Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Time to Give: Nonprofits Share Needs

The Press & Sun-Bulletin offered a partial listing of nonprofits who have needs, and how people can help. Click here for the list.

United Way of Broome County
Mission: To improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities.
Address: 101 S. Jensen Road, Vestal, N.Y. 13850
Contact: Alan Hertel, Executive Director
Keep in mind how blessed we are during the holiday season
Phone: 729-2592
Three needs:
* The number of families in our community relying on the services provided by our partner agencies to cope with their daily living has increased dramatically. Please help them by donating whatever you can afford to maintain these much-needed services.
* Holiday gifts for teenagers to be distributed to this often-forgotten age group.
* Kid-friendly food, such as microwaveable macaroni and cheese, to distribute to children for weekends and holidays when they cannot take advantage of school lunch programs.

Tioga United Way, Inc.
Mission: Provide hope and opportunity for our community
Address: 24 State Route 96, Owego, N.Y. 13827
Contact: Fred Trzcinski, Executive Director
Telephone: 687-4028
Three needs:
* Monetary donations to help reach our 2010 campaign goal of $365,000.00, which will be distributed among our 33 member agencies providing human services to Tioga County residents
* Food items to be distributed to member agencies with food distribution activities in Tioga County
* New toys and books to be distributed to member agencies, who will distribute toys and books to needy children in Tioga County.

Catholic Charities of Broome County
Mission: To serve the poor and disadvantaged of our community through service, advocacy, empowerment, and convening.
Address: 232 Main St., Binghamton, N.Y.
Contact: Kathy Pfaffenbach,
See the list here.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Executive Director Job

Innovative non-profit seeks qualified Executive Director to develop and operate programs for persons with developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injuries in the Binghamton, NY area. The selected candidate must have excellent communication skills, management ability, budget experience, and be willing to roll up his or her sleeves and work hard. The successful applicant should be proficient in the allocation of staff metrics and development. This candidate must possess a working knowledge of OMRDD regulations and have experience developing residential programs. This position requires a fundamental knowledge of state and federal funding as well as program, marketing, and fund raising development. The candidate must be a quick learner, have a strong presence, and be relentless in business expansion with sound practice and a strong commitment to quality assurance and advocacy.
We offer a competitive salary and benefits package. Bachelor’s required, advanced degree preferred. If you have what it takes, please send cover letter with salary requirements and resume fax to (607) 722-9065. EOE

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Regional Community Foundations Offer Perspectives: Video Interview

Colgate University offered the following funders' conversation:

Dunn says that Central New York has a modest foundation community, with only $400 million in assets and $20 million in annual grants. With those funds, how can we have the most impact. He has seen many encouraging conversations about sustainability in not for profit organizations in the community, and discussions about merging, sharing objectives, and regionalization. OShea says that, as the largest funder in their area, several smaller foundations have come under their umbrella as donor advised or designated funds. This enables them to have a conversation about their interests and the impact of their charitable dollars. She also stresses the importance of the indicator study as a way to articulate the needs of the community to themselves and the community. Brown does the same thing by relying on other agencies to give them this information. They are concerned with the power differential and remind themselves to remain sensitive about this. She shares an example of a cultural organization that has systemic issues. They also discuss the definition of philanthropy and the creation of the Center for Philanthropy by the Central New York Community Foundation.

A Wild 2010 Ahead, Too

The National Council of Nonprofits, the national umbrella of the NY Council of Nonprofits, offered the following information about 2010 challenges.

"Governments in Crisis"
The Chronicle of Philanthropy just published its forecast of the Top 10 issues nonprofits will face in 2010. So what does the Chronicle see as the nonprofit sector's most pressing issue? "Governments in Crisis." The Chronicle identified the following trends behind this top issue: state spending cuts, the end to stimulus money, and county and local budget crunches, all of which add up to "more cash-strapped local [and state] governments may try to seek money from nonprofit groups." The article quotes the President of the National Council of Nonprofits, who advised: "Leaders of nonprofits must get engaged in the policy process because this problem is not going away."

New Tool: Treasure Trove of Data
To help make their policy arguments, nonprofit leaders should become familiar with a fresh report issued by the Congressional Research Service, entitled "An Overview of the Nonprofit and Charitable Sector" (R40919; November 17, 2009). This new report contains a variety of gems that nonprofits can use to help state and local policy makers, journalists, grantmakers, and the general public have a better understanding of the nonprofit sector, including:
  • The "significant" role nonprofits play in the U.S. economy: "the charitable sector is larger than the construction industry" and "larger than the finance and insurance and real estate industries combined. [page14]
  • Nonprofit organizations actually pay many taxes. For instance, "tax-exempt organizations are subject to tax on income from business activities unrelated to their exempt purpose. … Additionally, tax-exempt organizations must generally pay the same employment taxes (i.e., withhold income and payroll taxes of their employees) as for-profit employers." [page 3]
  • Sector-wide, private contributions (from individuals, corporations, and foundation) account for only 12% of nonprofit revenues, with earned income/payments for services (49%) and government grants and contracts (29%) being much larger. [page 17]
  • "Another major pressure on nonprofits during the recession has been the decline in support by governments (primarily state governments), including delays in payments. A recent survey of nonprofit organizations found that 35% have experienced a loss in government support while 37% reported experiencing delays in government payments." [page 30]
  • "[N]onprofits continue to feel the pressures of increased demands for their services coupled with decreasing revenue. More than a third of nonprofits have had to cut operations." [page 34]
  • "Overall … it appears that governments, particularly state governments, may be contributing to the financial difficulties of nonprofit organizations, even to the point of not paying for contracted services." [age 35]
  • "In the recent economic crisis, states reduced funding to nonprofit … organizations and in some cases were delinquent on payments. … If there were a spotlight on states' behaviors, especially states not making their contract payments on time, they might be less willing to address their short-term cash-flow problems in this manner." [page 54]

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Local history and culture preserved at Roberson Museum

News Channel 10 reported that it's been an especially tough year for non-profit organizations and it's no different for the folks at the Roberson Museum. Rob Wu shows what had everyone in the holiday spirit and why many believe the museum to be a local jewel:

What do France, Lithuania and China have in common? Their cultures and how they celebrate the holidays are all featured at the Roberson Museum.

"As you enter the museum, you see the international forest, the displays of different ethnicities that our community themselves have come together to represent," said Terry McDonald, Executive Director of the Roberson Museum.

It's all part of the mission, which started more than a half-century ago. The Robersons donated their mansion to be used for educational purposes. Now, hundreds of exhibits and art galleries are sprawled throughout the mansion's 26 rooms, designed to preserve the area's history and promote diversity. It's something readily apparent for people who poured into the museum for its annual holiday event.

"I think it's important for the people who live in this area to see some of the history, to see people like the Robersons and other families who lived here and the splendor that is Binghamton," said Connecticut resident Sean Folan.

Museum officials say it has always represented the community in everything that it does, but with a down economy and less money to go around, the future isn't as certain as it once was.

"We're fine in the short-run, but as any non-profit, it's always nip and tuck. It's very, very difficult," McDonald said.

But what is certain, losing the museum which has preserved the area's culture would be a blow to the community. Read more and watch the video here.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Southern Tier residents helping out even in tough times

The Press and Sun-Bulletin reported on nonprofits using the newspaper and website to help get the word out about the needs they are trying to address. As the article relates:

Nancy Brady shared the good news in an e-mail to dozens of area residents who have answered the call to help others during the holidays.

"Thank you so much for adopting a family this year!" said Brady, who coordinates the Family Enrichment Network's annual program to help children in less fortunate families during the holidays. "Because of your generosity, over 120 families will now have a brighter holiday this year and we have been able to add even more families to be adopted that were placed on a waiting list."

While Brady's non-profit agency in Johnson City has surpassed its goal of finding donors to help children in 120 families, there are still dozens of organizations that are seeking donations to help those hit hard by these tough economic times.

More than two dozen non-profit agencies have taken advantage of the Press & Sun-Bulletin's offer for them to use the newspaper and to tell everyone about the needs non-profits are trying to fill and the donations the community can make to help them help others.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Nonprofit ED Job

The Humane Society in Binghamton is hiring a new executive director. Reporting to the board of directors, the Director is responsible for coordinating and supervising all organization employees, assists in developing and communicates the mission and direction of the organization, takes the lead role in fundraising, works with the Finance Committee to develop and implement the budget, and serves as the primary spokesperson for the organization in the community. Learn more here about the position.

December 8th Program Announced!

The SCNY ED Group invites area nonprofit Executive Directors to the December 8th program set for 8:30am hosted by United Way of Broome County.

Program Description:
The Program topic will be A Look Toward the Future: Funding for Non-profits. Presenters Diane Brown, Executive Director of the Community Foundation for South Central New York, and Alan Hertel, Executive Director of United Way of Broome County, will provide their views on the trends, opportunities, and challenges of non-profit funding for the next several years. Alan will also provide a brief overview of the strategic changes taking place with United Way of Broome County.

