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 20, 2011

Albany’s Equinox, ClearView to merge

The Business Review reported that Equinox Inc. and ClearView Center Inc. are merging into a single organization that will take on the Equinox name.

The merger will combine the services of the Albany, New York, nonprofits under a single umbrella, a measure that will make it easier for clients who access assistance from both organizations, or transition from one program to another.

The organizations will use a $300,000 grant from the New York State Health Foundation to execute the merger, expected to be finalized by Jan. 1, 2012.

ClearView Center’s executive director, Dorothy Cucinelli, will head the combined agency. Kathleen Tanner, executive director of Equinox, will assist in the transition.

The two organizations offer related services. Equinox’s services include residential programs for homeless youth and victims of domestic violence, counseling, advocacy, outreach and prevention programs, and delivers thousands of Thanksgiving meals each year for disadvantaged families. ClearView serves people with mental illness.

“We think that being under one roof will be more seamless for our clients,” Cucinelli said.

Both organizations are fiscally sound, she said. Each operates with an annual budget of about $5.5 million, and each employs a little more than 100 people. Once the merger is complete, the new entity will operate with a combined $11 million annual budget. No jobs will be lost, Cucinelli said.

“This is not a situation where one is taking over another that is in trouble,” she said.

The new entity will continue to operate ClearView’s eight locations and Equinox’s four locations. It hasn’t been determined yet where the headquarters will be located. Currently, ClearView’s main offices are at 500 Central Ave.; Equinox’s are at 95 Central Ave.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

CEO at Nonprofit With Ties to Cuomo Quits

N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo leaves the the Dinosaur Barb-B-Cue tent with a sausage sandwich at the New York State Fair, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011 in Syracuse, N.Y. Next to him is his daughters Mariah and Cara, 16, left and center, and Michaela, 13, right. (AP Photo/The Post-Standard, Dennis Nett)
The CEO of a nonprofit group Andrew Cuomo founded in the 1980s resigned the same month that Cuomo, now governor, opened a probe of high salaries at charitable groups.

The New York World, a project of Columbia University journalism students, reported that HELP USA’s chief executive resigned from his $500,000 job in August. Laurence Belinsky ran the charity founded by Cuomo to build affordable housing for the homeless. Cuomo’s sister, Maria Cuomo Cole, is chairwoman of the nonprofit.

advertisement Neither the governor nor HELP USA had any immediate comment Friday. Cuomo has no role in the charity now.

A spokesman for HELP USA told The Wall Street Journal the departure had nothing to do with the governor’s review of nonprofits.

The newspaper reported that Belinsky is married to one of the governor’s cousins and is a former housing official for Cuomo’s father, Mario Cuomo, when he was governor. The reports state that the nonprofit’s board of directors includes Andrew Cuomo’s campaign manager and one of his closest health care advisers.

In August, the governor ordered an investigation of the compensation that nonprofit groups provide their top executives. Many nonprofits carry out social services using government grants and other benefits and Gov. Cuomo said the public needs to know if the compensation is justified.

The Wall Street Journal stated Belinsky was paid $546,000 in 2008, including a $157,000 bonus.

The charity operates on a $71 million budget that includes government grants.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Bill Includes $5.1 Billion For FEMA, $266 Million For USDA

Washington, DC U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced Senate passage today of the Disaster Relief legislation. The $6.9 billion disaster funding bill included $5.1 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and $266 million for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Senator Gillibrand aggressively lobbied her Senate colleagues to pass this disaster package. Senator Gillibrand has traveled across the state, receiving briefings and viewing the damage caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, working to bring all federal resources to bear to aid in the recovery. Senator Gillibrand has toured damage on Long Island, in Westchester County, the Capital Region, Catskill, Schoharie County and Binghamton.

This legislation is a step forward to ensuring federal assistance to help our families, farmers, businesses and communities recover, said Senator Gillibrand. America has always stood by those suffering from disaster and helped them to rebuild. We have an obligation to help these families rebuild today. Across New York the North Country, Capital Region, Mohawk Valley, Hudson Valley, Southern Tier, and Long Island no one can question the devastation these storms left in these communities. We must stand with them in this time of great need.

$5.1 Billion For The FEMA Disaster Relief Fund

The FEMA Disaster Relief Fund provides Public Assistance and Individual Assistance to designated counties. Without final passage of this legislation, FEMA will likely run out of funding in the next few weeks and be unable to pay, reimburse, or loan money to families and communities.

FEMA's individual assistance program includes a range of programs, such as home repair, temporary housing, grants for serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs.

