New York Nonprofits is the monthly newsletter of the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York, Inc. Select articles are available only to NPCC members. To receive a print edition of New York Nonprofits, join us at www.npccny.org/howto.htm.


September 2014, Volume 31, No. 9
Audit Survey
Nonprofit Excellence Awards Findings
NPCC Staff Changes
D&O Feature
America Gives More Act
Voter Guide
Free Translations
Software Guide
Storymakers Competition
40 Rising Stars
Tech Staffing

New NPCC Members
Space Ads
Workshop Calendar

August 2014, Volume 31, No. 8
Nonprofit Excellence Awards Semifinalists Announced
Audit Survey
NYC’s Sick Time Leave
Proposed Finance Rule
NYS Grants Streamlining
From the AG’s Office
CRE Leadership Caucus
New Financial Certificate Program
OMB Guidance Survey
Social Innovation Fellowship
Election Season Guidance
Webinar Discounts


 

Audit Survey

NPCC is surveying members to find out the audit firms they use and associated costs.

The survey is for nonprofits that are required to or choose to retain an outside CPA firm to audit their financial records. Results will be anonymous and displayed in aggregate form by operating budget size and by subsector (arts, health, etc.). The results will not identify firms in relationship to fees reported nor to any comments received.

The survey will take five minutes. If your organization hires an independent auditor, please help us help the nonprofit community and complete the survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/npcc-audit.

 

Nonprofit Excellence Awards Findings

A recent survey of the applicants for the 2014 New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Awards found that the application process alone helps nonprofits improve management in eight key areas, including: management focus on results; governance structure; financial management; diverse and responsive organizational practices; human resources; information technology practices; communications; and fundraising and resource development.

“We created this program to provide nonprofits with a free, fast way to improve management practices. It provides an opportunity to hit the pause button, conduct an internal assessment, and get feedback from experts on how they can improve management practices. This survey proves what we’ve said all along: this isn’t about winning, it’s about participating,” said Michael Clark, president of the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York.

Among the findings: 72% of respondents say they made improvements in management practices as a result of the application process (top areas of improvement include: communications, board governance, and focus on results). 75% of respondents plan to make additional improvements to management practices. 58% of respondents report identifying a management weakness they were previously unaware of. These findings do not include the impact of the feedback offered to all applicants by the awards’ panel of management experts, which further helps improve practices and outcomes.

Now in its eighth year, the Awards program has received more than 630 qualified applications. Since the Awards’ inception, 23 organizations have been recognized for outstanding management practices, such as creating online outcomes tracking systems, budgeting for financial stability and future growth, and implementing a training program on organizational values for prospective employees.

Six finalists will be announced in October, and in November, three winning organizations will be honored at an Awards presentation.

NPCC created the Nonprofit Excellence Awards in 2007 and manages the program in collaboration with The New York Community Trust and Philanthropy New York. Along with co-sponsor WNYC, the program is also supported by The Clark Foundation, Ford Foundation, Google, Taconic Foundation, McGladrey LLP, Fund for the City of New York, and Programs in Social Enterprise in Executive Education at Columbia Business School. Read more at www.npccny.org/info/awards.htm and at neawards.tumblr.com.

 

NPCC Staff Changes

Marcia Brown, NPCC’s long-time director of programs, will be leaving NPCC as of September 5. During Marcia’s nearly 20 years at NPCC, she developed more than 800 workshops for NPCC member organizations, making them one of our most popular member services. She has provided information and referrals in person, by phone and by email to thousands of NPCC members on questions ranging from finding a good maternity leave policy to health insurance coverage for a one-person office to finding a meeting space for 400 people (preferably for free and needed in two days). Finally, Marcia helped build and develop many of NPCC’s vendor services, working with companies like Staples and Paychex to secure savings and services for our members. Throughout her tenure, Marcia’s unwavering concern and affection for NPCC’s members were always evident and she will be sorely missed.

As of September 8, Melkis Alvarez-Baez, currently associate director for special programs, and Danielle Penabad, currently membership and outreach director, will assume the positions, respectively, of director of programs and director of member services.

Melkis can be reached at malvarez@npccny.org or 212-502-4191 extension 225. Danielle can be reached at dpenabad@npccny.org or 212-502-4191 extension 230.

NPCC’s bookkeeping and financial management has been outsourced to Kiwi Partners, a New York based accounting and bookkeeping firm that specializes in nonprofit services.

