Executive leadership program announced for local nonprofits in Greene and Washington Counties

The Center for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR Center) at Waynesburg University and the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management (BCNM) at Robert Morris University announce “PREP: Partnerships, Resources, Expertise and Power for Nonprofits,” an executive leadership program aimed at helping nonprofits in Greene and Washington counties navigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

“From the early months of the pandemic, the Center has been actively engaged with its Advisory Board, exploring ways in which our community can collectively help local nonprofits survive this crisis,” said Stacey Brodak, vice president for Institutional Advancement and University Relations. “Our COVID-19 Impact Assessment led us to the creation of this program that will help nonprofits address the challenges they now face, including fundraising, partnerships and long-term sustainability.”

The initial group will be limited to 10 nonprofits who operate or offer services in Greene and/or Washington counties. Nonprofits of any size can apply, but they must be an incorporated, nonprofit entity with 501(c)(3) status, have a board of directors, in operation for at least 12 months and have an executive director or equivalent position.

Applications will be reviewed by the CSR Center, BCNM and members of the CSR Center’s Advisory Board, Washington County Community Foundation and the Community Foundation of Greene County.

Nonprofits will participate at no cost thanks to funding from CSR Center member companies EQT Corporation and Range Resources.

This program is intended to not only educate nonprofit leadership personnel about partnership and fund development, but also provide meaningful, lasting relationships that will benefit their organizations for months, and hopefully, years to come,” added Brodak.

The program will take place over eight Friday morning sessions beginning Feb. 19 and ending April 16.

Session topics will include an overview of partnership and collaboration, development of personal leadership skills, building trust and communicating with stakeholders, understanding legal process and structure, developing a fundraising plan and producing effective presentations and social media strategies.

“It is a real pleasure to work with this exemplary group of leaders who have asked their local  partners for direction on the most useful topics for study,” said Peggy Outon, director of the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management. “They have given BCNM the opportunity to bring research-based curriculum and local expertise to explore two key areas of nonprofit management as we all work together to build healthier communities.”

Applications are due no later than Tuesday, Jan. 26, and successful applicants will be notified by Friday, Feb. 5. To apply, visit waynesburg.edu/prepapp.

The CSR Center’s 2020 COVID-19 Impact Assessment found that approximately 60% of nonprofits that responded decreased their services since March 2020, and most needed help with strategic planning, specifically in the areas of fundraising and partnership development. Only half of the nonprofits that responded indicated that they have connections to larger nonprofits.

For more information, visit waynesburg.edu/csr or rmu.edu/about/bcnm/programs-services.


We have lots of tools and resources from last Friday’s “Strategies for Getting Out the Vote” webinar, starting with the webinar video on YouTube if you weren’t able to make it:
Strategies for Getting Out the Vote – with Peggy Outon, Dewitt Walton, Hannah Locop and Kate Kelly

Peggy Outon’s weekly “Friendly Face” video is all about the measurement of health in a community, which includes three measures: volunteering, donating to charity and VOTING!

Panelist Kate Kelly from the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, gave us their resource to register to vote, apply for an mail-in ballot, or get reminders: https://pa-votes.org/HousingAlliance/
The Housing Alliance of PA also invites you to their upcoming webinar – National Voter Registration Day:  Improving Voter Participation in PA

Representatives from the League of Women Voters were in attendance and shared their voter resources page at https://sites.google.com/lwvpgh.org/lwvpgh-voter-resources

Panelist Hannah Locop gave us some great resources, including:


Sounds Like a Lot of Work Viewing Party (Zoom webinar)

Ever wondered what a nonprofit board meeting is really like? Or if other boards also struggle with similar challenges? Then this session is for you! Join us for a live ZOOM viewing party of “Sounds Like a Lot of Work,” a Bayer Center commissioned play that tracks the board meetings of an imaginary jazz museum. Following the viewing, we’ll engage in a bit of light discussion about how our boards work – and how they could work better! Invite a fellow board member, shake up a cool drink, and plan to join us for this fun evening of good, bad, and ugly (and hilarious) board governance!

Thursday, September 17 from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Moderator: Evie Gardner, Bayer Center
FREE, but RSVP is required. Space is limited on the webinar, so register today!

We’ve Moved to Robert Morris University’s Main Campus!

The Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management is proud and privileged to be a part of Robert Morris University.  And now, we are located on Robert Morris University’s main campus! As always, this means we have access to world-class faculty as resources for our classes and our work on your behalf, expert researchers to aid and guide our own nonprofit research efforts and now have attractive, comfortable, offices for clients and classes in the easy to locate Benjamin Rush Center at Robert Morris University with free, designated parking. Yes, you read that right – FREE PARKING!

We look forward to welcoming you to a client meeting or a class at Benjamin Rush Center and show you our new home!


Board Committees: Divide and Conquer!

Thursday, April 16 from noon – 1:30 p.m. (ZOOM online session)

Nonprofit committees engage their board members in specialized governance issues, but many will admit their committees are outdated or less active than desired. We’ll look at current committee structures and meeting best practices, and explore interactive tools to plan, activate, and bring out the best in your board.

INSTRUCTOR: Evie Gardner, Bayer Center
FEE: $25

Register online today!

Women of Influence 2020 – Peggy Morrison Outon

The Pittsburgh Business Times’ Women of Influence 2020
Peggy Outon is the the executive director of the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University. In this role, she advises representatives of nonprofits on management issues, fundraising and best practices. A nationally recognized consultant and trainer, she has worked with more than 700 nonprofits. She also is founding director of the Centers for Effective Nonprofit Management and the founding board chair of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management.

If you could switch jobs with anyone for a week, who would you choose and why?
Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa who makes people feel welcome and loved and exceptionally well-fed.

What three words best describe you?
Enthusiastic, curious, engaged

What’s your top piece of advice to women starting out in the workforce?
Pay close attention to what you love, seek to understand what you are called to do with your one precious life.

What’s the biggest challenge to maintaining work-life balance?
Work and ubiquitous technology

What businesswoman would you most like to have breakfast or lunch with, and why?
Lisa Schroeder at The Pittsburgh Foundation to understand her vision for a more just Pittsburgh.

What past challenge has most shaped your current thinking?
The recession of 2008 and its effect on nonprofits’ ability to achieve their missions.

Describe an ideal day off.
Nice, France. Going to the market, buying herbes de Provence to take to cooking school where you make delectable chicken and lemon souffles before going to the Chagall Museum to hear music.

Age: 69

Education: B.A., government and drama, University of Texas

First job: Supernumerary for Dallas Opera, non-singing set dressing in Suor Angelica and Medea

Family: Husband, Paul Outon; son, Ross; daughter, Katie

Hobbies: Taking cooking classes while traveling (13 countries so far), constant reading, mostly fiction

Community involvement: Serves on 34 boards, eight as president, including August Wilson African American Cultural Center, Global Pittsburgh, Community House Presbyterian Church

By   – Special Projects Editor, Pittsburgh Business Times

The Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management’s 20th Anniversary Celebration

BCNM is celebrating 20 years of partnership with the community building strong nonprofits! We will host partners from regional nonprofits, governments and corporations to celebrate this milestone. The evening will feature awards to 20 local leaders who have committed themselves to building the nonprofit sector, as well as live music and an array of appetizing drinks and bites.

When: April 23, 2020 from 5 – 7 p.m.
Where: Covestro Brightspace, Energy Innovation Center at 1435 Bedford Avenue, 15219
Who: 200+ key community leaders from the nonprofit, corporate and local government sectors will be in attendance. Attendees will include nonprofit CEO’s and board members as well as a number of corporate executive and governmental dignitaries.

Keep an eye out for more information about tickets, sponsorships, and the names of the 20 honorees as we draw closer to the event date. In the meantime, please email bcnm@rmu.edu for more information, or call Shelby Gracey at 412-397-6000. We appreciate our ongoing friendship and can’t wait to celebrate with you!

The 2019 Wage and Benefit Study is half price for 2020!

When you’re setting salaries, the Wage & Benefit Survey for Southwestern PA Nonprofit Organizations can give you all the comparables you need.  We are deeply grateful for the 188 nonprofit organizations who took the time to fill out the 2019 survey and made it possible for us to report on over 9,000 local nonprofit employees.  Thank you!

This invaluable tool gives you all the information you need to comply with IRS requirements for setting compensation packages, to remain competitive in your own retention and succession planning, and to develop organization-wide salary charts.

