Wednesday, June 22, 2011


After Reports That The IRS May Have Mistakenly Stripped NY Groups Of Tax-Exempt Status, Schumer Urges All Nonprofits To Double Check The IRS List To Make Sure They’re Not Included By Mistake

Report Provides County-By-County Breakdown Of The Over 6,000 New York Nonprofit Groups That Lost Tax Exempt Status – Groups Can Correct Error, But Have To Do It Soon Before Costs Go Up

Schumer: Losing Tax-Exempt Status Could Be An Unfair Blow To New York’s Nonprofits

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer unveiled a new section of his website to aid New York nonprofit groups that may have mistakenly lost their tax exempt status. Schumer is strongly encouraging nonprofit groups to check a recently-released Internal Revenue Service (IRS) list, available on Schumer’s website, to ensure that they have not been mistakenly stripped of their tax-exempt status – a move that could cost these groups thousands of dollars. Schumer’s webpage was launched shortly after media reports indicated that several nonprofit groups, including the New Windsor Little League and Plattekill Public Library, were included on the list released June 8th, despite the fact that their paperwork was up to date and filed with the IRS. Several nonprofit groups were never contacted by the IRS, despite several attempts to send mailings and other communications to warn the groups of the looming deadline to avoid losing their designation as a 501(c)(3) group.

“Little leagues, public libraries, museums, meal programs, and other nonprofit organizations that are the very fabric of communities throughout Upstate New York are at risk of losing their tax-exempt status and paying thousands of dollars in penalties through no fault of their own,” said Schumer. “Whether because of a lost notice in the mail or paperwork errors, no nonprofit should needlessly lose their tax exempt status. Every nonprofit group in Upstate New York should take a moment to ensure that they won’t be forced to pay unnecessary taxes this year. I’ve launched this new page on my website to make it easy and painless for groups to make sure that they’re not on the list, and to take steps to correct the problem if they are. Remaining tax-exempt helps keep costs down while boosting fundraising for charity organizations.”

"The good work of community charities has a vital impact on the everyday lives of New Yorkers,” said Doug Sauer, Chief Executive Officer of the New York Council of Nonprofits. “Whether it is providing volunteer first responder assistance, providing food and housing to families in need, caring for our children, disabled and elderly, fostering economic development or creating and promoting arts and culture - charities are integral to our quality of life in ways that are often taken for granted. NYCON is eager to do what we can to assist those organizations whose tax status have been revoked so that they continue their important contributions."

On June 8th, the IRS released a list of 275,000 nonprofits nationwide who automatically lost their tax-exempt status because they failed to file annual reports for three years in a row. The list included over 19,000 New York organizations, including more than 6,000 across Upstate New York. While the IRS believes that many of these organizations are no longer operational, they acknowledge that some groups on the list might not have been aware of the requirement, and are taking steps to allow these nonprofits to reinstate their tax-exempt status. In making the announcement, IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said that, “We realize there may be some legitimate organizations, especially very small ones that were unaware of their new filing requirement.”

The list includes a diverse range of nonprofit groups including sports leagues, public libraries, museums and other educational programs, conservation groups, religious organizations, business networking groups, and others. There are over 106,000 registered nonprofits in New York state, according to the New York Council of Nonprofits, employing over 1.2 million New Yorkers statewide. Included in this total are 3,000 food pantries that feed approximately 3 million people each year. Over 17,000 people work in New York museums, which help contribute over a billion dollars to the state’s economy each year, thanks to visits from 6.6 million families, senior citizens, and students. In 2010, the American Red Cross in New York responded to 3,920 local disasters, and has trained nearly 590,000 people in First Aid. The group has also trained over 168,000 people in emergency preparedness, collected over 400,000 units of blood, and helped over 66,000 military families through their Armed Forces Emergency Services and Community Outreach Programs, according to the New York Council of Nonprofits. New York charities play an important role in communities across the state, and should be allowed to continue to do their good work in a tax-exempt state that will help their bottom line, allowing the nonprofits to serve more Upstate New Yorkers.

Here is how the nonprofits who lost their tax-exempt status break down across the state:

  • In the Capital Region, approximately 952 nonprofits lost their tax-exempt status.

  • In Western New York, approximately 687 nonprofits lost their tax-exempt status.

  • In the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region, approximately 867 nonprofits lost their tax-exempt status.

