Thursday, June 27, 2013

Announcement: Upcoming NYCON Events & Trainings

Compliance Check: Revising Your By-Laws 
[Free Lunch & Learn Webinar for NYCON Members
July 11th, 2013 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM (EDT)
Presented by Dave Watson, VP of Legal Accountability & Compliance Services (LACS), NYCON and Michael West, Esq. Legal Advisor, New York Council of Nonprofits, Inc.
Register Now
Legal Workshop
Though many nonprofit staff and board members may think that bylaws are just something you have to do have to start your organization - oftentimes drafted, reviewed, approved and promptly shelved away -what some don't realize is that your organization is governed by that document and, as such, bylaws spell out what you can and can't do by way of good board governance.
Our webinar is designed to help you understand key bylaw clauses, how they affect your organization and how the new developments in New York regarding nonprofits may impact your bylaws.

Large structural changes to the Not-for-Profit Corporation Law of the State of New York will be discussed briefly, and detailed questions will be referred to the August and September during the two 'Revising You By-Laws to Comply with New York's Nonprofit Revitalization Act'.  Any Package Bylaw-Personnel Policy Reviews throughout the remainder of this year will include free updates of language and bylaw clauses when NYCON's team of attorney's develops them to meet these new obligations 

[Benefit Spotlight] The Budget and Cash Flow 
Toolkits for NYCON Members...
Tuesday, July 16th, 2013 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Presented by Michelle Jarvais, CFO of NYCON and Beth Mathews,
Senior Accountant at NYCON
Flu Toolkit for NonprofitsIf you missed our previous "Budget and Cashflow Toolkit Webinars" don't worry because there's another one coming up in July! Just in time for budget and cash flow planning, we've developed a new benefit for our members that will truly be the "best friend" of every fiscal person who uses it!

Designed with the needs and resources of the smaller to medium sized nonprofit in mind, NYCON's CFO and her staff have designed a "foolproof" tool for developing a streamlined, compliant and easy to understand budget. 

The features of the
Budget Toolkit include:
  • Built in instructions on "Getting Started" and "How to Develop Your Budget"
  • Built in formulas and linked spreadsheets
  • Definitions & Glossary on types of budgets, frequently used budgeting terms & more
  • Helpful notes that 'pop up' as you create your budget spreadsheet
  •  Quick and easy allocations (for shared costs like space and supplies, etc.)
  • Templates that your organization can utilize to customize for your own organization's budget and salary and fringe expenditures.
  • And more! 

On our webinar we will also show you an example of the new
"Cash Flow Toolkit" which, just like the
Budget Toolkit, will be a great addition to any nonprofit fiscal office.  
With funding being tight and payments from state contracts and other funders becoming less timely and reliable, it is essential for a nonprofit to attempt to monitor its own cash flow. This toolkit, like our Budget Toolkit, takes the mystery out of forecasting and helps to guide you step-by-step through the process.

See how these tools can help your nonprofit.

Get to know your NYCON Benefits
NYCON Membership Benefits Orientation
New Dates Added in July, August & September
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM (EDT)
Presented by Valerie Venezia, VP of Membership and Marketing and Amber Vanderwarker, Membership & Marketing Associate

In our "Get to Know Us" Sessions, NYCON staff will tell you a lot more about our membership benefits - and answer all the questions you have regarding our process, costs and what you get for FREE.

 We will be talking about these benefits...   
  • Nonprofit Training, Education and Professional Assistance NYCON empowers our members with the best practices, policies, and procedures as well as information on ever-changing regulations, funding, accountability and more.   
  • Cost Savings Solutions for Nonprofits NYCON leverages the purchasing power of thousands of nonprofits to bring you economies of scale on everything from Office Supplies to Fundraising Software.   
  • The Nonprofit Voice in New York State NYCON represents our members on the local, state and national level, giving voice to small and medium sized nonprofits everywhere.
Find out how NYCON Membership will benefit you by attending this 1-hour session
 Register Now   

