Thursday, December 29, 2011

SCNY-ED Group 2012 Membership Info and Announcement

In 2011 the goal set by the members of the SCNY-ED Group was to become a formalized organization with a minimal membership structure that could support future projects. That goal was achieved. We continue to focus on the publication of our data demonstrating the significant impact of non-profits in our community and are still accepting donations toward the final prep and printing of the document. This is also the time to begin looking forward toward setting and attaining new meaningful goals for the group and getting our committee structure strong and working on those goals.

To do that your support as a member is required. If you joined as a paid member in 2011 at the $25.00 rate you can renew your membership at that same $25.00 rate until February 28,, 2012 in appreciation of your commitment and support.
I look forward to seeing current members and new members at our meetings in 2012.

Deb Fitzgerald, Steering Committee Chairperson

COMPLETE YOUR SCNY ED GROUP MEMBERSHIP HERE

Pro bono attorney work offered from Attorney General's Office: December 31st Deadline to Apply

The Charities Bureau is pleased to announce Charity Corps, an exciting joint initiative of the Attorney General's office and the New York State Bar Association that will assist nonprofits by matching them with volunteer attorneys. Those attorneys will provide advice on corporate law and fiduciary duties; compliance with the tax exemption, governmental filing requirements and fundraising laws; and good practices in setting executive compensation and self-evaluation of nonprofits' programs. Charity Corps will also provide access to training for boards and managers of nonprofits.

Charity Corps' goal is to serve hundreds of needy and worthy New York nonprofits annually. It will begin with a pilot program that will match up to 50 nonprofits with pro bono counsel during the first year.

Nonprofits that have 501(c)(3) tax-exemption and do not have, and cannot afford, legal counsel are welcome to apply to be matched with volunteer attorneys. Applications should be submitted by December 31, 2011.

A full description of Charity Corps' program and applications for charities seeking assistance and attorneys offering to volunteer are posted at www.nysba.org/CharityCorps

Questions concerning the program should be addressed to charitycorps@nysba.org

Jason Lilien,
Bureau Chief, Charities Bureau

Monday, December 19, 2011

SCNYED Meeting and Program Minutes: Recap on Foundations' Presentation

SCNYED MEETING
12/14/11 – Family Enrichment Network

Chair Deb Fitzgerald called the meeting to order at 8:40am. She welcomed all present and asked for introductions

The Business Meeting was called to order. Deb noted that we have significantly formalized our structure this year through NYCON which affords us 501(c)(3) status. We now have a minimal dues structure which will allow us to pursue more substantial activities. We currently have 19 formal members who paid dues for 2011. If dues were paid in 2011, there will be a modest reduction in dues for 2012. For renewing members the rate will remain reduced to $25.00 and for those formally joining this year the full rate agreed upon by the group is $35.00. Our goal was to keep the dues attainable by all organizations and their Executive Directors. More importantly, membership is vital to demonstrate to potential funders and partners that the non-profits of the Southern Tier are working together as a group.

Deb asked Joe Sellepack to provide an update on our fund raising effort for printing of our “Special Projects” Non-Profit Economic Impact Study which documents the value of non-profits in our area. Joe noted that we had received about $2,500 in pledges towards a goal of $4,000, of which about $1,850 has actually received to date. The money raised will cover the cost of printing an executive summary and copies of the hefty report. We need to raise the rest soon before our data becomes dated. It was also noted that the project summary is on our website.
Deb discussed our programs during the year and that suggestions for program topics as well as participation in the programs. A good response to a forthcoming survey in January is essential in assisting us as we’re working towards providing relevant programs for all.

David Karre introduced our presenters for the day – Judy Peckham, Executive Director of the Klee Foundation, and Diane Brown, Executive Director of the Community Foundation for South Central New York. Their broad topic was the state of philanthropy in the Southern Tier and the forthcoming common application form for many local foundations.

Judy began by noting that while local foundations meet as a group about every 8 weeks, she and Diane were certainly not speaking today for the group as a whole, but rather speaking as individuals because not all foundations are alike!

Trends and Observations: Judy reiterated that there are increasingly scarce dollars, increasing demands for these dollars, and increased scrutiny by the federal government and others in how dollars are spent and their outcomes. All foundations are taking a closer look at agencies and their practices in an effort to ensure maximum outcomes. Frankly, foundations are looking for what they will receive in return for their expenditures – specifically, what is returned to the community! Diane noted that the Community Foundation (CF) “needs assessment” has given the CF an opportunity for a closer look at what their funding priorities should be over the next 18 months. With that in mind, she mentioned that the spring grant cycle for the CF will allocate $100,000 to flood-related activities only. They will be waiving some of the normal requirements in order to help agencies (such as not waiting 2 years to apply for funds) and that they will reimburse retroactively for expenses made by agencies during the flood. After that, the CF will continue to evaluate how funds should be spent among various areas of community concern. CF will also continue, in cooperation with Klee, Hoyt and other foundations, to sponsor the “capacity building” programs with NYCON. Once again, there will be a requirement to attend one of the free training programs in order to apply for the grants. They will provide the first workshop on “capacity building” and a follow-up program on “evaluation and outcomes”. Judy mentioned that Klee has given $300,000 to United Way in an effort to help individuals in the area. It is also important to remember that foundations have a specific spending policy concerning the amount of funds they may spend as well as the areas they support, so it’s important to check websites and contact the foundation before filing an application to determine applicability. For example, Klee is now looking at healthy childhood programs (specifically, childhood obesity) as a topic. They are also looking for strong partnership programs, and she discussed a partnership between BU and WSKG as an example. She also noted Klee will provide support for operating funds to “build capacity or sustainability”.

Partnerships: Both Judy and Diane mentioned they are looking for organizations to form partnerships, especially focusing on “creative partnerships’ whereby an organization’s outlook is expanded though new or uncommon partnerships. Diane noted that the CF will work to help develop these partnerships, particularly as they will further the CF “needs assessment” results. They briefly discussed the “Saving Philanthropy” film, which relates to developing outcomes. Specifically, foundations are concerned that organizations are doing things that are in line with their mission. They both felt it’s important for organizations to look at and understand their business models, which sometimes means that Boards need to make painful decisions about programs and services.

The “Common Application”: They noted that a “common application” for many local foundations will be unveiled in January, 2012. Developing this has been no small task! However, they felt it will simplify the application process, despite the 6-page introduction and instructions. It will officially be known as the “Uniform Grant Application” and should be available on the websites of the Klee and CF early in January. They felt it will require less material and be less complicated. However, it was noted that each foundation will still have specific and perhaps unique requirements so special attention needs to be paid to the details. It is also important to note that it is not a single application to all foundations simultaneously! It is not yet an interactive form. They intend to pilot the program for a year and are seeking feedback on the form for possible changes in 2013 (the form will not change during 2012). Lastly, Diane noted that CF will hold a program on CF guidelines and the new form at 1pm on January 24, 2012 in the Decker Room at BCPL

Q&A:
Q: Will there still be a dollar amount available for “capacity building” grants? A: Mini-grants will be available again through the NYCON program. They may also be able to provide technical assistance grants. Klee is also looking for capacity-building projects.

Q:Is there any prospect of a unified data collection project, such as a repository of all local 990’s? A: A great idea but not sure how to make it happen with limited staffing at foundations.

Deb thanked Judy and Diane for all the information they shared and reminded everyone to fill out the survey in the new year. She noted our next meeting will be in the spring (likely March).

Before concluding David Karre noted that we all need to give a significant thanks to Deb for all her efforts this year in making our formalized structure a reality. (applause for Deb!)

David Karre, Secretary

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Guest Viewpoint: Especially in hard times, nonprofits need our help

The Press & Sun-Bulletin featured a recent editorial.

