Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Policy Poll: Government Contracting & Prompt Payment Practices

Take the "Government Contracting and Prompt Payment Poll": Help Enhance the Upcoming National Report with Real Stories from New York's Nonprofits!  
Deadline: December 2nd

As many of you are well aware, government contracting issues have an immense impact on the ability of nonprofits in New York State to carry out their mission. 

Though we are the only state with a "Prompt Contracting" law designed to safeguard nonprofits through the contracting process, there are still many hurdles New York Nonprofits face when attempting to get timely, adequate payment for our services.  NYCON strives to be an active and committed partner both with our Members and representatives of  government on initiatives aimed at improving the state contracting process.  

In order to do this, NYCON is now asking all nonprofits with government contracts to please take a few moments to complete this Pulse Poll: Contracts and Grants regarding your recent experiences.

Results from this poll will be used to supplement and enhance the findings from the upcoming Urban Institute study. We would greatly appreciate any stories and specific examples you can provide on how your government contracts or grant experiences have affected your organization or those you serve.  

All stories will be kept anonymous unless you have given your permission to use your experience as an example in any discussions or documents produced regarding these issues.  

NYCON does expect media sources to be contacting our office after the study's release. We hope your answers can be a resource for us to draw upon to give a clear and realistic picture of how state contracting problems impact New York's nonprofits presently.  
Click here to take the Pulse Poll: Contracts and Grants, or paste this link into your browser:

Please complete your survey ASAP, but no later thanDecember 2, 2013. Also, please share this message broadlywith your colleague organizations that may have government contracts or grants.    

If you have any questions, please call us at (518) 434-9194 ext 126or email avanderwarker@nycon.org.

Doug's Signature

Doug Sauer, CEO
New York Council of Nonprofits, Inc. (NYCON)

The Urban Institute, along with the National Council of Nonprofits, will be releasing a study on December 5th, 2013 on state contracting and payment practices.  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Upcoming Events & Trainings

The Five "I's" of Fundraising
[Lunch & Learn Webinar]
November 14th, 2013 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Presented by Susan Weinrich, VP of Organizational Development & Capacity Building Services, NYCON
Free for NYCON Members Only 
Money for FSA
Geared towards the Board members, participants will learn how fund development fits within their overall board responsibilities and how to organize themselves to help address this challenging area. This session covers a range of strategies for generating revenue with an emphasis on fundraising. Topics include:
  • Creating a development plan
  • Organizing a fund development committee
  • Fundraising strategies for success
  • Staff & board roles in fund development
Most importantly, it will help Board Members overcome their fear of fundraising and recognize that their involvement is critical to the success and sustainability of the organization.

NYS Grants Gateway Info Session: Best Practices for Nonprofit Governance & Policy Creation [Vestal] 
Friday, November 15, 2013 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Presented by Michael West, Esq., Legal Advisor, NYCON 

NYS GGAre you in the process of becoming 'prequalified' with New York State in order to receive funding for a contract currently in place or for future funding for which you'd like to be considered?  Your prequalification status may be delayed for multiple reasons. If your application is being held (or if you haven't been able to complete it) due to questions about any of the following reasons this workshop will be a great resource for you.
  • Operational documents (charitable determination letter from the IRS, audit, IRS Form 990, Organizational chart, etc.)
  • Governance Policies & Practices (internal controls, separation of duties, nepotism and other clauses in your bylaws and personnel policies)
  • Other Documents or Governance Policies that you don't have and aren't sure how to create.
In this session we will be focusing on best practices for nonprofit governance and policy creation as they relate to the Grants Gateway portal, the prequalification questionnaire and the online Document Vault. We will also be discussing the options and process for NYCON assistance available to you as a member.   

Striving for Self-Sufficiency: Earned Revenue & Entrepreneurial Strategies [Utica] 
November 21, 2013 from 9:00AM - 11:30AM
Presented by Doug Sauer, CEO, NYCON  
Cost is $10 (At the Door) 
A Program of the Mohawk Valley Nonprofit Leadership Group 

There was a time where the most stable and viable nonprofits were those that relied on the traditional business model of contributions and government grants. Dependency on the "market" forces of philanthropic and taxpayer support is increasingly being viewed a limitation regarding sustainability as often they are outside of the influence and control of the nonprofit. Achieving self-sufficiency involves a third leg to the revenue stool - earned revenue, where there is a direct exchange of a product, service or privilege for monetary value. Participants in this workshop will have an opportunity to discuss and learn about earned revenue and entrepreneurial strategies - the pros, cons, and preparation and cultural shifts necessary to proceed down the entrepreneurial path.  