Camp Finance 2013: Rethink, Retool & Reboot! 
Preparing for Better Days Ahead
October 10th & 11th, 2013    New Paltz, N
With Special Keynote Speaker Dan Pallotta

Camp Finance is an unparalleled opportunity for your staff and board members to retreat, learn, network and make lasting connections with peer and nonprofit experts.
Here's just some of  what some of last year's attendees said about Camp Finance:

  • "Knowledgeable speakers and real life experiences."
  • "Gave me take away tools I can use."
  • "It was a great time to step away and reflect on some critical issues for our organization in the context of a great group of professionals. I had some important questions answered and discovered some new questions I needed to be asking."
  • "The speakers were very approachable and helpful as were all NYCON staff. Of course the setting and food served were very WOW."
Camp Finance has always been a source of information, encouragement and support for nonprofits in New York State - especially through our most challenging times.  
It's a chance to engage with leading nonprofit experts, your nonprofit peers, and take back useful knowledge and tools to your nonprofit.
We hope to see you there! 

Check Out Our Recorded Webinars!
Thanks to the support of CS Plus,NYCON's popular Lunch & Learn Webinars are now being recorded and will be available for members for up to six months! 

NYCON Policy New and Updates:
Capitol Building

Other Events & Webinars of Interest to NYCON Members:
June 27, 1:00 pm -2:30 pm Eastern.$40.00
Nonprofits are using social media, but how do they use it for fundraising? Yes, social media can be used for fundraising, and organizations are already doing so. In this new session, developed specifically for the Day of Giving Toolkit, we outline the how social media can integrate with fundraising efforts and be an effort on their own. register >

July 9, 1:00 pm -2:30 pm Eastern.$225.00  
Most nonprofits care a lot about their donors. But do you have the right donor management system to help you keep track of them?
Navigating the choices you have when choosing a donor management system can be daunting. That's why Idealware has created the online course, "The Donor Management Systems Toolkit", to help you navigate the choices.

July 9, 1:00 pm -2:30 pm Eastern.$40.00
Idealware will cover the principles of good storytelling, look at examples and research about what's working for nonprofits, and then discuss the tools that can help you put them online.

Announcement: Redesigned and Expanded Indicators Website

The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties is very excited to announce we have redesigned the Indicators website! It is now much more user friendly and interactive to help the community learn more about how we are doing in areas such as health, economy, education and several others.

Most importantly, we have created a space just for you. We encourage you to visit and create an entry under the nonprofit portal to tell the community what activities or services you provide around a specific topic. We see this as an opportunity to share data and information in order for us all to collaborate more effectively.  

Here are some of the new features:

1.      Larger new pictures from our own community rotating on the home screen
2.      The Nonprofit Portal allows organizations to create an entry to show which indicators they work most closely with and others can comment on entries to share their similar work or ask for help
3.      The “What’s New” links to news releases featuring specific data
4.      Grants Impact” in the second column, links to The Community Foundation’s new website where we feature grant stories and initiative areas
5.      Within each indicator, when looking at specific indicator charts, the user is able to customize charts by physically clicking on the city or county names they would like to subtract or add from the chart.
1.      For example, take a look at the Demographics topic area
2.      Click on “view all” indicators
3.      Select “Total Population,” the first indicator available for Demographics
4.      You will then see a written analysis of the data for our region, click on the “Charts” tab
5.      The chart will then display the default Oneida cty, Herkimer cty, NYS and US data, but you can add in any of the communities listed below the chart (i.e. Fulton, Montgomery, Rome, Utica, Broome, Niagara)
6.      The user can then save their customized chart (pdf, jpeg, etc) by hitting the download bottom (top left, next to print icon, looks like an arrow pointing down)
1.      To view a complete tutorial guide on the indicators and how the site works, please go to “Using the Site” on the navigation bar above the scrolling pictures and download the user presentation at the bottom of that page.

If you would like to learn more about the indicators site, we would be happy to come to your organization to demonstrate how the indicators site works and allow for questions. If you have specific questions, please feel free to contact Marie Piayai, program officer, mpiayai@foundationhoc.org315-735-8212.

