Sunday, January 31, 2010

Food bank may face $10,000 tax bill

The Utica OD reported that an oversight by the former executive director of the Community Food Bank of Greater Utica may end up costing the local nonprofit thousands of dollars in taxes from which it would normally be exempt.

Mark Wolber, president of the food bank’s board of directors, told city Common Council members Wednesday that Kim Strong, who resigned as executive director for personal reasons in October, failed to file the proper paperwork for tax exemption status after the organization purchased its current building at 112-114 Bleecker Street several years ago.

The typically tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization now owes the city $10,000 in back taxes as a result. Read more here.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Utica Training: How Grants Work

February 10, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Utica, NY: Hotel Utica, 102 Lafayette Street, Utica, NY 13502

This popular workshop is an excellent way for program staff, administrators, and boards of directors to gain a general understanding of what grants are all about and the elements required for success. Equal attention is given to the needs and interests of both your organization and grantmakers. Participants receive Word and Excel templates to help them develop grant proposals.

Topics include:
• Understanding what’s most important to grantmakers
• Researching grants and approaching grantmakers prior to applying
• How to plan programs and projects before writing grants
• Preparing information commonly asked for in grant applications
• Building a grantseekers tool kit to help you save time

Cost: $50 per person, includes materials, refreshments and parking (group discounts available)
Instructor: Nonprofit Works President, Paul Mastrodonato, has helped nonprofits obtain funding from foundations, corporations, and government agencies for over 18 years. Paul’s presentation style is known for being informative, interactive, relaxed, and fun.

Pre-registration is required. For more information about this or other
Nonprofit Works courses, call us at (518) 581-8841, e-mail us at,
or visit our website at
Registration Form — How Grants Work

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Community Foundation receives record $6 million donation

The Utica OD reported that the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties received its largest donation ever on Monday — nearly $6 million.

The funds — which came from the Mele Foundation after it dissolved and sold its assets — will be used to establish the Mele Family Fund, a donor-advisory fund that will be awarded to area nonprofits, said Anne White, director of marketing and communications for the Community Foundation.

“It’s a wonderful gift,” she said. “A fund like this – I think it represents a lot of hope for the community.”

The Community Foundation typically receives about $2 million to $4 million per year in donations, but the last three years have been “extraordinary” – with a total of $23 million, said Peggy O’Shea, president and chief executive officer of the Community Foundation.

Mele Companies first was established by Emedio Mele in 1912 in New York City and moved to Utica in the mid 1950s. The jewelry box maker once was one of the area's major employers. Read more here.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

North Country Grant Search Site Launched

The Gouverneur Times reported that State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine and SUNY Canton yesterday launched the North Country Grant Search Web site, a working database of public and private grants designed to provide broad access to available funding for nonprofits, municipalities and economic developers.

“This new Web site is a new and powerful tool for local governments and nonprofits,” Sen. Aubertine said. “Now more than ever our Central and Northern New York municipalities and nonprofits need the best tools at their disposal to take advantage of whatever state, federal and private funding is available. This site is a one-stop shop bringing together on one site the contact information for hundreds of foundations and agencies. The work SUNY Canton has done to make this site easy to use and accessible will go a long way toward ensuring that key projects and initiatives in our region have the funding they need to move forward.” Read more here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Risk Management Tip of the Month

The New York Council of Nonprofits is a satellite office for the Nonprofit Risk Management Center, and will be offering these monthly risk management tips. Interested in more information on risk management? NYCON and our insurance brokerage subsidiary, Council Services Plus, can offer your nonprofit access to resources and assistance. Contact us!

JANUARY Getting Your Board’s House in Order
Effective nonprofits boards are essential to mission fulfillment, yet many nonprofit boards continue to operate on a “wing and a prayer”—just barely able to get the job done. Nonprofit CEOs, working in partnership with their volunteer boards and committees, are in the pilot’s seat when it comes to empowering outstanding governance practices by the board. Remember that:

1. The board’s principal responsibility is to guide and monitor the values and goals of the organization. Ineffective boards simply rubber stamp the plans of a staff or volunteer leader. Effective boards revisit the values and goals of the nonprofit on a regular basis and guide the realization of the nonprofit’s mission. CEOs must encourage and support the board in this important work.

