Thursday, February 26, 2009

Developing For Profit Ventures in the Arts

The New York Council of Nonprofits (formerly the Council of Community Services of New York State, Inc.) will offer Entrepreneurial Ventures for the Arts in 2009. This specialized training, supported in part by the New York State Council on the Arts, will address the interests and markets of arts organizations in exploring alternative revenue generating activities. With funding cuts, decreasing donations, and growing economic challenges, the need is greater than ever to develop other sources of unrestricted operating revenue for arts organizations. An entrepreneurial venture takes calculated risk based on sound facts and adherence to rules and regulations, and this two-day session can help organizations figure out the feasibility and keys to success in undertaking such ventures.

Unlike traditional social entrepreneurship trainings, this curricula will include but extend beyond business planning and include expert assistance and advice on legal and tax related matters. This training course is a highly interactive immersion into the world of innovation and revenue generation. Participants learn through instructional and peer-learning experiences how to develop and practically apply "real world" elements of entrepreneurial ventures to their organization, including strategies on developing board understanding and support for such ventures. At the conclusion of the program, participants will be invited to submit a business venture plan for development, which will be reviewed and given constructive feedback.

Entrepreneurial Ventures for the Arts will be offered on two dates this year. The first program will be May 7 and 8 at the Support Center for Nonprofit Management in New York City. The second program will be held July 9 and 10 in Albany at the Council of Community Services of New York State. For more information and registration, click NYC or Albany. You can also call 1-800-515-5012 ext 141.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Special Reports on Economic Stimulus & Recovery

The National Council of Nonprofits is proud to openly share this evolving series of Special Reports about our nation’s economic recovery, including analysis of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (commonly referred to as the economic stimulus bill) that President Obama signed into law on February 17, 2009.
  • Nonprofit Grant Opportunities Special Report, Volume I (issued February 23, 2009) This core report provides an overview of this historic piece of legislation and identifies key provisions that lend themselves to potential grant opportunities for some nonprofits
  • Stimulus Grant Tips and Thoughts Special Report, Volume II (issued February 24, 2009) This report offers tips for those thinking about applying for a stimulus-funded grant.
  • Whether and How States Are Accepting & Distributing Federal Stimulus Funds Special Report, Volume III – (issued February 25, 2009) This report reviews how various states have indicated they will handle the federal funds.

Enhancing Skills in the Executive/Board Relationship

In preparation for the March 10th program "Enhancing Executive Skills in the Executive/Board Relationship," the Program committee met to discuss possible questions that Teri Goodall Komar will be discussing:
  • What can I do as the Executive to get a quorum at Board meetings?-What is the Executives role?
  • What can I do as the Executive to get a board member to focus on the present and future instead of the past?
  • What is my role in getting our nominations committee to actively work to attract new and qualified Board members?
  • What is my role in orientation of new board members;continuing education of Board members?
  • How do I diplomatically approach the need to remove and replace Board "deadwood"?
  • How do I work with an ineffective-or overcontrolling Board member?
  • What is my role in improving Board giving and participation in fundraising?
  • How do I clearly define differences in the roles of the Executive and the Board?
  • What should I realistically expect from Board members?
  • How do I get my board to understand the need for diversity?
  • What is my role in holding a board member (or the Board) accountable?
  • How do I deal with a board member who speaks ill of me or my agency in public?

If you have other questions or comments, please post your comments here or by e-mail.


South Central New York Nonprofit Executive Directors Group Minutes

Steering Committee Minutes
February 24, 2009

1. Membership Committee Update: We still maintain an active membership list. A couple more names were suggested for membership and we will contact them. We discussed a news article announcing our organization and linking membership to the NYNED website. Everyone thought that was a great idea.

2. Program Committee Update: The programs are tentative set for the coming year and the committee is in the process of selecting presenters. If you do not have a list let us know and we will distribute it. The next program committee is set for March 10th at JCC with the topic, Executive Directors working with the board. The presenter will have a set of questions to begin the presentation.

3. Special Projects Committee: We discussed at length what the plans were for the research project of the value of not for profits to the community. We are looking at collaboration with BU over several years to look at different aspects of our value that will culminate in a very extensive over valuation for the group. Allison Alden is putting together a synopsis of the project. Paid interns will be part of the process and we are looking at ways to fund those interns.

4. Full Group Meeting - The next full group meeting will be March 10th at JCC.45 minutes will be allocated for the training, 5 minutes for JCC presentation and 40 minute to discuss the special project.

5. Feedback on progress of the group: There appears to be overall satisfaction with where we are doing and the subgroups are functioning very well.

Local Nonprofit Gives Input on Stimulus Funds

News 10 Now featured Sharon Chesna, Executive Director of Mothers and Babies Perinatal Network, speaking about the possible impact of the stimulus money coming to NYS. Watch the video here.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Donation dollars down

News 10 Now featured a story on donations and their decline and feedback from local nonprofit directors. Interviews included: Boys and Girls Club Director Mary Beth Smith, American Red Cross Director Cindy Gordineer, and The Community Foundation for South Central New York Director Diane Brown.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Grants available to Broome County nonprofits

The Upstate Student Philanthropy Council, a student-run foundation at Colgate University, announces a Request for Proposals to area non-profits and public for projects that strengthen community engagement, foster cultural heritage and the arts, and address basic and societal needs through creative educational initiatives. Grant applications will be accepted for requests from $1,000 to $6,000 for projects undertaken during 2009-2010. The grant deadline is March 2, 2009. Grant guidelines and the application can be found at the Upstate Institute web site $10,000 is available to provide grants to area non-profit organizations whose service area should focus primarily in one or more of the following central Upstate New York counties: Broome, Chenango, Fulton, Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, and Schoharie.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Community Foundation Increases Funding

The Press & Sun-Bulletin reported that:

"At a time when decreasing revenue and increasing expenses have led almost everyone to cut programs or services, a Binghamton-based foundation is taking the opposite course.