United Way of Broome County
101 South Jensen Road
Vestal, New York

Register Here

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Survey: More nonprofits view real estate as revenue

The Business Review reported more nonprofits are looking at their real estate and seeing dollar signs, according to a national survey by CB Richard Ellis.

Nearly 300 association and other nonprofit executives who make decisions related to their facilities were surveyed.

This year, 39 percent of the respondents consider real estate as an alternate source of income, up from 34 percent last year. That increase is likely linked to the economic strain nonprofits are facing, the report says.

This year, more 501 (c)(6) organizations (42 percent) say they were looking at real estate as a revenue strategy, compared with 36 percent of the 501 (c)(3) organizations.

A 501 (c)(6) organization is a business league that seeks to improve conditions for one or more lines of business, while 501 (c)(3) organizations are charitable groups.

The responding organizations were most concentrated in D.C., Chicago and New York City. More than a third (38 percent) have been in their current headquarters space 10 years or longer. Read more here.

Eighth-graders can attend volunteer fair

The Press and Sun-Bulletin reported that Broome-Tioga BOCES is hosting the “Power of One” volunteer fair from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Leslie F. Distin Education Center gymnasium, 435 Glenwood Road, Dickinson.

The fair is open to all eighth-grade students who wish to explore volunteer opportunities for community service. So far, 14 non-profit agencies have signed up to staff booths.

The event also features music, refreshment and prizes.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Press and Sun-Bulletin Offers Lend-A-Hand Program and Invites Support

Press and Sun-Bulletin offered an editorial about the growing need in the Southern Tier.

A few weeks ago, I skipped the candy and nuts in the fundraising catalog for Bainbridge High School and instead signed up to buy a leather wallet.

I planned to count on Santa for a new one, but the weighty message of a quotation embossed on the back of the wallet compelled me to order it myself as a reminder of our difficult economic times:

"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."
The words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, our president during the Great Depression, ring true today as Southern Tier residents and others nationwide suffer through this recession.

Everyone is aware of today's challenges that are highlighted by double-digit unemployment in some areas, fears of more layoffs and furloughs, new faces at food pantries, bankruptcies, and service organizations struggling to help the continually growing number of needy.

"We're in the middle of our Thanksgiving efforts now and we're seeing a 10 percent increase over last year, and that's people we've never seen before," said Joe Slavik, executive director, Catholic Charities of Broome County.

Alan Hertel, executive director of the United Way of Broome County, said his agency saw a 15 percent increase in calls to First Call for Help from 2007 to 2008, more than half of those for such basic needs as food, clothing and shelter.

"The 2009 numbers look like they will exceed 2008," Hertel said. "In the first six months we already received 17,000 calls, again mainly for basic needs. It's going to be a challenge to meet our goal of $3,850,000, which is what we got last year."

Hertel noted that layoffs of more than 2,000 workers at such major companies as Lockheed-Martin, BAE Systems, Endicott Interconnect, IBM and Vail-Ballou have a double impact on his agency and others. The agencies can't count on the donations 2they've received in previous years from those now among the unemployed, but they can expect to serve them, too.

Hertel and Slavik's testimonial about the plight of area residents is evidence that this is a time for all of us to give help for the holidays.

The Press & Sun-Bulletin plans to expand its efforts beyond its annual Lend-A-Program, which accepts monetary donations from individuals, families, organizations and businesses in our community and distributes these to agencies that work with those who have fallen on hard times.

We will kick off Lend-A-Hand again on Thanksgiving Day, but we hope to use the reach of our newspaper and in the community to tell everyone about the needs of nonprofits that are helping others.

We are asking every nonprofit charity in our area to share its top three needs so we can let people know how they can help the agencies help others. We will publish the lists and other contact information in the newspaper and on to alert people to the ways they can help by donating money, food, clothes, furniture and by adopting families and even serving as volunteers at non-profits where staffs have dwindled because of the economy.

To get your agency involved, send an e-mail to Put "A Time to Give" in the subject line and provide this information:

Agency name.
Mission of agency.
Agency mailing address and physical address (if different).
Three agency/client needs.

We look forward to receiving and sharing the non-profits' list so we can show that our generous community passes FDR's test.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Greater Binghamton Non-Profits Search For Volunteers

WBNG reported that local non-profit organizations are looking for more volunteers to lend a hand in the community.

The Broome County Leadership Institute held this community service fair today here at the Johnson City Senior Center.

60 non profit groups were on hand, looking to recruit new volunteers.

Organizers say they stunned by how many turned out, looking for opportunities to give back.

"We didn't know what the end result would be, but we looked at the room and it's packed. And it's so rewarding that we were instrumental in hooking these people up so ultimately the people in Binghamton are well, better off," said BLI Connection Chairperson Maria Gelnett.

BLI offers 6 month leadership training program for those committed to improving the quality of living in the Greater Binghamton Area. Read more here.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Security and Safety Resource for Your Nonprofit

Planned Parenthood will be holding a security program with Chuck Harder from Priority One Safety Solutions. They would like to make other nonprofits aware of this company and its services.

The company provides services to create a secure workplace and to educate staff and/or students on how to react during an active shooter.

Priority One Safety Solutions provides services such as a complete property security assessment, a comprehensive security, threat, and training analysis, and much more. We offer presentations for staff or students which cover history of school shootings, pre-incident indicators, courses of action to take during an active shooter and when law enforcement arrives.

Past and present mass shootings, demonstrates that schools and businesses need to properly plan against such acts of unnecessary violence. A quality security assessment and proper training of staff and students can not only save money in insurance costs and lawsuits, but most importantly, lives.

The company gave two presentations for 200 staff members of the Windsor Central School District and gave a presentation to all local Catholic School staff in the past two months. The presentations give a realistic approach on how to train and react in the event of an active shooter.

Chuck Harder
Priority One Safety Solutions
PO Box 2869
Binghamton, NY 13902
(607) 765-9690

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Binghamton mayoral candidates offer different belt-tightening solutions

The Press & Sun-Bulletin reported that Democrat Matthew T. Ryan, Republican Rich David and Independence Party candidate Douglas Walter Drazen all agree on one thing: The city is going to continue to face serious financial issues no matter who is elected mayor.

One reason is costs outside of the city's control, such as the economic recession and rising pension costs. But belt-tightening is needed, they said.
Their approaches differ.

Nonprofits are one area of focus. Douglas Walter Drazen's campaign has stressed the need for nonprofit organizations to pay a greater share of the cost of city government. If elected, his administration would aggressively pursue having nonprofit property owners make voluntary payments in lieu of taxes. Read more about other candidate viewpoints.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Governor Paterson Announces New Economy Job Plans

WBNG reported New York Governor David Paterson is looking to the Southern Tier to help lead the state into a new economy.

He met with local manufacturers and business leaders for an economic forum at Johnson Outdoors in Conklin.

The Governor's "New Economy Jobs Plan" is designed to use technology and innovation to create jobs.

Johnson Outdoors is an example businesses that can lead.
The company is currently contracted to develop and manufacture solar-powered military tents.

Paterson believes the region has the potential to produce similar projects in the future.
"Well, I think you can see from just the assorted different leaders of industry here that the

Southern Tier is prime to help lead this state back into this innovation economy." said Paterson.
Paterson unveiled the "New Economy Jobs Plan" in June.
The plan focuses on science, technology, health care and energy-based jobs.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Facing Nonprofit Leadership Transition? An Interim Director may be the answer

Interim Executive Leaders can help manage your Nonprofit's Leadership Transition

In 2006, a study of 2,000 Executive Directors conducted by the Meyer Foundation and CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, noted that 75% of respondents did not plan to be in their current job in five years.

What is the Interim Executive Leadershp (IEL) Program?
The IEL Program is a comprehensive training, placement and support initiative designed to place qualified, experienced nonprofit professional in transitional Executive Director/CEO positions in New York State nonprofits.

The program is designed to help meet the needs of nonprofit agencies as significant numbers of nonprofit executives are expected to retire over the next 5 years.Leaders trained through our program can provide effective transitional leadership to nonprofits in order to strengthen organizational health and effectiveness during a time of transition.Consider hiring an Interim Executive Leader if your organization:
  • Is currently operating without an Executive Director;
  • Has experienced Executive Director/CEO turnover in the last few years and the agency requires stabilization;
  • Is expecting your Executive Director/CEO to retire or resign, and you require sufficient time to conduct a thorough search process;
  • Is seeking an experienced, qualified nonprofit professional trained in transition management to guide the organization through a short-term period of transition
NYCON has developed a pool of highly qualified and experienced Interim Executive Leaders ("IELs") that are available to meet your needs.

