Monday, December 8, 2008

2009 Planning Survey

The Steering Committee has set a planning meeting for January 23 at the Corning Library. In preparation for this meeting, the following survey is being implemented. Complete the survey and share your feedback on possible meeting dates for 2009.

Monday, December 1, 2008

How To Make Money Using the Internet

Seth Godin offers a post on his blog on a timely discussion of How to make money using the Internet. As Seth relates:

Make money: not by building an internet company, but by using the net as a tool
to create value and get paid. Use the internet as a tool, not as an end. Do it
when you are part of a big organization or do it as a soloist. The dramatic
leverage of the net more than overcomes the downs of the current economy.

Read Seth's ideas here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Steering Committee Update

The Southern Tier ED Group Steering Committee held a conference call on Friday, November 21st. The participants included: Pat Rogers, IHS; Sara Palmer, Community Foundation of Elimira-Corning and the Finger Lakes; Elaine Farwell, Tanglewood Nature Center and Museum; and Andrew Marietta, CCSNYS.

This conference call was held to start the conversation on next steps for the Group and questions that need to be addressed. The following ideas were suggested for the Group's first program meeting. First, Institute for Human Services' ED Pat Rogers offered to host the first ED Group program meeting at his upcoming IHS conference (most likely set for March 18th in Painted Post). The meeting would feature lunch and a program. Program ideas discussed included online technologies or an overview of as an online resource. Other ideas to be discussed. After lunch, a "graffiti" exercise would be used to address 5 or 6 priority questions for the ED Group. Participants would be split into groups of 5 or 6, and cycle around the room answering each question. The feedback collected would be used for program ideas and Group focus and structure. Possible questions are: What do you want out of this Group? or How can the Group help you on a regular basis? Questions will be collected and discussed at face-to-face meeting.

There are plans to hold a face-to-face Steering Committee meeting in January. The location will most likely be Corning (checking on Corning Library). The suggested time is 9am on one of the following dates: Jan 13, 16, 23, or 28. This meeting will focus on creating a statement of purpose for the Group. An e-mail will go out to help pick the best possible date for everyone.

In the mean time, a survey will be sent out to interested EDs getting feedback on possible meeting dates for 2009 (with idea that meetings would be quarterly).

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Budget Development Guidance Request

An executive director is asking for guidance or assistance in transitioning her nonprofit from a line item budgeting process to a functional expense budget (at the suggestion of her auditors). She is looking for help in translating the nonprofit's operating expenses into the functional categories. Does anyone have any suggestions or resource recommendations? Please post them here.

Some suggested resources:

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Upcoming Corning Nonprofit Workshops

Jumping through the Legal Hoops of Starting Up a Nonprofit
Presented by: David Watson, Esq. Sr. VP of Legal Accountability & Compliance, CCSNYS

This seminar will help those interested in starting a nonprofit organization or those in the beginning stages of operation. Participants will learn the basic steps of getting their nonprofit started while also being compliant with the New York State Not-for-Profit Corporation Law.

Co-sponsored by the Southeast Steuben County Library and the Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes. Thanks to the generous financial support of the Community Foundation, which has supplemented class costs, the fee for each session is only $5.00.

Date: Monday, November 17th, 2008
Time: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Cost: $5
Location: Southeast Steuben County Library
Laura Beer Community Room
300 Nasser Civic Center Plaza
Corning, New York
Click here to Register

Accountability Trends for Nonprofit Boards
Presented by Doug Sauer, CEO, CCSNYS

This workshop will highlight ongoing and major developments in accountability trends for nonprofit board members.

Co-sponsored by the Southeast Steuben County Library and the Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes. Thanks to the generous financial support of the Community Foundation, which has supplemented class costs, the fee for each session is only $5.00.

Date: Tuesday, November 18th, 2008
Time: 9:00am to 12:00 pm
Cost: $5
Location: Southeast Steuben County Library,
Laura Beer Community Room
300 Nasser Civic Center Plaza
Corning, New York
Click here for more information

Friday, October 31, 2008

ED Group Survey Results and Steering Committee

Following up on Pat Roger's post, the Southern Tier ED meeting featured a review of a survey that gauged interest in a possible ED Group. The survey is available for your review here. Some highlights from the survey are below. After the survey discussion, the participants affirmed that an Executive Directors Group should be formed. Volunteers for a Steering Committee were recruited, and a planning meeting will be set to discuss how the Group should move forward. The meeting will address structure and meeting format. Interested in being on the Steering Committee? Contact us.