There isn't much that is certain in life, aside from death and taxes, of course. We have all experienced, in any number of ways, the effects of rampant uncertainty and financial hardship. But through all of the turbulence, one thing has remained constant: We need our local nonprofits.

Every day, thousands of people in the Southern Tier rely on its stable of local charity and support groups to eat, sleep, care for their children, or come back from what often initially seems like insurmountable odds. Every time, the good will and caring heart of a volunteer or case worker reinforces the ability of so many to do so much in spite of what may lie ahead.

I may be in Raleigh, N.C., but my heart belongs to the Southern Tier, where the community certainly has faced its share of disaster. This year's flood was far beyond any reasonable comprehension. Down here in Raleigh, a tornado ripped through the area with a devastating blow the likes of which this fairly new North Carolinian had never seen. What shined above all else, though, was the overwhelming support of those in our community. The food banks, the disaster recovery groups, the unsolicited support of an otherwise unknown person or resource — all of these things encompassed the system that allowed us to rebuild.

None of this would have been possible were it not for the nonprofits we have in our respective communities. They are the unsung heroes amidst an often dreary fa├žade of unceasing need and uncertainty. Now is the time that we should return the favor, not just as individuals, but as businesses.

Like all businesses, our success is predicated upon the success of our economy and its people. So it is only fitting that we fervently support our community through the multitude of opportunities for us to donate our time, talent and treasure. We follow the example of so many of our colleagues who do the same.

Large or small, local businesses provide the resources that nonprofits require to help those in need. It is a cycle that not only represents the right thing to do, but breeds an air of consciousness into the lungs of a business's employee base. Leadership comes from experience, and there's no experience quite like giving to others and advancing a good cause.

In that spirit, our organization, like many others, is rolling out an office initiative focused on philanthropy. We will be working as a team on local projects meant to further the causes we hold dear, whether it's volunteering at a soup kitchen or organizing a fundraising contest within our respective walls. No matter what we do, it will be because we aim to make our relatively small contribution as meaningful as possible.

Whether you're a business owner or simply a potential volunteer, join us by recommitting yourself to helping those among us who need it the most. For all kinds of good reasons, now is the time.

Fitzsimmons, born and raised in the Southern Tier, is the chief operating officer of The Sorin Group in Raleigh, N.C.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

1 in 2 Americans are now poor or low income

Squeezed by rising living costs, a record number of Americans — nearly 1 in 2 — have fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income.

The latest census data depict a middle class that's shrinking as unemployment stays high and the government's safety net frays. The new numbers follow years of stagnating wages for the middle class that have hurt millions of workers and families.

"Safety net programs such as food stamps and tax credits kept poverty from rising even higher in 2010, but for many low-income families with work-related and medical expenses, they are considered too 'rich' to qualify," said Sheldon Danziger, a University of Michigan public policy professor who specializes in poverty.

"The reality is that prospects for the poor and the near poor are dismal," he said. "If Congress and the states make further cuts, we can expect the number of poor and low-income families to rise for the next several years."

•Study: 1 in 5 American children lives in poverty
Congressional Republicans and Democrats are sparring over legislation that would renew a Social Security payroll tax cut, part of a year-end political showdown over economic priorities that could also trim unemployment benefits, freeze federal pay and reduce entitlement spending.

Robert Rector, a senior research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, questioned whether some people classified as poor or low-income actually suffer material hardship. He said that while safety-net programs have helped many Americans, they have gone too far, citing poor people who live in decent-size homes, drive cars and own wide-screen TVs.

With nearly 14 million Americans unemployed, a new child welfare study finds one in five children are living in poverty. Nearly one in three live in homes where no parent works full-time year-round. NBC's Chris Jansing reports.
"There's no doubt the recession has thrown a lot of people out of work and incomes have fallen," Rector said. "As we come out of recession, it will be important that these programs promote self-sufficiency rather than dependence and encourage people to look for work."

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Mayors in 29 cities say more than 1 in 4 people needing emergency food assistance did not receive it. Many middle-class Americans are dropping below the low-income threshold — roughly $45,000 for a family of four — because of pay cuts, a forced reduction of work hours or a spouse losing a job. Housing and child-care costs are consuming up to half of a family's income.

States in the South and West had the highest shares of low-income families, including Arizona, New Mexico and South Carolina, which have scaled back or eliminated aid programs for the needy. By raw numbers, such families were most numerous in California and Texas, each with more than 1 million.

The struggling Americans include Zenobia Bechtol, 18, in Austin, Texas, who earns minimum wage as a part-time pizza delivery driver. Bechtol and her 7-month-old baby were recently evicted from their bedbug-infested apartment after her boyfriend, an electrician, lost his job in the sluggish economy.

After an 18-month job search, Bechtol's boyfriend now works as a waiter and the family of three is temporarily living with her mother.

"We're paying my mom $200 a month for rent, and after diapers and formula and gas for work, we barely have enough money to spend," said Bechtol, a high school graduate who wants to go to college. "If it weren't for food stamps and other government money for families who need help, we wouldn't have been able to survive."

About 97.3 million Americans fall into a low-income category, commonly defined as those earning between 100 and 199 percent of the poverty level, based on a new supplemental measure by the Census Bureau that is designed to provide a fuller picture of poverty. Together with the 49.1 million who fall below the poverty line and are counted as poor, they number 146.4 million, or 48 percent of the U.S. population. That's up by 4 million from 2009, the earliest numbers for the newly developed poverty measure.

Read more here.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Charting a Decade of Online Donations

Charting a Decade of Online Donations
November 23, 2011, 11:04 am
By Cody Switzer
Only 4 percent of donors had given online in 2001. This year, about 65 percent have given to charity through the Internet.

That’s one of the comparisons made in a new graphic from Network for Good, a fund-raising and volunteerism Web site that celebrates its 10th anniversary this month.

In 2001, the average donation through the site was $226. But this year the average gift is $73, a change that Network for Good interprets as a sign that online giving has “gone mainstream.”

Here’s the full graphic:

SCNY ED Group December 14th Program

SCNY ED Group December 14th Program

Program Agenda:
-Business Meeting
-Election of SCNY ED Group Officers
-Program Presentation
The Program will feature Judith Peckham from the Klee Foundation and Diane Brown from the Community Foundation for South Central New York offering a Philanthropy Update covering:
-What's happening in the world of foundations
-A brief discussion on the documentary "Saving Philanthropy" which deals with best practices and outcomes foundations seek
-A discussion of the new "common application" being used by local foundations

REGISTER HERE


Date: Wednesday, December 14th, 2011
Time: 8:30-11:00 am
Cost: FREE to nonprofit directors
Location:
Family Enrichment Network 24 Cherry Street
Johnson City, NY

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NY comptroller says late checks hurt nonprofits

NY comptroller says late checks hurt nonprofits
Nov. 15, 2011, 3:01 a.m. EST
AP
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says late contract approvals and payments by the state are hurting nonprofit providers and jeopardizing services.

DiNapoli says state agencies last year were on average six months late in approving nine out of 10 contracts valued at $50,000 or more, often after services were provided.

An analysis of the first half of 2011 shows nearly 90 percent of contracts approved by the comptroller were submitted late by state agencies.

DiNapoli says nonprofits operate on thin margins and provide basic services ranging from health care clinics to work programs, with 22,000 active grant contracts totaling $16.8 billion.

The nonprofit sector employed 1.25 million people statewide last year.