Rome Observer: Don Carbone Named 2013 TIME Dealer of the Year

Don Carbone named 2013 TIME Dealer of the Year

SUBMITTED PHOTO -- TIME Dealer of the Year finalist Don Carbone, left, and Ally’s Steve Walters, right, present a charitable grant to The Community Foundation.
UTICA -- Ally Financial recently honored Don Carbone of Carbone Auto Group as a 2013 TIME Dealer of the Year finalist and presented charitable grants to support his efforts in the central New York community.

Ally executives were on hand for the celebration at the dealership in Utica, N.Y., to present the grants on Carbone’s behalf to The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida counties, an organization that funds local schools, health agencies, arts venues, libraries and other nonprofit organizations, and the Kelberman Center, a regional center in central New York dedicated to the advancement of people with autism spectrum disorders.

The $5,000 grant from Ally will contribute to The Community Foundation’s 25/25 goal which seeks to help 25 percent of its community members earn a bachelor’s degree by the year 2025.

Additionally, the $1,000 grant to the Kelberman Center will make it possible for more than 30 local children with autism spectrum disorders to attend its summer camp program.

“At Ally, we believe dealers like Don are heroes in their communities, and we are proud to support these important local causes,” said Steve Walters, Ally’s northeast regional vice president. “Ally has provided more than 100 grants to nonprofit organizations through our involvement with the TIME Dealer of the Year program. We have been inspired by dealers like Don whose generosity makes his community a better place.”

Carbone was chosen as one of four finalists for the 2013 Time Dealer of the Year award from a select group of 57 dealers from across the country recognized for community involvement as well as business performance. Ally donated $10,000 to the winner’s charity of choice, $5,000 to community causes chosen by each of the three finalists, and $1,000 on behalf of each of the 57 dealer nominees. The TIME Dealer of the Year award is one of the automobile industry’s most prestigious and highly coveted honors. Recipients are among the nation’s most successful auto dealers who also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service.

This event at Carbone Auto Group concludes the 2013 TIME Dealer of the Year celebrations. Nominees for the 2014 award will be announced in October, with the winner being named at the NADA Convention and Expo in New Orleans, La., in January.

Visit for more information on the 2013 TIME Dealer of the Year winner, finalists and nominees.

Via the Rome Observer (link)

Oswego County Business: St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica Cuts Staff

Tuesday June 25, 2013

St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica cuts staff

Major employer in Oneida County eliminates 40 vacant positions
St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica announced today that a staff reduction is being implemented to ensure the hospital’s long-term sustainability.

“The delivery of safe, high-quality patient care remains the primary focus and patient care will not be affected,” a spokesperson said.

St. E's is a nonprofit private organization sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities.

St. E's employs 1,951 people. Ten employees were laid off and approximately 40 vacant positions will be eliminated. It is ranked among the top-5 employers in Oneida County.

The employees worked in all areas of the medical center and ranged from executive leadership to administrative to those with direct-care responsibilities.

Many individuals will be offered the opportunity to apply for any vacant position for which they qualify. Due to a prolonged decrease in hospital inpatients, one medical/surgical unit, 2D, was closed effective yesterday.

“These are extremely difficult decisions in challenging economic times,” said Richard Ketcham, president/CEO.  “We have a responsibility and an obligation to the community we serve, the medical center and its board of trustees to ensure the long-term fiscal health of the organization, while continuing to meet our mission. This further demonstrates the importance of success in our affiliation plans with Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare, which we are still pursuing diligently.”

Numerous factors led to the reduction of the medical center’s workforce, including the decreased reimbursement to hospitals by New York state Medicaid over multiple years. In addition, Medicare reimbursements have not kept pace with the high cost of care, the spokesperson added.

St. E's has experienced over $11 million of New York state Medicaid cuts in the past three years. New York state’s ongoing budget crisis presents immense financial challenges to patient-care providers, who continue to receive cuts to their payments, the spokesperson said.

