Wednesday, December 28, 2011

MWPAI names Anthony Spiridigloizzi president

The Utica OD reported that Anthony Spiridigloizzi is the newly appointed president of Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute.

“I feel very, very positive about our future here,” he said Tuesday, despite the gloomy weather outside his corner office. “I see it every day looking out this window. I see people coming through this back door and enjoying what we have to offer. It’s about connecting people with art.”

With that in mind, he said, his main goals for MWPAI include improving the visitor experience at the institute’s Museum of Art and strengthening the bonds between the community and the institute as a whole, including its school of art and performing arts program.

Projects under consideration for the future include creating a more welcoming rear entrance for the museum – since 95 percent of visitors come in through the parking lot doors instead of the main entrance on Genesee Street – adding a café, and expanding social events such as docent-led tours and art receptions.

“We want to really create a welcoming environment … to focus on the visitor, provide some better visitor services and additional visitor services” Spiridigloizzi said.

The institute also will continue cultivating its PrattMWP college program, which currently enrolls 100 new students each year, he said.

Moving forward will require an increased focus on fundraising.

“Our challenges, like many nonprofit organizations, particularly cultural organizations, are financial,” Spiridigloizzi said. “This economic environment has really hurt a number of organizations. The institute is stable, but it needs to build a base of support in this community … out of that will come really a much more vibrant, exciting institution.”

Spiridigloizzi started at MWPAI as treasurer in 1982, having previously served as comptroller for the local United Way. After adding vice president of operations to his title in the 1990s, he served as “second in command” under former institute presidents Milton Bloch and Daniel O’Leary, and as acting president after each man’s departure.

He was appointed president by the institute’s board of trustees on Dec. 20, although the decision wasn’t made public until Tuesday.

In a release, MWPAI board Chairman William Locke said Spiridigloizzi’s 29 years of service and dedication were one of the assets that led to his appointment.

“Tony has worked tirelessly to advance the mission of MWPAI and has a clear vision for its future,” Locke said. “I am proud to announce that the decision was easy and unanimous.”

Spiridigloizzi, for his part, said he was “very honored and very excited” to be appointed on a permanent basis. It has not yet been decided how his previous position will be filled.

Unlike O’Leary, who resigned in January 2010 after less than two years as head of the institute, Spiridgloizzi is a native of Oneida County with strong ties to the community. He graduated from Thomas R. Proctor High School in 1969 and Utica College in 1973.

The New Hartford resident said he recognizes that MWPAI has a role to play both here at home and in the national arts scene.

“I think we can serve both,” he said. “We can be community-minded as well as advance the reputation of this museum across the country, and that’s good for the community as well.”

Recent exhibits have been successful at spurring attendance, with more than 14,000 people viewing the “Wedded Perfection” dress exhibit this summer, and more than 7,000 visiting the “Ansel Adams: Masterworks” collection.

Spiridigloizzi said he hopes to “continue the progress we’ve made over the past year” with a diverse array of exhibits in 2012 and beyond. “LitGraphic,” an exhibition of art from graphic novels opening in March, is just one example of what’s to come.

“I think there’ll be a blend, a mix of exhibitions – some that are broad and popular in appeal, but always, always maintaining the quality we’ve been known for,” he said.

Monday, December 12, 2011

7th Annual MVLA Fiesta Navideña Celebration Announcement


Who: The Mohawk Valley Latino Association, Inc. (MVLA)

What: 7ma Fiesta Navideña Anual/ 7th Annual Christmas Celebration ~ 2011

Where: Urban HeadQuarters, 807 Broad St., Utica, NY

When: Viernes, 16 de Diciembre / Friday, December 16, 2011

Time: 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

We encourage your attendance and participation to our Latino Celebration. Please feel free to bring a friend or family member along. Also, would like to invite the community to join this association, as it is our annual membership drive. There will be Latino cuisine served along with refreshments, and music. We are asking for people to bring a child’s toy to be donated. Tickets: $15, adult; $10 Senior Citizens, $5 children (6-18 years old, Free children age 5 and under.

Contact Information:
Mohawk Valley Latino Association, Inc.
309 Genesee Street (Park Ave. Entrance) 3rd Floor, Utica, NY
(315)738-1083 ext. 121 or 147

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 among different cultures, help shape young minds, and demonstrate the great opportunities available within the Mohawk Valley.

Please forward to anyone, in your eamil list serve.
Thanks! Gracias!

Mohawk Valley Latino, Inc.
309 Genesee Street, 3rd Floor
Utica, NY 13501
315/738-1083, X121 or 147
MVLA in facebook
Motivation * Vision * Latin Pride * Attitude
Motivacion * Vision * Orgullo Latino * Actitud

Friday, December 2, 2011


New York Council of Nonprofits, Inc. and United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area announce 2012 Assessment Program for the Valley and Greater Utica Area Nonprofits.

The 2012 Assessment Program is intended to provide direct assistance to nonprofits in specific operations areas such as board governance, program, financial, planning, among others. This assessment will help improve the organizational performance and well being of local nonprofits. In order to apply, please access the online application HERE.

Applications will be accepted starting December 1, until the end of the month.

New York Council of Nonprofits is the premier governance, management, and support services organization serving charities in the state. NYCON has a membership of 3,000 charities of all types and has offices in Albany, New York City, Buffalo, Poughkeepsie, and Oneonta. For more Information visit or contact Andrew Marietta at 800-515-5012 ext 141, or at

United Way of the Valley & the Greater Utica Area is a local, independent non-profit organization funding area programs and services, providing a safety net for our community and addressing crucial community issues in the impact areas of health, education, and income. For more information about United Way, or to donate to the annual campaign, visit or call (315) 733-4691.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Charting a Decade of Online Donations

Charting a Decade of Online Donations
November 23, 2011, 11:04 am
By Cody Switzer
Only 4 percent of donors had given online in 2001. This year, about 65 percent have given to charity through the Internet.

That’s one of the comparisons made in a new graphic from Network for Good, a fund-raising and volunteerism Web site that celebrates its 10th anniversary this month.

In 2001, the average donation through the site was $226. But this year the average gift is $73, a change that Network for Good interprets as a sign that online giving has “gone mainstream.”

Here’s the full graphic:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Webinar: Managing to Outcomes in an Era of Scarcity

Managing to Outcomes in an Era of Scarcity
Monday, December 12, 2011, at 1:00 p.m. ET

What are the mission-critical conversations that nonprofit board and leadership teams should have during the nation's growing financial crisis? Join philanthropist Mario Morino, chairman of Venture Philanthropy Partners, and Bob Ottenhoff, GuideStar's president and CEO, as they engage in a Q&A-style dialogue about Mario's new book, Leap of Reason: Managing to Outcomes in an Era of Scarcity, which is now in its third printing and has generated vigorous discussion throughout the sector. They'll discuss the converging economic and social trends that will drive nonprofits to be more intentional in defining their approaches, more rigorous in gauging their progress, more willing to admit mistakes, more capable of quickly adapting and improving—all with an unrelenting focus and passion for improving lives.
Click Here to Register for the free webinar today.

Mario Morino, 
Chairman, Venture Philanthropy Partners

Bob Ottenhoff,
President and CEO, GuideStar USA, Inc.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

We all need to work to make region better

Special to the Observer-Dispatch
Posted Nov 10, 2011 @ 05:00 AM

Being likened to the superhero Batman on Twitter recently, Cory Booker responded to a supporter of his by responding, “I look horrible in tights.” Although the Mayor of Newark, N.J., isn’t denying the claims, he has an alibi: inspiring hundreds of Uticans at the Stanley Theatre.

After the Oct. 19tevent, many of us in the audience gathered in the lobby of the majestic stage wondering what would come next. Mayor Booker’s speech inspired those of us who were sitting on seats’ edge, and we want to share his message.

