Friday, February 24, 2017

Documentary Heritage & Preservation Services | Free Planning & Assessment Services

Planning & Assessment Services Applications Due March 1

There are just a few days left to apply for the current round of DHPSNY's free Planning & Assessment Services! Applications must be postmarked or received via email by Wednesday, March 1, 2017. DHPSNY awards services to a limited number of institutions in three areas: Archival Needs Assesments, Preservation & Conservation Surveys, and Strategic Planning assistance. Visit our 
Planning & Assessment page to learn more about each and determine which is right for your organization.

Archival Needs Assessments provide assistance in archival program development tailored to specific organizational needs.
Click here to learn more and download the application.

Preservation & Conservation Surveys assess an institution's preservation needs, focusing on preventive care and mitigating deterioration and damage.
Click here to learn more and download the application.

Our Strategic Planning curriculum was developed in partnership with the New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON) and is designed to assist small- to medium-sized institutions.
Click here to learn more and download the application.

DHPSNY staff is available to answer questions about eligibility and assist you in completing your application. Please contact Program Coordinator Anastasia Matijkiw for assistance or additional information at (215) 545-0613 or 
amatijkiw@dhpsny.orgApplications are open on a biannual basis, and the next application round will be in fall 2017.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Long Island hires and promotions: David Rottkamp, NY Council of Nonprofits




David M. Rottkamp of West Islip, a CPA and partner at Grassi & Co. in Jericho, has been appointed board chair of the New York Council of Nonprofits in Albany.
Jennifer Ackroyd of Southold, assisted-living administrator and skilled nursing assistant administrator at Peconic Landing in Greenport, has joined the board of directors for the Alzheimer’s Association Long Island Chapter in Melville.
Mark S. Mulholland of Bayport, partner at Ruskin Moscou Faltischek in Uniondale, has been named chairman of the board of directors at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in Patchogue.
Brandon Kurz of Port Washington, program director at Port Washington Youth Activities, has been promoted to executive director.

The YMCA of Long Island Inc. Association has expanded its leadership team with two new hires.
Shannon Cussen of Manhattan has been hired as executive director of youth development and education at the association in Glen Cove. She was assistant director of the Prospect Park YMCA Early Childhood Center in Brooklyn.

Frank McDonald of Oak Beach has been hired as executive director of the Huntington YMCA. He was vice president of program development and camping for the Old Colony YMCA in Brockton, Massachusetts.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Minimum Wage Increase Pinches Nonprofits

Small businesses across upstate are cutting hours, reducing staff and taking other measures to cope with the costs of a higher minimum wage.

Nonprofit administrators, already pinched by tight budgets, are finding the minimum wage increase is adding to the daily turmoil of operating an organization dependent on dwindling government grants, donations and a pushback from clients as they try to raise fees to cover the higher wage expense.
Most community-based nonprofits are locked into federal, state and local contracts that will not honor the increased employee costs that the wage increase brings, meaning that nonprofits would have to use or raise charitable dollars to subsidize the increase, said Doug Sauer, chief executive of the New York Council of Nonprofits. Most don’t have these funds to allocate so they cut back on staffing and services.
“It should be noted that this wage increase is also alongside increases in workers comp and unemployment rates, and raises at the state level of what constitutes an exempt employee,” Sauer said. “There is a triple if not quadruple whammy on mandated employer costs.”
As of now, the state government does not fully compensate nonprofits that they contract with for additional mandated costs of doing business, and most government contracts with nonprofits also do not pay the full cost of nonprofits’ services, Sauer said. There is a significant effort underway to see that the state does compensate the additional cost.
Because of undercompensation, nonprofits either lose money on state contracts or they have to find other sources to subsidize the services the government is contracting for, Sauer said.
“A vast majority of local nonprofits operate on a shoestring and try to make do with what little they have,” Sauer said. “We may be approaching a time where more and more nonprofits simply refuse to do business with the state because they can’t afford to.”
Some nonprofits may choose to raise fees for their services.
“But not all are fee-based and raising fees means that there will be more people not being able to access their services,” Sauer said. “So, more human needs go unmet, or for arts and cultural organizations, less people benefit from what they offer.”
Ultimately, the increase in minimum wage harms the nonprofit industry, Sauer said.
“From nonprofits being a business that needs to be solvent, it threatens the viability and sustainability of many unless government, philanthropy and donors are willing to invest in the nonprofit workforce,” Sauer said. “Nonprofits already have a problem with recruiting and keeping qualified staff, who easily go to work for government, schools and the private sector to better support themselves and their families.”
Matthew Steecker is Southern Tier regional business reporter for the USA TODAY Network.
Matthew Steecker, @MSteecker Published 6:22 a.m. ET Feb. 16, 2017