Public assistance is federal aid made available to public and certain nonprofit entities for emergency services and the repair or replacement of public facilities damaged in a natural disaster. Qualifying municipalities and entities can use public assistance funding for debris removal and cleanup, emergency protective measures to save lives and prevent further property damage following a storm and to repair washed out and heavily damaged roads and bridges. Local governments can also utilize this source of funding to repair water control facilities including dams and levees, to repair public buildings and equipment damaged from the storm, repair utilities, and repair or restore public parks and other recreational facilities.

$78 Million For The Emergency Conservation Program (ECP)
The ECP is coordinated through the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) to provide emergency funding and technical assistance for farmers and ranchers to repair farmland damaged by natural disasters, and to carry out emergency water conservation measures during severe drought. Conservation practices include removing debris, restoring fences and conservation structures, and providing water for livestock.

For land to be eligible for ECP resources, the natural disaster must create new conservation problems that if left untreated would impair or endanger the land, materially affect the lands productive capacity, represent unusual damage, and be so costly to repair that federal assistance is or will be required to return the land to productive agricultural use.

ECP program participants receive cost-share assistance of up to 75 percent of the cost to implement approved conservation practices determined by county FSA committees. Individual or cumulative requests for cost-sharing of $50,000 or less per person, per disaster are approved at the county committee level, $50,001 to $100,000 is approved at the state level, and over $100,000 is approved at the federal level. Technical assistance may be provided by the USDAs Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

$139 Million For The Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP)
The EWP was established to help conserve natural resources following natural disasters by relieving imminent hazards to life and property caused by floods, fires, drought, windstorms and other severe weather. The EWP responds to hazards including debris-clogged streams and channels, undermined and unstable stream banks, jeopardized water control structures and public infrastructure, wind-borne debris removal, and damaged upland sites stripped of protective vegetation by fire or drought.

Protection efforts can include purchasing floodplain easements to restore, protect, maintain and enhance the floodplain, including wetlands and riparian areas. It can also conserve natural values, including fish and wildlife habitat, water quality, flood water retention and groundwater recharge, and safeguard lives and property from floods, drought and erosion.

NRCS may bear up to 75 percent of the construction cost of emergency measures. The remaining costs must come from local sources, and can be in the form of cash or in-kind services. Public and private landowners are eligible for assistance but must be represented by a project sponsor, such as the state, local government, or conservation district.

All EWP work must reduce the threat to life and property, be economically, environmentally and socially defensible, and come from a sound technical standpoint.

$100 Million For Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would specifically use this funding for disaster recovery. HUD gives states and localities the flexibility to meet a variety of needs, from assisting individual homeowners and business owners, to buying out properties to make way for more robust flood protection in the future, to developing infrastructure to rebuild homes and business zones away from flood danger.

$135 Million For The Economic Development Administration (EDA)

EDA would use this funding to provide financial resources and technical assistance to help rebuild economic development plans following a disaster and grants to build new infrastructure (e.g. business incubators, technology parks, research facilities, basic utilities such as water treatment) that foster economic development to retain or attract jobs to the region.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Charity Probe Questions: WSJ Article reported that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's probe of executive pay at nonprofits is bumping up against some of the state's best-known charities with strong ties to the most powerful people in Albany, including the speaker of the Assembly and the governor himself.

Two weeks ago, a state task force named by Mr. Cuomo began asking nonprofits to submit detailed information to the Cuomo administration about their executive pay levels and compensation policies. The task force said it is collecting information on a rolling basis from all nonprofits that receive funding from the state.

But one nonprofit that had not received a request by Wednesday is HELP USA, a homeless housing group founded by Mr. Cuomo in the 1980s. The governor's sister, Maria Cuomo Cole, is the group's chairperson, and its board of directors includes Mr. Cuomo's campaign treasurer Richard Sirota and Jeffrey Sachs, one of his closest health-care advisers, according to HELP's website.

HELP operates homeless shelters and develops low-income housing around the nation and gets most of its $71 million budget from federal, state and city contracts and grants, according to its tax filings.

The nonprofit paid its chief executive, Laurence Belinsky, $546,000 in 2008—including a $157,000 bonus—and $508,000 in 2009, according to IRS filings. His salary is more than 40% higher than the median salary of chief executives of nonprofits based in the Northeast with operating budgets of more than $13 million, according to Charity Navigator, a prominent charity database.

Mr. Belinsky couldn't be reached for comment.

Another powerful group that hasn't received a letter is the Greater New York Hospital Association, which represents many Medicaid-dependent hospitals in the city region and pays its chief executive $2 million a year, according to tax filings.

After a reporter inquired about the status of data requests to HELP and the hospital association, a state official said on Thursday that the task force had mailed letters to the groups.