This bi-annual survey adds depth to our collective nonprofit management knowledge base and is especially useful for:

  • The IRS 990 form for nonprofits to benchmark executive compensation against the market
  • Boards hiring new executive directors or seeking to fairly compensate current staff
  • Staff leaders seeking to bring equity to their salary administration

As we prepare to gather data for the 2021 edition, the cost of the 2019 survey has been cut in half, and is now just $100 for nonprofits with budgets under $2 million, and $150 for nonprofits with budgets over $2 million. Once purchased, the research can be shared with anyone within your organization. Nonprofits who participate in the survey receive the results for free.

For more information about how to purchase your copy, visit bcnm.rmu.edu/ProgramsServices/ResearchPublications.

Additionally, we will need your help to gather the new data this coming September. Once again, the survey report will be distributed to participants at no charge. Contact Carrie Tancraitor at 412-397-6003 or tancraitor@rmu.edu to find out how to participate.

The Nonprofit Holiday Catalog: Submit your items now!

This “Giving Tuesday” (Tuesday, December 2) The Bayer Center will release the 2019 Nonprofit Holiday Catalog , featuring dozens of local nonprofits selling t-shirts, holiday cards, jewelry, calendars, pottery, theater tickets and more…and each time you make a purchase, you help a nonprofit!  We’ll be posting the Holiday Catalog on the Bayer Center website when it’s ready, and posting to Facebook and Twitter too.  Take a peek at a previous holiday catalog to get the idea.

To participate, nonprofits need to submit a 50-word blurb for your entry and your logo to Carrie Richards at richardsc@rmu.edu.  There is no cost associated with submissions…it’s our holiday gift to the nonprofit sector!  The deadline for submission is Monday, November 25!!

Don’t miss out! Questions?  Email Carrie Richards at richardsc@rmu.edu.

Changes to FLSA classification are coming in 2020

Your employees are classified as either EXEMPT (from overtime pay), or NON-EXEMPT (and thus entitled to overtime pay). Two things are required for a position to be classified as “exempt.” The first is that the position must fit into one of the categories of types of work that the Fair Labor Standards Act treats as exempt.  Secondly, the position is paid a salary (a fixed amount of money paid on a regular basis) of at least X amount.  For many years, that amount has been $23,660.  The Department of Labor has just announced that the new threshold number is $35,568.  This is to take effect on January 1 of 2020.

As of January 1, 2020, if you are currently classifying some of your positions as exempt and paying those positions less than $35,568 annually, you will have a problem.  You need to determine whether you want to increase those salaries to preserve the exemption from overtime, or lose the exemption for those positions and pay them overtime.  Consider taking these steps:

  • Do an analysis.  Determine how many employees you have that are in exempt positions but paid less than $35,568 annually.
  • Consider your options.  You can either raise the position pay to $35,568, or lose the exemption.  Which is less harmful?  Keep in mind if you have 10 administrative assistants, and 6 make more than $35,568 already, and 4 make less, you cannot simply elect to lose the exemption for the 4 who don’t make enough money to meet the salary threshold.  The exemptions are assigned to POSITIONS, not employees.
  • Be considerate of morale issues.  For whatever reason, people view “exempt” as having a higher status.  Even though they could potentially make more money as a non-exempt employee being paid overtime, they would prefer to hold the title of exempt.
  • Some of you have never done a careful analysis of exempt/non-exempt for your positions.  This is a good time to get your house in order.

If you are unsure of how to do this analysis, feel free to contact your employment counsel, or the author of this article for assistance.

James W. Southworth, Esquire
Principal, Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, P.C.
412-392-5371 Office
888-811-7144 Fax

How Does Your Nonprofit Measure Up?

Not sure how your nonprofit compares to its peers? BDO’s updated benchmarking tool pairs comparative data with prescriptive insights to help you make decisions that further your nonprofit mission. Based on questions that take just five minutes to complete, the benchmarking tool equips you with:

  • Comparative data on key financial metrics, including operating reservesspending, technology investments and liquidity.
  • Prescriptive insights that go beyond the data to help you plan for the future.
  • A custom report with benchmarking data and recommendations for securing long-term sustainability—a useful guide for discussions with executives, staff and boards.

Take the Race to Lead Survey TODAY!

The Building Movement Project is pleased to announce the launch of the 2019 Race to Lead Survey. This short, confidential survey is open to anyone working for pay in the U.S. nonprofit sector. It focuses on experiences at work, views of leadership, and perspectives on nonprofits and race. By participating, you will contribute to one of the largest existing data sets on race and leadership in the nonprofit sector, and will help inform the next round of Race to Lead reports. The survey should take about 25 minutes to complete.