 

D&O Feature

If you are renewing your directors and officers liability insurance policy through NPCC or enrolling for the first time, please be aware of an additional choice you need to make when reviewing the proposal sent to you by Crystal & Company.

The D&O policy provides that the limit of liability available to pay judgments or settlements will be reduced by amounts incurred for legal defense. Those amounts are applied against the retention amount of the policy. In other words, unless a separate limit for defense costs is purchased (see below), the aggregate limit of the policy will be reduced by the incurring of defense costs. For example, if your policy limit is $1 million for D&O/EPL (employment practices liability) and a claim is received and incurs $100,000 in defense costs, the aggregate limit for the policy will be reduced by $100,000. With respect to the retention amount, the incurring of defense costs will also be factored into the out-of-pocket expenses before coverage will apply. The retention amount that must be met prior to insurance kicking in is specific to each member’s policy. Please refer to the declarations page of your current policy in order to find your corresponding retention amount.

Note, however, that the policy offered by Hiscox offers the option to purchase a separate $1 million limit for defense costs, providing a separate $1 million of coverage strictly for the payment of legal fees. With this limit, the first $1 million of legal fees incurred would not draw down on the policy’s aggregate limit of $1 million for D&O/EPL lawsuits, settlements and judgments. The cost for this additional limit is 4% of the annual premium and as such it is additional coverage you may want to consider. For more information, contact Michael.Santocki@crystalco.com or Robert.Panza@crystalco.com at Crystal & Co., Inc. Read more about D&O coverage at www.npccny.org/info/oi2.htm.

 

America Gives More Act

We have the opportunity to ensure that nonprofits won’t have to ask Congress every year to extend charitable giving incentives that Congress has approved for the past decade. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the America Gives More Act in July by a strong, bi-partisan vote. The legislation promotes giving back to communities in several ways: it renews and makes permanent expired charitable giving incentives that promote donations of nutritious food to food banks, conservation of land, and contributions from individual retirement accounts directly to charitable nonprofits. The measure would simplify a foundation excise tax, making more funds available for good works. The bill also would permit taxpayers to claim charitable deductions from the previous year up through April 15.

When Congress returns to DC. in September, there are barely a dozen legislative days left before it adjourns for the November elections. This means that Senators must return to Washington in September committed to passing the America Gives More Act as quickly as possible. And they must make known to their Senate leaders their commitment to passing the bill that is important to their communities and constituents before leaving D.C. to campaign for re-election.

NPCC has sample language for a letter, phone call or text at www.npccny.org/info/AmericaGivesMoreAct.doc. Read more at www.councilofnonprofits.org/america-gives-more-act.

 

Voter Guide

The League of Women Voters has a new voter guide where users can enter their address and receive a personalized ballot with information about the candidates running for office in their area. It’s at www.vote411.org. A voter guide, including candidates and Senate and Assembly districts that have a primary and additional resources such as a poll site locator, is at www.lwvnyc.org.

 

Free Translations

The Translation Program at the Asian/American Center of Queens College provides nonprofit and other community organizations free written translations of materials from English into Chinese, Korean, and Spanish. The program serves any nonprofit organization in the five boroughs, including schools, government agencies, health care, youth and senior groups, and community organizations. For guidelines visit www.qc.cuny.edu/Translation.

 

Software Guide

Idealware has published the 2014 Field Guide to Software for Nonprofits, a handy reference book on the different types of software available. The 220-page book offers information on every type of software from fundraising to collaboration and back-office to measurement. It offers an overview of the different tools and what you can use them for, the options widely used by other nonprofits, and guidance on where to seek out more information. For the 2014 edition, they’ve added new research and recommendations, up-to-the minute listings of software rates and features, and insight into software and technology on the cutting edge.

The publication costs $20 and is available at www.idealware.org/reports/2014-field-guide-software-nonprofits.

 

Storymakers Competition

TechSoup is accepting applications through September 26 for its annual digital storytelling challenge, Storymakers. Submit your two-minute digital video, five-photo slideshow, super-short video (or all three) for the chance to win a cash prize. You can also sign up for their series of free webinars to learn digital storytelling tips and tricks to make your stories stand out and read tips on how to create low- or no-cost videos. Go to www.techsoup.org/community/community-initiatives/storymakers.

 

40 Rising Stars

City & State is accepting nominations for its 2014 top 40 Rising Stars for individuals under 40 years of age in New York City government, politics, advocacy and media. Nominations are due Friday, September 12 and selections will be announced at the end of September. Go to http://bit.ly/1wtI97a.