“We will continue to work with our elected officials on achieving Medicaid reform that includes the redesign of the Medicaid system,” Ketcham said.

Via Oswego County Business (link)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Madison County Courier: New Zogby Study Finds Utica a Welcoming Community

New Zogby Study finds Utica a Welcoming Community

(Utica, NY – June 2013) A new study highlighting Utica as welcoming to immigrants and refugees will be used to help other communities around the world build tolerant, welcoming neighborhoods. The study, commissioned by The Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees (MVRCR) with financial support from The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties, Inc., and in partnership with Zogby Analytics examined the attributes Utica has that make it so welcoming to immigrants and refugees. The findings now will allow the refugee center the opportunity to provide consulting for communities around the world seeking to build tolerant areas.
Among the findings:
- Polled Uticans are proud of their city’s tradition of welcoming immigrants and cite that more than century-long history of welcoming southern and eastern Europeans, Middle Easterners, and western Europeans to the community.
- Sixty-nine percent of Utica area residents said immigration was good for the area, including 70 percent of those 65 and older and 69 percent of residents who have lived here more than 10 years.
- Seventy-four percent of residents in Greater Utica and eighty percent of residents in the city of Utica wanted the immigrant population to either grow or stay the same.
- The study sites a sophisticated network of helping agencies, public/private cooperation, affordable housing, disorganized/ isolated opposition, vision and leadership from the education community, immigrant reputation and will to assimilate, support from a variety of places of worship, and the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees as factors making Utica a welcoming community.
“The Greater Utica community enjoys its reputation for welcoming new people, feels that the city and its leaders are doing a good job, and believe that immigration offers the city new hope for the future and a fresh image to the rest of the world,” the report states. “Residents also appear to be very proud of themselves: the story of America has always been from the outset underscoring the values of ‘opportunity’ and a ‘second chance.’ Uticans seem to have internalized the sense that this community is responding in the best of both traditions.”
The Zogby Analytics study contains several key recommendations including:
- Immigration 2.0 (After the first 6 months)
- Leadership Training
- Collaborative Task Force (MVRCR led network tightening)
- Employers Network
- Entrepreneurship Development
- Microloans
- Neutralizing Urban Legends – Multimedia Public and Community Relations
- Video – being produced by Michael Patrei, Director of the Ilion Film Company
- Speakers Bureau
- Social Media
- Communications Community Relations Director
- Conference of Mayors
Another important result of the study is the development of an effective exporting assessment tool to enable MVRCR and Zogby Analytics to assess communities around world and help them become more welcoming. The Exporting Assessment Tool will include such tools as: community leaders interviews, community surveys, compilation and analysis of relevant data, community leaders focus groups.
“Investing in this important study was natural for The Foundation as we continue to seek partners who are choosing projects that have potential long-term impact on our great community,” said Peggy O’Shea, president and CEO of The Community Foundation.
Utica has been a city of immigrants – German, Welsh, Irish, Italian, Lebanese, Polish, Jewish, African-American, Bosnian and Burmese to name a few. Over the past 30 years, the work of the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees in welcoming refugees has been a source of pride for many in the community as well as garnering national and international recognition. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees has titled Utica of all the cities around the world as the “The Town that Loves Refugees”.
“We wanted to transform the anecdotal story of Utica’s success into a blueprint for positive change,” MVRCR Executive Director Shelly Callahan said. “The more we know about the characteristics that define a welcoming community, the better we can promote integration of recent arrivals and a cohesive community for everyone. As a successful model of integration, Utica and MVRCR are uniquely positioned to become leaders in successful community integration and cultural competency. We look forward to working with communities in America and around the world to help them to create more welcoming communities. We are grateful to the Community Foundation for their community leadership making this Immigrant Integration Indicators Project possible and the superb work by Zogby Analytics and John Zogby.”
“Both general public and leading stakeholders have not only internalized the value of bringing new people to the community, but have provided a clear path toward maximizing their potential,” Zogby Analytics Senior Analyst John Zogby said. Zogby Analytics is the successor to Zogby International. Zogby Companies have been respected nationally and internationally for their opinion research capabilities since 1984.
One of the challenges facing Utica in the study was leadership training to prepare the next generation.

