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!