Though its CommuniFund grants, The Community Foundation of South Central New York will increase its funding by $50,000 this year to a total of $200,000 for various programs of local nonprofit organizations, municipalities and schools." Read more here.

Diane Brown, Executive Director of the Foundation, sharrd her thoughts on how the Community Foundation's funds are an investment in the community. Overall, it is clear that the Community Foundation, the funds they invest, and what nonprofits do with these funds illustrate an important economic impact in the community.

Friday, February 6, 2009

NYSDOT announces federal bus funds for Southern Tier

New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Commissioner Astrid C. Glynn today announced $454,636 to purchase 8 buses for Southern Tier agencies that transport elderly individuals and individuals with disabilities. Read more here.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Support for your arts organization

The Kennedy Center has launched a support program, Arts in Crisis, to provide planning assistance and consulting to struggling arts organizations throughout the United States. Kennedy Center staff help provide assistance in the areas of fundraising, building more effective Boards of Trustees, budgeting, marketing, technology, and other areas pertinent to maintaining a vital performing arts organization during a troubled economy. The program is also creating a network of mentors.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Nonprofits Boost Their Business Skills

The Hoyt Foundation related the following details about their continued support of the Southern Tier Capacity Building Program in 2009:

At nonprofit organizations, often the staff and board are so busy serving their constituents, they don’t have time to sit back and take stock. So there’s rarely a chance to ask how well they’re performing as a business and how they could do better. When nonprofits invest in their business operations, though, in the long run they’re able to provide better service.

The Council of Community Services of New York State (CCSNYS) offers guidance to nonprofits of all sizes, helping them to achieve more with limited resources. In 2008, with support from the Hoyt Foundation, CCSNYS launched the Southern Tier Capacity Building Program, an effort to encourage nonprofits in the region to improve their business operations. A $13,000 Hoyt Foundation grant will help CCSNYS continue that program in 2009.

“Capacity building” means implementing better financial procedures, creating a more effective board of directors, deploying new software to streamline the operation or otherwise putting the organization on a more solid business footing. “If they can strengthen those pieces, that puts them in a position to provide more programs and improve their services,” said Andrew Marietta, Central New York Regional Manager at CCSNYS.

This year, the Southern Tier Capacity Building Program will offer two seminars. After each session, participants may apply for mini-grants to fund capacity building projects. Read more about the 2009 Southern Tier Capacity Building Program here.

Program Committee Needs Your Input!

The Program Committee has confirmed Teri Goodall Komar to facilitate a discussion for the March 10 meeting called "Enhancing Executive Skills and Techniques in the Executive Board Relationship." Teri's bio is below. The Committee would like to solicit real life situations or circumstances from from the Group's members on where you might have struggled with how to approach or resolve a specific situation. Examples could be:
  • We have great difficulty in getting a quorum at our board meetings. What can I do as the Executive to get a quorum so that critical decisions can be made in a legal and appropriate manner?
  • Mr. X has been on the board for decades. He is a wonderful gentleman but constantly objects to any new programs and ideas. What can I do as the executive to get him to focus on the future, or at least the present, rather than the past?
  • How do I get our nominations committee to actively work at attracting new (and qualified) members for the Board?
  • How do I motivate my board to understand their role and help with fundraising?

E-mail your ideas to Bob Hanye or post them here.

The March 10th program will be hosted by the Jewish Community Center.


BIO: Dr. Teri Goodall-Komar is president of Teri Goodall & Associates, LLC and is a nationally known consultant. Her thirty years of consulting, coaching, facilitation, and training focus on innovative organizational development and performance improvement in both private and public sector organizations. She has developed consulting, training, facilitating, coaching and focus group strategies for a diverse client base, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to small, not-for-profit agencies. She has created innovative processes to meet divergent client needs and solve complex problems.

Monday, February 2, 2009

2009 Nonprofit Economic Climate Info

In December 2008, Fiscal Management Associates (FMA) and the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) joined together to present a workshop that offered nonprofit leaders concrete tools to lead their organizations in response to the current ecnomic challenges. With the support of The Clark, Robin Hood, and Tiger foundations, the tools and presentation from this program are available online here. The link offers a 90 minute webinar and powerpoint and various tools.

Topics include:
  • How the current market environment will affect nonprofits
  • Practical scenario planning and modeling: how to develop smart, strategic responses
  • Recognizing the hidden opportunities to strengthen your standing
  • Revenue and expense considerations
  • Cash flow management and managing credit
  • Role of the Executive Director and Board in leading the organization through a downturn

The link provides assessment tools and checklists to keep you grounded during crisis periods. Also included is a list of cost reduction strategies.

NY Policy Change for Nonprofits

Although the Federal WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) Act has been in effect for several years, New York State has now enacted its own version of the employee protection notification scheme. The New York State version imposes more stringent requirements, bringing far more employers under the purview of this legislation that the Federal law. The effect is that where many non-profits would never have been affected by the Federal legislation, many will come under the auspices of the New York State version. Read more here about the WARN Act and its impact on your nonprofit if you have 50 or more employees.

This policy update is provided by Kevin M. Stadelmaier, Esq, Legal Advisor, New York Council of Nonprofits (fomerly CCSNYS, Inc.), Legal Accountability and Compliance Services, Western New York Regional Office. Should you have further questions or concerns relevant to the requirements of this New Act, do not hesitate to contact Kevin at (716) 241-5010 x170 or by email.