Monday, December 23, 2013

Nearly $500,000 in Grants Awarded to Nonprofits in Madison and Onondaga Counties

December 23, 2013 – After a devastating warehouse fire destroyed many of its permanent sets, props and costumes this past May, the Syracuse City Ballet (SCB) is back to performing family-friendly entertainment, thanks in large part to an outpouring of community support that helped offset replacement costs not covered by insurance. Now SCB is receiving an additional boost from the Central New York Community Foundation to replace more of its valuable sets and costumes.
Photo courtesy
The Community Foundation awarded SCB a $20,000 grant to support the purchase of sets and costumes for its future production of Cinderella. Because of their permanent nature, the items will be able to be repurposed for future productions.
Cinderella, which SCB will perform at the Crouse Hinds Theater (Oncenter) for audiences in March 2014, will also involve a unique partnership with The Corning Museum of Glass. Representatives from the Museum will be conducting a glass-blowing demonstration to create Cinderella’s glass slipper at one of the performances, to be raffled off at the conclusion of the show. There will be 45 local youth and professional dancers involved in the production.
“This project will renew our efforts to build New York audience enchantment with the classical art of ballet,” said Harriet Casey, Ballet Assistant Director. “A strong audience base will bring new energy, funding sources, and sustainability to SCB. In addition, we look forward to continuing our work with local schools and nonprofit organizations that work for the well-being of children.”
The Community Foundation also awarded additional grants to programs in the fields of arts & culture, education, environment, health, human services and civic affairs:
ACR Health received $13,473 to provide  youth leadership training through the Q Center,, which will allow participants to explore their strengths and encourage them to take part in in creating a more supportive community for LGBTQ youth.
The American Heart Association Greater Syracuse Division received $25,000 to implement two awareness-building programs:  1) Go Red Por Tu Corazon, which empowers Latina women to take action against heart disease, and 2) Check. Change. Control., an education program for African American women that focuses on the importance of blood pressure self-monitoring.
The Cathedral of Immaculate Conception received $20,000 to purchase dental equipment and a portable x-ray machine that will allow its Amaus Health Services program to provide primary dental care to uninsured and underinsured patients.
The Cazenovia Preservation Foundation received $43,500 to complete structural and aesthetic enhancements to an integrated pond and wetland ecosystem in the Village of Cazenovia.
Christian Health Service of Syracuse received $22,500 to increase access to quality, affordable primary care for Medicaid patients by adding one mid-level health care provider to its clinic.
The CNY Regional Planning & Development Board received $15,000 to develop curriculum and purchase materials to introduce the Energy Challenge program in middle school classrooms. The program will offer hands-on learning experiences that promote energy-saving techniques for school and home.
Community Resources for Independent Seniors received $7,000 to implement a time-banking system that allows community members to log volunteer time to exchange for other volunteer-driven services in the future.
ENABLE/TLS received $20,000 to purchase an upgraded server and other technology that will better handle the load of the agency’s combined staff following its recent merger.
The Everson Museum of Art received $53,000 for educational programming and access for local school children in association with the Heaven and Earth exhibit, featuring major works of art from the Italian Renaissance and Baroque periods, along with related educational programming.
Faith and Hope Community Center received $5,000 to purchase new equipment for its fitness and boxing programs.
First Tee of Syracuse received $20,000 to purchase a passenger van that will transport children from community centers and schools to golf courses for character development programming.
Good Life Foundation received $15,000 to establish a life coaching program that will work with high-risk youth to develop a life plan through coaching, financial literacy and entrepreneurial opportunities.
Le Moyne College, in partnership with the New York Family Business Center, received $20,000 to develop programming and curriculum that benefits the local family business community through professional development and support.
Chestnut Hill Elementary School received $7,000 to purchase new playground equipment.
Multicultural Association of Medical Interpreters (MAMI) received $14,260 to provide a training course to its court interpreters preparing for the New York State Court English Language Proficiency Exam.
Meals on Wheels/FM-JD received $3,534 to install an automatic door to ease loading and unloading of delivery vehicles.
Ophelia’s Place received $11,200 to install a new HVAC system at its Liverpool location, where it provides outreach, support and advocacy for those impacted by eating disorders.
Salvation Army of Syracuse received $29,000 to train its staff on trauma-informed care, which will help shelter workers to address the problems homeless clients have faced, such as abuse, neglect, illness or domestic violence.
St. Camillus Health and Rehabilitation Center received $23,276 to relocate and enhance its resident gathering space, used by its physical rehabilitation patients for activities, parties and family visits.
Syracuse Parks Conservancy received $18,200 to operate a grants program that will fund beautification improvements in Syracuse neighborhoods and parks.
Syracuse Stage received $25,000 to purchase an upgraded digital sound console that will enhance audience experience by improving the quality and consistency of sound during its productions.
VNA Homecare received $40,000 to expand its Care Transitions Program, which promotes a seamless transition for hospital patients when returning home to prevent further complications.
These grants were funded by the Community Foundation’s unrestricted and field-of-interest funds.
About the Central New York Community Foundation
Established in 1927, the Central New York Community Foundation encourages local philanthropy by supporting the growth of a permanent charitable endowment for the betterment of the region. The Community Foundation is the largest charitable foundation in the region with assets of more than $143 million. It awarded $8.3 million in grants last year to nonprofit organizations and since its inception has invested more than $120 million in the community. The Community Foundation serves as the steward of charitable legacies for individuals, families and corporations through the administration of more than 600 funds. The organization also serves as a civic leader, convener and sponsor of special initiatives designed to strengthen nonprofits that address the region’s most pressing challenges. For more information, visit

