Thursday, July 29, 2010

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: 2010 Michael H. Urbach, CPA, Community Builder's Award

Sponsored by the New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON) and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA)

In recognition of the important role, talents and leadership that a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in New York State can provide as a board member for community-based charities, NYCON and NYSSCPA are pleased to announce the 7th Annual Michael H. Urbach, CPA, Community Builder's Award.

The award is named in honor of the late Michael H. Urbach, CPA, former partner of Urbach, Kahn and Werlin, former NYS Commissioner of Tax and Finance and Chair of the State Employees federated Appeal, and board leader of a number of charities.

Award Criteria & Submission
Candidates must:
  • Be a CPA in good standing and a member of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants;
  • Have served as an Officer on at least 3 different charitable 501(c)(3) community-based nonprofits with service as President/Chair at least once;
  • Have demonstrated exemplary board leadership resulting in significant and positive organizational impact including, but not limited to, financial turn-around, growth, and/or organizational re-structuring; and
  • Preference will be given to nominees whose board leadership accomplishments have been with community-based charities.

Deadline - August 30th, 2010
Nominations addressing the candidate's qualifications must be submitted in writing and received by August 30th, 2010. Nominators are strongly encouraged to include letters of support from the charities who have benefited from the candidate's volunteer leadership.

Send six (6) packets of nomination materials to:
Urbach Community Builder's Award Committee
New York Council of Nonprofits
272 Broadway
Albany NY 12204

Announcement & Presentation
The 2010 award will be formally presented at the Annual Member Meeting of NYCON slated for the afternoon of September 30th at Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, New York.

The Luncheon will take place during CAMP FINANCE, a two-day retreat that provides the very best in knowledge and skill development sessions for fiscal and management staff, as well as board members. New this year, it has expanded to include the popular "Money for Mission" tracks that will focus on fundraising, marketing, social media, grant making (both government and philanthropic) and more!

In honor of the late Harold Mandel, a certified public accountant who worked for Urbach, Kahn & Werlin in Albany, NY and retired in West Palm Beach, FL, the 2010 Urbach Honoree has the privilege to award three (3) nonprofit executives of their choice Camp Finance scholarships in Hal's name. In 2009, Mr. Mandel's family accepted a posthumous Michael H. Urbach, CPA Community Builder's Award in his tribute.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Security and Risk Management Training for Cultural Organizations

Theft of historical documents plagues records repositories. With careful planning, awareness of warning signs and proactive security solutions, organizations can reduce the window of opportunity for historical record theft. Archival security expert Mimi Bowling will provide an interactive curriculum on archival security, preparing participants to take immediate action to strengthen their local security programs. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion. There is no cost.

Topics include risk awareness; insider theft; facility design and security technology; security of information systems; working with vendors and contractors; research room management and design; developing institutional security policies; procedures and post-theft response; additional topics as requested by participants.

Representatives of NY¹s historical records community, including archives, governments, libraries, museums, historical societies, schools and non-profits will be given first priority. Additional seats are available for security personnel and law enforcement representatives working with these organizations. Out-of-state representatives and others interested in the
topic are also encouraged to register.

September 13, 2010 (Monday)
Ontario County Safety Training Center
Canandaigua, Ontario, NY

September 14, 2010 (Tuesday)
Erie 1 BOCES
West Seneca, Erie, NY

October 4, 2010 (Monday)
Utica Public Library
Utica, Oneida, NY

October 5, 2010 (Tuesday)
Roberson Museum and Science Center
Binghamton, Broome, NY

March 7, 2011 (Monday)
Historic Huguenot Street
New Paltz, Ulster, NY

April 11, 2011 (Monday)
Crandall Public Library
Glens Falls, Warren, NY

April 18, 2011 (Monday)
Town of Massena
Massena, St. Lawrence, NY

Metro NYC Region and
Long Island Region
Spring 2011

To register, please email or call 518-473-0130. Early registration is encouraged and appreciated; only 25 seats available.

Workshop have been made possible by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the New York State Historical Records Advisory Board, and the New York State Archives.

Brittany Turner
Project Assistant
"Lessons from a Theft: Bringing Security Tools and Knowledge to New York's
Historical Records Community"

NYS Archives
CEC, Room 9D58
Albany, NY 12230
(PH) 518-473-0130\
(FX) 518-486-1647

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Nonprofit Salaries Draw Scrutiny from States and Federal Government

The NY Times reported that State and federal officials are starting to take their knives to the pay of leaders of nonprofit groups they do business with to help share the pain of tighter budgets.

