Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How America Gives

Check out this great new interactive tool that can help nonprofit directors get information about the giving patterns in every state, county, city and ZIP code in the United States. This is an exciting new tool that can help  you out with fundraising. 

How America Gives is a free resource that spotlights giving statistics across a variety of income levels and allows users to compare and share data about charitable contributions. You can access it here:http://philanthropy.com/givingmap 

You are also invited to check out our exclusive How America Gives special report, which includes rankings, analysis, and much more: http://philanthropy.com/americagives 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Arts as an Engine: Study measures the considerable local economic impact of culture

In his book, “The Performing Arts in a New Era,” former Syracuse University Maxwell School Professor Arthur Brooks, now head of the American Enterprise Institute, writes: “The arts provide a variety of instrumental benefits for society ... at the individual, community and national level.” Don Lovoie and Emily Chamlee-Wright of the Cato Institute go a step further, linking the arts to community prosperity. “Economic development is, at its heart, a cultural process,” they write.

Now a study makes explicit that implied connection between the arts and the economy — in Central New York. “We always intuited we are part of the solution, that we enhance the economy as well as the quality of life,” says Stephen Butler of the Cultural Resources Council of Syracuse and Onondaga County. “Now there’s important, objective data.”

That data is contained in the survey, “Arts and Economic Prosperity,” (PDF) a yearlong undertaking by Professor Ronald Wright of Le Moyne College. The survey, which cost a mere $37,500, benefited from the efforts of more than 3,500 volunteers. With their help, Wright analyzed 45 of the region’s more than 140 cultural groups, including all the “majors” like Syracuse Stage and the Everson Museum of Art. It’s part of a national effort surveying 182 regions across the country. Among the study’s key findings:
  • Art and cultural groups in Central New York generated $133.4 million in economic activity, supported 5,117 full-time equivalent jobs and provided $110.4 million in household income.
  • Local and state governments received $20.1 million in revenue generated by the arts.
  • Some 3.8 million people participated in arts programs and events.
Central New York was well ahead of the national average in jobs generated and audience spending. It trailed in one area, though: Wright calculated that per capita spending by local arts groups was $74.04, compared with $174.25 for other regions with similar populations and $194.29 for larger cities.

Generating public funds in support of the arts is always a struggle. “In an economic downturn, the first on the block to cut is arts funding,” says Jeffrey Woodward, managing director of Syracuse Stage. “The feeling is it’s a frill, not a building block for the community.” Pointing to the study, Woodward added: “Now we have a report refuting that.”

In past years, cultural organizations depended on yearly handouts from Onondaga County. “Government support is not massive, but it could be a killing piece if it was cut,” says Wright.
Under County Executive Joanie Mahoney, arts groups now have a “dedicated” source of funds: 22 percent of the county’s room occupancy tax. Last year that amounted to $1.2 million, which the CRC distributed. “It brings stability,” says the CRC’s Butler.

The study should help cultural advocates make the case for maintaining or even increasing public support for the arts, since the economic dividend could grow along with it. And just in time.
“There’s more fatigue than I’ve ever seen,” said Woodward of Syracuse Stage, who noted the continuing struggle to keep classical music alive in Central New York after last year’s collapse of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. “It’s increasingly difficult to balance the books at the end of the day. ... When groups are healthy is when they do their best work.”

Funding Opportunity: Ready or Not, Here it Comes: Preparing for Success in Rapidly Changing Times

Funding Opportunity: Ready or Not, Here it Comes: Preparing for Success in Rapidly Changing Times

The Health Foundation for Western and Central New York recognizes the challenges many health and human service organizations face in maintaining the quality of the services they provide to young children and seniors during turbulent times.
The economic recession, Medicaid redesign in New York State, the Affordable Care Act, Accountable Care Organizations and meaningful use are just a few examples of profound changes that are impacting not only the health care system, but also the communities served by the Health Foundation. 
For the organizations within our two regions that serve young children and frail elders, keeping up with these changes and their impact is challenging, but essential. 
The Foundation announced a funding opportunity to help eligible organizations successfully plan for and respond strategically to the ever-changing economic and policy environment on Thursday, August 16, 2012. 
The Foundation expects that with this one-time infusion of funds, organizations will be better able to provide effective programs and supports to those they serve, and in the long term, ultimately improve health outcomes for children in poverty and/or frail elders.
The Foundation expects to make awards ranging from $25,000 to $50,000 to 12 to 15 organizations for up to an 18-month period beginning in December 2012.