He was speaking about “How to Change The World with Your Bare Hands.” He has led by example, showing us what can be done. Applying this advice, while leaving the Stanley, organizers of the event, The Community Foundation, partnered with Mohawk Valley Community College to facilitate a discussion around what our next step should be.

A group of local community leaders met the next week and quickly split into teams to discuss what we thought would be best to improve Utica. Looking at the Herkimer / Oneida County indicator areas for improved quality of life, the groups came up with the following:

-- Promote Utica and love the area.

-- Increase local businesses with focus on eateries and farming: Encourage the market for ethnic food by promoting local farming and restaurants.

-- Unite the diverse population: Mayor Booker said, “Here is the lesson of snowflakes: Individually beautiful yet fragile, but look how strong they are when they all stick together.” The acceptance and welcoming nature we show to newcomers of this area must continue to spread.

-- Examples of educational success in our community must be shown. We must inspire educational partnerships and parent involvement in order to improve youths’ path to post-secondary educational opportunities.

-- New leaders in the community must come forward.

-- Lastly, and most importantly, Utica needs to hear from you. We must hear ideas from new, energetic, excited citizens. Please find a way to make your voice heard. Take an hour out of your week to go to a meeting, or event and share your knowledge and passion to make a change!

It is truly astounding what Booker has done for Newark. He is one man, and he has transformed a city. We are more than 60,000 and growing; we must create the change we envision our home to undergo. We must act as a community to grow together and transform our community.

The points outlined above serve simply as ideas a small number of us have discussed. There are numerous opportunities for change. Think of what you love most about living in the Mohawk Valley and make it better, think about an area of need and improve Upstate New York. Discuss these issues with friends, coworkers, family, and neighbors. Volunteer, tweet, donate, discuss, post on someone’s wall, create a group, change our area for the better in anyway you can!

As you begin to think about all that can be done, remember Mayor Booker’s words: “Never let your inability to change everything undermine your ability to do something.”

André Short was born and raised in the Utica area and attended MVCC and SUNY-Cortland pursuing a degree in adolescent education in English. He teaches at Whitesboro High School and has become active in community involvement and internet blogging.

To view the article Click Here.

NY comptroller says late checks hurt nonprofits

NY comptroller says late checks hurt nonprofits
Nov. 15, 2011, 3:01 a.m. EST
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says late contract approvals and payments by the state are hurting nonprofit providers and jeopardizing services.

DiNapoli says state agencies last year were on average six months late in approving nine out of 10 contracts valued at $50,000 or more, often after services were provided.

An analysis of the first half of 2011 shows nearly 90 percent of contracts approved by the comptroller were submitted late by state agencies.

DiNapoli says nonprofits operate on thin margins and provide basic services ranging from health care clinics to work programs, with 22,000 active grant contracts totaling $16.8 billion.

The nonprofit sector employed 1.25 million people statewide last year.

You can access the article by Clicking Here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Excellus and 10 other health insurers ordered to repay millions to customers

Bloomberg News Governor Cuomo has ordered 11 health insurers, including those that are “nonprofit,” to pay back millions in customer overcharges. Specifically, Cuomo is ordering the insurers to pay back $114.5 million, because the companies in question spent less than 82 cents of each dollar on health care. The organization with the second highest payback to be made is Excellus Health Plan, a nonprofit Blue Cross organization based in Albany. Excellus will be required to repay $21.4 million. “In this economic climate, every penny counts and in this case, insurance companies were overcharging New Yorkers to the tune of millions of dollars," Governor Cuomo said. "This should serve as a message to companies that we are watching, and we will not tolerate any action that wrongly hurts the finances of the people of New York."

Monday, November 7, 2011

Partnering for Financial Success Panelist Questions Now Available!

Partnering for Financial Success set for Wednesday, November 9th!

Panelist Questions:
Questions about partnership and mergers in the area of Budget/Finance.
1) During a partnership or merger does the more profitable entity become the dominate player making all the decisions?
2) Procurement from each other in the area of products and services is a way to generate savings and revenue for each other. How is that being operationalized by each entity?
3) What impact on each of the partner's budget would a merger have and what are the steps you follow to get the finances of two organizations merged?
4) Was there anything required of you by your funders and or contracts/grants in order to merge?
5) Are funders more supportive of an application from a strong partnership pairing or a merged entity?

Questions about partnership and mergers in the area of Staffing.
1) How do you determine who stays, goes and what role each person plays? When are these decisions made and how do you handle the potential fallout or impact?

Questions about partnership and mergers in the area of the Board.
1) Do both Boards automatically merge into the surviving organization, or how do you handle board consolidation?

Question(s) about partnership and mergers in the area of Facilities.
1) Who is responsible for any post merger facility costs?

Question(s) about partnership and mergers in the area of Fund Development (fundraising).
1) If a donor believes in an organization and that organization merges or forms a partnership with another organization, what are the chances of losing that donor? How do you keep them?

Question(s) about partnership and mergers in the area of Identity.
1) During a merger or partnership, do you create a new identity?
2) What are strategies for conveying merger as a healthy step forward (as opposed to big fish consuming little fish)?
3) Can one organization really be everything for everyone, or is there evidence to support the benefits of remaining unique organizations to continue to provide service to the field?

Question(s) about partnership and mergers in regards to the Big Picture.
1) How do you discuss merger with your competitors?
2) During a merger or partnership, can two nonprofits have different visions? Can you blend organizations with different missions?
What evaluation tools do you have that measure the community impact of your partnership, collaboration, or merger?

Continuing this year's theme of Planning and Partnership for Financial Success, the Group will be holding their next meeting, titled Partnering for Financial Success, on Wednesday, November 9th and focusing on partnerships and mergers. This program will build on previous programs and examine different types of partnerships. The program will feature a panel made up of organizations that have successfully partnered in four ways: merger, coalition, outsourcing and shared services and facility, and regionalization. Our confirmed panelists at this time are:
Moderator: John Zogby, Chairman of the Board and Chief Insights Officer of IBOPE Zogby International
Merger: Center for Family Life and Recovery (Cassandra Sheets, Executive Director) and Child Care Council of Cooperative Extension (Lorraine Kinney-Kitchen, Executive Director)
New Addition: Doug Saur, CEO of New York Council of Nonprofits
Coalition: Literacy Coalition Collaberation (Kathleen Rinaldo, Director Adult and Continuing Education)
Outsourcing/Shared Facility or Services: Parkway Senior Center (Kathy Walters, Executive Director)
Regionalization: Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson (Margaret Roberts, CEO)

Date: Wednesday, November 9th
Time: 9:00am-12:00pm
Hosted By: Jewish Community Federation of the Mohawk Valley
Location: 2310 Oneida Street, Utica, NY 13501
Cost: FREE

Click Here to Register!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Nonprofit Knowledge Matters | Protecting the Charitable Giving Incentive

Protect the Charitable Giving Incentive

Using Our Outside Voices in the House … and in the Senate

Nonprofits are not used to raising our voices. We teach others to use their “indoor voices,” and we mediate disputes so others won’t yell in anger. We heal the wounded, silently. We feed the hungry, quietly. At times we play loud music and paint loud colors on canvases. But you get the picture: we are not used to yelling.

Recently Tim Delaney, President and CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits, was in Georgia, Montana, and New York, encouraging nonprofits to raise their voices -- literally. In rooms filled with nonprofit leaders attending major conferences, he designated half the room the loud "Yes” crowd, and the other half the “Nos.” Tim then pointed to one side – “YES” came the refrain; then to the other side and louder “NOs” reverberated. After a few volleys, the friendly competition could be measured in deafening decibels. Tim then instructed the “Yes” side to remain silent – they weren’t allowed to use their voices. After a couple more volleys of loud “NOs” that were met with silence, Tim noted what policymakers hear: silence from the majority who are too busy and too unsure, versus resounding and unmatched “NOs” from the vocal opposition. Each time the “No!” voices boomed against the silence, members of the audience grasped the danger of remaining silent.

