NYS Attorney General Releases Nonprofit Report


NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today unveiled a bold plan to reform and revitalize New York’s nonprofit sector. Announced before an audience of non-profit and business leaders, Attorney General Schneiderman’s plan includes legislation to eliminate outdated and costly burdens on nonprofits, strengthen oversight and accountability, and reaffirm his office’s commitment to policing fraud and abuse. Acknowledging that organizations throughout New York State face historic financial and strategic challenges, the Attorney General’s plan also includes several new partnerships with the business and academic communities to enhance nonprofit governance.

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

In 2011, Attorney General Schneiderman convened a Leadership Committee for Nonprofit Revitalization with 32 nonprofit leaders across the state to recommend proposals that would reduce regulatory burdens on nonprofits, while strengthening governance and accountability. Today’s legislative and reform initiatives, announced at a breakfast forum hosted by Crain’s, are responsive to the committee’s recommendations. They include the Nonprofit Revitalization Act, to be proposed by the Attorney General, and two initiatives, “New York on BOARD” and “Directors U,” designed to improve nonprofit governance. The Attorney General’s Charities Bureau, led by Bureau Chief Jason Lilien, will assist in the development and promotion of these initiatives.

More Details & Full Report

President Proposes Budget Increases for Federal Endowments
The Chronicle of Higher Education
, 2/13/12

"Under President Obama's budget proposal for the 2013 fiscal year, the National Endowments for the Arts and for the Humanities would each be allocated $8 million more than in the 2012 fiscal year. The proposed budget would increase spending at each of the endowments to $154 million, up from the $146 million each organization received when Congress finally approved a comprehensive spending plan for the current year in December. While 60 percent of the arts endowment's budget would go toward direct grants, funds would also go toward state and regional partnerships, program support, and operating expenses. In addition to the roughly $73 million allocated for direct grants, $48.8 million would go toward state and regional arts agencies. Among the direct grants, $10 million would go toward Our Town, a nationwide program aiming to strengthening various communities through the arts."

Arts Day in Albany

Arts Advocacy Day – February 14, 2012

Arts supporters from all around New York State visited their legislators in Albany on Tuesday, February 14th to speak up for the arts.

Visual artists, authors, actors, musicians, dancers, and arts professionals of all kinds joined representatives from arts councils, museums, and cultural organizations to request strong support for NYSCA, the New York State Council on the Arts. This was an important opportunity to remind our state senators and representatives how valuable arts and cultural services are in communities from Long Island to Buffalo, and from Plattsburgh to Binghamton. The services and grants provided by NYSCA help to support large and small cultural institutions and arts programs across the state of New York. These organizations and activities create jobs, enhance tourism, and are an essential ingredient in small rural towns and large urban centers.

You can visit www.ArtsNYS.org to learn more about Arts Advocacy Day. 

New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Budget Highlights

The 2012-13 Executive Budget recommends $37.7 million in total funding for NYSCA. This is a decrease of $1.2 million from the 2011-12 budget. The decrease primarily reflects a 2.5 percent General Fund State Operations reduction and the alignment of Federal appropriation authority with actual Federal resources.

The Executive Budget also recommends a workforce of 28 FTEs for NYSCA, level with 2011-12.

Major budget actions include:

Maintaining $31.6 million in General Fund Local Assistance for arts grants, equal to the amount provided in 2011-12. This amount is more than is provided by any other state in the country for arts grants and reflects New York's commitment to encouraging access to high-quality artistic programs for the citizens of the State. Annually, the Council awards approximately 2,500 grants, used largely to subsidize costs of not-for-profit arts organizations, including orchestras, museums, dance companies and theatres

Providing $4.1 million for the direct support of NYSCA's operations. The modest year-to-year reduction of $235,000 for this agency reflects savings that will be achieved via the annualized impact of the State's 2011 labor agreements and by achieving greater efficiencies in purchasing.

Reducing Federal Local Assistance authority by $1 million to better reflect actual Federal resources.

Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section of the New York State Bar Association

To leave a comment about the proposed 2012-13 Executive Budget for New York State and the recommended $37.7 million New York State Council on the Arts funding level, visit http://nysbar.com/blogs/EASL/2012/01/arts_day_in_albany_-_february_.html.

Americans for the Arts News

The pARTnership Movement: Enhancing Business & Arts Partnerships

January 10, 2012 - In this current economic environment, businesses are continually seeking new ways to build their competitive advantage. To help them reach this goal, Americans for the Arts has launched The pARTnership Movement a new initiative designed to create mutually beneficial partnerships between arts and business institutions.

The Movement demonstrates how the arts can help business achieve these goals by enhancing the critical thinking, team building, and creative skills of the corporate workforce while also enhancing communities to attract and retain employees. In addition, it prepares arts organizations to partner with businesses in new and innovative ways.

To help businesses better understand the myriad benefits of partnering with an arts organization, The pARTnership Movementundefinedworking with local arts agencies across the countryundefinedwill place ads with major newspapers, magazines, and other publications that demonstrate how partnering with the arts enhances critical thinking skills and creativity within the workforce as well as strengthens community engagement.

