Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Comptroller's Report Recommends Changes

DiNapoli recommends changes to expedite nonprofit contracts
Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 2:58pm EDT Modified: Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 4:00pm
The Business Review (Albany

Nonprofits in New York state are being hit especially hard by the recession, as demand for their services is on the rise while fundraising is on the decline, according to a new report.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said 87 percent of nonprofit contracts valued at more than $50,000 each were not approved by the state prior to the work starting. An audit found that 5,260 contracts out of 6,033 contracts, worth $2.7 billion, took an average of 184 days for approval. New contracts were, on average, approved almost nine months after the contract start date.

DiNapoli said as of June 2009, New York has 31,000 active contracts with not-for-profits worth $14.6 billion.

The comptroller added other problems hurting nonprofits include a decline in charitable giving and a drop in endowments for philanthropic foundations by 29 percent between 2007 and 2008.
"You have a situation where obviously the social, economic and health needs have risen dramatically, especially during the time of recession and unemployment," said Doug Sauer, CEO of New York Council of Nonprofits Inc. "When a for-profit has more customers, they make more money. Nonprofits have more customers,more demand, but you have less resources to meet that."


Monday, March 29, 2010


The Early Care and Learning Council, a statewide membership organization located in Albany, New York, is seeking an executive director. The Early Care and Learning Council is a membership organization that has been working to make quality, affordable child care available to New York families since 1985.

The Executive Director is responsible for the supervision, direction, and development of all aspects of the Early Care & Learning Council’s programs, including identification of funding sources, preparation of proposals and the implementation of policies established by the Board and Membership. S/he works under the direct supervision of the Board of Directors and is the official public spokesperson for leadership in early care and education for the organization.

Board, membership, and public relations:

• Staff executive to the board of directors
• Staff executive to the executive, personnel and finance committees
• Ex-officio member of all other board and membership committees
• Represent the Early Care and Learning Council to broad and diverse constituencies within the membership, child care, government and business communities in New York State
• Represents agency at public events, including speaking engagements
• Liaison with media and press
• Resource and support to membership

Policy and Program:
• Responsible for policy development, analysis and advocacy
• Staff to the public policy committee
• Oversee development of overall program plan consistent with the agency’s Strategic Plan

• Develops and oversees implementation of systematic long and short range funding plans, including contracts, public and private grants
• Oversees activities related to grants and contracts and maintains positive relationships with funders
• Assures timely and accurate reporting to funding sources

• Oversees all fiscal systems and controls

• Oversees recruitment, hiring, evaluation and termination of all staff utilizing the Personnel Committee as appropriate
• Implements the agency’s personnel policies
• Directly supervises senior staff
• Maintains responsibility for staff management of the agency
• Other duties, as assigned

• Masters degree in human services, public administration, early childhood or related fields or equivalent in prior relevant experience
• Minimum of five years administrative and supervisory experience
• Demonstrated knowledge and experience in:
• fundraising, advocacy, fiscal administration
• management, training, staff supervision
• program development
• Demonstrated experience in working with diverse constituencies
• Demonstrated knowledge and experience related to child care and family issues, programs and systems
• Strong written and verbal communication skills
• Ability to travel extensively throughout New York State
• Ability to work with a variety of people and as a team member
• Ability to independently make decisions consistent with agency policies

SUPERVISED BY: Board of Directors
Interested candidates should send a resume and a letter of interest to the president of the Board of Directors of the Early Care and Learning Council:

Jane Brown
Executive Director
Child Care Resources of Rockland, Inc.
235 North Main Street, Suite 11
Spring Valley, NY 10977
Phone: 845-425-0009 x417
Fax: 845-425-5312

Deadline: April 30, 2010

A City United by Tragedy, Divided by Its Kindness

The Wall Street Journal recently featured an article about the process involved in deciding how to distribute funds raised for the victims from the April 2009 shooting in Binghamton, N.Y., that left 13 people dead and four wounded. A local committee appointed had to make the decisions based on very difficult factors. When the decisions were announced, there were various reactions, ranging from gratitude to anger. Read the full article here.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

State Budget Crises Threaten Nonprofits

New Report from NYCON's national partner, the National Council of Nonprofits
Washington, D.C. - How are states looking to close their budget deficits? One way is by taking money away from nonprofit organizations at a time when the need for food, shelter, health care, and other community services is rising - a serious threat explained in a new report issued today by the National Council of Nonprofits.

