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.


December 2014, Volume 31, No. 12
Nonprofit Excellence Awards Winners
Unemployment Insurance Trust
NPCC Member Survey
New: .nyc
GuideStar: Diversity
Timesheets for Advocacy
New York Pooled PRI
New NPCC Members
Space Ads
Workshop Calendar

November 2014, Volume 31, No. 11
Nonprofit Excellence Awards Best Practices Workshop & Awards Presentation
Audit Survey Results Available
Sample Conflict of Interest Policy
NYC Exempt Property Tax Filing
Nonprofit Sector Brief
Overhead Myth Campaign
Allowable Deductions From Employee Wages
Google for Nonprofits
PennPAC Consultants
Dollar a Day
Intranet Competition
Assess Before You Express
Taproot+
Stand for Your Mission
Defining the Right Data


 

Nonprofit Excellence Award Winners

NPCC is delighted to announce the three New York City nonprofits receiving the 2014 New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Awards, which recognizes outstanding management practices of nonprofits in New York City, Long Island and Westchester.

Leake & Watts won the Gold Prize for Overall Management Excellence, Row New York won the Silver Prize and Graham Windham the Bronze Prize for Management Excellence. The winners were announced November 20 at a Best Practices Workshop & Awards Presentation held at Citi’s auditorium in Manhattan. The winners received cash awards of $30,000, $20,000, and $10,000, respectively, as well as six full scholarships for Columbia Business School Executive Education Programs in Social Enterprise.

The winning organizations were selected for their use of excellent management practices to turn around a failing organization, to strategically manage growth of a young organization, and to review and improve an organization’s ability to realize its mission, respectively. The winners were selected by a panel of 30 nonprofit management experts. A total of 77 organizations applied for this year’s Awards, up 25 percent from 2013.

All three winners serve New York City’s at-risk youth, the first time in the program’s eight year history that the winners serve a similar population, although with different services and goals. Row New York, founded in 2002, is the smallest and youngest with a budget of $1.8 million, and 24 full time staff members. Graham Windham, founded in 1806, is the oldest. Leake & Watts has the largest budget, at nearly $75 million.

Founded as an orphanage in 1831, Leake & Watts today provides support to thousands of children, adults and families so they can achieve success tomorrow through a wide variety of early childhood, child welfare, developmental disabilities, special education, and juvenile justice programs. Five years ago, the organization was operating with a multi-million dollar deficit and 80 percent of its programs were in Corrective Action, as identified by the Administration of Children’s Services. Today, it operates with a surplus, has had clean audits for the past two years, and is routinely cited for its excellent program practices and outcomes. The turnaround is the result of implementing robust management practices across the board, including financial management that focuses on rate maximization and program utilization; competency-based hiring and focus on employee satisfaction; strong collaboration among the board, executive director, and staff; employing performance effectiveness indicators beyond those prescribed by grants; and, developing an agency-wide culture focused on results. Read about their practices at http://npexcellence.fcny.org/npea/practices/Examples_of_Excellence_-_Leake__Watts.pdf.

Row New York, based in Queens and Manhattan, empowers youth from under-resourced communities to build strength, gain confidence, and pursue excellence through the competitive sport of rowing, paired with academic support. Row New York is the first Queens-based nonprofit to win the Award. The organization has seen tremendous growth in the last few years, but its expansion has been thoughtful, analytic, and strategic—including having to say “no” when the opportunity for growth threatened their strength and sustainability. Today it not only serves more teens, but also has stronger outcomes thanks to its commitment to and culture of continuous learning, focus on results, and use of strategic partnerships. Its action plans for participating youth incorporate metrics on academics, physical fitness, and social emotional learning and have led to the hiring of a director of academics and college readiness to ensure that program graduates complete college. Row New York has effectively engaged strategic consultants to: improve program goals and develop metrics; enhance the board’s committee structure and board expectations; and develop a financial model for expansion. Read about their examples of excellence at http://npexcellence.fcny.org/npea/practices/Examples_of_Excellence_-_Row_New_York.pdf.