You can access the article by Clicking Here.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Saving Philanthropy Program This Week


This week, The College of Community and Public Affairs at Binghamton University, in collaboration with the Klee Foundation is pleased to host documentary filmmaker, Kate Robinson for a screening of her film Saving Philanthropy along with its executive producer, Kate Robinson.  The film addresses a fundadmental challenge facing nonprofit organizations and philanthropy today: effective performance measurement.  Saving Philanthropy provides practical steps in measuring the success of nonprofit organizations' program, including case studies of two successful organizations, ROCA and Nurse Family Partnership.  The screening is a terrific (and free) professional development opportunity.  Please consider attending. 

You will have two opportunities to see the film, both of which are free and open to the public: 

1.  Thursday, November 3rd, 2:30-4:30 at WSKG, 601 Gates Road in Vestal.  If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Leah Joggerst, at liacovel@binghamton.edu so that we can get a head count.

We will also be showing the film in Ithaca:  


2.  Wednesday, November 2nd, 3:00-5:00, at Cinemapolis, 120 East Green Street, Ithaca, with a panel discussion including local foundation and nonprofit leaders. 

You can learn more about the film at www.savingphilanthropy.org. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Nonprofit Knowledge Matters | Protecting the Charitable Giving Incentive

Protect the Charitable Giving Incentive

Using Our Outside Voices in the House … and in the Senate


Nonprofits are not used to raising our voices. We teach others to use their “indoor voices,” and we mediate disputes so others won’t yell in anger. We heal the wounded, silently. We feed the hungry, quietly. At times we play loud music and paint loud colors on canvases. But you get the picture: we are not used to yelling.

Recently Tim Delaney, President and CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits, was in Georgia, Montana, and New York, encouraging nonprofits to raise their voices -- literally. In rooms filled with nonprofit leaders attending major conferences, he designated half the room the loud "Yes” crowd, and the other half the “Nos.” Tim then pointed to one side – “YES” came the refrain; then to the other side and louder “NOs” reverberated. After a few volleys, the friendly competition could be measured in deafening decibels. Tim then instructed the “Yes” side to remain silent – they weren’t allowed to use their voices. After a couple more volleys of loud “NOs” that were met with silence, Tim noted what policymakers hear: silence from the majority who are too busy and too unsure, versus resounding and unmatched “NOs” from the vocal opposition. Each time the “No!” voices boomed against the silence, members of the audience grasped the danger of remaining silent.

Silence is the nonprofit sector’s worst enemy. If nonprofits don’t raise our voices, we are powerless. Right now, it’s urgent that all nonprofits speak up.

The charitable giving incentive is at risk.
Congress is considering, on a tight timeline, how to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion. Slashing the deficit by that much guarantees that every option to save money will be on the table, without much thought as to the consequences – unless the downside is abundantly clear. The National Council – and so far, more than 20 other national organizations and 2,800 community-based nonprofits across America – think it is abundantly clear that if the Supercommittee recommends elimination of the charitable giving incentive, then individuals and communities served by nonprofits will suffer.

Raise your voice now!
Sign on to the Nonprofit Community Letter to protect the charitable giving incentive.
See which nonprofits in your state have already signed on.
Learn more about the charitable giving incentive.
Spread the word! Tweet: 
The #charitable giving incentive that supports #nonprofits is at risk! Take action now to protect it. bit.ly/olnPHp (via @NatlCouncilNPs)
or
#Nonprofits, tell the #supercommittee not to change the #charitable #giving incentive http://bit.ly/rZcH5q #takeaction (via @NatlCouncilNPs)
Advocacy by nonprofits is legal – and needed.
Join your State Association to keep informed about capacity building and policy issues that impact all nonprofits.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Saving Philanthropy Film November 3rd

The College of Community and Public Affairs at Binghamton University
invites leaders of local nonprofit organizations, funders and other interested community members to a screening of the documentary film:

Saving Philanthropy: Resources to Results
Kate Robinson, Film Producer, will be joining us to facilitate a panel discussion following the screening.

Thursday, November 3, 2011
2:30 - 4:30 p.m.
WSKG Public Broadcasting, Inc.
601 Gates Road
Vestal, New York 13850

Please RSVP to Leah Joggerst at 607-777-5801 or liacovel@binghamton.edu by October 27.

The imperative for the philanthropic community to foster a managing to outcomes culture is the theme of Saving Philanthropy: Resources to Results, a one hour educational program produced by brother and sister filmmakers Robby and Kate Robinson airing on PBS December of 2011.

Saving Philanthropy speaks to non-profit directors and funders who value outcomes but are struggling with how to define and measure them. The film is designed to offer a clear, straightforward framework for implementing a managing to outcomes strategy. Saving Philanthropy contends that a non-profit organization operating without a clear strategy for managing to outcomes is akin to a ship at sea sailing without a charted course, yet hoping to miraculously reach its destination.

This event is free and open to the public. We are grateful to the Klee Foundation which provided the funding for this event. The Community Foundations of Tompkins County and Elmira, Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes as well as the Triad Foundation have contributed to make Ms. Robinson’s visit possible. Refreshments sponsored by the Binghamton University Foundation.

Monday, October 17, 2011

New NLRB Poster Requirement - new effective date of the rule is Jan. 31, 2012.

New NLRB Poster Requirement : new effective date of the rule is Jan. 31, 2012.

Below is information about the new National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) required poster describing employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act.
The National Labor Relations Board has postponed the implementation date for its new notice-posting rule by more than two months. The new effective date of the rule is Jan. 31, 2012.
The Board’s jurisdiction extends to most small business owners. However, some very small employers whose annual volume of business is not large enough to have more than a slight effect on interstate commerce are exempted. In the case of retail businesses, including home construction, the Board’s jurisdiction covers any employer with a gross annual volume of business of $500,000 or more. The Board’s non-retail jurisdictional standard applies to most other employers. It is based on the amount of goods sold or services provided by the employer out of state (called “outflow”) or goods or services purchased by the employer from out of state (called “inflow”), even indirectly. Under this standard, the Board will take jurisdiction over an employer with an annual inflow or outflow of at least $50,000. See “Frequently Asked Question” Link below for more details about the Board’s jurisdiction standards.
A workplace poster that describes employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act is now available for free download from the NLRB website at www.nlrb.gov/poster
Private-sector employers within the NLRB’s jurisdiction will be required to display the poster where other workplace notices are posted. The National Labor Relations Board has postponed the implementation date for its new notice-posting rule by more than two months in order to allow for enhanced education and outreach to employers, particularly those who operate small and medium sized businesses. The new effective date of the rule is Jan. 31, 2012. The decision to extend the rollout period followed queries from businesses and trade organizations indicating uncertainty about which businesses fall under the Board’s jurisdiction, and was made in the interest of ensuring broad voluntary compliance. No other changes in the rule, or in the form or content of the notice, will be made. Employers who customarily post personnel rules or policies on an internet or intranet site must also provide a link to the rights poster from those sites. In addition, copies of the Notice will soon be available without charge from any NLRB regional office.
For further information about the posting, including a detailed discussion of which employers are covered by the NLRA, and what to do if a substantial share of the workplace speaks a language other than English, please see our Frequently Asked Questions. . For questions that do not appear on the list, or to arrange for an NLRB presentation on the rule, please contact the agency at questions@nlrb.gov or 866-667-NLRB.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Community in Recovery: Southern Tier NY After the Flood of September 2011

A Series of Public Forums for the Community and the University
All sessions are free and open to everyone.