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Nonprofit Advocacy Matters | December 2, 2013

Nonprofit Advocacy Matters banner

Treasury, IRS Propose Major Shift in Electioneering Rules for Non-Charitable Nonprofits
The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service issued proposed regulations last week that would restrict the types of political activities that 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations could engage in without running the risk of losing their tax-exempt status, but stopped short of providing a clear percentage or “bright line” for determining how much political activity would be considered too much. The proposed rules would create a new term, “candidate-related political activity,” that is drawn from federal election campaign laws to distinguish what activities will not be considered related to promoting social welfare. In addition to retaining current restrictions on election-related activities (e.g., prohibition on direct contributions to candidates), the proposed definition of “candidate-related political activity” would include running ads that name candidates shortly before elections. The rules would also apply to a broader array of offices beyond elective offices under current rules to also include activities in support or opposition of the appointment or confirmation of executive branch officials and judicial nominees. Also falling under the definition would be partisan and nonpartisan activities such as voter registration drives, get-out-the-vote efforts, candidate forums, and voter guides. The proposal asks for public comments on what types of activities should be exempted from this blanket inclusion of measures many organizations consider essential to their missions of promoting civic engagement and democracy.

On the controversial question of how much “candidate-related political activity” is too much, Treasury and the IRS toss that hot potato to the public which is asked to weigh in with comments on what is an acceptable level (beyond the current vague regulatory standard of engaging “primarily” in social welfare activities) and how to measure those activities. The public is also asked to opine on whether rules similar to the proposed rules should be applied to 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofits, 501(c)(5) labor unions, and 501(c)(6) chambers of commerce and trade associations. Comments should be submitted to the Internal Revenue Service by February 27, 2014.

Budget Negotiators Aiming Low, May Hit the Target
A grand budget bargain, it’s not, but budget negotiators working on a deal to keep the government operating into the New Year reportedly are close to reaching an agreement on two important issues: (1) setting overall spending levels for the rest of the current and 2015 fiscal years, and (2) curbing some of the second wave of arbitrary sequestration cuts that otherwise go into effect on January 15, 2014. To date, the House and Senate have been nearly $90 billion apart on how much to spend this fiscal year that started in October. Negotiations have been stuck in the same partisan positions from the past three years – raising taxes versus cutting spending in entitlement or mandatory programs. The leaders of the budget negotiations, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), reportedly are seeking to reduce the additional automatic and arbitrary sequestration cuts by coming up with a combination of non-tax revenue gains, including user fees and sale of wireless spectrum, and modest cuts in mandatory spending in such areas as federal employee retirement plans. The legislation that funded federal programs after the government shutdown gave the budget conference committee untilDecember 13 to strike a deal. That legislation, known as a Continuing Resolution, expires on January 15 and another federal government shutdown is possible unless the House, Senate, and President can agree on a spending plan.

Influential Senators Make Bi-Partisan Call for Support of Charitable Giving Incentive
The charitable giving incentive should be protected during the rewrite of the federal tax code, according to a letter to leaders of the Senate Finance Committeesigned by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and John Thune (R-SD). “It is the only provision that encourages taxpayers to give away a portion of their income for the benefit of others,” the Senators wrote, stressing, ”For this reason, it is not a loophole, but a lifeline for millions of Americans in need.” The letter is significant both because of what it says, and because of the influence that the writers wield in the Senate. Senator Wyden is scheduled to become the top Democratic tax writer in 2015 upon the retirement of current Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT). Wyden is a long-standing supporter of tax incentives for giving, including retaining the charitable deduction in a bi-partisancomprehensive tax overhaul bill he sponsored with Senator Dan Coats (R-IN). Senator Thune serves as Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, the number three position in Senate Republican leadership, and has been a consistent critic of efforts to curb or eliminate charitable giving incentives. Both Senators Wyden and Thune are members of the Senate Finance Committee.