A provision in New Jersey’s recently passed budget, for example, includes a limit on what nonprofit groups can pay their chief executives if they are providing social services under state contracts. The cap, based on a formula that also applies to for-profits providing such services on behalf of the state, is part of a broader effort by Gov. Chris Christie to rein in salaries on state workers.

In New Hampshire, Attorney General Michael A. Delaney is investigating compensation among nonprofit hospital executives. And Vermont legislators are trying various ways of curbing salaries paid by nonprofit groups that have contracts with the state.

On Capitol Hill, four senators this spring refused to approve a $425 million package of federal grants for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America after staff members looked at the organization’s tax forms as part of a routine vetting process and were surprised to learn that the organization paid its chief executive almost $1 million in 2008 — $510,774 in salary and bonus and $477,817 in retirement and other benefits.

“A nearly $1 million salary and benefit package for a nonprofit executive is not only questionable on its face but also raises questions about how the organization manages its finances in other areas,” said Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma.

Another senator, Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, has told Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner that he is concerned that the Internal Revenue Service is not tough enough in policing pay in the nonprofit sector and that regulations governing compensation are too weak.

“I’ve asked him to review these regulations to see how they can be made effective,” Mr. Grassley said. “What’s there now doesn’t seem to be working.”

Mr. Grassley, who has used his seat on the Finance Committee to scrutinize a wide variety of nonprofit practices, noted that pay had been a “major issue” in his reviews over the last several years of universities, charitable hospitals and the Smithsonian Institution.

Compensation has long been a point of controversy among donors to nonprofits. By far the biggest category of complaints posted on the Web site of Charity Navigator, which offers research and analysis of nonprofit groups, involves complaints about pay. Read more here, especially for the other perspective offered by some nonprofit EDs.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Abilities First to cut outpatient rehab services

Abilities First to cut outpatient rehab services
Sarah Bradshaw
Poughkeepsie Journal

A Poughkeepsie nonprofit that provides rehabilitation therapy for people with disabilities is cutting outpatient services next month due to a lack of government aid.

Abilities First Inc.'s Medical Rehabilitation Clinic is a New York state-approved diagnostic and treatment center, however the clinic will surrender its state Department of Health operating certificate as a designated Article 28 facility come Aug. 30.

In essence, Abilities First is giving up the certification that allows it to receive Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements from the state at a special rate. The clinic's about 150 outpatients served in 2009 could be referred to other facilities for their occupational, physical and speech therapy needs, as well as wheelchair assessment and custom-fitted brace services...


Friday, July 16, 2010

The Clark Foundation and Nonprofit Finance Fund Establish $6 Million Working Capital Loan Fund for Nonprofits

The Clark Foundation has allocated $2 million from its endowment to the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) to establish a working capital loan fund for its grantee partners. The Foundation has partnered with NFF, through a program-related investment (PRI), to establish this new working capital loan fund. NFF will make an additional $4 million available to Clark grantees and will administer the loans to qualified grantees.

This program-related investment is notable because it comes from the Foundation's endowment, not funds traditionally reserved for grantmaking. As the nonprofit sector continues to struggle amid economic uncertainty, leveraging foundations' dollars from their endowments could substantively increase the availability and impact of philanthropic dollars.

According to Jane Forbes Clark, President of The Clark Foundation, "The Directors of the Foundation wanted to respond to an issue that is seriously affecting nonprofits during these uncertain economic times." Doug Bauer, Executive Director of the Foundation, explained that there is an increased need for working capital due to the long gaps between when a nonprofit provider delivers services and when it gets reimbursed, mostly from government contracts. "The creation of this working capital loan fund can help alleviate the operational strain that many of our grantees are facing. They are attempting to meet an increased demand for their services while watching cash flow slow to a trickle due to delayed payments. Providing a loan from our endowment makes sense, as it allows us to make an immediate positive impact on our grantees while preserving our core assets for continued philanthropic use," Mr. Bauer said.

The Clark Foundation will realize a modest return on its investment into the loan fund that is similar to other conservative investment strategies, all while providing new access to needed capital for grantees delivering vital services to many communities in New York City.

