Sunday, November 29, 2009

NY State Council on the Arts Announces Important Changes for Fiscal Year 2011

Dear Colleagues,

As we approach the holiday season and the end of another year, I want to take a moment to update you on some important changes that are taking place here at the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA).

In Fiscal Year 2011 (calendar year 2010), we will implement a series of changes to NYSCA’s annual application calendar in an effort to further improve our grantmaking process and better serve New York’s cultural community. As a result, a number of important deadlines, including the close of registration, will now shift to earlier points in the calendar year. Given these changes, it is tremendously important that you take careful note of NYSCA’s FY11 calendar, provided below. Please pay particular attention to NYSCA’s registration deadline (January 22, 2010) and first application deadline (February 17, 2010).

I also want to take this opportunity to update you on the latest news regarding NYSCA and the New York State Cultural Data Project (CDP). As you know, NYSCA has been working with a Taskforce of funders and arts organizations throughout the past year to help launch CDP in New York State. Now, NYSCA is prepared to accept CDP Data Profiles as a part of the FY11 grant application process.

The use of CDP will be optional for NYSCA applicants in FY11, but will be required of all applicants in FY12. However, we want to encourage all organizations to begin using this powerful online tool today. To that end, applicants who have completed a CDP Data Profile before NYSCA’s first FY11 application deadline (February 17, 2010) will be able to submit the Data Profile as a substitute for NYSCA’s three-year “Organizational Budget”.

To find out more about CDP, review the information below and visit

If you have any questions about these changes, please do not hesitate to contact a staff person in your funding program so that you can work together to address your concerns.

Heather Hitchens
Executive Director

  • December 15, 2009
    FY11 Application Guidelines Available
  • January 4, 2010
    Registration Opens
  • January 22, 2010
    Registration Closes
  • February 17, 2010
    1st Application Deadline
  • February 17, 2010
    CDP Data Profile Completion Deadline (optional in FY11—see below)
  • April 12, 2010
    2nd Application Deadline

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stewart’s Shops’ Dakes donate $3.9M to Community Foundation

The Business Review reported that local philanthropists William Dake and Susan Dake have donated $3.9 million to the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region in Albany, N.Y., to establish a donor-advised fund.

The donation creates the Susan and Bill Dake Fund, from which the Dakes can direct money to the causes of their choice. Read more here.

Cuomo: Telemarketers big winners in charity fundraising

The Albany Business Review reported that telemarketers pocketed 60 cents of every fundraising dollar that they raised for charities in 2008, according to a report issued today by the state attorney general’s office.

An average of 39.5 cents of every charitable dollar raised by professional telemarketing companies actually went to the nonprofit in 2008, the report states.

The report, “Pennies for Charity, Where Your Money Goes: Telemarketing by Professional Fund Raisers,” summarizes information filed with the Attorney General’s Charities Bureau by professional fund raisers who conducted telemarketing campaigns in 2008.

According to the report, telemarketers raised a total of $204.8 million on behalf of 444 New York charities in 2008. In total, $123.9 million, or approximately 60.5 percent, was paid to the telemarketers as profits, fees and other costs of the campaigns leaving charities with less than 39.5 percent of the money actually raised for their causes. The report looked at 584 fundraising campaigns. Read more here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Five Trends Help to Create "Nonprofits of the Future," Report Says

The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that the nonprofit field isn’t going to simply bounce back a few years from now to the state it was in before the recession. That’s the message behind a new report by La Piana Consulting, which explores five trends that are hastening the emergence of a new nonprofit landscape.

Those trends are:

Shifting demographics. With new generations making up a growing share of the work force, charities must learn to share leadership with younger workers, the report says.

Technological advances. Social-media technologies provide charities the opportunity to gain greater exposure, but they also require groups to be comfortable giving more people within their organization a chance to speak out.

New ways to collaborate. With the advent of new technologies, organizations can just as easily work with an individual located across the world as they can through traditional coalitions and alliances, according to the report.