Coordinators: Allison Alden (aalden@binghamton.edu)
Donald Loewen (djloewen@binghamton.edu)
Location: Binghamton University campus, Academic A, Ground floor Rm. 08 (AA G08)
Binghamton Campus Map: http://www.binghamton.edu/maps/
Time: Wednesdays, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 12 Psychological Impacts of Natural Disasters
"Trauma, Coping, and Resilience" Steven Lynn, Dir. of the Psychological Clinic, Prof. of Psychology; and Anne Malaktaris, Ph.D. student in Psychology.
Community participant: Mr. Keith Leahey, Executive Director, Mental Health Association of the
Southern Tier

Oct. 19 Socio-Economic Implications of the 2011 Flood
“Social Vulnerability to Natural Disasters: Does Binghamton fit the Model?” Mark Reisinger, Assoc. Prof. of Geography and Kevin Heard, Asst. Director GIS Core Facility
Community participant: Mr. Tarik Abdelazim, Director of Planning, Housing, and Community
Development for the City of Binghamton

Oct. 26 Emergency Response and Recovery (Panel discussion)
Panelists include:
Tim Faughnan, Binghamton University Chief of Police and Incident Management Team leader at Binghamton's Events Center; Greg Jenkins, Flood Relief Coordinator of 1st Presbyterian Church of Conklin; Major Ron Lee, Salvation Army; Rebecca Snow, Red Cross

Nov. 2 Flooding Factors and Environmental Impact
“The Nature of the Flood: Flood Frequency and its Implications for Flood Planning.” Peter Knuepfer, Associate Professor of Geological Sciences and Director, Environmental Studies Program
Community participant: TBA, NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

Nov. 9 NGO Response to Community Crises
“Nonprofit Organizations and Disaster Relief: Lessons from 9/11” David Campbell, Assoc. Prof. of Public Administration
Community participant: Alan Hertel, Executive Director, United Way of Broome County, Inc.

Nov. 16 Crisis and Leadership
“Leadership During Crises” Shelley Dionne, Assoc. Prof., School of Management
Community and student participants: Diane Brown, Executive Director, Community Foundation of South-Central New York; Julia Lucia, Student at Binghamton University

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Voluntary Compliance Program announced by IRS to address worker misclassification

Information for your members: You may have seen that in late September the IRS announced a voluntary compliance program for employers (including nonprofit employers) to enable those who have mistakenly classified workers as independent contractors to make a correction, along with a modest payment, and avoid the usual penalties of noncompliance. This program’s announcement offers an opportunity to remind nonprofits about the risk of misclassification and share information with them about the voluntary compliance program. See the National Council’s website materials on this topic.

Here is the text of the IRS announcement about the voluntary compliance program (from the IRS’s EO Update circulated on October 4):

“The IRS has launched a new program that will enable many employers, including tax-exempt employers, to resolve past worker classification issues and come back into compliance by making a minimal payment covering past payroll tax obligations rather than waiting for an IRS audit. To be eligible for the new Voluntary Classification Settlement Program an applicant must:

Consistently have treated the workers as nonemployees in the past

Filed all required Forms 1099 for the workers for the previous three years

Not currently be under audit by the IRS, Department of Labor or a state agency concerning the classification of these workers.

Full details, including FAQs, will be available on the Employment Tax Pages of IRS.gov and in Announcement 2011-64.”

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Nov 3 Film Viewing: Saving Philanthropy: Resources to Results

Binghamton University Announces

Save-the-Date:
November 3, 2:30-4:30PM
The College of Community and Public Affairs at Binghamton University
invites leaders of local nonprofit organizations, funders and other interested community members to a screening of the documentary film:

Saving Philanthropy: Resources to Results

Kate Robinson, Film Producer, will be joining us to facilitate
a panel discussion following the screening.

Thursday, November 3, 2011
2:30 - 4:30 p.m.
WSKG Public Broadcasting, Inc.
601 Gates Road
Vestal, New York 13850

The imperative for the philanthropic community to foster a managing to outcomes culture is the theme of Saving Philanthropy; Resources to Results, a one hour educational program produced by brother and sister filmmakers Robby and Kate Robinson airing on PBS December of 2011.

Saving Philanthropy speaks to non-profit directors and funders who value outcomes but are struggling with how to define and measure them. The film is designed to offer a clear, straightforward framework for implementing a managing to outcomes strategy. Saving Philanthropy contends that a non-profit organization operating without a clear strategy for managing to outcomes is akin to a ship at sea sailing without a charted course, yet hoping to miraculously reach its destination.

This event is free and open to the public. We are grateful to the Klee Foundation which provided the funding for this event. The Community Foundations of Tompkins County and Elmira, Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes as well as the Triad Foundation have contributed to make Ms. Robinson’s visit possible.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

High Peaks Resort offers opportunity for non-profits to raise money


High Peaks Resort Announces ‘Spring For Hope’

- Unprecedented Assistance for Non-Profit Organizations -

LAKE PLACID (Sept. 6, 2011) – High Peaks Resort in Lake Placid is seeking applications for its Spring For Hope℠ initiative, an opportunity for non-profit organizations to be awarded free use of meeting space, accommodations, and more at the beautiful Adirondacks resort.

This unprecedented opportunity will allow two non-profit organizations to each receive free use of the entire resort for three days during April 8 to 18, 2012. Included are two nights’ accommodations (up to 133 rooms), free meeting space (up to 10,000 square feet), free audiovisual and support services, and 50 percent off all related catering. The application deadline is midnight, October 15, 2011, and winners will be announced in mid-November.

“In these difficult times, it is important to give back to our community. By helping those who help others year round, we felt we could have the greatest impact,“ said Bill DeForrest, CEO and President of Lane Hospitality, owner of High Peaks Resort.

“The quality of life in our community is directly impacted by our active non-profits. ‘Spring for Hope’ isn’t just a way to recognize them, but by providing High Peaks Resort free of charge, we can add our support and hopefully increase the good they do,” added Truett Martin, Vice President of Operations and acting General Manager of High Peaks Resort.

“This is an outstanding opportunity for the winning organizations to do whatever they want with our gift – from holding a fundraiser, offering a thank you trip to staff and volunteers, to planning an annual meeting, seminar or retreat,” Martin said.

Spring For Hope is open to all 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations actively engaged in fundraising for their organization. Participants will be judged by a panel of community leaders on their success and impact in benefiting the communities they serve.

High Peaks Resort offers the Adirondacks’ newest and most business-focused conference facilities with expansive meeting space and the latest in conference-support technology. Located in the heart of Lake Placid, overlooking Mirror Lake and steps from historic Main Street, the entire resort will be made available to the winning non-profits.

Click Here To Apply

Eligible non-profits can apply for consideration by visiting www.springforhope.net and completing the application and other requirements. For submissions, questions or other inquiries, email the application and paperwork tolfitzgerald@highpeaksresort.com with “Spring For Hope” in the subject line; or write Spring For Hope, High Peaks Resort, 2384 Saranac Ave, Lake Placid, NY 12946; or fax to 518-523-9908, or call Lori Fitzgerald at 518-523-4411, ext. 361.

About The High Peaks Resort

High Peaks Resort overlooks Mirror Lake while anchoring Lake Placid’s Main Street for an outstanding mountain getaway experience. Surrounded by the six-million-acre Adirondack wilderness park with thousands of miles of trails for hiking and biking, and hundreds of lakes for fishing, High Peak’s 133 beautiful accommodations offer direct waterfront access. Restaurants include the world-famous Dancing Bears and Outdoors at Dancing Bears - with unsurpassed views of the surrounding mountains and Mirror Lake. Other amenities include PR’s intimate lobby bar; two indoor and two outdoor swimming pools; expanded fitness center; Aveda Spa & Salon, and complimentary waterfront activities. Guestrooms feature breathtaking views, patios or balconies; European-style bathrooms with natural stone tiling and rainfall showerheads; high-quality bedding and linens; refrigerators; flat screen televisions with cable and movies; complimentary Wi-Fi, and multi-function music systems with MP3 players. For reservations, visit www.highpeaksresort.com or call 518-523-4411, toll-free800-755-5598.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Gillibrand Statement on Disaster Relief Bill

GILLIBRAND ANNOUNCES SENATE PASSAGE OF DISASTER RELIEF BILL

Bill Includes $5.1 Billion For FEMA, $266 Million For USDA

Washington, DC U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced Senate passage today of the Disaster Relief legislation. The $6.9 billion disaster funding bill included $5.1 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and $266 million for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Senator Gillibrand aggressively lobbied her Senate colleagues to pass this disaster package. Senator Gillibrand has traveled across the state, receiving briefings and viewing the damage caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, working to bring all federal resources to bear to aid in the recovery. Senator Gillibrand has toured damage on Long Island, in Westchester County, the Capital Region, Catskill, Schoharie County and Binghamton.