"Nonprofits operate on razor-thin margins, and even strong organizations struggle to access the working capital necessary to grow and thrive," said Clara Miller, President and CEO of NFF. "Cracking the corpus represents a sea change in terms of how philanthropy functions to support social impact, and holds tremendous promise as we increasingly look to the nonprofit sector to meet critical and ongoing community needs."

NFF will begin making loans to The Clark Foundation's grantees during summer 2010.

About The Clark Foundation
The Clark Foundation supports nonprofit organizations that help people out of poverty and lead independent lives in New York City. The Foundation also supports an array of educational, medical and cultural programs and organizations in and around Cooperstown, NY. Founded in 1931, it now ranks among the largest foundations in terms of assets and grants awarded in New York State and the country.

About Nonprofit Finance Fund
A national leader in social sector finance, Nonprofit Finance Fund connects money to mission success through consulting, innovation, and direct investment. Founded in 1980, NFF ( provides services that build the capacity and durability of nonprofits. A leading community development financial institution with over $80 million in assets, NFF has provided over $200 million in loans and access to additional financing via grants, tax credits and capital in support of over $1 billion in projects for nonprofit clients nationwide. NFF has a staff of more than 75 serving nonprofits nationally from offices in New York City, Philadelphia, Newark, Boston, Detroit, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Advocacy Call for Charitable Deduction Issue

NYCON has added it's voice to those of other nonprofit leaders taking a stand against the proposed change to charitable deductions for high income individuals in New York State.

The proposal would result in a 50% decrease in the deductibility of charitable gifts from higher income donors. Already, earners of $1 million or more can only claim 50% of their contribution as a deduction. This proposal would allow donors earning $10 million or more to claim just 25% of their contribution. NYCON is also concerned that this may potentially be the start of eroding charitable deductions in general.

We are urging our members to learn more about this proposal by reading the following articles by the New York Nonprofit Press, The Daily News, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Then, please join us in adding your voice to the memo of opposition by contacting us via email or calling Doug Sauer, CEO at (800) 515-5012 ext. 103.

Contact NYCON and sign onto the Memo of Opposition.
Contact your Senator. Click here for a searchable database of representatives.

Monday, July 5, 2010

City’s Adopted Budget Cuts $60 Million from Human Services

The NY Nonprofit Press reported that City’s Adopted Budget Cuts $60 Million from Human Services

It is an indication of how bad things are that there appears to be a sense of relief that New York City’s adopted budget for FY2010-2011 features only $60 million or so in cuts to human services. Depending upon who is doing the counting, human services providers had been on the block for as much as $200 million in potential cuts as part of Mayor Bloomberg’s Executive Budget. That feeling of relief is wearing off quickly, however, as providers and advocates begin to take stock of what this budget means for programs and funding streams which have been cut substantially – or in certain cases eliminated entirely.

“While we faced nearly $150 million in cuts to human services, we appreciate that the City Council and Mayor have come together to make some crucial restorations to core services,” says Susan Stamler, Director of Policy and Advocacy for United Neighborhood Houses (UNH). “Unfortunately we will still see over $50 million cut from child care, after school, senior services, adult literacy and mental health services. New Yorkers will feel pain from this budget. The City as well as the State and Federal governments must do more to meet the needs of our communities.”

“The capacity of the not-for-profit human services sector is being really hard hit with multiple rounds of budget cuts at a time when demand for services from the hundreds of thousands of jobless New Yorkers continues to rise,” said Bich Ha Pham, Director of Policy, Advocacy and Research at the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA). “Many organizations are forced to lay off staff and close entire programs because of the significant reduction of their government contracts.”

The magnitude of funding loss can be seen in a review of budget priorities based on the advocacy of the Human Services Council (HSC) and UNH. These umbrella organizations had requested funding restoration of budget cuts totaling $164 million across a range of human service sectors. Budget negotiations between the Mayor and City Council ultimately restored $103 million, leaving a gaping hole of $60 million, 37% of the restoration advocates had been seeking.

And, this represents only the sector’s top budget priorities – not an all encompassing catalogue of human service budget cuts which would likely raise the total funding loss substantially.

The severity of budget cuts and the relative extent of funding restorations varied markedly by service sector and from one program to another. Here is a brief overview, along with some reactions from providers and advocates.