For additional information please contact:
Jennifer Lockwood, Program Director
Phone: 845.454.5062 ext. 102
Or click here to submit your inquiry online.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Event on November 5th Seeks to Link Business Professionals with Non-Profits

News Channel 34 reported on the following event from the Vice President, Member Services at the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce:

One of the best ways for companies to get more involved in our community is to encourage their employees to volunteer their time and talents for a local non-profit organization. Maybe they have a passion for a particular group or topic - like the arts, healthcare or our youth; or maybe they have a particular area of expertise that they would like to share with these non-profits.

There is an upcoming event that can help professionals explore the possibilities...We invite our local business professionals to attend our 2nd Annual Community Service Fair on Thursday, November 5, 2009 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Johnson City Senior Center at 30 Brocton Ave in Johnson City.

Sponsored by the Broome Leadership Institute (BLI) Alumni Association, in partnership with The United Way of Broome County, Southern Tier Young Professionals (STYP) and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), this free event will bring together sixty (60) local non-profit charitable agencies looking for high-level volunteers, including attorneys, business executives, CPAs, new employees that have recently moved to our area, or anyone willing to make a commitment to give back to our community.

In addition, Southern Tier Young Professionals (STYP) is organizing a social mixer for both attendees and non-profit organizations following the Community Service Fair. Join us at Ground Round at 214 Reynolds Road in Johnson City for a casual get-together and networking opportunity from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 5, 2009. The first 50 people that attend the Fair will receive a complimentary drink ticket for the mixer. Drink specials and appetizers can be purchased individually in their private dining area reserved for our group.

So plan on leaving work a little early on November 5th, stop by the Community Service Fair for a few minutes to explore the many diverse volunteering opportunities currently available in our area, and end your night with networking at the Ground Round. Click here for the participating nonprofits.

For more information, contact Amy Shaw, Vice President of Member Services at the Greater Binghamton Chamber, at (607) 772-8863 x313 or

EVENT: 2nd Annual Community Service Fair & Social Mixer Sponsored by the Broome Leadership Institute (BLI) Alumni Association, United Way of Broome County, Southern Tier Young Professionals (STYP) and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)

DATE/TIME: Thursday, November 5, 2009 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. (Fair) and 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. (Mixer)

FAIR LOCATION: Johnson City Senior Center, 30 Brocton Ave., Johnson City

MIXER LOCATION: Ground Round Restaurant, 214 Reynolds Road, Johnson City

Thursday, October 22, 2009

United Way almost half way to its fundraising goal

The Press & Sun-Bulletin reported that at $1.6 million, the United Way of Broome County is clocking in at about 42 percent of its fundraising goal for the year.

United Way Executive Director Alan Hertel gave a mid-campaign update Tuesday at a meeting of Binghamton Rotary Club 64. So far, the nonprofit has $1,614,328 in pledges and donations toward its $3.85 million goal, he said. The campaign runs through Nov. 13.

"We're pretty close to where we were at last year," he said.

County residents have been hit hard by layoffs and financial woes, which had an impact on giving. In 2008, the United Way raised $3.85 million, falling short of its $4.01 million goal. The group also fell short in 2007, raising $4 million of the $4.04 million goal. Read more here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dinosaurs invade Broome County

The Press & Sun-Bulletin reported that roughly 100 B.C.-inspired sculptures will be created and displayed throughout Binghamton.

Patti Pomeroy slung one arm around the lengthy neck of Gronk the dinosaur, then bared her teeth in a broad grin.

"My dad always told me that Gronk's smile was my smile," said Pomeroy, daughter of the late cartoonist Johnny Hart of Nineveh.

The fiberglass sculpture of Gronk, with caveman B.C. on his back, was unveiled Friday in front of Barnes & Noble Booksellers. It's the first of up to 100 such sculptures, which will be decorated by local artists as part of the "hArt of BC" public art exhibition.

Designed by Hart's grandson Mason Mastroianni -- the current cartoonist behind the B.C. comic strip -- and made in Walton, the prototype dinosaur is still gray, awaiting an artist's hand. Artists will decorate Gronk; B.C. is already painted.

"You can tattoo B.C. if you want to -- it's all the rage," joked Mastroianni, who attended the event with his brother Mick.

Individuals, groups or businesses can sponsor a dinosaur, which costs $3,000 if the business has fewer than 100 employees or $5,000 if the company has more than 100 employees.

So far, 15 have signed up as sponsors with 10 more pending, said Alfred Lavker, treasurer of the committee behind the project. Current sponsors include Audio Classics, Behlog & Sons Produce, Lavker Enterprises, Nelson Development Group, Subway Development Co., Piaker & Lyons CPA, United Health Services and Visions Federal Credit Union.

The exhibition will start in May and last through the summer of 2010. The sculptures will be placed near the sponsoring groups, in public spaces and throughout the footprint of the First Friday Art Walk in downtown Binghamton.

At the end of the exhibition, the sculptures will be auctioned off. Proceeds will benefit Binghamton University, Tri-Cities Opera, Broome Community College, the Boys and Girls clubs of Binghamton and Western Broome, Broome County Charities and the Binghamton Philharmonic.

Among the first artists to decorate the "dinosculptures" will be Vestal resident Nancy Ryan.
"I'm an instructor at BCC, so I give assignments all the time," she said. "So it's fun when people give me one."

Drazen plans to 'aggressively pursue' voluntary nonprofit payments

The Press & Sun-Bulletin reported that mayoral candidate Douglas Walter Drazen plans to use to generate revenue from nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations.

"Additionally, unlike the current administration, and its predecessor, which made a half-hearted effort in 2004 known as the 'Fair Share Program,' my administration will aggressively pursue voluntary payments from 'nonprofit' property owners," said Drazen, who also proposes selling Ely Park golf course. "Metro-Interfaith, which operates elderly housing in Binghamton, makes such a payment every year, and would be a good model to follow."

Drazen said he will hold weekly press conferences praising groups such as Metro-Interfaith and shaming those who don't pay.

He also proposed stopping garbage pickup for nonprofits and asking city council to enact a local law, pursuant to New York State Real Property Tax Law 420-b, which allows local taxation of certain "nonprofits."

Republican candidate Rich David also embraces the idea of reinstituting the "Fair Share Program" started by former mayor Richard A. Bucci, for whom David worked.

David said the Bucci administration set the ground work, but current Mayor Matthew Ryan didn't continue pursuing the program.

Ryan, a Democrat, said he doesn't think "Fair Share Program" is a good idea.
"I find that hard to believe he really believes he is going to shame people into giving money," said Ryan. "These groups don't deserve shame. If it wasn't for these not-for-profits some of the most vulnerable would be even more vulnerable."

In 2008, Ryan's office identified $58.2 million in tax-exempt property. Of those properties: 44.2 percent are government and 17 percent are religious organizations. Altogether, the city determined 31.6 percent of its properties in 2008 were tax exempt.

"Even if you are going to tax some of these groups the money is minimal," said Ryan.

Have your own thoughts on this topic? Is your community having similiar conversations? We want to hear from you. Post here or e-mail us.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Binghamton Mayoral Candidates Talk Plans to Lower Taxes

WBNG reported on mayoral candidates ideas about addressing taxes. Nonprofits are definitely drawing attention regarding this issue. As the article relates:

An Independent candidate for Binghamton mayor vows to reduce taxes in 4 years, or not seek re-election.
But as Action News reporter Gabe Osterhout tells us, his opponents say his plan won't work as well as he thinks it will.
Douglas Drazen has several ideas to lower taxes in the City of Binghamton, which could keep people from moving out.
He says that can only be accomplished by getting the city's priorities straight by putting necessity before luxury.
"We will lower taxes. We will lower taxes more than once and if at the end of my first term in office, taxes are not lower than they are now, I won't seek a second term in office. That's my pledge to the beleaguered tax payers," Drazen says.
Mayor Matt Ryan says Drazen's ideas won't have a big impact on the budget.
Including Drazen's plan to eliminate garbage services to non-profit agencies, who don't pay for it through taxes.
Drazen says it would save money on fuel, man hours and wear and tear on city vehicles.
Ryan says it could end up costing the city.
"Everyone of them I called has private garbage collection already and if they don't that means they contribute to the revenue, as our garbage men go by their properties anyway, by putting it out in green bags which covers our tipping fees," says Ryan.
Another plan would be to eliminate most of the clerical staff in city hall, including in the mayor's office.
Drazen feels by putting a receptionist on each floor instead of each office, city hall would run more efficiently.
Republican candidate Rich David disagrees.
"Not only would it not save money, it wouldn't be efficient or effective. Somebody who has no idea how city hall runs on a daily basis has no idea the volume of calls that might come into the mayor's office, or public works when it snows, or engineering," David says.
This November, it'll be up to the voters to decide what plan to try, and which will one will be put out to the curb.
In Binghamton, Gabe Osterhout, WBNG-TV Action News.
David says Drazen's non-profit plan sounds similar to his Fair Share Program.
It asks non-profits to pay a part of the services businesses pay full price for via taxes.
Ryan says Drazen doesn't understand the city's financial troubles and is only tinkering around the edges.