This legislation is a step forward to ensuring federal assistance to help our families, farmers, businesses and communities recover, said Senator Gillibrand. America has always stood by those suffering from disaster and helped them to rebuild. We have an obligation to help these families rebuild today. Across New York the North Country, Capital Region, Mohawk Valley, Hudson Valley, Southern Tier, and Long Island no one can question the devastation these storms left in these communities. We must stand with them in this time of great need.



$5.1 Billion For The FEMA Disaster Relief Fund

The FEMA Disaster Relief Fund provides Public Assistance and Individual Assistance to designated counties. Without final passage of this legislation, FEMA will likely run out of funding in the next few weeks and be unable to pay, reimburse, or loan money to families and communities.



FEMA's individual assistance program includes a range of programs, such as home repair, temporary housing, grants for serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs.


Public assistance is federal aid made available to public and certain nonprofit entities for emergency services and the repair or replacement of public facilities damaged in a natural disaster. Qualifying municipalities and entities can use public assistance funding for debris removal and cleanup, emergency protective measures to save lives and prevent further property damage following a storm and to repair washed out and heavily damaged roads and bridges. Local governments can also utilize this source of funding to repair water control facilities including dams and levees, to repair public buildings and equipment damaged from the storm, repair utilities, and repair or restore public parks and other recreational facilities.



$78 Million For The Emergency Conservation Program (ECP)
The ECP is coordinated through the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) to provide emergency funding and technical assistance for farmers and ranchers to repair farmland damaged by natural disasters, and to carry out emergency water conservation measures during severe drought. Conservation practices include removing debris, restoring fences and conservation structures, and providing water for livestock.

For land to be eligible for ECP resources, the natural disaster must create new conservation problems that if left untreated would impair or endanger the land, materially affect the lands productive capacity, represent unusual damage, and be so costly to repair that federal assistance is or will be required to return the land to productive agricultural use.

ECP program participants receive cost-share assistance of up to 75 percent of the cost to implement approved conservation practices determined by county FSA committees. Individual or cumulative requests for cost-sharing of $50,000 or less per person, per disaster are approved at the county committee level, $50,001 to $100,000 is approved at the state level, and over $100,000 is approved at the federal level. Technical assistance may be provided by the USDAs Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).


$139 Million For The Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP)
The EWP was established to help conserve natural resources following natural disasters by relieving imminent hazards to life and property caused by floods, fires, drought, windstorms and other severe weather. The EWP responds to hazards including debris-clogged streams and channels, undermined and unstable stream banks, jeopardized water control structures and public infrastructure, wind-borne debris removal, and damaged upland sites stripped of protective vegetation by fire or drought.

Protection efforts can include purchasing floodplain easements to restore, protect, maintain and enhance the floodplain, including wetlands and riparian areas. It can also conserve natural values, including fish and wildlife habitat, water quality, flood water retention and groundwater recharge, and safeguard lives and property from floods, drought and erosion.

NRCS may bear up to 75 percent of the construction cost of emergency measures. The remaining costs must come from local sources, and can be in the form of cash or in-kind services. Public and private landowners are eligible for assistance but must be represented by a project sponsor, such as the state, local government, or conservation district.

All EWP work must reduce the threat to life and property, be economically, environmentally and socially defensible, and come from a sound technical standpoint.



$100 Million For Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would specifically use this funding for disaster recovery. HUD gives states and localities the flexibility to meet a variety of needs, from assisting individual homeowners and business owners, to buying out properties to make way for more robust flood protection in the future, to developing infrastructure to rebuild homes and business zones away from flood danger.



$135 Million For The Economic Development Administration (EDA)

EDA would use this funding to provide financial resources and technical assistance to help rebuild economic development plans following a disaster and grants to build new infrastructure (e.g. business incubators, technology parks, research facilities, basic utilities such as water treatment) that foster economic development to retain or attract jobs to the region.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES FEDERAL DISASTER AID APPROVED FOR COUNTIES AFFECTED BY RECENT TROPICAL STORM LEE FLOODING

State of New York Executive Chamber
Andrew M. Cuomo Governor
For Immediate Release: September 13, 2011

GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES FEDERAL DISASTER AID APPROVED FOR COUNTIES AFFECTED BY RECENT TROPICAL STORM LEE FLOODING

Individual Assistance for Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Otsego and Tioga Counties

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that federal disaster assistance is now available for homeowners, renters and small businesses in five counties affected by the recent flooding sustained by the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee.

"The recent flooding caused widespread damage across the Southern Tier and I thank FEMA for their prompt decision to help New Yorkers recover," Governor Cuomo said. "Throughout the past weeks the federal government has been a critical partner in our response to the recent storm damage inflicted by both Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. All residents and small businesses who have suffered losses should call FEMA's registration number – 1-800-621-3362, or register online as soon as possible."

Under this declaration, residents and small businesses in Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Otsego, and Tioga counties are now eligible to apply for the following assistance: the Individuals and Households Program, Crisis Counseling, Disaster Unemployment Assistance, USDA food coupons and distribution, USDA food commodities, Disaster Legal Services, the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Small Business Administration disaster loans. The declaration also includes statewide implementation of FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

State emergency officials are working closely with the state legislative delegation, including Senate Deputy Majority Leader Tom Libous, to get the message out about the federal assistance that is available. Those who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362. Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

Additional counties may be made eligible for federal assistance as ongoing damage assessments are completed.

Catholic Charities of Tompkins/Tioga (CCTT) Announces New ED

The CCTT Board of Directors has appointed Ms. Diane E. DeMuth to the agency's chief executive office effective November 7, 2011. Ms. DeMuth is currently the CEO and Executive Director for the AIM Independent Living Center, headquartered in Corning, New York.
The mission of Catholic Charities of Tompkins/Tioga (CCTT) is to help build communities that care for all people by reducing poverty, promoting healthy individual and family life. This is made possible by collaborating with our community’s civic and governmental agencies and faith communities-Catholic and non-Catholic, advocating for social justice.

Ms. DeMuth earned Bachelor of Arts degrees from both Richmond College, Staten Island, N.Y. and from City University of New York. She also earned a Master of Science degree in Industrial & Labor Relations, jointly from Baruch College and Cornell University.

She has devoted her entire professional career to human services, working with and leading non-profit organizations.

Ms. DeMuth, an Ithaca resident, will oversee the operations of professional staff and volunteers at both the headquarters office at 324 W. Buffalo Street, Ithaca and at 464 Broad Street, Waverly.

For additional details contact:

Philip L. Cox, President, Board of Directors

607-273-5170

or

Mary Pat Dolan,Interim Executive Director

mpdolan@dor.org

607-272-5062 x 13

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Humane Society Flood Update and Supplies Needed

The Flood of 2011 forced the Humane Society to evacuate our 2 Jackson Street Binghamton shelter and temporarily suspend operations. All the animals have been relocated and are safe. We are now working on the first phase of the recovery plan in an effort to return to full operations as soon as possible.

We are aware the shelter sustained damage and have received preliminary reports of 4 feet of water in the building. The extent of the damage cannot be assessed until we are able to return to the building.