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Otsego County Chamber Member News Weekly Update

America's SBDC - New York
Small Business Development Center - Binghamton University
The City of Oneonta is pleased to announce a new $200,000 Microenterprise Program which was recently awarded to the City by the New York State Office of Community Renewal. The Microenterprise Program will provide financial assistance to entrepreneurs, start-up businesses, and existing microenterprises that will increase economic opportunity and/or create jobs for persons who are low-to-moderate income.
The Microenterprise Program will offer grants between $5,000 and $35,000 to eligible projects. A minimum of 10% of the total project cost must be provided as owner’s equity. Eligible uses of funds include capital equipment and fixtures, working capital, inventory, and software that is specifically related to the proposed business activity. Funds cannot be used for construction, renovations or building repairs. Participating business owners are required to complete business ownership or entrepreneurial training. Other program requirements apply.
The program guidance materials, application, and training information can be obtained from Judy Pangman, Community Development Director, at the City of Oneonta, 258 Main Street, Oneonta, NY 13820 by calling (607) 432-0114, or by emailing Applications are due by February 28, 2017. If funds remain after these applications are processed, another round will be offered at a later date.

13th Annual CANO Chili Bowl  Sunday February 5 from 12 -4 PM

The thirteenth annual CANO chili bowl will be held this Sunday at the Wilber Mansion, 11 Ford Avenue, Oneonta.  Come be a part of this festive February tradition.  Your entrance fee is the purchase of one of more than six hundred hand made bowls created and decorated by Doug Halberg and volunteer artists at the Carriage House Art Studio.    You can fill your beautiful new bowl with any or all of our freshly made chili varieties and be aware that your purchase helps support CANO as we continue  to restore the Wilber Mansion  and provide the area with monthly art exhibitions and writers salons  free and open to the public. 

This year we will double the heated outdoor space thanks to one of our sponsors, Unalam.  This will give us much needed elbow room outside the Mansion, while indoors we will be displaying the beautiful hand crafted quilts by  Susquehannah Valley Quilts.  After sampling twenty five varieties of chili and listening to the music of the Mansion Jam Band you will want to take a moment to vote for the chili of your choice and help choose the best chili in the area.  Awards will be given for best chili, fireman’s choice chili,  best bowl and the spirit award.

Press contact:  Bhala Jones
CANO contact:  432-2070

Stella Luna Ristorante
We are pleased to announce that our next Wine Night Event will be a real event and is set for the 8th of February at 6:30p.m.
We are planning a full course sit down dinner, as opposed to our usual tapas style small plate pairings.
Paired with the finest wines from Trinchero Family Estates, this will be a night of fun to remember!
Seats are limited.
Price is $100 per person, includes tax and gratuity.
Reservations and pre-payment requested by the 1st of February.

We look forward to seeing you then.
Call soon to reserve your seat.
As always, if you have any dietary restrictions, please let us know when you make your reservation so that we can accommodate the menu specifically for you. 

Thank you,
Vinne & Tony
Stella Luna Ristorante

United Way of Delaware and Otsego Counties
PO Box 631
Oneonta, NY 13820

Taxpayers will be able to start filing their 2016 income tax on Monday, January 23, 2017.  The Creating Assets, Savings and Hope (CASH) Coalition of Otsego and Delaware Counties has announced that taxpayers who meet income eligibility requirements will have the following options in order to be able to prepare and file their state and federal income taxes for free.