Via the Madison County Courier (link)

National Council of Nonprofits: Advocacy Matters

Nonprofit Advocacy Matters banner

Getting Serious About Tax Reform
Comprehensive tax reform remains on track despite the political scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service and the looming debt limit debate, according to the chairmen of the two tax-writing committees in Congress. Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), chair of the Senate Finance Committee, stated that he thinks the IRS “revelations are frankly helping to spur and help people realize the need for reform.” He has also suggested tax reform could be linked to raising the debt ceiling as a potential compromise to prevent a government shutdown. Representative Dave Camp (R-MI), chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, has indicated that Republicans hope to include a tax overhaul and possible changes to entitlement programs in a deal to raise the debt limit, which is likely to be negotiated in September or October. To keep momentum moving  forward on comprehensive reform, Baucus and Camp plan to make joint appearances across the country to promote a tax overhaul, as they also host several bipartisan, bicameral lunches for rank-and-file members.

As part of the tax reform investigation, the Senate Finance Committee recently released a staff report on tax-exempt organizations and charitable giving that reviews current law and the many alternative proposals on the table. The report, the ninth in a series by Committee staff, presents reform options in four broad areas: the charitable deduction, the taxation of business activities of nonprofits, the political activities and lobbying of tax-exempt organizations, and a final catch-all category of broad tax-exempt issues. Notably, the paper sets aside the fundamental question of “whether any revenues raised by tax reform should be used to lower tax rates, reduce deficits, or some combination of the two.”

Sequestration Spotlight
Impact on Older and Younger Americans
Sequestration – the arbitrary, across-the-board spending cuts enacted by Congress when it couldn’t reach agreement on a rational deficit reduction plan – is imposing measurable harm to programs serving older and younger Americans. Seventy percent of Meals on Wheels providers report being forced to reduce the number of meals served to elderly people as a result of sequestration, according to a nationwide survey conducted by the Meals on Wheels Association of America (MOWAA). Individual programs are cutting an average of 364 meals each week and waiting lists for meals have increased by an average of 58 seniors, according to the survey. Likewise, children across the country are losing access to early education. Sequestration cuts are pushing 70,000 children out of Head Start classrooms, 20 percent more than federal authorities originally anticipated. InMassachusetts alone, 1,359 fewer children will benefit from Head Start services compared to last year. The National Council of Nonprofits is collecting stories from nonprofits affected by sequestration and other cuts at to help nonprofit leaders relay to policymakers the human consequences of sequestration – consequences that could be felt for decades. 

North Carolina Tax Debate Splits on Treatment of Nonprofits
Nonprofit tax exemptions and charitable deductions are very much at the center of the debate over tax reform in North Carolina, with the House and Senate split over whether and by how much to undermine the ability of charitable nonprofits to succeed in serving local communities. The House-passed tax reform plan would cap all itemized deductions but expressly preserves the charitable giving incentive. The bill maintains current sales tax exemptions for all charitable nonprofits, including arts groups, but repeals the current tax credit for individuals who do not itemize deductions. The House bill is now in conference committee with a more severe Senate tax package that would cap the charitable giving incentive and limit sales tax exemptions for many nonprofits, while reducing individual income tax rates and phasing out corporate income taxes. The Senate bill would also eliminate the tax credit for non-itemizers, cap sales tax refunds beginning July 1, 2017 for nonprofits paying $100,000 or more in sales taxes, and require nonprofit arts groups to charge sales tax on admission fees, among other things. The North Carolina Center for Nonprofits has developed a comparative chart and other excellent resources for understanding the issues and taking action to oppose these harmful measures.

