming Events & Webinars

[TOMORROW] February 20th, 2015 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Complying with the Nonprofit Revitalization Act in New York State [Lunch & Learn Webinar]
Presented by Michael West, Esq., Senior Attorney, NYCON 

The Nonprofit Revitalization Act is a landmark change in the Not-for-Profit Corporation Law of the State of New York that ushered in a modern era for the operation and governance of nonprofit corporations on July 1, 2014. During this in depth webinar NYCON's Senior Attorney will provide members with a comprehensive overview of the Act as well as take a closer look at the various topics included in the Act that are new and have implications on compliance and board governance in general and your operations specifically. This session will provide you with an overview and a practical set of actions to take to amend your bylaws to meet the new standards of the Act.
NYCON is pleased to bring a full calendar of "Members Only Lunch & Learn Webinars" to you in 2015. If you have not renewed your membership you can do so by clicking here. If you are not sure of your membership status please email us at Please note that this webinar is available to 
nonprofit members only.
February 20, 2014 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
NYCON Membership Benefits Orientation [Webinar]
In our "Get to Know Us" Sessions, NYCON staff will tell you a lot more about our membership benefits - and answer all the questions you have regarding our process, costs and what you get for FREE. Find out how Membership will benefit you by attending this 1-hour session. Learn all about our:
  • Nonprofit Training, Education and Professional Assistance. NYCON empowers our members with the best practices, policies, and procedures as well as information on ever-changing regulations, funding, accountability and more.
  • Cost Savings Solutions for Nonprofits. NYCON leverages the purchasing power of thousands of nonprofits to bring you economies of scale on everything from Office Supplies to Employee Benefits. 
  • The Nonprofit Voice in New York State NYCON represents our members on the local, state and national level, giving voice to small and medium sized nonprofits everywhere.
February 25, 2015 10:30 am to 11:00 am
Corporate Member Spotlight: Crowdfunding Solutions from CauseVox
Presented by Rob Wu, CauseVox Founder & CEO
Recent Camp Finance Presenter

CauseVox Crowdfunding Platform allows you to create a beautiful fundraising site in seconds. Manage your campaigns effectively with full adminstrative access - and much more.
  • Control your fundraising site's design
  • Create personal and team fundraising pages
  • Tell your stories with built-in content fundraising tools
  • Extend your fundraising site with CauseVox widgets or build your own.
  • Any nonprofit can access CauseVox's basic 'Starter' plan for free, until they raise over $5,000 in funds
NYCON Members can access the upgraded 'Impact' and 'Pro' Plans for FREE for up to three (3) months, regardless of amount of funds raised. (CauseVox does keep 4.25% transaction processing fee.)  
*Please note that CauseVox is not an Endorsed Corporate Partner of NYCON. 
March 12th, 2015  11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
To SHOP or Not to SHOP: Top Ten Things You Need to Know When Considering the NYS Small Business Health Exchange [Lunch & Learn Webinar]
Peter Andrew, CEO of Council Services Plus, Inc. and Joseph Muldoon, New York State Health Benefit Exchange Project Director

The world of Health Insurance has changed a lot over the past few years. New York's Health Exchange, New York State of Health (NYSOH), has established one of the most successful exchanges in the nation. In many ways today's health insurance environment is more friendly to nonprofits - and small organizations in general.  But making a move with any Employee Benefit is no small task, and especially so with Health Insurance. There are a lot of things you need to be aware of as you consider this kind of move. This webinar will highlight the "Top Ten" reasons you might consider NYSOH and identify key issues you should understand before making your decision. Join Peter Andrew, CEO of Council Services Plus, Inc. (NYCON's Insurance Subsidiary) and Joseph Muldoon, New York State Health Benefit Exchange Project Director, for this candid look at the facts, and the biggest pros (and cons) of moving to the NYS Health Exchange.

This information will be extremely useful for small nonprofits that:
  • Have a primary business address within New York State
  • Have a least one common-law employees
  • Have 50 or fewer eligible employees
March 17, 2015 from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM 
Strategic Restructuring for Nonprofits: A "Real World" Approach [Lunch & Learn Webinar]
A  Special Event with Updates for 2015 by our CEO Doug Sauer

This thought provoking, insightful event will provide you with knowledge gleaned from decades of Doug's work with hundreds of nonprofits in various stages of formal restructuring, shared service models and, certainly, merger.

Doug, perhaps more than anyone on the national nonprofit "scene," knows first hand that merger (or any type of structural "re-engineering" of your organization) is a serious solution to the very complex issues facing today's nonprofits. Join us on June 19th and learn from Doug's real world and very practical experiences. Doug will be talking about the variety of options available for restructuring a nonprofit, what the potential benefits and very real risks are -- as well as what the process of  "strategic restructuring" is really like.

