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?