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.