 

Tech Staffing

NTEN has released the 8th Annual Nonprofit Technology Staffing and Investments Report which collects nonprofit spending and practices data. The research provides valuable benchmarks to help assess and plan technology budgets and strategies.

It’s available for free at www.nten.org/research/the-8th-annual-nonprofit-technology-staffing-investments-report.

 

- - - August 2014, Volume 31, No. 8 - - -

 

Nonprofit Excellence Awards Semifinalists Announced

NPCC is delighted to announce the semifinalists for the 2014 New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Awards.

Bowery Residents’ Committee: This Manhattan-based organization is a leading provider of housing and services to more than 10,000 of New York City’s neediest individuals.

Community Access: Based in downtown Manhattan, this organization expands opportunities for people to recover from trauma, mental illness and discrimination through affordable housing, training, advocacy and healing-focused services.

Equal Justice USA:This Brooklyn-based national organization works to make our criminal justice system fair and effective by ending the death penalty, strengthening programs that help crime survivors address trauma and rebuild their lives, promoting constructive responses to violence, and enacting other common sense criminal justice reforms.

Girls Write Now: Based in Manhattan, this organization provides guidance, support, and opportunities for at-risk and underserved girls from New York City’s public high schools to develop their creative, independent voices, explore careers in professional writing, and learn how to make healthy school, career and life choices.

Graham Windham: Since its founding in 1806, Graham Windham has been a vital force in providing innovative child welfare, educational, vocational, youth development and other social service programs to help New York City's children and families achieve life-changing outcomes.

Leake & Watts: From their roots as an orphanage supporting vulnerable children founded in 1831, Leake & Watts helps over 5000 children, adults and families in need to create strong foundations for success in the five core areas of child welfare, special education, early education, developmental disabilities services and juvenile justice services each day.

Planned Parenthood of New York City: For nearly 100 years, this organization has been providing affordable sexual and reproductive health services and information to individuals regardless of income, ethnicity, immigrations status or sexual orientation.

Row New York: Based in Queens and Manhattan, this organization empowers youth from under-resourced communities to build strength, gain confidence, and pursue excellence through the competitive sport of rowing, paired with academic support.

Safe Horizon: With 57 programs in all five boroughs, Safe Horizon provides support, prevents violence and promotes justice for victims of violence and abuse, their families and communities.

Washington Heights CORNER Project: Based in Washington Heights, this organization seeks to better the lives and health of those who use drugs through outreach programs, education, and referral services.

Read the full press release here.

Six finalists will be announced in early October and visited by the program’s selection committee. Three organizations will be honored at a special presentation in November 2014. Winning organizations will receive $60,000 in cash awards, special mention on WNYC, and tuition scholarships for Programs in Social Enterprise in Executive Education at Columbia Business School.

The Awards are produced by NPCC, The New York Community Trust and Philanthropy New York, and are sponsored by WNYC. Additional financial and in-kind support is provided by The Clark Foundation, Ford Foundation, Google, Taconic Foundation, McGladrey LLP, Fund for the City of New York and Programs in Social Enterprise in Executive Education at Columbia Business School. Now in its eighth year, the program teaches, recognizes and encourages outstanding management practices among New York’s large and diverse nonprofit community. Read more about the program, including the selection committee members and Eight Areas of Nonprofit Excellence, at www.npccny.org/info/awards.htm.

 

Audit Survey

To help guide nonprofit managers, NPCC is surveying members to find out the audit firms they use and associated costs.

The survey is for organizations that are required to or choose to retain an outside CPA firm to audit their financial records. Results will be anonymous and displayed in aggregate form by operating budget size and by subsector (arts, health, etc.). The results will not identify firms in relationship to fees reported nor to any comments received.

The survey will take five minutes to complete and will be open until August 22.

If your organization hires an independent auditor, please help us help the nonprofit community and complete the survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/npcc-audit.

 

NYC’s Sick Time Leave

New York City’s Earned Sick Time law became effective July 30. It requires most employers with five or more employees in New York City to provide up to five paid sick days per year to each employee. Read more and download guidance at www.npccny.org/info/pmei34.htm.

 

Proposed Finance Rule

The New York City Department of Finance has issued a proposed rules amendment on the penalties assessed on owners of income-producing property who fail to file timely income and expense reports. The proposed rules amendments will actually reduce the penalties for failure to file income and expense statements.

A public hearing will be held September 3; the deadline to submit written comments is September 3. See www.nyc.gov/html/dof/downloads/pdf/rules/proposed_amendment_rules_rpie_nonfilers.pdf.

