Sunday, January 30, 2011

Girls Take Charge conference advocates skill building for success

The Press & Sun-Bulletin related:

When Beth Mooney presented the inaugural Girls Take Charge leadership conference at Binghamton University in 2006, her message was simple and clear.

More than four years and 3,000 participants later, the touring event has maintained the same founding principles: encouraging middle and high school girls to be individuals while pursuing their dreams and goals.

On Saturday, Girls Take Charge returned to BU for the fourth straight year, with 75 girls participating in team-building exercises and hearing advice from successful local women at the University Downtown Center.

"We want girls to make sure they feel that they have all of the tools and the skill sets to pursue whatever goals and desires they have," said Mooney, who lives in Philadelphia. "We're trying to instill these skills -- like self-awareness and how to communicate effectively -- at an early age so they feel more confident as they pursue their dreams."

The conference is a part of Learning to Lead, a nonprofit group started by Mooney's family, which is from the Binghamton area.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Nonprofit Awards 2011

Celebrate the exceptional accomplishments of the leaders driving the area’s nonprofit organizations (NPOs) by nominating someone you know for one of our Nonprofit Awards. BizEventz and the Central New York Business Journal believe that these leaders deserve to be recognized for outstanding accomplishments on behalf of their organizations. With the support of M&T Bank, on March 28th, we’ve planned The Nonprofit Awards Luncheon. Award recipients will be honored for excellence, leadership, fiduciary responsibility, management practices, creativity, impact, and business acumen.

Nominations are due February 10, 2011. Click here to nominate.

Executive of the Year: Submit nominations for nonprofit executives (president, CEO, executive director) who exhibit leadership, planning skills, strong staff growth, board development, solid fiscal management, and increased fund-raising.

Board Leadership: Nominee is a lay leader of the board of directors. He/she may be a present or past president of the board, long-term board member, and/or major contributor. Cite how the nominee strengthened the organization, implemented the corporate mission or vision, and enhanced the strategic plan.

Board Development: Nonimee is a lay leader of the board of directors, who "grew" the organization through fund-raising or through dynamic ideas, which improved operations. Nominee's efforts enhanced the board through a higher level of participation.

Impact Award: Nominee may be an employee of the NPO, a board member, or a volunteer, who created and/or implemented a new or exisiting program that not only changes the organization but also the community.

Career Achievement: Nominee is a lay leader who makes a lifetime commitment to the community by advocating for NPOs and by dedicating his/her time and resources for the betterment of the commonweal.

Luncheon Information
Date: March 28, 2011
Time: 11:00am-2:00pm
Location: Double Tree Hotel, Syracuse NY

This event is made possible by M&T Bank, Business Journal, Classic Hits Sunny 102, YNN, and Wells Fargo Advisors

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Summary of December 2010 Meeting Presentation

After the completion of the first stages of the economic impact study we are left with
some important questions to consider

• What do these projects say about the economic value of nonprofits in the Broome County area?
• How should the information be used to benefit SCNYED members?
• In what format(s) should these studies be presented and to whom?
• Who will take responsibility for creating the reports and public products needed to distribute these important findings?

Brief History of the Special Projects Committee
Two years ago, in reaction to the proposed Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program that was being recommended by two mayoral candidates, the Special Projects Committee was given the task of gathering information on the economic impact of non-profits on the South Central New York area. Because of the diverse area that we serve and the amount of available information, we decided to focus on Broome County and expand into other counties in future years.

Additionally we decided that it was not enough to simply study the budgetary strength of non-profits. In many ways we could see that if we were to focus just on the economic impact side of the equation that we would be merely making the argument for PILOT to be imposed on non-profits. Instead we decided to focus on the economic impact, the way that non-profits provide mandated services that local municipalities would have to provide at additional expense to the taxpayer, and how non-profits help elevate the quality of life in our area and raise revenue for the areas they serve.

In 2008 we entered in an agreement with Binghamton University School of Public Administration and sponsored three different capstone projects. These students would supply the majority of the labor to complete the study. They were placed in four different placement sites and required us to raise $3,000 to pay the stipend of the student for a total of $12,000. We raised $11,000 of this through the generous contributions of the members of the South Central New York Executive Director’s Group. We also received a capacity building grant from NYCON for $1,000. We also applied for two additional grants that were not awarded.

