Thursday, July 21, 2011

Call for CPA Board Member Nominations for Annual Award

2011 Michael H. Urbach, CPA, Community Builders Award Now Accepting Nominations
Sponsored by the New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON) and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA)

Submission Accepted through August 22nd, 2011

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 8th Annual Michael H. Urbach, CPA, Community Builders 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 22, 2011
Nominations addressing the candidate's qualifications must be received by August 22nd. Nominators are strongly encouraged to address the candidate's qualifications related to the four (4) criteria's mentioned above and to include at least three (3) letters of support from the charities who have benefited from the candidate's volunteer leadership.

Send seven (7) packets of nomination materials to:
Urbach Community Builders Award Committee
New York Council of Nonprofits
272 Broadway
Albany NY 12204

or email the packet to Melissa Currado, Executive Assistant to the CEO at

Announcement & Presentation
The 2011 award will be formally presented at the Annual Member Meeting of NYCON slated for the afternoon of October 6th 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, skill and strategy sessions for your staff and volunteer leaders.

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 2011 Urbach Honoree has the privilege to award one (1) nonprofit executive of their choice a Camp Finance scholarship in Hal's name. In 2009, Mr. Mandel's family accepted a posthumous Michael H. Urbach, CPA Community Builders Award in his tribute.

Past Urbach Award Honorees
Edward S. Mucenski, CPA of Potsdam
Lewis "Lew" Kramer, CPA of Chappaqua
Mel Zachter, CPA of Staten Island
Eugene H. Fleishman, CPA of Poughkeepsie
Craig Sickler, CPA from Kingston
Paul Battaglia, CPA from Batavia

For More Information
visit NYCON at or contact Melissa Currado at (800) 515-5012 or

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

NYS employee fee to impact nonprofits

Read below about the recent news about a new fee per employee for employers related to NYS Unemployment Insurance borrowing. As a nonprofit, there is another alternative, which you can learn about from NYCON:

Find Out if the Unemployment Savings Program for NYCON Members through First Nonprofits Companies can Save You Money.

Why pay a tax if you don’t have to? Many NYCON Members have switched from paying the state unemployment tax rates to First Nonprofit Unemployment Savings Program saving up to 60% of their unemployment costs annually. Find out if you can too. Take NYCON's FREE upcoming Beneft Spotlight: Unemployment Savings Program on August 23rd from 10 am to 11am. REGISTER HERE

A Big Bill for Employers
The Albany Times Union reported that Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday rolled out a sweeping plan to help revitalize the state's economy, complete with an ad campaign and competitive grant program designed to spark innovation.

But businesses have a more immediate concern: The bill is coming due for New York's unemployment insurance.

Citing the need to borrow more than $3 billion from the federal government to prop up its chronically empty account, the state faces a whopping $95 million interest payment on loans for the fund due Sept. 30.

As a result, the state Department of Labor is assessing businesses up to $21.25 per employee to cover the cost. That payment is due Aug. 15.

Complaints about what businesses describe as a hidden tax were rolling in Tuesday after numerous employers received the notices and as Cuomo expounded on his plans for the economy.

"This is something that could -- depending on the number of employees -- be a pretty hefty cost in this economy," said Mike Durant, New York state director for the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

When asked about the surcharge during a news conference outlining his revitalization plans, Cuomo stressed that the bill for interest is ultimately coming from Washington, D.C.

"It's a federal decision whether or not they'll waive the interest payments. I hope that they do," he said, adding that his office was pushing the state's congressional delegation on the issue.

The hefty tab illustrates what can happen as the federal stimulus program, enacted shortly after the recession started in 2008, runs out.

The Department of Labor noted that the stimulus program provided no-interest loans to the states in 2009 and 2010, but not this year.

Read more:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sauer Named to Attorney General's Nonprofit Leadership Committee

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman recently announced that NYCON CEO Doug Sauer would be one of the prominent nonprofit leaders appointed to the Committee for Nonprofit Revitalization. The task force, composed of 29 leaders in the nonprofit sector from across New York State, is charged with presenting a series of recommendations to the Attorney General to reduce the regulatory burdens and costs on nonprofits while strengthening nonprofit accountability.

"I'm honored that Attorney General Schneiderman has asked us to bring NYCON's statewide perspective and expertise to this important collaborative effort," said Doug Sauer. "We're proud to represent 3,000 small to moderately sized member nonprofits who provide critical services in communities across New York. It's a testament to the Attorney General's initiative that he is seeking the input of these grass roots groups as he strives to help improve nonprofit efficiency, make oversight more effective and help increase the public's faith in our sector."
In addition to providing critical services to New Yorkers, nonprofits are also a driving economic force. Statewide, nonprofits employ between 17 and 18 percent of the workforce. In New York City alone nonprofits employ 500,000 people.