When we evacuated we were unable to take food or supplies and are in need of the following:

Pedigree adult complete nutrition dog food
Canned dog food
Purina kitten chow
Purina cat chow
Canned cat food
Cat litter
Paper towels
Hand sanitizer
Laundry Soap
Dish Soap
Large heavy duty garbage bags
Towels and blankets
Monetary donations are also needed.

All supplies can be taken to 1946 NYS Rt.12, in the town of Chenango (Next to Allen Veterinary Hospital) where we are temporarily housing the animals. Allen Veterinary Hospital is assisting us with housing some of our animals which is allowing us to provide a more comfortable environment for all of them. We are grateful beyond words!

If you have any questions, please send an email to bhumanesoc@aol.com. We will respond as quickly as we can.

The Humane Society would like to thank everyone for their concern and generosity while we, likemuch of our community, rebound from this event.

Thank you.
Karen Matson
Executive Director

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Professional Development Survey

Dear Friends,

A couple of weeks ago, I sent you a survey about your professional development interests. If you haven't responded to it, please consider doing so. The purpose of the survey is to provide the faculty and staff in the Public Administration Department at Binghamton University would like to learn more about the professional development needs and interests of local nonprofit sector professionals. We will use the results of the survey to assess whether our Department should develop a series of training workshops. The survey should take you less than 15 minutes to complete, and your answers are completely anonymous.

Take the survey by following this link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LocalExecutiveEducation or pasting it into your browser.
If you have any questions about this survey, you can contact Steve Jackson at Binghamton University at (607)777-9154, or at sjackson@binghamton.edu.

We will close the survey later this week.

Best wishes,

David Campbell
Chair, Department of Public Administration
dcamp@binghamton.edu

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Join us at A.V.R.E. for our 85th Anniversary Open House

AVRE will celebrate 85 years of serving people throughout the Twin Tiers who are blind or visually impaired on October 13

Share in refreshments, take a tour, and learn more about what A.V.R.E. does in our community.
Visit the …
 Norman Richterman Low Vision Center
 Vision Rehabilitation, Orientation & Mobility, and
Employment Services
 ViewPoint Retail Store
 ACCESS-Tech Center
 Full-scale manufacturing operation in downtown Binghamton, producing copy paper, file folders, and packaging/assembly — creating good jobs for people who are blind or visually impaired.

October 13, 2011
4:00 ~ 7:00 P.M.
Brief presentation at 5:30
174 Court Street
Binghamton
Association for Vision Rehabilitation, Inc.
(607)724-2428 ~ www.avreus.org

Thursday, August 25, 2011

SCNY ED Group September 14th Program Agenda

September 14th Program Agenda
•SCNY ED Group update and membership
•Sharon Ball and Attorney General's Leadership Committee for Nonprofit Revitalization
•Program Presentation

PROGRAM:
"Rudeness at Work: Causes, Costs and Cures"
Presented by Alice Wojcio, Principal Consultant and owner of Advantage Training and Development

There have been several articles recently about how stress and incivility in the workplace is causing rude behavior by employees, which in turn may cost U.S. employers billions a year due to lost productivity. We are pleased that Alice Wojcio, Principal Consultant and owner of Advantage Training and Development, will be joining us for a discussion of the causes, costs and cures of this problem.

As a special bonus, each one attending will receive an access code for a free Everything DiSC® Management Report. Your confidential, 23-page personal report is valued at $75 and will offer specific, practical suggestions to help you reduce rudeness at work and the stress that so often accompanies it!

For more information on Alice Wojcio and Advantage Training and Development, see her website at www.advtrain.com.

REGISTER HERE
Date: Wednesday, September 14
Time: 8:30-11:00 am
Cost: FREE to nonprofit directors
Location:
United Way of Broome County
101 South Jensen Road
Vestal, NY 13850

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Survey About Local Interest in Professional Development Workshops

Dear Friends,

The faculty and staff in the Public Administration Department at Binghamton University invite you to participate in a survey we've created to learn more about the professional development needs and interests of local nonprofit sector professionals. We will use the results of the survey to assess whether our Department should develop a series of training workshops. The survey should take you less than 15 minutes to complete, and your answers are completely anonymous.

Take the survey by following this link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LocalExecutiveEducation or pasting it into your browser.
If you have any questions about this survey, you can contact Steve Jackson at Binghamton University at (607)777-9154, or at sjackson@binghamton.edu.

Best wishes,

David Campbell
Chair, Department of Public Administration
dcamp@binghamton.edu

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Local Community Groups Teaming up in 2011 to Offer Two FREE, Key Events to our Local Non-Profit Organizations This Fall

The BLI Alumni Association, Southern Tier Young Professionals, United Way of Broome County, Binghamton University College of Community and Public Affairs and BU’s Department of Human Development and our NEWEST PARTNER – Volunteer Administrators of the Southern Tier (VAST) – have joined forces again to educate our local non-profits on topics related to volunteerism and help them connect with potential volunteers and board members in our community.

We invite you to attend two upcoming events…

3rdAnnual Half Day Workshop
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Binghamton Riverwalk Hotel
Opening Session, Closing Session and 6 Breakouts on Topics Related to Volunteerism

4th Annual Community Service Fair
Thursday, November 3, 2011
4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Binghamton University Downtown Center
Opportunity for 60 non-profits to recruit new volunteer and board members


For more information, download the attached letter/registration form and workshop agenda.
Both events fill up quickly, so don't delay and register today!

Questions? Contact Amy Shaw at (607) 772-8863 x313 or ashaw@binghamtonchamber.com.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tell Governor Cuomo About Your Nonprofit!

Let's Tell Them About The Good Work Of Nonprofits
Submit Your Testimonial to NYCON & the Governor Today!



On August 3rd the Governor announced the formation of a task force charged with investigating executive compensation at nonprofit agencies (full announcement from Gov. Cuomo below).



NYCON is in agreement with the Governor that activities like those recently exposed in the NY Times that were the impetus to the formation of this task force, can have significant detrimental effects on the relationship between nonprofits and the public.




However, we also know that these types of activities are not solely a "nonprofit issue" and, furthermore, that there are many more positive stories than negative ones occurring in nonprofits.



We want to make sure the Governor realizes this too.




We are asking you to help us remind Governor Cuomo that nonprofits employ hard-working New Yorkers who provide much needed services in communities across our state.







Let the administration know the services you provide are essential and are delivered in an ethical, honest and efficient manner that rivals any successful for-profit company. Let's remind them, and all taxpayers, that we're delivering services at costs far below our private sector counterparts, and take on contractual obligations from the State that they would never agree to, often times to our own detriment - because we exist for our mission, not profit.




Please submit your stories here.




NYCON is creating a web page dedicated to publishing your testimonials, and we encourage you to submit your stories which will be shared online and with the Governor's press office. You can also submit your comments directly to the press office at: press.office@exec.ny.gov.




Please feel free to contact our membership office if you have any questions or comments.




Thank you again for all you do and for your continued dedication to the nonprofit sector and your community.




Doug's Signature




Doug Sauer




CEO, New York Council of Nonprofits, Inc.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Governor Orders Review of Executive Compensation at Nonprofits

From the Governor's Website

Albany, NY (August 3, 2011) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that he has created a new task force to investigate the executive and administrator compensation levels at not-for-profits that receive taxpayer support from the state. The task force will be led by the New York State Inspector General Ellen Biben, Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales, the Medicaid Inspector General Jim Cox, and the Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky.

"Not-for-profits that provide services to the poor and the needy have a special obligation to the taxpayers that support them. Executives at these not-for-profits should be using the taxpayer dollars they receive to help New Yorkers, not to line their own pockets. This task force will do a top-to-bottom review, not only to audit current compensation levels, but also to make recommendations for future rules to ensure taxpayer dollars are used to serve and support the people of this state, not pay for excessive salaries and compensation," Governor Cuomo said.

