Wednesday, February 29, 2012

March 9th HSLC Meeting Agenda

The next meeting of the Human Services Leadership Council will be
Friday, March 9th, 2012
8:00 – 9:30 AM

United Way Building, Rosamond Gifford Conference Room, 518 James Street

***If anyone would be willing to bring refreshments, please let me know***
Please read to the end for all content!

· The focus of our meeting will be a presentation by Doug Sauer, CEO of the New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON), on the NYS Attorney General’s new report on Revitalizing Nonprofits new plan and NYCON’s position on the report’s recommendations.

· Doug will also discuss NYCON’s efforts to address some of the new Executive Orders affecting nonprofits, and we will have a chance to learn about the benefits of our renewed Association Membership in NYCON.

· Please RSVP your attendance so we can let Doug know how many to expect.

Additional things:

· You should have received an e-mail from NYCON with membership information and a log-in and password because you are a NYCON member through HSLC’s association membership. You should not have to pay a fee to NYCON for membership. Please let me know if you did not receive the membership information.

· We are holding off charging dues for the 2011/2012 year while we are in discussion with possible funders about implementing our strategic plan. We expect that we will be charging dues again by summer, and the dues are anticipated to be higher than they were in the past to support goals identified by the membership.

· I am involved with the Onondaga Community Sexual Trauma Task Force, and we are trying to assess what trauma services exist in our community. Please e-mail me if your agency or program provides services focused on trauma response.


Randi K. Bregman
Executive Director
Vera House, Inc.
6181 Thompson Road, Suite 100
Syracuse, New York 13206
(315) 425-0818 ex. 204
24 hour support lines
(315) 468-3260/ (315) 422-7273

Nonprofit Awards

March 21, 2012



Executive of the Year:
Diane Kuppermann-Make-A-Wish
Cassandra Sheets-Center for Family Life & Recovery
Beth Trunfio-Ronald McDonald House
Mary Jo Thorn-ACHIEVE
Kim Shedd-Spaulding Support Services
Randi Bregman-Vera House, Inc.
Mary Beth Frey-The Samaritan Center
Nina Albino-Charity for Children
Cathy Palm-Tully Hill Corporation

Board of Leadership:
Rand Allgaier-Allgaier Law Firm for Learning Disabilities Assoc. of CNY
Mary Thompson-F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse
Terry Plizga-M&T Bank for Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways

Board of Development:
Nancy Smith-F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse

Impact Award:
Barbara Leach-Syracuse Habitat
David MacDonough-Stonecrest Associates for Boys and Girls Clubs
Beth Lynn Hoey-Francis House, Inc.
Margaret Butler-Syracuse University for South Side Innovation Center
Linda Church-ProLiteracy
Jessie Keating-Imagine Syracuse, Inc.
Brenda McCutcheon-Loretto
Josh Crane-Finger Lakes SPCA

Career Achievement:
Eric & Sharon Loori-Freedom Guide Dogs
Lisa Smith-American Cancer Society

Community Impact Award:
Catholic Charities of Onondaga Country

Event Information:
Celebrate the exceptional accomplishments of the leaders driving the area’s nonprofit organizations (NPOs) by attending the Nonprofit Awards Luncheon.

Our presenting sponsor, M&T Bank, along with BizEventz and the Central New York Business Journal, believe that these leaders deserve to be recognized for outstanding accomplishments on behalf of their organizations.

With the support of our presenting sponsor, M&T Bank, on March 21st, The Nonprofit Awards Luncheon will honor recipients from the below 5 categories.

We will honor them for excellence, leadership, fiduciary responsibility, management practices, creativity, impact, and business acumen.

Please join us at the luncheon to support the 2012 honorees!

Check-in & Networking: 11:00 am
Reception: 11:15 am
Lunch: 12:00 pm
End: 2:00 pm

No Charge for Honoree's

Ticket's are offered at a reduced price of $35 per attendee.

Table prices: $350
Table of 9 attendees + 1 honoree: $315
Register TODAY!

Executive of the Year: Nominee is a nonprofit executive (president, CEO, executive director) who exhibit leadership, planning skills, strong staff growth, board development, solid fiscal management, and increased fund-raising.

Board Leadership: Nominee is a lay leader of the board of directors. He/she may be a present or past president of the board, long-term board member, and/or major contributor. Cite how the nominee strengthened the organization, implemented the corporate mission or vision, and enhanced the strategic plan.

Board Development: Nominee is a lay leader of the board of directors, who "grew" the organization through fund-raising or through dynamic ideas, which improved operations. Nominee's efforts enhanced the board through a higher level of participation.

Impact Award: Nominee may be an employee of the NPO, a board member, or a volunteer, who created and/or implemented a new or existing program that not only changes the organization but also the community.

Career Achievement: Nominee is a lay leader who makes a lifetime commitment to the community by advocating for NPOs and by dedicating his/her time and resources for the betterment of the commonweal.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Leadership Seminars for Not for Profit Organizations

The LeMoyne College School of Business
in partnership with
Human Services Leadership Council of Central New York
present a distinctive professional development opportunity

Leadership Seminars for Not for Profit Organizations
Integrity – Mutuality – Sustainability

Funded by a grant from the E.M. Kauffman Foundation

LeMoyne College is once again pleased to offer a unique opportunity to our not for profit colleagues in Central New York. Each month, a faculty member will present a morning program to enhance the skills, knowledge and network base of the leadership in your organization. From strategy and change to exploring your leadership presence, the sessions will inspire and inform, and invite you to heighten your own capacities, and those of your organization.