Recession delivers a double blow to many charities

The Associated Press reported that for many social-service charities across America, the recession has delivered a staggering one-two punch. Sharp drops in donations and investment income have been coupled by soaring demand for their services.

The casualties so far include countless needy clients losing assistance and thousands of nonprofit workers who've been laid off. Some local charities have shut down; even many of the largest nationwide operations have made painful cutbacks in staff, spending and programs.

"Nonprofits are generally at the whim of the economy ... but we've never seen anything like this," says the Rev. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA. "Increasing numbers of our own volunteers and employees have been forced to become clients of our services."

The cutbacks are forcing charities to rethink how they operate and make changes that are likely to outlive the recession. Nonprofits, like regular businesses, are learning to do more with less. Those that survive will emerge more efficient. Read more here.

Monday, October 5, 2009

New Poverty Data

The following editorial from YWCA Executive Director Carole Coppens appeared in The Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin:

As an Executive Director at a nonprofit organization in the Broome County community I am saddened by the new Census Bureau data which paints a deeply disturbing picture of growing poverty in this country and in our state. Nationally, the number of people living in poverty grew by 2.6 million in 2008 to 13.2 percent. The State of New York continues to suffer from a poverty rate of 10.3%. Unfortunately, Broome County is keeping up with that pace at a 10.4% poverty rate.

As troubling as the 2008 data is, the reality today is almost certainly worse. The recession started last year, but its impact has been far greater in 2009. The YWCA Binghamton/Broome County has seen the impact of the recession with a growing number of homeless women and children on the waiting list for our Emergency Shelter. This could be a result of unemployment averaging 5.8 percent last year compared with an average so far this year of just fewer than 9 percent, and climbing. Our county economy mirrors the national trend unemployment is up from 7.1% percent in December 2008 to 8.3 percent in July 2009. Past trends show that when unemployment rises, poverty also goes up.

The Economic Policy Institute estimates that assuming an average unemployment rate of 9.3 percent for 2009, poverty would increase this year to 14.7 percent. Higher unemployment will hit children disproportionately hard. Their poverty is expected to rise from 19 percent in 2008 to 25 percent this year, which translates into one in four children living in poverty. Here in Broome County, it will mean that families on the edge will need assistance to ensure they do not fall further into the downward spiral of poverty. Evidence has shown that in hard economic times all types of families struggle. Domestic violence increases, depression takes over and alcohol abuse increases. In turn, placing demands on communities' service providers often financially strapped themselves.

We must not allow poverty to deepen unchecked. On a daily basis the YWCA sees the impact of poverty on families. For children, the consequences of poverty can be long-lasting, leading to poor nutrition, poor health and poor prospects for success in school. Read more here.

Governance Mistakes to Keep in Mind

The Charity Lawyer blog has a great post about governance mistakes, which has been mentioned by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the Nonprofit Quarterly, and numerous others. The list was also expanded by San Francisco tax-exempt organizations lawyer and publisher of the Nonprofit Law Blog, Gene Takagi.Here is excerpt. We would encourage you to view the entire list and details here.

1. Failing to Understand Fiduciary Duties. When you volunteer to serve as a director or officer of a non-profit, you accept the responsibility to act with the duties of good faith, due care and loyalty. You also accept the potential liability for failing to fulfill those duties. Increased scrutiny from the I.R.S., Congress, state attorneys general, the Department of Justice, donors and the media require vigilance at every step. It is no longer sufficient to rubber stamp committee or staff recommendations or to simply “abstain” from dicey decisions. Today, board service comes with real responsibilities and real consequences for those that fail to live up to them.
Read about the next two points and more.
2. Failing to Provide Effective Oversight.
3. Deference to the Executive Committee, Board Chair or the Organization’s Founder.

Friday, September 25, 2009

AZA Grants Accreditation To The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park

News Channel 34 related that the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) today announced that the Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission.

“The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park is one of the best in the world because it has met the highest standards in the world,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. “It takes hard work and a sustained commitment to excellence to meet Association of Zoos and Aquariums Accreditation Standards.”

To be accredited, the Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park underwent a thorough investigation to insure it has and will continue to meet ever-rising standards, which include animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete this rigorous accreditation process in order to be members of the Association, and are required to resubmit to this process every five years.

The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park had lost its AZA accreditation in 2005. Shortly thereafter the Board of Directors of the Southern Tier Zoological Society decided it was vital to the survival of the Zoo that it again join the elite group of zoos accredited by the AZA. Current Executive Director Mike Janis was hired in 2006 bringing more than 25 years of experience as a zoo director to the post and making accreditation one of his primary goals. Since that time, the Zoo has raised over half a million dollars for new exhibits and programs including those for Binturongs and Lemurs as well as the new Wonders of Nature exhibit, opened in 2009, and features Snow Leopards, Cougar, Golden Lion Tamarins, Meerkats, Gila Monsters and other unique species.“

The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park is proud to be back among those outstanding zoos and aquariums accredited by the AZA and will continue to strive to meet and exceed the high standards of this respected organization,” said Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park Executive Director Mike Janis.

The accreditation process includes a detailed application and a meticulous on-site inspection by a team of trained zoo and aquarium professionals. The inspecting team observes all aspects of the institution’s operation in areas such as animal care; keeper training; safety for visitors, staff, and animals; educational programs; conservation efforts; veterinary programs; financial stability; risk management; visitor services; and other areas. The inspection team prepares an extensive written report for the Accreditation Commission. Finally, top officials are interviewed at a formal Commission hearing, after which accreditation is granted, tabled, or denied. Any institution that is denied may reapply one year after the Commission’s decision is made.

“The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park is also a great place for people to connect with nature,” Maddy added. “Members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums support their schools and communities with science-based wildlife education programs that not only inform, but also inspire conservation action.”

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting an institution dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. With its more than 200 accredited members, the AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information, please visit

Thursday, September 17, 2009

August unemployment in Binghamton at 8.2 percent

The Central NY Business Journal reported that New York's unemployment rate climbed to 9 percent in August, up from 8.6 percent in July, according to new data the state Labor Department released today.
August's rate was the highest since April 1983, according to the department. The state's unemployment rate was 5.7 percent in August 2008.
New York's private-sector job count fell by about 2,200 in August, less than 0.1 percent, to about 7.1 million.

In Binghamton, the unemployment rate was 8.2 percent last month, down from 8.3 percent in July and up from 5.4 percent in August 2008. The city lost 3,500 private-sector jobs between August 2008 and 2009, a decline of 3.8 percent.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

September Program Offered Key Info on Employee Motivators: Financial and Non-Financial

The SCNY ED Group held its September program on Tuesday the 15th. The program featured Daniel E. Bonsick, PHR, the Lead Ethics Officer & Manager of Human Resources at BAE Systems in Johnson City. Dan generously shared his knowledge and expertise. He also offered invaluable information about Financial vs. Non Financial Rewards. His presentation included how all of this applies in the real world, and he explored the clash of generations that many nonprofits are confronting.

If you weren't able to attend, Dan has offered his presenation. Click here. If you would like share your own ideas or feedback on this topic, post your comments here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Program Committee Notes

Program is set for 9/15/09. Program will be at Family Enrichment Network at 8:30 AM. Dan Bonsick currently Lead Ethics Officer for BAE (previously HR at Lourdes) will be presenting on “Non-Monetary Incentives and Awards or ‘How to make employees happy without a pay raise’.

December 8, 2009 session A 3 Year Vision of Community Funding
Diane Brown and Alan Hertel are both confirmed. United Way has offered to host the forum.

Reminders for Steering Committee –
Program Committee had asked that a new survey be compiled for what topics SCNYED members would like for next year. To be sent out in Sept. compiled and reported on at December meeting.

Also, do we need to do a new election of officers and/or solicit new membership on committees? When?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Beat Your Drum for Nonprofits

Dear Nonprofit Leader,

I write to urge you to check out the following blog post. You know I have never done this before, so it must be important. And it is.

As nonprofits across the country have been going to our federal officials to discuss how their health care reform plans affect nonprofits, we keep hearing government officials say things like: "Gee, we hadn't thought about nonprofits as employers."

So, in this blog column, the President of the National Council of Nonprofits points out how nonprofits keep being taken for granted and urges nonprofits to "beat the drum" to "remind government that we exist, and we exist at a scale that should not and cannot be ignored any longer."

In this Great Recession, our nonprofits are being asked to meet increasing community needs with decreasing resources - while also paying escalating costs, such as constantly increasing health insurance premiums. As the blog column warns: that "math just doesn't work."

If you agree that our government officials shouldn't ignore, overlook, or forget about nonprofits, then please join me and the New York Council of Nonprofits by contacting our federal officials to urge them to respect the more than 60,000 nonprofits in New York by including us in health care reform in a meaningful way.