Greater interest in service. Last year’s presidential election spurred interest in volunteerism, but nonprofit groups need to keep in mind that people have many different reasons for volunteering and ought to tailor their opportunities to individuals’ interests.

Blurred lines between nonprofit and for-profit. Greater emphasis on corporate social responsibility and the emergence of businesses whose primary aim is to do good are challenging the nonprofit field’s traditional identity but are also creating opportunities for new partnerships and collaboration, says the report. Read more here or to download the report.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Budget Cuts Threaten Local Nonprofit, Times Union Piece Garners Community Comments

Center for Disability Services warns of pending cuts
From the Times Union, November 9, 2009 at 11:10 am by Chris Churchill

The Center for Disability Services, an Albany non-profit and one of the largest private employers in the Capital Region, is warning its employees that stark cuts to services and employment are looming.

The agency on Friday told its workers that budget cuts proposed by Gov. David Paterson “puts the Center’s system of care in peril.”

“We can’t endure more loss of funds and still provide basic services,” Alan Krafchin, the center’s president, said in a letter distributed to employees.

The center is based in Albany and has an annual budget of more than $100 million. Nearly all of that money comes from government sources, supplemented by private donations and a commercial mailing business the center runs.

Krafchin says Paterson’s proposed $65 million cut to the state Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities will reduce funding to the center by about $2.5 million.

Earlier this year, the Center for Disability Services shuttered day care and pre-school classroom, resulting in about 50 job losses.

The Center for Disability Services has 2,400 employees and calls itself the seventh-largest private employer in the Capital Region. It provides services to 15,000 people at 85 locations in nine upstate counties.

It is far larger than most Capital Region non-profits. But its financial concerns mirror those faced by most charitable organizations, both locally and nationally, in a down economy.

Friday, November 6, 2009

NY Voters Approve Proposal to Allow Prisoners Work for Nonprofits

WNYC reported that New York voters approved Proposition 2 this week, by a large margin.

The measure allows the state legislature to draft a law letting prisoners do work for non-profits. Some prisoner advocates say the proposition will force inmates to work for meager wages. Others say it will help rehabilitate them.

Glen Martin is a prisoner advocate for The Fortune Society, a non-profit group in Long Island City. He spent six years in prison for robbery, and says he remembers inmates hoping for work assignments, because they could get fresh air and build skills. But Martin says they should get higher wages.

MARTIN: You know, people in prison would like to get paid some sort of prevailing wages so they can have resources accumulated for when they're released. Most people are returned to very poor communities that lack resources to help them.

REPORTER: Right now, state prisoners are paid less than a dollar an hour, for work done outside prisons.

Breakfast Roundtable on Mergers Scheduled

Please Join Us For...

Everything You Wanted to Know
but were Afraid to Ask!"

A breakfast roundtable with two Executives who have a wealth of experience managing the merger process. Join us for an informal discussion with Robert Stevens, Executive Director of Literacy New York Greater Capital Region and Ann DiSaro, Former Executive Director, Albany Senior Services & Owner, Ann DiSarro Consulting

Thursday, November 19th, 2009
8:00am to 9:30am

Host: Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar
Washington Avenue Extension
Pine West Plaza, Building 3
Albany, New York 12205

This is our version of a "brown bag breakfast." Please bring your own refreshments and be prepared to engage in a lively discussion about nonprofit mergers from an Executive Director's perspective.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What's Going in the IZOCA Group?

If you haven't already, please feel free to join our online discussion group at

We've posted a number of resources and events that are of interest to Capital Region Nonprofit Leaders.

There is information on:

Don't miss out on all this great information! Join our online group today.

Apply for Parks and Trails NY capacity building grants

The deadline is November 20 to apply for Parks & Trails New York's Capacity Building Grants for not-for-profit park and trail groups. The grants, of up to $3,000, can be used to assist with activities associated with organizational start-up and development, training, communications, and volunteer recruitment and management.

Parks & Trails New York's goal is to enable not-for-profits to better fulfill their missions; improve their reach, effectiveness, and impact; leverage more resources; and increase community support for and involvement in park and trail planning, development, and stewardship. For more information call 518-434-1583.