The Spring Series - Mark your Calendar!
Please share with your colleagues!

March 30, 2012 Spiritual Practices for Emotional Intelligence and Reflective Leadership
8:30 – 12:00 Dr. Dennis O’Connor and Fr. David McCallum

This workshop will explore the critical leadership competencies of emotional Intelligence and reflection. We also will offer several spiritual practices that are valuable in themselves, but also help build these important leadership competencies.

April 27, 2012 Coaching for Performance: Bringing out the Best in your Employees
8:30 – 12:00 Prof. Kerry Carney, MS, CSC. SPHR

Leadership is about bringing out the best in your employees. In this session, participants will gain a greater appreciation of the value of “asking vs. telling” employees, and the power of coaching as an employee development tool.

May 11, 2012 Nuts, Bums and Weirdoes: Challenging Public Perceptions of Marginalized
8:30 – 12:00 Populations
Dr. Frances Pestello

Sociologists consider the processes of marginalization and how marginalized populations are viewed. The forces for integration and transcending difference are less understood. This interactive presentation will consider the tensions between marginalization and integration, providing opportunities for discussion and application of ideas as you deal with all the constituencies of your organization.

Your Faculty

Professor Kerry Carney teaches Organizational Dynamics and Human Resource courses at Le Moyne. She has over 25 years of global business experience with entrepreneurial business units of major corporations (including GE and Xerox) where she played a key role in implementing the people actions necessary to achieve strategic goals. Her worldwide business experience includes coaching and performance and talent management.

Rev. David McCallum, S.J., Ed.D. is a Jesuit priest serving as assistant to the President of Le Moyne College. He is facilitating the OneLeMoyne strategic development process, serves as Chief Mission Officer of the college, and teaches leadership in the Management Division. Fr. McCallum has years of experience as a spiritual director, retreat leader, and educator.

Dr. Dennis O’Connor is a Professor and Program Director of Management and Leadership at Le Moyne College. He has been long involved in consulting, researching and writing on both team leadership and organizational change processes such as the Future Search and Appreciative Inquiry, which have deep roots in non profits, NGOs, and health care, as well as business.

Dr. Frances Pestello is a Professor of Sociology, Le Moyne College. Dr. Pestello comes to Le Moyne after 25 years at the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio where she served as professor, as well as eight years as chair of the department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work. Her interests are social psychology, law and deviance. She has written on the relationship between attitudes and behavior, deterrence, and the impact of taking psychiatric medication on one’s sense of self.

The Participants
Leadership and emergent leaders are invited to attend these sessions, either as a series or stand alone.
All sessions will be held in Grewen Auditorium in Grewen Hall. Directions to the campus and seminar room will be emailed in your confirmation one week prior to your event(s).

$15 per person per session, payable at the door or by mail. Please make checks payable to Le Moyne College. Cash is acceptable as well.


Renée Downey Hart

Registration form:
Le Moyne College School of Business
Leadership Seminars for Not for Profit Organizations

Name of Organization

Contact Person


Email Phone


City State Zip

Two ways to register:
► fill out this form and fax to 315.445.4787
► fill out this form and email to (please mark Kauffman in your subject line)
► fill out this form and mail to
Dale Wilson, Assistant to the Dean of Management
LeMoyne College
1419 Salt Springs Road
Syracuse, New York 13214

Two ways to pay:
 Check enclosed
 I will bring payment the day of the workshop (Checks payable to Le Moyne College)

I/We will attend:

 March 30, 2012, 8:30 – 12:00 Spiritual Practices for Emotional Intelligence and Reflective Leadership Dr. Dennis O’Connor and Fr. David McCallum

 April 27, 201, 8:30 – 12:00 Coaching for Performance: Bringing out the Best in your Employees
Prof. Kerry Carney, MS, CSC. SPHR

 May 11, 2012, 8:30 – 12:00 “Nuts, Bums and Weirdoes:” Challenging Public Perceptions of Marginalized Populations Dr. Frances Pestello

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dunbar Association's financial problems deeper than expected

The Post-Standard reported that the Dunbar Association, one of Syracuse’s oldest nonprofits serving the black community, has hired an accounting firm to audit its books after discovering its financial problems are even worse than it imagined.

A representative of Key Bank informed Dunbar last month it had maxed out its $10,000 line of credit and did not have enough money to pay its bills, said Steve Williams, chairman of Dunbar’s board of directors.

Williams said he and other board members did not know the severity of Dunbar’s financial situation until the bank official came to a board meeting Jan. 19.

“We started pulling back the layers on the onion .... and realized there was something wrong,” Williams said.

Dunbar will survive the crisis, the chairman said. The chance of Dunbar closing is “... very, very, very minimal,” he said.

Dunbar is examining all its programs, looking for potential cost savings, Williams said. Dunbar may have to cut some jobs, he said.

The association, founded 93 years ago, operates the Dunbar Center at 1453 S. State St. The organization provides a variety of services to children, families and senior citizens.

Dunbar has hired the Fust Charles Chambers accounting firm to do an audit which should be done in three weeks. It is also getting financial guidance from officials of the Syracuse Community Health Center.