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 that help New York City children and families achieve life-changing outcomes. In 2009, the board and senior management of the nearly 220-year-old organization began a re-visioning process informed by its review of the organization’s performance, impact and outcomes. As a result, Graham Windham refreshed its mission, clarifying its fundamental commitment to children who have experienced childhood neglect and trauma. It also phased out programs that were deemed off-mission, assessed the effectiveness of each of its core approaches, integrated its work across programs, and implemented a series of major practice advancements. Informed by advisory groups of those it serves, and co-led by staff and board, Graham Windham sets annually almost 50 mission-aligned goals and over 100 targets to assess performance. The board has an impressive committee structure, including a Program Performance Committee, to ensure intense board member participation. Each board member serves as an ambassador for Graham Windham, and many participate in its campaigns to shape policy at the local level. Read about their examples of excellence at http://npexcellence.fcny.org/npea/practices/Examples_of_Excellence_-_Graham_Windham.pdf.

The Awards program is an opportunity for nonprofits to improve their management practices in eight areas: focus on results; governance structure; financial management; human resources; diversity and responsiveness; information technology; communications; and fundraising. All applicants are eligible to receive 360-degree feedback on their management practices from the Selection Committee.

NPCC created the Nonprofit Excellence Awards in 2007 and serves as the program’s tax-exempt manager, in collaboration with The New York Community Trust and Philanthropy New York. Along with sponsor WNYC, the program is supported by The Clark Foundation, Ford Foundation, Google, Taconic Foundation, McGladrey LLP, Fund for the City of New York, and Columbia Business School Executive Education Programs in Social Enterprise. More information about the Awards, including the guiding Eight Key Areas of Nonprofit Excellence and a list of its Selection Committee members, can be found at www.npccny.org/info/awards.htm or at http://npexcellence.fcny.org.

 

 

Unemployment Insurance Trust
Opt-Out Deadline Approaching

New York nonprofits have three options in providing unemployment benefits to their employees: they can pay into the State’s unemployment insurance fund; they can reimburse the State on a dollar-per-dollar basis when a claim arises; or, they can join an independent unemployment program.

NPCC has partnered with the Unemployment Services Trust (UST) to help members safely opt out of the State unemployment system. UST is a not-for-profit grantor trust founded to help nonprofits build a reserve of funds with stop-loss protection; continually monitor claims; provide hearing and HR support; and, save up to 60% off the state’s tax rate.

If your organization has been thinking about leaving the State unemployment insurance system, you need to complete an evaluation with UST by December 15 to opt out of the State’s unemployment fund for 2015. Organizations with 10 or more employees are the best fit to join the program; those with fewer than 10 employees will find it best to stay with the State’s system. Groups that have had few unemployment claims are probably putting more into the State’s system than they’re getting out, and using UST may help save them money.

Complete a savings evaluation by December 15 at http://bit.ly/ustsave.

 

NPCC is on AmazonSmile
Amazon will donate 0.5% of
your eligible purchases to NPCC

when you log in to http://smile.amazon.com/ch/13-3216408 and shop. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know: same products and same prices. It’s easy and free to start helping NPCC.

 

 

NPCC Member Survey

Each year, we ask our 501(c)(3) members for feedback on our programs and services. We encourage everyone at an organization to complete the survey, particularly those that come to workshops, read this newsletter, use the D&O liability program, Paychex or Staples or other cost-saving programs, or read our management and operations tips. Those who aren’t familiar with NPCC’s services might want to take a look at the survey, as it gives a quick overview of our wide-ranging programs.

If you have any questions, contact Danielle Penabad at NPCC at dpenabad@npccny.org or 212-502-4191, extension 230.

Please complete the survey and share it with all of your staff who use our services: www.surveymonkey.com/s/2014NPCCMemberSurvey.

 

New: .nyc

A new class of generic top level domains is now available to businesses, organizations and individuals with a physical address in New York City: .nyc. New Yorkers can register their own personalized .nyc web addresses and select an independent domain name retailer. Domain names are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Go to www.ownit.nyc.

 

GuideStar: Diversity

GuideStar has launched a new way to help set standards for how data about diversity within the nonprofit sector is collected. In collaboration with the D5 Coalition and others, it developed the data standards to advance transparent and uniform data collection about staff, board, and volunteer demographics in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. The voluntary program will appear within the GuideStar Exchange, the free component that encourages nonprofit transparency and allows nonprofits to supplement the public information that is available from the IRS.

