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.