Thursday, February 27, 2014

BU Philanthropy Incubator: Student Grants Process 2014

For the fifth straight year, students enrolled in the Binghamton University course “Philanthropy and Civil Society” will be making grants totaling $10,000 to local nonprofit organizations in May.  The Learning by Giving Foundation has provided the financial support that makes the student grantmaking possible.  David Campbell, Associate Professor of Public Administration is teaching the course.  You may contact him at         

As part of the course, students receive an overview of philanthropy, nonprofit organizations and their role in civic life.  They also explore their personal values, identify the issues about which they care most and learn about community needs.  All of this knowledge informs their grantmaking decisions. As a result of this process, students make grants to local organizations generally averaging between $2,000-$5,000.  Students will make their decisions regarding which organizations to support in two phases.  The first phase of the process is to generate background information about local organizations.  Students will use that background information to identify between four and eight finalist organizations about which they would like to learn more.  The students then visit the finalist organizations and representatives of those organizations will come to class on April 1 or 8 between 1:15-4:15. The students will select finalists in late March and make grant decisions by April 29th.  We will have an awards ceremony on May 6. 

To be eligible for a grant award, organizations must be a 501(c) 3 organization operating in South Central New York (generally, but not exclusively, Broome County).  If you would like the students to consider your organization for a grant, please complete the online information form available here: 
The students have designed the form to be simple, so we hope it does not take too much of your time.  We encourage applicants to complete the information form early to facilitate our process; however we will treat all applicants who submit the form on time equally.  

Please complete the form electronically.  The deadline for completing the form is Saturday, March 15th at midnight.  We know a Saturday deadline is unusual; however we scheduled that day to accommodate potential applicants who we will meet at the end of the previous week and to make sure students have enough time to review applications before they begin their decision-making process the next week.We will not review applications submitted after March 15.

Thank you for your participation.  If you have questions about the process, please contact us at

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Application Deadline for Spring 2014

Application Deadline Approaching!

The application deadline for the following funds is Monday, March 3rd at 4PM: The Community Fund,the Mattern Fund and the Broome Library Foundation Fund. Remember, you MUST call the Program Officer at 607-772-6773 prior to submitting an application to any of the above funds.
    Tina Barber, Program Officer           
 Community Foundation for South Central New York               

Best of the Web : February 2014

Idealware: Helping Nonprofits Make Smart Software Decisions

Best of the Web: February 2014

The Idealware “Best of the Web” is a monthly roundup of the top nonprofit resources from the Idealware blog, our Facebook page, and our Twitter feed to help you make the right technology decisions. Please forward it along to anyone you think might benefit from it. 
How To Handle Your Nonprofit's Technology When Staff Members Leave (The Databank)No matter how many people are at your organization, staff members coming and going is unavoidable. Thankfully, many of the technology headaches associated with it are avoidable. Some basic planning and essential information can go a long way in lessening the impact turnover can have on your tech infrastructure.
Career Reflections: My Biggest Data Fail (NTEN)Going over budget, having heightened expectations, and doing insufficient research are all easy traps to fall into when performing a major system overhaul. Friend of Idealware Peter Campbell wants you to learn from his mistakes in this excerpt from NTEN’sCollected Voices: Data-Informed Nonprofits.
Rethinking the Printed Newsletter: Did You Jump to Email Too Soon? ( a communications channel works--when it makes a connection between a nonprofit and its audience--it doesn’t become less effective overnight. When social media came around, people predicted the end of email; when email came around, people predicted the end of pen and paper. You can still get great results from direct mail campaigns, and envelopes still play a big role in many nonprofits' fundraising strategies.
Your Headlines Suck. Here’s What You Can Do About It (Convince & Convert)When it comes to headlines, there are plenty of tricks you can employ to get people clicking, but the article, blog post, or picture has to deliver on the promise of its title or you run the risk of losing a click down the road. This article looks at ways to walk the line between clever headlines and blatant click bait.
Take Advantage of the Gchat Extras (New Organizing Institute)In many offices, Google's chat tool, Gchat, has taken the place of the water cooler. If you love it because you can stay social while keeping a quiet workspace, let the New Organizing Institute show you a few extra features that can extend its usefulness.
Checklist: How to Choose a Design Agency (Capulet Communications)There are a lot of moving pieces to keep track of when embarking upon a website project. Between complex technical issues like migrating your content to a different CMS, and more personal issues like keeping your team on budget and on time, you shouldn’t hastily assume that your designer will be a good fit for your needs. Having a checklist of qualities to go over when considering different design agencies can help--and in this post, the Capulet Communications team does the work for you.
Thanking Your Donors: Q&A (Idealware)Thanking your donors can, quite literally, be an afterthought. In this blog post, our own fundraising champion Andrea Berry talks about why you can never say thank you too much, and how a little extra attention can lead to bigger returns in future campaigns.
18 Ways to Improve Your Facebook News Feed Performance (Social Media Examiner)Many articles have claimed that Facebook is trying make paid content more appealing by limiting the number of views pages organizations get. The good news is, good content will still get your fans talking no matter what Facebook does. This article outlines a few things that have worked for others that you might consider experimenting with to boost your Facebook reach without reaching into your wallet.
What's On Your Phone, Elizabeth Pope? (Arts Management and Technology Laboratory)A familiar name around here, our own Director of Research and Operations spoke to Arts Management and Technology Laboratory about her favorite iPhone apps for Idealware and for home. In her own words, "There are lots of productivity (and time-wasting) apps out there, but your phone should be a source of pleasure and fun, not just work!"
Bring Unicorns Back to Our World: The Problem with Outcomes (Blue Avocado)Measuring your outcomes is important, but the definition of what exactly constitutes an “outcome” can get so blurry that it loses its meaning. This article takes a humorous look at how it feels to be a nonprofit stuck in the constant cycle of showing impact.
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CCPA Internship and Volunteer Fair

