Monday, December 28, 2009

2010 AFP Finger Lakes Chapter Program Schedule

Tuesday, January 5, noon (Brown Bag)
Guerilla Tactics: Motivating Your Board and CEO to
Raise More Money
Paula K. Parrish, CFRE Webinar
Ithaca, Tompkins County Public Library

Tuesday, February 2, 4:00 – 6:00
Member Networking Social Event
Ithaca: NorthStar, 202 East Falls Street

Tuesday, March 2, noon
Strategic Major Gifts Fundraising Chip Bryce, Director, Cornell University
Office of Gift Planning
Ramada Inn, 2310 N. Triphammer Rd., Ithaca

Tuesday, April 6, noon
Baby Boomers & Philanthropy
Prof Karl Pillemer, Director, Cornell Institute for Translational Research on Aging
Ramada Inn, 2310 N. Triphammer Rd., Ithaca

Tuesday, May 4, 8:30 – 10:00
Breakfast Provided
Highlights from the International AFP Conference
Panel of Attendees
Ithaca, Tompkins County Public Library

Friday, June 18, 9:00 – 3:00
AFP Fingerlakes Day Long Conference
Ted Hart - People to People Fundraising:How to Succeed On-line,
Location: TBA

Tuesday, July 6, noon
Leadership & Conflict Resolution
Ann Martin, Praxis Consulting Group
Ramada Inn, 2310 N. Triphammer Rd., Ithaca


Tuesday, September 7, Time TBA
Joint Meeting with the Finger Lakes Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America: Community Relations Building Location & Time TBA

Tuesday, October 5, 8:30 – 10:00 Breakfast Provided
Succeeding Capital Campaign Success
Kathy Cole, President,
West Wind Consulting
Tompkins County Public Library

November, noon
National Philanthropy Day
Location & Date TBA

Tuesday, December 7, noon
Holiday Gathering
Tompkins County Public Library

Naturally, changes in scheduling may occur as the year progresses. Changes and up-dates will be announced by email. Please contact the chapter’s membership chairperson, Carla Dawejko,, with questions about AFP.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Nonprofits Expanding

WETM Channel 18 reported that with the continuing down turn of the economy non-profit organizations are growing to fit neighbor's needs.CEO Natasha Thompson of the Food Bank in the Southern Tier, says, "The reality is that about fifteen percent of the population in the Southern Tier are living at or below the federal poverty level, which is $21,200 before taxes."

Thompson also says despite the economic slump, her charity will be expanding thanks to the generosity of the community.

She says, "Our growth over the past ten years is us just getting a lot better at supply the need that already exists."

With an increase of members during recent years, non-profit organizations have been applying for more funds to make sure they have enough to provide those who are less unfortunate.

Bridget Steed of the Catholic Charities in Elmira says they got help from the federal level.

Steed says, "Most recently the stimulus funds that were distributed we were fortunate to apply for and receive. Plus additionally other applications we applied for early on."

The number of neighbors needing services has increased every year.

This means charity directors need to know how many people they need to accommodate.
Steed also says, "We look at what the community need is. We project that out towards the future and identify and figure out what we can apply for.”

Both Steed and Thompson say their organizations can't run without local support.
Catholic Charities have already made plans to expand housing options for neighbors in need.

The food bank of the Southern Tier is planning on expanding into the old Seneca Beverage building.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Southern Tier hospitals finalize affiliation agreement

Central NY Business Journal reported that after exploring their options for 17 months, two Southern Tier hospitals finalized an affiliation agreement that's the next step in an eventual merger.

In a statement released today, the board of directors of Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital in the town of Urbana announced it reached an agreement on affiliation with Arnot Ogden Medical Center of Elmira.

The agreement includes the Fred and Harriet Taylor Health Center (Davenport & Taylor).
The hospitals, which have been discussing an affiliation for nearly two years, are located about 40 miles apart.

Under the agreement, formally reached during the final week of November, Arnot Ogden will appoint a board including representatives from both hospitals to oversee operations at Davenport & Taylor.

In addition, the new Davenport & Taylor board will implement a management-services agreement with Arnot Ogden.

James Watson, current CEO of Davenport & Taylor, will become an employee of Arnot Ogden and report directly to the new board.

To close the merger, the hospitals need to complete a series of filings with the New York State Department of Health, finish corporate restructuring, and wrap up medical services agreements, according to Arnot Ogden. Read more here.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Southern Tier Nonprofit Executive Directors meeting and registration

Executive Directors and Senior Management professionals from Southern Tier Nonprofit Organizations… are invited!

To: The Southern Tier Nonprofit Executive Directors’ (STNED) Final Meeting for 2009
Date: Thursday December 3rd, 2009
Time: 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Place:Tony R’s Restaurant, Corning, New York
For: An enjoyable evening of networking, food, refreshments and a cash bar.

To Register: Click on STNED 12-3-09 Meeting

The Southern Tier Nonprofit Directors Group (STNED) is a network of nonprofit executive and management professionals in the Southern Tier/Finger Lakes Region of New York State that provides education, peer support and the sharing of ideas to strengthen leadership and promote the collaborative utilization of resources.

Please join your colleagues for the final meeting for 2009. The first 3 quarterly meetings of STNED included an educational presentation with time for networking. The meeting at Tony R’s will not have a formal program, and will be dedicated to socializing with peers and looking forward to 2010.

Thanks to financial support provided by the STNED Steering Committee, registration is free for one participant from the first 40 organizations to register. There will be a donation at the door of $16/person for additional attendees.

For further information about STNED, go to and click on STNED, or please feel free to contact any of the following Steering Committee Members.

Nancy Blake, Career Development Council
Elaine Farwell, Tanglewood Nature Center
David Hill, ProAction of Steuben and Yates Counties
Joyce Hyatt, Chemung Valley Rural Health Network
Sara Palmer, Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes
Patrick Rogers, The Institute for Human Services
Dick Russell, Faith In Action Steuben County
Chris Sproule, Triangle Foundation

We hope to see you there!

Patrick J. Rogers, Executive Director
Institute for Human Services, Inc.
Voice: 607.776.9467 Ext. 211
Fax: 607.776.9482

Friday, November 6, 2009

Save the Date: December 3rd Meeting

Next STNED Meeting
Thursday December 3rd, 2009, 5:00 pm
Tony R's Restaurant, Corning, NY

The STNED (pronounced Saint Ned) group recently held its 3rd quarter meeting on Thursday September 17th at the Tanglewood Nature Center, 443 Coleman Avenue, Elmira, NY 14903. Topics discussed included "What is Social Media: Facebook , Twitter, Linked In….., “, "How the heck do I even get onto Facebook/Twitter?”, application pros/cons and a discussion on the goals of using social media.

Sean Lukasik of Creative Agent presented a very interesting and educational presentation on Social Media. It addressed both the uses and abuses of social networking, and participants appreciated the insights provided.

The next STNED meeting will wrap up the first year of this group and will be a social gathering at Tony R's Restaurant in Corning on December 3rd. Please mark your calendars.

We hope that you can join us for refreshments and enjoy the opportunity to meet with your colleagues on December 3rd.

Monday, October 26, 2009

CommonKindness Rewards Community Volunteers is accepting nominations from the general public to enter their favorite “do-gooders” in a contest to win a 5-night Caribbean Cruise, sponsored in conjunction with Cabot Creamery Cooperative and Celebrity Cruises. Nominations are being accepted through October 31st, 2009.

Seven winners making a profound difference in their communities and the world through their good deeds will be announced on Nov. 15th to win a cruise to the Caribbean for themselves and one guest, including airfare, in January 2010., Cabot and Celebrity Cruises would like to encourage and reward everyday “unsung heroes” who work so hard and selflessly to make the world a better place.

Send Your Favorite “Do-Gooder” on a Caribbean Cruise for two!
(Who knows, maybe they’ll choose to bring you along!)

In every community, there are unsung heroes who quietly work behind the scenes to improve our communities and the world.

The reward for these special people usually resides in the good work they do, not in the recognition they receive. But today you can reward your favorite “do-gooder” by nominating them to win a 5-night Caribbean cruise for two!

Simply visit to enter them into a contest to win a 5-night Caribbean cruise for two, including airfare, sponsored by CommonKindness, Cabot Creamery Cooperative and Celebrity Cruises.

Entries must be received by 11:59 pm on Oct. 31st, 2009 so act now!

Seven lucky winners will be chosen on the merit of their community service and the impact it has on their community or the world.

Nominations are being accepted at through 11:59 pm October 31st, 2009. Winners will be announced on November 15th, 2009. Valued at approximately $3,244, the cruise is scheduled for January 23rd – 28th, 2010.

