Sunday, June 21, 2009

Area small businesses back ‘public option’ in health insurance

The Buffalo News featured an article about an informal survey by an advocacy coalition that found small business owners in New York state overwhelmingly support the idea of a “public option” as part of a national health insurance reform effort, and are willing to pay to make “quality, affordable coverage” available.

The survey by New York Small Business United for Health Care reported that 73 percent of the business owners surveyed preferred a proposal with a public, government-run alternative to private insurance, versus 19 percent favoring an expansion of private market options.

The owners said they are willing to pay a portion of their payroll towards supporting such an option, with 64 percent saying they would pay at least 4 percent to 7 percent to “guarantee quality affordable coverage for themselves and employees.” Read more here.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A.P. in Deal to Deliver Nonprofits’ Journalism

The NY Times reported that four nonprofit groups devoted to investigative journalism will have their work distributed by The Associated Press, greatly expanding their potential audience and helping newspapers fill the gap left by their own shrinking resources.

Starting on July 1, the A.P. will deliver work by the Center for Public Integrity, the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and ProPublica to the 1,500 American newspapers that are A.P. members, which will be free to publish the material.

The A.P. called the arrangement a six-month experiment that could later be broadened to include other investigative nonprofits, and to serve its nonmember clients, which include broadcast and Internet outlets.

“It’s something we’ve talked about for a long time, since part of our mission is to enable our members to share material with each other,” said Sue Cross, a senior vice president of The A.P. She said the development in 2006 of an Internet-based system for members to receive A.P. material made it easier to do that kind of sharing, and to offer new products like the investigative service.

As they sharply reduce their staffs, many newspapers have cut back on investigations or given them up entirely. When there are barely enough reporters to cover the daily news from the local courthouse and the school board, it is harder to justify assigning someone to an in-depth project that might take weeks or months. Read more here.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New Statewide Tool for Arts and Cultural Organizations

The New York State Council on the Arts has joined to help launch the New York State Cultural Data Project (New York State CDP), a powerful management tool for arts and cultural organizations. This unique system will, at no cost, allow arts managers and artistic leaders to understand and analyze their organization’s financial performance through easy-to-run reports. By participating in the New York State CDP, you will be part of a successful and growing project that will allow researchers and the arts community as a whole to better articulate and provide evidence for the sector’s assets and needs, as well as its contributions to the state and the country. By completing the online form annually, you will also be able to generate reports to be submitted to grantmakers with the click of a button.

Organizations can participate and benefit from the system regardless of whether they are a recipient of support from any of the participating funders. Additionally, there is a full-time Help Desk/hotline available to guide organizations in entering and understanding the data.

NYSCA is interested in your feedback in terms of how CDP can be most useful to your organization, how NYSCA can best incorporate it into our grantmaking process, and how it can help shape policy and advocacy efforts. Please read the letter from the CDP Taskforce, go online and learn about the system at, and, most importantly, attend a free demonstration and discussion (see below). Please direct your feedback either to NYSCA program staff or

Get the most from the New York State CDP.
Attend a free demonstration and discussion.

Register for a demonstration and discussion by visiting and clicking on "Attend a Demonstration and Discussion."

July 20 - 23, 2009, Western New York

July 20, 9:30 am
Location to be announced

July 20, 2:00 pm
Holiday Valley Resort,
Creekside Lodge

July 21, 9:30 am
Canisius Amherst Conference Center

July 22, 2:00 pm
Wadsworth Library

July 23, 2:00 pm
Location to be announced

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Leadership director is long on experience

The Buffalo News reported on the new executive director, Molly Fitzpatrick, of Leadership Niagara, named by its board of directors. In her new job, Fitzpatrick directs the community leadership nonprofit, which has graduated more than 700 men and women— in county business, labor, education, arts, religious, government and cultural groups— since its inception a quarter-century ago.

Fitzpatrick is backed by two decades of working with leadership and youth education nonprofit organizations in Western New York, beginning as a senior staff member to the American Management Association’s entrepreneurship program and Junior Achievement. She’s the former executive director of Kids Voting New York, which encompassed all of Erie and Niagara counties. During her tenure at Kids Voting, she led the largest community volunteer effort in Western New York and achieved the highest student voter turnout in the nation.

“Molly brings a wealth of experience in executive leadership and community development,” said Leadership Chairwoman Christine S. O’Hara of Niagara University. “We look forward to her leadership and the energy she’ll bring to this dynamic organization in Niagara County.”

Fitzpatrick served on numerous boards of directors in the community including King Urban Life Center and Mount St. Joseph Academy. She’s also been the interim executive director of the Buffalo Alliance for Education and director of marketing and development for Houghton College.
Fitzpatrick volunteered for a few years in AmeriCorps, focusing on literacy and development.

For more than a decade, she partnered with an economic education center in Ryazan, Russia, and connected community leaders in both countries during Russia’s transition to a market economy.

She calls Leadership, “a first-rate program with enormous potential for developing our region,” and adds she’s honored “to work with the movers and shakers of Niagara County.”

Part of Leadership Niagara’s aim is to bring together current and emerging leaders in an annual forum that expands their knowledge of Niagara County. Read more here.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Lack of resources is challenge to online fundraising

The Philanthropy Journal reported that while many nonprofits have built their staffs and processes around traditional marketing and fundraising activities, a lack of resources is preventing them from adequately pursuing online activities. This is according to a new study.

About nine in 10 nonprofits, regardless of their size, say their greatest barrier to success is a lack of money, staff or online expertise, says the report from Convio, which provides constituent-relationship-management software to the nonprofit sector.

More than a quarter of nonprofits have no online marketing plan, while almost two in 10 either don't know if they have a plan, or review their plan only every few years.

Groups with less than $20 million in revenue employ one to three staffers who are focused on online programs, while nonprofits with revenue of $100 million or more average seven full-time staff working on online efforts each week.