Let's all "pick up a drum" and start making some noise, telling our stories about how New York's nonprofits add real value to local communities and individual lives every single day. Otherwise, we will be forgotten - which would be "unfair and unsafe to those depending on services we deliver and the benefits we provide."

Contact Your Senators:
Gillibrand, Kirsten E. 478 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC, 20510(202) 224-4451
Contact Senator Gillibrand Now.
Schumer, Charles E. 313 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC, 20510(202) 224-6542
Contact Senator Schumer Now.
Click here for your members of Congress

Thank you again for the work that you do and for raising your voice on behalf of our nonprofit community here in New York.
Doug Sauer, CEO
New York Council of Nonprofits, Inc.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

October Forum Offered by MHAST

For information contact:
Executive Director
153 Court Street
Binghamton, NY 13901
607.771.8888 ext. 349

Monday, August 10, 2009

September 22nd Membership Event

The Membership Committee of the South Central New York Executive Directors Group will be hosting a member event at Traditions at the Glen on September 22, 2009 from 5-7PM.
Current member’s of the South Central Executive Directors Group are encouraged to bring one guest who is an Executive Director of a not-for-profit organization and who is not currently a member of the South Central Executive Directors Group.

The evening will include a brief introduction to non-member Executive Directors discussing the purpose of the group and the benefits of becoming a member of the SCNYED Group. Membership applications will be available on-site.
Below is a registration form. Please RSVP no later than September 8th.

SCNYED Group – Member Event at Traditions at the Glen.

Yes, I will be attending this event
No, I will not be attending this event

Member’s Name: ____________________________________
Member’s Email: ____________________________________
Member’s Agency: ___________________________________
I will be bringing a non-member guest who is an Executive Director of a not-for profit organization.
Name: ______________________________________________
Title: _____________________________________________
Agency: _____________________________________________
Please email registration form to no later than September 8th
Keith Leahey, Membership Chair, at or (607)771-8888 ext.349
Information about Traditions and driving directions:

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

United Way and Howland Foundation Award $58,952 in Program Grants

New Channel 34 reported that the United Way of Broome County and the Helen T. Howland Foundation have agreed to provide Venture and Special Assistance Grants, totaling $58,925, to 11 programs. Recipient programs are either innovative, new human service programs in Broome County or special one-time purchases and projects that demonstrate a high level of need and also fit within focus areas defined within the United Way’s Community Investment Strategy Report.

At the heart of the United Way’s Community Investment Strategy is commitment to mobilizing the caring power of Broome County to advance the common good. The United Way believes the betterment of the community can be achieved by focusing on three basic building blocks: Education, Income, & Health. Grants awarded as part of the 2010 Venture and Special Assistance Program address these three building blocks through programs in Quality Early Child Care, Youth Mental Health, Chemical Dependency Prevention, Physical Fitness & Wellness, Health Access, Service Access for Seniors, and Other Community Needs. Read about the projects here.

ED Group Fundraising Survey Findings

The ED Group implemented a survey around nonprofit fundraising activities to aid EDs in a number of ways. Almost 30 nonprofits participated and give their input regarding how much fundraising they do, what kind of fundraising activities, and even when their events are held. Want to see when most fundraiers are taking place? Take a look at the survey here. This information can be helpful as you plan new events or consider other dates. The results also report how much money is raised and staff involved.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Resources for Volunteer Recruitment and Retention

Through its studies on Volunteering In America, the Corporation for National and Community Service continues to deliver increasingly detailed reports on the trends and habits in volunteering across the country, in order to better understand who is serving in our communities and how, when, and why they serve.

In partnership with HandsOn Network, the Corporation is providing specific resources to support the findings of the Volunteering in Americareports. The resources on this page have been developed to help you increase the capacity of your organization, company, program, or community to effectively engage volunteers of all ages. This page builds on resources developed for previous Volunteering in America reports and includes new and updated resources (as indicated below). Additionally, scroll down the page to learn more about and register for three Ask the Expert webinars facilitated by leading volunteer practitioners and researchers.

Featured Resources

Volunteer Self-Organizing – Resources to help individuals plan and manage projects to bring about positive community change
Recruitment - Strategies to recruit new volunteers, including target populations such as Boomers and students
Retention – Tips for retaining volunteers and plugging “the leaky bucket”
Human Capital Strategies – Innovative techniques for nonprofits during these difficult economic times, including the use of pro bono services, other skilled volunteers, and volunteer leaders
Cost-Effective Volunteering - Practical tips for maximizing resources during an economic downturn
Voluntourism – Resources for understanding the growing trend of combining service and vacations

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Using Volunteers for Your Fundraising Efforts

I came across this fundraising page created by a Southern Tier AIDS Program supporter, which you can see here. This supporter is using the Internet to bring her cause to her friends and potential new connections, and raise money for it. This is possible for any nonprofit. Have another example you would like to share? Post it here.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Boys & Girls Club gets funding boost

The Press & Sun-Bulletin reported that the Boys & Girls Club has received a $250,000 shot in the arm from U.S. Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey, D-Hurley.

"It's a giant help," said the club's Resource Development Director Jocelyn Terranova. "This definitely helps to bring us one step closer to rounding this project off."

Including the funds garnered by Hinchey, the club has about $3.7 million of the $4.7 million needed for construction of its new handicapped-accessible, 21,500-square-foot facility, she said. The non-profit is seeking the remaining $1 million needed for the 90 Clinton Street facility.
Construction of the building will be completed shortly, Terranova said, and it should be occupied by late September or early October. Read more here.

Friday, July 24, 2009

United Way gives $58K to 11 nonprofits

The Press & Sun-Bulletin reported that eleven nonprofit groups will receive a total $58,925 in grant money from the United Way of Broome County and the Helen T. Howland Foundation, United Way officials announced Wednesday.

The funds, from Venture and Special Assistance grants, will go toward projects that span early childhood care to service access for the elderly, said United Way Executive Director Alan Hertel.

"The projects that you provide represent what it means to live united," he told nonprofit representatives during a Wednesday morning press conference.

Read more here about the recipients.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Special Projects Committee Offers Insight to Other ED Groups on Ecnomic Impact

A joint meeting was held by the Oneida and Herkimer Nonprofit Executive Directors Group Steering Committee and the South Central NY Nonprofit Executive Directors Special Projects Committee to discuss the SCNY Group’s recent efforts around an economic impact study. The meeting, hosted by the Central New York Community Foundation, was attended by representatives from the SCNY ED Group, Oneida and Herkimer ED Group, and the Human Services Leadership Council in Syracuse. The main presenter and chair of the SCNY Special Projects committee was Joe Sellepack, Broome County Council of Churches Executive Director. Also, presenting was Katie McDonald, a Binghamton University master’s student working to help implement the study.

The discussion began with an understanding of why nonprofits were focusing on economic impact. In recent years, taxing nonprofits (whether by PILOT, a snow assessment fee, etc) has become an issue. With the downturn, nonprofits will be facing in more scrutiny and possible tax proposals. In response, the SCNY ED Group saw a need to communicate the economic impact of nonprofits on the local community and region. As Joe related, they also saw a need to make it more than about the numbers, and make a comparison to what the real costs would be if their services weren’t provided. The Special Projects Committee was formed, and is examining how the nonprofit sector in the Broome region shapes the community and environment through social and human services, arts and culture, and environmental services.

The Committee has been spending a great deal of time and effort looking at past studies, not only locally but nationally. Hospitals have been a good source, and two state studies, in Michigan and New Hampshire, have been good models.

The idea for the study will incorporate two streams. The first is the financial information taken from nonprofits’ 990s, while the second will be the “social capital” they contribute. The study will show how nonprofits shape and contribute to the community narrative. The study will incorporate personal interviews to help demonstrate this piece. The study will hopefully subvert the forces that want to tax nonprofits, and show their clout, but also the rest of the story. The message will be much clearer and powerful as a group.

Joe Sellepack related that the Committee under the guidance of Binghamton University and two interns has spent much time developing their study protocol. They have decided to focus on range of nonprofits, which would include only organizations that file 990s and exclude very large nonprofits (hospitals, universities, etc) that would skew the study (and already do their own studies). In a sense, the study will give a voice to the small to medium-sized organizations.

The study is slated to take about 2 years. Much of the work is being driven by Binghamton University’s interns in the Public Administration Master’s Program.

A question was asked by Darlene Ford, ED for the Mid-York Library System, concerning the target audience and overall purpose for this effort. A number of reasons were offered by Joe and other participants: showing return on investment, advocacy, use for collaboration, joint funding projects, etc. The qualitative analysis will help show gaps and overlaps in funding and can figure in ways to help address and form partnerships.

In looking at why the Oneida and Herkimer ED Group should undertake such an effort, the Steering Committee members related a number of reasons. One was the conflicting messages in the Oneida and Herkimer communities coming from nonprofits. There needs to be a clear message and story around how nonprofits help and impact the community. Also, a study would show what would happen if nonprofits disappeared.