2. Every board member has legal and moral responsibility for providing thoughtful oversight. Two of the most important steps a CEO can take to empower the board is to schedule training on the review of financial statements (you can’t oversee what you don’t understand) and encourage tough questions from the board. Acting as if questions from the board are an insult will extinguish healthy boardroom discussion and increase out of the room conversations about the CEO’s performance. At some point those conversations may turn to the nonprofit’s need for new staff leadership.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Grantsmanship Center Offers Training at Cornell Cooperative Extension Feb 8-12

The Grantsmanship Center's signature Grantsmanship Training Program
is coming to Oriskany, NY, February 8-12, 2010.

The program will be hosted by
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County.

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About the training
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The Grantsmanship Training Program is a comprehensive, hands-on workshop that covers the complete grant development process, from researching funding sources to writing and reviewing grant proposals. More than 110,000 nonprofit and government personnel have attended this fast-paced, five-day workshop, which is followed with a full year of membership support services.

What will you learn
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During the workshop, participants learn The Grantsmanship Center's proposal-writing format, the most widely used in the world. In addition to practicing advanced techniques for pursuing government, foundation, and corporate grants, participants work in small teams to develop and then review real grant proposals.

Participants exit the class equipped with new skills, new professional connections, and follow-up services for one year, including professional proposal review, access to The Grantsmanship Center's exclusive online funding databases, and an array of other benefits. Many also leave with proposals that are ready to polish and submit.

How to attend
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Tuition for the Grantsmanship Training Program is $895 ($845 for each additional registrant from the same organization).

To ensure personalized attention, class size is limited to 30 participants. To register online, click here. For more information or to learn about scholarship opportunities for qualifying organizations, call The Grantsmanship Center at (800) 421-9512.

Quick Links...
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Our Podcasts

News for Grantseekers

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Several Elected Officials to attend Community Forum

The Genesis Group and The Chamber Alliance of the Mohawk Valley present the,
4th Annual Regional Community Forum

on Thursday January 21st - 7:30am at The Radisson Hotel Utica Centre
Cost - $20.00 per person

This Community Forum will provide a valuable opportunity for officials to hear the thoughts and concerns from a variety of

geographic areas and jurisdictional levels.

Each year, Genesis brings together our areas Elected Officials to focus on the issues facing our region and to discuss their goals for the new year.

Participating in the forum are officials from federal, state, county and local levels of government;

Assemblywoman RoAnn Destito
Assemblyman Marc Butler
Senator Joseph Griffo
Senator James Seward
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente
Rome Mayor James Brown
Utica Mayor David Roefaro
New Hartford Town Supervisor Patrick Tyksinski
New Hartford Village Mayor Donald Ryan
Dolgeville Mayor Bruce Lyon
Joseph Johnson (District Director), representing Congressman Michael Arcuri
Troy Waffner (Legislative Director), representing Senator David Valesky
Jennifer Muthig, (Regional Representative for Governor David Paterson)

Make your reservation today by contacting Genesis Executive DirectorRay Durso, Jr.,
by calling 792.7187 or via this email,

The Chamber Alliance of the Mohawk Valley includes the chambers of Boonville, Camden, Clinton, Herkimer County,

Kuyahoora Valley, Marcy, New Hartford, Rome and Trenton.

The Genesis Group, now celebrating its 10th Anniversary, was founded in December

2000 by a group of community leaders who believed it was time to transform the Mohawk Valley into a vital region where positive economic, social and quality of life changes are possible. Today, The Genesis Group is a vibrant association working to advance regional economic, social and cultural interest and to foster regional unity and cooperation.

Friday, January 8, 2010

New Name Announced!