Silence is the nonprofit sector’s worst enemy. If nonprofits don’t raise our voices, we are powerless. Right now, it’s urgent that all nonprofits speak up.

The charitable giving incentive is at risk.
Congress is considering, on a tight timeline, how to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion. Slashing the deficit by that much guarantees that every option to save money will be on the table, without much thought as to the consequences – unless the downside is abundantly clear. The National Council – and so far, more than 20 other national organizations and 2,800 community-based nonprofits across America – think it is abundantly clear that if the Supercommittee recommends elimination of the charitable giving incentive, then individuals and communities served by nonprofits will suffer.

Raise your voice now!
Sign on to the Nonprofit Community Letter to protect the charitable giving incentive.
See which nonprofits in your state have already signed on.
Learn more about the charitable giving incentive.
Spread the word! Tweet: 
The #charitable giving incentive that supports #nonprofits is at risk! Take action now to protect it. (via @NatlCouncilNPs)
#Nonprofits, tell the #supercommittee not to change the #charitable #giving incentive #takeaction (via @NatlCouncilNPs)
Advocacy by nonprofits is legal – and needed.
Join your State Association to keep informed about capacity building and policy issues that impact all nonprofits.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Speaking of Health in CNY: Discussions on Topics that Matter

You are invited to attend the second event in our four-part speaker series:

Speaking of Health in CNY: Discussions on Topics that Matter
Resilience to the Rescue! Conquering Kids’ Trauma

Tuesday, November 8, 2011
3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Reception to follow

Location: Attend the event at its main location in Syracuse, or attend a live webcast in either Ithaca or Utica.

Syracuse - Sheraton University Hotel & Conference Center
Ithaca – Hilton Garden Inn Ithaca
Utica - Radisson Hotel Utica Centre

The first five years of life is when a child is most vulnerable to trauma.

Gone are the days of thinking that children under age 5 are too little to understand, remember, or suffer the impact of traumatic events. We now know very young children are affected by trauma. While some are able to adapt to and overcome these difficult experiences; many cannot, and suffer lasting effects that impact not only their lives, but also their families and communities long after the trauma has ended.

Join us on November 8 to discuss trauma in children ages birth to 5 and, more importantly, how we can help these young children build up resilience and overcome these negative experiences by providing the proper supports and interventions. Who plays a role in helping them conquer these challenges and triumph over trauma?

Resilience to the Rescue! Conquering Kids’ Trauma will feature presentations by nationally-recognized experts Frederick Strieder, Ph.D. MSSA, LCSW-C, Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work and Director of the Family Connections/Grandparent Family Connections Center for Families in Baltimore, MD, and Jody Todd Manly, Ph.D., Clinical Director and Research Associate at the Mt. Hope Family Center in Rochester, NY and Assistant Professor in the Clinical and Social Sciences at the University of Rochester.

Following the presentations will be a facilitated discussion of questions received from audience members in all three locations.

PLEASE NOTE: This event is free and open to the public; however, pre-registration is required.

Click Here for Complete Details

Reply By:
Monday, October 31, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Steering Committee Meeting Minutes October 12

Cornelia E. Brown, MAMI Interpreters
Frank DuRoss, Mohawk Valley Community College
Jeff Owen, USC The Business College
Kevin Marken, Stanley Center for the Arts
Tim Trent, Future Development

Discussed upcoming Nov 9th Program, featuring discussion on partnerships and mergers. Will create a survey to go out to the Group asking for questions for the panelist discussion. Questions will be solicited in the following areas:

  • Budget/Finance

  • Staffing

  • Board

  • Programs

  • Facilities

  • Fund Development (fundraising)

  • Identity

  • Big picture

The agenda for the program was also discussed and outlined:

Agenda (9am to 12pm)

  • Introduction of Group, Program and Moderator (5 mins)

  • John Zogby Introduction and Context of Partnership/Consolidation Trends (15 mins)

  • Introduction of Panelists (each panelist introduces themself and their example of partnership) (30 mins)

  • Discussion Questions (10 to 13 questions) (90 mins)

  • Closing Remarks and questions from audience (20 mins)

Next Steering Committee Meeting is December 14th from 8:30am to 10:30am. Location to be confirmed (Music Room at Library).

Monday, October 17, 2011



Contact: Tim Trent 315-525-5591

Tony Colon 315-733-1399

Sonia Martinez 315-738-1083 X121



Utica, NY… Leaders from across New York State will visit Utica on Friday, October 21 for the fifth annual Latino Upstate Summit.

The local Mohawk Valley Latino Association (MVLA) will host the event, 8am to 4:30pm, in the Information Technology Building at Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC).

“We’re very proud to welcome this assembly of distinguished leadership to Utica for the first time,” said MVLA President Sonia Martinez. Earlier summit conferences have been held in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany.

“Nearly 250,000 Latinos live north of the Hudson Valley in urban, suburban, and rural settings,” Martinez added, “This vibrant population has been a major contributor in the development of New York State and will continue to be a key resource in shaping the future of the Mohawk Valley Region.”

The summit will address the role Americans of Latino descent in the fabric of regional community life and civic affairs. Key topics will include economic development, education, health, and services for youth and families.

Experts on these subjects will participate in panel discussions to develop policy recommendations for New York State leaders. Panel experts will include:

· Workforce / Economic Development. Edwin Lopez-Soto, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University; David Mathis, Oneida County Workforce Development; Ryan Leogrande, NYS Department of Labor.

· Education. Dr. Andy Lopez-Williams, Mohawk Valley Charter School for Excellence; Mickey Smith, Adult Learning Center; Melanie Pores, NYSABE, Karen Castenada and Sharon Egghigian, ESL Teacher for the Utica School District, Jan DeAmicis, Professor, Utica College, and Ralph Hernandez, President of the Buffalo Board of Education.

· Youth. Gary Harvey, Youth Construction Initiative Program, Proctor High School; Kitzia Burgos, House of Good Shepherd; Mary Hayes-Gordon, Young Scholars, Utica College; and Rita Paniagua, Spanish Action League of Onondaga County.

· Health. Dr. Patricia Bomba, Excellus Health Plan; Dr. Aymme Belen, DMD PC; Dr. Martin Morell, MD, Arthritis Specialists; Dr. Cynthia Jones, Utica Community Health Center, and Dr. Jaime Torres, US Dept. of Human & Health Services.

· Immigration. Peter Vogelaar, Executive Director, Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees; Peter Mares, La Casa & Catholic Charities of Wayne County; Andrea Callan, NY Civil Liberties Union.

· Community. Juan Thomas, Utica College; Patrick Johnson, New Life Institute, Cathie Bullwinkle, Oneida County Health Department.

· Best Practices. Anthony Colon, President of Techno-Logic Solutions, Inc.; Rialda Alibegic, MVCC & Pratt Institute Instructor & Certified Bosnian Interpreter; Mark DeSalvo, Principal, Dr. Martin Luther King Elementary School; William Garrett, Exec. Dir. Boy Scouts of America–Revolutionary Trails Council; Jeanette Lenoir, News Reporter, Anchor, and Producer, Townsquare Media; Robert Maciol, Oneida County Sheriff; Dr. Randall Van Wagoner, President Mohawk Valley Community College; Edward P. Welsh – General Manager, AAA of Central New York & Board Chair, Central Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired; Tim Trent – Regional Community Advocate; Donna Latour-Elefante – Executive Director, The Family Nurturing Center; Bruce Martin, Community Leader; Emily Wallis, Executive Director, The Interpreting Connection, Rome, NY; Ms. Pegine Echevarria, MSW, CSP will be the keynote speaker during lunch. Ms. Echevarria is CEO/President of Team Pegine Inc., a global think tank, training, and organizational development company focusing on leadership, diversity and motivation. Her clients include the US Navy, US Army, National Guard Bureau, Colgate Palmolive, Intel, and Northrup Grumman.