Remember to visit every week to save an average of $1,300 a year for your family on your groceries and other purchases. CommonKindness offers thousands of online coupons and discounts accepted at most supermarkets and retailers near you.

Best of all, every time you use a coupon or discount with CommonKindness, funds are generated to help support the charities and causes you are passionate about - at no cost to you!

Each time you use a coupon or online discount with CommonKindness, companies posting their offers pay advertising fees. CommonKindness shares 60% of its income with the causes and charities you choose from more than a million non-profit organizations already included on the site.

CommonKindness supports the charities and causes you are passionate about by putting money into your pockets instead of taking it out!

Dana Valdez
Director of Operations
845-254-4535 ph
845-254-4549 fax

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Oct 14th: What's the Best Way for Your Non-profit to Market its Message?

Join us at HSC's October 14th Forum for "Media Update: the Best Way for Non-profits to Market their Message." The fact is, we will have several experts on this topic sitting in the same room at the same time:
Bruce Estes, The Ithaca Journal
Geoff Dunn, Cayuga Radio Group, and
Jim Bilinski /Rob Montana, The Ithaca Times.

Speakers will share information and invite discussion with others about the topic. The Forum is held at Cornell Cooperative Extension, 615 Willow Avenue, Ithaca, from 8:45 to 10:15AM.

Forum members will also have the opportunity to make brief announcements and share items of interest to the local human service community. The Human Services Coalition, acting in its role as the umbrella agency for local health and human service providers and planners, sponsors this monthly forum to provide the opportunity for an open exchange of ideas and information. A variety of topics and speakers are featured and all who are interested in human services and their efficient delivery are urged to attend.

-- Carol M. FarkasAdministrative Coordinator
Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County, Inc.
100 W. Seneca Street, Suite 300
Ithaca, NY 14850
607-273-8686 Coalition Main Number
607-272-9331 I & R Help Line
607-273-3002 FAX

Monday, October 5, 2009

Governance Mistakes You Should Keep In Mind

The Charity Lawyer blog has a great post about governance mistakes, which has been mentioned by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the Nonprofit Quarterly, and numerous others. The list was also expanded by San Francisco tax-exempt organizations lawyer and publisher of the Nonprofit Law Blog, Gene Takagi.Here is excerpt. We would encourage you to view the entire list and details here.

1. Failing to Understand Fiduciary Duties. When you volunteer to serve as a director or officer of a non-profit, you accept the responsibility to act with the duties of good faith, due care and loyalty. You also accept the potential liability for failing to fulfill those duties. Increased scrutiny from the I.R.S., Congress, state attorneys general, the Department of Justice, donors and the media require vigilance at every step. It is no longer sufficient to rubber stamp committee or staff recommendations or to simply “abstain” from dicey decisions. Today, board service comes with real responsibilities and real consequences for those that fail to live up to them.

Read about the next two points and more.
2. Failing to Provide Effective Oversight.
3. Deference to the Executive Committee, Board Chair or the Organization’s Founder.

Friday, September 25, 2009

United Way of the Southern Tier Kickoff

The Evening Tribune reported that around 40 area business owners, executives and government officials came out to show their support for the United Way of the Southern Tier at the group’s annual kickoff dinner Tuesday thanking leaders in the community for support.

Stephen Hughes, vice-president of resource development for the United Way of the Southern Tier, spoke to the group about the need for assistance locally.
“I don’t have to tell anyone in this room the difficult climate we are in,” Hughes said.

The United Way hopes to raise $316,500 locally this year, according to agency officials, and the major sponsors of the campaign this year are Steuben Trust Company and Five Star Bank.
Jeffrey Kenefick, president of Five Star Bank, said donations are needed to help support the group.

“Without everyone here, the United Way, this great organization, would not be here,” Kenefick said.

The keynote speaker at the dinner was was Mary LaRowe, chief executive officer of St. James Mercy Health Systems.

“We have each others’ back in the community,” she said. “This is our community, and if there’s ever been a time for your donation to count, that time is now.”

Money raised for the United Way of the Southern Tier — including $4.5 million raised in the last year — fund several programs throughout the region, LaRowe said.

A new program sponsored by the organization is the Finger Lakes Region 211 help line, which offers a toll-free number to receive non-emergency assistance from non-profit organizations, health care providers and government agencies.

Another important program, the Creating Assets, Savings, and Hope program, which gives those needing help time to sit down with a financial planner for help with taxes, debt reduction and saving. Funds also are disbursed to area agencies, like the Hornell Area Concern For Youth, in forms of community investment grants.

The United Way of the Southern Tier was formed in 1993 by the merger of the South East Steuben United Way, Central Steuben United Way, the Hornell Area United Way and the United Way of Chemung County. This year, according to the United Way’s Web site, the goal was set at $4.5 million at the group’s annual kickoff event at Wings of Eagles Discovery Center at the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport.

For more information on the United Way of the Southern Tier, visit

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Economic woes take toll on nonprofits

The Corning Leader reported that just as in other parts of the U.S., job losses and hard economic times are forcing more local residents to go without health insurance.

That’s putting a straining on nonprofit groups such as the Health Ministry of the Southern Tier, which offers free medical services to residents of Steuben, Chemung and Schuyler counties.

“There are 22,000 residents in Steuben, Schuyler and Chemung counties without health insurance,” said Ray Defendorf, community relations contact with the health ministry. “Using our current volunteers, we’re reaching about 4.5 percent of the 22,000. We’re putting our finger in the dike. We’re dependent on volunteers stepping forth.”

In 2008, the health ministry saw 2,700 patient visits at its facilities in Corning, Elmira, Bath and Watkins Glen, which represented a 24 percent increase from 2007. Read more here.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Robert Egger To Present October 13th

“Grabbing the Future by the Face: Purpose and Power in 21st Century Non-profit Organizations”

A presentation by
Robert Egger
Founder and President, DC Central Kitchen
Author, Begging for Change
Founder, V3 Campaign

For the fourth year in a row, Robert Egger, founder and president of DC Central Kitchen, has been recognized among The Top 50 Most Powerful and Influential Leaders in the Sector (PDF) by the Nonprofit Times. As in previous years, Robert was one of the only leaders of a direct service organization to be included on the list. Recently, he has focused on launching the V3 Campaign effort to make the voice of the social enterprise and non-profit movement heard, its value realized, and its votes counted in every election.

Agency and program directors, board members, funders, elected officials, and anyone concerned with the future of non-profit service delivery in Tompkins County – make time in your busy schedules for this event!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Country Club of Ithaca
189 Pleasant Grove Road

9:00 a.m. – Continental Breakfast
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Presentation + Q&A

RSVP requested by October 2 to Isabella Corina, 257-1133 or

There is no charge for this event which is sponsored by
Challenge Industries and the Triad Foundation

Thursday, September 3, 2009

STNED Quarterly Meeting - Tanglewood Nature Center

SAVE THE DATE: Thursday September 17th from 9:00-10:30 am

The Southern Tier Nonprofit Executive Directors Group (STNED) is a network of nonprofit executive and management professionals in the Southern Tier/Finger Lakes Region of New York State that provides education, peer support and the sharing of ideas to strengthen leadership and promote the collaborative utilization of resources.

The STNED group will have its 3rd quarter meeting on Thursday September 17th from 9:00 - 10:30 am at the Tanglewood Nature Center and Museum, 443 Coleman Avenue Elmira, NY 14903. All nonprofit executive and management personnel from throughout the Southern Tier are invited to participate. There is no cost to attend and light refreshments will be provided.

Based on input from previous surveys and the 2nd quarterly meeting, the presentation and discussion at this meeting will focus on the nonprofit sector use of social media tools, presented by Sean Lukasik of Creative Agent.

1. Welcome, introduction and brief tour of the Tanglewood Nature Center
2. What is Social Media: Facebook , Twitter, Linked In…..
3. “How the heck do I even get onto Facebook/Twitter?”
4. Applications and pros/cons
5. Goals of using social media

If you plan on attending the meeting, please RSVP by September 15th by clicking on, and include your name, organization and contact information. Feel free to include any questions you may have concerning STNED or social media.

For more information about the Southern Tier Nonprofit Executive Directors group, go to and click on STNED in the left column.

