Monday, March 31, 2008

What's the Group's Next Step?

An idea developed for the next program meeting during the Group discussion of the 6 questions and the answers that were generated. The idea is to capture the economic impact of the nonprofit community in the region and communicate this impact to other organizations and government agencies. This idea was the result of discussion focused on question 3, which asked:
Do we want this Group be similar to a chamber of commerce, and if so, in
what ways?

The discussion developed around the idea of the return on value from Chamber membership, and how this value could be improved. From this discussion, the Group proposed focusing on articulating the impact of nonprofits on the region, including economic and quality of life. The Group would like to calculate the economic impact of nonprofits by aggregating salaries, number of employees, and how much money is spent in the community (and possibly other factors, like numbers of people served). The Group also discussed including quality of life factors, but this area is hard to measure or quantify, so the Group will explore this further by looking at other studies and examples (such as American Express arts study and the "Weed and Seed" Program in Binghamton).

The Group would like to take this information and present it in a report form at a special program meeting possibly attended by all the heads of the area Chambers (and maybe local government officials). A conversation could begin between Chambers and nonprofits about who nonprofits are, their impact on the community, and how the two can better understand each other and work together. The Steering Committee will be discussing this idea as the topic for the next program meeting. Details will be announced shortly.

Interested in hearing this discussion? A digital recording (mp3) is available here. Please share your feedback about this conversation and these ideas for the Group's next steps.

Executive Directors Group Meets for First Time!

The first meeting of the South Central NY Nonprofit Executive Directors Group met on March 26th. The meeting was hosted by A.V.R.E (Association for Vision Rehabilitation and Employment). Participants included:
Robert K. Hanye, A.V.R.E.
Dick Squire, ACCORD, A Center for Dispute Resolution, Inc.
Joseph Sellepack, Broome County Council of Churches
Rick Peterson, Broome County YMCA
Bill Lelbach, Chenango River Theatre
Michele Napolitano, Fairview Recovery Services
Darrell R. Newvine, Family Enrichment Network
David Karre, Four County Library System
Ralph E. Hall, KNOW Theatre
Sharon Chesna, Mothers & Babies Perinatal Network
Annette Schweiger, Tioga County Council on The Arts
Martha C. Brennan, Tioga County REAP
Carole Coppens, YWCA of Binghamton & Broome County
Keith Leahey, MHAST
Pat Erickson, SOS Shelter
Raini Baudendistel, Crime Victims Assistance Center
Deborah Fitzgerald, Recess Resources, Inc.

The meeting opened with an introduction of the Steering Committee, the nonprofit directors in attendance, and two representatives from NBT Bank (Robin Ellis and David Cahill), a new supporter of the Group. The program continued with a presentation of the Steering Committee's recommendations for the mission, vision and structure of the Group. There was consensus around the presentation, which is available here. If you would like to share you feedback, please post your comments here. The next step will be sending an official invite by e-mail to nonprofits in the region to join the ED Group. Once members have opted in, they will be listed on this website as members.

The remaining portion of the meeting involved the discussion of 6 questions about the Group and its activities. The questions and discussion answers are posted here:

1) How often are you willing or expect for the group to meet; and would you prefer to keep meetings in one or a few designated locations with a small fee or have the opportunity to host a meeting and rotate to other facilities?
  • First year: six times/year with goal of getting to 4 times a year
  • Rotate to other member facilities (including other counties) with opportunity to spend 5 minutes learning about that organization
  • If some smaller facilities do not have space they can be rotated in to present their info
  • Fee per event- you can choose to come or not
  • 6 times/year is ok, but 4 times per year might not be enough
  • 90 minute meetings max
  • Start meetings at 8am

2) What are you looking for from the Group that will bring you back?

  • Networking- sharing and learning
  • Resource development (ie HR questions- who is willing to be called/help
  • Empowerment/recognition
  • Educational value
  • Visibility
  • Outreach- elected officials – does this mean educating elected officials about the value and impact of nonprofits in our area?
  • Definite purpose for each meeting or program
  • Teamwork
  • How are we the same and how we are different

3) Do we want this Group be similar to a chamber of commerce, and if so, in what ways?

  • Yes, for quality of life issues- we’re not a business but we have value
  • No, there are benefits- economic benefits- in chamber membership networking
  • Yes, a formal group who represents us in public policy
  • Networking/sharing resources
  • Reach out to support new nonprofits
  • We are a business- same issues
  • There is a value in numbers (organizations)
  • Create a liaison with each area chamber where we are some form of committee to each chamber. We serve as a resource to the chambers, they come to us when they need assistance.
  • May evolve over time

4) What should the agenda be for our next program meeting?

  • Who’s joined
  • What were the answers to the 6 questions
  • Next step
  • Presentation on topic area
  • Discussion on topics for meetings
  • Clear up questions and ambiguities that exist in today’s presentation
  • Time line and action plan
  • Election of steering committee
  • What type of trainings/presentations does the group want?

5) What is a big idea for us (Group) to do together?

  • Reception for nonprofit community to invite others to join
  • Training for new ED’s and succession planning specific to the area
  • Semi-structure mixer
  • Annual conference
  • NPO Impact report- Steering Committee should survey total budget and numbers of clients served by the group’s membership. And number of staff/payrolls and volunteer hours
  • Multi-topic 1 day training conference
  • Board development

6) How can we get info to the community on who we are and what our plans are?

  • Press releases
  • We will need an up-to-date list- CRT has one (40-50 current media outlets) Valerie Zehl
  • Letters to other nonprofits
  • Reach out to community foundations
  • Expand and promote website and include links to members websites
  • Who is responsible for publicity?
  • Each member agrees to personally invite 10 people to reception

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Employee Car Use Policy: Feedback Please!

Dear Colleagues,
I am trying to find out if anyone has a policy on damage reimbursement for an employee who has an accident in their personal car while on agency business. Specifically, this agency does not own any vehicles. The employee was sent out using her own car to pick up needed supplies for the agency. She slid into an intersection on icy pavement and her car was damaged ($3,000). She was not ticketed. She would like the agency to cover her entire repair bill, or her deductible and her increased rate of insurance. Any feedback would be appreciated (post in response to my comment below). Thank You

Richard E. Squire
Executive Director
ACCORD, A Center for Dispute Resolution, Inc.
30 West State Street
Binghamton, NY 13901
Phone: 607-724-5153

SCNY Group Applauds AVRE on National Award

AVRE has received a national award. Read more about it here:
Please join us in congratulating them.