Binghamton University Seeking Agencies for its Internship and Volunteer Fair


BINGHAMTON, NY - Binghamton University's College of Community and Public Affairs (CCPA) is hosting an Internship and Volunteer Fair from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday, March 18, at the University Downtown Center, 67 Washington St., Binghamton for undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in public service.
The college is inviting all regional nonprofits, government agencies and institutions of higher education to table at the event. Table rentals are
$30 each and the fee includes one boxed lunch. Click here  to register. The registration deadline is Tuesday, March 4, 2014.

For questions or more information, call the college's Office of Career and International Programs at 607-777-9227 or

Monday, February 24, 2014

Family & Children’s Society appoints Kubik as deputy executive director

by Adam Rombel
Date: 2/20/2014 at 12:33:44

JOHNSON CITY — The Family & Children’s Society, Inc. today announced the appointment of Diane Kubik to the position of deputy executive director.
“Diane has demonstrated the highest level of dedication and commitment to making The Family & Children’s Society operate properly,” the nonprofit said in a news release.  
Kubik’s responsibilities will include community relations, human resources, and fundraising activities.
The Family & Children’s Society, headquartered at 355 Riverside Drive in Johnson City, says it provides assistance, care, and counseling to strengthen and support individuals and healthy relationships in the Southern Tier.
The agency provides counseling services at offices in Binghamton and Owego and home-care services at its office in Johnson City. The Society generated $3.9 million in revenue in its 2012 fiscal year, the most recent one for which data is available, and employs 70 people full time, according to CNYBJ Research.
Frederick DuFour is executive director of the Family & Children’s Society.
Earlier this month, the Family & Children’s Society announced that two organizations have awarded it a total of $83,000 in grants for capital improvements at its facility in Binghamton.

Contact Rombel at

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Upcoming Webinars & Events

Budgeting Process Best Practices for the Small Nonprofit [Lunch & Learn Webinar] 
Presented by Michelle Jarvais, CFO and Elizabeth Mathews, Sr. Accountant, NYCON
February 21st, 2014    11:00am to 12:30pm EST
Free for NYCON Members Only; $50 for Non-Members
A good budgeting process engages everyone who is responsible for that budget and implementing its priorities. Even in a small nonprofit this process can get complicated. As budgeting decisions are, of course, driven both by mission and by financial need, both fiscal; and senior program staff participation is a necessity. The process should include enough time for review of the strategic priorities and goals of the organization and also allow for review, feedback, revisions, etc. Managing this process is a serious responsibility across different "teams" within your organization - or for a small nonprofit - may include everyone on staff!  Then - once a budget is in place - how do you manage this "living, breathing" document? Because as we all know, things change frequently in the world of a nonprofit. Participants in this workshop will learn practical tips to start, manage and stay on task during this critical process and throughout the year.

