Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Nonprofit Risk Management Center's Tip of the Month

The New York Council of Nonprofits is a satellite office for the Nonprofit Risk Management Center, and will be offering these monthly risk management tips. Interested in more information on risk management? NYCON and our insurance brokerage subsidiary, Council Services Plus, can offer your nonprofit access to resources and assistance. Contact us!

JANUARY Getting Your Board’s House in Order
Effective nonprofits boards are essential to mission fulfillment, yet many nonprofit boards continue to operate on a “wing and a prayer”—just barely able to get the job done. Nonprofit CEOs, working in partnership with their volunteer boards and committees, are in the pilot’s seat when it comes to empowering outstanding governance practices by the board. Remember that:

1. The board’s principal responsibility is to guide and monitor the values and goals of the organization. Ineffective boards simply rubber stamp the plans of a staff or volunteer leader. Effective boards revisit the values and goals of the nonprofit on a regular basis and guide the realization of the nonprofit’s mission. CEOs must encourage and support the board in this important work.

2. Every board member has legal and moral responsibility for providing thoughtful oversight. Two of the most important steps a CEO can take to empower the board is to schedule training on the review of financial statements (you can’t oversee what you don’t understand) and encourage tough questions from the board. Acting as if questions from the board are an insult will extinguish healthy boardroom discussion and increase out of the room conversations about the CEO’s performance. At some point those conversations may turn to the nonprofit’s need for new staff leadership.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Town Hall Location on January 14th 1:00-4:00

The aim of this session is for teams of people to come together and develop ways to increase coverage and access to healthcare in just 100 days. And rather than trying to solve this issue across the entire city at once, we have chosen just two schools to start with to try and figure out what it takes to break down the barriers to coverage. We will then use what we learn and accomplish in the first 100 days to expand it to the rest of the community.

The Process:
WorkOut is a process that was developed by General Electric in concert with a management consulting firm called Robert H. Schaffer & Associates, and has been widely utilized by organizations and governments all over the world to bust bureaucracy and speed the pace of change. Guided by Schaffer consultants, you and approximately 50 others will work in small teams to develop action plans and identify needed changes in order to solve this challenge. The five teams will be; 1) identification of the uninsured & outreach, 2) education & marketing, 3) design 100-day application process, 4) follow-up & retention and 5) tracking the status of the uninsured.

Town Hall Meeting:
At the end of the two days, your teams will present your plans and recommendations to the Co-Sponsors (Mary Anne Schmitt-Carey, Bob Long, Dan Lowengard and Ann Rooney) for immediate decision and action. Then, in the weeks following the WorkOut, each team will implement its plans and take whatever additional steps are needed to achieve its goals.

Please feel free to attend the Workout Town Hall meeting on January 14th 1:00-4:00.

I look forward to the great work that will be done in making sure all students at Dr. King and Frazer have health care coverage.

The Workout will be held in the Whitman School of Management, directly across from the Adams Street parking garage. Please use the University Avenue entrance into the main lobby area and meet in the Lender Auditorium, room 007.

Below is a link to driving directions to the University Avenue parking garage (corner of University Ave and Harrison St.) where we will have a visitor’s pass for you at the gate:

Just tell the parking attendant that you are attending a Say Yes to Education meeting.

Please let me know if you have any questions. See you on the 14th!!


Monique R. Fletcher, M.S.W.
Associate Director, Say Yes to Education
111 Waverly Ave., Suite 230
Syracuse, NY 13244

Friday, January 8, 2010

Two Syracuse-area business groups, once chilly, plan merger to promote local economy reported that the Syracuse area’s two most prominent business organizations today will announce a proposal to merge, a combination that would give the region for the first time a unified voice for economic development.

The Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce and the Metropolitan Development Association of Syracuse and Central New York began in July to study the feasibility of merging the two non-profit organizations. An 11-member committee led by former Syracuse University Chancellor Kenneth Shaw and Mary Anne Tyszko, the chairpeople of the board the MDA and the chamber, respectively, recommended merging the two groups.

“The real opportunity here is to build the most effective organization to promote business in Central New York,” said Robert Simpson, who became president and CEO of the MDA one year ago and would lead the new group.

It’s a union that would have seemed impossible just a few years ago.

Historically, the two organizations have represented different constituencies, with the chamber looking out for small businesses and retailers and the MDA representing the area’s large employers, particularly its big manufacturers. While the chamber enthusiastically endorsed developer Robert Congel’s Destiny USA mall expansion project and its unprecedented tax deals, the MDA remained silent.

Previous leaderships at the chamber and MDA would sometimes battle over who should get credit for recruiting companies to the area. When the chamber organized the Syracuse Economic Growth Council in the late 1990s to coordinate business retention efforts by the area’s government and private economic development organizations, the chamber’s leadership privately complained that the MDA sent only a lower-ranking representative to the council’s meetings.

Under the proposal to be made public today, the chamber and the MDA would create a new, still-unnamed organization. The chamber and the MDA would continue to exist as separate legal entities, but the new organization would employ their staffs and operate both groups as a single organization.

The proposal would have to be approved by the organizations’ boards of directors and by their member businesses. Read more here.

Monday, January 4, 2010

2010 Census Twon Hall on Jan 21st at 6pm

I'm writing you to invite you and whomever you would like to bring along to the 2010 Census town hall on the West side presented by Senator Dave Valesky. This is a great opportunity for other organizations and individuals to learn about the extreme importance of the Census and what it means for the community. The town hall will take place on Thursday, Jan. 21 at 6:00 PM at the Huntington Family Center (405 Gifford Street).

Panelists will include U.S. Census officials, local elected officials and experts to answer any and all questions. If you could please give me a call at 315-422-0372 to confirm whether or not you will be able to make this event, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you so much and I
hope you have a happy New Year.

Best regards,
Thomas Scaglione
Regional Coordinator
Syracuse Regional Office
Senator Malcolm Smith, President Pro Tempore New York State Senate
109 S. Warren St., Suite 1010
Syracuse, NY