Saturday, January 31, 2015

Updated Revitalization Act Compliance Resource Available

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New York State Nonprofit Revitalization Act: 
Remedial Action Plan for Compliance 

$300 for Nonprofit Members of NYCON. 
Purchase includes one hour of implementation assistance.

In December 2014, the Governor signed the Nonprofit Revitalization Actinto law. It is the first major revision of New York State Not-for-Profit Corporation Law (NFPCL) in over 40 years and most of its provisions took effect July 1, 2014. The Act comprehensively reformed the NFPCL and had a significant impact on the governance policies and practices of the state's nonprofits. In order to comply with the new laws, the vast majority of nonprofits still need to amend their bylaws and/or revise or adopt new policies.

What is Included in the Remedial Action Plan for Compliance and How Can it Help Our Nonprofit?
In order to help ensure that member nonprofits are in statutory compliance in an expedient way, NYCON prepared the Remedial Action Plan for Corporate Compliance. The Plan provides a Resolution for the Board of Directors to adopt a "Statutory Compliance Article" as a bylaw amendment along with five accompanying policy documents to be attached as Appendices to the Bylaws. The Action Plan purchase also comes with one (1) free hour of implementation assistance (via phone) with a NYCON staff member.

Appendices Included in the Plan:
  1. Bylaws and Corporate Policy Definitions
  2. Board of Directors Conflict of Interest Policy
  3. Code of Ethical Conduct and Annual Potential Conflicts Disclosure Statement
  4. Whistleblower Protection Policy
  5. Audit Oversight Policy
This resource is available to current nonprofit members of NYCON.
If you would like to renew your membership, please click here.
If you are unsure of your membership status, please contact us. 

Update on Bylaw Review Services:
NYCON Members can now have their bylaws reviewed and revised for compliance with the new Nonprofit Revitalization Act as well as for other areas of improvement, including best practices. Learn More.
If you are interested in receiving a bylaw review, we encourage you to please inquire soon as our volume of requests is very high. We will prepare a quote at no charge. To do so, we will need to ask you a few questions about your existing policies and procedures -- as well as take a look at your current set of bylaws.To receive a quote for a Bylaw Review please click here and fill out our questionnaire.
Legal Reminder and Disclaimer:

The documents provided in the Remedial Action Plan for Corporate Compliance are aimed at assisting not-for-profits to be minimally compliant to the Act in bylaw and policy statements.
Please be reminded that every Board of Directors has a fiduciary obligation to ensure that bylaw and policy statements are properly and consistently carried out in practice.

 We encourage all users of this material to obtain qualified legal counsel and, where appropriate, guidance from a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to advise in any modification and to specifically identify what other provisions in the Act may mean for your organization.

Please read the NYCONEnd User License Agreement before completing your purchase.


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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

ArtsWestchester Supports Cuomo's State Budget Proposa

ArtsWestchester Supports Cuomo's State Budget Proposal

Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Gov. Andrew Cuomo Photo Credit: File
WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – White Plains-based ArtsWestchester joined with leaders from across New York state to express support for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2015 budget proposal, which included a $5 million increase for the New York State Council on the Arts.
ArtsWestchester CEO Janet Langsam also praised the efforts of NYSCA Chairman Aby Rosen, who advocated for the increase.
The added funds are particularly significant since it continues an upward trend started in 2012-13, when Cuomo added $4 million in Regional Economic Development funds to the NYSCA budget. 
While arts advocates agree that this is a great step in the right direction, they will continue to work to restore NYSCA to its highest amount of local assistance funding, which was $54.3 million more than 27 years ago (in 1988-89 and 1989-90).  There is also a proposed increase in NYSCA staff, bringing the total to 30.
Arts leaders are quick to point to how such funding not only benefits arts and culture in this state, but is also a boon to local economies. New York state is home to 53,085 arts-related businesses that employ 335,683 people, according to recent studies.
“Cultural organizations and institutions are vital on so many levels – they improve our quality of life and add value to our economy,” said Langsam. “Every dollar spent on arts and culture translates into even more expenditures at restaurants, shops and businesses near cultural venues, so we are pleased the governor increased funding for the arts and will be reaching out to the Legislature to do the same.”
The recent advocacy effort led by ArtsNYS was organized on behalf of all NYSCA recipients large and small, including ArtsWestchester, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. ArtsNYS is a network of arts councils and affiliated organizations from all over the state that redistribute NYSCA funds through the Decentralization Program, working closely with the cultural organizations in their communities.  

