Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How Nonprofits are Using Social Media: Utica NHS Highlighted

Here is a post from the NeighborWorks America news blog:

A few weeks ago we asked NeighborWorks Facebook fans how they're using social media. We wanted to get a pulse for how affordable housing and other nonprofits working in low and moderate income neighborhoods are using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, social networks, and such to advance their missions. At the same time, we're seeing some good local examples emerge.

So this is what we found out:

More and more, organizations are using blogs, Facebook pages, and YouTube to tell their stories. Organizations are incorporating personal testimonies to give a face to the real people whose lives are benefitting from their services.

Organizations are setting up YouTube channels to tell their story and make available educational information. Utica NHS, for example, worked with a local television program to do a series on financial education. The first segment on cleaning up holiday debt was terrific.

Read more here.

Executive Director - GroWest

Neighborhood housing and community revitalization agency seeks Executive Director. Candidate should be proficient in the areas of non-profit management, public finance, grant writing, human resources and public relations. Salary range $50-55K plus benefits.

Interested candidates should send materials to:
Robert Baber
President, GroWest Board of Directors
1124 State Street
Utica, NY 13502

No calls please. Application deadline is 3/15/10, with target hire date of 4/15/10

Executive Director, Direct Report to the GroWest Board of Directors

GroWest, Inc. seeks an Executive Director to lead our Utica, NY based community revitalization and development organization. S/he will provide leadership and vision to ensure that GroWest fulfills its mission, realizes its vision and achieves its institutional goals for excellence, innovation and service to the community. The Executive Director is responsible and accountable for the overall programming, organizational and financial success of the organization.

Our mission is to develop an attractive, safe, economically viable community through the promotion of home ownership, business opportunity and neighborhood pride. We are dedicated to preserving and increasing the supply of decent, safe and affordable housing to low and moderate-income households, and to identifying and developing resources to improve neighborhood conditions within our program area.

We accomplish this through a combination of rehabilitation loans and grants, technical assistance and hands-on construction management to provide housing rehabilitation assistance to low to moderate income, elderly and disabled homeowners in the near west side of downtown Utica.

GroWest is a Certified Housing Development Organization (CHDO) and Neighborhood Preservation Company (NPC), whose service area is currently eligible for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, and has already been designated an Economic Opportunity Zone, an Empire Zone, an Urban Renewal Area and an Empowerment Zone.

In its strategic plan, the Board affirmed three major goals: maintaining the quality of existing housing and rental stock through rehabilitation; increasing the number of owner-occupied homes; and increasing community involvement and cultural opportunities in the service area.

To carry out these goals, we seek an Executive Director who will lead a staff of 8. S/he will report directly to the 16-member Board of Directors. S/he will oversee an operating budget of around $3,000,000.


1. Board Administration and Support

Establish and maintain a good working relationship with the Board of Directors.

Attend all monthly Board Meetings, Monthly Executive Committee Meetings and Board Committee meetings as necessary.

Advise the Board through a monthly narrative Executive Director's Report, monthly statistical reports and quarterly program progress evaluations.

Interface between the Board and staff, ensuring that all parties have sufficient and up-to-date information.

Assists in the selection, evaluation and training of Board members.

Provide input and assistance to the Board on the strategic plan, fund raising and Request for Proposals, and then assume primary responsibility for carrying out the plans and policies as established by the Board of Directors.

2. Program, Product and Service Delivery

Responsible and accountable for all aspects of the design, quality, marketing, promotion and delivery of programs, products and services.

Develop and maintain strong, innovative, well-balanced programs and projects to meet the needs of West Utica residents and businesses while assisting in the preservation, development and revitalization of its historic and mixed-use districts.

Work closely with staff and Board members to develop new programs, formulate policies and make planning recommendations.

Coordinate all Neighborhood Preservation Company (NPC) and Community Development Housing Organization (CHDO) program activities, including preparing all required audits and reports, work plans and correspondence.

3. Financial, Tax, Risk and Facilities Management

Prepare and present to the Board an annual budget and operating plan for the agency, and later ensuring that expenditures stay within the budgeted amounts.