There will be time for Q&A at the end of the online session so make sure you take advantage of having our resident expert available to you.
Plan Ahead for Spring! Upcoming Webinars...
April 23, 2015 2:30 pm
In this Issue...
Corporate Member SPOTLIGHT:
Master of Public Administration Program (MPA) at Marist College 
The Master of Public Administration program (MPA) at Marist College
prepares innovative leaders of public and nonprofit organizations with the knowledge, skills, and values necessary for effectively managing in a diverse, technologically engaged and global society. The MPA program's commitment to excellence in education is demonstrated through the integration of public administration theories with the practice of management in the public and non-profit sectors.  Interested in furthering your nonprofit career?
Benefit Spotlight On:
Membership Benefits Spotlight!
If you like our webinar 'system' you already like ReadyTalk. NYCON is pleased to partner with ReadyTalk to bring members easy-to-use audio and web conferencing at great, low rates!

Members pay only 3.9 cents per minute/per participant for voice conferencing and 7.9 cents per minute/per web conferencing, more than 70% off the regular price of ReadyTalk services.

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Nonprofit Knowledge Matters - What’s not trending? Succession Plans

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Why is succession planning taboo? 
head in sand
Did you ever wonder what two words would cause accomplished adults to behave like ostriches burying their heads in the sand?  The answer seems to be “succession planning.” Apparently nonprofit board members and executives will do everything possible to avoid hearing or speaking those words. Yet succession planning is essential, and should not be taboo.
Interestingly, this phenomenon is not limited to nonprofits. According to research published in the Harvard Business Review, the for-profit “CEO succession process is broken in North America,” with about “half of companies with revenue greater than $500 million hav[ing] no meaningful CEO succession plan.” Even among “those that have plans [most] aren’t happy with them,” with “only 20 percent of responding HR executives [reporting they] were satisfied with their top-management succession processes.”
Still, that’s no excuse for nonprofits. A nonprofit undergoing a leadership transition is at a very vulnerable point in its lifecycle. All leaders leave at some point, sometimes unexpectedly, so all organizations need to prepare for this eventuality. But unfortunately, succession planning – if not “ostrich-inducing” – is the “elephant in the room” that no one wants to acknowledge. We hope that instead of avoiding this delicate issue, boards will behave responsibly by teeing up the issue of succession planning for a direct discussion. Board members who ignore succession planning do so at their nonprofit’s peril. They are ignoring serious risks to the future stability of the nonprofit, and abdicating their own fiduciary obligation to take care of the nonprofit (the legal “duty of care”).  
When approaching succession planning, recognize that there are at least three distinct scenarios to address. The first involves “emergency” transitions, whether temporary (such as caused by a major illness) or any other unplanned departure. Taking a regular look at the organization’s plans for emergency leadership succession, such as annually during the CEO’s evaluation, keeps it fresh which can mitigate confusion in an emergency. The second scenario involves the advance planning that most people associate with “succession planning.” The final scenario is often the most overlooked: onboarding the new leader. Too often nonprofit board members think that their job is over once a CEO vacancy is filled. In fact, onboarding is a longer process that involves providing the new CEO with added support throughout the first year. 
The responsibility for a smooth transition lies not just with the board of directors. Current CEOs/executive directors who are planning to leave have a huge responsibility too. Ideally they will help prepare the organization for a smooth transition of leadership. We find this post to be inspiring, as it describes a thoughtful and transparent leadership transition at the Princeton Community Foundation. In it, Nancy Keiling, former CEO of the Princeton Area Community Foundation, describes her role as the departing CEO, and how the community foundation approached its goals of both successfully onboarding the new CEO and keeping the board engaged as the new CEO stepped into the traces. 
Engaging in a thoughtful succession planning process for both staff and board leadership is a key factor for a nonprofit’s ability to adapt and thrive. In its most recent national study of board governance practices, Leading with Intent, BoardSource reports that only 34 percent of nonprofits have written succession plans in place, while 50 percent believe they face a leadership transition in the next five years. BoardSource goes on to note that: “Boards are weaker at the more adaptive work (work where the problems are more complex, the path is not proscribed, and multiple solutions are viable)” than technical work, such as legal compliance. This is as true when dealing with board transitions as it is with transitions of the paid chief executive, as the findings underscore that recruiting/identifying the right board members is increasingly difficult. When polled, both board chairs and CEOs (22 percent and 25 percent respectively) reported that “building a stronger leadership pipeline” was among the top 3 areas needed for board improvement. 
Resources on leadership transitions
Succession planning for nonprofits (National Council of Nonprofits)
More trends we’re watching
Four important trends noted by Mary Ellen Jackson, Executive Director, New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits:
1) the social economy
2) growth in strategic partnerships
3) donor trust on the rise and women donors leading the way
4) board members embracing the role of advocacy.
Are nonprofits embracing bitcoins? (Tate & Tryon)
Your Voices
Help us continue delivering useful content in Nonprofit Knowledge Matters by completing this quick, two question poll.
Worth Reading
A Social Sector Game Changer (Nina Stack, Council of New Jersey Grantmakers)
New and Notable Nonprofit Resources
Utah Economic Report to the Governor (chapter on “Nonprofit Sector”) (2015)
Policy vs Paper Clips – How using a corporate model makes a nonprofit board more efficient and effective (3rd edition) (Fram and Brown)
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