"Get to Know Us": NYCON Membership Benefits Orientation [Webinar] 
Presented by Valerie Venezia,
VP of Membership & Marketing, NYCON 
February 21st 10:00am - 11:00am 
Free & Open to All  Register Today 

Happy New Year from NYCONIn our "Get to Know Us" Sessions, NYCON staff will tell you a lot more about our membership benefits - and answer all the questions you have regarding our process, costs and what you get for FREE.    
We will be talking about these benefits...
  • Nonprofit Training, Education and Professional Assistance NYCON empowers our members with the best practices, policies, and procedures as well as information on ever-changing regulations, funding, accountability and more. 
  • Cost Savings Solutions for Nonprofits NYCON leverages the purchasing power of thousands of nonprofits to bring you economies of scale on everything from Office Supplies to Fundraising Software.
  • The Nonprofit Voice in New York State NYCON represents our members on the local, state and national level, giving voice to small and medium sized nonprofits everywhere.
Find out how NYCON Membership will benefit you by attending this 1-hour session.

Complying with the Nonprofit Revitalization Act:  Practical Webinars for New York NonprofitsPresented by David Watson, Esq, Sr. VP of Legal Accountability Services, NYCON and Michael West, Esq., Legal Advisor, NYCON  Various Dates: February 2014 - June 2014 .Webinars are held from 11am to 12:30pm
New York State MapThe Nonprofit Revitalization Act is a landmark change in the Not-for-Profit Corporation Law of the State of New York and will usher in a modern era for the operation and governance of nonprofit corporations starting July 1, 2014. As always, here at the New York Council of Nonprofits, Inc. (NYCON) your one-stop tool box and soap box we eagerly anticipated the updated statutes and have prepared a practical webinar series to address your immediate needs in the updating of your bylaws and governance materials. We encourage all of our Members to take advantage of these webinars.

Part 1: New York Nonprofit Revitalization Act Part- Steps To Compliance - An Overview A comprehensive overview of the Act to take place with a plenary Q/A portion to be held in February, April & June. This offering will provide you with an overview and a practical set of actions to take to amend your bylaws to meet the new standards of the Act. Dates: February 27thApril 24thJune 26th

Part 2:  New York Nonprofit Revitalization Act: Implementing YourCompliance Checklist - Whistleblower, Conflict of Interest, Committees & Executive Compensation: These webinars will be held In March and May will be a more detailed and focused on the various topics included in the Act that are new and have implications on Board governance in general and your operations specifically. Click here to register.
Dates: March 25th and May 20th 

Cost: FREE for current NYCON Nonprofit Members; $79 for Non-Members. All webinars are from 11:00am to 12:30pm.  

Your Spring "Check Up": Conducting a Governance Self-Assessment [Lunch & Learn Webinar]
Presented by Susan Weinrich, Vice President of Organizational Development Services, NYCON
March 28th, 2014   11:00am to 12:30pm EST

spring-time-clouds.jpgOrganizational assessments, in general, provide an overview of a nonprofit's status and capabilities with respect to successfully meeting current obligations and potential to more effectively and efficiently accomplish its mission. It is an evaluation of a nonprofit's condition or situation within a multi-faceted and continually evolving context.
Assessments can identify areas and provide recommendations where corrective actions, improvements or other changes are necessary and/or will yield the greatest benefit to the health and success of the nonprofit.
In this NYCON webinar our presenter will be focusing specifically on how to assess your organization's Governance structure and process to ensure compliance and to ensure that these mechanisms are delivering the maximum return on your staff and board members' investment of time and resources -- and ultimately making the most impact on your nonprofit's mission.

What are people saying about you online?