This presentation is being funded by the Cororate Partners of The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties.  
We appreciate their support.Please visit their website for more information, www.foundationhoc.org   

How Changes in New York's Unemployment Program Affect Your Nonprofit [Lunch & Learn Webinar] 
November 22, 2013 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Presented by Cecilia Piazza, Director, Unemployment Program, First Nonprofit Companies 

bargraph-money.jpgThis webinar will discuss, in detail, the various unemployment insurance  coverage options currently available to nonprofit organizations, and specifically how unemployment compensation rates are assigned, the upcoming tax cost increases in New York State and various federal and state unemployment insurance benefit programs for claimants. 
Did You Know? Nonprofits Have Options
Nonprofits typically have fewer unemployment claims than the private sector; therefore, they often subsidize the state unemployment fund by paying more than necessary. Federal and state laws allow 501(c)(3) organizations to reimburse the state unemployment fund, rather than pay the UI tax in advance of having actual claims. FNC's unemployment programs may well reduce your unemployment costs if you currently participate in the state tax system, and can provide you with a safety net if you have already chosen the reimbursable option.
Participation in FNC programs provides:
  • Unemployment insurance savings of as much as 60%
  • No pooling or shared risk
  • Fixed annual cost
  • Fully insured option to eliminate risk or Stop Loss Insurance with customized attachment points to minimize your exposure
  • Professional representation in unemployment hearings and claim amount auditing included
  • Access to training and services that can decrease the number of invalid claims
  • If your nonprofit employs 10 or more people, this is an option worth learning about and exploring.
FNC covers over 1,500 nonprofit employers across the country. They want to help even more organizations save money and avoid risk - starting right here in New York.

Beyond Collaboration: Exploring & Navigating Corporate Affiliations [Hudson] 
December 11, 2013 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM  
A Workshop Provided by the New York Council of Nonprofits with Support from The Dyson Foundation
Presented by Doug Sauer, CEO and Dave Watson, Senior VP of Legal Accountability and Compliance Services & General Counsel 
Register Today      FREE
business-deal-illustration.jpgPerhaps now more than ever, community-based nonprofits are seeking ways to do businessdifferently and are exploring whether affili  ation may be a path to sustainability and growth.  Join NYCON's highly experienced staff experts in learning about the various forms, processes, potential benefits and risks associated with corporate affiliations,including merger, acquisitions, subsidiary relationships and shared service arrangements.

This initiative is available to help nonprofit organizations, libraries or units of government based in the Mid-Hudson Valley (Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, and Ulster counties) move from the exploring the feasibility of strategic restructuring, to planning the restructuring and implementing the plan, to enhancing the restructured entity. Funding is available for additional technical assistance, consulting, training or meeting facilitation and more. If, after this session, your organization is contemplating a serious merger or restructuring, then we encourage you to take advantage of this valuable resource through The Dyson Foundation. The "Beyond Collaboration" Workshops are provided as a part of The Dyson Foundation Nonprofit Strategic Restructuring Initiative.

New Tools for Creating a Vibrant, Engaged and Energized Board in the 21st Century [Lunch & Learn Webinar]
December 13, 2013 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM (EST)
Presented by Andrew Marietta, Regional Manager, NYCON Central New York Office and Valerie Venezia, VP of Membership & Marketing
Free for NYCON Members; $50 for Non-Members
laptop-business-woman.jpgWhile we still have to recognize the traditional factors that motivate our Boards of Directors, we also need to acknowledge the fact that the most successful ways to connect with these individuals may have completely changed. Models of board meetings & board communication have not caught up with the current ways we engage in our "everyday" communication.

This session will help identify motivating factors (both old & new), identify and discuss new ways of recruiting & engaging board members and how new online tools can help make the best use of everyone´s time and accomplish more with less. For those of you who attended this workshop at Camp Finance, on this webinar we will be able to spend more time on areas of concern like: managing & directing cultural change within your organization and additional specifics on tools you can use to make your (and your board members) life easier.