We hope that you can join us for this educational and enjoyable opportunity to meet with your colleagues on the 17th.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How to Talk to Your Board about Fundraising Workshop

“How to Talk to Your Board About Fundraising” (details below) with Burke Keegan Targeted to non-profit Board members, chief executives and directors of development

Tuesday, September 22, 2009, 9:00 – 11:00 am
Cornell Cooperative Extension, 615 Willow Ave, Ithaca
Fee: $35

“Board Basics” (details on September 7) with Elena Flash, Attorney; Duane Shoen, CPA; Laura Branca; David Campbell; Kirby Edmonds; and Burke Keegan
Targeted to new and ongoing members of non-profit boards, and to staff who interact with board members
Thursday, November 12, 2009, 8:45 – 11:45 am
Women’s Community Building Auditorium 100 W Seneca St, Ithaca
Fee: $25

When you say the word FUNDRAISING does your Board go blank? Rustle through papers? Change the subject? Does "FUNDRAISING" somehow fall off of the agenda? Get left for last and, "gosh, there's no time, we'll take this up next month?" Come to this fast-paced two-hour workshop and learn how to present FUNDRAISING to a reluctant, frightened or seemingly uncommitted Board. Topics will include convincing your Board that it IS their responsibility, creating a campaign that gently includes them and gives them success, and developing relationships with Board members that give them confidence that you will work closely with them, lead them through the process, and treat the donors that they deliver with respect and gratitude.

Sign up at or at 607-273-8686.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Finally Entering the 21st Century

Here was a recent post from a human services list serve:

The Mental Health Association in Tompkins County is now on Facebook! We will be posting articles of interest concerning mental health as we come across them. Visit our page and sign up to be our fan/follower. Today's posting on Facebook has an article from the NY Times concerning the mental health needs of our service men and women and resiliency training.

You can also follow us on Twitter.

To find us on Facebook, search for The Mental Health Association in Tompkins County. For Twitter search for MHATompkins.
We have entered the 21st century at last!

How are you using online tools? Have you entered the 21st century?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Highlights of the August 18, 2009 meeting of the Tompkins County legislature

Legislature Addresses 2009 Budget Challenges: The Legislature, by a vote of 13-1, authorized a series of internal account transfers and policy changes to bring the 2009 budget into balance, reconciling a projected $3.5 million budget shortfall. (Legislator Mike Sigler voted no; Legislator Kathy Luz Herrera was absent.) Policy changes include a flexible freeze on hiring and on equipment purchases greater than $2,000, as well as a temporary suspension of the County’s rollover policy which would allocate department personnel-related savings during 2009 to offset projected County deficits, rather than being retained by departments.

Legislator Sigler maintained that the action to implement a flexible freeze was not needed, since the Legislature had already acted earlier this year to authorize the County Administrator to review all department requests to fill open positions, and he noted that policy has already produced results. Administrator Joe Mareane, who along with Finance Director David Squires had recommended the adjustments, responded that the action formally puts the Legislature on record indicating that the County is at a very difficult time requiring vigilance on both hiring and equipment. All elements, he said, are part of a general belt-tightening effort that is essential this year.

The expected shortfall reflects deficits in sales tax receipts, state aid, social services programs, interest earnings, and the Assigned Counsel budget. Available resources come from nearly $1.8 million in federal stimulus funding and $800,000 in personnel-related savings, among other sources.

Contact: Jim Dennis, Chair, Budget, Capital and Finance Committee 387-4058; Legislator Mike Sigler, 339-7978;County Administrator Joe Mareane, 274-5551./

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Corporations Take a Low-Key Approach to Event Sponsorship

The NY Times featured an article recently about major corporations approach to spending to entertain valued clients at golf tournaments and exclusive receptions.

Some of the nation’s biggest banks held parties at the U.S. Open golf tournament on Long Island this summer, but their names and logos were absent.

But where these companies once splashed their names and logos on every polo shirt and tote bag in sight, they are now going to extraordinary lengths not to be noticed.

Take the U.S. Open golf tournament at Bethpage Black, where the nation’s biggest banks held parties this summer at the Heritage Club, an exclusive corporate hospitality center just off the 18th hole of the Long Island club. Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley all brought clients to watch the tournament and dine at a buffet and open bar.

But an observer would never have known the banks were there.

Guests of the banks sat at tables, each costing $50,000, with no indication of who was paying for them. Nor were the bank’s names on any of the other displays of corporate sponsors. As a group, the banks paid $750,000 — Goldman had two tables at $100,000; Bank of America and its Merrill subsidiary took eight tables at a cost of $400,000; and Morgan Stanley shelled out $250,000.

“Clearly, they did not want to be identified,” said one volunteer at the Heritage Club, who also declined to be identified because he was not authorized to talk publicly for the club. “I thought maybe I’d just put a generic ‘TARP Recipient’ sign at the center of each table.”

Those who plan corporate events call the new practice “stealth spending.” In some cases, a corporate gathering is so well disguised that the event planners may not even know whose event they are working on. The subdued approach — no greeters at airports with corporate signs, no large banners — stems from worries that anything too lavish will suggest the companies are out of touch with the painful financial circumstances of many Americans. But it does not mean the parties have stopped. Read more here.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

How I Raised $1,000 on Facebook Without Breaking a Sweat

Blue Avocado featured an article by Nelson Layag about his experience with raising money for a nonprofit using Facebook Causes Birthday Wish application. Read about his experience and his success here.

This idea offers any nonprofit an opportunity to use your supporters, friends, volunteers, staff, and board to raise money online. The next step? Get the word out now!

Friday, July 31, 2009

National Council of Nonprofit Policy News

This information is provided on behalf of the National Council of Nonprofits to share with New York Council of Nonprofits and its members.

Senate Appropriators Act to Fund More of the Serve America Act - including the Nonprofit Capacity Building Fund
After a significant slash in the Administration's request for the Serve America Act appropriation on the House side (HR 3293) - the House cut $90 million of the President's Budget Request for $259 million - the Senate Appropriations Committee acted this week to maintain that request and add more to grow the number of AmeriCorps volunteers and to launch new programs. A Senate floor vote is next, but it is not expected until September after Congress returns from its August recess. Learn more.

Nonprofit State Associations Meet with White House Office of Social Innovation and Advocate on the Hill
In an historic first, 80 nonprofit leaders from our State Association network, representing more than 20,000 organizational members from across the country, met July 14 with a senior White House official to explore ways government and nonprofits can best partner to serve local communities. Read our Press Release. (Note: NYCON was a part of that meeting)

Federal Legislative and Regulatory Developments
Health Care Reform Impasses Breaking Down as Difficult Negotiations Continue
Nonprofits can raise their health care reform issues with their members of Congress over the August recess, because the anticipated pre-recess votes will not occur due to reform discussions slowing down on Capitol Hill. The slow-down has come in the House in the Energy and Commerce Committee where "Blue Dog" fiscally conservative Democrats are a force, and in the Senate Finance Committee (SFC) where the daily negotiations of six key Senators continues. Critical issues that dominate are how to bend the cost curve of health care in this country so that reform is fiscally meaningful, whether a public plan will be an option, and whether - and on what terms - an employer mandate to provide insurance coverage will exist. Read more.

Restrictions on Legal Services Corporation Possibly Diminshed
The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies approved the FY 2010 appropriations bill covering the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) on June 30. Notably, it would remove restrictions on LSC grantees' state, local, and private funds. Read more.

Tribal Charities Fairness Act Introduced
This bill would amend Section 7871 of the Internal Revenue Code to allow Indian tribes to be treated the same as state and local governments when they provide funding to charitable nonprofits. Learn more.

Discretionary Appropriations for Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Probably Increasing
Both the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bills include major discretionary spending programs - in the $160 billion plus range - administered by key departments that influence the health, education, and working opportunities of many nonprofit clients. Learn more about the specific appropriations levels.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Healthy lifestyle promoted

The Star-Gazette reported on a recent event that offered children face painting, snacks, and books hosted at the Southside Community Center in Elmira.

The special event was mostly about a healthy lifestyle and fun stuff for the summer, said Jen Bertron, youth programs coordinator for the Food Bank of the Southern Tier.

A number of different agencies offered activities for the children, such as Eat Well Play Hard, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Tanglewood Nature Center's Nature Rangers and the Bright Red Bookshelf, she said.

The event helped kick off the food bank's Summer Food Service Program, a federally reimbursed program that involves a number of sponsors, such as school districts, non-profit agencies and municipalities, Bertron said.

The program provides meals to children during the summer break when school is not in session. In 2008, the food bank sponsored the program at 18 sites in Chemung, Steuben and Tioga counties, serving 1,080 children. Read more here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Are Virtual Meetings Effective?

Take a look at this recent examination by The Goodman Center of teleconferences, videoconferences, and webinars instead of in-person meetings.