In addition to MVLA, other agencies and organizations participating in the summit include Hispanics United of Buffalo, Ibero-American Action League, the Spanish Action League of Onondaga County, Centro Civico of Amsterdam, Noticias y/e Notas, Capital District 100 Hispanic Women, and New York State United Teachers (NYSUT).

Sponsors for the 2011 Upstate Latino Summit include Excellus Blue Cross/Blue Shield, AmeriCU Credit Union, AT&T, Central NY Association for the Blind, CNY Latino, IBOPE Zogby International, Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce, Resource Center for Independent Living, 484 Design and No Sheep Designs.

Mohawk Valley residents are invited to attend and encouraged to participate in the summit.

Reserved tickets for the summit are available at $75 each through website A limited number of last minute $50 tickets will be available at the door, first-come, first-served, on the day of the event.

The MVLA 2011 Annual Gala will celebrate and mark the grand finale of the summit. The gala will be held 6 to 11pm at Daniele’s Valley View, 620 Parkway East Utica, NY. Reserved tickets for the gala are at $35 per person, $60 per couple (special rates for students) are available through website A limited quantity of last minute tickets will be available at the door, first-come first-served.

For more information about the summit, please visit web site— or phone Sonia Martinez at 315-738-1083 x 121.

Thanks! Gracias!

Mohawk Valley Latino, Inc.
309 Genesee Street, 3rd Floor
Utica, NY 13501
315/738-1083, X121 or 147
MVLA in facebook
Motivation * Vision * Latin Pride * Attitude
Motivacion * Vision * Orgullo Latino * Actitud

New NLRB Poster Requirement - new effective date of the rule is Jan. 31, 2012.

New NLRB Poster Requirement : new effective date of the rule is Jan. 31, 2012.

Below is information about the new National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) required poster describing employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act.
The National Labor Relations Board has postponed the implementation date for its new notice-posting rule by more than two months. The new effective date of the rule is Jan. 31, 2012.
The Board’s jurisdiction extends to most small business owners. However, some very small employers whose annual volume of business is not large enough to have more than a slight effect on interstate commerce are exempted. In the case of retail businesses, including home construction, the Board’s jurisdiction covers any employer with a gross annual volume of business of $500,000 or more. The Board’s non-retail jurisdictional standard applies to most other employers. It is based on the amount of goods sold or services provided by the employer out of state (called “outflow”) or goods or services purchased by the employer from out of state (called “inflow”), even indirectly. Under this standard, the Board will take jurisdiction over an employer with an annual inflow or outflow of at least $50,000. See “Frequently Asked Question” Link below for more details about the Board’s jurisdiction standards.
A workplace poster that describes employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act is now available for free download from the NLRB website at
Private-sector employers within the NLRB’s jurisdiction will be required to display the poster where other workplace notices are posted. The National Labor Relations Board has postponed the implementation date for its new notice-posting rule by more than two months in order to allow for enhanced education and outreach to employers, particularly those who operate small and medium sized businesses. The new effective date of the rule is Jan. 31, 2012. The decision to extend the rollout period followed queries from businesses and trade organizations indicating uncertainty about which businesses fall under the Board’s jurisdiction, and was made in the interest of ensuring broad voluntary compliance. No other changes in the rule, or in the form or content of the notice, will be made. Employers who customarily post personnel rules or policies on an internet or intranet site must also provide a link to the rights poster from those sites. In addition, copies of the Notice will soon be available without charge from any NLRB regional office.
For further information about the posting, including a detailed discussion of which employers are covered by the NLRA, and what to do if a substantial share of the workplace speaks a language other than English, please see our Frequently Asked Questions. . For questions that do not appear on the list, or to arrange for an NLRB presentation on the rule, please contact the agency at or 866-667-NLRB.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Partnering for Financial Success Event

Partnering for Financial Success set for Wednesday, November 9th!

Continuing this year's theme of Planning and Partnership for Financial Success, the Group will be holding their next meeting, titled Partnering for Financial Success, on Wednesday, November 9th and focusing on partnerships and mergers. This program will build on previous programs and examine different types of partnerships. The program will feature a panel made up of organizations that have successfully partnered in four ways: merger, coalition, outsourcing and shared services and facility, and regionalization. Our confirmed panelists at this time are:
Moderator: John Zogby, Chairman of the Board and Chief Insights Officer of IBOPE Zogby International
Merger: Center for Family Life and Recovery (Cassandra Sheets, Executive Director) and Child Care Council of Cooperative Extension (Lorraine Kinney-Kitchen, Executive Director)
New Addition: Doug Saur, CEO of New York Council of Nonprofits
Coalition: Literacy Coalition Collaberation (Kathleen Rinaldo, Director Adult and Continuing Education)
Outsourcing/Shared Facility or Services: Parkway Senior Center (Kathy Walters, Executive Director)
Regionalization: Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson (Margaret Roberts, CEO)

Date: Wednesday, November 9th
Time: 9:00am-12:00pm
Hosted By: Jewish Community Federation of the Mohawk Valley
Location: 2310 Oneida Street, Utica, NY 13501
Cost: FREE

Click Here to Register!

Mohawk Valley Latino Association Membership Meeting October 15


Who: The Mohawk Valley Latino Association, Inc. (MVLA)

What: Junta General de Miembros/ General Membership Meeting ~ 2011

Where: Urban HeadQuarters, 807 Broad St., Utica, NY

When: Sabado, 15 de October / Saturday, October 15, 2011

Time: 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

We encourage your attendance and participation. Please feel free to bring a friend or family member along. Our meetings are informational, full of energy, ideas, and most importantly very beneficial to the Latino community. We want to invite the community to join this association, as it is our annual membership drive. There will be Latino cuisine served along with refreshments.

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: Friday, October 14, 2011

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 among

Different cultures, help shape young minds, and demonstrate the great opportunities available within the Mohawk Valley.
Thanks! Gracias!

Mohawk Valley Latino, Inc.
309 Genesee Street, 3rd Floor
Utica, NY 13501
315/738-1083, X121 or 147
MVLA in facebook
Motivation * Vision * Latin Pride * Attitude
Motivacion * Vision * Orgullo Latino * Actitud

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Voluntary Compliance Program announced by IRS to address worker misclassification

Information for your members: You may have seen that in late September the IRS announced a voluntary compliance program for employers (including nonprofit employers) to enable those who have mistakenly classified workers as independent contractors to make a correction, along with a modest payment, and avoid the usual penalties of noncompliance. This program’s announcement offers an opportunity to remind nonprofits about the risk of misclassification and share information with them about the voluntary compliance program. See the National Council’s website materials on this topic.

Here is the text of the IRS announcement about the voluntary compliance program (from the IRS’s EO Update circulated on October 4):

“The IRS has launched a new program that will enable many employers, including tax-exempt employers, to resolve past worker classification issues and come back into compliance by making a minimal payment covering past payroll tax obligations rather than waiting for an IRS audit. To be eligible for the new Voluntary Classification Settlement Program an applicant must:

Consistently have treated the workers as nonemployees in the past

Filed all required Forms 1099 for the workers for the previous three years

Not currently be under audit by the IRS, Department of Labor or a state agency concerning the classification of these workers.

Full details, including FAQs, will be available on the Employment Tax Pages of and in Announcement 2011-64.”