 

NYS Grants Streamlining

The New York State Division of Budget has released Revised Budget Bulletin H-1032 which addresses its grants streamlining reform effort. It includes notice that state agencies should no longer execute contracts for grants under $10,000 in value and instead issue purchase orders with a “letter of agreement.” And, it encourages state agencies to move from an April 1 start date for contracts to June, July or August start dates to allow agencies to properly contract with nonprofits.

The bulletin is at www.budget.ny.gov/guide/bprm/bulletins/h-1032rev.html. Organizations that need to update their bylaws and other documents should not wait until September 30 if they need to submit revised documents to the NYS Grants Gateway system.

 

From the AG’s Office

The NYS Attorney General’s Charities Bureau continues to add guidance on the implementation of the Nonprofit Revitalization Act, including audit threshold and fee changes, dissolutions with assets or without assets, mergers and consolidations, and sales and other dispositions of assets. Go to www.charitiesnys.com/nonprofit_rev_act_guidance.jsp.

An updated CHAR500 is now available at www.charitiesnys.com/pdfs/CHAR500_2013_June2014.pdf. The update reflects the fee and CPA audit threshold changes that came into effect July 1. Organizations with an original or extended due date after July 1 should use the new CHAR500. All forms and instructions are at www.charitiesnys.com/charindex_new.jsp.

 

CRE Leadership Caucus

CRE is accepting applications for its 2014-2015 Leadership Caucus to strengthen the capabilities of nonprofit leaders by providing early career executive directors and senior managers a forum to: discuss challenging leadership and management issues; reflect on the impact of their leadership practices; and support the application of principles and tools from current thinking in leadership and management to their own organizations.

The caucus is for executive directors who have been in their current position five years or less and senior staff with significant management responsibilities. The total time commitment is approximately eight days over eight months. The program costs $7,000; some scholarship funding is available. The deadline is October 31. More information is at www.crenyc.org/Leadership_Caucus or contact Jeff Ballow at jballow@crenyc.org.

 

New Financial Certificate Program

Baruch College School of Public Affairs is offering a new certificate program, Financial Management and Reporting, on Wednesday evenings from October 1 to December 3.

The program provides training in financial management concepts and principles as well as the reporting requirements for nonprofit organizations. It covers a wide range of accounting, financial and regulatory concepts specific to nonprofit operations, including accounting system and control environment, proper and effective budgeting techniques, grant reporting, handling a federal, state, compliance and financial audit, and more.

The fee for the 10-session course is $1,980. Information is at www.baruch.cuny.edu/spa/academics/leadershipprograms/index.php.

 

OMB Guidance Survey

Changes in regulations by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) effecting federal grants go into effect on December 26. These apply to nonprofits with grants directly from the federal government and those receiving federal grant funds indirectly through pass-through entities (usually states and local governments). Within the new OMB Uniform Guidance is a requirement that pass-through entities pay nonprofits for their indirect costs. The National Council of Nonprofits and NPCC want to make sure that New York implements this new requirement as OMB intended so that you actually receive additional reimbursement to offset your indirect costs.

Help us by completing a short survey (five minutes, tops) at www.surveymonkey.com/s/NonprofitReformSurvey.

 

Social Innovation Fellowship

The Macquarie Group Foundation invites eligible New York City nonprofit CEOs/EDs to apply for the Macquarie David Clarke Social Innovation Fellowship. The fellowship will be presented biennially to the CEO of a registered 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in New York City to visit and research best practice social innovation around the world. The recipient will receive up to $20,000 to cover airfare, accommodation and other associated costs. The application deadline is October 1. For more information and to apply, visit www.macquarie.com/mgl/com/foundation/fellowship-us or email foundation.americas@macquarie.com.

 

Election Season Guidance

501(c)(3) organizations may engage in many forms of advocacy, including nonpartisan election-related activity. However, resources may not be used for partisan political activities, including supporting or opposing a political party or organization or supporting or opposing candidates for public office. In an election year, it is especially important for organizations to remind their staff and volunteers that certain election activities on behalf of the 501(c)(3), or using the resources of the 501(c)(3), are prohibited.

Alliance for Justice has a sample policy for organizations to adapt and provide to employees and volunteers to help clarify allowable activities at http://bit.ly/1uESzQG.

 

Webinar Discounts

Through NPCC’s membership in the National Council of Nonprofits, NPCC members are eligible to receive a discount on two Foundation Center webinars: a three-part session, “Sustainable Funding Equals Greater Impact,” September 16, 23 and 30; and a four-part series, “More Asking, Less Writing,” October 8, 15, 22, and 29.