This special report, entitled "State Budget Crises: Ripping the Safety Net Held by Nonprofits," examines the alarming condition of state budget deficits and identifies three resulting trends putting nonprofits in jeopardy - state and local governments slashing funds for programs they expect nonprofits to administer, government agencies withholding contract payments for services nonprofits have already delivered, and governments taking operating money from nonprofits through new fees and taxes.

"When governments shortchange their nonprofit partners, people lose their jobs, the economy suffers, and vulnerable citizens go without the help they need," said Tim Delaney, President & CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits. "This report serves as a call to action for community leaders at nonprofits, foundations, and governments to come together and find ways to solve some of the daunting challenges our communities face because of the state budget crises."

State and local governments in recent decades have increasingly turned to nonprofits to administer essential services, forging a public-private partnership that has served the nation well. But now an increasing number of cash-starved governments are wondering how they can generate new revenue from nonprofit organizations. The special report details some of more worrisome stories emerging across the country, explains the importance of a strong nonprofit sector, and encourages nonprofit leaders to engage in the policy process as states grapple with how to close budget gaps this year and beyond.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Center for American Progress Promotes Accelerated Expansion of Service

New paper highlights capacity already in field and effective management by national service agency

In a new paper released this week, the Center for American Progress calls for an accelerated expansion of national service. The author, Shirley Sagawa, reports that "[i]ncreasing full-time service would create jobs, address pressing community problems, and reconnect youth who are neither employed nor in school with a pathway to opportunity. Existing federal programs and state and local networks have excess capacity and are well positioned to grow to serve this end if Congress makes the financial resources available."

Click here to read "How Quickly Can National Service Grow?" by Shirley Sagawa of the Center for American Progress.

In November 2009, the Center for American Progress released "National Service and Youth Unemployment" by Melissa Boteach, Joy Moses, and Shirley Sagawa, which details youth unemployment and explains the role for national service in creating jobs. "How Quickly Can National Service Grow?" follows this paper by describing the existing capacity for community-based organizations to absorb new positions efficiently and effectively.

Sagawa further notes the ability of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to expand and administer additional grants and programs. In the past year, CNCS has "receiv[ed] an unqualified positive opinion on its financial statements" while managing significant growth that resulted from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, and record appropriations in fiscal years 2009 and 2010.

New Yorkers Volunteer
State Commission on National & Community Service
52 Washington Street
North Building - Suite 338
Rensselaer, NY 12144
Phone: 518-473-8882
Fax: 518-402-3817

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New Grant Program for Albany County Senior Citizens

Just Announced: The Albert J. and Elsbeth Field Memorial Fund Grant Guidelines

The Albert J. and Elsbeth Field Memorial Fund makes grants to nonprofits on behalf of elderly individuals 65 years of age or older who fit the following criteria:

  • Residents of Albany County
  • 65 years of age or older
  • Disabled/Permanently disabled or confined to their homes (homebound)
  • Individuals who demonstrate Financial Need utilizing the formula that determines individuals eligible for food stamps under the NY State Department of Social Services; and/or eligible for Medicaid.

Total Grant size must not exceed $45,000 per nonprofit organization (to support 100 individuals). Nonprofit grant recipients will then distribute grants up to $450.00 to the projected # of individuals indicated in the proposal “for the purpose of providing such persons with some utilitarian item such as a television set, radio, bed or similar item so that their lives may be somewhat brightened and made cheerful.” Gift certificates, vouchers, payments of utility bills, medical bills, or any other form of transfer payment do not qualify under the terms of the Trust.

Each organization will be allowed to allocate an administration fee of up to 10% of the grant received. Each grantee organization will be required to complete a final report at the end of the grant period (12 months from original grant date).

Grant recipients may use the New York Regional Association of Grantmakers common report form.

Final report should include detail regarding the number of individuals who received grants, their age, the item purchased and amount. It is not necessary to name the individual served.

All proposals will utilize the Philanthropic Management Standard Application format

  • Please submit one copy of your proposal on 8 ½ x 11-inch paper, without the use of binders or covers.
  • Please do not include any videotapes, CDs, or DVDs.
  • The annual deadline for all grant applications May 31st.

All proposals received will be acknowledged and organizations will be informed of the Trustees’ decision within twelve weeks of application receipt date. Please call Judith A. Lee, Vice President, Bank of America, at 585-546-9303 with questions.

Your Money New York: New Website for Businesses

A new website has been launched in NYS to support businesses and potential new businesses with information and resources. As the website, Your Money New York, relates:

Welcome to Your Money New York, part of a multi-faceted initiative at the Office of the State Comptroller to promote financial knowledge and education. This program is designed to give New Yorkers the information and tools they need to face the broad variety of money-related issues that may arise over the course of their lives -- whether it is getting out of debt, looking for a job, saving for college or retirement, or buying a car or home.