The Oneida and Herkimer Nonprofit Executive Directors Group has changed its name to Mohawk Valley Nonprofit Leaders Group.

Rescheduled ED Program Set for March 31st

Sponsored by The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties, Inc.
Presented by David Moynihan, President of the NYS Society of CPAs

David Moynihan, president of the New York State Society of CPAs, will offer a program on Wed, December 9th at 1pm on the importance of quality audits and improving the audit process. David’s presentation includes best practices in procuring an auditor, auditor-client communication, and getting the most out of an audit. This is not a highly technical presentation—rather, it focuses on management’s ethical responsibility during the audit process.

David Moynihan, CPA is President of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA). Moynihan is the partner in charge of the audit and attest group at Testone, Marshall & Discenza LLP.

Moynihan has been a NYSSCPA member since 1982 He is chair of the NYSSCPA Peer Review committee, vice chair of its Political Action committee and past president of its Syracuse Chapter.

Moynihan is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and received its certificate of achievement in Governmental and Non-Profit Accounting and Auditing. He is also a member of the AICPA Peer Review Board and is on the Central Region Council of the New York State Government Finance Officers Association.

He is a member of the board of directors of the Spanish Action League of Syracuse, finance chair of St. Patrick’s Church and treasurer of Partners for Education and Business.
He is a graduate of LeMoyne College with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting.

About the NYSSCPA
Representing 29,000 CPAs, the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA) is the oldest state accounting organization in the nation, celebrating its 110th anniversary this year.

Incorporated in 1897, the Society is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to establish and maintain high standards of integrity, honor, and character among certified public accountants. Its members are CPAs working in public practice, industry, government and education in a state that serves as the home of Wall Street and major financial institutions.

The New York State Society of CPAs is located at 3 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016. To learn more about the Society call 800-633-6320 or visit the Society’s website at

Date: Wed, March 31st, 2010
Time: 9am to 11am
Cost: FREE
Location: Rescue Mission, Utica, NY


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

NYCON Offers Employee Benefits

Interested in Employee Benefits for Your Employees?

Take a look at three of NYCON's most popular programs. NYCON adminsters each of these programs, answers your questions, and gives you and your employees the customer service and value you deserve! The flyer outlines NYCON's Delta Dental Plans, Flexible Spending Accounts, and Life Insurance Plans.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Guest view: Region’s future depends on several factors

The Utica OD offered the following guest viewpoint from Steven DiMeo, President of Mohawk Valley EDGE:

Many economists believe the worst of the national recession is behind us. But the nation’s economic outlook will not dramatically improve until there is evidence that:

* Consumers and business confidence rebounds.
* The economy begins to see job growth.
* Small businesses have better access to credit markets.
* Key economic indicators in housing and construction, finance and the automobile industry improve.
* Sustainable markets can be developed or induced for green technology jobs.

Keep eye on state
While the Mohawk Valley has escaped the worst of the economic downturn, our economic prospects depend on how well state government adjusts to new economic realities. State budget and regulatory policies are “out of line” with the new economic realities that have Wall Street being a smaller part of the state’s economy and takes into account structural changes in the state economy.

New York has a rich supply of low-cost hydropower, but this energy resource is not used to maximize economic growth in upstate. Part of this cheap power resource is committed for lower value uses not related to attracting or retaining economic activity in upstate or is legislatively restricted to specific areas of the state and not available elsewhere in upstate.

Without fundamental changes in tax, regulatory and energy policy, New York’s economy – particularly in upstate — will continue to struggle and the upstate region will more closely resemble that of Eastern Europe before the end of the Cold War.

While the Mohawk Valley economy’s success is largely tied to national and state economic policies, EDGE has pursued initiatives that will position the region for improved economic growth. Examples include:

Marcy NanoCenter
Marcy NanoCenter at SUNYIT and marketing to the semiconductor and advanced electronics sectors:

A global marketing effort is under way to position the Mohawk Valley region for expansion opportunities by the semiconductor industry, advanced electronics, photovoltaic manufacturing and emerging clean tech sectors.