The new data collection feature of the GuideStar Exchange provides recommended standards for organizations to voluntarily share information about the make up of board members, staff, and volunteers based on gender, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, and ability/disability. Organizations can enter this information into GuideStar Exchange, or they can integrate the standards into their own collection and reporting systems, such as voluntary surveys, annual assessments or client intake forms—whatever an organization determines is the best mechanism.

For more information, go to www.guidestar.org/rxg/update-nonprofit-report/index.aspx.

 

 

Timesheets for Advocacy

Good recordkeeping helps an organization report how grant dollars were spent, and demonstrate its quantitative and qualitative work. BolderAdvocacy, an initiative of Alliance for Justice, has an article, Keeping Track: A Guide to Recordkeeping for Advocacy Charities, to help nonprofits comply with federal tax law by tracking their lobbying activities. It includes sample forms and describes the options for tracking staff time, overhead expenses and direct costs. It’s at http://bolderadvocacy.org/resource/keeping-track-a-guide-to-recordkeeping-for-advocacy-charities.

A related piece that offers sample timesheets is at http://bolderadvocacy.org/sample-timesheets.

 

New York Pooled PRI

A new collective effort among a group of foundations — the New York Pooled PRI Fund (NYPRI) — will make capital available to nonprofit organizations working with and on behalf of low-income New Yorkers.

NYPRI will seek opportunities to help organizations increase their impact while offering the potential for some amount of financial return for its investors. Organizations may be involved in health and human services, housing, education and youth development, community and economic development, or the arts. NYPRI will make investments from $250,000 to $750,000 in the form of secured and unsecured loans, loan guarantees, equity and equity-like securities. Investments outside this range will be considered on an exceptional basis and/or alongside co-investors. Each investment made by NYPRI will be structured to qualify as a program-related investment for its participants. SeaChange Capital Partners will manage the fund. More information is at http://seachangecap.org/the-new-york-pooled-pri-fund.

 

 

- - - November 2014, Volume 31, No. 11 - - -

 

Nonprofit Excellence Awards Best Practices Workshop and Awards Presentation

Please join us on Thursday, November 20 from 2-5:30pm for the Best Practices Workshop and Awards Presentation for the 2014 New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Awards. Representatives from the three winning organizations will participate in a workshop interview and share their management strengths and the strategies and practices that led to their selection. The interview will be moderated by Carolyn McLaughlin, NPCC board member and retired executive director of BronxWorks. The presentation of the awards and a reception will follow the workshop.

The New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Awards encourage excellent management and governance practices by nonprofits and honor management excellence in the New York City area’s large and diverse nonprofit community. Now in its eighth year, the Awards program is produced by NPCC, The New York Community Trust and Philanthropy New York, and sponsored by WNYC.

The ten semifinalists and the six finalists are listed at neawards.tumblr.com along with posts from the selection committee panelists and highlights of the nonprofit applicants. More about the awards including Eight Areas of Nonprofit Excellence are at www.npccny.org/info/awards.htm and at npexcellence.fcny.org.

The event will be held at Citi, 399 Park Avenue in the 12th floor auditorium. All are welcome to attend the event, although there is a limit of two individuals per organization. Reservations are required. Go to npccny.org/workshop.htm to register.

 

Audit Survey Results Available

NPCC has released the results of its first-ever survey of what nonprofits reported they paid for their most recent certified financial report from CPA firms. We received 288 complete responses that are included in the survey results.

An audited financial statement can say much about your organization. It’s often one of the first documents that foundations, corporate funders, and some individual donors ask for, along with the IRS Form 990.

Many thanks to the members who completed the survey. We greatly appreciate your providing this illuminating data.

The results are at www.npccny.org/members_only/AuditSurveyResults2014.pdf.

 

 

Sample Conflict of Interest Policy

NPCC’s Government Relations Committee has crafted a sample Conflict of Interest policy that members can download and revise as needed.

New York State’s Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013 requires that every New York not-for-profit corporation, education corporation, religious corporation and charitable trust adopt a conflict of interest policy that complies with the requirements of the Act.