MyFreeTaxes (MFT) is a service available to individuals and families who made under $64,000.00 in 2016. This program is available for use on any home computer or public computers ( are available for use at the following locations beginning January 23, 2017:

CDO Workforce Offices:
12 Dietz St., Oneonta, NY (8:30a.m.-5:00p.m., M-F)
21Liberty St., Sidney, NY (8:30a.m.-4:30p.m., M-F)
1 Gallant Avenue, Delhi, NY (8:30a.m.-4:30p.m., M-F)

The following public libraries will also have public computer’s available for use with a link to the MFT site:
Village Library of Cooperstown
Kinney Memorial Library
Huntington Memorial Library
Harris Memorial Library
Milford Free Library
Worcester Free Library
Fairview Public Library
Franklin Free Library
Louise Adelia Read Memorial Library
Stamford Village Library
William B. Ogden Free Library
Sidney Memorial Public Library

Assistance with MFT will be available on the SUNY Delhi Campus.  For more information on this site, please contact Professor Adriene Clifford by email  at or by phone at 607-746-4102 for location and times. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Bright Hill Press & Literary Center of the Catskills Taps Beatrice Georgalidis as Executive Director

Bright Hill Press & Literary Center of the Catskills

The Force for Literary & Visual Arts in the Catskills Since 1992

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Nonprofit Advocacy Matters

Bi-Partisan Opposition Grows for ACA Repeal Without Replacement

The 115th Congress convened with the majorities clearly intent to quickly repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or “Obamacare”) within a month and develop a replacement plan months or even years later. That two-step strategy has now been stymied by a combination of outside advocacy efforts, financial and coverage concerns expressed by governors and moderate Republicans in Congress, and recent reaffirmation by the new President who campaigned on the immediate repeal and replacement of the landmark health care law. The Senate and House passed a budget resolution that sets the stage for repeal of the ACA in a few weeks, but leaders in the majority are now assuring their colleagues and the public that a replacement plan will be enacted in tandem with repeal legislation.

Numerous nonprofits, including the Alliance for Strong Families and Children, initiated letter-writing campaigns calling on Congress not to repeal the ACA, in whole or in part, “without simultaneously replacing it with a revised program that addresses many of the concerns that nonprofits have for the people they serve.” Thirty-one states adopted Medicaid expansion under the ACA, including 16 led by Republican Governors who reportedly expressed their concerns to policymakers in Washington. Repeal without a replacement would cost those states billions in previously promised funds and disrupt state budgets for years. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) expressed the views of many of her colleagues when she stated that repeal “risks leaving millions of vulnerable Americans without affordable health insurance and would undo important consumer protections provided by current law.” Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) is expected to introduce a bill soon that would partially resolve the question of a replacement plan by giving states the flexibility to keep Obamacare, abolish it entirely, or transition to a new system of health savings accounts and automatic health plan enrollment.

The need for a viable replacement plan for Obamacare was underscored last week when the Congressional Budget Office warned that partial repeal without replacement would leave tens of millions of people uninsured and cause a spike in insurance premiums. President Trump has signaled that he expects the replacement of the ACA to be enacted simultaneously with repeal, but has said he will not release his legislative plan until his nominee is confirmed to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. On his first day in office, President Trump signed an executive order instructing federal agencies to use their discretion to provide maximum flexibility to states and others to reduce the costs, burdens, and mandates of the ACA, a step that some see as adding pressure on Congress to adopt a replacement law. Republican Senators and Representatives are meeting this week at a retreat in Philadelphia and the subject of a replacement health care plan is sure to be one of the most hotly debated topics.
Spending Cut Plans Emerging

The federal spending plan for the rest of this fiscal year remains unclear, but details are emerging for the Trump budget proposals for Fiscal Year 2018 that begins on October 1. In recent speeches, Administration officials have revealed that the President will seek to reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over 10 years. One reported source of ideas for what to cut comes from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative DC think tank, that has offered up “106 ways to reduce the size and scope of government.” Another source is the budget plan of the Republican Study Committee, a group of deficit hawks in the House. The Heritage blueprint calls for eliminating the Justice Department’s Violence Against Women Grants, the Legal Services Corporation, and reducing funding for the Civil Rights division. It is also expected that a Trump budget proposal will seek to privatize the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and eliminate both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. More details on the Trump plan are likely to be released over the next month, with his formal recommendations to Congress expected by Spring.
Federal FastView

