Monday, June 29, 2009

Local Nonprofit Offers New Mission-Based Idea for Fundraising

The Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation is offering a train ride from Camillus to Seneca Falls that features costumed historical characters (like Matilda Joslyn Gage and others), and an opportunity to visit area women's history museums.

This event is a great example of an activity that is mission-based and also geared towards raising money. During these challenging times, nonprofits have to focus their efforts, especially when fundraising.

Event Details:
When: Sat., Aug. 22
Where: Leaves from Camillus, N.Y. To Seneca Falls and back.
Description: Ride the rails to Seneca Falls with 19th-century women's rights activist Matilda Joslyn Gage and other costumed historical characters. Onboard program. Train leaves Finger Lakes Scenic Railway depot in Camillus 11 a.m. Arrives in Seneca Falls 1 p.m. During 3-hr layover, passengers can visit one of the women's history museums or go to shops and restaurants. Train arrives back in Camillus 6 p.m. Passengers can order boxed lunches to eat onboard or bring their own. Lunches must be ordered when making reservations.
For reservations: Finger Lakes Scenic Railway will begin taking reservations soon at or (315) 209-1029 / (315) 374-1570. Walk-ups OK as long as tickets remain available. Ticket prices (without lunch): $25/adult, $23/seniors & kids 3-14. Children 2 & under free as long as they sit on lap; must pay if they need seat. Add $10 for boxed lunch.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Funds pledged to Syracuse's Say Yes to Education program

The Post-Standard reported that Say Yes to Education and two local companies are donating more than $2.5 million to a scholarship fund that will cover tuition for Syracuse high school graduates at public colleges and universities.

The Manhattan-based Say Yes board of directors agreed Thursday to donate $1 million to a scholarship fund set up in December by the Central New York Community Foundation, said Mary Anne Schmitt-Carey, president of Say Yes. The Community Foundation will match up to $1 million in donations to cover tuition, books and fees at community colleges and SUNY/CUNY schools for Syracuse graduates. Read the article here.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Downtown Syracuse: Arts Color Economic Growth

Will Maitland Director of the Arts & Business Council of New York will deliver the keynote address at Downtown Committees annual meeting this Tuesday, June 23rd at 8:30a.m. at the Museum of Science and Technology, 500 South Franklin Street, in Syracuse’s Armory Square district. The public is invited to attend.

The meeting is entitled “Downtown: Arts Color Economic Growth.” Jim Breuer, Chairman of the Downtown Committee, noted that the revitalization of downtown has been closely related to the expansion of arts, education and cultural attractions downtown. “The arts bring thousands of people downtown every year, and offer unique and compelling reasons why people come downtown. In Central New York, the greatest arts and cultural institutions are downtown.”

Also featured at the meeting will be representatives of arts, education and cultural institutions which will have a major impact on downtown in the coming year.

Tickets for the event cost $15 and are available by contacting the Downtown Committee at 422-8284 or through its Web site at

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Non-profits left waiting for state contracts

Syracuse's WSYR-TV reported that state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is issuing new regulations to ensure not-for-profits are paid interest owed to them. He found that 63 percent of the time, state contracts with the organizations were approved late.

In central New York, 254 agencies were affected, amounting to $62 million in Onondaga County alone.

We're talking about almost every local not-for-profit you can think of -- the Food Bank, Arise, Home Health Aides of central New York, the National Kidney Foundation.

They may help different people, but they have a common link: They all have promised contracts with the state, but almost always have to wait for the money.

The Alzheimer's Association, for instance, had to wait to receive about $80,000, which is used for programs and services like its adult day program. They're approaching a one-year wait for some of the contracts.

According to the paperwork sent out by DiNapoli, some of the agencies who had to wait the longest include:
  • The Syracuse Children's Theater, which waited 671 days to get $60,000;
  • The CNY Jazz Arts Foundation waited 697 days for $75,000;
  • Family Ties Network waited 432 days for $344,080 for its pregnancy prevention network;
  • Liberty Resources had to wait 389 days to receive $21,847. It puts them in a pinch, and they have to find the money somewhere else.
“For us, it means having to tap into reserves,” says Catherine James of the Alzheimer’s Association of CNY.