Federal Funding Rules Take Effect, New Money Available

Office of Management & Budget (OMB) Issues FinalGuidance: New Rules Mean New Responsibility and Additional Support for Nonprofits
The final rules of the OMB Uniform Guidance have been established. The good news is that Governments at all levels - local, state, and federal - that hire nonprofits to deliver services are now required to reimburse nonprofits for the reasonable indirect costs (sometimes called "overhead" or "administrative" costs) they incur on behalf of governments when federal dollars are part of the funding stream. 

Nonprofits that have never had a federally approved indirect cost rate can elect either the de minimis rate of 10 percent of their modified total direct costs (MTDC) or negotiate a higher rate in accordance with the federal cost principles. Nonprofits that have already negotiated a federal indirect cost rate must be paid that amount.  

The (somewhat) bad news is that the OMB Uniform Guidance only provides a promise of better treatment of nonprofits providing services under programs funded in whole or in part by the federal government. Turning that promise into reality requires actions on the part of every nonprofit earning federal funds, either directly or from pass-through entities. By understanding what the new cost allocation rules allow, and managing costs accordingly, nonprofits can secure reimbursement for more of their costs than formerly allowed.

Know Your Rights, Ensure Proper Payment:
Resources to Educate & Empower Your Nonprofit
Nonprofits and the New OMB Uniform Guidance: Know Your Rights ... and How to Protect Them To help nonprofits get started, the National Council of Nonprofits has prepared a overview paper, "Know Your Rights ... and How to Protect Them." This analysis summarizes nonprofit rights and highlights potential compliance challenges and how the Uniform Guidance should be properly interpreted.

Save Money
Upcoming Webinar: Show Us the Money! 
February 6th. Register Now.
This session will provide an overview designed to help the executive director, fiscal director, program director, and grants managers alike - get up to speed on what is included in the new OMB Uniform Guidance and identify internal changes that may be needed to keep their good standing, as well as benefit from the recognition that governments need to pay their fair share when purchasing services from nonprofits. Moreover, this session will provide some practical solutions for dealing with the misapplication of requirements you may encounter. 

Take Action: Share What You See 
Charitable nonprofits are invited to share their experiences under the Uniform Guidance - whether positive or negative - and help build the evidence for best practices and additional reforms. Fill out theCouncil of Nonprofits Uniform Guidance Implementation Report Form.

Contact Amber Vanderwarker, our Program & Policy Associate via email or at 1 (800) 515-5012 ext. 116.

Learn More!

Understanding a nonprofit's costs is necessary in order for charitable nonprofits to be financially sustainable. Rather than reporting artificially low costs, or ignoring what it really costs to deliver programs and services, the National Council of Nonprofits is encouraging all nonprofits and board members to model transparency of full costs.
OMB has published a joint Interim Final Rule
 designed to update the regulations of all federal departments and agencies required to follow the OMB Uniform Guidance. The new regulations went into effect on December 26, 2014, but stakeholders have 60 days to propose changes. Nonprofit personnel are encouraged to review these regulations. Let federal officials know if changes are needed by filing comments before the comment period expires on February 17, 2015.
Designed with the needs and resources of the smaller to medium sized nonprofit in mind, NYCON's Chief Fiscal Officer and staff have designed a "fool proof" tool for developing a streamlined, compliant and easy to understand budget.


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