  • Putting Pending Regulations on Hold: Federal departments were ordered to freeze all federal regulations currently in the pipeline to give the new Administration time to review and revise. In a memorandum from White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus issued late Friday, bureaucrats were ordered to take no action on proposals that have not been finalized, to withdraw those sent for formal publication in the Federal Register, and to delay the implementation date for 60 days for those that have been promulgated, but are not yet effective. The memo makes exceptions for "critical health, safety, financial, or national security matters." Earlier in the week, 18 Republican state Attorneys General sent a letter to then Vice President-elect Mike Pence and Congressional leadership expressing their support for the House-passed “Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2017 or (REINS Act), that would require the House and Senate to accept or reject within 70 legislative days rules that have an economic impact of more than $100 million. That measure has raised concerns among environmental and other advocates that the measure could hamper the work of various federal agencies.
  • New Administration, New Look at Voting Rights: The Trump Administration successfully petitioned for delaying a hearing this week in a major voting rights case in which the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice successfully proved that a restrictive Texas voter identification law had a discriminatory effect on the civil rights of African-Americans and Latinos. The extension was sought to allow time for incoming officials at the Justice Department to decide the direction it wants to take in the case regarding state discrimination against minorities.
  • Form 1023-EZ Challenged: The reliance by the Internal Revenue Service on its short Form 1023-EZ causes it to erroneously grant tax-exempt status to unqualified organizations, the National Taxpayer Advocate concluded in its Annual Report to Congress for 2016. The Form 1023-EZ, requires applicants to merely attest that they meet the requirements for qualification as Section 501(c)(3) organizations. The Taxpayer Advocate found that most applications for the exemption are now submitted on Form 1023-EZ and the IRS approves many that do not qualify under the law. The Taxpayer Advocate recommends that the IRS require Form 1023-EZ applicants to submit their organizing documents and summary financial information, and that the IRS make a determination only after considering narrative statements and this additional information. For more on the challenges and concerns about the Form 1023-EZ, read Is the 1023-EZ a Step Backward for Regulators and Nonprofits?

State of the State Addresses 2017

Needed advocacy actions for the year are coming into clearer focus as governors set their agendas through State of the State addresses. Here are emerging issues and trends that could affect the work of charitable nonprofits across the country.

  • Taxes: Taxes top the list of main issues for governors during their annual speeches. Yet as more than half of the states are facing budget deficits, most of the policy proposals focused on tax cuts rather than increases. Some, including Governor Ricketts in Nebraska, propose major overhauls in property taxes. Governor Cuomo in New York plans to work with local governments to expand property tax relief beyond a two-percent cap on increases. More than 650,000 lower-income Arkansans may receive income tax cuts totaling $50 million under Governor Hutchinson’s proposal, which also promises additional cuts in two years. In Maine, the Governor is calling on lawmakers to shift to a flat income tax by 2020, reduce the top individual tax and corporate rates, and eliminate the estate tax in 2018. Tennessee Governor Haslam’s IMPROVE Act would provide several cuts to franchise and excise taxes, resulting in $102 million in tax cuts for a state with a projected $2 billion budget surplus.
  • Spending: Recognizing the realities of budget deficits, many governors are proposing additional spending cuts. Vermont Governor Scott is calling for tight limits on spending, while Maine Governor LePage goes further to propose a statutory limitation on spending. In addition to proposing spending cuts to many programs, New Mexico’s Governor is looking to tap accounts with unspent money to “endure this current budget crisis without raising taxes.” Missouri Governor Greitens announced spending cuts to state universities and transportation even though his overall spending plan is not expected until February. Conversely, Nebraska Governor Rickett’s budget seeks to increase spending by an annual average of 1.7 percent.
  • Jobs/Employment: Another way governors are reducing costs is through reducing the state workforce. The Governors of Maine and Maryland are proposing to reduce state workforces by 500 and 400 positions, respectively, and North Dakota Governor Burgum suggests a ten percent cut in the number of state workers to “right-size government.” On the other hand, Wisconsin Governor Walker claims the state has more jobs than it can fill and is now shifting his priority from job creation to workforce development.
  • ACA/Medicaid: Governors spoke to the uncertainty about the outcome of debates in Washington, DC, over the Affordable Care Act. Idaho Governor Otter is taking a wait-and-see approach on health policy, recognizing that the state impact from changes in the ACA are not yet predictable. Colorado’s Governor Hickenlooper is taking the position that “health care is a right not a privilege” and highlights that 94 percent of Coloradans are covered. Medicaid expansion and providing 640,000 low-income adults with health insurance is a top priority for Michigan Governor Snyder.
  • Education: After years of declining support for public education, states may be changing direction. Governors from Arizona and Idaho are calling for increased funding for education and supporting teachers, with Idaho devoting 63 percent of its proposed budget to public education. Indiana Governor Holcomb seeks to double the state’s investment in pre-kindergarten, while New York’s Cuomo proposes free public college tuition for some students.