The Social Media Policy Toolkit

You’ve set up your Facebook page and Twitter account, maybe a Tumblr, pinned your interests on Pinterest, and connected with the professional world on LinkedIn. How do you make sure that once your presence is out there, it doesn't get you into any trouble? That’s where a social media policy can come in handy.
A social media policy is a document that outlines for you and your entire staff what belongs on social media--and what does not. No matter what size your organization is, developing your own policy can be an extremely worthwhile exercise, but there are a lot of questions to ask, and it’s often difficult to find the right answers on your own.
Let us help. A well-defined policy can help you better understand your social media presence, create a voice that exemplifies your organization’s values, and protect you from questionable content. Starting February 19, we are offering The Social Media Policy Toolkit, a three-week course designed to help you create a social media policy in real time with plenty of support from Idealware’s experts.
Over three weeks, we’ll break down all the critical elements of a social media policy and help you create your own. We’ll take our time discussing how you can create a policy that suits your organizational values, what to do if someone says something negative about your organization online, and how you can navigate that tricky intersection between the personal and professional that is a reality for the social media environment.
Along the way, you’ll use Idealware’s Nonprofit Social Media Policy Workbook to make sure your policy is comprehensive and easy to use. At the end of the class, you’ll walk away with a clear vision for your organization’s online presence, and have a document to show for all your hard work.
Want to hear more about the course? Check out this promotional video with your teacher, Andrea Berry, discussing a few topics from the session. Watch the video here>>>
Ready to register? Click here. This course is our lowest cost intensive toolkit of the spring, and there's never been a better time to check out our online seminars.
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Nonprofit Advocacy Matters | Feburary 10, 2014

Nonprofit Advocacy Matters banner

Low Drama, Expectations on Effort to Extend Federal Debt Limit
The federal government reached its maximum borrowing authority (debt limit) on February 7, with neither chamber of Congress in session to address it and none of the urgency and rancor that policymakers have expressed during past fiscal showdowns. One reason is that recent experience demonstrates that the U.S. Treasury Department can exercise extraordinary measures, like delaying pension payments, to postpone the need to borrow more cash than permitted by law (although this time that tactic will last only a few weeks). Another reason is that lawmakers tend to agree that the federal government shutdown in October eroded public support for high-stakes, and high-drama, negotiating tactics designed to bend political will in favor of greater fiscal restraint. As a result, politicians across the spectrum appear in agreement that legislation to extend federal borrowing authority will be enacted during February.

Nonprofit Input Requested
Government Seeks Help in Clarifying New OMB Guidance on Federal Grantmaking
The federal government wants to know what you want to know. Specifically, federal officials are asking nonprofits and others affected by the new OMB Guidance on uniform grant reform to tell them what is unclear and what needs extra explanations. As part of its public awareness efforts, the Council on Financial Assistance Reform (COFAR) is conducting webinars and developing responses to frequently asked questions (FAQs). Ultimately, they want to make certain that interpretations of the Guidance are consistent across the many levels of government and the grantee/contractor community. The more clarification that can be provided prior to implementation in late 2014, the fewer differences there will be and therefore the fewer problems as everyone gets acclimated to the new Guidance. Nonprofits are encouraged to submit questions at so that COFAR can publicly clarify areas that are not fully understood. 