These are difficult economic times. Confidence in our financial system has been shaken. Fewer employers are offering traditional pension plans with guaranteed retirement income. Scams and frauds designed to separate you from your hard-earned money are on the rise. These things contribute to making our financial lives more complex, and make it more important than ever that we take steps to protect ourselves and secure our future.

New Yorkers need access to useful and reliable financial information. The goal of Your Money New York is to serve as a centralized, coordinated access point for this information, and to connect you with programs and resources to meet whatever financial challenges you may be facing. Please consider Your Money New York as your partner in pursuing your financial goals. Working together, we can make a strong, bright economic future a reality for all New Yorkers.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Bumpy ride for corporate giving amid recession

Reuters reported that giving by U.S. companies endured the worst recession in decades with mixed results as some pared back philanthropy in the face of tough times, others increased budgets and most predicted a steady 2010.

The economic downturn sparked some changes in giving priorities as well, with several companies placing more importance on basic needs such as fighting hunger and homelessness and others focusing more in their local communities.

"This is not just giving money anymore. It's solving problems. These are social issues that we're addressing," said Charles Moore, executive director of the nonprofit Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy.

"Companies continue to examine their priorities. Very few are taking on new kinds of causes, and they are tending to reallocate the funds they do have," he said. "There's great expectation on the part of communities and (employees) on companies -- they expect more."

Reuters spoke to 10 companies whose philanthropic arms are ranked by the Foundation Center among the top U.S. foundations. Four said the dollar value of their giving increased in 2009, two said it remained steady, and four said it dropped. Read more here.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Cultural Entrepreneurship Institute at Cooperstown Announced

Accepting Advance Applications Now

The First Cultural Entrepreneurship Institute at Cooperstown
May 2 – 5, 2010
Cooperstown, New York

Acquire the skills of an entrepreneurial leader.
Learn how innovators in cultural institutions apply the tools of successful businesses.
Leadership today requires individuals who see opportunities and are equipped to take educated risks to be successful.
Cultural organizations must adopt the practices of entrepreneurs.

If you are a mid career professional with a desire to change your institution and engage your community, we would like you to be a part of this pilot project to introduce museum, preservation, and historic site professionals to the skills and thinking of cultural entrepreneurship.

Apply now to be one of 20 IMLS fellows selected to participate in this pioneering program.

A generous start up grant allows us to offer you room and board at the venerated Otesaga Hotel (or at lovely historic Cooperstown Bed and Breakfasts), most meals and a liberally discounted tuition.

Our grant subsidized 3½ day Pilot Institute will cost only $200.00
Some additional tuition scholarship funds may be available.

Learn with talented and qualified cultural entrepreneurs and a team of knowledgeable faculty.
Keynote speaker: Barnaby Evans, creator of Providence, RI’s renowned

Faculty includes:
Dorothy Chen-Courtin
Philip Morris,
Pam Green,
Carol Enseki

Each participant receives a Cooperstown Graduate Program certificate upon completion.

To learn more about this exciting new program and to receive an application contact:

Any and all questions cheerfully answered.
Completed Applications due March 22, 2010

A joint program of the Cooperstown Graduate Program and the Museum Association of New York. Major funding for this program was provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Call for Input: The Future of Museums and Libraries Wiki

Please join us in creating a resource to guide thinking about the future of libraries and museums! From March 3rd until May 12th, 2010, IMLS will be encouraging dialogue about the big challenges and opportunities facing libraries and museums through UpNext: The Future of Museums and Libraries Wiki. You are invited to participate in this collaborative space to share your voice and expertise.

The wiki will open for participation on March 3rd, but you can register as a wiki member in advance. (

In these tough economic times, strategic thinking is a wise investment in the future. Whether you work in, partner with, study, volunteer, visit or are just plain interested in museums and libraries and passionate about how they can continue to thrive in their service to the public—you have an opinion to be shared!

The wiki will be an opportunity to share resources, examples of what works, and vexing questions. We hope that it will be a thought provoking ten weeks for all participants and provide food for thought for your career, your institution and the choices you face.

The Vision:
A collaborative resource based on The Future of Museums and Libraries: A Discussion Guide, ( ) that is available and used by others across the museum and library fields to continue to stimulate discussion and share knowledge about planning, enhancing, enriching and sustaining the future of museums and libraries in the 21st century.