Members can purchase individual sessions for $75 ($20 savings) or an entire series for $250 ($49 savings). Registration includes access to the webinar recordings in case you can’t make it to the live event.  The discount code and registration site is at www.npccny.org/members_only/FCwebinars14.htm.

 

Welcome New NPCC Members

new 501(c)(3) members joined between May 1 - June 30, 2014

Bridge to Life  •  Brooklyn Ice Inc  •  CEKPET  •  City Growers Inc.  •  Crutches4Kids  •  GP Dementia Services New York Inc.  •  Harlem Seeds  •  HelpUsAdopt.org  •  Kids to Save the Planet Inc. DBA StudentKind, Inc.  •  Making Books Sing  •  New York Legal Assistance Group  •  New York Shakespeare Exchange  •  PennPAC  •  PortSide New York  •  Reprieve US  •  Rondo Young Artist Festival  •  Trees New York  •  Turkish Philanthropy Funds  •  Tusk USA Inc.  •  Ziegfeld Club

see the complete list of NPCC members at www.npccny.org/memberlist.htm

New York Nonprofits
Copyright © 2014
Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York, Inc.
135 West 36th Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10018
Daniel J. Myers, writer & editor & website
dmyers @ npccny.org
fax 212-502-4189
www.npccny.org

Select articles may be reprinted in print form only (they may not be reprinted in any medium other than print) with the express permission of the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York, Inc.

New York Nonprofits is a monthly publication of the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York, Inc. (NPCC). NPCC was established in 1984 to help nonprofits meet common challenges and problems, to serve as a meeting ground, and to strengthen the nonprofit sector as a whole. NPCC has nearly 1,600 members in the New York metropolitan area, ranging from all volunteer groups to major institutions.

Membership in NPCC provides a place where your voice is heard and adds to the collective voice of the nonprofit community.

Dues for 501(c)(3) nonprofits (that are not grantmakers) are based upon the organization's annual operating budget, and are as follows:

Operating Budget . . . . . . . . . Dues
$0 - $124,999 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$ 35
$125,000 - $249,999 . . . . . . . . . $ 100
$250,000 - $499,999 . . . . . . . . . $ 250
$500,000 - $749,999 . . . . . . . . . $ 350
$750,000 - $999,999 . . . . . . . . . $ 475
$1,000,000 - $4,999,999 . . . . . . .$ 675
$5,000,000 - $9,999,999 . . . . . .$1,200
$10,000,000 + . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,500

Grantmaking Member . . . . .$3,000 (requested)
. . . $1,500 (minimum)

The following memberships are for those who are not affiliated with a 501(c)(3) organization:

Corporate Member . . . . .$3,000 (requested)
. . . . $1,500 (minimum)
Individual Sustainer . . . . . . . . $1,000
Individual Member . . . . . . . . .$100
Student Member . . . . . . . . . .$15 (with valid, current ID)

Please visit www.npccny.org/howto.htm for more information on NPCC membership.

Board Officers: John Craig, chair; Michael Clark, president; vice chairs: Robert Acton, Ian J. Benjamin, Joyce M. Bove, Richard Burns, Gregory Cohen, Barbara Schatz; Charlene Laniewski, treasurer; Merble Reagon, secretary.

Board Members: Victoria Bailey, Miriam Buhl, Leslie Goldman, Bernell Grier, Ronda Kotelchuck, Patricia Kozu, Antoinette La Belle, Sheila Lewandowski, Roland Lewis, Carolyn McLaughlin, Cao K. O, Stephanie Palmer, Karen Pearl, Michael Seltzer, Emily Smith, Sarah Sung, Bobby Watts.

Staff & Consultants : Michael Clark, president
Peter Swords, Esq., president emeritus
Jonathan A. Small, Esq., president emeritus
Marcia Brown, director of programs
Danielle Penabad, membership & outreach director
Melkis Alvarez-Baez, associate director, special projects
Constance Ferber, administrative director
Kristen Jones, executive coordinator
Robert J. Vanni, senior consultant, Government Relations

Copyright © 2014 Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York, Inc. New York Nonprofits is published twelve times a year. Select articles may be reprinted in print form (they may not be printed in any medium other than print form) with the express permission of the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York, Inc.
Daniel Myers, editor, writer, & design, New York Nonprofits

Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York, Inc.
135 West 36th Street, 15th Floor
New York, New York 10018

phone: 212-502-4191
www.npccny.org