Governor Cuomo continued, "There is a whole range of compensation levels and extremes that have existed for too long and must be reviewed. The use of taxpayer dollars must be scrutinized at every level."

The Governor's task force will determine the protocol and scope of the investigation in order to target the audit to focus on ensuring that state taxpayer dollars meant to help and protect New Yorkers, particularly the poor and indigent, are going to that purpose and are not being diverted to compensation. It will also provide recommendations for State agency policies and procedures that will ensure that taxpayer dollars are not being diverted to excessive compensation.

Commissioners from the Department of Health, the Office of Mental Health, and OPWDD will also serve on the task force.

The Governor's action follows reports of startlingly excessive salaries and compensation packages for executives at not-for-profits that depended on state Medicaid funding through the Office of People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and other State agencies.

The State's Medicaid Inspector General has the authority necessary to exclude providers from participation in the Medicaid program if it is found that they have engaged in fraudulent or abusive practices.

There are currently no state rules governing executive and administrative compensation for not-for-profits that receive state support.

According to the Department of the Budget's January 2010 preliminary analysis of not-for-profit employees contracting with the mental hygiene agencies (Office of People With Developmental Disabilities, Office of Mental Health, and Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services), there were approximately 1,926 employees with annual salaries greater than or equal to $100,000. The total value of their salaries was $324.6 million, with an average salary of $168,555.

NYCON Statement on Governor's
Review of Executive Compensation:

"NYCON supports IRS and state enforcement efforts to root out those relatively few and often large institutional nonprofits, especially in health care and higher education, where charitable resources are used for the private and personal gain of executives. Such abuses are a stain on the sector and the Governor is right, public trust is integral to the mission and work of our state's charities. The Internal Revenue Service already provides compensation guidelines as set forth in the federal tax code and we believe those guidelines should be upheld.

It needs to be emphasized, however, that these cases are very much the exception.

The vast majority of community-based nonprofit employees are doing hard and challenging work at compensation levels that are far below public employees and often the for-profit sector. It should also be noted that the phrase "taxpayer supported nonprofits" is misleading as the state government contracts to buy services from nonprofits, just as it contracts with the for-profit sector; except the nonprofit is often expected to unfairly perform at below the actual cost of doing business. Perhaps it is also time to order an extensive review of the executive compensation levels of "taxpayer supported for-profit businesses."

NYCON asks the Governor to take this opportunity to go beyond the immediate executive compensation issue and take a comprehensive look at how the state's overall regulatory and business relationship with the nonprofit sector can be improved in the interest of all concerned."

Doug Sauer, CEO, New York Council of Nonprofits, Inc.
http://www.nycon.org/
1-800-515-5012, ext 103
dsauer@nycon.org

Monday, August 1, 2011

Medicaid Reform in NYS

Pressconnects.com reported that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is working to reform Medicaid, the program developmentally disabled people and their families rely on to pay for most of their care.

As the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) works to overhaul its current service structure, the system is in a state of flux.

OPWDD's budget provides $4.3 billion to support state and non-profit operated programs for 2011-12, including about 39,000 community residential placement spots. That number is up 200 from the previous budget year because of continued efforts to transition people in institutions into more appropriate community placements, said agency spokeswoman Nicole A. Weinstein.

The budget reforms the financing of many OPWDD programs and services, and expands less-costly day and residential programs by 2,400 spots. At the same time, it reduces funding for local programs, which are primarily run by nonprofits, by 2.8 percent, or $63 million. However, Weinstein notes that's still $20 million more for local programs than was budgeted in 2009-2010.

Non-profit and state agencies who care for the disabled are considering how they'll cope with their reduced funding.

Caring for the disabled can be costly.

"New York State's cost per person, per day in Developmental Centers is $1,220; the average cost to run a State-operated individual residential alternative in Broome County that offers 24/7 supervised care is $227,000 per person, per year," Weinstein explained.

Some severely disabled people require one-on-one supervision -- sometimes more -- and others require physical or occupational therapy or other supports.

"They're asking us how you're going to take your cut," said Stephen Sano, executive director of the Handicapped Children's Association (HCA). "What do you want us to do, heat on the odd days? Stop serving dinner?"

ACHIEVE Executive Director Mary Jo Thorn said her agency was expecting to lose at least $110,000 through reduced funding, which could hit programs that give the disabled somewhere productive to spend their waking hours -- such as day habilitation and pre-vocational training -- as well as equipment purchases.

There is some money available, such as for supported apartments and intensive behavioral services, Sano noted. The idea is to keep individuals with their families until the state makes it through the budget crunch, or a crisis intervenes. Once that's over, more group homes may be on the horizon again, at least in theory.

Care for the developmentally disabled, and the funding mechanisms behind it, are expected to change significantly with the 1115 Medicaid waiver, now under development by the OPWDD and state Department of Health.

Dubbed "People First," the waiver is intended to lower health care costs for the 100,000 developmentally disabled residents enrolled in Medicaid, according to the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities. Eighty percent of them have been assessed as needing an institutional level of care, either through an intermediate care facility (ICF) or a nursing home.

During the first five years the waiver takes effect, the state plans to create community services for the 275 people now housed in four developmental centers, including Broome, who don't have specialized treatment needs. There are also preliminary plans to reduce the institutional population at state institutions to 300 over the five-year period from the 1,260 there now, according to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

When it comes to funding, the waiver also would end the fee-for-service reimbursement system, and the state will work with CMS in the waiver's first year to ensure that per diem rates for group homes more closely reflect the actual cost of providing services, according to the association.

Community providers won't know the specifics until next year, Thorn said.

Read more here.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Call for CPA Board Member Nominations

2011 Michael H. Urbach, CPA, Community Builders Award Now Accepting Nominations
Sponsored by the New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON) and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA)

Submission Accepted through August 22nd, 2011

In recognition of the important role, talents and leadership that a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in New York State can provide as a board member for community-based charities, NYCON and NYSSCPA are pleased to announce the 8th Annual Michael H. Urbach, CPA, Community Builders Award.

The award is named in honor of the late Michael H. Urbach, CPA, former partner of Urbach, Kahn and Werlin, former NYS Commissioner of Tax and Finance and Chair of the State Employees federated Appeal, and board leader of a number of charities.

Award Criteria & Submission

Candidates must:


  • Be a CPA in good standing and a member of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants;

  • Have served as an Officer on at least 3 different charitable 501(c)(3) community-based nonprofits with service as President/Chair at least once;

  • Have demonstrated exemplary board leadership resulting in significant and positive organizational impact including, but not limited to, financial turn-around, growth, and/or organizational re-structuring; and

  • Preference will be given to nominees whose board leadership accomplishments have been with community-based charities.





Deadline - August 22, 2011
Nominations addressing the candidate's qualifications must be received by August 22nd. Nominators are strongly encouraged to address the candidate's qualifications related to the four (4) criteria's mentioned above and to include at least three (3) letters of support from the charities who have benefited from the candidate's volunteer leadership.

Send seven (7) packets of nomination materials to:
Urbach Community Builders Award Committee
New York Council of Nonprofits
272 Broadway
Albany NY 12204
or email the packet to Melissa Currado, Executive Assistant to the CEO at mcurrado@nycon.org.


Announcement & Presentation
The 2011 award will be formally presented at the Annual Member Meeting of NYCON slated for the afternoon of October 6th at Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, New York.

The Luncheon will take place during CAMP FINANCE, a two-day retreat that provides the very best in knowledge, skill and strategy sessions for your staff and volunteer leaders.