The Goodman Center invited public interest professionals from across North America to answer that question. More than 1,200 people completed our online survey, providing a clearer picture of the potential downsides of “meeting without meeting.” Download the free report, Dialing In, Logging On, Nodding Off: The True Costs of Teleconferences, Videoconferences and Webinars, here.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Principles Workbook: Steering Your Board Toward Good Governance and Ethical Practice

Independent Sector has released a new tool to help nonprofits, foundations, and corporate philanthropy programs examine and improve their governance, and do so in a cost-effective way.

The Workbook continues Independent Sector's commitment to assisting organizations as they work to uphold the highest standards of accountability. It expands on and elucidates the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector's Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice: A Guide for Charities and Foundations, 33 recommendations that organizations can use to analyze and improve their practices.

Download a free copy here.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Announcing Elmira's Juneteenth Celebration

The public is invited to Elmira's Eighth Annual Juneteenth Celebration on June 12 - 13. The Juneteenth Celebration begins on Friday, June 12 at 7 pm with a kickoff at Community Arts of Elmira, 413 Lake Street and continues June 13, 10 am - 5 pm at Ernie Davis Park, the corner of East Fifth and Lake Streets in Elmira. Both days of the Juneteenth Celebration are free and open to the public.

Juneteenth commemorates the day on June 19, 1865 when slaves in Galveston, Texas celebrated the news of the Emancipation Proclamation. The Juneteenth Celebration is a commemoration of that struggle, and a step towards a bright future. Juneteenth is the oldest known African American celebration in the United States initiated to foster an appreciation for freedom, knowledge and culture in the African American community. The celebration is a nationally recognized event in many communities across the country.

Yes We Can!, this year's theme, encompasses self-improvement, family and economic unity and above all it resonates the same feelings and emotions as President Obama's election campaign.

Friday, June 12 from 7 - 9 pm the public is invited to Community Arts of Elmira for the Juneteenth Celebration kickoff featuring: Gene Austin, visual art display; Vicie Rolling, poet, will present an interpretation and portrayal of Elizabeth Adams, known as Lear Green who lived the last three years of her life in freedom here in Elmira; Ira Haywood, Jr., jazz musician; Vani Akula, classical Indian dance; Kofi Donkor of Kofi and Sankofa Drum and Dance Ensemble; and Spirituals! Choir with Phyllis Bishop and Cal Brewer.

Saturday, June 13 from 10 am - 5 pm all are welcome to Ernie Davis Park for a day of celebration featuring: Kids on the Block, performances which teach children about disability, medical conditions and social issues; Mayor Tonello; local artists, musicians, dancers and actors; Vani Akula, artist; Faith Temple Choir; New Life Assembly of God Dance Team; bicycle give-away by Eat Well, Play Hard; local and regional service providers; and food, fun and games for all.

Elmira's Eighth Annual Juneteenth Celebration is sponsored by: Economic Opportunity Program, Inc.; Juneteenth Steering Committee; The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes; the Elmira City School District; Corning Inc. AQUIT; and Chemung Canal Trust Company.The project is made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts' Decentralization Program administered locally by The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Nonprofit Report Announced by NYCON

Standards for Common Sense: A Practical Guide to Basic Accountability Standards for New York Nonprofits, published by NYCON, was supported by Council Services Plus and the Dyson Foundation. This booklet, available to download for free here, is a practical guide for the average nonprofit seeking a reasonable understanding of what accountability standards are, who is promoting them, what related state laws say, and how to think about the choices presented. NYCON has selected eight of the most basic issues involving governance structure and practice, i.e. board size, board compensation, conflict of interest policies, board member independence, term limits, frequency of meetings, audit requirements and the creation of audit committees. The booklet outlines each issue, compares and discusses the standards set by laws or regulations and five different standards setting bodies - the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, the Standards for Excellence Institute, the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.

In this 2nd Edition, NYCON has also added a section on Standards of Financial Accountability. This section explores guidelines for percentage of expenditures on program and fundraising activities along with the level of net assets relative to annual spending. Download your copy now.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Nonprofit Media Roundup

The following articles were offered by the Minnesota Council of Foundations:

Nonprofits Fear Charitable Giving Will be Cut by More Than 10%
Investment News: The banking and finance industries make up 25% of foundation support, study says.

Donors Find Gift Annuities Can Stop Giving
Wall Street Journal: The economic downturn could cause some charities to have trouble meeting their annuity obligations.

From the Answer Desk: How Can Foundations Avoid or Address Financial Emergencies?Foundation Center: There’s no single answer that will be right for all organizations. Here are 10 resources that may help.

Recession Slams U.S. Arts Organizations
Philanthropy News Digest: U.S. Art Organizations fight the economy and the perception that donations to the Arts are frivolous in tough economic times.

Nonprofit Groups Receive Mixed Results in Obama’s Budget
The Chronicle of Philanthropy: The $3.5-trillion federal budget that President Obama has proposed for 2010 would affect federal programs in a variety of ways that affect charities.

Highlights from President Obama’s Budget Proposal
The Washington Grantmakers Daily: Seven articles about President Obama’s budget and how it will impact different nonprofits.

Michelle Obama Announces $50 Million Fund for Nonprofits
The Washington Post: Michelle Obama unveils Social Innovation Fund. Initiative to provide capital to support innovative nonprofit organizations and to help social entrepreneurs expand.

Philanthropy Adapts to the Obama Era
The American Prospect: One philanthropist reports feeling he has a “partner, not an adversary” in new administration. A reflection on philanthropy and its relationship with both past and current administration.

Charities Reap Benefits of Contests on the Internet
The New York Times: The opportunities for nonprofit groups to win money through contests are proliferating.

Target, Facebook Team Up and Let 10 Charities Compete for $$$
Star Tribune: Target Foundation asks facebook members to vote on distribution of $3 million among ten different charities.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

How is the economy affecting our region’s arts and cultural life?

Ginnie Lupi related: The ARTS has received several phone calls from journalists wanting to know how artists and arts/cultural organizations in our region are faring under current economic conditions. Yesterday’s New York Times ran an article on this issue, interviewing artists of all disciplines; some were upbeat, but most were despairing.

Instead of just passing on the anecdotal information we’re hearing about the economy’s affect on the region’s arts and cultural life, we’d like to hear from you directly. Read about comments left or leave your own feedback here.

Friday, May 15, 2009


The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes is proud to recognize this year's recipients of The ARTS' Annual ARTS Partnership Awards, which recognize individuals, artists, volunteers, schools, organizations and businesses that significantly contribute to the region's arts and cultural life. This year's recipients are:
  • William Locke, Superintendent, Arkport Central School District, for creating stellar arts programming for the schools in his district and for being an invincible advocate for the arts in the Arkport/Hornell region in Steuben County. Locke is an actor and vocalist who has performed in many plays and musical events. He was instrumental in the creation of the Hornell Rotary Club Summer Musical Program and serves as an adjudicator for the Rochester Broadway Theatre League.

  • Lynne Rusinko, Arts Advocate, Elmira, for her tireless commitment, outstanding contribution and dedication to artists and organizations in her community. Ms. Rusinko's enthusiasm, creativity, passion and skills have helped the arts thrive throughout the region. She has volunteered countless hours to the Elmira Open Studio Tour, Steele Memorial Library's Poetry Festival, Community Arts of Elmira, Festival of Women in the Arts, and the Elmira Street Painting Festival.
The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes will present this year's awards at its Annual Meeting on Thursday, May 21, at 5:30 pm at the International Motor Racing Research Center, 610 South Decatur Street, Watkins Glen, NY. Tickets are $20 per person and may be purchased by calling 607.962.5871 x223 - RSVP by May 15. The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes is the leading arts services and development agency in Chemung, Schuyler and Steuben counties.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Improving Prescription Access Webinar

Join Us for a Free Informational Webinar Event Hosted by New York State Association for Rural Health Improving Prescription Access for the nearly 2.6 Million Uninsured New Yorkers
Learn about the Together Rx Access® Program

The New York State Association for Rural Health invites you to participate in an informative webinar about ways in which you can help uninsured New York residents gain better access to prescription medicines. Collene Alexander, President of the New York State Association for Rural Health, invites Amy Niles, Chair Medical Relations/Advocacy of To6gether Rx Access, to discuss the impact of being uninsured and how Together Rx Access, a free prescription savings program, can help eligible uninsured residents gain immediate and meaningful savings on hundreds of prescription medicines right at their neighborhood pharmacy. The Together Rx Access Card is free to get and free to use.