The Americans for the Arts website gives a comprehensive description of the benefits partnering with the arts brings, provides numerous case studies and creates a one-stop shop for building out connections in the community; provides companies with a thorough overview of how and why the arts can help them realize business goals; and includes a zip code finder that will allow businesses to easily locate Americans for the Arts’ member arts organizations across the country that are ready to partner.

The Movement also offers arts organizations the tools they need to more effectively partner with the businesses in their communities including: case studies that showcase innovative ideas and program concepts and multi-channel aspects to highly successful partnerships that deepen over time; information on creating a solid business proposition for partnering with the arts and making an initial request; opportunities to connect with business leaders, gleaning valuable tips directly from the source; and chances to network with and learn from peers.

This initiative is designed to engage and educate the business community on how the arts can advance their bottom line goals and build their competitive advantage.

For more information, visit http://www.partnershipmovement.org/upload/web-files/other/AFTA_8_Reasons.pdf.

Eight ways businesses can support the arts: http://www.artsusa.org/information_services/arts_and_business_partnerships/get_involved/001.asp.

New Americans for the Arts Local Arts Leadership Development Program

Americans for the Arts has opened registration for its new Local Arts Classroom program, a four-month virtual leadership development series that provides an opportunity for local arts leaders to master foundational concepts and build skills through exposure to current practice in the core areas of local arts development. This program is designed to serve arts professionals with less than 10 years of experience in the arts field, including current undergraduate or graduate students, and those who are transitioning into the field from another sector. Participants will attend six 90-minute webinars and five 60-minute post-webinar discussion calls and will receive a one-year, complimentary individual membership with Americans for the Arts as part of the registration. Americans for the Arts will select a maximum of 40 participants and application materials and eligibility criteria can be found on the Americans for the Arts website, at http://www.americansforthearts.org/networks/emerging_leaders/classroom/002.asp.  

For more information, contact Leadership Development Program Manager Stephanie Evans Hanson at sevanshanson@artsusa.org.

Congress passes FY 2012 Budget: $9M Cut for NEA, NEH

December 17, 2011 - On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the final budget agreement for FY 2012, which includes $146.255 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). On Saturday morning, the same bill passed the U.S. Senate and now moves to the desk of President Obama for his signature. 

The $146,255 million appropriation is identical to President Obama's proposed budget, a cut of nearly $9 million from FY 2011, and is a compromise between the House of Representatives number of $135 million and the Senate number of $155 million as previously considered by their respective subcommittees.

Also included in this bill is $24.596 million in funding for the Arts in Education programs at the U.S. Department of Education, which had been zeroed-out in a previous proposal in the House. 

This concludes the prolonged Congressional negotiations for the FY 2012 budget and prevents a government shutdown. 
                                                                                                                                                                                  After the New Year, Congress will begin considering the FY 2013 budget. You can join Americans for the Arts in Washington, DC for National Arts Advocacy Day 2012 on April 16 - 17, 2012 to let your members of Congress know the arts are important to you and your communities! For more information, visit http://www.artsusa.org/events/2012/aad/default.asp.


New York Artists Celebrate 50 Years of New York State Council on the Arts In New Advocacy Campaign by the New York City Arts Coalition - click here.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman recently announced that NYCON CEO Doug Sauer would be one of the prominent nonprofit leaders appointed to the Committee for Nonprofit Revitalization. The task force, composed of 29 leaders in the nonprofit sector from across New York State, is charged with presenting a series of recommendations to the Attorney General to reduce the regulatory burdens and costs on nonprofits while strengthening nonprofit accountability.

"I'm honored that Attorney General Schneiderman has asked us to bring NYCON's statewide perspective and expertise to this important collaborative effort," said Doug Sauer. "We're proud to represent 3,000 small to moderately sized member nonprofits who provide critical services in communities across New York. It's a testament to the Attorney General's initiative that he is seeking the input of these grass roots groups as he strives to help improve nonprofit efficiency, make oversight more effective and help increase the public's faith in our sector."
In addition to providing critical services to New Yorkers, nonprofits are also a driving economic force. Statewide, nonprofits employ between 17 and 18 percent of the workforce. In New York City alone nonprofits employ 500,000 people.

"For too long, New York's regulatory framework has placed unnecessary burdens on nonprofits, which are simply untenable during these challenging financial times," Attorney General Schneiderman said. "We must modernize the rules of the road so the nonprofit sector can thrive. We can be tougher on policing fraud without imposing needless burdens and costs on this vital sector of New York's economy."

Based on the key issues that the nonprofit sector has identified to the Attorney General's Office, the Leadership Committee's activities will focus on the following:

  • Making recommendations on how to reduce regulatory burdens and more effectively address regulatory concerns;
  • Developing legislative proposals to modernize New York's nonprofit laws that would eliminate outdated requirements and unnecessary burdens while strengthening accountability; and
  • Proposing measures to enhance board governance and effectiveness, including through new programs to recruit and train nonprofit board members.
The Leadership Committee will be staffed by the Attorney General's Charities Bureau Chief, Jason Lilien, and will be charged with completing its work by the end of this year.


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