The Goals for this wiki:
· Share ideas, resources and projects that help libraries and museums plan for the future and take action;

· Encourage cross disciplinary conversation and engage experts as well as emerging professionals;

· Use a 2.0 communications strategy to engage citizens in government;

· Provide IMLS with input to consider for its strategic plan and to inform future IMLS research, publications, convening and grant making.

The wiki will be organized around four main content areas:
1. Discussion Themes. Each theme will have a unique page in the wiki describing the theme and the questions posed in the Discussion Guide. Expert discussion leaders will introduce two new themes every two weeks. The full schedule is below. Wiki users will be able to respond and comment on the questions, as well as pose new questions and thoughts particular to that theme.

2. Future Reading (an open bibliography). Wiki users will be able to post links and citations to publications and resources on issues relevant to the future of museums and libraries. This page will include the bibliography from the original publication as a starting point.

3. Present Practice (examples from the field). The examples from the field page will be a space for users to share existing projects at their own institutions or others, which are related to the discussion themes. They will be encouraged to include links to the project or institution website and contribute a brief description of the project.

4. In the Classroom. Finally, a unique page will exist for educators and students to share how the wiki, the Discussion guide and other resources on the future of museums and libraries are or can be used in the classroom. Users can share lesson plans, student reports and projects, and resources for emerging library and museum professionals.

Please join us in spreading the word about UpNext with your professional networks. We hope you will be an engaged and active participant with us in the wiki and will keep you informed of its progress as each theme unfolds.

March 3-16
1. Changing Definitions & Roles of Museums and Libraries
Martín Gómez, City Librarian, Los Angeles Public Library

2. Shifts in Power & Authority
Beth Takekawa, Executive Director, Wing Luke Asian Museum
Cassie Chin, Deputy Executive Director, Wing Luke Asian Museum

March 17-30
3. Museums & Libraries as the “Third Place”
Susan Hildreth, City Librarian, Seattle Public Library

4. Technology & Policy Development
John Wilkin, Associate University Librarian for Library Information Technology (LIT), University of Michigan, Executive Director of HathiTrust

March 31-April 13
5. 21st Century Learning & Information Use
Tom Scheinfeldt, Managing Director for Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, OMEKA Project Director

6. New Models & Structures for Collaboration
Mark Wright, Director of Partnerships, National Children's Museum

April 14-27
7. Planning for a Sustainable Future
Emlyn Koster, President & CEO, Liberty Science Center

8. Metrics for Evaluating Service & Impact
John Fraser, Director, Institute for Learning Innovation-New York

April 28-May 12
9. The 21st Century Museum & Library Workforce
Joanne Marshall, Alumni Distinguished Professor, School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

10. UpNext: Where Do We Go From Here?
Larry Johnson, CEO, The New Media Consortium

May 19
Last official “Wiki Wednesday” IMLS will post wiki final summary

Should you have any questions about the wiki, please feel free to contact Mamie Bittner at or Erica Pastore at

You’re UpNext,


Mamie Bittner
Deputy Director, Office of Policy, Planning, Research and Communications
Institute for Museum & Library Services (IMLS)

Monday, March 1, 2010

States Move to Revoke Charities’ Tax Exemptions

The NY Times reported that faced with steep declines in tax revenue, an increasing number of states and localities are considering eliminating various tax exemptions for nonprofit groups.

A bill before the Hawaii Legislature, for instance, would require charities to pay a 1 percent tax, and Kansas is considering making them subject to sales taxes.

Revoking the nonprofit organizations’ exemptions from property taxes is also under scrutiny in several counties in Kansas, as well as in Pennsylvania.

And last fall, Minneapolis made charities subject to the fees it charges businesses and residents for streetlights in hope of gaining an additional $155,000, an exercise Jon Pratt, executive director of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, describes as “looking under the sofa cushions.”

In most cases, churches would be exempt from the tax measures, but all other nonprofit groups, including private schools and colleges, would be affected.

City and state officials say they have no choice.

“We’re having to look at the public services nonprofits use and how we can adequately cover those costs,” said Matt Greller, executive director of the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns. “We can’t give them away for free any longer.”

Nonprofit groups say the moves to wring revenue out of them are shortsighted and will produce cutbacks in critical services that governments rely on them to provide, like mental health and emergency foster care services.

“Nonprofits are really hurting in this economy,” said Tim Delaney, chief executive of the National Council of Nonprofits, a trade association. “Their revenues are down, too, and demand for the services they provide, services that government expects them to provide, is way up.” Read more here.