States Can’t Show Job Growth from Tax Incentives Given to Businesses
Half of states lack the ability to measure the outcomes of the incentives they hand out to for-profit companies in the name of creating new jobs, and only a quarter have workable measures, according to a study from the Pew Center on the States. Every state has at least one jobs tax incentive, according to the report, “but no state regularly and rigorously tests whether those investments are working and ensures lawmakers consider this information when deciding whether to use them, how much to spend, and who should get them.”

News reports appear to confirm the Pew findings and suggest further that incentives to for-profit businesses may not be effective. For example, Georgia has given $106 million in tax breaks to companies that failed to deliver 42 percent of the jobs they promised.Tennessee’s Jobs Tax Credits programs are being criticized after an audit last month revealed that state officials were unable to prove many of the businesses receiving credits had produced the required number of jobs or capital investments. The Illinois Governor’s $527 million worth of tax breaks are also under fire: "Politicians love these types of programs because they can point to the jobs they created," one economics professor warns. "But the problem is it's hard to measure the jobs lost through higher taxes paid by other businesses that pay for these programs." After a drawn-out jobs incentive race with neighboring Kansas, the Governor of Missouri has called for a moratorium on certain business incentives that he says have moved jobs around the state rather than creating new ones.

Government-Nonprofit Contracting Updates
Kansas Shifts Human Service Delivery from Nonprofits to For-Profit Companies

Kansas will become the first state to shift responsibility for delivery of services to developmentally disabled people away from the current network of community-based nonprofits to for-profit companies based out of state. As a result of the change, three insurance companies will be making final decisions about who is eligible for care and which services are appropriate and reimbursable. Currently, community-based nonprofits and county agencies have that responsibility. Families and advocates reportedly are worried that the insurance companies lack experience in managing statewide programs of this complexity and may make decisions based on profit motives rather than on the wellbeing of disabled individuals. The switch from government and nonprofit oversight to for-profit management is under consideration in Louisiana and New Hampshire.

Late Payments, Management Problems Cost Pennsylvania Taxpayers $7 million
Lax management, unfair bidding practices, and late payments to contracted home care providers cost Pennsylvania taxpayers $7 million, according to a new report from the Commonwealth’s Auditor General. The identified problems stemmed from a new contract between the Department of Public Welfare and a financial service provider that the Auditor General found was awarded based on preferential treatment. During the transition to the new provider, contracted home care workers did not receive payments for up to four months. These contract payments, which amount to the home care worker’s paychecks, cover medical services allowing elderly and those with disabilities to remain in their own homes. The lack of payments resulted in 1,600 patients obtaining services elsewhere, at a higher cost, when their home care providers were forced to leave their jobs.


Incoming Pittsburgh Mayor Opts for Confrontation, Collaboration - Simultaneously
The Mayor-Elect of Pittsburgh is pushing for changes that could have both negative and positive effects on local nonprofits. Even before being sworn in as Pittsburgh’s new Mayor, Bill Peduto is calling for an aggressive approach to extracting payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) from larger nonprofits by replacing the City’s annual agreements with the Pittsburgh Public Service Fund (PPSF) for millions of dollars with a longer-term agreement that would demand even more money. At the same time, he reportedly is creating anonprofit liaison office focused on working collaboratively with local nonprofits to improve the work being done in low-income communities. "We need to be able to create a city government that enables you to carry out your mission," the Mayor said to an annual convening of area nonprofits.

Additional State and Local Issues

Reality-Driven Policy Priorities
In Montana and elsewhere, it has proved difficult this year to gauge the effects on charitable nonprofits of congressional actions and inactions on such issues as the federal government shutdown, the fiscal cliff, arbitrary sequestration cuts, and the Affordable Care Act, to name only a few. In October, the Montana Nonprofit Association (MNA) asked charitable nonprofits “How are you faring?” Seventy organizations responded, and the results will be used to inform and motivate the State Association’s policy and advocacy work on the largest federal policy issues affecting nonprofits.