A part of the discussion was spent on recent efforts of the Human Services Leadership Council (HSLC) on an economic impact study. Susan Horn, the ED from Hiscock Legal Aid Society, offered some of the lessons they learned in a group study. A discussion continued about the different data involved with nonprofits, including how things are reported (outcome vs outputs). Joe offered that using personal stories will help illuminate some of the challenges of data that won’t mesh. Katie McDonald added that being clear about the data collection and analysis is key. She has been developing the study’s introduction and methodology. She also is gathering social and cultural impact pieces (social network and social capital). She related that the study will include the history of nonprofits in the Broome County region (for example, what happened when IBM left), and how they’ve developed.
Overall, there was agreement that the study could be a template for other nonprofits, and the Oneida and Herkimer ED Group plans to follow up with Joe in the fall about the protocol and info they develop.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Grants available for women’s projects

The Press and Sun-Bulletin reported that The Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation for South Central New York is accepting grant applications from 501(c)(3) nonprofit agencies for projects assisting women and girls in Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Otsego and/or Tioga counties.

Applications must be filed at the Community Foundation, 70 Front St., Binghamton, by 5 p.m. Sept. 14.

For information, go online to “Forms and Guidelines” at and download the “2009 Women’s Fund Grant Guidelines.”

The fund will award a total of $7,000 in 2009 to applicants who make a compelling case for projects or programs with the potential to improve the well-being of women and/or girls in the region.

New York unemployment rises to highest level since 1992

The Central NY Business Journal reported that the state's June unemployment rate increased to its highest level since October 1992, according to figures released today by the New York State Labor Department.

June's unemployment rate was 8.7 percent, up from 8.2 percent in May and 5.3 percent a year ago. For the month, the number of unemployed state residents jumped to more than 854,000, the largest number on records dating back to 1976.
After seasonal adjustment, New York State's private-sector job count decreased over the month by nearly 18,000, or 0.2 percent, to about 7.08 million. The job total has now dropped for 10 consecutive months.

Since the state's private-sector job count peaked in August 2008, New York has lost nearly 236,000 private-sector jobs, erasing more than half of the 400,000 jobs added during the last economic expansion from 2003 to 2008, according to the Labor Department.

Since June 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs in the Binghamton area decreased by 3,200, or 2.7 percent and the number of private-sector jobs decreased by 3,200, or 3.5 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 8.5 percent in June 2009, compared with 7.9 percent in May and 5.3 percent in June 2008.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Program Committee

September 15 session
Will feature Dan Bonsick at 8:30 AM at Family Enrichment Network. Topic will be non-monetary incentives for motivating and keeping staff.

December 8 session
Topic: A 3 Year Vision of Community Funding (will include a brief overview of the strategic change UW is implementing)

Discussed having Steering Committee put together a survey about how we are doing, what is working, what isn’t, if the group is meeting needs, and soliciting topics for next year’s forums. Survey would go out in September and be reported out at December forum

Next meeting date TBD

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Interim Executive Director Leadership Program

Are You Looking for an Exciting Opportunity to Lead a Nonprofit Organization?
Consider becoming an Interim Executive Director!

What is the Interim Executive Director Leadership (IEL) Program? The Interim Executive Director Leadership (IEL) Program is designed to help meet the needs of nonprofit agencies as significant numbers of nonprofit executives are expected to retire over the next 5 years. The Interim Executive Director Leadership (IEL) Program is a comprehensive training, placement and support initiative designed for qualified, experienced nonprofit professionals in transitional nonprofit Executive Director/CEO positions in New York State. Interim Executive Directors trained through our program will provide effective transitional leadership to nonprofits in order to strengthen organizational health and effectiveness during a time of transition.

Consider Becoming an Interim Executive Director if you are a:
Current and/or former executive director with successful experience in nonprofit executive management;
Nonprofit professional who is currently or have already served as an Interim Executive Leader who would like to be involved with this initiative and receive specialized training to augment and build upon their current skills;
Nonprofit Professional or consultant who clearly demonstrates executive leadership knowledge, abilities, maturity and effectiveness.

Program Dates & Locations: Please note that space in the training sessions listed below is limited. Registrants must complete an application process that includes submission of a writing sample and at least one reference. Candidates who successfully complete the training and secondary evaluation process may be placed into Interim Executive Director positions through this program.

August 18th, 2009 - Albany, NY NYCON Main Office, 272 Broadway, Albany, NYTime: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Cost: $150, Training Materials & Lunch Provided

August 20th, 2009 - Rochester, NY United Way of Greater Rochester, 75 College Avenue, Rochester, NY Time: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Cost: $150, Training Materials & Lunch Provided

For more information click here or please contact: Jennifer Lockwood, Program Director 454-5062 x. 102

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Resources for Shooting Emergencies, Security Needs

In light of the June 10 incident at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., when security guard Stephen Johns was shot and killed, American Association of Museums (AAM) is distributing Active Shooter materials prepared by the Department of Homeland Security. The materials provide guidance—in booklet, pocket card and poster forms—for the immediate actions to take in the event of an active shooter in your museum.

The Museum Association Security Committee (MASC) also shares its Recommendations for Preparing Museums for Active Shooter Situations, which were adapted from the Department of Homeland Security’s Active Shooter Guidelines. In order to prepare for an active shooter incident, MASC recommends that museums conduct a risk assessment, update their emergency evacuation plan following the risk assessment, train all employees and volunteers in the updated emergency evacuation plan, and conduct unscheduled realistic evacuation drills on a regular basis.

In addition, the Museum, Library, and Cultural Properties Council of ASIS International and the Museum Association Security Committee of AAM jointly developed Suggested Practices for Museum Security. Revised in 2006, the document addresses fire protection, burglar alarms, key control, access control, security staffing and training, security officer qualifications and pre-employment screening for museum employees.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

SAVE THE DATE Building A Better Ask: Planning and Implementing a Successful Annual Appeal

Sponsored by the Community Foundation for South Central New York and WSKG
It’s more than raising money. A successful approach to “making the call” will 1) energize
those involved—board, staff, volunteers, and donors, 2) give confidence and experience to new generations of leaders, and 3) elevate a community’s sense of what it is capable of

AUDIENCE: Board Members, Executive Directors /CEOs, Development Officers. We encourage teams of two key volunteers/board and staff to attend this workshop together.
LEVEL: Intermediate through advanced.
DESCRIPTION: This half-day seminar will focus on the skills and activities needed to plan and implement an annual campaign successfully. The presenter will focus on practical and helpful information based on real life fundraising challenges and success stories. Better Asks = Better Outcomes

  • The five tenets of successful fundraising
  • Creating a compelling case for giving—packaging the dream so others can buy into it!
  • Identifying, recruiting, and motivating board and annual campaign leaders
  • Proper fundraising sequence—everybody in the pool, but who’s first?
  • Making the “right ask”
  • Building a constituency—relational fundraising
  • Overcoming call reluctance and making effective calls face-to-face

PRESENTED BY: Susan J. Palmer Building a Better Ask: Planning and Implementing a Successful Annual Appeal

DATE Thursday, August 20, 2009
TIME 8:00AM–12:00PM
601 Gates Road, Vestal, NY 13850

8:00AM Coffee, juice, muffins
8:30AM Welcome and Thank You

Diane Brown, Executive Director, Community Foundation
Brian Sickora, President and CEO, WSKG
8:40AM Introductions
9:00AM Review of Agenda and Overview
Susan Palmer
• Case
• Donor confidence
• Constituency of donors
• Leadership
• Organizational capacity
9:15AM Are You Campaign Ready?
Susan Palmer
• Making your case
• Building your board
• Building your team
9:45AM Annual Appeal Fundraising Sequence
Susan Palmer
• Board Solicitation
• Campaign Team Solicitation
• Prospect Research
• Cultivation
• Solicitor Training
• Gracious, one-on-one fundraising
11:30AM Comments, Questions, and Answers
All participants
12:00PM Thank You and Adjourn
Diane Brown

To register for this program, please provide the following information by Thursday, August 13. For your convenience, you can register by filling out and mailing the form below, give us a call, or send us a fax or E-mail to: The Community Foundation for South Central New York, 70 Front Street, Binghamton, NY 13905, Phone: (607) 772-6773,
Fax: (607) 722-6752 or E-mail to:

Thursday, July 2, 2009

State & Federal Dollars Make Their Way to SCNY

The Rural Health Service Corps, an Americorps program that works with community clinics and departments of health, has just approved funding for the region as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Young adults ages 18-25 can apply for positions that will support healthy communities via placements with organizations like the Broome County Department of Health, the Dr. G.A. Fattal Community Free Clinic, the Rural Health Network of South Central NY, Farm Catskills, and Headwaters Youth Conservation Corps. More on the story here.