A New York charitable corporation’s conflict of interest policy must include, at a minimum: a definition of the circumstances that constitute a conflict of interest; the procedures for disclosing a conflict to the audit committee or, if there is no audit committee, the board of directors; a requirement that the person with the conflict not be present at or participate in board or committee deliberations or voting on the matter giving rise to the conflict; a prohibition against any attempt by the person with the conflict to influence improperly the deliberation or voting on the matter giving rise to the conflict; a requirement that the existence and resolution of the conflict be documented in the organization’s records, including the minutes of any meeting at which the conflict was discussed or voted on; and, procedures for disclosing, addressing and documenting related party transactions.

The sample policy is at www.npccny.org/members_only/Sample_Conflict_of_Interest_Policy.doc.

 

NYC Exempt Property Tax Filing

New York City nonprofits that own property are required to annually file with the city in order to maintain the tax-exempt status of their properties. A property’s not-for-profit exemption benefit falls into one of three categories: fully exempt, partially exempt or a contemplated use exemption. Recipients of not-for-profit exemptions must complete the renewal form to annually certify the use of the property.

The deadline for filing is January 5, 2015. NYC Finance began mailing letters to in mid-September. If you didn’t receive yours or are filing for property tax exemption for the first time, the forms and more information are at www.nyc.gov/html/dof/html/property/property_tax_reduc_non_profit.shtml.

 

Nonprofit Sector Brief

The Urban Institute has released the 2014 edition of The Nonprofit Sector in Brief, a compilation of the most recent data available on the nonprofit sector, including the number and finances of 501(c)(3)s, findings on contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations, and estimates on volunteering. It is available for free at urban.org/center/cnp/almanac/sector-in-brief.cfm.

 

Overhead Myth Campaign

In 2013, GuideStar, BBB Wise Giving Alliance and Charity Navigator began a campaign to end the overhead myth—the false conception that financial ratios are the only indicator of nonprofit performance. They’ve now released a second letter with a set of steps that nonprofits can take to move beyond this myth, and help focus donors’ attention on what really matters: your organization’s efforts to make the world a better place.  Read more, join the pledge, and share your thoughts at http://overheadmyth.com.

 

Allowable Deductions From Employee Wages

Lawyers Alliance for New York has released a new memo discussing the final regulations issued by the New York Commissioner of Labor on what expenses an employer is permitted to deduct from an employee’s wages.

It’s at http://bit.ly/1s90QpD.

 

Google for Nonprofits

The Google for Nonprofits program offers a suite of tools that are free to U.S.-based 501(c)(3) nonprofits for mail, calendar and document management. Other programs include AdWords to drive more traffic to your website; Analytics to help you learn how people find your website and what they do once they’re there; YouTube, where you can share your organization’s story; OneToday, their new social micro-donation app; and Earth/Geo for maps and satellite images to help visualize your organization’s cause. There also are other tools such as Forms and Sites, Voice, and Translate that groups can use.

More information, including videos, is at www.google.com/nonprofits.

 

PennPAC Consultants

PennPAC is seeking nonprofit applicants for its Spring 2015 season of consulting grants in New York City. Their six-person teams provide 8-10 week, project based, strategic consulting engagements. PennPAC’s University of Pennsylvania alumni volunteers perform engagements customized to meet a nonprofit’s needs. Applications are due by December 3 for projects starting in early March 2015.  Contact nonprofits@pennpac.org with any questions. Applications and more information are at www.pennpac.org.

 

Dollar a Day

Kickstarter’s founder and others have started a new nonprofit, Dollar a Day, where donors contribute $30 per month, or $1 per day to a nonprofit. They select innovative and high impact nonprofits with track records in education, health, economic development, arts and culture, environment, and human rights, and highlight one organization a day on their website.

More information is at https://dollaraday.co. The FAQs at https://dollaraday.co/faq include instructions on how to nominate a nonprofit.

 

Intranet Competition

Interact Intranet, an intranet software provider, is running its third annual nonprofit competition where one nonprofit will be provided with a $60,000-value intranet, including consulting and training. There is no charge to enter. The application deadline is November 28. Details are at www.interact-intranet.com/nonprofit-competition.

