Sunday, August 23, 2009

With Donations and Grants Down, Social Service Agencies Feel the Pinch

The NY Times reported that across the city, nonprofit groups that provide social services to New Yorkers are reeling, trying to fulfill their core missions as demand for those services rises and their ability to provide them shrinks. With government, foundation and individual grants down by as much as 50 percent — not to mention withering endowments or investments lost to Bernard L. Madoff — agencies are trimming and delaying programs and cutting staff, in essence contributing to the very problems they exist to fix.

According to a survey conducted by Baruch College and the Human Services Council, which represents some 750 nonprofit social service providers, more than half saw some reduction in government financing in the last fiscal year, with more than a quarter losing an entire contract. The survey, to be released Sept. 9, also found that 80 percent of the respondents lost private financing, and that 73 percent had no reserves like endowments or lines of credit. Read more here.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fall Roundtable "De-Accessioning and Museums"

Long Island Museum Association Fall Roundtable "De-Accessioning and Museums"
Date: September 21st, 2009

Registration begins at 9:00 and sessions will run until 12:30. The roundtable is free for LIMA members and costs $15 for non-members. To register, send your name, institution, address, telephone number and email address to LIMA, P.O. Box 1063, Huntington, NY 11743 or call (516) 224-5840 no later than Sept. 8, 2009. Cheques should be made payable to LIMA.

Location: Brookhaven National Laboratory, Berkner Hall (Bldg. # 488), Columbia Street Upton, NY


Save The Date
Friday, October 2, 2009

Annual Meeting and Luncheon
Historic Sites Futures Forum
Awards Towards Excellence and Cultural Heritage Award Presentations
At Overlook LodgeBear Mountain, NY10 am – 3 pm

Contact Greater Hudson for additional sponsorship, exhibitor, advertising, membership & registration information
Tel: 914.592.6726

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Take Your Sponsorship Opportunity Online: New Social Media Tool

The New York Future Initiative reported on a developing social media site called Groupable, a free online community that connects grassroots organizations and groups with potential corporate and local sponsors.

The site, which is based in New York, was launched in a private alpha testing phase last summer and opened to the public in beta back in January.

"We saw that it was very difficult for small groups who can't afford to hire a full-time sales person to be able to connect wih sponsors," said Gerrit Hall, 28, of Park Slope, who created the site with Groupable's C.E.O., Nate Brochin, 45, of Millburn, N.J.

The methodology behind Groupable seems simple enough (even if the way it’s explained on the site is a bit hard to follow): group or sponsor registers; group searches for and connects with sponsor, or vice versa, based on common goals and interests; sponsorship is made.

So far, an array of New York City groups have registered, ranging from civic non-profits, to arts organizations, to underwater photographers. Even the New York Tech Meetup is on there, although it seems like its profile has been inactive since it was created back in August of last year. At least one political candidate is using the service, Mark Winston Griffith, who is running in the 36th District (Crown Heights/Bed Stuy) City Council race.

But does it actually work?

Mashable, the influential social media news site, says yes. It gave Groupable high marks in a recent review:
Groupable definitely is a strong network for sponsors and groups. It’s well built and makes everything easily trackable. The issue, as with many other social media services, is critical mass – you’re probably not going to find a lot of local sponsors on Groupable yet. But even if you don’t find groups or sponsors through the service, you can add them yourself and use the platform to manage your sponsorships, making it a tool that groups that do a lot of fundraising should consider. Read more here.

Overall, the concept makes sense, and it can only help give more exposure to nonprofits and their sponsorship opportunities. It would seem sponsors would like the concept too. Do you think this has potential? Share your thoughts here.

NYS Arts Action Update

NYS Arts related that Rocco Landesman was confirmed by the Senate as the new Chairman of the NEA. In an article in the NY Time on August 8, Mr. Landesman said that as chairman he will focus on the potential of the arts to help in the country's economic recovery. "'I wouldn't have come to the [National Endowment for the Arts] if it was just about padding around in the agency,' he said, and worrying about which nonprofits deserve more funds.' We need to have a seat at the big table with the grown-ups. Art should be part of the plans to come out of this recession.' 'If we're going to have any traction at all,' he added, 'there has to be a place for us in domestic policy.' He talked about starting a program that he called 'Our Town,' which would provide home equity loans and rent subsidies for living and working spaces to encourage artists to move to downtown areas. The program would also help finance public art projects and performances and promote architectural preservation in downtown areas". Mr.Landesman has already shown himself to be an outspoken, forceful, and passionate promoter of the arts. He has a loud and bold style.