Brief Summary of the Economic Data Collected from NFPs in 2010
Even with a small sample of non-profits organizations participating, it is apparent that the financial impact to the local community is significant. The data from 31 local organizations reveals that local non-profits generated over $80 million in revenue of which over half were funds imported into the local economy from sources outside Broome County. These 31 organizations reinvested nearly $65 million of that Revenue back into the local economy including $47 million in salaries. It is clear to see that in addition to the critical services our local non-profits provide to support the education, health, and improve the quality of life of our communities, they also have a positive financial impact as well.

Please join us in telling our story and consider adding your organizations financial information to this very important financial analysis. Without you information, it's not a complete story.

Summary of MPA Capstone Projects 2009-10
Two capstones, which conducted empirical research and analysis, studied the economic value and positive impact of nonprofits on the community. The first focused on “Volunteer Resources, Gaps and Recruitment”. Volunteers serve as a vital economic resource within our community, which saves public monies. Many nonprofit organizations depend on volunteers to accomplish their missions as efficiently and cost effectively as possible.

While the study examined the current practices within BC Council of Churches, the recommendations on how to effectively attract and enlist volunteers can be applied within many other organizational settings. Organization must first know the specific tasks to be accomplished by volunteers and the types of skills and interests needed. The recruitment appeals should be targeted, specific, and personal. Volunteer databases need to be kept up to date and include volunteer skill sets so that they can be matched with organizational needs (especially as needs change). Current volunteers can be retained and used more effectively if they are provided with development and training opportunities. To effectively target potential volunteers and provide clear expectations, volunteer position descriptions must be updated often and outline specific skills and aptitudes needed to complete tasks. Lastly, volunteers are more likely to be attracted to, satisfied with, and retained if they feel respected, can experience pride about their work, and understand how their contributions support the organizational mission.

The second capstone project examined “Nonprofit Collaboration and Contracting in Broome County” and contained two different foci. The first studied the views on collaboration held by nonprofit leaders in Broome County. The students found that attitudes about collaboration were similar across nonprofit organizations in the Broome County area, regardless of other factors. However, there were important differences in perceived benefits and disadvantages between collaborators and non-collaborators. A majority of nonprofit leaders felt that having another organization’s perspective in working through problems is a benefit of collaboration and improves the problem solving process. Recommendations from the study include: 1) conducting an additional investigation to discover why non-collaborators have negative perceptions of collaboration, 2) developing a best practices factsheet or collaboration model, and 3) forming a collaboration working group to discuss current issues and challenges encountered and serve as a vehicle to develop collaborative solutions.

The second focus of this capstone was on cost variation of social services delivered by government, as compared to those delivered by nonprofits through Broome County contracts. Their most significant finding was that from 2003-2008, contracted NFP agencies have provided roughly 85% of all county mental health and substance abuse services at a considerably lower cost per client rate, therefore helping to use tax dollars more efficiently. Recommendations include: 1) communicating cost analysis findings to community leaders, local government representatives, and general public to help disprove the myth that nonprofit organizations use tax dollars inefficiently; and 2) developing an ongoing relationship with the Binghamton University Public Administration Program, which will ultimately help tell the story of nonprofits in the region and improve ways that nonprofits relate to the community.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

United Way accepting 2012 grant proposals

The United Way of Broome County is accepting proposals for one-time grants through its Venture and Special Assistance Grant Program until 3 p.m. March 31.

Proposals will be accepted only from incorporated nonprofit health and human services agencies providing services in Broome County with 501(c)(3) status. Funds will be distributed in 2012.

To learn more about the program, applicants can attend an information session at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 1 at the United Way office at 101 South Jensen Road in Vestal. Those unable to attend the meeting can submit questions about the program to allocations director Phillip A. Ginter by writing to the United Way of Broome County, P.O. Box 550, Binghamton NY 13902, emailing or faxing 240-2002 no later than March 1. Responses to all questions will be posted at no later than March 14.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Two Opportunities for Assistance from Binghamton University

Opportunity #1
Cindy Blackman, an instructor in the Fine Arts Dept., is interested in giving her students opportunities to apply what they are learning in real-world settings. She teaches a class in graphic arts, among others. Her students may be available to help develop logos, work on providing extra enhancements to web pages, tshirt design development, marketing, posters, and other related types of projects. If interested, please contact Cindy at:

Opportunity #2
Dear friend,

I am contacting you to alert you to a unique opportunity that is available to your organization. It is possible for you to obtain, without charge, about 320-350 hrs. of work related to the use of Information Technology (IT) within your organization (e.g., IT planning, development, implementation, and evaluation). Specifically, I direct a course titled “Information Systems Project” to undergraduate and graduate MIS students. The course is applied in nature in that teams of students (about 3 students per team) work throughout the course on a project that a sponsoring organization assigns to them. Both the students and the sponsoring organizations gain a lot from the work that students do in this course.