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

High Peaks Resort offers opportunity for non-profits to raise money

High Peaks Resort Announces ‘Spring For Hope’

- Unprecedented Assistance for Non-Profit Organizations -

LAKE PLACID (Sept. 6, 2011) – High Peaks Resort in Lake Placid is seeking applications for its Spring For Hope℠ initiative, an opportunity for non-profit organizations to be awarded free use of meeting space, accommodations, and more at the beautiful Adirondacks resort.

This unprecedented opportunity will allow two non-profit organizations to each receive free use of the entire resort for three days during April 8 to 18, 2012. Included are two nights’ accommodations (up to 133 rooms), free meeting space (up to 10,000 square feet), free audiovisual and support services, and 50 percent off all related catering. The application deadline is midnight, October 15, 2011, and winners will be announced in mid-November.

“In these difficult times, it is important to give back to our community. By helping those who help others year round, we felt we could have the greatest impact,“ said Bill DeForrest, CEO and President of Lane Hospitality, owner of High Peaks Resort.

“The quality of life in our community is directly impacted by our active non-profits. ‘Spring for Hope’ isn’t just a way to recognize them, but by providing High Peaks Resort free of charge, we can add our support and hopefully increase the good they do,” added Truett Martin, Vice President of Operations and acting General Manager of High Peaks Resort.

“This is an outstanding opportunity for the winning organizations to do whatever they want with our gift – from holding a fundraiser, offering a thank you trip to staff and volunteers, to planning an annual meeting, seminar or retreat,” Martin said.

Spring For Hope is open to all 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations actively engaged in fundraising for their organization. Participants will be judged by a panel of community leaders on their success and impact in benefiting the communities they serve.

High Peaks Resort offers the Adirondacks’ newest and most business-focused conference facilities with expansive meeting space and the latest in conference-support technology. Located in the heart of Lake Placid, overlooking Mirror Lake and steps from historic Main Street, the entire resort will be made available to the winning non-profits.

Click Here To Apply

Eligible non-profits can apply for consideration by visiting and completing the application and other requirements. For submissions, questions or other inquiries, email the application and paperwork with “Spring For Hope” in the subject line; or write Spring For Hope, High Peaks Resort, 2384 Saranac Ave, Lake Placid, NY 12946; or fax to 518-523-9908, or call Lori Fitzgerald at 518-523-4411, ext. 361.

About The High Peaks Resort

High Peaks Resort overlooks Mirror Lake while anchoring Lake Placid’s Main Street for an outstanding mountain getaway experience. Surrounded by the six-million-acre Adirondack wilderness park with thousands of miles of trails for hiking and biking, and hundreds of lakes for fishing, High Peak’s 133 beautiful accommodations offer direct waterfront access. Restaurants include the world-famous Dancing Bears and Outdoors at Dancing Bears - with unsurpassed views of the surrounding mountains and Mirror Lake. Other amenities include PR’s intimate lobby bar; two indoor and two outdoor swimming pools; expanded fitness center; Aveda Spa & Salon, and complimentary waterfront activities. Guestrooms feature breathtaking views, patios or balconies; European-style bathrooms with natural stone tiling and rainfall showerheads; high-quality bedding and linens; refrigerators; flat screen televisions with cable and movies; complimentary Wi-Fi, and multi-function music systems with MP3 players. For reservations, visit or call 518-523-4411, toll-free800-755-5598.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Genesis Events: September 22nd Media Forum Focuses on Social Media

Hello Genesis!

Here is your update for Tuesday September 13th
It's PRIMARY DAY in New York State. Don't forget to vote!

Join us for a special kick-off event of
Thursday September 15th 10:00am at Hotel Utica

Join us for the Genesis Group 5th Annual Media Forum
Topic: How has Social Media changed the way News is reported?
Thursday September 22nd - 7:30am at Holiday Inn (Utica Business Park)
WUTQ 95.5 FM
Rome Sentinel
Utica OD

Coming in October ~ Genesis Group Annual Meeting
~ Mohawk Valley Chamber Alliance presents
"Crossing the Generational Divide"
Thursday 10/6/11 - 6:00pm
Click Here for Event Flier

Coming in November ~ Annual "STRIVING 4 Success" Program
~ Annual Excellence in Education Program
Thursday November 17th - 5:30pm
Click Here for Nomination Form

Thank you for your continued interest & support.

Ray Durso, Jr., Exec. Director
The Genesis Group of the Mohawk Valley Region
SUNYIT 100 Seymour Road, Utica, NY 13502
315.792.7821 (T) 315.797.1280 (F)
Genesis is also on FACEBOOK

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New Steering Committee Member Announced!

The Mohawk Valley Nonprofit Leaders Group Steering Committee would like to welcome Lucia Bliss, Executive Director of the Herkimer County Community College Foundation, to the Group! The Committee is happy to have Lucia on board.

Interested in joining the Steering Committee, or doing more with the Group? Contact us and let us know.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mohawk Valley Nonprofit Leaders Group Steering Committee Meeting August 24th

Attended by:
C. Sonia Martinez, Mohawk Valley Latino Association, Inc.
Lorraine Kinney-Kitchen, Child Care Council of Cooperative Extension
Tim Trent, Future Development

2012 Program Focus
• Discussed Leadership topic focus for next year
o Should approach other organizations
 Mohawk Valley Leadership
• Need more focus on leadership
o Hold regional gathering of nonprofit leaders
o Identify nonprofit priorities for region
o Build visibility and better communication
o Develop middle management
o Other topics under leadership
 Governance
 Succession planning

Upcoming Program
• November 9th
• Partnering for Financial Success
o Will feature programs and organizations that have partnered and been successful
o Topic areas and suggested participants

 Merger
• Center for Family Life and Recovery (Cassandra Sheets)
• Child Care Council of Cooperative Extension (Lorraine Kinney-Kitchen)
• Otsego Land Trust (Peter Hujik)

 Coalition
• Literacy Coalition collaboration (Kathy Rinaldo)
o CONFIRMED by Lorraine

 Outsourcing/Shared Facility or Services
• JCTOD Outreach, Inc., aka Johnson Park Center (Joanne Golden)
• Parkway Senior Center (Kelly Walters)
• United Way of Delaware and Otsego Counties (Terry Capuano)

 Regionalization
• Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson (Margaret Roberts)
• American Cancer Society

o Will invite moderator
 Approaching John Zogby

Upcoming Dates
• Oct 12th Steering Committee
• November 9th Program: Partnering for Financial Success
• December 14th Steering Committee

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fund Development Program Videos Now Available!

The Mohawk Valley Nonprofit Leaders Group held a program on July 21st that focused on fund development infrastructure. The agenda included an overview of the fund development committee and plan by the NY Council of Nonprofits. A panel discussion followed. Videos from the panel discussion are now available and feature the following topics (click below to watch):

The panel featured: Judith Reilly, Executive Director, Compeer of the Mohawk Valley; Frank B. DuRoss, Executive Director of Institutional Advancement, Mohawk Valley Community College MVCC; Steve Robinson, Director of Programs and Training, The Peacemaker Program, Inc; and Nancy M. Benz, Vice President for Fund Development, Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson, Inc.

KEYS positions available

Hi everyone!

Things are really rockin' here at KEYS, and our workshop series programs at KEYS are just exploding! We are hiring presenters to help us with our Music Make Cents workshops that we provide for our day care providers, staff and our KEYS families. We are spreading the word through people we know, because referrals are the best way to get the best people! I am sure you are all set, but if there is someone you know who may be a good fit, please send me their contact info, or have them contact us.

