Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Charting a Decade of Online Donations

Charting a Decade of Online Donations
November 23, 2011, 11:04 am
By Cody Switzer
Only 4 percent of donors had given online in 2001. This year, about 65 percent have given to charity through the Internet.

That’s one of the comparisons made in a new graphic from Network for Good, a fund-raising and volunteerism Web site that celebrates its 10th anniversary this month.

In 2001, the average donation through the site was $226. But this year the average gift is $73, a change that Network for Good interprets as a sign that online giving has “gone mainstream.”

Here’s the full graphic:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Questions and Scrutiny Grow Over Monroe County Nonprofit Development Corporation

A lawyer with close ties to Monroe County forms a nonprofit local development corporation to handle a $99 million county contract. He names himself and two friends as the board of directors. The friends are not told of their roles and never participate in a proceeding of the board. One of them is aghast to learn seven years later that he was ever a director.

The scenario illustrates the convoluted origins of Upstate Telecommunications Corp. and raises questions about the validity of the corporation and its 16-year contract to manage the county's vast information technology network, according to nearly a dozen experts in nonprofit law, including lawyers who regulated nonprofit corporations for New York state.

Specifically, how did Upstate Telecommunications become functional without input from its founding directors? And did the directors who approved contracting with the county have the authority to act?

Answers remain elusive because the corporation claims it cannot locate records that could shed light on the matter, and its incorporating attorney, Michael Townsend, has declined to answer questions about the founding.

The notion that a local development corporation with a multimillion-dollar county contract would be formed unbeknownst to most of its founding directors baffled experts briefed on the scenario.

All of them cast the situation as an example of poor corporate governance, but most agreed that questions of the corporation's validity would not alone unravel its contract — a scenario with potentially dire consequences for the county.

"The consequences of a corporation not being a valid corporation are sort of unclear," said Amy Lavine, a senior staff attorney at Albany Law School's Government Law Center, where she writes extensively about nonprofit public benefit corporations. "A court might treat it like a corporation if it's been acting like one. In the real world, how do you undo a $99 million contract that's halfway done?"

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has subpoenaed Upstate Telecommunications for documentation about its founding and finances as part of an investigation into Monroe County local development corporations with state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

Read more here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NY comptroller says late checks hurt nonprofits

NY comptroller says late checks hurt nonprofits
Nov. 15, 2011, 3:01 a.m. EST
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says late contract approvals and payments by the state are hurting nonprofit providers and jeopardizing services.

DiNapoli says state agencies last year were on average six months late in approving nine out of 10 contracts valued at $50,000 or more, often after services were provided.

An analysis of the first half of 2011 shows nearly 90 percent of contracts approved by the comptroller were submitted late by state agencies.

DiNapoli says nonprofits operate on thin margins and provide basic services ranging from health care clinics to work programs, with 22,000 active grant contracts totaling $16.8 billion.

The nonprofit sector employed 1.25 million people statewide last year.

You can access the article by Clicking Here.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Community Profits on Strength of Nonprofit Sector

Community profits on strength of nonprofit sector
Business First by Tracey Drury, Buffalo Business First Reporter
Date: Wednesday, November 2, 2011, 3:13pm EDT.
Tracey DruryBuffalo Business First Reporter - Business FirstEmail

Today’s the day I finally exhale, as the final pieces of our Million Dollar Nonprofits research report go out the door to the printer.
But by day’s end, I’ll be holding my breath once again - waiting for the report to land in the hands of the region’s nonprofit community. The report, to many, represents sort of a report card on how those execs are doing in their daily jobs of running a $2 billion sector.
The report is a compilation of several months of research into the region’s largest nonprofit organizations, each with revenue of at least $1 million. The 282 agencies on the list this year have a major economic impact in the eight-county region, employing nearly 53,000 people and providing services to hundreds of thousands.
And they do it all without profits in mind.
Our list includes a wide variety of organiations, including human service agencies providing programs for poor, individuals with disabilities and seniors, as well as cultural and arts groups, health-related organizations and others that work on business or economic development issues. Narrowing the field on what types of organizations to include has been a work in progress over the past 10 years, as we’ve included, then taken out again such groups as hospitals and health systems and health insurers - despite their status as nonprofit corporations.
Our list is part of the All About Nonprofits special publication, which also includes a list of the top corporate philanthropists in the region; foundations ranked by total grants paid; and a list of nonprofit fundraising events for 2012.
One of the most closely watched pieces of this report every year is the salary listings. Though we don’t get as many complaints any more about why we list them, I almost always hear from people thanking us for helping shed some light on compensation. As we said before, these agencies operate without profits in mind, but that doesn’t mean the executives working there are doing it for free.