More than 1.9 million people are cardholders. Those who have used their card have collectively saved over $84 million! Learn more.

By participating, you will learn:
  • Facts about the uninsured population in New York.
  • Why rural residents are less likely to have prescription drug coverage.
  • How Together Rx Access can help residents better access the prescription medicines they need to stay healthy and to treat disease.
  • Ways to get involved to help spread the word about Together Rx Access.
Who Should Participate: Healthcare professionals, state and local advocacy organizations, hospitals, clinics, community groups, state and local leaders, academia focused on health education
Date & Time: May 27, 2009 from 10:30-11:30 a.m., Eastern Time

Visit to register for this free event. When you register, you’ll be given the toll-free number for the call, as well as the website address to log into prior to the call.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Surviving Tough Economic Times Program

Support programs and services available to help you survive these troubled times.
June 10, 2009 8:00-10:30a.m.
Presented by:
Tompkins JSEC

Are you interested in energy and cost savings for small and medium sized businesses? How can businesses take advantage of a variety of educational, technical, and financial assistance energy programs?

Are training funds one of the items recently cut from your budget, leaving you unable to upgrade the skills of your current workers or bring in new employees that lack fundamental skills your business requires?

Is your business contemplating layoffs as a method to deal with the harsh economic environment we find ourselves in these days?

Are your employees struggling to get by, not knowing what supports are available to them or whether or not they might even qualify for assistance?

Your Tompkins JSEC has assembled a program to address these issues!
Learn about cost saving energy initiatives from a representative of New York State Energy Research Development Authority

Become informed about the training funds that are currently available and about the On-The-Job (OJT) funds that you can use to subsidize your training needs.

Join us to learn about the NYSDOL’s Shared Work Program, also known as the “Layoff Alternative”.

Find out about the new website,, which your employees can access to determine if they are likely to qualify for any of the many assistance programs currently available to New York State residents.

The course will be of interest to small business owners, human resource professionals, business leaders, consultants, managers, and supervisors.

Join us for this very informative and relevant program!!!
Country Club at Ithaca
189 Pleasant Grove Rd
Ithaca , NY

8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Registration & Breakfast
8:30 a.m. - 8:35 a.m. Opening Comments
8:35 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Dennis Mastro, NYSERDA
9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Diane Bradac, Tompkins Workforce
9:15 a.m. - 9:50a.m. Wally Powers, Shared Work
9:50 a.m. - 10:20 a.m. Paula Guzzey, OTDA-NYS JOBS
10:20-a.m.-10:30a.m. Q &A

To Register:
Email or call Cathy Leonard 607 741-4518

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Human Services Coalition Forum Announced

The Human Services Coalition Forum, on Wednesday, May 13th, at Cornell Cooperative Extension, 615 Willow Avenue, Ithaca, from 8:45 to 10:15AM., will focus on two special topics: *

"Cornell Civic Leaders Fellowship Program," with Amy Somchanhmavong, Cornell Public Service Center, and current fellows Jack Jensen, Community Building Works! Inc.;
Nancy Bereano, Share the Care Model on LGBT Aging; and Margo Hittleman, Natural Leaders' Initiative*

"Human Services Coalition (HSC) Workshop Series: Looking Ahead," with Scott Heyman, HSC Consultant

Presenters will share information and invite discussion with others about the topics.

Forum members will also have the opportunity to make brief announcements and share items of interest to the local human service community. The Human Services Coalition, acting in its role as the umbrella agency for local health and human service providers and planners, sponsors this monthly forum to provide the opportunity for an open exchange of ideas and information. A variety of topics and speakers are featured and all who are interested in human services and their efficient delivery are urged to attend.

Call 607-272-9331 or visit for more info.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Community Discussion: Local Implications of the National Economic Crisis

Is your agency or practice seeing fallout from the economic crisis? Are you, personally? Come join us next Monday evening for a community discussion on the Local Implications of the National Economic Crisis. TC Human Services Coalition's own Kathy Schlather is a featured panelist!

All local residents are invited to a panel discussion and forum, “Local Implications of the National Economic Crisis,” will be held on Monday, May 4, 7:00-9:00 pm at the Town of Ithaca Hall, 215 North Tioga St. Panelists are Karl Graham, Director of Community Relations and Development at Alternatives Federal Credit Union, Kathy Schlather, Executive Director of the Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County, and Michael Stamm, President of Tompkins County Area Development (TCAD). The forum will present information from a variety of viewpoints on how the national economic situation is impacting local businesses, nonprofits and individuals, and encourage open discussion and deliberation on possible local responses. The forum is sponsored by the Tompkins County Democratic Committee’s Issues Committee, and is free and open to all interested in attending.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Study Reveals Potential Donors Can't Find Info on Websites They Want

Robert Weiner of TechSoup made the following post, Jakob Nielsen Thinks Your Web Site Sucks, that many nonprofit EDs will find helpful:

Well, maybe it doesn't exactly suck, but potential donors can't figure it out. In a recent study of nonprofit Web sites, usability guru Jakob Nielsen asked participants "what information they want to see on nonprofit Web sites before they decide whether to donate?" The most heavily requested information was:
  • The organization's mission, goals, objectives, and work.
  • How it uses donations and contributions.
He found that only 43% of the sites he reviewed answered the first question on their homepages, and only 4% answered the second question. He did find that most organizations answered these questions somewhere within their sites, but said users often had problems finding this information.

He also looked at the "turn-off factors" that caused charities to lose out on donations and found that:
  • 47% had usability problems relating to page and site design, including unintuitive information architecture, cluttered pages, and confusing workflow.
  • On 17% of the sites, users couldn't find where to make a donation.
  • 53% had content issues related to writing for the Web, including unclear or missing information and confusing terms.

The good news is that "once people had decided to make a donation and found the donation button it was fairly easy for them to proceed through the workflow and donate."

I think Nielsen is making a big assumption: that potential donors visit a nonprofits' Web site without knowing what the nonprofit does, and then look for this information before donating. But his point about the difficulty of finding the donation button on some sites is a well taken point.

You can read the whole study here.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Rural Learning Network conference set for Corning

The conference promotes regional assets for community and economic development and will take place Wednesday, May 13 at the Radisson Hotel in Corning.

Goals include: Highlighting the regional assets of western/central New York; articulate the comparative advantages of the region; encourage communities to build unique niches in a regional context; and explore symbiotic relationships among assets and their multiplier effects.Regional assets are key building blocks in sustainable regional revitalization efforts. These include the skills of the workforce; the vitality of community organizations; the resources of public, private and non-profit institutions; and the physical and economic resources of local places.

To register go to or contact Beverly L. Mancuso, Executive Director Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County at or phone 585-343-3040, Ext. 110.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sick in America Conference Announced

Are you confused or frustrated by the U.S. health care system? Wondering what other countries are doing right, how different proposals to improve the system will fare in the long run, or how you can get involved yourself?

Come join us during our week-long Sick in America Series, organized by the Cornell Undergraduate Health Cooperative in partnership with the Johnson Graduate School of Management and Weill Cornell Medical College. From Monday April 20th to Friday April 24th, we’ll be hosting events that take a creative approach to fixing our health care ills. Curious as to how landscape architecture can influence the delivery of health care or how the arts can raise awareness for a devastating disease? Or are you interested in how preventative health and wellness can improve our quality of life? Discuss this and much more with experts from a spectrum of backgrounds.Over 45 million people are suffering due to problems with the health care system -- it’s time to start thinking outside the box.

Visit for complete details!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Online Giving Continues to Increase

The Philanthropy Journal offered this info on a new study about the increase in online giving. As a new study relates, even as the economy began to slide in 2008, online giving continued to grow.

Among a group of 12 organizations, online donors increased by a median 39 percent from 2007 to 2008, compared with a decline of 3 percent among offline donors over the same period.

At the same time, online giving still remains a small share of giving overall, accounting for only about one in 10 dollars donated, says the 2008 donorCentrics Internet Giving Benchmarking Analysis from Target Analytics, a Blackbaud company.

Online donors tend to be younger, with a median of 11 percent of donors under age 35, compared to a median of three percent in that age group among offline donors.

They also are newer donors to the organizations they support, with about half of all online donors being new each year.

Online donors to the companies surveyed gave a median single gift that was $27 higher than offline donors during 2008, the survey says, and the gap was even larger for donors who had been giving for more than one year.

However, online donors are harder to retain, with retention rates for online donors falling slightly below those for offline, and new online donors being harder to keep than veterans.