“We realize now we need help and this isn’t something we can undertake ourselves,” Williams said. “We are committed to putting systems in place that will help Dunbar achieve sustainability.”

Dunbar’s financial problems came to light last year when the United Way cut off $200,000 in annual funding to the nonprofit because of concerns about its management.

Dunbar hired Julius Edwards as its new executive director last month. He replaced Louella Williams, a former Dunbar board president who became interim director a year ago after the previous director, Sharon Jack-Williams, left in a cost-saving move. (Steve Williams, Louella Williams and Sharon Jack-Williams are not related.)

Steve Williams said Louella Williams and Sharon Jack Williams consistently told the board spending cuts had been made to offset reductions in funding.

But the board discovered otherwise last month after the bank official’s visit.

“The deeper we looked, the more we found out it was more severe than we anticipated,” said Steve Williams, who added he does not know if the financial problems resulted from mismanagement or fraud. The audit may answer that question, he said.

Neither Louella Williams nor Sharon Jack-Williams could be reached for comment.

Dunbar incurred a budget deficit of about $23,000 in 2010, according to Williams. The financial results for 2011 are not available yet.

Reports filed with the IRS show Dunbar had deficits of $155,500 in 2009 and $50,051 in 2008.

Darla Chase, the vice chair of Dunbar’s board, said the organization is as vital to the community now as it was when it was founded.

“For every youth we have in that building participating in a program, that’s one teen that’s not on the street, hanging around on the corner, getting involved in the wrong things,” she said.

When Dunbar’s financial problems surfaced last year, many older Dunbar alumni rallied to support the nonprofit. They formed a group called “The Friends of Dunbar” dedicated to turning around the center.

Williams said the board has told that group of the latest financial setback.

“They were in shock as much as we were,” he said.

Dunbar continues to meet its payroll, but is not paying all its bills, he said. The nonprofit has been contacting creditors to explain the situation and asking for more time to catch up on its payments, he said.

Dunbar Association
Address: 1453 S. State St., Syracuse
Employees: 22
Purpose: A nonprofit that operates the Dunbar Center, a recreation center and human services agency providing after-school care, emergency food services and other programs for youth, families and senior citizens.
2010 budget: $1.1 million
People served annually: 5,000
History: Founded 93 years ago as a settlement house to help blacks migrating from the South.
Who is it named after? Paul Laurence Dunbar, one of the first African-Americans to gain national prominence as a poet. Born in 1872 in Dayton, Ohio, he was the son of ex-slaves who wrote short stories, novels, librettos, plays, songs, essays and poetry. His style encompassed two distinct voices – the standard English of the classical poet and the dialect of the turn-of-the-century black community in America.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Syracuse New Times Announced Page for Free Postings from Nonprofits

The Syracuse New Times is excited to announce an unprecedented communication opportunity for all Not-for-Profit organizations in Central New York called the Community Page. This dedicated page in the New Times is reserved exclusively to allow your group to speak to our weekly 90,000+ readers and web viewers, and to inform them of any needs your organization may have, announce upcoming events, or offer specific volunteer opportunities.

We intend to start publishing this page in every fourth issue, and offer it continuously on our web site as soon as the listing is made "live" by our editorial staff. If you have upcoming events that may warrant further editorial coverage, please contact us at

This page is made possible by the generosity of Wegmans. Thanks to them for their introductory sponsorship of this page.

Bill Brod

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Attorney General Announces Nonprofit Report: Recommendations Guided by the Leadership Committee for Nonprofit Revitalization

New York State Attorney General Schneiderman unveiled a new plan on Thursday to reform and revitalize New York's nonprofit sector.

Announced before an audience of nonprofit and business leaders, the plan includes legislation to eliminate outdated and costly burdens on nonprofits, strengthen oversight and accountability, and reaffirm his office's commitment to policing fraud and abuse.

Acknowledging that organizations throughout New York State face historic financial and strategic challenges, the Attorney General's plan also includes several new partnerships with the business and academic communities to enhance nonprofit governance.

"New York is the proud home of the world's most dynamic and vibrant nonprofit sector, but for too long, our state's regulatory framework has placed unnecessary burdens on these essential organizations. This plan will unlock the full potential of our nonprofit community, and improve the lives of the countless New Yorkers they serve every day," said Attorney General Schneiderman. "In these difficult economic times, it is more important than ever to make New York a hospitable environment so nonprofits can continue to carry out their vital work. At the same time, we must maintain the public's trust by ensuring that nonprofits are governed effectively, and with meaningful oversight."

"NYCON applauds the Attorney General for his leadership in putting forth a positive agenda for reform of state and nonprofit relations," said Doug Sauer, NYCON CEO. "In the spirit of cooperation and partnership, we are hopeful that the AG, Comptroller, Governor and Legislature can work together to further shape and support the recommendations."

In 2011, Attorney General Schneiderman convened a Leadership Committee for Nonprofit Revitalization with 32 nonprofit leaders, including NYCON CEO Doug Sauer, to recommend proposals that would reduce regulatory burdens on nonprofits, while strengthening governance and accountability.

Today's legislative and reform initiatives are responsive to the committee's recommendations.