Fractional Gifts Bill introduced in Senate
The Wall Street Journal, 8/82009
"Donating art to museums could soon become attractive again for wealthy collectors. Reacting to museums' complaints of sharp declines in art donations, a bill announced [August 7] by Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, could revive the practice of so-called fractional gifts by making the process easier and more tax-advantageous. Before the 2006 Pension Protection Act, collectors were allowed a tax break when they donated a work of art incrementally, giving away a certain percentage of rights to the work each year. Pieces like the Hope Diamond, given to Washington's Smithsonian Institution, and New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art's Annenberg Collection can be attributed to fractional giving. Restrictions in the act prevented donors from realizing tax benefits on the appreciation of the art's value and limited the time allotted to complete the donation to 10 years." read the article

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

In Loving Memory: Offering A Nonprofit Message

Here is an interesting communication sent out by Anthony K. Shriver after his mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, passed away today. How does your nonprofit handle the passing of long-time supporters? How do you feel about advocating for nonprofits when you are also dealing with a death? Share your thoughts or own experiences with us below.

Dear Best Buddies Family,

It is with a somber heart that I write to share with you that my beloved Mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, passed away today Tuesday, August 11.

She now has entered God's magnificent embrace in the same manner that she lived: at peace, surrounded by those who loved her.

Accordingly, my Mother's efforts on behalf of individuals with intellectual disabilities – particularly her work with Special Olympics – inspired me to similarly devote my life to this shared mission. Through her unwavering faith in their abilities, she helped me – and countless others – to appreciate the fact that everyone is capable of something exceptional; especially with the support and encouragement of friends and family. Through her exemplary endeavors, I learned that this support network is one of the most valuable assets anyone can and should have, regardless of one's abilities or disabilities.

My Mother's lifelong commitment to people with intellectual disabilities also taught me that there is no greater joy than the satisfaction of contributing one's time and energy to the enhancement of another person's life. The act of giving is the most rewarding manner by which to conduct each of our lives. Indeed, I know that my Mother continuously experienced such joy throughout her life.

With my Mother's passing, the Best Buddies family has lost one of its most magnanimous supporters and advocates. I know that like me, many of you will miss her smile, her words of encouragement, and simply her wonderful presence. Yet, I am comforted that her indelible spirit will always be with us, guiding us in our efforts to complete her vision for persons with intellectual disabilities ... for she knew that her fight for equality was far from completed.

On her behalf, and as we convey our last farewell, my family and I express our profound gratitude for your shared commitment to that collective dream. We would be honored if you would take some time to learn more about her life, share your own remembrances about her, and read those of others at I hope that you will not only read and perhaps contribute to the site, but also share it with your friends and family.

In lieu of flowers, and your sentiments indeed are forever appreciated, please consider making a donation in my Mother's name to an organization dedicated to the individuals she so lovingly devoted her life to, such as either Best Buddies ( or Special Olympics (, in order to help ensure that her inspiring legacy will live on in our mission of friendship.

Anthony K. Shriver
Founder and Chairman Best Buddies International

Monday, August 10, 2009

Community Forum recording now available: Behavioral Economics

Columbia Business School announces the Community Forum Series on the Economy is available to watch in its entirety.

Moderated by Columbia Business School Dean Glenn Hubbard, this forum's topic focuses on the burgeoning field of behavioral economics, whose insights into human decision-making are reshaping business, public policy and regulation. Included in the discussion are three faculty members who have done provocative research in the science of human behavior:

Gita Johar, Meyer Feldberg Professor of Business in the Marketing division, shares findings from her research examining unconscious influences on consumer behavior.

Eric Johnson, Norman Eig Professor of Business in the Marketing division, discusses how insights from the behavioral sciences can be leveraged to modify behavior.

Nachum Sicherman, professor in the Finance and Economics division, addresses the so-called "ostrich effect," or investors' reluctance to review their financial portfolios when markets decline.

To watch the recording, click here or visit