EDGE, SUNY, SUNYIT and the Research Foundation of the State University of New York have forged a partnership to develop the 300-acre site at SUNYIT that will build off of New York’s successes to be a global hub in semiconductor manufacturing and nanotechnology.

A Project Development Agreement is being finalized that will provide EDGE with a ground lease on the 300-plus acre site and $25.6 million in state and local funds are earmarked for infrastructure, site and other improvements commencing in 2010.

In addition, the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and SUNYIT have entered into a unique cross-university partnership that links both colleges together under a $45.0 million R&D-commercialization initiative in chip design and integration that will be part of SUNYIT’s new Center for Advanced Technology and will complement efforts to market the Marcy site to a global industry.

Business park
Continued growth of the Griffiss Business and Technology Park:

Griffiss continues to achieve national recognition for its success in transforming a former military installation into a model for regional economic development. Approximately $405 million in public and private investment has occurred at Griffiss since 1995. More than 5,500 people are employed by 70 private and public employers at Griffiss.

There is also a growing cluster of software development and information technology companies co-located next to the Air Force Research Laboratory. Technology companies such as CUBRC, BAE, Alion, AIS and CACI expanded or commenced operations at Griffiss this year. The research laboratory is also undergoing changes with the expansion of new and renovation to key laboratories and technology facilities.

Master plan
Master plan for the Oneida County Business Park:

Working closely with Oneida County and businesses at the Oneida County Business Park, EDGE spearheaded a redevelopment plan for the former Oneida County Airport. The reuse plan identifies key infrastructure improvements to support immediate and longer-term requirements to program nearly 2,600 acres for economic development and complements EDGE efforts at Marcy NanoCenter and Griffiss Business and Technology Park for marketing of this location.

Brownfield development
EDGE is working closely with Rome Industrial Development Corp., Rome Community Brownfield Restoration Corp. and the city of Rome on two key economic development initiatives: * Led to the construction of a 60,000-square-foot manufacturing-distribution center by American Alloy Steel on the former General Cable site.
* Continue the redevelopment of the former Rome Cable facility by completing environmental remediation activities and demolishing obsolete buildings to create new development sites.

Business outreach and assistance efforts: A core part of EDGE’s mission is to work with existing employers on expansion and business retention issues. Over the past year, EDGE and its partners helped ECR International consolidate operations in Utica, assisted F.X. Matt Brewing Co. on rebuilding its canning and warehouse operations that were damaged by fire and approved financing for Delta Hardwoods.

Business and community advocacy: EDGE has played a key role in being a strong advocate for areas business needs and has spearheaded efforts on key regional issues.

This year marked a landmark victory for the eight counties that would have been impacted by the NYRI power line. EDGE played a leadership role in working with the impacted counties and Communities Against Regional Interconnect, which was formed to oppose this effort.

A comprehensive economic development agenda for the Mohawk Valley that focuses on innovation, technology and education is in place. However, significant changes in tax, regulatory and energy policy are required in Albany if the Mohawk Valley and upstate are to attract private investment and be a beacon of opportunity for new business expansion and attraction opportunities.

Genesis Group and Chamber Alliance Present 4th Annual Regional Community Forum

The Genesis Group and The Chamber Alliance of the Mohawk Valley present the,
4th Annual Regional Community Forum
on Thursday January 21st - 7:30am at The Radisson Hotel Utica Centre
Cost - $20.00 per person

This Community Forum will provide a valuable opportunity for officials to hear the thoughts and concerns from a variety of geographic areas and jurisdictional levels.

Participating in the forum are officials from federal, state, county and local levels of government.

For reservations, contact Genesis Executive Director Ray Durso, Jr., by calling 315.792.7187 or via email,

The Chamber Alliance of the Mohawk Valley includes the chambers of Boonville, Camden, Clinton, Herkimer County, Kuyahoora Valley, Marcy, New Hartford, Rome and Trenton.

Thank you!