They include:
The Nonprofit Revitalization Act, to be proposed by the Attorney General;
"New York on BOARD" and;
"Directors U" designed to improve nonprofit governance

More Details & Full Report

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hospital affiliations becoming common

Recent article on hospital affiliations:

The Auburn hospital, rebranded last week as Auburn Community Hospital, announced Jan. 25 it will explore pairing with the Rochester General Health System "to further enhance its 120-year tradition of providing compassionate, quality acute and long-term care services."

It chose Rochester General over three other suitors: the University of Rochester Medical Center and St. Joseph's and Upstate University hospitals in Syracuse. Crouse Hospital, also in Syracuse, was asked to submit a proposal but did not.

ACH said in a statement that it chose to continue talks with Rochester General because of its "successful track record of collaboration with smaller standalone hospitals, its reputation for innovation, a sterling record of patient safety and a national reputation for quality."

Neither ACH nor Rochester General would elaborate on those criteria, but the decision to seek a partner is part of a statewide trend among hospitals small and large, rural and urban.

William Van Slyke, a spokesman for the nonprofit advocacy group Healthcare Association of New York State, said reductions in Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement rates have cut into hospitals' margins at the same time that stricter performance measures demand greater accountability and better patient results.

"Really what's happening is the whole health care system is transitioning from a fee-for-service model to a coordinated care management system, where you're paid by an insurance company to provide care for a person," he said. "Definitely the squeeze is on. Hospitals across the state are having to find new ways and build new relationships to provide care."

One common way forward has been collaborations, from clinical affiliations to full mergers and purchases. Those discussions have taken place in every corner of the state, from New York City and the Albany area to central and western New York, Van Slyke said.

Rochester General already has a partnership with Newark-Wayne Community Hospital, a 120-bed facility in Wayne County. It also spent two years working with Auburn's neurology unit to attain Stroke Center designation, something AMH achieved last August.

In Syracuse, Upstate took over Community General Hospital last July, combining to create the largest hospital in the region.

Upstate also made a strong pitch to partner with ACH. Its CEO, John McCabe, said the majority of Cayuga County patients who can't be treated at ACH end up at Upstate, including many visits for cardiology, orthopedics, trauma and cancer services.

Upstate's offer included financial help in adding specialists, clinics and infrastructure and paying for a study to decide what sort of health care presence Auburn needs, now and in the future.

The Syracuse hospital put forward five possible business models, ranging from "franchising" as an affiliate to a full purchase, McCabe said.

ACH would not comment on why it chose Rochester General over the other offers, but McCabe said he believed Upstate lost out because he would not promise that Auburn could retain a traditional hospital in the future.

"Clearly other people who responded to the (request for proposals) said you can always have a hospital in Auburn and here's $10 million for capital improvements," he said. "(I was unwilling) to make an absolute commitment that nothing would change in Auburn. I think that's unrealistic with what's going around."

Part of the difficulty for small, rural hospitals like ACH has been attracting doctors in the most profitable sub-specialty practices. Without those lucrative services, they often struggle to generate enough revenue to reinvest in their practice and facilities.

"More and more in New York, people will be asking, 'What's the right configuration of services? What should be regional and what should be left local?'" he said. "I think it may be difficult for (ACH) to still be a full-service, 100-bed hospital.

"That doesn't mean there can't be a medical campus that takes care of the needs of the people of Auburn to a certain level. ... Rather than saying, 'Will there be a building that's a hospital as we know it today?,' people should say, 'What services do we need?'"

A spokeswoman for the University of Rochester Medical Center said that hospital's proposal to ACH "did not offer a capital investment but maintained local ownership and control." St. Joseph's declined to comment.

Van Slyke, of the Healthcare Association of New York State, speaking about hospital affiliations in general but not Auburn in particular, said it's important to be transparent and communicate clearly, and not to be afraid to change.

"More and more providers and hospitals, if they continue to operate under the old model, they won't be able to sustain," he said. "It's very natural for communities to want to hold onto their facilities as they know them. But if there's a transparent discussion centered around meeting community needs under this new era of decreased reimbursement, that will lead to a solution. ... We need to figure out how those services - in-patient beds, OB-GYNs, cancer services, pediatrics - can be sustained in whatever model is the most efficient and most likely to succeed into the future."

ACH and Rochester General plan to provide an update on their discussions at the end of May.

Staff writer Justin Murphy can be reached at 282-2237 or Follow him on Twitter at


Read more:

Monday, February 13, 2012

Nonprofits Push Back Against Limits On CEO Pay

Nonprofit groups pushed back during a hearing today in Albany on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposals to combat excessive pay for top executives, saying the plans would do little to root out what they insist are rare cases of abuse.

Last month, the governor issued an executive order setting a $199,000 cap on state funding for executive salaries, while also requiring that 75 percent of state dollars are spent on actual services, not administrative costs. State agencies have three months to comply with the order.

The order came after a New York Times article last August, which detailed the story of two brothers who made close to a million dollars a year as top executives of a New York nonprofit for the developmentally disabled.

But at the hearing, James Lytle, a partner at Manatt, Phelps and Phillips, which represents more than a dozen nonprofit organizations, testified before the Senate Committee on Investigations and Government Operations that it made no sense to have a one-size-fits-all limitation — a cap he argued would hurt non-profit efforts to recruit qualified executives.

“No evidence has been advanced by anyone so far that would suggest that these abuses are either widespread or particularly unpunished when they have occurred,” Lytle said.

Nonprofit representatives acknowledged that some CEOs receive extravagant pay and benefits, but said the governor’s order wouldn’t change much, since the big players would use their influence to get waivers or shift pots of money around to minimize the impact.