Eligible applicants must:
  • Currently offer programming, services or care to children ages birth to five living in communities of poverty, or frail elders living in the community.
The deadline to apply is 5 p.m., Friday, September 14, 2012.
For more information, details on eligibility and how to apply, please see the attached Funding Opportunity announcement.
Ready or Not Funding Opportunity  (373.8 KB, application/pdf)

comm.UNITY Fall Forum: Sept 13-14

Communication can be tough. We are here to help!
We understand that with constant changes in technology and the demands of running a nonprofit on a limited budget in a tough economy, it’s hard to keep up. That’s where we come in.
comm.UNITY is Syracuse University’s student-run organization of over 50 dedicated members with different communication specialties. Our mission is to help local nonprofits create and implement sustainable communications plans. Websites, brochures, promotional videos, newsletters, fundraising posters- our team can pretty much do it all!
It is our pleasure to invite you to our 5th annual comm.UNITY forum to find out how we can help you overcome your unique communication challenges and charge ahead with your nonprofit’s mission.

Save the Date!

comm.UNITY Fall Forum
Thursday, Sept 13th | 6-7:30 pm
Friday, Sept 14th | 1:30-3 pm
Gifford Community Room, United Way, 518 James Street
Please RSVP by Friday, Sept 7th to commrelations@gmail.com

Find out more information at our websit http://comm.unity.syr.edu/

Friday, August 17, 2012

40 Below: Speednetworking and Other Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

Speed Networking
Speed Networking 

Thursday, 8/23, 5:30-7:30 pm @ Benjamin's on Franklin 

314 South Franklin Street

Come on down to Benjamin's for drinks and of course, networking! Speed Networking takes the structure of speed dating and pairs it with the opportunity to make new connections with professionals around the area. Don't forget to bring business cards! For more information on how it works please visit our website or to RSVP please email Andrea Bianchi. Space is limited and slots are filling up quickly so be sure to secure your spot!

Thank you to our sponsor:


Project-ION Regional Internship Day

Thursday, 9/6, www.project-ion.com 

September 6th is Regional Internship Day in CenterState New York! "Flash Mob" the Project-ION website with your quality internship opportunities to showcase the abundance of opportunities in our region. Connect with thousands of students for free and post your internship by September 6th.


Volunteer Opportunities 


United Way

The United Way of Central New York needs your help! The organization will be conducting a community needs assessment and needs volunteers to participate in a one-time focus group in October (date TBD). If interested, please contact Andrea Bianchi.


Voter Registration Drive/SCSD Mentor Program

Anyone interested in mentoring in the Syracuse City School District or volunteering at a voter registration drive, the Civic Engagement Task Force needs you! Email Andrea Bianchi if interested.


Community Events 

Business Killers Executive Breakfast

Tuesday, 8/28, 8:30-9:30 am @The Tech Garden

Women, Wealth, & Wisdom is calling all Business Owners and Dependents of Business Owners for their educational workshop on the 6 critical errors in planning and protecting a business.  Click here to register and for more information.

Hops for Hope

Thursday, 10/26, 6-10 pm @ Budweiser Brewery in Baldwinsville, NY

Enjoy an evening at the largest Budweiser Brewery in the world while supporting the American Cancer Society. Attendees will take a guided tour of the brewery, sample Budweiser products, enjoy a Dinosaur BBQ dinner, and more. To order tickets call 315-433-5632 or email Betsy Guilfoil. All proceeds from the tickets will go to the lifesaving mission of the American Cancer Society.


Coming soon...

40 Below CoWorking Space, sponsored by Harris Beach

Stay tuned for more information on grand opening events in September!


Task Force Meetings

"It's All Here!" Task Force 

Next Meeting: 8/21/12

Join the "It's All Here!" Task Force at Redhouse Cafe at 5:30 pm for a post-Passport wrap up and brainstorming winter events. The meeting will be followed by live Cuban music by Jose Ernesto Bello Ravelo and company! New members welcome.