But online donors likely are worth the effort over the long term, given that their average lifetime revenue-per-donor was a median $237, compared to $86 for offline donors.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The New York Council of Nonprofits wishes to extend its sincerest sympathies to the victims and families of the recent tragedy in Binghamton, NY. We commend the Binghamton nonprofit community for their immediate and compassionate response to this event. To learn more about the nonprofit and community response in Binghamton and how you can help, please click here.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

StNed Meeting Minutes 3-18-09

Attendees: Sara Palmer, Andrea Haradon, David Hill, Laura Opelt, Gary Pruyn, Meghan Parsons, Natasha Thompson, Debbie MacDonald, Paula Smetanka, Chris Sproule, Susan Hooker, Christine Morris, AJ Kircher, Darlene Ike, Nancy Blake, Elaine Farwell, Patrick Rogers, Dick Russell, Tammy Schoonover, Susan O’Leary, Denise Townley, Kathy Disbrow, Judy Celelli, Jeff Eaton, Jim Waight, Mike Gehl

1. Introduction to NYNED: Andrew Marietta, NYCON (see above post)

2. StNed Steering Committee overview: Patrick Rogers, IHS- gave us a little history of the StNed meetings held thus far, including the ones with the steering committee and what was talked about, worked on, etc.

3. Patrick also reviewed our mission statement and we took a vote on the following Future Meeting Format items:

a. Quarterly meetings? Yes, the majority thought quarterly meetings were good
b. What time to meet? The majority voted for breakfast-time meetings with brown/bag or light refreshments served by host
c. Months to meet? Feb/March (likely after IHS meeting as was this time), May, September and November
d. Week? 3rd week of the month, although the vote was close with the 1st week being second choice.
e. Consistent location or roaming? Most agreed a moving location would be preferable
f. Annual theme or Alternating topics? People voted for alternating topics with a time at the end of each meeting for some type of networking. And people would like speakers at some of the meetings.

4. General Questions/Input from Attendees: Some things that people want from the StNed group long-term:
· Longevity/commitment
· No redundancy, keep things fresh, up-to-date
· Non-profit management issues only, including sharing difficulties, solutions, etc.
· Make it focused
· Share best practices
· HR rules, policies, procedures for smaller non-profits
· Synergies/collaborations esp. because of rough economic times
· Explore new/emerging trends, technologies, marketing, using the Web, etc.

5. Graffiti exercise: 4 charts with Key Topics were put up on the walls for participants to go to and add their input.

Key Topics (from survey completed in November) included:
1 Economic & Community Impact of Nonprofits/Policy and Local Government Issues
2 Networking
3 Fund Development and Grantsmanship
4 Skill Development for Executive Leadership/Board Membership and Recruitment Issues

The results will be collated and then reviewed at the next StNed Steering Committee meeting on Thursday, April 2nd at 12pm at Wegman’s in Corning. The Steering Committee will also set the date/location/topic for the May St. Ned meeting.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Southern Tier ED Meeting Recap

The Southen Tier Nonprofit Executive Directors Group (nicknamed "Saint NED") held its first official meeting, which was hosted by IHS after their annual conference. The meeting, attended by 32 nonprofit directors, began with an introduction to the New York Nonprofit Executive Directors Network or NYNED by the NY Council of Nonprofit's Andrew Marietta. Highlights included the other ED groups involved in NYNED and outcomes from their past programs. One example was a board expectations document (click here) that was shared at the South Central NY Nonprofit ED Group's March 10th program.

The Group discussion, facilitated by IHS ED Pat Rogers, covered the Group's mission statement, meeting timeframe and format, regional focus, and program approach (more details will be available from the Steering Committee shortly). The EDs also shared feedback about the general focus and ideas for the Group:
  • Want committment and longevity
  • Avoid redundency- keep unique
  • Focus on management concerns, solutions, and ideas
  • Venue to present best practices and discuss challenges (such as human resources policies/procedures, synergies/collaborations, or new trends/technology use)

The meeting ended with an input exercise asking EDs to address four topic areas (1. Economic & Community Impact of Nonprofits/Policy and Local Government Issues; 2. Networking; 3. Fund Development and Grantsmanship; and 4. Skill Development for Executive Leadership/Board Membership and Recruitment Issues) and answering:

  • What does this topic mean to you/your organization?
  • What would you like to see STNED do, provide or support in this area?

The input summary will be posted shortly. The Steering Committee will be meeting to discuss next steps for the Group, including setting the next meeting. Interested in more info, e-mail us.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Live from Jumping Into Social Media

The New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON) is posting live from the IHS conference in Corning today. NYCON VP of Membership and Marketing Valerie Venezia is speaking right now about social media and networking tools. She is talking about the culture shift that nonprofits have to consider when integrating these new tools. You want to give consideration to these efforts, and how they fit within your mission. But, don't be afraid to "jump in." Nonprofits have to engage and immerse themselves in social media. This is the future.

Want to share your own feedback on this topic or how your nonprofit is using these tools? Post here or visit our wiki.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Agenda for Upcoming ED Group Meeting

1. Introduction to NYNED: Andrew Marietta, NYCON

2. STNED Steering Committee overview: Patrick Rogers, IHS
a. Formation/survey results
b. Mission statement
c. Group organization/communication (Provider Online, etc.)
d. Quarterly meetings/proposed schedule (suggestions & confirm)
i. Brown bag lunch meetings/Breakfast meetings w/ $ charge
ii. 1st or 3rd week of the month, in Feb/March, May, September and November
iii. Roaming locations/Consistent locations

3. Mission
“The Southern Tier Nonprofit Executive Directors group is a network of nonprofit executive and management professionals in the Southern Tier/Finger Lakes Region of New York State that provides education, peer support and the sharing of ideas to strengthen leadership and promote the collaborative utilization of resources.”

4. Graffiti exercise
Each chart will have a steering committee member facilitate participants flesh out more detail on each topic. General questions are:
“What does this topic mean to you/your organization?”
“What would you like to see STNED do, provide or support in this area?”

Key topics (top 6 from survey completed in November) will include:
  • Economic & Community Impact of Nonprofits/Policy and Local Government Issues
  • Networking
  • Fund Development and Grantsmanship
  • Skill Development for Executive Leadership/Board Membership and Recruitment Issues

5. Next Steps

STNED Ad hoc Steering Committee
Nancy Blake, Career Development Council
Elaine Farwell, Tanglewood Nature Center
Dave Hill, Pro Action
Joyce Hyatt, CVRHN
Sara Palmer, Community Foundation
Patrick Rogers, Institute for Human Services
Dick Russell, Faith In Action
Chris Sproule, Triangle Foundation
Denise Townley, Rape Crisis of the ST

Monday, March 9, 2009

Special Reports on Economic Stimulus and Recovery

The National Council of Nonprofits, a partner association of the New York Council of Nonprofits (formerly CCSNYS), continues to post their Special Reports on Economic Stimulus & Recovery. The National Council of Nonprofits is proud to openly share this evolving series of Special Reports about our nation’s economic recovery, including analysis of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (commonly referred to as the economic stimulus bill) that President Obama signed into law on February 17, 2009.

The newest report, Sources of Information Regarding Stimulus Funds, is available now: Special Report #4
This report identifies national and state sources of information about the federal stimulus funds, including official recovery websites that states have established.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tompkins County Human Services Coalition Workshop Series 2008-09

Staff Recruitment from A - Z with Kim Swartwout and Shari Constantino from the Society for Human Resource Management of Tompkins County, Wed. March 18 and Wed. March 25 from 9:00 am to 11:30 am at Cornell Cooperative Extension, 615 Willow Ave, Ithaca. $80 for both sessions.

Staff Recruitment from A – Z's target audience is staff in non-profit and governmental agencies with recruitment and hiring responsibilities. The workshops will cover the following examples: Laying the Ground Work; Determine what you need; What outcome are you after; SHRM’s 10 Best Practices for Non-Profit Hiring; Writing the job description; Position summary; Essential functions; Job specifications; Recruitment Alternatives to paper postings; and much more.

For more information or to register, call 607-273-8686 or e-mail.