  • In the Southern Tier, approximately 562 nonprofits lost their tax-exempt status.

  • In Central New York, approximately 811 nonprofits lost their tax-exempt status.

  • In the Hudson Valley, approximately 1,942 nonprofits lost their tax-exempt status.

  • In the North Country, approximately 426 nonprofits lost their tax-exempt status.

Being included on the list means that these nonprofits are no longer eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions, and that any income the group receives may be taxed. This has the effect of raising taxes on the nonprofit, while also putting a serious damper on their fundraising. The Pension Protection Act, passed by Congress in 2007, requires tax-exempt organizations to file an information return or notice each year with the IRS. Smaller groups are required to file for the first time in 2007, and the law automatically revokes the tax-exempt status of groups that do not file for three consecutive years. As a result, the first nonprofits to be revoked under the new law saw their status removed based on 2010 returns, filed in April of this year.

Fortunately, as long as groups are aware that they have been improperly stripped of their tax-exempt status, they can take corrective action at minimal cost to the group. Any nonprofit that can demonstrate that it has met its filing requirement for one or more of the last three years can fax copies of their past tax returns to be reinstated at no cost to the group. Additionally, those groups with under $50,000 in income that have not filed tax returns over the past three years can file for reinstatement for a reduced fee of just $100. If the groups fail to file by December 31, 2011, that fee jumps to $400-850 for 2012. Due to the limited window to take advantage of cheaper and easier ways to reapply for tax-exempt status, Schumer is encouraging nonprofits across Upstate New York to check his website and the list of those that lost 501(c)(3) status to ensure that their paperwork is up to date. If a group finds that they have lost their tax exempt status, they can follow the instructions on Schumer’s website and take steps to see that it is reinstated.

The new section of Schumer’s website can be accessed by visiting

Syracuse Symphony Orchestra creditors gather in court today

The Syracuse Post-Standard reported that the next step in Syracuse Symphony Orchestra’s filing of Chapter 7 bankruptcy takes place today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of New York. A creditors’ meeting will be held at 12:30 p.m. in Room 207 at James M. Hanley Courthouse, 100 S. Clinton St., Syracuse.

The SSO voted to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy April 5, two days after laying off its 61 core musicians and 14 contract players. The organization claimed $327,000 in assets and about $4 million in liabilities.

The main secured creditor is M&T Bank, for a loan of about $545,000. The bank has a lien on the SSO’s Steinway piano, music library and other equipment. There are also 559 unsecured creditors, ranging from a $2.7 million debt to the musicians’ pension fund to useless $20 tickets for canceled concerts for its 50th anniversary season.

The SSO owes the Oncenter, the government-owned facility where it plays most concerts, $68,000 for hall rental, food and ticket fees and another $2,500 for parking. Read more here.

Central New York Community Foundation Accepting Applications for Sabbatical

June 22, 2011 - The Central New York Community Foundation invites executive directors and senior management staff of nonprofit organizations in Onondaga and Madison counties to apply for the 2011 John F. Marsellus Sabbatical. The deadline for submitting applications is October 31, 2011.

Two individuals are awarded funding for a four-week sabbatical of their own design, following the guidelines outlined in the application. Applicants must have served in a senior management position of a nonprofit organization in Onondaga or Madison counties for at least 5 consecutive years and have the approval of the board of directors of their agency.

This annual grant was established in 2000 in memory of John F. Marsellus, who wished to enhance the leadership capacity of nonprofit executives in Central New York by underwriting a month-long opportunity for personal and professional reflection and development.

The application guidelines can be viewed on the Community Foundation’s web site at or may be obtained by calling the Community Foundation at (315) 422-9538.

The Central New York Community Foundation has served Central New York for over 80 years, receiving, managing and distributing charitable funds for the benefit of nonprofit organizations. Grants are awarded for programs in the areas of human services, arts and culture, education, environment, health, economic development and civic affairs. The region’s largest endowed philanthropic foundation, the Central New York Community Foundation awards more than $5 million in grants to nonprofit organizations annually. The Community Foundation, of 431 East Fayette Street, Syracuse, NY 13202, can be reached at (315) 422-9538 or

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Community Foundation Awards $587,427 in Community Grants

Syracuse, NY (June 21, 2011) - The Central New York Community Foundation awarded $587,427 in grants to 18 charitable organizations in Onondaga and Madison Counties from its unrestricted and field‑of‑interest funds.

Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum received $5,000 to complete a Cultural Landscape Report that will serve as a business plan for the management of the historic site. This will help the preservation, restoration, and reconstruction of the historic industrial complex.

City of Syracuse received $50,000 from the Spanfelner Fund to develop the landscaping adjacent to the Creek Walk between the Inner Harbor and Onondaga Lake that will enhance recreation opportunities and improve storm water management.

Community Memorial Hospital of Hamilton, NY received $60,000 to replace a vital Endoscopic Video System used in performing surgeries.

Community Resources for Independent Seniors received $5,330 to develop a resource directory of senior services available in Madison County in order to extend the time that seniors can remain in their own homes. This project was partially funded by the Carriage House Fund.

Crouse Health Hospital received $45,000 to implement a nurse-led diabetes clinic for patients transitioning from hospital to home. The program will provide the care, education, and testing necessary for patients to better self-manage their disease.

Fayetteville-Manlius A Better Chance received $2,800 to support technology upgrades including the purchase of a computer and donor tracking software, which will enhance the organization’s development.

Home Aides of CNY received $25,000 from the John M. & Mary L. Gallinger Fund to automate record keeping, allowing health aides to improve response time and the handling of complex cases for home care services. This project was partially funded by the Carriage House Fund.

Junior Achievement of CNY received $30,000 to support its work with the Syracuse City School District’s Naviance Program. With this grant, they will address the current high drop-out rate through identifying at-risk students and connecting them at the junior-high and high school levels to real-world business experiences.

Learning Disabilities Association of CNY received $14,000 to purchase iPads and applications that will be used during Learning without Borders, an academically-based summer program for teens.

Madison County Literacy Coalition received $50,000 to hire an Executive Director and to support the continuing work of the coalition by launching an Imagination Library pilot program.

On Point for College received $22,192 to enhance a program that re-enrolls college “stop-outs” who paused their education by helping them find new pathways to complete a post-secondary credential.

Onondaga Community College Foundation received $100,000 to support the new SRC arena and physical education building on campus. The addition of a local arena would serve both students and community members through new and existing health and physical education courses.

ProLiteracy Worldwide received $100,000 to equip the new Colvin Center on the Near Westside for local literacy programming. This center will be a resource to local residents and programs, as well as a national learning lab to advance adult literacy research, practice, and professional development.

Sarah House received $4,000 to renovate the kitchen in their facility, which provides lodging for the families and loved ones of individuals receiving medical treatment in nearby hospitals.

Stone Quarry Hill Art Park, located in Cazenovia, NY, received $15,000 to renovate an indoor gallery. The renovation will permit the park to keep the indoor gallery open year round, to better preserve art exhibits, and to provide a more comfortable atmosphere for its visitors.

Syracuse Stories received $17,349 to support a film documenting the first Syracuse Stories festival, a program that captures the struggles, achievements, contributions, and hopes of diverse members of the community as they tell their stories thru the arts. A portion of this grant was provided by the Dorothy R. Shoudy Fund to include sign language interpretation at the festival.

Tully Central School District received $16,756 from the William D. Barnet Memorial Scholarship Fund to pilot an e-reader program for high school students in collaboration with the LaFayette, Fabius-Pompey and DeRuyter school districts. This program will allow students to have access to the electronic equivalent of a backpack full of books, dictionary, thesaurus and reference sheets for every subject.

Vera House, Inc. received $25,000 to renovate the emergency shelter’s kitchen to enhance accessibility and the ease of use for residents.

The Central New York Community Foundation has served Central New York for over 80 years, receiving, managing and distributing charitable funds for the benefit of nonprofit organizations. Grants are awarded for programs in the areas of human services, arts and culture, education, environment, health, economic development and civic affairs. The region’s largest endowed philanthropic foundation, the Central New York Community Foundation awards more than $5 million in grants to nonprofit organizations annually. The Community Foundation, of 431 East Fayette Street, Syracuse, NY 13202, can be reached at (315) 422-9538 or


Monday, June 13, 2011


The Gifford Foundation has announced the names of the six local organizations to participate in the third round of ADVANS. ADVANS, or Advancing and Developing the Assets and Value of Nonprofits in Syracuse is a major capacity building initiative started by the Foundation in 2007. In this round of the ADVANS initiative more than $900,000 has been committed to six local nonprofits that undertake and complete a one to three year intensive assessment and business planning process. Those undergoing business planning will receive an additional $100,000 in grants to implement their plans, along with three years of consulting support totaling $55,000. ADVANS follows the organizational capacity model developed by Dr. Susan Kenny Stevens as outlined in the book Nonprofit Lifecycles: Stage-based Wisdom for Nonprofit Capacity. The organizations will work with trained area consultants utilizing the self-assessment techniques of Dr. Stevens, and then identify their primary capacity needs.