I would like to offer your organization the chance to participate in our program. What I am looking from you (or another senior manager in your organization) is a project that begins during the last week of January 2011 and requires about 12 weeks (about 3 months) to complete. The project should have a clear sponsor who is willing to devote time to this project.

To help me plan my course, I would like the project sponsor to first send me an email ASAP saying that s/he would be submitting a proposal. Then by Wed, January 19th, 2011, the sponsor should send me a brief (15 - 20 lines) statement that contains the following about the project:

1. What is the problem that you are facing?
2. What solution are you expecting? (e.g., a web-based database application) What should this solution do for you?
3. What work do you want the student team to accomplish for you? Do you expect them to work on-site or off-site?
4. Within how much time do you expect the students to accomplish their work?
5. What qualities would you like to see in the students who are assigned to your project?
6. What resources (amount of time per week, funds, etc.) can you expect to allocate to support the work done by the student team?
7. Who will be the primary contact for the student team? Please give the phone number, e-mail, and address of the primary contact person.

You should feel free to contact me at if you have any questions. If your proposal is selected, anticipate a first meeting with the students during the last week of Jan 2011.

I would appreciate if you could distribute this letter to others who might be interested in receiving IT help from my students. Thank you for your time.

Surinder Kahai

Sunday, January 2, 2011

7 for '11: Seven Predictions for 2011 from Binghamton University Faculty

Newswise offers the following predictions from Binghamton University faculty for 2011:

Predictions, prognostications or peaks into the future. Whatever they’re called, we all want to know what’s ahead for the new year.

Seven faculty members at Binghamton University identify seven different issues, trends or events we’re likely to hear more about in 2011. \

1: Changing the way we give
From David Campbell, assistant professor of public administration

“I predict that there will be new attention to philanthropy and technology in 2011. In 2010, giving by texting was all the rage. Entrepreneurial nonprofit leaders continue to look for ways to identify and connect with new donors. Mobile applications and the proliferation of marketing information gathered online will contribute to increased microtargeting of potential donors. Look for more partnerships between nonprofits and sites like Groupon and LivingSocial, which provide bargain shopping opportunities in cities around the United States and Canada. This development will reignite debates about whether such partnerships compromise nonprofit independence and core nonprofit values.”

2. Entrepreneurship is essential
From Eugene Krentsel, assistant vice president, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnerships

“In 2011, Republicans and Democrats will agree that the road to economic recovery in the United States begins with a return to the basic principle of promoting and incentivizing entrepreneurialism. That concept has been, remains now and will remain the brilliance of the American dream. Innovation and entrepreneurship have always flourished during economic crises: Many companies with what are today household names were born at those times, and in turn, they have ultimately contributed to tremendous job creation. Both sides of the political aisle will, in 2011, take steps to promote easier access to capital and entrepreneurship-friendly tax and intellectual property regulations. The entrepreneurial mindset will once again be at the forefront of American life. It will no longer be optional; it will be essential.”

3. Workers rights will weaken
From David Cingranelli, professor of political science

“In the next few years, expect to see continued decline in government protection of the rights of workers around the world, including freedom to collectively bargain, strike, and join unions. Respect for these rights declined worldwide between 2008 and 2009, especially in Africa and Oceania. By summer 2011, staff and students of the Cingranelli and Richards (CIRI) Human Rights Data Project ( will have gathered and quantified raw data from 2010, but I expect this downward trend in government respect for worker rights to continue for the next several years. The downward pressure on governments to weaken labor protection laws and/or enforcement is due to the increased global competition for foreign investment and the desire by most, if not all, governments to produce goods for export at the lowest possible cost. Even in rich democracies like the United States, worker rights are eroding as factory jobs are moved to countries with lower labor costs.”

4. New accounting rules: ours or theirs?
From Sara Reiter, professor of accounting

Read More Here.