Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Program Committee Update 2009

The Program Committee met on Monday, November 24th at ACCORD. The meeting was productive, and the Committee outlined four possible program areas for next year as follows:
  1. How to improve executive skills in working with a board. Program date: March 10
  2. Finding unique employee motivators (other than money); how to develop a positive working environment. Program date: June 9
  3. Going Green-Being environmentally responsible-everything from recycling to energy efficiency. Program date: September 8
  4. Foundation forum- A panel of the leading foundations in the region to talk about grantsmanship and other issues. Program date: December 8

Share your feedback with the Committee co-chairs: Bob Hanye, AVRE and Dick Squire, ACCORD

Monday, November 24, 2008

Special Project Committee

Joe Slavik, Michelle Napolitano and Joe Sellepack met on Nov. 21 to discuss
a few questions that would help shape some of the projects that our
committee will consider. The questions that we wanted to discuss are "What
is the purpose or mission of our committee?" "What are some projects that
we want to consider?" "How do we want to complete these projects?" "How
often should we meet?" and "When should we meet next?"

It was realized by the three people who met that we did not represent enough
of our committee to do anything but offer recommendations. What is offered
here is merely our attempt at beginning a conversation that might be
continued at the next meeting: time, date and venue listed below.
To answer the first question, we want to propose that the purpose of the
special projects committee is to advocate for non-profits and to conduct
projects that would assist non-profits to better communicate what their role
is in the community.

Some possible projects we would like to consider are: 1) The social and
economic impact of non-profits on the community - it was determined that we
should tell the story of non-profits in the community - try to put a face on
what we do what we do... We also want to tell the story behind the numbers,
demonstrating how much it costs non-profits to do the work they do and how
much that saves the average tax payer, 2) Conduct a community needs
assessment and find gaps and overlaps in services among non-profits - part
of this study would be to talk to foundations and funding sources, 3) A
media impact study - to collaborate on ways that we might help communicate
the story of non-profits and the role various media play in helping shape
the message, and 4) Ways that non-profits can network with the University.
The breadth of these subjects suggests that they will not be studies that
are easily done. Rather it requires broad participation from member
non-profits and might benefit from students from BU to help shape and move
the project to completion. It was agreed that we would talk to Jennifer
Marshall of BU's school of Social Work about having interns do the initial
studies. We also talked about whether a Master's thesis from the BU school
of Public Admin. might be a better option. If it is a MA thesis, it might
help if we were to help fund a project or a scholarship for a student. This
will require further discussion.

We also agreed that initially we may need to meet more frequently than once
a quarter, but that ultimately quarterly meetings that mirror our larger
meetings would be optimal (unless it is determined by the group that more
are needed for a specific project).

The next meeting is scheduled for 8:30 Jan. 9 at the Broome County Council
of Churches. We are contacting Allison Alden and Jennifer Marshall to be at
the meeting. It was further recommended that we contact Andrew Marietta to
find out if there are similar long range projects (especially the economic
and social impact study) that we could peruse.

If you have any suggestions or questions, please do not hesitate to hit

Joe Sellepack

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hard Times in NY: Press & Sun-Bulletin Opinion Letter

The following editorial piece, Hard Times: Lots of things have to change in New York, appeared on the Press & Sun-Bulletin's website recently. The article covers a broad range of ideas related to the economic challenges and proposed budget cuts NY faces. The article also mentions nonprofits. Like many media outlets and other groups, the Press & Sun-Bulletin is asking for your ideas. As they relate:

Send us a letter detailing your cuts or new sources of revenue. Mail them to
Letters, c/o Press & Sun-Bulletin, P.O. Box 1270, Binghamton, N.Y.
13902-1270 or use the e-mail form at www.pressconnects.com/letters.

Should a group of nonprofits consider responding with their idea or even to this article? What are your ideas? Feel free to post here or e-mail us to post.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Employee Compensation Template

In response to the recent request for examples or templates on communicating overall employee compensation, AVRE has offered this example for consideration. If there are any other suggestions, please post them here or e-mail amarietta@ccsnys.org.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

New Study Released on Rural Economic Development

The Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire published Measures and Methods: Four Tenets for Rural Economic Development in the New Economy. The studies authors, Anita Brown-Graham and William Lambe, examine how rural communities are creating jobs, business and wealth in the face of economic challenges. As they relate:

In the past, much of rural economic development relied on exploiting natural
resources or recruiting industry, often marketing cheap land and labor as
community assets. In an era of global competition, those old approaches no
longer yield sustainable results. This article offers four tenets for rethinking
methods and measures that promote effective economic development in the
twenty-first century.
  • Innovation is key to driving growth and prosperity in today’s global economy
  • Significant capital investments are required to put innovations to use
  • Development efforts must seek to protect valuable natural assets
  • Development is a “contact sport,” best pursued through dense networks of personal contacts.

Read more here.

Grantmakers' Guide for Uncertain Times

The A to Z Grantmakers' Guide for Uncertain Times is a collection of existing foundation practices. The ideas offered in it are intended to spur further discussion.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Communicating Employee Compensation

We received a request recently from a Binghamton nonprofit asking if anyone would be willing to share examples of communicating to employees their overall compensation packages. Many nonprofit directors are focusing on demonstrating to their employees all the benefits they receive in addition to their salaries, especially with the budget cuts facing many organizations. If you are willing to share your examples or formats, please e-mail amarietta@ccsnys.org.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

IRS Offers New Online Mini-Courses on Redesigned Form 990

StayExempt.org, which provides online IRS educational resources for tax-exempt organizations, now features five new mini-courses on the redesigned Form 990. These mini-courses provide information on preparing to file the new Form 990 as well as a walk-through of the entire form and frequently used schedules.