Here’s what MNA learned from survey participants:
  • More than two-fifths of nonprofit survey respondents say they were directly affected by the federal government shutdown. More than twenty percent of respondents said the services they provide were affected.
  • More than 40 percent of respondents also said they were directly affected by sequestration, the arbitrary, across-the-board federal spending cuts that started going into effect in March.
  • Only 56 percent of nonprofits say they understand and are prepared for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

MNA also received compelling, real-world stories from nonprofits. Here is one example:
“After having two years of primarily flat funding, sequestration reduced our funding levels by 5.27%. It was a major hit to our budget. The bills continue to come in and the cost of business continues to increase at a rate not adequately addressed by our funding. The needs in the community by low-income families continues to increase and demand for services is ongoing.”
MNA plans to continue offering surveys in the coming year so that it can develop and pursue public policy priorities based on its members’ experiences in the ever-changing operating environment in which nonprofits work.

© Copyright 2013 National Council of Nonprofits. All rights reserved 
1200 New York Avenue, NW | Suite 700 | Washington, DC 20005 |

Google Alert - Syracuse New York Nonprofit

Giving Tuesday promotes central New York's non-profits

Credit Central New York Community Foundation
Giving Tuesday is taking hold in central New York.
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday focus on spending for holiday gifts, a burgeoning movement is hoping to create that same kind of fervor when it comes to making charitable donations. Tomorrow has been dubbed Giving Tuesday in the world of non-profits.
Matt Seubert, Development Director of Enable and Transitional Living Services in Syracuse had never heard of Giving Tuesday when it started last year.
"Last year I was sitting at my desk on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, and we got an online gift for Giving Tuesday," Seubert said. "And I thought, I have no idea what that is.”
After a little research, he learned it was a national movement started in 2012 to create a national day of giving, following the heavily advertised shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Syracuse wasn’t heavily involved last year, but this year the Central New York Community Foundation is promoting the idea, according to the organization's president, Peter Dunn.
"We thought it would be interesting to help non-profits also think about mobilizing their constituencies through social media, through Twitter and Facebook," Dunn said. "So we created a $5,000 grant as an incentive for the non-profit who gets the most votes through those forms of communication.”
Dunn says votes are counted by the number of tweets or CNY Foundation Facebook mentions using #GivingTuesdayCNY.
"We thought it would be interesting to bring it to Syracuse to help non profits think about how to use social media this time of year, when a lot of giving happens anyway in anticipation of the year end, in order to qualify for tax deductions and whatnot," Dunn said. "Using social media is another way to mobilize support.”
As for Enable, Seubert says they are taking to social media in a way they haven’t before, using clients and employees to tell stories about the work they do, as they try to get enough votes to win that $5,000 prize.
Central New Yorkers can vote for their favorite charities starting at midnight tonight through midnight tomorrow.

HSLC Executive Director Position Announcement


Executive Director

Part-time – 20 hours

Human Services Leadership Council

The Human Services Leadership Council of Central New York’s mission is to improve the lives of the recipients of human services in central New York by facilitating growth in skills, knowledge, capacity and coordinated efforts of the not-for-profit human services agencies who serve them.

The Executive Director, under the guidance of the Steering Committee of HSLC, is responsible for overall operation of HSLC with ultimate approval of all fiscal, program, and employment decisions, functions, changes, policies and procedures.

Responsibilities include:  

  • In conjunction with the HSLC Steering Committee, monitor implementation of the Strategic Plan.
  • Identify local training opportunities for HSLC members, with focus on strengthening organizational capacity.
  • Resource development: enhance access to data sets and contact people to facilitate collaborative joint activities and applications.
  • Plan for and attend all HSLC general and Steering Committee meetings and supply members with all information necessary for the execution of their duties. 
  • Serve as liaison to be voice and representative of HSLC members. Connect with industry sectors such as business, government, funders and community members.
  • Foster collaboration and regionalization by identifying opportunities, facilitating connections and sharing successful models used across the country.
  • Make recommendations to and implement decisions of the Steering Committee for all HSLC programming, funding, and operations.
  • Work closely with Steering Committee to ensure delivery of accurate, consistent and effective messages to members.
  • Research and make recommendations on replicable blue print models of collaboration used across the country.
  • Represent HSLC to the community to promote understanding and supportive relationships.
  • Serve as advocate to promote HSLC efforts locally, statewide, and nationally.
  • Oversee networking initiatives to include increasing and maintaining active email presence and enhancements to HSLC website functionality.
  • Administer HSLC annual budget and supervise any future fund raising efforts and  financial plans and operations.
  • Authorize the hiring, direction, management and termination of administrative staff employed by HSLC.
  • Build and maintain strong working relationships with government agencies, area businesses, funding sources, member programs, and other human service agencies.
  • Abide by a strict code of confidentiality in all matters related to the HSLC and its members.