This is a parttime contractor position and we will be hiring at least 10 to 15 presenters in the next year. There is no musical experience necessary...we train all of our staff....we just look for people who have a great positive attitude and a desire to help others. This is a great position for college grads who are looking for work, as well as, other folks who would like to make some extra money, on a flexible schedule, while helping families in need. :)

If you know someone who would be interested, please have them contact Colleen Bennett at 315-363-6446 or by email at

Colleen & Dave

David & Colleen Bennett

KEYS Program Founders
308 Sherrill Road, Suite 100
Sherrill, NY 13461
Office Phone & FAX: (315) 363-6446
Colleen's Cell: (315)723-6627
David's Cell: (315) 723-8725

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

11 Ways To Use Technology To Thank Your Donors

Here is a helpful article from Idealware, a NYCON partner:

By Andrea Berry and Chris Bernard, August, 2011 This article was originally published in the August 2011 issue of The NonProfit Times.

Organizations use technology to engage donors, manage them in databases, and even accept their donation payments online. With a little creative thinking you can save staff time on this important step and increase the likelihood that donors will give again.

Such classic techniques as thank-you letters, phone calls, events and special gifts will never go out of style. Many of these translate surprisingly well to online or technology-enhanced techniques, providing both new ways to make donors feel appreciated and, in some cases, organizational savings.

Here are 11 ideas ranging from the simple to the high-tech to get started.
•Personalized Emails. Most organizations are already sending automatic emails to people who have donated online. A little creativity can increase the impact of those emails. Nonprofits with a small staff can pass around a list of donors and their email addresses and have a couple of different people send personal emails thanking them. Better yet, organizations that serve a certain populace, such as schoolchildren or artists, can line up a few of them to write personalized thank-yous that show people the power their gifts have to change lives. There’s no cost other than staff time.

•eNewsletters. Many nonprofits have newsletters. It’s easy to turn them into enewsletters to email to donors, or to create a periodic enewsletter exclusively for donors offering short articles about special projects they’ve funded. Asking celebrities or experts to write a guest article or answer questions can give a newsletter a bit of appeal, and compelling stories and interviews can be of real interest to donors.

•Online Profiles. Organizations can use their newsletters, blogs or websites to profile donors on an ongoing basis. To appeal to the widest possible audience, they can profile “typical” donors -- not necessarily the most generous or the ones who have been giving the most years running -- as a powerful thank-you. A profile of someone who gives a small amount despite their limited income because a nonprofit’s mission is near and dear to them, or who has a great personal story as to why they support an organization, can inspire other donors to give more.

•Online Gifts. Many nonprofits offer incentives such as T-shirts or coffee mugs to those who make a certain level of donation. What about online gifts of appreciation instead of, or in addition to, these real-world gifts? Offering donors access to a mission-related webinar provided by experts, or to an online Q&A with a “celebrity,” can be a rewarding thank you. Organizations can mine their networks for potential candidates -- people are often grateful for the opportunity to contribute if given the chance. Other ideas include a mobile app related to the organization or mission, or an online game. As opposed to physical gifts, many online gifts cost nearly the same whether they’re given to one person or to hundreds of thousands.

•Social Media Shout-Outs. It’s a good idea to thank people publicly, say in a list-wide email, because there’s a certain momentum to donations -- they can gather speed along with mass -- and because some people like the credit. But there’s a lot to be said for the perception of intimacy a personal contact can create, which is why the best campaigns incorporate both. Using multiple channels to give donors rolling shout-outs during an ongoing campaign can include Facebook, Twitter, email and a blog. For example, a “Donors of the Week” post on Facebook, or a thank-you can be tweeted every time someone gives more than a certain dollar amount, like bartenders ringing the bell for a big tip. Linking to donors’ own sites or blogs, if they have them, is another subtle means of thanking them.

•Highlight Early Donors. Approaching a set of major donors early in the campaign to seed a matching fund that would then be promoted to other prospects through emails and the website can work particularly well for corporate donors. It allows them to essentially “sponsor” the email and online fundraising campaign, and gives them publicity for their gifts.

•Website Leader Board. For friend-to-friend fundraising campaigns, in which supporters raise money from their own networks on behalf of an organization, it’s possible to create an online leader board where fundraisers “compete” good-naturedly against each other’s campaigns. These public rankings can be a powerful way to thank high performing teams and to incent others to do even more.

•Real Time Giving Updates. For live events where people are encouraged to give, with a little technical know-how, it’s easy to project the gifts onto a screen as they’re received. This can be as simple as typing the gifts into a document that’s projected from a laptop, to posting them in real time on Twitter and projecting the organization’s Twitter stream. Twitter also allows community members who aren’t there in person to vicariously experience the excitement -- and be inspired to give online.

•Videos and Photos. More and more organizations are harnessing the power of video to capture and convey emotion often lost in email, and with video capabilities now included in nearly every camera and phone, it’s never been easier. From a staff sing-along to a classroom full of children thanking donors for their gifts, the ideas are seemingly limitless. Videos can be fun, or they can be serious. It’s up to the nonprofit to set the tone. Photos can be used in a similar way, for example, as a slide-show set to music that shows constituents or events or the beneficiaries of funding. These can be posted on the website and sent to donors as links in their thank you emails.

•Interactive Thank You Pages. When donors click a button to donate online, they typically see a thank-you web page. Enhancing this page with something more compelling, like a Flash fireworks display or a thank-you video or slideshow, can provide a more exciting option. Since the donor’s name and information is already in the system, it’s possible to personalize the video, for example, by superimposing the donor’s name onto a “Thank You” sign held by a child served by the organization.

•QR Codes. Growing in popularity, QR codes are the black-and-white graphics that look like bar codes that link people to a website when they scan them with their smartphone cameras. Including a QR code in a thank-you mailing or email is an innovative way to send donors to one of the web pages or videos discussed earlier. It also provides tech savvy donors an easy way to follow a link, and doesn’t require anything but the space in the letter.

Most of these ideas can be executed for free by someone with a firm grasp of computers. Some might require an investment, some specialized knowledge, or the help of a programmer, writer or consultant. But donors are the lifeblood of your organization, making them feel appreciated is a good way to show gratitude and keep them donating.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Building bonds while raising funds

The OD featured a helpful article on fundraising for nonprofits stressing the importance of relationships, which is a good follow up to the recent program held at Herkimer County Community College. As the article relates:

As nonprofit organizations and professional fundraisers court today’s savvier donors, it’s not always about who can throw a bigger, splashier fundraiser or a swankier black-tie event.

“If you’re looking at events and things that are going to pull people out, the level of competition is the same (as before the recession began),” said Katherine Lowe, membership chair and member of the board of directors for the Central New York Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Lowe also is community relations director of Meals on Wheels of Syracuse.

The real competition is in reaching donors with your mission, because that’s how they decide where to place their hard-earned dollars, Lowe said. Nonprofit organizations and fundraising professionals are focused on building long-lasting, solid bonds with individuals in their communities.

Giving them something different

Lowe emphasized that matching an event to an organization is a unique fit — what works for one organization may not work for another.

A volunteer-based organization may enjoy awards dinners that single out and honor a volunteer each year, but that wouldn’t work for everybody, she said. Instead, the trend is toward events that are tailored to the community, its desires and what it can support.

“I think it’s something you really look to your donors (for),” Lowe said.

Maria Alberico, regional director of Special Olympics New York, Central Region, agreed.
“It’s important to know your demographic,” she said. “You have to know what people are interested in.”

But when the Special Olympics of New York asked their fundraisers what they wanted, the answer was clear — something totally different.

Special Olympics responded by organizing events such as The Polar Plunge, where sponsored fundraisers take a winter’s dip into icy waters to raise money.

The event has become one of their most popular fundraisers. The Central Region had 400 participants last year.

“It’s that kind of wacky, thrilling, daredevil kind of event that doesn’t get lost in the walkathons,” she said.