States Consider New Charity and Solicitation Regulations, Fees
Multiple state legislatures are looking at either imposing or increasing filing requirements, filing fees, and regulatory burdens on charitable nonprofits wanting to fundraise in their states. Here is a recap of recently filed bills:
  • new bill in Colorado would amend the state’s Charitable Solicitations Act to clarify rulemaking authority, prohibit solicitation by unregistered persons on behalf of charities, require appointment of registered agents, and clarify existing fines for failing to file required notices on time.
  • Delaware, a state currently without charitable solicitation requirements, is considering legislation that would require most nonprofits to annually submit their IRS Form 990s. Some larger organizations would be required to undergo financial audits. This blog post by the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement (DANA) reports how it and many other nonprofit groups have been working with the Attorney General to improve the bill.
  • New legislation in Florida would require all nonprofits, including those reporting less than $25,000 in donations, to register with the state to solicit funds. The bill would empower the state’s charity regulators to revoke the sales tax exemptions of nonprofits that spend less than 25 percent on program costs for three consecutive years. It also would create new audit requirements for nonprofits receiving higher amounts of donations, and create a new annual financial reporting requirement.
  • Maryland legislators are considering a measure granting to the Attorney General the same powers enjoyed by the Secretary of State to investigate and enforce compliance with charity regulations. The bill also would create a Charitable Enforcement Fund and assess application fees from fund-raising counsel ($250) and professional solicitors ($350).
  • Legislation in Oregon would increase the Attorney General’s power to enforce nonprofit regulations and raise penalties and fees for nonprofits that fail to comply with requirements. Concerned about the unintended consequences that could result for smaller organizations, the Nonprofit Association of Oregon (NAO) recommended changes to limit burdensome reporting requirements and ensure noncompliant nonprofits are allowed to correct their mistakes. NAO’s suggestions were incorporated in anamendment legislators adopted last week. “We are going after sharks, not minnows,” the bill sponsor said in agreement.
  • Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering a bill that would require nonprofits to electronically file, and the Commonwealth to post, all charitable solicitation documents on a searchable database. The measure would also set up a Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Account, funded through registration fees and dedicated to paying for regulatory oversight.
  • Finally, as of January 1Nevada nonprofits are now required to register with the Secretary of State to solicit donations. “Nobody likes new regulations, but the sector has agreed that additional transparency is important,” Phil Johncock of the Alliance for Nevada Nonprofits (ANN) said. ANN has created a toolkit to help smaller nonprofitscomply with the new rules.
Taxes, Fees, PILOTs
  • Stormwater Fees: Local policymakers in Maryland and Illinois are considering options for lowering the burden that new stormwater fees impose on nonprofits. Baltimore County officials announced last month that they are setting aside $3 million in funding for nonprofit remediation projectsto help lower the costs incurred by the organizations. "These faith-based organizations and nonprofits are experts in serving the community — not in stormwater remediation and engineering," said County Executive Kevin Kamenetz in a statement. "By sharing the County's technical resources and targeted funding, these organizations can reduce their impact on the environment while still fulfilling their service mission." Similarly, council members in Winnetka Village, Illinois are considering an ordinance that would offer nonprofits exemptions to the new stormwater fees that will go into effect this summer if nonprofits allow for stormwater improvement projects on their property.
  • PILOTs: Connecticut’s Speaker of the House plans to propose legislation that would require the state’s nonprofits, namely hospitals and colleges, to pay local property taxes. Nonprofits would be able to avoid the taxes by instead reaching “voluntary” payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreements with municipalities. Taking another approach, Connecticut’s Governor is proposing an $8 million increase in state payments to municipalities for nonprofit hospitals and colleges.
  • PILOTs: In a curious twist in the usual PILOT story,legislation in Wisconsin would require municipalities that successfully negotiate PILOT payments from nonprofits to share the revenues with overlying taxing bodies, such as school districts and state and county governments. If enacted, these taxing bodies would be able to access a portion of the PILOT payments in relation to the amounts they would collect from nonprofits were they not tax-exempt.

Advocating with the State of the Union Address
Susan DreyfusTo Susan Dreyfus, President and CEO of the Alliance for Children and Families, the annual gathering in the U.S. Capitol for the State of the Union Address is not just a listening experience but also a participatory event. Which explains her 5½ -minute video response to the President’s speech, combining praise for positive actions by the Administration with a call for greater attention to the economic impact of nonprofits.

In the video, Dreyfus urges the President, Members of Congress, and state and local policymakers to include nonprofits in their efforts to protect and grow the small business community: “We [nonprofits] are businesses, we too are job creators, and we are part of the economic vitality of our communities.” She gave as an example her organization, the Alliance of Children and Families, which as a network represents 500 human serving organizations across the United States with a combined budget of $6.8 billion and 130,791 employees that pay taxes on $4.1 billion in wages and compensation. 

Dreyfus also effectively makes the case that regulatory challenges affect all small businesses, for-profit and nonprofit alike. She specifically thanked the Administration for the new OMB Guidance that, among other things, is “requiring reasonable overhead and administrative rates” in federal contracts and grants, and identifying “outdated, duplicative, and redundant processes and regulatory rules and doing away with them so that we can do what businesses are always wanting to do: have the environment you need to thrive, to innovate, and succeed.”

She concludes with a heads-up for America: “It is important for America to realize that without the nonprofits in your communities being able to do what they do every day, but also the fact that we are job creators, we are economic contributors, and we are part of a vibrant America.”