Doug Saur, the CEO of the New York Council of Nonprofits, said that million-dollar executives wouldn’t see any changes because the state isn’t capping salaries, just how much state money can go into those salaries.

“That’s an accounting issue,” he said. “Who’s going to get hurt are the community action programs or some of the smaller organizations that don’t raise a lot of money, that are mostly government funded, and there are no alternative sources to go and do that.”

Those testifying from the non-profit world said that setting a specific limit on the state’s contribution to executive salaries fails to take into account the multiple factors that go into determining annual pay, from the size of an organization’s budget to the complexity of its structure, to comparable salaries for similar private sector jobs.

“None of the conversation today has been about performance,” Saur said.

Some lawmakers suggested other remedies to the abuses besides the Cuomo-imposed cap. Sen. Carl Marcellino, who chairs the Investigations Committee, said another solution was to demand greater accountability from the boards of nonprofit entities, which in some cases are made up of family members or appointees of the chief executive.

“It’s been my experience with a lot of these governing boards that a lot of the membership is appointed by the CEOs of the organizations themselves,” said Marcellino. “In many cases, they’re just rubber stamps.”

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Philanthropists bet big on Auburn theater fest

Jerry Bisgrove could have set up a charitable fund to feed the poor when he decided to share some of his financial fortune in 2007 with his hometown of Auburn.

But he wanted a bigger bang for his buck.

So the Arizona philanthropist’s charitable foundation plowed more than $4 million into the fledgling Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival. Organizers of the multivenue summer festival, which debuts this year, hope to turn Auburn into a musical theater mecca that draws more than 150,000 visitors annually, creates jobs and revives the city’s economy.

Bisgrove said the potential economic payoff to the community from backing the festival is much greater than it would be with a traditional charitable cause, such as feeding the poor.

“This can generate jobs and millions of dollars,” Bisgrove said. “I like my upside better.”

Bisgrove, 66, has helped spark a wave of entrepreneurial philanthropy that’s having a big impact on Auburn. His Stardust Foundation and two other private foundations with Auburn roots — the Fred L. Emerson Foundation and the Schwartz Family Foundation —have put up more than half of the $10 million raised so far in startup funding for the festival.

The philanthropic activity surrounding the festival bears little resemblance to traditional charitable giving.

For one thing the festival is a riskier-than-usual investment for foundations.

Dan Fessenden, executive director of the Emerson Foundation, which has put nearly $1.5 million into the festival, said foundations are taking that risk because of the project’s potential economic impact.

“In a community like Auburn we need some double-digit returns,” he said.

The wave of philanthropy also is different because the foundations are doing much more than writing checks. They are active participants in the project, not passive spectators.

“It’s not just about writing a check and looking across the table at the organization you’re funding,” Fessenden said. “It’s about rolling up your sleeves, sitting on the same side of the table and saying, ‘How do we make this successful?’”

Guy Cosentino, Auburn’s former mayor, serves as Stardust’s executive director. “We connect the dots,” he said. “We’re always looking for strategic partnerships which can develop jobs and deal with pressing issues of the community.”

Private foundations put up the money to bring in experts from the University of North Carolina to evaluate the feasibility of the festival. The study estimated the festival could create more than 400 new jobs and generate an annual economic impact of $30 million.

Stardust snapped up vacant buildings in downtown Auburn along State Street to make way for redevelopment of an area where many of the shows will be staged.

When Auburn razed the vacant city-owned former Kalet’s department store building on State Street in April, Stardust and Emerson paid half the cost.

Construction is expected to begin on that site this spring on a $7.8 million, 384-seat performance center scheduled to open in 2013. The Schwartz Family Foundation of Pittsford, founded by the family of former Auburn Mayor Maurice Schwartz, donated more than $1 million for the center, a key component of the festival.

Stardust and Emerson officials also persuaded the State University of New York to become involved in the downtown performance center project. SUNY has agreed to pick up half of the project’s cost so Cayuga Community College can use the building during the festival’s off-season.

“They are using their boards and their connections to leverage more support for this,” said Meg O'Connell, of the Allyn Foundation in Skaneateles, which chipped in $50,000 toward the cost of the festival feasibility study. “They are very much the leaders and drivers behind this, and they are getting people to collaborate, convening people around the issues and trying to pull partners together.”

The festival also is spurring commercial development. Syracuse-based Pioneer Cos. is building an $11 million Hilton Garden Inn hotel and conference center on the edge of downtown Auburn to help accommodate the anticipated influx of tourists.

Stephen D. Cannerelli / The Post-Standard The Hilton Garden Inn is being built at the intersection of State Street and Route 5 in Auburn in anticipation of the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival.
The type of philanthropy under way in Auburn is not unprecedented, said Peter Dunn, president and chief executive officer of the Central New York Community Foundation.

Other foundations have served as catalysts for community change. In Syracuse, for example, the Gifford Foundation provided startup funding for the Near West Side Initiative, an effort by Syracuse University and other parties to revitalize the poor neighborhood on the edge of downtown Syracuse.

What makes the Auburn situation different is that several foundations are working together on the same project for maximum impact, he said.

“Auburn is fortunate to have a number of foundations with resources to execute on an opportunity like this,” Dunn said.