Nonprofit Independence Preserved

Nonprofits earning money by performing government contracts are not automatically transformed into governmental entities subject to the state’s public records law, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled recently. The underlying case concerned a public records demand that an individual made on the nonprofit zoo in Seattle. When the nonprofit refused to provide all of the requested documents, the individual sued, claiming among other things that because the zoo used to be run by the city and the nonprofit zoo earned money from a city contract, it should be subject to the public records law. The trial court disagreed, and when the individual appealed, she lost again. She then appealed to the State Supreme Court.

Washington Nonprofits, the state association of nonprofits, and the National Council of Nonprofits filed an amici curiae brief in the case last fall taking a strong position that extension of public records laws to private entities would effectively “insert entirely new terms into existing written agreements that private nonprofit entities have entered with governments across Washington.”  The supreme court adopted a stringent four-part test to be applied on a case-by-case basis that limits expansion of the public records law to nonprofits only when entities are truly standing in the place of governmental agencies.
In the Hopper

State Legislation Affecting the Work, Finances of Nonprofits

Legislatures in 42 states have commenced their sessions for the year and bills affecting the work and finances of nonprofits are pouring in. Here’s a sampling:

  • Property Taxes: A pre-filed bill in Montana would remove the property tax exemption for any nonprofit that pays compensation greater than $250,000 to any officer, trustee, or key employee. Massachusetts legislation would require nonprofit hospitals to pay to its host municipality 75 percent of property taxes they would otherwise owe if not exempt from property taxes. The bill carves out an exception if a hospital has a standing payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement or other financial arrangement with the local government. A bill in New Hampshire would limit the property tax exemption of nonprofit hospitals to their main campuses.
  • Health Insurance: As a sign of changing views on health insurance reform, the Republican Governor of Massachusetts is proposing the return and increase of a fine on employers with 10 or more employees that do not provide them with health insurance, raising a projected $300 million. The individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act has been a primary complaint of those seeking to repeal the law.
  • Employment Policies: A bill in New Hampshire would increase the state minimum wage to $9.50 per hour initially and $12 per hour beginning in 2019, or defer to the federal minimum wage, whichever is higher. North Dakota legislation seeks to increase the state minimum wage from $5.85 per hour to $9.25 per hour and provide for adjustments by the state labor commissioner. A bill in Rhode Island would raise the state minimum wage from $9.60 to $10.50 per hour, effective July 1, 2017.
  • Nonprofit Independence/Public Records: A North Dakota bill would exempt from public disclosure any donor records of nonprofits that are subject to open records laws. Currently, only donor records of nonprofits affiliated with higher education and the university system are exempt. The legislation was approved unanimously by a key Senate committee on Friday. View the testimony of the North Dakota Association of Nonprofit Organizations.

Relationships Matter

Every fundraiser, board member, program manager, and nonprofit advocate knows it’s true: relationships matter. People are more likely to believe, support, and act on your message if they know and trust you. Dale Carnegie wrote about “winning friends” and “influencing people,” in that order. An experienced Alabama lobbyist once put it succinctly for advocates: “You never want to have to ask a stranger for a favor; so get on up to the Capitol and make some friends before you need to ask for help.”