Under the new regulations, state agencies must prioritize contracts and ensure enough resources to get them approved in time. They will also change the April 1 start date for grants, so the timeliness of the state budget doesn't affect them.

There is a 45-day comment period before the regulations may be finalized. The state was late paying out a total of $2.7 billion. See the video and read more here.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Save the Date: July 9th HSLC Social Gathering

Please “save the date” for a social gathering of HSLC leaders on Thursday, July 9; 5-7 p.m. Michael Crinnin will provide details in the upcoming weeks.

Possible Nonprofit Resource

WBOC (Women Business Opportunities and Connections) is a group for women in business in CNY. They have over 200 members and are very interested in being active in non-profits in the community. The WBOC recently held an event to celebrate the volunteers that help make the organization strong, as well as telling the membership about opportunities to volunteer in CNY. For more info about the group, contact Kathy Harter at 474-0876 or

Kathleen Harter
President and CSO
Junior Achievement of CNY, Inc
101 Old Cove Road
Suite 112
Liverpool, NY 13090
(315) 474-0876

The Eighth Westcott Art Trail takes place June 6-7

The Eighth Westcott Art Trail, featuring over 60 area artists in 20 locations, will open its doors to benefit the Westcott Community Center on Saturday, June 6 (10-5) and Sunday, June 7 (12-5pm).

This art fair has grown to one of the finest arts & craft offerings in Syracuse. This year we are having 60+ artists, of extraordinary quality, in 20 locations around the neighborhood. The locations include artists’ homes and studios that stretch from Meadowbrook to Berkley and from Broad to Avondale. Local artists work in a range of mediums, including ceramics, glass, jewelry, fibers, painting, and sculpture. Fourteen artists will be demonstrating their craft in mediums including silk painting, henna, watercolor, ceramic wheel throwing and firing, oil painting, origami, jewelry making techniques, and others. Visitors will even be able to glaze and take home their own ceramic objects, fired in an outdoor Raku kiln.

The heart of the Art Trail, the Westcott Community Center (at the corner of Euclid Avenue and Westcott Street) will host the Lost Boys of Sudan and their ceramic cows, as well as a number of local artists. The Westcott Community Center will host a local Farmer’s Market and offer refreshments, including a selection of Cabot cheeses and a bake sale for youth programming.
Bright yellow flags mark each participating artist location. And be on the lookout for Syracuse’s own Media Unit to entertain and guide you through the Trail. Get to know your neighbors, have some fun, food, make and buy some art!

Maps listing participating artists are available at the Westcott Community Center and on the WCC’s website: and at Googlemaps.

The Art Trail is made possible by the 2009 grand sponsors Stephanie Miner and Jack Mannion and many other local sponsors.

The Westcott Community Center has been serving the Metropolitan Syracuse Community for over 13 years, providing services and programming to all segments of the community, including monthly art shows for emerging artists in the Westcott Community Art Gallery.

Contact Steve Susman for additional information, including photographs: 315.488.8634 or

The sponsorship of the Westcott Art Trail by Jack Mannion & Stephanie Miner in no way implies the support of Ms. Miner as a candidate for mayor by the Westcott Community Center.


Join the discussion with mayoral candidates focusing on
Wednesday, June 17
6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.: refreshments
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.: program
SUNY Oswego Metro Center
Corner of N. Salina and W. Washington Streets

CANDIDATES FOR MAYOR – all agreed to attend:
Alfonso Davis, Carmen Harlow, Otis Jennings, Steven Kimatian, Stephanie Miner, Joe Nicoletti
Candidates will be asked to respond briefly to the following three questions, followed by an open forum.

1) A key contributor to making a city sustainable and livable is good urban design and planning. As mayor, what principles and policies will you use to ensure that the city of Syracuse will safeguard and strengthen the elements of good urban design it already has, add more wherever possible and make Syracuse the national model for sustainability?