The New York State Department of Labor is working to assist companies and organizations in need by committing $5 million to job training. Businesses will be able to get up to $50,000 to train workers through the "Building Skills in New York State" program. Nonprofit agencies with four or more employees are eligible for this program. July 20th is the deadline to apply for one of the training grants.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways Announces New Board of Directors

New Channel 34 reported that July 1 marks the first day for the Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways. The council, made up of legacy councils, Girl Scouts – Foothills Council, Inc.; Girl Scout Council of Central New York, Inc.; Girl Scouts – Indian Hills Council, Inc.; Girl Scouts – Seven Lakes Council, Inc.; and the Thousand Islands Girl Scout Council, Inc. is announcing its new Board of Directors. Read about the new board here.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Suggested Article: State Not Processing Contracts With Not-for-Profits on Time

AVRE ED Bob Hanye provided the following article for EDs:

Issues New Regulations to Ensure Organizations are Paid Interest Owed to Them
Provides Breakdown of Late Contracts by Geographic Region and Organization

State agencies report that state contracts with not-for-profit organizations were approved late 63 percent of the time. However, the Office of the State Comptroller's (OSC) data shows that the rate of late contracts may be as high as 87 percent, according to a report released by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. This is forcing many not-for-profits to take drastic measures to keep their doors open. DiNapoli proposed new regulations to ensure not-for-profits are paid interest required by law when their contracts are processed late as well as recommendations to reduce late contracting.

"Not-for-profits operate on very thin margins,"DiNapoli said. "Those margins can disappear completely when contracts for services are held up. New York has an implicit compact with these organizations. They provide vital services for vulnerable New Yorkers and the state should ensure they get their funding on time. It's time for the state to live up to its end of the bargain. Our new regulations will help, but state agencies need to step up and act responsibly.

New York relies heavily on not-for-profits to provide services through grant contracts such as health care clinics, workforce development and mortgage foreclosure programs. The state currently has 30,764 active contracts with not-for-profits totaling $14.6 billion.

Persistent problems led the state to adopt a prompt contracting law in 1991 to expedite the contract process and payments for not-for-profits to help them avoid service interruptions and financial hardships. State law requires that these contracts be processed by state agencies within 150 to 180 days. Under a 2007 amendment to the law, DiNapoli's office is required to report annually on how quickly state agencies process contracts for not-for-profits based on data that is self-reported by state agencies to his office.

DiNapoli found in 2008 that 87 percent of not-for-profits "contracts valued at more than $50,000 were not approved by the start or renewal date, forcing not-for-profits to perform services without a contract in place and without any payments. In total, OSC found 5,260 of 6,033 contracts, valued at $2.7 billion, were approved late in 2008 "an average of 184 days late" (see late contracts breakdown by region and organization). In recent months, an increasing number of organizations who were unable to make payroll, faced eviction or risked losing other funding because their state contract was significantly delayed contacted OSC about their problems. Only $144,906 was paid in interest to not-for-profits by state agencies for processing their contracts late in 2008, a 29 percent decrease from last year.

Senator Craig M. Johnson (D-Nassau) said "These critically important organizations fulfill vital services to our communities, while oftentimes operating on the thinnest of margins. This apparent institutionalized lack of sensitivity to them is inexcusable. I thank Comptroller DiNapoli for taking up this cause. With his leadership, I am confident that we will be able to force these much-needed changes.

"It is certainly disappointing to hear how significantly agencies are struggling to fulfill their obligations to renew contracts in a timely manner with not-for-profits, as well as to pay out the interest those not-for-profits are entitled to under law in cases of such delays. The state needs to start living up to its legal and moral obligation to treat these partners in government fairly, Assemblywoman RoAnn M. Destito (D/WF-Rome) said. "I am proud to support Assembly legislation to make permanent the Comptroller's oversight over agency compliance with the Prompt Contracting Law. The Assembly Committee on Governmental Operations held a hearing in Albany on June 15 to identify how we can take the findings of this report, and the experiences of not-for-profit institutions across the state, and work towards a truly equitable system where the community-based organizations who do so much critical work on behalf of our state agencies are no longer financially penalized for doing so.

Assemblyman Jonathan L. Bing (D-Manhattan) said "As the author of the 2007 legislation which attempted to strengthen the prompt payment law, I know the severe burden New York not-for-profits face in these uncertain economic times. These organizations are operating crucial social service functions throughout New York and deserve to know in a timely manner whether the state will be renewing their contracts to avoid suspension or termination of these important programs. I applaud Comptroller DiNapoli for bringing attention to this vital matter."

Ronald D. Soloway, chair of the State Non-Profit Contracting Advisory Committee and managing director of Government and External Relations for UJA-Federation of New York, said "UJA-Federation applauds State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli for his continuing resolve to improve the contracting process for non-profits in New York. This latest report, documenting that up to 87 percent of contracts are not processed on time, is a clarion call to fix this longstanding problem. In this very difficult economic environment, non-profit organizations do not have substantial access to the commercial credit markets and cannot self fund the state's obligations. As such, late contracting threatens the ability of the non-profit sector to meet the needs of the poor and the vulnerable. State government must act now and UJA-Federation is very pleased that Comptroller DiNapoli will take one step shortly by issuing regulations that will clarify requirements that state agencies must pay an interest penalty when contracts are not processed timely."

Susan K. Hager, president and CEO, United Way of New York State, said "United Ways urge Governor Paterson to eliminate lengthy contracting and payment delays to not-for-profit organizations. The not-for-profit sector is in the midst of a 'perfect storm' including major cuts in public funding and philanthropic contributions, loss of valued staff and volunteers, increased pension costs, new state disincentives to charitable giving for wealthy donors, and continued delays for contracts and payments. These challenges converge against the backdrop of a veritable tsunami of requests for help from New Yorkers in need. Not-for-profits look to state leaders for a solution."

Richard E. Barnes, executive director, New York State Catholic Conference, said "New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has again demonstrated his commitment to resolving the problems surrounding the state's contracting for services provided to people of this state. When state government addresses a need of the people, both lawmakers and the recipients of the services expect efficiency in the process of providing those services. Delays in the processing of contracts, and the resulting financial burdens placed on nonprofit providers who have to borrow money to cover the cost of the delays, should not be the enduring hallmark of how this system operates."

After issuing the first Prompt Contracting Annual Report in June 2008, DiNapoli's office initiated a wider probe into the persistent problems that not-for-profits experience when contracting with state agencies. His office examined a sample of 95 late contracts between not-for-profits and state agencies approved over a four-month period in 2008 and found:
• New contracts examined were approved almost nine months after the contract start date;
• Renewal contracts were approved in 233 days, far exceeding the 90-day time frame in state law;
• State agencies failed to notify not-for-profits within 90-days whether their contracts would be renewed leaving these organizations with little time to plan for the funding loss; and
• No interest was paid to organizations. OSC estimated that approximately $102,000 in interest should have been paid to not-for-profits, as required by state law. However, because of ambiguities in the law, state agencies failed to make these payments.

DiNapoli's office has filed regulations that would clarify these ambiguities and should result in increased interest payments to not-for-profits. There is a 45-day comment period before the regulations may be finalized. DiNapoli also made several recommendations to improve the process including:
• State agencies must prioritize not-for-profit contracts and ensure sufficient resources are available to allow for contracts to be approved prior to their start dates;
• State agencies should change the April 1 start dates for grant contracts so that the processing of contracts is not affected by the timeliness of the state budget;
• State agencies should work to clarify and simplify contract submission instructions for not-for-profits through increased outreach and guidance;
• State agencies should document common mistakes made by providers during the contracting process and propose solutions;
• The Prompt Contracting Advisory Committee should continue to meet regularly to identify ways to improve the process;
• The Office of Technology and the Division of the Budget should ensure that future state agency financial management systems are designed to assist state agencies in the timely execution and reporting of grant contracts; and
• State agencies should provide OSC with the notification letters of their intent to renew or terminate contracts, as required by law.

Nonprofits Employ Tougher Measures as Downturn Deepens

The Nonprofit Times has reported on a new Bridgespan survey (carried out in November 2008 and updated this past May) that reveals the negative effects of the economy on nonprofits has accelerated during the past six months.