State associations of nonprofits are particularly well suited to helping nonprofit leaders connect with policymakers in meaningful ways. For instance, the Maine Association of Nonprofits (MANP) recently encouraged members to strengthen relationships with policymakers and meeting newly elected members of the legislature through simply extending a hand and introducing themselves. Offering a blog post and sample phone script, along with contact information for House and Senate members, MANP makes it easy for nonprofits to say hello to policymakers.

Over the past few weeks, and continuing over the next month, state associations and members are meeting with legislators in town halls, advocacy forums, and days at the capitol.

The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network brought together nonprofits and government leaders at its Policymaker Roundtable to promote candid conversations about policy issues affecting the Commonwealth’s nonprofit sector. The Secretary of Health and Human Services praised the event and similar meetings as an opportunity to hear from people in the field and stressed the importance of diverse perspectives on issues. She shared with the attendees that she reads and responds to every email and urged members to contact her personally.

Similarly, a Maryland state Delegate openly discussed upcoming bills and anticipated “serious cuts” in spending during the Maryland Nonprofits’ 2017 Legislative Preview. She had flown in early that morning and on little sleep stressed the importance of being there to discuss priorities during the upcoming session. Giving tacit endorsement for direct lobbying by nonprofit experts, she emphasized the delegates’ lack of staff and candidly stated she does not have time to read every bill; receiving in-depth knowledge from those in the sector greatly improves her knowledge base on any particular area.

At the 2017 Session Line-Up hosted by the Minnesota Council on Nonprofits, majority and minority legislative leaders and the Lieutenant Governor spoke to more than 200 nonprofit attendees. Nonprofits had the opportunity to discuss specific missions and organizational focus with policymakers, as well as raise broad concerns on state and federal budgets and employment matters. This discussion gave the House Deputy Majority Leader the opportunity to offer a direct challenge to the nonprofits, stating, “When it comes to accessing public dollars, you will want to work really hard to prove what you’ve already done with the dollars you’ve already been given.” This comment sparked a letter to the editor from a nonprofit veteran taking issue with this demand that nonprofits must “prove their worth” and has led to more engagement for the sector. The nonprofit community must use these opportunities to build relationships to invite legislators to work with them and not against them on the issues affecting their communities.

Copyright 2017 National Council of Nonprofits. All rights reserved.
1001 G Street NW, Suite 700 East
WashingtonDC 20001

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Restore Opportunity Now (RON) Campaign Updates

Restore Opportunity Now (RON) Campaign Updates  

As you may know, NYCON is supporting and participating in the Restore Opportunity Now campaign.  
Restore Opportunity Now is a statewide effort calling for crucial investments and systemic changes to strengthen New York's nonprofit human services sector. From streamlining and legitimizing state contracting so that it is in line with fair federal rules, to revisiting existing contracts amid state-wide wage increases, there are plenty of mutually beneficial ways the state can continue to help the nonprofit community positively impact quality of life for all New Yorkers.
The proposed  Executive Budget, while acknowledging the importance of human services, unfortunately provided little in the way of strengthening the organizations and the sector responsible for lifting families out of poverty. 
If you haven't already, we encourage those who support these goals to maximize our voices by joining the more than 340 organizations in the campaignClick here. 

We also encourage you to inform your board about the Restore Opportunity Now Campaign and ask them to send their own letter to Governor Cuomo in support of the initiative (also send a copy to for a bulk re-delivery to the Governor). Please see sample language here.
Questions about this campaign? Contact Peter McCarthy, Policy Associate at NYCON at 1 (800) 515-5012.

Help Restore Opportunity
Attend An Upcoming
Press Conference
Consider attending one of these press conferences calling on the Governor and the Legislature to take action!
Syracuse, 1/25 at 12PM 
Southwest Community Center
401 South Ave., Syracuse.
RSVP to Loretta Zolkowski at
Albany, 1/31 at 11AM
Capital Building (likely stairs outside Senate Chambers.) RSVP to Mallory Nugent at
NYC, 2/1 at 1PM
Ivan Shapiro House at
459 West 46th Street.
Please RSVP to Nicole Bramstedt  at
Binghamton, 2/1 at 1PM 
Southern Tier Independence Center, 135 East Frederick St., Binghamton- RSVP to Maria Dibble at