2) Numerous documents containing plans for sustainable development of all or parts of our city, created by citizen groups or consultants, already exist at City Hall. James Street Overlay District Guidelines and a proposal for a Director of Sustainability are examples. What will you do to recover, implement, and, most of all, enforce, what is still valuable in these documents?

3) Considering any future planning for a sustainable and livable city that might occur during your administration, how will you ensure that Syracuse residents will have ample opportunity to contribute, and that their opportunity to react and give input continues as those plans are carried out and enforced?

Sponsored by

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Reviewing the implementation and effectiveness of the State's Prompt Contracting Law

To examine the effectiveness of the State's prompt contracting and interest payment requirements under Article XI-B of the State Finance Law.

Monday, June 15, 2009
Hamilton Hearing Room B, 2nd Floor
Legislative Office Building, Albany, NY
10:00 AM

The purpose of this hearing is to examine the effectiveness of the State's Prompt Contracting law, which entitles not-for-profit organizations to timely renewals for their contracts with the State, and interest payments to cover their increased costs when timely renewals are not made.
Not-for-profit corporations frequently contract with State agencies to provide needed services in communities throughout New York that the State would be unable to provide without their assistance. These relationships may last many years; however, when renewals of the contracts between these entities and the State are delayed, the uncertainty and financial difficulty that may result to the not-for-profit may severely hamper their ability to provide continuous services for New York's most vulnerable, and may lead to an interruption of service and substantial financial difficulty. Article XI-B of the State Finance Law was enacted in 1991, and updated in 2007, to provide protection for those not-for-profits whose contracts have been delayed, often through no fault of their own, including reasonable interest payments to reimburse them for the loans and lines of credit they may have had to take out to maintain fiscal solvency.

The Committee will be examining the extent and length of renewal delays between agencies and not-for-profits, the reason for such delays, and whether State agencies are paying the interest due to not-for-profits under the law. The Committee will also consider potential improvements, both regulatory and statutory, to the Prompt Contracting Law and its implementation to ensure that the intent of the law is being realized.

Oral Testimony is by invitation only. Persons wishing to present a written statement to the Committee at this hearing should complete and return the enclosed reply form as soon as possible. It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation. Ten copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committee would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements. In order to further publicize these hearings, please inform interested parties and organizations of the Committee's interest in hearing testimony from all sources.

In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.
RoAnn M. Destito, Chair
Committee on Governmental Operations

Persons wishing to present testimony at this public hearing can find the form on the Assembly web site at

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Executive Director Job – Syracuse Alliance for a New Economy

The Syracuse Alliance for a New Economy (SANE) of Syracuse, New York, invites applications for the position of Executive Director. The position will begin as part-time of 25-30 hours per week, with a goal of becoming fulltime within six months.

SANE believes that everyone in Central New York is entitled to a good job, a healthy, safe and sustainable environment, empowered neighborhoods, affordable housing, and opportunities for all. The Executive Director must have a passion for SANE’s mission.

The Executive Director must be able to work with a diverse coalition of community leaders and organizations and perform a variety of complex duties requiring independent judgment. Responsibilities include identifying unmet needs which SANE can address through Community Benefits Agreements and other activities.

An activist background and demonstrated experience in dealing with community issues and causes is desired. An ability to be the face of the organization, represent the organization, and meet with community groups to build local coalitions with like minded organizations, and then meet with developers, elected officials, and others to promote community benefits agreements, and negotiate community benefits agreements among these parties, will be a main responsibility. A second high-ranking requirement will be the ability to contact, pursue, prepare, submit, and obtain local and national grants. A third significant requirement is the ability to prepare written and other communications, such as letters, newsletters and other communications to reach persons, constituencies, and target groups.

Computer Skills
Experience with QuickBooks is helpful but not a major requirement. Should be experienced with Microsoft programs – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook ( Access also would be helpful but not a requirement) – and the ability and willingness to learn new software products and tools

For full consideration, materials should be received by June 15, 2009.
Resume and cover letter to:
Syracuse Alliance for a New Economy
404 Oak Street
Lower Level
Syracuse NY 13203
Or email cover letter and resume to :