In honor of the late Harold Mandel, a certified public accountant who worked for Urbach, Kahn & Werlin in Albany, NY and retired in West Palm Beach, FL, the 2011 Urbach Honoree has the privilege to award one (1) nonprofit executive of their choice a Camp Finance scholarship in Hal's name. In 2009, Mr. Mandel's family accepted a posthumous Michael H. Urbach, CPA Community Builders Award in his tribute.


Past Urbach Award Honorees
2010
Edward S. Mucenski, CPA of Potsdam
2009
Lewis "Lew" Kramer, CPA of Chappaqua
2008
Mel Zachter, CPA of Staten Island
2007
Eugene H. Fleishman, CPA of Poughkeepsie
2006
Craig Sickler, CPA from Kingston
2005
Paul Battaglia, CPA from Batavia

For More Information
visit NYCON at http://www.nycon.org/ or contact Melissa Currado at (800) 515-5012 or mcurrado@nycon.org

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

NYS Employers to receive bill for new fee related to Unemployment Insurance borrowing

Read below about the recent news about a new fee per employee for employers related to NYS Unemployment Insurance borrowing. As a nonprofit, there is another alternative, which you can learn about from NYCON:

Find Out if the Unemployment Savings Program for NYCON Members through First Nonprofits Companies can Save You Money.

Why pay a tax if you don’t have to? Many NYCON Members have switched from paying the state unemployment tax rates to First Nonprofit Unemployment Savings Program saving up to 60% of their unemployment costs annually. Find out if you can too. Take NYCON's FREE upcoming Beneft Spotlight: Unemployment Savings Program on August 23rd from 10 am to 11am. REGISTER HERE

A Big Bill for Employers
The Albany Times Union reported that Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday rolled out a sweeping plan to help revitalize the state's economy, complete with an ad campaign and competitive grant program designed to spark innovation.

But businesses have a more immediate concern: The bill is coming due for New York's unemployment insurance.

Citing the need to borrow more than $3 billion from the federal government to prop up its chronically empty account, the state faces a whopping $95 million interest payment on loans for the fund due Sept. 30.

As a result, the state Department of Labor is assessing businesses up to $21.25 per employee to cover the cost. That payment is due Aug. 15.

Complaints about what businesses describe as a hidden tax were rolling in Tuesday after numerous employers received the notices and as Cuomo expounded on his plans for the economy.

"This is something that could -- depending on the number of employees -- be a pretty hefty cost in this economy," said Mike Durant, New York state director for the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

When asked about the surcharge during a news conference outlining his revitalization plans, Cuomo stressed that the bill for interest is ultimately coming from Washington, D.C.

"It's a federal decision whether or not they'll waive the interest payments. I hope that they do," he said, adding that his office was pushing the state's congressional delegation on the issue.

The hefty tab illustrates what can happen as the federal stimulus program, enacted shortly after the recession started in 2008, runs out.

The Department of Labor noted that the stimulus program provided no-interest loans to the states in 2009 and 2010, but not this year.

Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/A-big-bill-for-your-boss-1472786.php#ixzz1SetH4Zip

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Non Profit to Shut DownBy Lindsay Nielsen

WBNG reported that after nearly seventy years a local non profit is shutting it's doors.

The Sheltered Workshop for the Disabled employs the able and disabled.

The Sheltered Workshop for the Disabled made the decision last year that it would have no choice but to close it's doors.

"What drove it was the fact that we lost a major customer which represented about sixty percent of our manufacturing business and we weren't able to replace it as quickly as we needed to and although we tried we just couldn't," says CFO and General Manager, Louis Harasymczuk.

The non profit provides employment opportunities and services to the disabled.

About 90 people are employed in jobs from manufacturing cable assemblies, packaging, and kitting.

"At the height of our organization we had close to four hundred employees so like I said earlier we put a lot of food on a lot of tables over the years so we had a very large payroll that's basically going to go away," says Harasymczuk.

The non profit is set to close in September, but company officials are working hard to make sure employees have somewhere else to go.

"We will do everything we can to ensure that the disabled consumers and clients continue to receive services in the community. We are working with the State, New York State agencies to ensure that happening," says Harasymczuk.

That includes its services to disabled individuals who work at others businesses in the community.

SWS provided job coaching and support.

"You see the smile on the faces of people that they're so happy to be in a work environment," says Harasymczuk.

Some disabled employees have already secured other jobs and SWS is committed to making sure all those it serves are not left behind.

A sister company of the non profit, Able Industries, which also employs disabled individuals will also be closed.

The Sheltered Workshop sold its remaining manufacturing contracts to VMR Electronics.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A.G. Schneiderman Picks Binghamton Leader for Nonprofit Reform Committee

Binghamton, N.Y. WBNG Binghamton
-- Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman on Wednesday announced the appointment of Sharon Ball to serve on his Leadership Committee for Nonprofit Revitalization.

Ball, the Executive Director of the Broome County Arts Council in Binghamton, is one of 29 leaders Schneiderman has charged with providing recommendations to improve nonprofit regulation and enforcement in New York.
"I am pleased Sharon will serve with her colleagues across the state to reform the rules of the road so the nonprofit sector can thrive,” Schneiderman said. “Nonprofits provide critical services to their communities and as the second largest employment sector in the state, their success is crucial to our economy. We can be tough on policing fraud without imposing needless burdens and costs on this vital sector, and the Leadership Committee is a central part of achieving those goals.”

The Attorney General oversees nonprofits operating in New York State, and Schneiderman has made the improvement of nonprofit regulation a priority for his office.
Earlier this year, he announced he would convene a group of leaders from New York’s nonprofit, business and labor communities to help eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy that has long plagued nonprofits, such as redundant audits and overlapping reporting requirements, and delays in processing and payment of contracts. The nonprofit sector is the second largest employment sector in the state, providing work for between 17 and 18 percent of New York’s labor force.
“The current regulations can be confusing and burdensome, forcing nonprofits to commit resources they would otherwise spend serving their communities,” Ball said. “Attorney General Schneiderman is taking a much-needed step in the direction of reform by bringing together leaders to modernize the system so nonprofits can thrive.”

Ball has been the Executive Director of the Broome County Arts Council since 2004, where she has overseen the organization’s fundraising and grant making activities, member services, advocacy and programs. She is the primary fundraiser for and manager of the Arts Council’s United Cultural Fund, one of only about 60 active campaigns for the arts in the United States.
As a radio journalist for more than 20 years, Ball established NPR's first cultural news desk to cover the arts, religion, media, and race relations in Washington, D.C. Ball’s notable honors include a Case Media Fellowship at Harvard University and appointment as Senior Scholar by the Fetzer Institute of Kalamazoo, Michigan.
The Leadership Committee’s activities will focus on the following:

• Making recommendations on how to reduce regulatory burdens and more effectively address regulatory concerns;

• Developing legislative proposals to modernize New York's nonprofit laws that would eliminate outdated requirements and unnecessary burdens; and

• Proposing measures to enhance board governance and effectiveness, including through new programs to recruit and train nonprofit board members.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Attorney general appoints public integrity officer for Binghamton office

Pressconnects reported that a public integrity officer has been appointed for Binghamton office by the Attorney general.

BINGHAMTON -- Do you know of any public corruption in the Southern Tier?

If so, the state Attorney General's office wants to hear from you.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has appointed Michael Danaher, Jr., of Binghamton, as public integrity officer to serve in the AG's Binghamton regional office.

This gives taxpayers a place to go to report complaints of government corruption without fear of local politics influencing the outcome, according to Schneiderman's office.

"When it comes to combating local public corruption, the people of Binghamton deserve a dedicated 'cop on the beat.' Having a public integrity officer here will go a long way to root out corruption and address the concerns of Southern Tier taxpayers," Schneiderman said in a statement

Read more here