Coalition Workshop Series Schedule through June 2009
  • Evaluating the Agency Chief Executive, Kirby Edmonds Tue, Mar 10, 9:00-10:30 am, Cornell Cooperative Ext. Room B, $25
  • Staff Recruitment from A-Z, Part 1, Shari Constantino and Kim Swartwout Wed, Mar 18, 9:00-11:30 am, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Room B, $80 for both sessions
  • Conflict: From Crisis to Opportunity, Judy Saul Mon, Mar 23, 9:00-11:30 am, Chamber of Commerce, $40
  • Recruitment from A-Z, Part 2, Shari Constantino, Kim Swartwout Wed, Mar 25, 9:00-11:30 am, Cornell Cooperative Ext., Room A, $80 for both sessions
  • Recruiting for Board Diversity: Why Organizations Fail and What to Do About It, Part 2 (A three-session workshop, limited to 12), Kirby Edmonds Tue, Mar 31, 9:00-10:30 am, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Room A, $75 for all three
  • Making Your Working Board Work, Part 1: Managing Stress and Avoiding Burnout, Kirby Edmonds Thu, Apr 23, 10:30-12:00pm, Chamber of Commerce, $25
  • Making Meetings Work, Judy Saul Mon, Apr 29, 9:00-10:30 am, Chamber of Commerce, $40
  • Making Your Working Board Work, Part 2: Managing Conflict, Kirby Edmonds Wed, Apr 29, 9:00-10:30am, Chamber of Commerce, $25
  • Making Your Working Board Work, Part 3: Strategic Planning, Kirby Edmonds Tue, May 5, 9:00-10:30am, Cornell Cooperative Ext., Room A, $25
  • Recruiting for Board Diversity, Why Organizations Fail and What to Do About It, Part 3, Kirby Edmonds Thu, May 7, 9-10:30am, Cornell Cooperative Ext., Room A, $75 for all three
  • Developmental Leadership: Releasing Initiative, Finding All the Leaders in Your Organization, Margo Hittleman Tue, May 12, 8:30 am-1:30pm, Cornell Cooperative Ext, Room A, $85
  • Strategic Human Resource Planning, Part 1, Joanne Conley Mon, May 19, 9:00-11:30 am, Cornell Cooperative Ext., Room A, $40
  • Leading with Impact: Your Ripple Effect, Roxana Bahar Hewertson Thu, May 21, 8:30am-4:30pm, Highland Lodge, 5176 Indian Fort Rd, Trumansburg, $135
  • Managing for Growth/Reduction, David Campbell Tue, May 26, 9-11:30am, Cornell Cooperative Ext., Room A, $40
  • Strategic Human Resource Planning, Part 2, Joanne Conley Fri, May 29, 9:00-11:30 am, Cornell Cooperative Ext., Room A, $40
  • Strategic Planning, Session 1: Myths and Realities (2-session workshop), Judy Saul, Ann Martin Tue, June 2, 9:00-11:30 am, Cornell Cooperative Ext., Room A, $80 for two sessions
  • Strategic Planning, Session 2: Planning to Plan (2-session workshop), Judy Saul, Ann Martin Tue, June 9, 9:00-11:30 am, Cornell Cooperative Ext., Room A, $80 for two sessions
  • Financial Management and Planning in Small/Startup Nonprofits, David Campbell Wed, Feb 25, 9:00-10:30 am, Cornell Cooperative Ext., Room A, $25
  • Partners in Leadership, Part 1, (3-session workshop), Burke Keegan Thu, June 18, 9:00-11:00 am, Cornell Cooperative Ext., Room B, $105 for three sessions
  • Partners in Leadership, Part 2 (3-session workshop), Burke Keegan Tue, June 23, 9:00-11:00 am, Cornell Cooperative Ext., Room A, $105 for three sessions
  • Partners in Leadership, Part 3 (3-session workshop), Burke Keegan Tue, June 30, 9:00-11:00 am, Cornell Cooperative Ext., Room A, $105 for three sessions

For more information or to register, call 607-273-8686 or e-mail.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Action Steps Offered by the Arts Sector

Miss the New York State Council on the Arts Cultural Blueprints session held last fall? Visit their blog and learn about this statewide series of public forums initiated by the New York State Council on the Arts to identify regional and statewide strategies and opportunities for the arts to serve as a catalyst for cultural, economic and community development. A session was held in the Southern Tier, and the notes available here, outline the discussions that took place. Participants explored five themes: Infrastructure, Intellectual Capital and Workforce Development, International and Global Thinking, Investment and Financial Models, and Image and Identity. Explore the key themes of these breakout sessions as well as some of the potential action steps proposed by participants.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New Bills Introduced in NYS

NY Property Tax Exemption and Appropriation for Nonprofits
AB 2236 would amend the real property tax law to provide a property tax exemption to nonprofits, and allow owners of exempt property to apply for state financial aid in an amount equal to the sum of the property tax that the owner would have paid had the property not been exempt.

NY Required Posting on Charitable Solicitation Containers
AB 2678 would amend existing law regarding charitable contributions to require charities that solicit donations through unattended containers to post the percentage of the funds that will actually be used for the stated charitable purpose.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Southern Tier Nonprofit Executive Directors Group meeting set for March 18th

The first Southern Tier ED Group meeting will be held on March 18th following the Institute for Human Services 2009 Annual Conference called Managing in Tough Times: Leveraging Resources and Enhancing Networks. The meeting will begin at 12 pm and the agenda is below. The meeting is free for IHS conference participants and $5 for other executive directors. Refreshments will be provided.


  • Short introduction to the NY Nonprofit Executive Directors Network by CCSNYS regional manager Andrew Marietta
  • IHS director Pat Rogers will give a short compilation of what the Steering Committee has been working on (including mission statement)
  • The Group will establish a meeting schedule
  • Do a Graffiti type exercise with flip charts containing headlines of important key topics for the Group

Date: Wednesday, March 18th, 2009
Time: 12:00pm to 12:45pm
Cost: Free to IHS conference participants and $5 for other directors - Open to nonprofits from the Five county region (Steuben, Allegany, Chemung, Schuyler and Yates)
Refreshments will be provided
Radisson Hotel Corning, 125 Denison Pkwy E, Corning, NY 14830


Thursday, February 19, 2009

STNED Steering Committee Feb. 13th Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the February 13th, 2009 STNED Steering Committee Meeting

In Attendance: Sara Palmer-Community Foundation, Chris Sproule-Triangle Fund, Dick Russell-Faith in Action, Pat Rogers- Institute for Human Services, Joyce Hyatt-Chemung Valley Rural Health Network, Nancy Blake- Career Development Council, Elaine Farwell-Tanglewood Nature Ctr. & Museum

I. Review of IHS Annual Meeting (March 18th, 2009)
a. Pat stated that it was decided at the last meeting that STNED’s initial meeting be scheduled after the IHS regular meeting. People can go to the IHS meeting and then go to the STNED meeting, or just to the STNED (no charge for conference participants, actual refreshment cost charge to STNED only participants). Pat mentioned possibly doing a pre-conference online survey to identify participant organizational priorities in the current economic environment . Pre-conference registration will be posted online.

II. Mission Statement
a. Joyce brought the template for creating mission statements and after much discussion (and patient editing by Joyce), we came up with the following tentative mission statement for STNED:
The Southern Tier Non-Profit Directors Group is a network of non-profit executive and management professionals in the Southern Finger Lakes Region of New York State that provides education, peer support and the sharing of ideas to strengthen leadership and promote the collaborative utilization of resources.”

III. STNED Meeting after IHS Annual Meeting
a. What do we want to do at the meeting? Elaine (TW) stated we want to make sure it isn’t a repeat of the first meeting we had at the IHS in Bath in November. We all agreed we want to make sure people know we are making progress. We came up with the following format:
i. Short introduction to NYNED by Andrew Marietta
ii. Pat Rogers will give a short compilation of what the Steering Committee has been working on (including our mission statement). He will also outline how the IHS can support the Group to be more organized and have an internet presence (newsletter, constant contact, web links), which will keep us connected (along with NYNED site) between quarterly meetings.
iii. Establish/OK meeting schedule (taking info. from Andrew’s previous online survey). Might look something like: brown bag lunch meetings, 1st or 3rd week of the month, in Feb/March, May, September and November, roaming locations. We can get more input from everyone at this point (works, doesn’t work, alternate).
iv. Do a Graffiti type exercise with flip charts containing headlines of already established (through another of Andrew’s online surveys of interested directors) important key topics. Attendees will rotate through the topics. Key topics will include: Networking, Fund Development, Grantseeking, Economic & Community Impact of Non-profits and possibly one more? Each chart will have a steering committee member facilitate working through the topics to see what people want more specifically. What does this topic mean to you? What does your organization want to get from the exploration of this topic?

