The Foraker Group was named a full state association member of the National Council of Nonprofits this week. According to the Council, the designation recognizes Foraker's achievement as a leader for charitable nonprofits in Alaska. [Read More... ]
At the recent Foraker Leadership Summit, Diane Kaplan, President and CEO of the Rasmuson Foundation, launched the new Foraker book on nonprofit sustainability. The book, Focus on Sustainability: A Nonprofit's Journey, was written by Dennis McMillian. You can read a summary by clicking here. The book is available for sale at the Foraker office, or on Amazon.com.
The Pre-Development Program has just completed its first performing arts project and learned a lot about theater—and construction costs in the Valley—in the process.
Valley Performing Arts has been presenting live theatre in the Mat-Su Valley for over 37 years. Performances were first held in the log Colony Church at the state fairgrounds and the audience was limited to 64. In 1996, VPA moved that converted pole barn and connected it to an auto repair shop in Wasilla, thus increasing the number of patrons who could attend each performance to 172. But the need for an even larger venue was documented by routinely sold-out performances and the growing number of season ticket holders. Support space for the performers and productions was also inadequate.
Pre-D’s first task was to establish the space requirements for a 300-seat operation and then determine whether the existing facility could be expanded and renovated to meet that need. The verdict of the engineers was that it could not, so a search started for an existing building that could be converted. The Mat-Su Cinema was selected.
Concept plans were developed for a 300-seat theatre plus a 100-seat “black box” theatre and meeting space. Then a construction estimate was prepared.
As with most Pre-D projects, the estimated cost, almost $10 million, came as a shock to VPA. So the organization consulted a Valley construction contractor and after several discussions learned the project cost could be reduced by $800,000 by using a design/build means of delivery. VPA choose to go further, assuming construction costs would remain at their current low rate for the next few years, resulting in a total project cost of $8.6 million.
We came out of this experience with a better appreciation of the value of conferring with local contractors on construction costs and the importance of fully discussing the components of project costs with the organizations we assist.
We're pleased to announce the addition of a new staff member whose primary responsibility will be to assist nonprofit and tribal organizations in rural communities. Jonella Larson White started last week and jumped in with both feet when she helped with a series of seven focus groups. We're very pleased to have her with us.
Jonella will be part of the Foraker team that helps nonprofits develop strategic plans, business plans, fund development plans, or other strategies to help them thrive.
Her educational background is in rural development and community planning. She is a graduate of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and holds a Master of Liberal Arts degree from Harvard University. Her professional experience includes positions in museums and art galleries in Canada, the Lower '48 and in Alaska. She currently serves as a cultural advisor to the Alaska State Council on the Arts and is also on the steering committee for the Alaska Native Fund.
Jonella, Ququngaq, is St. Lawrence Island Yupik, raised in Nome with family ties to Savoonga.
Recently Dennis McMillian sat down with the Alaska Journal of Commerce to share his perspectives on the impact of the nonprofit sector in Alaska. As we know from our ISER reports, it's significant. You can read the interview here.
Since the beginning, Foraker’s benefit program has focused on wellness. As part of this effort, our program provides health coaching. We are pleased to see that other Alaska nonprofits are supporting wellness for their employees and community. Check out this recent report on NPR -- click here.
The Patient Protection Affordable Care Act or (ACA) is re-confirmed as the law by the Supreme Court. We have received calls about the impact of this decision. The simple response is as employers we can either offer insurance to our employees or our employees will need to find their own coverage. Click here to learn more.
Just a reminder -- the deadline for applying for this year's Foraker Certificate program is June 28. Click here for more information.
You can add board members and staff to your Partner account. It's an easy way to be sure everyone stays up to date on trends in the sector and has access to the latest Foraker news.
It's an easy process. Click on "my account" under Quick Links on the home page. Enter the email and password for the primary contact for your organization. Click on "manage additional accounts" and add the name and email of each board member and staff. Need help? Contact Andrew Cutting at 907-743-1221.
Foraker has been publishing surveys to support human resources within Alaska nonprofits since 2002. This year brings more improvements for our Partners:
- Efficiencies from automating in 2010 make it possible to repeat the full survey in 2012 – salary and benefits – rather than doing a salary-only version as we’ve done in the past.
- We’re also moving up the publication date significantly to best support our Partners that operate on a July-to-June fiscal year. Survey participation will run November to mid-December.
Pricing on the survey is the same as 2010 and greatly below other market surveys:
- $75.00 – Foraker Partners that participate in the survey
- $150.00 – Foraker Partners that do not participate
- $250.00 – Other nonprofit organizations that participate in the survey
- $300.00 – Other nonprofit organizations that do not participate
- The Executive Summary will again be provided at no cost to all participants.
- 2010 participants will be able to review and update their data for 2012 saving significant time on data entry.
Some of you are huge supporters and users of our surveys and use the data we provide to:
- Set salaries for new positions in your organization
- Review your over-all salary structure for comparability with like organizations
- Satisfy IRS requirements to support salaries for senior staff at higher compensation levels with survey data of comparable positions
In addition, we’ll evaluate trends and provide comparative tables to show what’s happened in our sector from one survey period to the next.
The survey is open for participation from now to mid-December and can be accessed directly by clicking here or from the Foraker home page by selecting Salary and Benefits Survey under Quick Links on the right of the page.
If you are a 2010 participant, enter the e-mail and password used in 2010 – the system will provide the password if needed. If you need additional assistance on access, contact Rebecca Savidis at 907-743-1210.
We urge your participation – the more data we collect the better the quality of the information we report.
Thank you for your help in gathering this important information.