Emerson, with assets of $75 million, is one of the largest and oldest private foundations in Central New York. It was founded by Fred Light Emerson, whose family owned the former Dunn & McCarthy shoe factory in Auburn.

Emerson donated the land on the north end of Owasco Lake to Cayuga County in the 1940s to create Emerson Park. The Emerson Foundation is paying $4 million for an expansion and modernization of the park’s historic pavilion.

The Schwartz Family Foundation was created with money the Schwartz family made in the scrap metal business.

Jerry Bisgrove’s Stardust Foundation, the biggest philanthropic force behind the festival, is a relative newcomer to the area.

His late father, John Bisgrove Sr., started the trucking company Red Star Express Lines in Auburn in 1932.

Jerry Bisgrove originally wanted to be a Catholic priest. He enrolled in a seminary, but left after six months.

“One of the reasons I was going to go into the priesthood was to make the world a better place, but there were other plans in store for me,” he said.

He and his older brother, Jack, both ended up working in the family business. Jerry Bisgrove eventually bought out his brother’s share of the Red Star.

The company grew to a fleet of 2,000 trucks before Jerry Bisgrove sold it in the 1980s for more than $100 million to an Australian company. He moved to Arizona in 1991 and started a real estate company, which made money buying up land for housing development on the cheap from failed savings and loan associations. Bisgrove plowed all of the profits from the real estate company into the Stardust Foundation, which has since given away more than $100 million, most of it in Arizona.

“My foundation was founded on the basis that in order to do systemic change, you had to require of the nonprofits and the community you work with accountability to a business plan, measurable results, leverage and sustainability,” Jerry Bisgrove said. “I don’t make grants, I make investments.”

In Arizona, Bisgrove’s foundation has forged a reputation for taking risks and doing things differently.

He was the catalyst behind South Ranch, a 200-home affordable housing community a few miles outside of Phoenix. It is the largest Habitat for Humanity community in the country.

Bisgrove said Habitat officials were initially skeptical about his idea of developing a Habitat project of that size.

“They said, ‘You can’t put all these people in one place,’” he said.

The project turned out to be so successful it has been touted as a national model for affordable housing.

“That sort of changed their mindset,” he said. “If we do something that is crazy and it works, then everybody wants to jump on board.”

In 2007 the Bisgrove brothers started the Stardust Foundation of Central New York, funded with money from Jerry Bisgrove’s Arizona foundation.

Jerry Bisgrove said their motivation in starting the foundation here came from a lesson they learned as children. “To whom much is given, much is expected,” he said.

Stardust has pledged $15 million in the Auburn area. Money has gone to many organizations including Auburn Hospital, Champions for Life sports center and the Central New York Community Foundation.

It also has funded the Stardust Entrepreneurial Institute, a business incubator and training center for entrepreneurs; it’s housed in a remodeled historic building on State Street in downtown Auburn across the street from the proposed 382-performance center. The institute is a partnership between Stardust and Cayuga Community College.

Jack Bisgrove, who lives in Auburn, is president of Stardust Foundation of Central New York. Jerry Bisgrove said he takes a hands-off role. He’s familiar with the foundation’s activities here, but said he only offers his advice when asked.

“I’m 3,000 miles away, so I don’t try to control everything,” he said.

The musical theater festival is the brainchild of Ed Sayles, producing director of Merry-Go-Round Playhouse and the festival’s artistic director.

Merry-Go-Round produces a series of large-scale musical theater shows in its 501-seat playhouse in Emerson Park during the summer and early fall. It also operates a touring youth theater program that performs at schools.

Stephen D. Cannerelli / The Post-StandardEd Sayles, producing director for Merry-Go-Round Playhouse and producing artistic director for the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival.
Sayles’ idea was to expand by staging a variety of musicals simultaneously in four different theaters. He was inspired by the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. That festival produces plays of George Bernard Shaw and other playwrights of Shaw’s era in four theaters.

The Shaw festival of plays attracts about 200,000 people a year to a community smaller than Auburn.

Sayles said there is no other musical theater festival in the nation, so Auburn’s would be the first.

Sayles pitched his idea in late 2006 during a brainstorming session of community leaders representing nonprofits and businesses. The goal of the meeting, convened by state Sen. Michael Nozzolio, R-Fayette, was to identify ways to improve Auburn.

Sayles’ idea was well received, said Fessenden, of the Emerson Foundation, who was at the meeting.

“It was quickly understood that it wasn’t simply about art and culture, but something much bigger and stronger ... that could catalyze a whole new level of prosperity for the community,” Fessenden said.

Sayles’ timing was perfect because Stardust had arrived in town and was looking for philanthropic opportunities.

Stardust and the other foundations quickly jumped on board.

In addition to the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, the festival this year will use two other theaters within walking distance of each other downtown — the 199-seat Auburn Public Theater at 108 Genesee St. and the 125-seat Theater Mack at the Cayuga Museum at 203 Genesee St. The nearby 384-seat performing arts center will give the festival a fourth venue in 2013.

Organizers say between shows theatergoers will visit local restaurants, shops and other attractions.

Initially the festival expects to draw theatergoers from this region. The goal over time is to draw people from a much broader geographic area and get them to stay three or four days.

Without the philanthropic backing, Sayles said the festival may not have ever gotten off the ground.

“What I was going to try to do, we probably could not have afforded to do,” he said. “This is divine intervention.”