Southern Tier ED Group Steering Committee:
  • Kelly Morgan, Allegany County Red Cross
  • Nancy Blake, Career Development Council, Inc.
  • Sara Palmer, Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes
  • Dick Russell, Faith in Action Steuben County
  • Elaine Farwell, Tanglewood Nature Center & Museum
  • Denise Townley, Rape Crisis
  • Joyce Hyatt, Chemung Valley Rural Health Network
  • David Hill, Pro Action of Stebuen and Yates, Inc.
  • Amy Christensen, Southern Tier Legal Services
  • Patrick Rogers, IHS

Majority believe there is a need for an ED Group

  • High 35.3% 18
  • Moderate 35.3% 18
  • Would be helpful, but not essential 27.5% 14
  • No need 2.0% 1

Priority areas for a Group are:

  • Networking
  • Policy and Local Government Issues
  • Board Membership and Recruitment Issues
  • Fund Development and Grantseeking Issues
  • Trainings and Workshops for Staff Development
  • Skill Development for Executive Leadership
  • Economic and Community Impact of Nonprofits in Region
    Other ideas
  • Collaboration on programs
  • Partnerships and/or Merger opportunities/benefits
  • How to use area resources to our best advantage
  • Classes to prepare new directors for the up-coming retirement of baby boomers currently in management positions
  • United Way already has an ED group of agencies they fund that meet on a regular basis so trying to combine or tie in with that so there is not another meeting. Also travel is increasingly becoming an issue for agency budgets so the more on-line and list serve communications is better
  • staff retention and recruitment of healthcare workers to rural areas
  • I would be interested in having key community leaders provide presentations on pertinent budgetary and legislative matters. These could include Congressman, State Senator, Assemblyman and County Administrator.
  • Partnerships for emergency preparedness
  • Exploring sharing of administrative costs and staff like accounting and infrastructure.

EDs prefer the following structure for a Group:

  • Face-to-face meetings
  • Presentation by outside speaker on topic of interest
  • Quarterly meetings
  • Participation from Five county region (Steuben, Allegany, Chemung, Schuyler and Yates)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Southern Tier Nonprofit Executive Directors Group

Over 20 Exectutive Directors from Steuben, Chemung, Allegany, Schuyler and Yates counties met at the Institute for Human Services in Bath, NY on October 23 to discuss the results of the CCSNYS survey regarding the establishment of the STNED Group. Andrew Marietta, Regional Manager of the Central New York Office of CCSNYS shared the experiences and best practices of the existing groups, and prioirities for the group were identified. There was great interest in moving forward, and 10 participants volunteered to establish a steering committee.

Please feel free to contact Andrew Marietta at, or Patrick Rogers, Executive Director of the Institute for Human Services for further information, or to particpate in the steering committee.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Entrepreneurial Leadership Center Starting

This Star Gazette article relates that Mansfield University has received a $208,000 grant award from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education for its "Developing Tomorrow's Leaders: The Entrepreneurial Leadership Center at Mansfield University" project. This center is among a growing trend in trying to encourage business development and retention. Such programs are more important than ever in helping develop new ways of thinking among the nonprofit sector, especially in generating revenue.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Board response to the economic meltdown

A recent article advocates that with the financial difficulties confronting nonprofits now, it is an important time for board chairs to recognize their critical role in guiding their organizations. The author, Terrie Temkin, advocates that now is the time to call a special meeting to discuss the issue and to keep the conversation focused on strategic issues (not budget cuts...the ED should do that work). Here are suggested discussion questions:
  • How well are you meeting your key commitments to the community?
  • Are some of your programs and services more closely aligned with your vision and values than others?
  • Which, if any, of your programs and services pay for themselves?
  • What is the relationship between the financially viable programs and the programs most closely aligned with your vision and values?
  • If you were starting the organization over from scratch tomorrow, what would the organization look like?
  • Where have you been focusing the majority of your resources? Why?
  • Where should you be focusing your resources given the financial picture and its impact not only on your organization but on your clients?
  • If your revenue streams are not as diversified as they should be, what can you do today to change that?
  • Should you consider merging with another organization or sharing backroom services?
  • If so, with what organizations should you be talking and what might you propose?

How you are you responding to the current financial challenges? Is your board proactively discussing these issues?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Turmoil has prompted decision-makers to think outside the box office

A recent article in the LA Times relates how economic turmoil is pushing arts organizations to be more creative in their revenue generating efforts. Confronted with the challenges ahead, now would appear to be a good time to try a new approach or new idea. We know our bailout for the nonprofit sector isn't forthcoming, but in difficult times, creativity can flourish. Have you thought about new ways of raising money for your nonprofit? How do you plan to adapt in the next 12 months?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Nuts and Bolts of Building Your Nonprofit

If you are an employee or board member of a nonprofit organization, you may benefit from attending this 2008 workshop series: The Nuts and Bolts of Building Your Nonprofit. This comprehensive series consists of eight classes led by experts, covering fund development, marketing, employee benefits packages, municipal grants, creating a non-profit organization, accountability trends, program evaluation and fund development research tools.
Co-sponsored by the Southeast Steuben County Library and the Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes, with assistance from Three Rivers Development Corporation, the morning and afternoon workshops will be held from September 23 through December 10 in Corning, NY. Thanks to the generous financial support of the Community Foundation, which has supplemented class costs, the fee for each session is minimal: $5.
For the complete course schedule, plus registration information, please click here.