The organization’s most recent event, Over the Edge, was held Thursday. It’s a fundraiser in which donors rappel over the side of a building to raise money. It had been successful in other areas of the state, Alberico said, with more than 150 participants in 2010.

In the event’s first year, 40 participants rappelled down the side of the Adirondack Bank Building on Genesee Street in Utica.

While events like Over the Edge or The Polar Plunge present unique opportunities for their participants, it’s important to make sure the connection is made between the event and the mission of the Special Olympics, Alberico said.

“We serve 51,809 athletes in the State of New York,” Alberico said. Nearly 7,000 of those athletes are in the Central New York region.

One of those athletes, basketball player Art Lindsey, went “Over the Edge” at a media day prior to the fundraiser, bringing attention back to the organization’s mission.

“In the end, this is why we do this. We have a great group of folks,” she said.

Making a connection

While Special Olympics of New York found in this case that donors were looking to walk on the wild side and raise money, Lowe said that’s not always the norm.

She said fundraising professionals are becoming cautious about planning “huge, splashy events.” They often are more expensive to put on and can cut into the net proceeds.

Stevens-Swan Humane Society has been able to effectively use its fundraisers to build upon the strong connection the community already feels to animals and the organization’s mission.

“It seems everybody has a connection with animals,” said Jerry Kraus, public relations director for the Stevens-Swan Humane Society. “So when we ask people to help us, and help our animals, it’s not really a tough sell for us because people identify with what we’re doing there: sheltering stray, homeless and abused animals.”

In fact, they identify with the organization’s mission to such a degree that community members frequently organize events and donate the proceeds to the humane society.

Last weekend, for example, the annual Animal for Animals benefit concert event took place. It was organized in memory of Ric “Animal” Morehouse by his stepson.

As a professional fundraiser, Lowe said, that is the ideal scenario: to have people who are willing to put together an event and donate the proceeds to your organization.

Whether they’re at an event organized by the humane society or helping out one of their many supporters, Kraus said the special events raise money but also highlight the work that the shelter is doing.

They bring shelter dogs the Wiggle Waggle Walkathon each September – even finding some of them homes at the event.

“When we get on the telethon, we’re bringing out some of the cases of abuse,” Kraus said. “So people know what we do at the shelter has some real, tangible results.”

And when it comes down to it, that’s what fundraising is all about, Lowe said.

“Fundraising, at its core, is really about relationship building,” Lowe said.

“It’s not about producing a one-shot deal,” she said. “It’s more about connecting to those individuals who are going to support your mission regardless of the economy.”

Thursday, August 11, 2011


In Central New York, our local not-for-profit organizations tend to feel the pinch of challenging economic times more acutely than their for-profit counterparts. Often, a simple increase in organizational capacity can help not-for-profits withstand the turbulence of the market and continue to achieve the goals of their missions. To facilitate this, The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties, Inc. is introducing a simplified mini-grant program.

This program is designed to help not-for-profits apply for funding of $20,000 or less that will be used for capacity-building purposes. For this process, capacity building is defined as something that “improves organizational capacity and competence;” this can include strengthening areas such as administrative systems, management, financial resources and governance. Historically, capacity-building grants have been invested in creating strategic or resource development plans, training and education for board and staff and purchasing new technology, to name but a few examples of activities that strengthens an organization’s foundation upon which its mission and programs rest.

The application for mini-grants is significantly shorter than the standard grant application.
This mini-grant program is a featured component of The Community Foundation’s competitive grantmaking. Capacity building grant requests for amounts over $20,000 may still be submitted, but are subject to the standard submission and review. Jan Squadrito is the Foundation staff contact for this program and all competitive grants. Interested parties should contact her at (315) 735-8212 or for more information or to begin the application process.

The Community Foundation has been a force for improving lives and promoting philanthropy throughout Herkimer and Oneida counties since 1952. The Foundation has made more than 4,700 grants totaling over $37.2 million in support of causes ranging from education to health care, the arts to the environment. Grants are generated by the more than 285 funds that comprise The Foundation’s endowment, established and advanced by area individuals and families. For more information about The Community Foundation’s work in Herkimer and Oneida counties, visit or call (315) 735-8212.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tell Governor Cuomo About Your Nonprofit!

Let's Tell Them About The Good Work Of Nonprofits
Submit Your Testimonial to NYCON & the Governor Today!

On August 3rd the Governor announced the formation of a task force charged with investigating executive compensation at nonprofit agencies (full announcement from Gov. Cuomo below).

NYCON is in agreement with the Governor that activities like those recently exposed in the NY Times that were the impetus to the formation of this task force, can have significant detrimental effects on the relationship between nonprofits and the public.

However, we also know that these types of activities are not solely a "nonprofit issue" and, furthermore, that there are many more positive stories than negative ones occurring in nonprofits.

We want to make sure the Governor realizes this too.

We are asking you to help us remind Governor Cuomo that nonprofits employ hard-working New Yorkers who provide much needed services in communities across our state.

Let the administration know the services you provide are essential and are delivered in an ethical, honest and efficient manner that rivals any successful for-profit company. Let's remind them, and all taxpayers, that we're delivering services at costs far below our private sector counterparts, and take on contractual obligations from the State that they would never agree to, often times to our own detriment - because we exist for our mission, not profit.

Please submit your stories here.

NYCON is creating a web page dedicated to publishing your testimonials, and we encourage you to submit your stories which will be shared online and with the Governor's press office. You can also submit your comments directly to the press office at:

Please feel free to contact our membership office if you have any questions or comments.

Thank you again for all you do and for your continued dedication to the nonprofit sector and your community.

Doug's Signature

Doug Sauer

CEO, New York Council of Nonprofits, Inc.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Governor Orders Review of Executive Compensation at Nonprofits

From the Governor's Website

Albany, NY (August 3, 2011) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that he has created a new task force to investigate the executive and administrator compensation levels at not-for-profits that receive taxpayer support from the state. The task force will be led by the New York State Inspector General Ellen Biben, Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales, the Medicaid Inspector General Jim Cox, and the Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky.

"Not-for-profits that provide services to the poor and the needy have a special obligation to the taxpayers that support them. Executives at these not-for-profits should be using the taxpayer dollars they receive to help New Yorkers, not to line their own pockets. This task force will do a top-to-bottom review, not only to audit current compensation levels, but also to make recommendations for future rules to ensure taxpayer dollars are used to serve and support the people of this state, not pay for excessive salaries and compensation," Governor Cuomo said.

Governor Cuomo continued, "There is a whole range of compensation levels and extremes that have existed for too long and must be reviewed. The use of taxpayer dollars must be scrutinized at every level."

The Governor's task force will determine the protocol and scope of the investigation in order to target the audit to focus on ensuring that state taxpayer dollars meant to help and protect New Yorkers, particularly the poor and indigent, are going to that purpose and are not being diverted to compensation. It will also provide recommendations for State agency policies and procedures that will ensure that taxpayer dollars are not being diverted to excessive compensation.

Commissioners from the Department of Health, the Office of Mental Health, and OPWDD will also serve on the task force.

The Governor's action follows reports of startlingly excessive salaries and compensation packages for executives at not-for-profits that depended on state Medicaid funding through the Office of People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and other State agencies.

The State's Medicaid Inspector General has the authority necessary to exclude providers from participation in the Medicaid program if it is found that they have engaged in fraudulent or abusive practices.

There are currently no state rules governing executive and administrative compensation for not-for-profits that receive state support.

According to the Department of the Budget's January 2010 preliminary analysis of not-for-profit employees contracting with the mental hygiene agencies (Office of People With Developmental Disabilities, Office of Mental Health, and Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services), there were approximately 1,926 employees with annual salaries greater than or equal to $100,000. The total value of their salaries was $324.6 million, with an average salary of $168,555.