Friday, February 10, 2012

SNCC Executive Director Position Opening

Syracuse Northeast Community Center, Inc., a local non-profit human services agency is
seeking to hire a full-time Executive Director.

The mission of Syracuse Northeast Community Center is to work with area residents to
provide services and programs to address the changing needs and interests of the City of
Syracuse’s north and northeast neighborhoods.

The Executive Director, under the guidance of the Board of Directors is responsible for the
strategic leadership and management of all services and operations of the facility in order to
promote and accomplish the agency mission and goals.

A qualified candidate will possess:
i A degree in public or business administration, social work or related field
i Five or more years experience in a non-profit environment required;
i Management experience in administration, finance and planning;
i Familiarity with public and private funding environments
i Knowledge of Social Services programs, regulations and other disciplines
related to individuals and families in need;
i Experience in developing and overseeing agency financial management,
budgeting and vouchering;
i Experience in development, fundraising, and grant applications;
i Demonstrated ability to build coalitions and forge cooperative arrangements
with other agencies;
i Experience in human resources and personnel management;
i Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills;
i Enthusiasm for working with diverse groups of people;
i Ability to think strategically and creatively.
i Advocate, initiate, and lead the development of program innovations in keeping
with expressed neighborhood needs and the efficient provision of services;
i In conjunction with the Board of Directors, the Executive Director is
accountable for the development and implementation of agency goals and
objectives in accordance with the agency’s mission;
i Ensure rigorous accountability and long-term stability through sound
management of fiscal resources;
i Serve as the primary liaison to the Board of Directors, and attend all Board
i Recruit, hire, direct, and manage staff to ensure compliance with agency
policies and procedures, funding sources and regulatory agencies;
i Negotiate and administer lease agreements and maintain cooperative
relationships with component agencies;
i Initiate a management system to evaluate the programs and services provided by
the Center to ensure they are responsive to neighborhood needs and adhere to
the agency mission;
i Implement Board policies and strategies for financial management including all
revenues, expenses, investments, and a working balanced budget.
i Ensure agency representation at neighborhood meetings in the identified service
i Facilitate formal and informal partnerships with local groups and programs in
support of the agency mission;
i Guide all development activities and solicitation of funding sources, including
grant writing and special events;
i Act as primary spokesperson and advocate for the agency and the people it
serves to other local, statewide and national organizations;
i Attend all meetings, workshops, and trainings that support the efficient and
effective operation of the agency.
Competitive salary and benefits package, including health, dental and retirement options.
Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume and three professional references by
March 2, 2012 to No calls please.
Syracuse Northeast Community Center, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. Women, people
of color, individuals with a disability, veterans and others who would enrich the diversity of
Syracuse Northeast Community Center, Inc. are encouraged to apply

Monday, February 6, 2012

NYCON CEO Doug Sauer Testifies at Public Hearing on Executive Compensation at Not-for-Profits

Public Hearing: To examine executive compensation at not-for-profit organizations receiving State funding and the actions needed to prevent State tax dollars from being wasted on excessive salaries
Senate Standing Committee on Investigations and Government Operations
Chair: Senator Carl L. Marcellino

NY Council of Nonprofits CEO Doug Sauer shares feedback and testimony on the Governor's Executive Order addressing Executive Compensation for Not-for-Profits. You can hear Doug's comments beginning at 49:30. Watch for more from NYCON shortly. Interested in joining the NYCON mailing list? Subscribe here.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Executive Director for Health Planning

Carol Fletcher, President CRFletcher Associates
1126 N. Salina Street, Suite 107
Syracuse, NY 13202
(315) 471-1000

POSITION: Executive Director for Health Planning

POSITION SUMMARY: The Executive Director for Health Planning (ED) is responsible for
developing and managing a sustainable health planning initiative in Central New York. The
Executive Director gives direction and leadership in crafting the vision, strategy, goals, and
objectives for a renewed health planning capacity in the region. S/he will also assume direction
of the implementation of a $950,000 State grant for infrastructure development and completion of three studies. Specific responsibilities include program planning, management and
administration; fiscal and grant management; board and committee support, business plan development, and community/stakeholder relations. The ED will have a high level of independence and reports to the board president of a newly consolidated organization spanning
health planning and clinical health information exchange functions.

 Lead process to develop a vision, goals and objectives for health planning, working with
health planning committee and board of directors.
 Create and implement sustainability plan and generate revenue from grants, contributions,
contracts, and other sources to build and maintain a robust health planning.
 Implement $950,000 New York State grant to build health planning infrastructure, carry out three studies, and develop strong collaborative relationships with stakeholders regionally.
 Develop and manage annual health planning budget, consistent with organizational policies
and internal controls.
 Manage certificate of need process and organizational role to inform and advise on local
projects requiring State approval,
 Manage current staff (4) in research, analysis, and professional development. Source, hire,
support, supervise, and evaluate staff consistent with organizational policies.
 Oversee all programs, services and daily activities to meet program and grant objectives and
ensure compliance with funding sources and regulatory requirements.
 Serve as liaison for all participating organizations/stakeholders, the New York State
Department of Health and other State agencies, government officials, and the media.
 Develop and implement evaluations of program goals and objectives.
 Work in close collaboration with Executive Director, Regional Health Information
Organization in support of the mission and coordination of program and administrative
 Maintain in-depth knowledge of developments and trends in the field.