Meanwhile, one of the first groups to get the request was the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, a social service group run by William Rapfogel, the husband of the chief of staff to Democratic Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver. Mr. Rapfogel received a $435,000 pay package in 2009, tax filings show.

A spokesman for the taskforce said all nonprofits that receive government money would eventually receive a request for information.

"There are thousands of not-for-profits that we are looking at, so we are sending the letters in waves on a rolling basis," said the spokesman.

Susan Lerner, the executive director of Common Cause, which advocates for transparent government, said the governor's investigation would be successful only if all charities are treated equally.

"You need an objective standard by which to judge what is or is not excessive compensation. Where are we headed with this?" Ms. Lerner said.

Jeff Stonecash, a Syracuse University political science professor, said Mr. Cuomo's probe was treading on politically sensitive ground. "There are some pitfalls here, but there's a lot of gain if he can get the right headlines," he said.

Josh Vlasto, a spokesman for Mr. Cuomo, said the investigation would be fair.

"Politics never got in the way of investigations before, and it won't now. If you think otherwise, just ask Pedro Espada," Mr. Vlasto said, referring to the former Democratic Bronx state senator whom Mr. Cuomo investigated while attorney general.

Mr. Cuomo's investigative foray into state-subsidized charities has been the object of much interest and anxiety around the nonprofit world. The governor has promised a wide-ranging review, an undertaking that could be handled by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, whose office regulates charities.

The governor has been praised for drawing more attention to nonprofit executive pay as it has stretched deeper into six and seven figures. But, depending on how Mr. Cuomo navigates those loyalties and rivalries within the nonprofit world, the task force also carries political risk.

"I can't see that he isn't smart enough or ethical enough to see that it would be problematic to target only organizations with whom he has no connection," said Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, a Lower Manhattan Democrat who introduced a bill this year to limit compensation for hospital executives.

Mr. Cuomo assembled the task force in early August in the wake of a New York Times article that scrutinized the executive compensation of a Medicaid-financed nonprofit group that reportedly paid two of its top executives close to $1 million a year. He put two of his most trusted aides on the task force, Financial Services superintendent Benjamin Lawsky and State Inspector General Ellen Biben.

But the inquiry's goal hasn't been defined. The task force may hold hearings and issue a report, leading to potential regulatory changes and legislation.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New York State Cultural Data Project Orientation SessionsSign up today!

This month, New York State Cultural Data Project orientation sessions are being offered in New York City and via webinar, featuring a CDP Reports Orientation for Nonprofit Leaders, including board members. Join us to learn how to put CDP to work for you!

To register, please click on the corresponding link below. If you plan to attend multiple trainings, please be sure to register for each below.

New User Orientation
We recommend a New User Orientation if your organization is new to the CDP or if you need a refresher on data entry. This training session will provide an overview of the history and goals of the New York State CDP as well as an introduction to the types of data collected. During the session, we will walk participants through the process of entering data, applying to participating funders and generating reports.

New User Orientation, Brooklyn
Irondale Ensemble Project
September 20, 2011
10:00 am

CDP Reports Orientation
If your organization has already submitted at least one Data Profile into the system, we encourage you to join us for a Reports Orientation to learn more about the 77 trend and comparison reports available to your organization, at no-cost! This training offers tips for integrating use of these reports in your financial management, planning and evaluation.

CDP Reports Orientation, Brooklyn
Irondale Ensemble Project
September 20, 2011
1:00 pm

CDP Reports Orientation for Nonprofit Leaders
Is your board interested in analyzing financial trends? Is your executive director looking to set fundraising and marketing goals? CDP reports can help your organization's board and staff make operational decisions, build the case for support and facilitate long-term planning.
This reports orientation session is designed specifically for executive directors, board members, and other nonprofit leaders and will provide participants with an overview of the reports available through the CDP and how they can be used for key decision-making within your organization.

CDP Reports for Nonprofit Leaders, Manhattan
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs
September 21, 2011
10:00 am

Join a CDP training session from your home or office ONLINE via webinar!
New User and CDP Reports Orientation Sessions are offered monthly to all CDP users. You can participate in a WEB-BASED Training Session from your office or home computer. A CDP associate will conduct the training session, during which you will be able to ask questions and learn more about the Cultural Data Project. New User Orientations take place on the first Wednesday and Reports Orientations are held on the third Thursday of every month.

New User Orientation
1st Wednesdays
10:00 am and 2:00pm

CDP Reports Orientation
3rd Thursdays
10:00 am and 2:00 pm

One day prior to the training session, you will be sent a link to connect to this training session online.
Questions? Visit or contact the New York State CDP Help Desk at or 1-888-NYSCDP-1 (1-888-697-2371).