NYCON Statement on Governor's
Review of Executive Compensation:

"NYCON supports IRS and state enforcement efforts to root out those relatively few and often large institutional nonprofits, especially in health care and higher education, where charitable resources are used for the private and personal gain of executives. Such abuses are a stain on the sector and the Governor is right, public trust is integral to the mission and work of our state's charities. The Internal Revenue Service already provides compensation guidelines as set forth in the federal tax code and we believe those guidelines should be upheld.

It needs to be emphasized, however, that these cases are very much the exception.

The vast majority of community-based nonprofit employees are doing hard and challenging work at compensation levels that are far below public employees and often the for-profit sector. It should also be noted that the phrase "taxpayer supported nonprofits" is misleading as the state government contracts to buy services from nonprofits, just as it contracts with the for-profit sector; except the nonprofit is often expected to unfairly perform at below the actual cost of doing business. Perhaps it is also time to order an extensive review of the executive compensation levels of "taxpayer supported for-profit businesses."

NYCON asks the Governor to take this opportunity to go beyond the immediate executive compensation issue and take a comprehensive look at how the state's overall regulatory and business relationship with the nonprofit sector can be improved in the interest of all concerned."

Doug Sauer, CEO, New York Council of Nonprofits, Inc.
1-800-515-5012, ext 103

Monday, August 1, 2011

Red Cross announces consolidation and new leadership

WKTV reported that effective July 28, 2011, the American Red Cross of the Mohawk Valley and Rome Area Chapters are consolidating into a single new chapter, which will retain the Mohawk Valley Chapter name.

The consolidated Chapter, which is part of the American Red Cross-Central New York Region, will continue to serve the communities of Oneida and Herkimer counties.

Rome Area Chapter Executive Victor Fariello will lead the new chapter. Fariello, who has been chapter executive in Rome for the past 3 years, has a long career in the nonprofit sector across the entire Mohawk Valley region. The new chapter will be headquartered at the current Mohawk Valley Chapter office at 1415 Genesee Street, Utica and will continue to maintain its presence and services in Rome, Utica and Herkimer.

The boards of the Rome and Mohawk Valley Chapters met recently and agreed upon the name of the Chapter. They continue to work on the process of consolidating into one chapter.

“A few years ago, the Utica and Mohawk Valley Chapters merged very successfully, resulting in greater efficiencies and more resources to provide programs and services to the community,” said Mohawk Valley Board Chair Stephanie Davis. “This consolidation results from the same rationale and we look forward to the potential of the new, merged Chapter.”

Sandra Latimer, Rome Chapter Board Chair, said “We’ve always had a strong, collaborative relationship with our neighboring chapter. I’m excited and optimistic
Red Cross Consolidation- page 2

about the opportunities this merger will present for our new chapter and the communities we serve.”

Programs and services will be unaffected by this change. The Red Cross will continue to respond to disasters, provide health and safety training, collect blood and provide services to military members and their families.

According to Fariello the consolidation is part of a nationwide effort by the Red Cross to reduce costs while maintaining vital services. Fariello adds that the organizational advances implemented so far have increased financial stability, created a stronger brand, invigorated fundraising systems and enhanced services and training programs for the public.

Read more here.

Membership of New Regional Economic Development Council

Members of the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council:

Co-chairs — Bjong Wolf Yeigh, president of SUNYIT, and Lawrence T. Gilroy III, president of Gilroy, Kernan & Gilroy, Inc.

General members — Charles Green, president & CEO, Assured Information Security, Inc.; Marianne W. Gaige, president & CEO, Cathedral Corporation; Nicholas O. Matt, president, Matt Brewing Company; V. Daniel Robinson II, president & CEO, New York Central Mutual Insurance Company; Richard C. Smith, president and CEO of Robison & Smith; William L. Keller III, president & CEO, Keymark Corp.; Nancy Pattarini, president & CEO, The Paige Group; Juanita Bass, owner, Juanita’s Soul Classics Inc.; Sheila Murphy, owner, Nunn’s Home Medical Equipment.

Frank DeRiso, president, United Food & Commercial Workers International Union; Randall VanWagoner, president, Mohawk Valley Community College; Margaret O’Shea, president & CEO, The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties; Mary Morse, owner, Kwik-Kut Mfg.; Richard Ball, owner, Schoharie Valley Farms/Carrot Barn; Steven DiMeo, president, Mohawk Valley EDGE (Economic Development Growth Enterprises Corporation); Michael J. Reese, president & CEO, Fulton County Economic Development Corporation; Deborah Auspelmyer, president, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce; Carolyn A. Lewis, economic developer, Otsego County Economic Development; Scott White, president, Bank of Cooperstown.

Elected officials (ex-officio) — Oneida County executive; chairmen of Montgomery Board of Supervisors, Fulton Board of Supervisors, Otsego Board of Supervisors, Herkimer County Legislature, and Schoharie County Legislature, respectively; mayors of Utica, Amsterdam and Gloversville. (Mayors are from the three largest municipalities in the region, with a limit of one municipal representative per county.)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Nominate Your CPA Board Member for the Michael Urbach, CPA, Community Builders Award

2011 Michael H. Urbach, CPA, Community Builders Award Now Accepting Nominations
Sponsored by the New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON) and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA)

Submission Accepted through August 22nd, 2011

In recognition of the important role, talents and leadership that a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in New York State can provide as a board member for community-based charities, NYCON and NYSSCPA are pleased to announce the 8th Annual Michael H. Urbach, CPA, Community Builders Award.

The award is named in honor of the late Michael H. Urbach, CPA, former partner of Urbach, Kahn and Werlin, former NYS Commissioner of Tax and Finance and Chair of the State Employees federated Appeal, and board leader of a number of charities.

Award Criteria & Submission

Candidates must:

  • Be a CPA in good standing and a member of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants;

  • Have served as an Officer on at least 3 different charitable 501(c)(3) community-based nonprofits with service as President/Chair at least once;

  • Have demonstrated exemplary board leadership resulting in significant and positive organizational impact including, but not limited to, financial turn-around, growth, and/or organizational re-structuring; and

  • Preference will be given to nominees whose board leadership accomplishments have been with community-based charities.

Deadline - August 22, 2011
Nominations addressing the candidate's qualifications must be received by August 22nd. Nominators are strongly encouraged to address the candidate's qualifications related to the four (4) criteria's mentioned above and to include at least three (3) letters of support from the charities who have benefited from the candidate's volunteer leadership.

Send seven (7) packets of nomination materials to:
Urbach Community Builders Award Committee
New York Council of Nonprofits
272 Broadway
Albany NY 12204

or email the packet to Melissa Currado, Executive Assistant to the CEO at

Announcement & Presentation
The 2011 award will be formally presented at the Annual Member Meeting of NYCON slated for the afternoon of October 6th at Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, New York.

The Luncheon will take place during CAMP FINANCE, a two-day retreat that provides the very best in knowledge, skill and strategy sessions for your staff and volunteer leaders.

In honor of the late Harold Mandel, a certified public accountant who worked for Urbach, Kahn & Werlin in Albany, NY and retired in West Palm Beach, FL, the 2011 Urbach Honoree has the privilege to award one (1) nonprofit executive of their choice a Camp Finance scholarship in Hal's name. In 2009, Mr. Mandel's family accepted a posthumous Michael H. Urbach, CPA Community Builders Award in his tribute.

Past Urbach Award Honorees
Edward S. Mucenski, CPA of Potsdam
Lewis "Lew" Kramer, CPA of Chappaqua
Mel Zachter, CPA of Staten Island
Eugene H. Fleishman, CPA of Poughkeepsie
Craig Sickler, CPA from Kingston
Paul Battaglia, CPA from Batavia

For More Information
visit NYCON at or contact Melissa Currado at (800) 515-5012 or