CANDIDATE QUALIFICATIONS: Demonstrated leadership experience in building and/or
directing a health-related or comparable organization/initiative. Ability to use appropriate
responsibility, authority and entrepreneurial spirit to shape and secure funding for a regional
health planning program.

 Advanced degree preferred (e.g. MPH, MBA, MPA, or PhD); relevant experience may be
 3+ year’s experience in a leadership position in the health or comparable field;
 Strong financial management, control, analytical, and communication skills.
 Leadership ability and adaptability; able to grasp difficult issues and manage conflict.
 Demonstrated success in revenue generation.
 Experience working with a range of non-profit, government, business, health care, and
consumer leaders and organizations.

Executive Director for Health Planning
Background: The executive director for health planning position was created through the
collaboration between two separate 501 (c) 3 organizations, the Central New York Health
Systems Agency (CNYHSA) and the Health Advancement Collaborative of Central New York
(HAC-CNY), the Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO) for Central New York. The
collaboration represents a functionally integrated organization with a single identify that draws
on the complementary strengths of HAC-CNY and CNYHSA in building Central New York’s
capacity for local, sustainable health planning. The collaboration is the first in New York State
to bring together health planning and the operations of a RHIO, creating the opportunity for
synergies such as integrating RHIO clinical data into health studies and identifying technology
solutions that can improve the efficiency of, and access to, community services.
The new organization has two primary lines of business, the RHIO and community health
planning. The RHIO is a four million dollar annual enterprise supported by grants,
contributions, and a locally funded sustainability pilot. CNYHSA operates through grants and
contracts with an average annual budget of over $800,000. Each line of business is directed by
an executive director; one directing health planning (open position) and one directing the RHIO
(currently in place). Each is solely responsible for their line of business and reports directly to
the Chair of the board. The executive directors will work in close collaboration in support of the
mission of the organization and to ensure the successful administration of financial, human
resource, and other administrative functions that support the RHIO and health planning

The executive director for health planning will direct the implementation and sustainability of
community health planning initiatives in an eleven county Central New York region.

Community health planning is defined as a systematic process which:
 identifies community health care needs and develops recommendations and strategies to
promote and improve the health of individuals and communities,
 facilitates access to affordable health care,
 matches health care resources to meet community needs and,
 aligns the health care delivery system with those needs.

The current priority is to implement a New York State grant to develop a health planning
infrastructure and conduct three studies: emergency room use, long term care assessment, and
regional community health and health services assessment. The grant also supports the
development of a ‘community table’ concept for engaging stakeholders across the region in
health planning activities.

Current Resources: The executive director and health planning staff (4) will be supported by a
two-year $950,000 State planning grant. A major focus of the new position will be to develop a
sustainability plan and secure funds to realize the vision of building and maintaining a regional
health planning program well beyond the current grant period. The board is committed, with a
demonstrated track record of successful revenue generation and will work closely with the
executive director to leverage its support in implementing a longer-term sustainability plan.

Friday, February 3, 2012

SIDS prevention Fund awards $3,600 grant

(February 3, 2011) - The Syracuse SIDS Prevention Fund, a component fund of the Central New York Community Foundation, recently awarded a $3,600 grant to Child Care Solutions and Spanish Action League. This collaboration project will bring education and training programs to the Latino Community through child care agencies and professional providers.

Child Care Solutions is a nonprofit organization that promotes early learning, healthy development, and high quality care through education, advocacy, and support. The Spanish Action League supports the Latino Community through advocacy, counseling, and education. These two agencies will utilize this grant to train child care providers on the use of the Safe Sleep for Babies curriculum and incorporating the messages of SIDS prevention to a target audience of single Latina women on the West Side of Syracuse. Additionally, Spanish Action League employees will be trained to deliver a Spanish language version of Safe Sleep for Babies to La Liga clients.

The Syracuse SIDS Prevention Fund, administered by the Central New York Community Foundation, was formed in 2007 as a permanent field-of-interest fund. It was established with the accumulated earnings from the Syracuse SIDS Golf Classic to support the elimination of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome through increased community awareness, including parent support programs and risk reduction education, as well as medical research.

The Central New York Community Foundation has served Central New York for 85 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

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Future Fund Seeking Grant Applicants

February 1, 2012 - The Future Fund of Central New York is requesting grant applicant letters of intent from nonprofits that provide art-enrichment programs to low-income youth or promote the arts to an underserved population. The letter of intent deadline is February 17, 2012. One grant of up to $5,000 will be awarded in May 2012. Tax-exempt, nonprofit organizations serving Onondaga or Madison counties are encouraged to apply.

More information about the Future Fund and a letter of intent form is available at If you have any questions, please contact Danielle Gill at 315-883-5554 or

The Future Fund of Central New York is a member-driven giving circle administered by the Central New York Community Foundation. Its mission is to involve and empower emerging philanthropists to make our community a better place to live and work. Annual membership dues are contributed to an endowment at the Community Foundation, and members vote on the grant topic and projects. While the endowment builds, matching donors provide the funding for immediate grantmaking.

The Central New York Community Foundation has served Central New York for 85 years, receiving, managing and distributing charitable funds for the benefit of not-for-profit 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 over $5 million in grants to not-for-profit organizations annually. The Community Foundation, of 431 East Fayette Street, Syracuse, NY 13202 can be reached at (315) 422-9538 or