 

Assess Before You Express

Spitfire Strategies has released SmartScan, a free online resource to help nonprofits assess their communications practices in four areas: identity and branding; communications planning; best practices such as storytelling, media relations, and use of social media; and measurement of impact.

Users can pick one or more combinations of the modules to help review their organization. Go to www.spitfiresmartscan.org.

 

Taproot+

Taproot Foundation has launched Taproot+, a site that allows nonprofits to post descriptions of the short-term projects for which they are seeking pro bono assistance in executing, and “skilled” volunteers can peruse the listings. Taproot will help define and clarify projects which are generally supposed to occur within a 4-6 week time frame, and include everything from business development, design, media relations, human resources, to videography.

Go to https://taprootplus.org.

 

Stand for Your Mission

The Stand for Your Mission campaign is a challenge to nonprofit decision-makers to stand up for the organizations they believe in by actively representing their organization’s mission and values, and creating public will for positive social change. The goals of the campaign are to: bring about a sustainable shift in the understanding and expectations around board engagement in advocacy; move advocacy from an ancillary to a key board leadership role; and strengthen the nonprofit sector’s ability to advance the public good.

Read more at standforyourmission.org.

 

Defining the Right Data

NTEN’s Getting Started With Data-Driven Decision Making will help you think about how to use data to help your organization. An NTEN report on how nonprofits use data found that although some rely heavily on data, others do very little to measure their work or use it to inform other decisions.

If your organization hasn’t started measuring anything yet, it may not be as difficult as you fear. The workbook will help guide you in: figuring out what metrics are the right ones that will be useful but not require a ton of time to collect and understand; thinking through who will use the data; and, how to define and communicate data in order for your organization to make decisions.

It’s at www.nten.org/research/2013-data-workbook-download.

 

Columbia Business School is Proud to be a Sponsor of the
Nonprofit Excellence Awards

Behind every great cause is a great leader. Nonprofit organizations such as yours face greater complexity today than ever before, and with even more limited financial resources. This is why Columbia Business School Executive Education is proud to sponsor the New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Awards and awards tuition scholarships to their Programs in Social Enterprise.

Learn more about the Columbia programs…

 

Welcome New NPCC Members

new 501(c)(3) members joined between July 1 - September 30, 2014

Academy of Medical and Public  •  Health Services  •  Big Initiatives Inc.  •  Brooklyn Lifelong Learning, Inc.  •  Central Brooklyn Martin Luther King Commission  •  CHIP International, Inc.  •  Congregation Beth Elohim  •  Discover Outdoors Foundation  •  FamilyKind  •  Friends of Brooklyn Community Board 9, Inc.  •  Friends of the East River Esplanade  •  Good Neighbors of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, Inc.  •  Grameen PrimaCare  •  Green Beetz Inc.  •  Institute of Jewish Spirituality  •  Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy  •  LFA International Inc. DBA Library for All  •  Lilac Preservation Project  •  Long Island City Partnership, Inc.  •  MAPP International Productions  •  Mentoring In Medicine Inc  •  National CARES Mentoring Movement  •  Navy League New York Council  •  NCBW Community Services Fund  •  New Direction Services, Inc.  •  New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy  •  Not Another Child Inc.  •  One Brooklyn Fund, Inc  •  Pride Live Nation  •  Refugee Solidarity Network  •  Shantideva Meditation Center  •  Sinfonietta of Riverdale  •  Society of Voice Arts and Sciences  •  Students for Service  •  Suffolk Perinatal Coalition  •  TENET NYC Inc.  •  The Art of Problem Solving Foundation  •  The Bridge, Inc.  •  The Duke of Edinburghs International Award USA  •  The Neuropsychoanalysis Foundation  •  Vines NY  •  Yes She Can Incorporated

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

Board Members: Victoria Bailey, John E. Craig, Jr., 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 (BJ) Sung, G. Robert Watts.

Staff & Consultants : Michael Clark, president
Peter Swords, Esq., president emeritus
Jonathan A. Small, Esq., president emeritus
Melkis Alvarez-Baez, director of programs
Danielle Penabad, membership & outreach director
Constance Ferber, administrative director
Kristen Jones, executive coordinator
Nilanjan Bhattacharya, development associate
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