Assist the Financial Director with a monthly overview of operational revenues and expenditures, and prepare budget revisions as needed through the year.

Prudently manage the organization's resources within the budget guidelines and according to current laws and regulations.

Develop and maintain a program of financial support that is strong enough to underwrite Board approved programs and facilities.

Manage and assist financial staff with all organizational audits and filings, including the annual IRS 990 and Federal program audits.

Sign checks on behalf of the agency; authorize purchase orders, vouchers and payments within parameters set in the by-laws.

Administer contracts as approved by the Board.

Manage the physical resources of the organization, including property and vehicles.

4. Human Resource Management

Oversee the day-to-day management including supervision of the staff and coordination with the Board according to authorized personnel policies.

Hold weekly staff meetings.

Approve internships, student field placements and other volunteer work assignments.

Create and maintain an operational/procedural manual outlining in detail the various technical aspects of the Executive Director's position.

Oversee the creation and maintenance of an operational/procedural manual for all other GroWest staff positions.

Provide training, assistance and direction as necessary to maintain a happy, diverse, high quality, effective, motivated staff.

5. Community and Public Relations

Preparation of an Annual Report to include: a written account of yearly activities; description of overall programs; activities and accomplishments; eligibility to receive deductible contributions; information about the governing body and structure; and information about fundraising activities and financial position.

Represent GroWest throughout the community as a visible and articulate spokesperson, and supervise other staff in their representation of the agency.

Assure that the organization and its mission, programs, products and services are consistently presented in strong, positive image to stakeholders and the public.

Ensure that the organization maintains positive and productive relationships with the philanthropic and financial communities; arts, education and cultural institutions; government; its neighbors; and other community organizations.

Establish and maintain a good working relationship with the local media.

6. Fundraising

S/he leads the fundraising effort by overseeing the development plan and its implementation; identifying resource requirements; researching funding sources; establishing strategies to approach funders; submitting proposals; and administration of fundraising records and documentation.

Responsible for the final drafting and submission of all funding proposals to City, State and Federal agencies, corporations and private foundations.

Generate project/program documents for new and existing projects and programs.

Perform all necessary grants administration, such as program progress documentation, reports to grantors and recognition of donor support.

Sole responsibility for major gifts and planned giving.


We seek a person of integrity and high ethical standards with a reputation for fairness and transparency, who fully embraces our mission, vision, goals and core values, and will bring a sense of humor and passion to their work. The ideal candidate will be an experienced non-profit executive with proven record of leadership ability, excellent management skills, entrepreneurial instincts, and success with fundraising, program development and community engagement.

An Undergraduate degree in a related field is required. A Master's degree in a related field or the equivalent in work experience is preferred. S/he should have at least 5 years of leadership experience, preferably in the nonprofit sector, and experience working with an active board of directors. Experience with governmental agencies and funding sources is strongly preferred. Background in federal grants management and/or lead paint hazard reduction helpful. Additional work experience in the fields of construction, accounting or project management will be viewed as an asset. Advanced working knowledge of MSWord and Excel is absolutely required.

S/he will have superb oral and written communication ability, great interpersonal skills and be an enthusiastic fundraiser with the demonstrated ability to compete successfully for philanthropic support. Experience in hiring, delegating, supervising and evaluating a professional staff is necessary, as are effective time management skills in a fast paced environment. The ability to work a flexible schedule is required, including some nights or weekends, and you must possess a valid NYS driver's license and your own vehicle.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Herkimer County health stats need work

Herkimer County ranked 41st for health outcomes and 43rd for health factors of the 62 New York counties surveyed as part of a study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and conducted by the University of Wisconsin's Population Health Institute.

The rankings place the county barely above the bottom third in terms of mortality and morbidity rates, and in the bottom third when it comes to such factors as health behaviors and clinical care.

Health behavior rankings are based on community statistics for tobacco use, diet and exercise, alcohol use and unsafe sex. Clinical care rankings are based on statistics for access to care and quality of care, and includes statistical measures of the number of uninsured adults, primary care providers, preventable hospital stays, diabetic screenings and hospice use.