"For too long, New York's regulatory framework has placed unnecessary burdens on nonprofits, which are simply untenable during these challenging financial times," Attorney General Schneiderman said. "We must modernize the rules of the road so the nonprofit sector can thrive. We can be tougher on policing fraud without imposing needless burdens and costs on this vital sector of New York's economy."

Based on the key issues that the nonprofit sector has identified to the Attorney General's Office, the Leadership Committee's activities will focus on the following:

Making recommendations on how to reduce regulatory burdens and more effectively address regulatory concerns;
Developing legislative proposals to modernize New York's nonprofit laws that would eliminate outdated requirements and unnecessary burdens while strengthening accountability; and

Proposing measures to enhance board governance and effectiveness, including through new programs to recruit and train nonprofit board members.
The Leadership Committee will be staffed by the Attorney General's Charities Bureau Chief, Jason Lilien, and will be charged with completing its work by the end of this year.

Stay tuned to our emails, as NYCON will be seeking the input of all current members on its website at beginning in August.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Unions Say City Opera Offer Would Gut Chorus and Orchestra

The NY Times reported that a day before New York City Opera was to announce its first post-Lincoln Center season, the company’s unions charged on Monday that the company had made proposals for a new contract that would gut the chorus and the orchestra, and turn the “people’s opera” into a freelance outfit.

The unions released City Opera’s terms, which call for ending guaranteed weeks of work and number of members, It would eliminate vacation pay, tenure, leaves and the current health insurance plans. In addition, instrument insurance — an important perk paid for by American orchestras — would stop.

Choristers and orchestra players would be paid only by the rehearsal and performance. The proposals promise that members of the chorus and orchestra rosters would be given preference for future jobs.

“It’s devastating,” said Gail Kruvand, the chairwoman of the orchestra’s negotiating committee. “It essentially eliminates the orchestra as we know it.”

The union officials said it was too early to respond with proposals.

The company has long been living beyond its means. The general manager and artistic director, George Steel, and the board chairman, Charles Wall, have said major cuts are needed to reduce fixed costs, like those for the labor force. They decided to move the company from its longtime home, the David H. Koch Theater (formerly called the New York State Theater), as another way of saving money.

Company officials did not immediately respond to a request for a comment. However, a spokeswoman, Maggie McKeon, issued a statement saying: “In light of a challenging economic climate, New York City Opera created and is executing a very difficult, but strategic new model that reverses a decadelong trend of debilitating deficits. As negotiations continue, New York City Opera will remain acting in good faith to find the best solution for everyone involved.”

Read more here.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Cultural groups rejoice as city restores proposed cuts

Crain's New York Business reported that despite threats of deep cuts to institutions from the Metropolitan Museum to Staten Island's Botanical Gardens, nearly all of the money was restored in the city's final budget.

After yet another year of in which local cultural institutions were threatened by proposed deep budget cuts from the city, nearly all the money was restored in the final budget for this fiscal year.

The cultural institutions group—made up of all the arts groups in city-owned building ranging from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden on Staten Island—received an initial restoration of $20.5 million of its proposed $33.7 million cut. Sources say Mayor Bloomberg is going to put in an additional $10 million from discretionary funds, nearly fully restoring the CIGs funding.

Funding for the hundreds of arts institutions that are not in city-owned buildings, like the Museum of Modern Art, received a restoration of $9 million, basically erasing their proposed cut.
Arts executives had expected little restoration this year because of the city's precarious financial state. Though they were thrilled with the final numbers, they questioned why they have been forced to go through this “budget dance” every year.

“We are very grateful for the City Council and the mayor's concern and commitment to the cultural sector,” said Norma Munn, chairperson of the New York City Arts Coalition. “There were people going without pay checks over the last few months because we were having such a tough time in the sector, so every dime counts.”

The New York Public Library, which waged an aggressive campaign to keep its city funding, received a restoration of $36.7 million of its proposed $40 million cut. Library officials said the final budget would allow it to avoid layoffs and keep all libraries open at least five days a week.

“When it comes to libraries, the real winners this budget season are New Yorkers,” a spokeswoman for the library said. “Thanks to a sizable restoration from the City, all of our 90 locations across the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island will remain open.”