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!