"This well-chosen new class of six organizations joins the ranks of 13 nonprofit colleagues who have successfully completed the ADVANS program, and emerged with stronger strategic and operational capacity to better serve the greater Syracuse community," states Dr. Stevens.

The six organizations in this newest round of ADVANS are:

  • Community Action Partnership of Madison County - CAP’s mission is to partner with individuals and families to promote empowerment, foster economic independence and develop opportunities to create a stronger, healthier community. CAP works for and with
    low- and moderate-income families in Madison County to provide education, guidance, and resources for individuals and families striving for economic self-sufficiency.

  • Cooperative Federal – The mission of Cooperative Federal is to manage the aggregate assets of members in responsible ways, rebuild the local economy in ways that foster justice, and serve the financial needs of members and those underserved by conventional financial institutions. Cooperative Federal programming includes financial services, financial education, business services, affordable housing financing, and the only full lending certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) in the CNY region. Cooperative Federal is currently completing their work in the ADVANS 2 cohort and will be moving into ADVANS 3 for the business planning and consulting phases.

  • Home HeadQuarters offers housing and related opportunities and services in Central and Upstate NY that improve the lives of underserved people and revitalize the communities in which they live. They offer Nationally-certified Homebuyer Education for first time homebuyers, financial and homeownership counseling, Foreclosure Prevention and real estate planning and development. Home HeadQuarters is also one of the largest regional providers of affordable home and energy improvement loans and grants to area homeowners.

  • InterFaith Works of Central New York, through education, service and dialogue, provides advocacy and human care through six social service programs which serve people in need, including refugees, the elderly, the disabled, and the institutionalized.

  • McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Site is dedicated to ending child abuse through intervention and education. Their main goals are to provide a safe, child and family friendly environment for child abuse victims and their non-offending family members and to reduce the trauma that abused children face during the investigative and treatment processes.

  • The Samaritan Center is an interfaith effort of community members who are committed to serving the hungry and those in need in Central New York in order to promote their welfare, dignity and self-sufficiency. They serve hot, nutritious meals 365 days a year, pair meal service with individual support and case management, traditional information/referral services and the coordination needed to help other agencies assist their clients to their services.

The first round of ADVANS, or ADVANS 1, concluded in the fall of 2010; currently there are four organizations participating in ADVANS 2, which will conclude in November 2011.

About The Gifford Foundation
The Gifford Foundation is a private foundation supporting community needs in Central New York since 1954. Through its grantmaking, they fund organizations in an intentionally transformative and flexible manner. This is based on a fundamental belief that change at the individual and/or organizational level holds the potential to institute change at broader community levels. For information visit

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Twenty Five Graduate from The Leadership Classroom

June 8, 2011 – On the evening of June 7, twenty-five representatives from five local grassroots nonprofit organizations gathered at the CNY Philanthropy Center to celebrate their completion of The Leadership Classroom (TLC). The year-long program is an initiative of the Central New York Community Foundation. Participants learn advanced leadership skills alongside other neighborhood leaders in an interactive setting. After participating in monthly training sessions designed to enhance their leadership skills, each group received a $3,500 grant to implement a project proposed and planned during their training.

The Bhutanese Neighborhood Association will be creating traditional Bhutanese cultural dress that will be worn to reflect their unique identity and traditions at various community cultural events. The organization will also be setting up English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) classes for elders in their refugee community.

God’s Temple of Faith – Women’s Outreach Group will host a Neighborhood Resource Picnic and Block Party to bring the local community together while also distributing family and women’s health information. Health screenings and safety presentations will also be part of the event.

The Meachem Area Parks Association (MAPA) will create a small brick patio and seating area outside of the Bob Cecile Community Center. Patio bricks will be sold in memory of Valley residents as a fundraiser to support other MAPA events.