Public Arts Task Force (PATF)

First Thursday of every month at 5:30 pm, Everson Museum

Next Meeting: 9/6/12 

Civic Engagement Task Force

First Monday of every month at 5:30 pm, CenterState CEO
Next Meeting: TBD

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Study of arts and cultural organizations shows $133 million in activity in Onondaga County

A year-long survey of the economic impact of nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in Onondaga County finds they spur more than $130 million economic activity per year and provide the equivalent of more than 5,000 jobs.

The study, “Arts & Economic Prosperity IV: The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts and Culture Organizations and Their Audiences in Greater Syracuse Area,” is part of a national arts study that zeroed in on local spending by arts groups, resident and nonresident audiences and the economic ripple effect.

The survey’s findings are intended to arm arts groups with hard data to lobby civic, business and government leaders for money and support and to show arts groups are major contributors to a community’s economy beyond their appeal as a quality of life asset.
The study found:
  • $133.4 million in total economic activity.
  • $33.9 million spent by nonprofit arts and culture groups.
  • $99.5 million in event-related spending by audiences.
The spending supports 5,117 full-time equivalent jobs and $110.4 million in household income. Local and state governments received $20.1 million in revenue from this activity, according to the study’s findings.
The study defines economic impact as full-time equivalent jobs, resident household income and local and state revenue derived from taxes on income, property, sales, lodging, etc.

The arts groups also reported an attendance of 3.8 million in arts programs and events during 2010.
“We now have a report that we have not had before in this region that clearly demonstrates we are an economic catalyst in this community. We do provide jobs. We do provide tax revenue. We do help local businesses,” said Jeffrey Woodward, managing director of Syracuse Stage, during a Post-Standard editorial board meeting Wednesday to provide details of the report.

Woodward was joined by Stephen Butler, executive director of the Cultural Resources Council of Syracuse and Onondaga County, Carol Sweet, president of the Arts and Cultural Leadership Alliance of Central New York, and Le Moyne College Professor Ronald Wright, who directed the study.
Woodward added, “You may not be interested in the arts personally as a politican or believe in the arts, but there’s an economic reason to support the arts.”

Taxpayer support of the arts in a frequent subject of debate among local elected officials. In the most recent vote on the Onondaga County budget, for example, legislators voted to withhold, at least temporarily, the $404,465 County Executive Joanie Mahoney asked for to support the musical group formed after the collapse of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra in 2011.

Several arts groups and Le Moyne College partnered in the organization and collection of the data. The Arts and Cultural Leadership Alliance of Central New York, the Cultural Resources Council of Syracuse and Onondaga County worked with the Management Division of Le Moyne College on the project.

Ronald Wright, the Michael D. Madden professor of business at education at Le Moyne, lead the study, directing Le Moyne students in collecting financial information from 45 arts groups, ranging from large organizations like Everson Museum of Art to smaller operations such as India Community Religious & Cultural Center.

Students also approached 841 audience members last year to fill out detailed written surveys of their spending associated with attending cultural events.

From those surveys, researchers estimated 73.2 percent of audiences were residents of Onondaga County and 26.8 nonresidents. There is interest in nonresidents who are considered cultural tourists and who spend an average of $37.57 per event, not including admission, on things like meals, lodging and transportation. This is compared with the average of $21.66 per event spent by residents.
All this data was then funneled into an economic research model established by Americans for the Arts, a national arts advocacy group that regularly conducts the Arts & Economic Prosperity survey nationwide. The analysis model is described as tracking “how many times a dollar is ‘re-spent’ within the local economy” and its ripple effect.

Detailed financial information on 40 spending categories for 2010 — labor, payments to local and visiting artists, operations, facilities and capital expenditures — was collected from the 45 nonprofit arts groups. Those organizations also reported receiving in-kind contributions with an aggregate value of $2.7 million during fiscal year 2010. Contributors include corporations, individuals, local and state arts agencies and government.

The cost of the project was $37,500, which included a participation fee to the Americans for Arts, according to Wright.

Syracuse Arts Economic Impact Report 2012