While health outcomes and health factors are considered to be the two "biggest" rankings, Public Health Director Dr. Gregory O'Keefe said the biggest concern is a last place ranking for clinical care.

This ranking shows that 17 percent of Herkimer County's adults are uninsured, compared with 15 percent across New York, and that the county has 33 primary care providers, or a rate of 52 per 100,000 of population, which is below the state average of 148 doctors per 100,000 of population.

The ranking also shows that 12 percent of county residents utilize hospice, against an average of 21 percent across New York, and that the county had 100 Medicare hospitalizations per 1,000 Medicare enrollees, compared with 78 hospitalizations per 1,000 enrollees across the state. Read more here.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Oneida and Herkimer Impacted by NYS Parks and Historic Site Closures

The Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) today put forward a recommended list of closures and service reductions in order to achieve its 2010-11 agency savings target and help address the State's historic fiscal difficulties.

Governor David A. Paterson issued the following statement:

"New York faces an historic fiscal crisis of unprecedented magnitude. It has demanded many difficult but necessary decisions to help ensure the fiscal integrity of our State. The unfortunate reality of closing an $8.2 billion deficit is that there is less money available for many worthy services and programs. In an environment when we have to cut funding to schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and social services, no area of State spending, including parks and historic sites, could be exempt from reductions. We cannot mortgage our State's financial future through further gimmicks or avoidance behavior. Spending cuts, however difficult, are needed in order to put New York on the road to fiscal recovery. Going forward through the budget process, I look forward to a productive dialogue with the Legislature on parks and historic sites, as well as other issues."

OPRHP Commissioner Carol Ash issued the following statement:

"The 2010-11 Executive Budget included reductions to every area of State spending. As such, the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation has today put forward proposed closures and service reductions to meet its agency savings target. These actions were not recommended lightly, but they are necessary to address our State's extraordinary fiscal difficulties."


A fact sheet on the proposed closures and service reductions is included below:

The Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) today put forward a list of closures and service reductions in order to achieve its proposed 2010-11 agency savings target and help address the State's historic fiscal difficulties. As part of a comprehensive plan to close an $8.2 billion deficit, the 2010-11 Executive Budget included necessary cost reductions to each executive State agency, as well as cuts to education, health care, social services, and every other area of State spending.

OPRHP's plan includes the closure of 41 parks and 14 historic sites, and service reductions at 23 parks and 1 historic site.

The plan also assumes $4 million in park and historic site fee increases that will be identified at a later date, and the use of $5 million in funds from the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) to finance OPRHP operations. These two actions were part of the 21-day amendments to the Executive Budget and are intended to reduce the number of parks and historic sites subject to closures and service reductions.

Specific recommended closures and service reductions are detailed here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Get Ready, Get Set, Go! IRS Filing Requirements for Charitable Nonprofits

The NY Council of Nonprofits' national partner, the National Council of Nonprofits, is offering two FREE webinars for you and your board members!

Get Ready, Get Set, Go! IRS Filing Requirements for Charitable Nonprofits
Two national webinars: February 23 and March 23, 2010

Register Now

Are you prepared for this year's tax filing deadline? Did you know that tax-exempt organizations could have their status revoked for not filing the annual Form 990? The National Council of Nonprofits will host two free webinars presented by the IRS for nonprofit organizations to learn about the resources available and answer questions about filing your IRS Form 990.

These webinars will include:
  • Critical steps to take now in order to protect and preserve your tax exemption.
  • Review of the filing requirements for nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations, and the consequences of not filing (or filing an incomplete) Form 990-series return. Tax-exempt organizations now stand to lose their tax-exempt status if they do not file the Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-N (e-postcard) for three consecutive years-these revocations will begin in 2010).

"Learn from the Experts: What Forms Must Nonprofit, Tax-Exempt Organizations File to Meet IRS Requirements and Preserve Tax Exempt Status?"

Tuesday, February 23
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm Eastern

  • What forms are tax-exempt organizations required to file with the IRS annually?
  • What information is required to be reported on the forms?
  • Why your organization may need to file NOW, so that it won't lose its tax-exempt status
  • How to file complete, accurate returns to avoid IRS penalties.