Government-Nonprofit Contracting News
  • Texas Governor Perry signed legislation creating the Texas Nonprofit Council, which will work with the Interagency Coordinating Group of state government agencies to strengthen collaboration between government and the nonprofit sector. The Texas Association of Nonprofit Organizations was a strong advocate for the legislation and will remain active in promoting efficiency and cost savings that benefit taxpayers, as well as nonprofits and the people they serve.
  • The Iowa Nonprofit Collaborative has commissioned a study of government-nonprofit contracting practices in the state. The survey goes into detail looking at the effectiveness of RFP processes, performance measurement, payment for services, and other relevant issues.

States Diverge on New Corporate Forms
State legislatures in recent years have considered various proposals to change the rules governing for-profit enterprises to enable greater socially-focused activities. Last week, Nevada joined the list of states that recognize benefit corporations, a new for-profit corporate form that clarifies fiduciary responsibilities of board members to recognize that both social benefit and profits are appropriate concerns. In North Carolina, lawmakers reversed course on low-profit limited liability corporations (L3Cs), repealing legislation passed in 2010 allowing their formation; the legislation awaits the Governor’s signature. L3Cs are another recent form of for-profit entities with social interests that are allowed to seek funding from private foundations. Existing North Carolina L3Cs would be grandfathered in the legislation.

New Disclosure Requirements for New York Social Welfare Groups
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman approved newtransparency standards and regulations for the electioneering activity of 501(c)(4) social welfare groups. Under the rules that took effect on June 5, social welfare nonprofits are required to report their political spending and itemize their activities if the total exceeds $10,000 per year. Social welfare organizations active in elections with expenses of more than $10,000 are also required to list large donors who gave more than $1,000, ending the anonymous flow of money into political campaigns via these groups. Attorney General Schneiderman hopes New York will serve as a model for similar regulatory reforms elsewhere. Charitable nonprofits organized under Section 501(c)(3) are prohibited from engaging in election-related activities and are not affected by the new regulations.

Earning Respect, Even in Opposition
An intense, grassroots campaign led by the Maine Association of Nonprofits inspired legislators to reject an amendment that would have imposed a two-year, two percent tax on nonprofits with $500,000 in assets and annual gross receipts of $200,000. However, the goal of the proposal to levy taxes on certain nonprofits remains intact and has been inserted in the state’sbiennial budget as a study. The measure would create a task force to review the feasibility of imposing taxes, fees, or payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) on certain nonprofit organizations, with the goal of generating approximately $100 million in revenue annually. A representative of the Maine Association of Nonprofits would be one of four stakeholders serving on the task force, demonstrating that standing up for mission and fellow nonprofits engenders respect from policymakers, regardless of their policy goals. 

Federal Issues
  • Tax Reform
  • Sequestration
State Issues
  • Tax Reform: NC
  • Government-Nonprofit Contracting: IA, TX
  • New Corporate Forms: NV, NC
  • Electioneering Disclosure: NY
  • Nonprofit Independence: ME
  • Solicitation Regulations: NV, OR
  • Fees: MD
Advocacy in Action

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Worth Reading

Tax-Exempt Organizations and Charitable Giving, Senate Finance Committee Staff discussion paper, June 13, 2013.

Federal Contracts and Grants for Nonprofits, Sarah L. Pettijohn, Urban Institute Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, May 2013, an issue brief explaining the variety of funding mechanisms used by the federal government to pay nonprofits to deliver services for the government.

Legislative Review 2013, Pew Charitable Trusts State and Consumer Initiatives, June 14, 2013, a five-part series byStateline on legislative developments so far this year in the states, focusing on politics, health care, taxes and budgets, social issues, and economic development.

Nonprofits Seek Government Document Standardization,” theNonProfit Times, June 10, 2013, summarizing the findings of the National Council of Nonprofits report, Partnering for Impact: Government-Nonprofit Contracting Task Forces Produce Results for Taxpayers.

Worth Quoting
“New York is home to many of the most effective, innovative and influential charities in the world. The state's nonprofit sector generates close to $200 billion in economic activity each year. In this difficult economy, nonprofits create jobs; they employ more than one in six New York workers, from scientists to social workers.”
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Crain’s New York Business, June 16, 2013, making the case for regulatory reform legislation.

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