Individual should have  experience in human service administration; demonstrated management experience including supervision of staff, budget, finance and fund development; awareness of and interest in the Central New York region human service providers and businesses; high level of initiative and creativity; proven ability to be an effective manager and leader; ability to handle a variety of tasks and responsibilities simultaneously and effectively; ability to work with diverse groups of people with diplomacy and discretion; ability to assume leadership in planning and programming for all areas of HSLC.

Candidates should send resumes to by December 16, 2013.

Randi K. Bregman, LMSW
Executive Director
Vera House, Inc.
6181 Thompson Road, Suite 100
Syracuse, New York  13206
24 Hour Support Line (315) 468-3260
Follow Vera House on: fb  twitterYouTube

Data Spurs Emergence of a "Digital Civil Society"

Press Release

Cheryl Loe
Communications Project Manager
The Foundation Center
(888) 356-0354 ext. 701
Jon Warne
Communications Officer
European Foundation Centre
+32 2 512 8938

Data Spurs Emergence of a "Digital Civil Society"

New Edition of Annual Blueprint Forecast Offers Insights,
Predictions for Philanthropy

New York, NY — December 4, 2013. Released today,Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2014 is the much anticipated annual forecast for the industry of philanthropy. Written by leading scholar Lucy Bernholz, the latest edition — which considers the European context for the first time in addition to the American landscape — explains the shifts that come as civil society is manifested in digital environments, including opportunities to establish a new standard of trust regarding how private data are used for public benefit. As data become more and more a part of our everyday lives, ethical challenges facing philanthropic enterprises of all types emerge.
"Now, more than ever, we need new frameworks to understand and shape philanthropy for the 21st century," said Lucy Bernholz, visiting scholar at Stanford University's Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society and author of Blueprint 2014. "I'm hopeful theBlueprint can further regional and global conversations about how philanthropy — in all its various forms — can best evolve to meet society's needs in this rapidly changing world."
The Blueprint is published by GrantCraft, a joint service of the New York-based Foundation Center and Brussels-based European Foundation Centre that taps the practical wisdom of funders to develop resources for the philanthropy sector. In addition to philanthropists, the Blueprint is a strategic resource for anyone using private resources for public benefit, including social business leaders, nonprofit and association executives, individual activists, and policymakers.
In this year's report, Bernholz presents her observations of European philanthropy, discusses how digital civil society can potentially change the root structures of the social economy, makes predictions for 2014 (and revisits those she made for 2013), and considers the reach of the "civic technology" efforts of governments and technologists to engage citizens.
"As changemakers strive to make the world a better place, Lucy Bernholz has their backs by looking ahead," said Bradford K. Smith, president of the Foundation Center. "Everyone in the social sector can benefit from Lucy's perceptive observations and insights on where we are now, where we are headed, and most importantly, where we should be headed."
A highlight of each year's Blueprint is a list of emerging philanthropy-related buzzwords ("privacy" ranks number one this time around). The Blueprint also lists wildcard world events — unanticipated legislation, scandals, or disasters — that have the potential to mitigate or accelerate the timing of big shifts in the social economy. One of Bernholz's predictions for 2014 is that a major crowdfunding scandal will draw scrupulous attention to online fundraising platforms.
In her career as a consultant, writer, and blogger, Bernholz has established herself as an incisive authority in the complex arena of data and philanthropy. The Huffington Post calls Bernholz a "philanthropy game changer," Fast Company magazine named her Philanthropy2173 blog "Best in Class," and she has been named toThe Nonprofit Times' annual list of 50 most influential people. Throughout 2014, Bernholz will continue to investigate and cultivate conversations around the ideas in Blueprint at theGrantCraft blog and on Philanthropy2173.
Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2014 can be downloaded for free at and discussed online using #blueprint14.

About the Foundation Center
Established in 1956, the Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Through data, analysis, and training, it connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to succeed. The Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers and their grants — a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level. Thousands of people visit the Center's web site each day and are served in its five regional library/learning centers and at more than 470 Funding Information Network locations nationwide and around the world. For more information, please or call (212) 620-4230.
About the European Foundation Centre
The European Foundation Centre, founded in 1989, is an international membership association representing public-benefit foundations and corporate funders active in philanthropy in Europe, and beyond. The Centre develops and pursues activities in line with its four key objectives: creating an enabling legal and fiscal environment; documenting the foundation landscape; building the capacity of foundation professionals; and promoting collaboration, both among foundations and between foundations and other actors. Emphasising transparency and best practice, all members sign up to and uphold the European Foundation Centre Principles of Good Practice. For more information, please visit
The Foundation Center • 79 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003 •(212) 620-4230