Monday, June 30, 2008

Media Survey

Thanks to everyone that has completed our Nonprofit Public Relations/Media Survey! If you havne't filled the survey out yet, please take the time to check it out. We have gathered some great feedback so far that we are using to plan our Wednesday, September 10th group program on Nonprofits and Media. The program will be held from 12-2pm at Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency.

One of the main concerns expressed in the survey was a lack of time. Many responses cited the lack of time that nonprofit staff have to focus on their media coverage and the time-crunch that reporters face as well. Hopefully our panel participants (representatives from local media outlets) will be able to engage in discussion with us about how we can all get the most out of the limited time investments that we can make.

Organizations seemed particularly interested in learning how to create situations where both the media and nonprofits could benefit. Many respondents had creative ideas about how to cultivate these win-win relationships, and even more expressed interest in discovering how to do so. One response summed up the sentiment expressed by many, saying that the organization could provide "Great stories, great visuals, great sources and great style. When they find us, they'll love us-- but we're out of their regular radar range... I'm workin' on it!"

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Utica City may impose nonprofit firms fee

An article appeared in The Observer-Dispatch on Friday raising the possibility that "charitable nonprofit agencies that have long been tax exempt might have to pay a service fee to the city as early as next year, city leaders said." The city is researching how it could implement a charge for all properties in Utica that receive services such as street cleaning, snow removal and street and sidewalk repairs. Read about it here. As budget constraints become more of an issue in the region, nonprofits will face more pressure from local and county government. The Steering Committee will be considering a response, and would like to invite your feedback and input.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Steering Committee Meeting: Nonprofits & The Media

On June 18th the Steering Committee held a phone conference to discuss upcoming programs. Our next group-wide meeting will be held September 10th from 12pm-2pm at Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency on River Road in Utica. The program will focus on the relationships between nonprofits and the media. We are planning a panel discussion with local media outlets on public relations (not marketing/paid advertising). We are hoping to have a discussion with local newspaper, radio, and television outlets on the larger issues that arise in the communications between nonprofits and the media. Example questions for the panel so far are:
-When there is a crisis involving a nonprofit, where do we start in addressing the media?
-What are 5 things that nonprofits do well for the media?
-What are 5 things that we don't do well when communicating with the media?

We've put together a survey in order to gain more feedback about what you'd like to focus on. Please take the time to click here and share your experiences.

Also, please remember to send us any events and trainings you might have scheduled so that we can add them to the calendar that will soon be up on this page. The calendar will be a place for you to stay updated on the events organized by Oneida & Herkimer nonprofits. If your organization is hosting a training session that you'd like to open up for other organizations, please send that along as well (even if there is an attendance cost). You can email your events to:

Looking ahead to the rest of the year, our last meeting will be in November/December and is tentatively focused on Board Retention and Recruitment.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

40 Below & Board Recruitment Methods

If you haven’t heard of 40 Below yet, take a minute to check out their site. The Syracuse-based group promotes “civic participation among young professionals in Central New York.” Pretty exciting stuff! Tonight over 90 nonprofit agencies will be attending their Involvement Fair from 5-9pm. The event is targeted towards young professionals who are interested in discovering opportunities to serve on a board of directors or volunteer.

In light of the interest in board recruitment that the group has recently expressed, it’s worth exploring opportunities like these. We’ll continue to discuss other creative ideas for board recruitment in the upcoming months; think about some of the successful recruitment your organization has done in the past and some ideas you’d like to try in the future.

Monday, June 16, 2008

"Beyond Charity": The Nonprofit Impact

Here is an interesting report on the D.C. area’s nonprofit community that focuses on measuring return on investment in order to show how valuable nonprofits are. Not only does the report talk about the economic impact of the organizations, it also focuses on the way nonprofits encourage civic engagement and generate social capital. The report uses programs to illustrate how the sector saves society money by focusing on prevention, finding untapped potential, and by utilizing volunteers and in-kind donations.

It’s no surprise to those of us working with nonprofits that the return on investment is significant and strengthens communities. However, many people have never considered thinking about, or evaluating, nonprofits in terms of their return on investment. Next time someone asks what your organization does for the region, you can provide a reply that goes deeper than your programming; remind them of the social capital generated, the way you maximize resources, and the money your nonprofit is saving them!