TNT Northside will host a community event that celebrates the wealth and diversity of the Northside of Syracuse. Games and activities for families will be partnered with outreach resources. The organization has partnered with twenty other organizations to help make this event impactful.

The Westside Arts Council will purchase planters and benches to be decorated by local artists and residents. Most will be placed within the Near Westside neighborhood and the remaining will be given to the other four organizations from this year’s TLC class to place in their own neighborhoods of the City.

As with previous years, TLC participants formed strong bonds with one another during the course of the training and described the skills they learned as invaluable.

“TLC helped us affirm our work and strengthen us to grow our purpose,” said Isaac Rothwell of the Westide Arts Council. “This has been a year of huge growth for our organizations and TLC was not just a catalyst, but also a stabilizer to keep us grounded.”

The Leadership Classroom is an initiative of the Central New York Community Foundation. The Community Foundation has served Central New York for over 80 years, receiving, managing and distributing charitable funds for the benefit of nonprofit organizations. Grants are awarded for programs in the areas of human services, arts and culture, education, environment, health, economic development and civic affairs. The region’s largest endowed philanthropic foundation, the Central New York Community Foundation awards more than $5 million in grants to nonprofit organizations annually. The Community Foundation, of 431 East Fayette Street, Syracuse, NY 13202, can be reached at (315) 422-9538 or


Friday, June 3, 2011

2011 Fueling Good Program: Nonprofits Can Win Gas for a Year

For the 2011 Fueling Good Program, we’re focusing our support on four charitable categories: Education and Social Investment, Energy Assistance and Conservation, Environmental Protection and Restoration, and Health and Well-Being. Your organization must serve one of these interests and have 501(c)3 status to be eligible to participate. Please choose a category during registration. Thank you, and best of luck!

Get an overview of Fueling Good:

How it works:
· Starting June 1, nonprofits will be able to register at to participate in the summer program. From July 14 – August 11, local communities will begin voting at that site for charities of their choice. (The full rules/details will also be available on the site starting June 1).

· CITGO will be awarding gas to 12 nonprofits at the end of August, with more to follow in the fall.

Who is eligible?
· 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations in the 27 states where CITGO operates.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Le Moyne College Presents: A Kauffman Seminar on June 17, 2011

Strategic Planning with a Practical Twist…It’s about Execution
Kerry J. Carney, MS, SPHR

A strategic plan is a plan to win for your organization. What do you want your organization to look like and be known for? What will differentiate your organization? What range of services will you be offering? And what geography will you serve? These are among the questions you will answer as you write your Vision Statement.

In this session, you will be exposed to a practical strategic planning process that will enable you to collect your thoughts for building your future and document on a single page. This page becomes the plan for executing your strategy and is built around answering a series of 5 broad questions: What are you building (Vision)? What is the promise to your customer (Mission)? What results will you measure (objectives)? How will you build your organization (Strategies)? What is the work to be done (Action Plans)?

Working in teams, you will create answers to the questions which will result in a roadmap for your strategy and how you plan to execute. The resulting document draft will be a great start for your accountability for the future of your organization.

Kerry J. Carney, MS, SPHR
Kerry has over 25 years of global business experience with smaller, entrepreneurial business units of major corporations--GE, Xerox and Thomson Consumer Electronics. As a member of the leadership team in these business units, Kerry played a key role in the development of strategic plans and implementing organization and people actions necessary to achieve those plans. Her worldwide business experience includes coaching, recruiting and staffing, organization development, training, talent management, compensation planning, communications and employee relations.

Kerry is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and is a past board member of the Central New York chapter of SHRM. She is a member of the local chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD). She has an undergraduate degree from Le Moyne College and a Master’s from Western Michigan University. As a consultant with Grenell Consulting Group, Kerry works with for profit and nonprofit clients in areas of strategy and leadership. As an adjunct faculty member at Le Moyne College Kerry teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Organizational Dynamics, Human Resource Management, Staffing and Compensation.

Date: Friday, June 17, 2011
Time: 8:30 Breakfast and registration, 9:00 Start. Event concludes at 12:00 NOON
Cost: $15 per person, payable at the door
RSVP: Renée Downey Hart, by Monday, June 13, 2011


Renée Downey Hart, PhD
Visiting Assistant Professor
Management and Leadership
Le Moyne College
Syracuse, NY 13214