There is no charge for nonprofit organizations or their board members for these webinars. Advance registration is required by February 22, 2010.

"Hear from the IRS: What The IRS Has Learned After One Year With the Redesigned Form 990"

Tuesday, March 23
3:30 pm - 4:30pm Eastern

  • What trends has the IRS observed in the first season of redesigned Form 990 filing?
  • What mistakes are most commonly being made by nonprofits on the redesigned Form 990?
  • What can a nonprofit do to streamline the filing process?
  • What are the answers to frequently asked questions about completing the 990?

There is no charge for nonprofit organizations or their board members for these webinars. Advance registration is required by March 22, 2010.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Nonprofit Awards Call for Nominations by Feb 17th

Go to http://www.bizeventz.com/ and select 2010 NonProfit Awards to nominate.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Mohawk Valley Latino Association Membership Meeting Feb 19th

Who: The Mohawk Valley Latino Association, Inc.
What: General Membership Meeting
Where: AmeriCu Federal Credit Union, Griffis Business & Tech Park,
231 Hill Road, Training Room #4, Rome, NY
When: Friday, February 19, 2010, 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

DIRECTIONS: From Utica (the East): Rt. 49 West to the Griffiss Park/Dominick St. Exit Bear to the left to Griffiss Business & Technology Park You will be on Route 825 (pass RFA, on the left) Go half way around the roundabout The AmeriCU Griffiss Branch is on the left From Syracuse (the West): Rt. 365 East to the Griffiss Business & Technology Park Exit As you come onto the Park, youll be on Route 825 (pass RFA, on the left) Go half way around the roundabout The AmeriCU Griffiss Branch is on the left. Other notes: Parking in front of the building and use the entrance in front of the handicap parking. This is a non-smoking facility and anyone smoking can go out the back door.

We encourage your attendance and participation to assist in the 2010-11 Projects planning. Please feel free to bring a friend or family member along. Our meetings are informational, full of energy and ideas and, most importantly, very beneficial to the Latino community.

Contact Information:
Mohawk Valley Latino Association, Inc.
309 Genesee Street (Park Ave. Entrance) 3rd Floor, Utica, NY
315-738-1083 Ext. 121 or 147
RSVP by Thursday, February 18, 2010
MVLA, Inc Mission Statement:

To improve the standard of living for all residents of the Mohawk Valley through various services that will educate, empower, achieve awareness amongst different cultures, help shape young minds, and demonstrate the great opportunities available within the Mohawk Valley.

CONTACT: Sonia Martinez, Chairman/President
Mohawk Valley Latino, Inc.
309 Genesee Street, 3rd Floor
Utica, NY 13501
Motivation * Vision * Latin Pride * Attitude
Motivacion * Vision * Orgullo Latino * Actitud

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Unemployment costs increasing across US

CNN Money featured the following article on rising unemployment expenses throughout the US. As the article relates:

Employers are getting hit with a massive tax hike at a time when they can least afford it.

Companies in at least 35 states will have to fork over more in unemployment insurance taxes this year, according to the National Association of State Workforce Agencies.

The median increase will be 27.5%. And employers in places such as Hawaii and Florida could see levies skyrocket more than ten-fold.

Many of these hikes happened automatically as prolonged joblessness triggered state laws governing their unemployment insurance systems. But at least seven states voted to raise their taxable wage bases, the level of income subject to unemployment tax. And another 10 are looking at upping the wage bases or tax rates.

The states are scrambling to restore their unemployment insurance trust funds, which cover claims.

State trust funds have been decimated by the Great Recession, forcing a record 26 states to borrow a total of more than $30 billion from the federal government. The numbers are expected to grow to 40 states borrowing $90 billion by 2012, said George Wentworth, policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project. Read more here. The state by state unemployment rate listing is available here for 2009. NY's rate in 2008 was 6.3 and in 2009 increased to 8.6.

Looking for Unemployment Insurance assistance? Contact NYCON for information on our Unemployment Savings Program. You will receive a free cost savings analysis, which will tell you how much money you will save. We will advise you on your best option, including if you’re better off staying in the state tax system. Contact us with your questions.