Some of the key study findings in regards to nonprofits' responses to the downturn are:
  • Working closely with existing funders to address challenges 79 percent this past November and 81 percent this past May;
  • Redesign programs to achieve outcomes in a less costly manner: 59 percent in November and 67 percent this past May;
  • Examine and improve key processes and structures in increase organizational efficiency 48 percent in November and 62 percent this past May;
  • Have a clearly defined contingency plan 59 percent in November and 67 percent this past May; and,
  • Consciously identify key positions and shift resources to keep these positions filled.
Read the Nonprofit Times article here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

CHOW Expansion

Volunteers with the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW), a program of the Broome County Council of Churches, have spent a productive spring planting vegetables in Endwell, Union, and on Binghamton's South Side. All of the fresh produce grown will be donated to CHOW's clients. In addition to the produce itself, CHOW is also planning on offering cooking classes to their clients. Next year's harvest will be even more bountiful, with the addition of new growing space in Conklin. You can read more about CHOW's expected expansion here. To learn more about the Broome County Council of Churches and the different programs they offer in our community, check out their website.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

JCC receives grant for daycare

The Press & Sun-Bulletin reported that the Binghamton Jewish Community Center’s Early Childhood Center was awarded a $12,000 grant from the Community Foundation for South Central New York. The money will go towards the $115,000 in daycare subsidies the center provides to needy families. Read the announcement here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Program Meeting Focuses on Saftey and Emergency Planning

The recent SCNY ED Group meeting drew over 27 participants to hear Richard D. Keehle Jr., the Manager of Safety and Security Services/Emergency Preparedness Coordinator from United Health Services. Mr. Keehle's presentation (available here) was all inclusive and covered the core areas of:
•Safety Planning
•Police/Fire Involvement
•Emergency Planning
•Evacuation Planning
•Actual Events
•Personal Protection

The program highlighted the need for nonprofits and their staff to carry out a risk assessment and have a plan in place to deal with emergencies (such as flooding, workplace violence, or even loss of power). Many nonprofits believe they don't have the expertise and resources available to address the areas outlined in this program, but the speaker highlighted some invaluable resources and related online free training available for any sized nonprofit.

Suggested resources:
Have other suggestions? Add them here or e-mail us.

Special Projects Committee
The Program ended with business meeting, which featured an update from the Special Projects Committee about the planned nonprofit economic impact study. Joe Sellepack, the Committee Chair, introduced the two Binghamton University interns, Katie McDonald and Mike Kvassay, who will be helping develop this effort. Joe also introduced a letter that will be going out to area nonprofit directors about this project, which will ask for their support. The meeting ended with a request from Katie to send thoughts and feedback about misperceptions/misconception/myths about their particular nonprofit organization and/or nonprofits organizations in general to her at The information will be compiled and used to inform the qualitative portion of the Special Projects Committee project regarding the social and cultural benefits of nonprofit organizations.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Membership Committee Meeting Set

The next membership committee meeting of the SCNYED group will be held onJuly 1, 2009, 8:30am at Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier, Inc.- 153 Court Street, Binghamton. Agenda to follow. Please RSVP to Keith W. Leahey, MSW
Executive Director
153 Court Street
Binghamton, NY 13901
607.771.8888 ext. 349

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Call for Nominations for BCAC's 2009 Heart of the Arts and Lifetime Achievement Awards

YOU are invited to download submission instructions and official forms NOW and submit your nominations by 12:00 Noon, Friday, July 10th!

The annual Heart of the Arts Awards and Lifetime Achievement Awards honor those who have made significant contributions to the arts in Broome County. Nominated by YOU, the community, and chosen by the ballot votes of BCAC members, recipients truly represent the 'heart of the arts' in Broome County. 2009 recipients will be announced in late August and awards bestowed at this year's Heart of the Arts Awards Celebration on Friday, October 2nd at the Forum Theatre Recital Hall in downtown Binghamton. Save the Date and Voice YOUR choice! Heart of the ARTS to YOU!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Charitable Giving Declines, a New Report Finds

The NY Times reported that charitable giving fell last year by the largest percentage in five decades, according to a new study by the Giving USA Foundation.

Individuals and institutions made gifts and pledges of $307.65 billion, a decrease of 5.7 percent on an inflation-adjusted basis over the $314 billion given in 2007, according to the foundation, a research organization backed by the fund-raising industry.

Some experts said they were surprised the drop was not even bigger, given that endowments fell by as much as 40 percent, the stock market declined by a similar margin, corporations posted unheard-of losses and unemployment was rising at a fast clip.

“So far, my clients are holding their own, by and large,” said Robert F. Sharpe, a fund-raising consultant whose clients include St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

The Giving USA Foundation study found that the drop in giving accelerated in the fall, as the impact of the economic crisis and the steep decline in stock markets took hold.

“In the first half of the year, it was more or less business as usual for our clients, which is to say pretty good,” said Del Martin, the chairwoman of the foundation and a partner at Alexander Haas, a fund-raising advisory firm in Atlanta. “Then, as we got into the last quarter, we saw corporations begin rethinking their giving in greatly different ways, and we saw individuals begin to revisit their philanthropic priorities.”

Even with the steep drop, charitable giving remained strong. Last year’s giving outstripped all previous years on record except 2007, though the outlook for next year remains uncertain.

Amherst College, for example, had a “banner year” last year, said Megan Morey, the institution’s chief advancement officer. The college received the largest bequest in its history, $23 million, and several donors responded promptly to a new $425 million capital campaign, enabling Amherst to raise a total of roughly $70 million.

But like other nonprofit organizations, Amherst has found fund-raising in the current year tough. Ms. Morey said the annual campaign, which ends in a few weeks, is down by roughly 15 percent compared with the 2007-8 effort. “Over all,” she said, “we’re tracking comparable to what we were in 2007, which I feel good about.”

Giving USA estimated that donations to educational institutions fell 9 percent on an inflation-adjusted basis to $40.94 billion. Colleges, universities and private schools, including Amherst, have also been hit by sharp declines in their assets.

About two-thirds of public charities saw donations decrease in 2008, the foundation said. Most surprising, Ms. Martin said, was the decline in gifts to organizations working to meet basic needs, like food banks and homeless shelters, which are seeing a big increase in demand for their services. Read the full article here.

Monday, June 1, 2009

SCNYED Special Projects Committee Meeting Notes

Present: Joe Sellepack, Allison Alden, Joe Slavik, Daryl Newvine,David Karre, Ron Charsky, Katie McDonald, Mike Kvassay

Joe provided an update from the last meeting of the entire group. He reviewed basic information concerning our interns – Katie and Mike. He noted that it is important for both Katie and Mike to be working together with our group and their projects. Darrel began a conversation about research. What needs to be considered and what might be included in the results. Also, how will this information beshared with the entire group and how can methodology be made useful for smaller NPOs.

We discussed classification schemes. Katie has researched some information and shared that electronically with the group. We again discussed some of the issues relating to the New Hampshire and Michigan studies, noting that the NH study is likely very similar towhat we’d like to do.

We also wondered – have we defined what our “service area” is? NO! Considered it to be 4 counties – Broome, Tioga, Chenango and Delaware

Allison mentioned topics we need to be certain re included: benefits to individual; benefits to organizations, and benefits / inputs to larger social issues, such as short-term and long-term solutions to hunger. Ron mentioned we also need to consider “who is our customer”.Joe S. noted this is important, but we also need to balance “customer wants” with the concept of “public good”. Allison noted we also need to have a “face” to represent the public good. She also noted we need to identify our assets that help us meet our goals. Joe S. mentionedwe need to look at Community events that help us meet our goals, such as SpeidieFest and CHOW walk, etc. It was noted that the Harwood document relates to this issue.

  • a draft of a 1-page “flyer” outlining the program (David will do)
  • a draft of an “ask letter” for financial and organizational support(Joe S. will do)
Allison began a conversation about the funding issue for the project... It was noted that Jerry Putman from Decker noted that foundations will be looking for impact. The idea was also discussed with Donna Hill. She felt it might be a tougher sell than we thought, as foundation’s are more focused on the outcome that might identify where there’s duplication of services which could lead to possible consolidation. She did note however that foundations were open to additional information gathering. Allison noted that it is critical to remember that “shared services” does not mean the same as consolidation. Darrel noted that we may not need foundation funding if enough participants help underwrite the cost of the entire project. David mentioned we also need to look a6t corporate funding, the way NH did.

Darrel began a conversation of the project, noting we have 2 internsfor 300 hours. And he asked – what do we want them to produce? Joe S.mentioned that Broome Council of Churches is looking for Katie to create a framework / design plan to pass on to the next person. Allison noted that Katie’s project is more “qualitative” while Mike’s project with Darrel and Family Enrichment Network is more “quantitative”. It is anticipated that we will need 1 intern in the fall, 1 intern in the spring and 3 interns in the summer to “complete”the project

Darrel asked – what do we want Mike to do re: financial impact? We will need local demographics (population, homes, ethnicity, etc). Allison noted we need to see what has been done and is available sothat we might borrow methodology from that and determine what might be consistent with what we want. Ron noted we need to have interim reports to be sure we’re all moving forward together. Allison wondered what local data might be currently available, and Katie will followup.

Katie noted she’s been reading lots of information / articles and will be posting some to the group next week. Some of these will relate to a “philosophical overview” of such studies.

Next meeting of the Special Projects group will be 6/2 at 2pm atBroome County Council of Churches. The next meeting of the entire group will be 6/16 at 8:30am at AVRE.