IV. Other Business
a. Joyce (CVRHN) brought up questions about dues (should we have them?), competing groups (there are really none in the immediate area) and take-aways from the meetings. She also suggested having a yearly schedule of sorts so that people know what is coming up and can arrange their schedules accordingly. Dick (FIA) said that we could structure it as Joyce had described. Ours might look something like: Feb/March- Education (piggybacking on the IHS Annual Meeting), May and November-Focus Groups, September-Social Networking.
b. Chris said the Triangle (and Community Foundation) are interested in keeping an eye on the STNED Group and possibly helping us as we move forward. Maybe financially (via a grant?), maybe otherwise, since there is an interest with both Foundations in seeing a group like ours succeed.
c. We should have a logo at least to begin on professionalizing the group. Nancy Blake suggested using a BOCES or CCC student project as they had previously done.
V. Next Meeting
a. Will be planned if needed before the March 18th IHS meeting. We will consult via email about that and to re-look at the mission we developed. Pat will let us know about any needs he has (including additional flip charts and volunteers to facilitate work at the charts) for the March meeting.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Don't Sit on Your Assets: How to Substitute Creativity for Cash and Accomplish More in Challenging Economic Times

Registration is now open for "Don't Sit on Your Assets: How to Substitute Creativity for Cash and Accomplish More in Challenging Economic Times" presented by Jeff Bercuvitz, president of Sparks: The Center for Leadership, Innovation and Community (bio below) at the Tikkun v'Or Retreat Center on Thursday, March 5th, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

* Are you trying to figure out how to not only help your organization get through the current fiscal crisis, but come out of it stronger than ever?
* Are you interested to learn how to capture the imagination of funders and the general public on a very limited budget?
* Do you want to keep morale high and help staff avoid burnout?

On March 5th, leaders in Tompkins County will have the opportunity to participate in a day-long workshop led by Jeff Bercuvitz, the president of The Center for Leadership, Innovation and Community (CLIC), to help them clarify their individual visions of success, learn how to identify and harness often overlooked resources and develop a "think big, start small" action plan for their organization.

Over the past 20 years, Jeff has trained and coached thousands of community builders, social service professionals and other leaders in more than 40 states, throughout Canada and in numerous countries in Africa, Asia and Europe. His work has been widely lauded for its creativity and results.

Bio: As president of The Center for Leadership, Innovation and Community (CLIC) Jeff Bercuvitz has worked with many non-profit organizations, social service agencies, foundations, educational institutions, civic groups, municipalities, businesses, and government agencies to help their leadership and staffs discover creative, inexpensive and enjoyable ways to make their work more successful, as well as more personally rewarding and sustainable.

The heart of Bercuvitz's work is inspiring creativity, passion and action for individuals, organizations and communities. He helps people clarify their visions of success and then brainstorms with them to craft practical strategies to build support for their efforts, gain access to more resources and realize their visions of success, while simultaneously avoiding burnout.
Bercuvitz has worked with organizations ranging from the White House to women's cooperatives in rural Tanzania. He has designed innovative campaigns around the country for cities from Seattle to Kalamazoo. He has given more than 500 talks and workshops on effective strategies for community service, youth involvement, inclusion of people with disabilities, sustainability, downtown revitalization, crime prevention, economic development, and other facets of community-building and leadership development.

In lively and entertaining workshops and retreats, Bercuvitz motivates people by telling inspiring success stories, while also providing them with the necessary "how-to's" to set meaningful and achievable goals and then move effectively from vision to action. His "Small Sparks" process has been singled out as one of the country's best examples of how to move beyond talking about social capital, to actually helping to build it. Around the world, Bercuvitz is known as the "Chocolateman" for giving out chocolates as he catches ordinary people in the act of doing extraordinary things to strengthen their organizations and communities.

Prior to his founding the Center for Leadership, Innovation and Community, Bercuvitz served as the president of Community Innovations and as the Executive Director of the Working Land Fund, a not-for-profit organization that integrated sustainable agriculture, land preservation and community economic development. Bercuvitz also served as the Director of the Regeneration Project of Rodale Press in Emmaus, Pennsylvania that helped people learn sustainable economic development and community-building strategies.

Cost: $130 (registration information below); deadline for receipt of payment: Thursday, February 26, 2009 – space is limited. Lunch and snacks will be provided.

Questions: call (607) 273-8686 or email

Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County Leadership Development Series 2008-2009

"How to Ask for Money" with Burke Keegan
For Board Members, Chief Executives and Development Staff of Non-profit Organizations
Wednesday, February 25, 2009, 9:00-11:30am
Beverly Livesay Conference Room, Human Services Building
320 W. State St./Martin Luther King, Jr. St.
Ithaca, NY 14850

This fast-paced session will be most helpful to fundraisers, volunteer and staff, who are ready to meet with donors and ask them for a large amount of money. We will cover identifying prospects, qualifying them, cultivating and asking, and thanking them. Everyone will practice asking, and have the experience of being asked.

Burke Keegan is a Board Development and Fundraising expert based in Newfield, New York. Since 1976, she has worked with non-profits to develop their potential for excellence. Burke provides Technical Assistance in Board Governance issues, Board Expansion, and in Major Gift and Annual Campaigns; produces Feasibility Studies for non-profits contemplating new ways to raise money; and conducts Board Retreats, Fundraising Trainings and specially tailored trainings to help organizations identify and reach their potential. She also Coaches Directors of Development and Board Members to give them expert feedback and advice on how to get the results they desire. Her book, Fundraising for Non-Profits, HarperCollins, in its fourth printing, is used as a college text and Board manual.
Fee: $40. Deadline for receipt of payment: Friday, February 20, 2009 — space is limited.

Questions: call (607) 273-8686 or email

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Scan of Nonprofit Policy Recommendations for the Obama Administration

The Cohen Report, written by Rick Cohen, the Nonprofit Quarterly’s national correspondent, features an overview here of many of the ideas and agendas being put forward to the Obama administration by various nonprofit groups and associations. As his blog post states:

"The analysis here taps formal recommendations or briefs promulgated by several organizations including Independent Sector, the National Council of Nonprofits, and the Council on Foundations, plus shorter commentaries and op-eds issued by well known nonprofit sector leaders and observers such as Lester Salamon, John Bridgeland, E.J. Dionne, and Melissa Berman."

Mr. Cohen breaks this information out into categories and brings a clear perspective to the many calls for action in the nonprofit sector.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Highlighting the struggles of the region

This info was shared by Martha Robertson, Tompkins County Legislator, Town of Dryden (western half). She relates that while other communities are being hit harder, Tompkins County is being impacted. As she relates:

"On Wednesday of this week, those of us who attended the Homeless & Housing Task Force meeting described below heard reports from a long list of the "safety net" agencies. These included the Tompkins County Office for the Aging, Food Bank of the Southern Tier, the Red Cross, Tompkins Community Action and many others. Just a few "lowlights" --
  • There have been spikes in the number of guests going to Loaves and Fishes for meals and advocacy.
  • TCA is getting at least 50-75 calls a day for heating assistance. They had to change their food pantry hours to accommodate people trying to get there on their lunch hour. In other words, working people are seeing their hours cut so they can't feed their families on their wages anymore.
  • Catholic Charities has given security deposits to 70 families in the last four months; the remaining money has to last eight months, until the new IURA funds kick in, next October 1. However, they only have enough money to serve another 28 families.
  • Workforce NY is seeing about 560 people a month coming in looking for work; many more senior citizens are coming in looking for a job.

The real families behind these numbers are struggling. The nonprofits are fighting to preserve services in the face of state budget cuts. The need is exploding and the resources are shrinking."

This info clearly shows the growing needs and some of the many challenges the nonprofit sector is confronting. The Southern Tier ED Group will continue to post regional information here, and invites other EDs to share their stories.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Guide for sharing space

Two groups have published a guide for foundations on sharing nonprofit workspaces. The free guide from the NonprofitCenters Network and Tides Shared Spaces lists benefits of sharing space and services, and provides tips for foundations looking to fund such "mission-focused facilities." The guide also includes profiles of projects across the U.S. that are considered best-practice efforts in sharing nonprofit space.

Managing through the Downturn

Fiscal Management Associates (FMA) and the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) joined together to present a workshop, The 2009 Nonprofit Economic Climate: Managing through the Downturn, that offered nonprofit leaders concrete tools to lead their organizations in response to the current ecnomic challenges. With the support of The Clark, Robin Hood, and Tiger foundations, the tools and presentation from this program are available online here. The link offers a 90 minute webinar and powerpoint and various tools.

Available tools include:
  • Recession Checklist
  • Recession Tips
  • Cash Flow template
  • Financial Matters for Bankers
  • Reserve Options
  • Scenario Planning Model
  • Cost Reduction Strategies
  • Cost Containment Discussion
  • Scenario Planning Process
  • Strategic Alliances Checklist