ED Group Planning Meeting Set for Oct 23

Save the Date! The Council of Community Services of New York State (CCSNYS) and The Institute for Human Services (IHS) would like to invite nonprofit executive directors in Steuben, Allegany, Chemung, Schuyler, and Yates Counties to a planning meeting regarding the formation of an executive directors group in the Southern Tier. The Oct 23 meeting is a follow up to a recent survey and will be hosted by the Institute for Human Services, 6666 County Road 11 in Bath at 10:30 am. The meeting agenda will include: a discussion of the recent survey results; overview of other executive directors groups and their structure; and next steps for a possible regional group. Interested in attending?

Register Here!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

State and Local Funding Program

The Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County is hosting a forum, "Outlook for 2009 State and Local Funding", on Thursday July 17th from 1-3pm at the Tompkins County Public Library in Ithaca. Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, Tompkins County Legislature Chair Michael Koplinka-Loehr, Budget and Capital Committee Chair Nathan Shinagawa, County Administrator Steve Whicher, and George P. Ferrari, Jr. the Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Tompkins County will be facilitating the event.

This is an interesting and timely forum, especially with the funding challenges ahead. Perhaps the group would like to explore the possibility of holding a program with a similar focus in the future.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Share Your Feedback on an Executive Directors Group!

The Council of Community Services of NYS (CCSNYS) and The Institute for Human Services (IHS) have formed a new partnership. As a part of this partnership, IHS is now a CCSNYS association member. Now when your organization joins or rejoins IHS, you will also receive a CCSNYS membership (2 for 1). CCSNYS and IHS are also working together to convene an Executive Directors Group for the Southern Tier. Please take a few minutes to share your feedback by completing the survey. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Young and The Restless

The Chronicle of Philanthropy's latest article on leadership does a great job of pulling together the loose ends of the debate around succession planning and leadership that nobody really wants to talk about...
"Younger people talk much less about a crisis in people retiring,
younger leaders think the crisis is that existing organizations are getting
stale. The nonprofit sector has been incredibly neglectful about innovating
for leadership."

The leadership deficit - and the discord between current leadership's definition of how to "lead" their nonprofit and the "up and comers" definition about what it takes to lead a successful nonprofit in a new environment is driving studies, articles, websites, and over 40,000 results on a recent GoodSearch query!

Only 1 in 3 young nonprofit workers aspire to become an Executive Director. What is keeping young leaders from wanting to ascend to the "power position"?

  1. The work is long and hard - are there ways to work smarter and achieve greater success? They think so. Have you talked to them lately?

  2. The leadership models never change - what can we do to attack the "way it's always been done" mentality? How can you slot new leaders into existing positions when new skill sets may not "fit" perceived "old" needs?

  3. There's no future in it - there's no clear career map for current leaders' retirement plans (many say they will take other jobs in the sector) or future leaders career "ladder" ( "I've got to tell you the truth. I'm under 30. Are you going to give me a shot?")

The dialogue is picking up some steam. The Institute for Human Services in Bath is focusing their annual conference on leadership and succession planning. Syracuse is also doing a good job of engaging young voices in the community revitalization process...The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network is out there supporting new leaders - and everyone is allowed to be on the listserv. If you're a current nonprofit leader, why not join this group - listen in on the conversations?

What is going on in your region?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sauer to Speak at Institute for Human Services Annual Meeting - It's Time for Succession Planning!

On March 19th Doug Sauer, CEO of CCSNYS will be providing the keynote address at the Institute for Human Services Annual Meeting in Bath, NY. The topic of the conference will focus on Doug's keynote on "Nonprofit Transitions - Preparing for Leadership Change."

This important topic, fuelled by studies like the one authored by Thomas Tierny of the Bridgespan Group suggest that the nonprofit sector will be facing a severe leadership deficit in the next 5 to 10 years - if not sooner.

Doug's keynote will focus on the looming issue of transitioning to the next generation of leadership, and what the board and executive staff should do to prepare the organization for this transition.

The meeting is $25 for IHS Members, and $35 for non-members. Please click here for more information on this event.

Patrick Rogers, the Executive Director of IHS, is planning on bringing more tools, resources, peer sharing and educational opportunities like this to the Southern Tier. This may include, in the future, some group sharing & peer learning on our own NED BLOG!