To thank you for your time, survey participants can enter a raffle to win one of six prizes:

  • Grand prize $250 Amazon.com gift certificate
  • One of five $100 Amazon.com gift certificates

Please take this survey before it closes on Aug 28


Please share this survey with your networks. Here is some sample social media language to get you started:

  • Twitter: Don’t miss this chance to MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD! Take the #RacetoLeadSurvey from @BldingMovement today and let us know what it’s really like to work at your #nonprofit. bit.ly/RacetoLeadSurvey
  • FacebookThe last #RacetoLeadSurvey from @BuildingMovementProject resulted in the popular #RacetoLead report series (www.racetolead.org). This summer, the #RacetoLeadSurvey is BACK! Don’t miss your chance to contribute to one of the largest existing data sets on race and leadership in the #nonprofit sector. bit.ly/RacetoLeadSurvey

We’ve also created a google drive with visuals to include with your posts, a full media packet with even more ideas for sharing the survey with your network, and instructions for taking the survey itself.

Get your board moving together toward greater engagement with BoardsWork!

BoardsWork! is a highly effective and cost-efficient way to get your board moving together toward greater engagement, effective service and committed ambassadorship. And if you would like new board members with new skills and new networks, we can provide at least one new board member who has received at least 8 hours of training in board governance.

The program for nonprofits includes a custom four-hour retreat with dynamic facilitators, preceded by a governance assessment and board survey. Then your whole board receives 20% off Bayer Center classes for a full year (for further training on areas critical to your nonprofit).

Pricing is heavily subsidized from corporations and foundation support (80% discount) with a final cost of $250 for organizations under $1M operating budget, and $500 for those over $1M.

Sally Power, Executive Director of Treasure House Fashions told us, “Our experience EXCEEDED my expectations, and I felt the time was an excellent investment in our understanding, our relationship as a board, and in preparation for this stage of our growth! Our facilitator did an outstanding job, and I’m positively giddy with anticipation for our next steps!”

Local companies drive the matching portion of the program by sponsoring their employees to attend the BoardsWork! training and be matched to a nonprofit board. You may know people with influential positions in companies who have employees who would be great nonprofit board members. The company not only gives back to the community, but their employees get leadership opportunities that both engage and develop them.

The next training dates for business volunteers to learn all about nonprofit board governance are Sept 10 and November 6. We’d love to make some new connections and reach more nonprofits!

Personalities of Pittsburgh: Wendy Burtner-Owens with Steeltown Entertainment Project

By   – Reporter, Pittsburgh Business Times on 

Photo by The Pittsburgh Business Times

Wendy Burtner-Owens worked for years in the nonprofit world before getting the lead role for one of Pittsburgh’s best-known film production promotion groups, Steeltown Entertainment Project.

For years, she lived in Virginia, working with nonprofit information clearinghouse GuideStar USA Inc., leading the CarMax Foundation and serving as COO for a bereavement camp. Her nonprofit expertise led her to Steeltown and helped land her in the top position about six months ago, taking over the role formerly held by Carl Kurlander.

A Butler native, Burtner-Owens boomeranged back to the region from Virginia to find a changed city from what she remembered. We caught up with her about Steeltown and what her favorite movie is that was made in Pittsburgh.

What prepared you the most to lead Steeltown?
The workforce and economic development. And really getting an understanding of what a region needs and is looking for. That role. But also leading a variety of different kinds of nonprofits. Steeltown isn’t your typical nonprofit, you could say. The fact that I had an opportunity to meet and work with lot of people and actually lead some different types of nonprofits I think was very helpful.

Is there a typical nonprofit?
That’s a good point. I think when people think nonprofit, they think charity, you know. And it’s helping the hungry. And animals with Sarah McLachlan, you know. Feed the Children. Those kinds of things. But obviously there are all different kinds of nonprofits. Sometimes people don’t know Steeltown is a nonprofit.

What is Steeltown today, and how does it differ from what it was in the past?
Steeltown today is really focusing on two things, but they are very related. It’s education and digital media arts, independent filmmakers, specifically. So we’re looking at high school programs, and we have a couple of adult programs under the education title. And then we are really just starting to talk to independent filmmakers again. We had the Film Factory, which was the screenwriting competition several years ago. It was before my time here. … Now we’re taking a look at (independent filmmakers) and saying, “okay what do you guys need here? As a community, what can we do for you?”

What are your biggest goals for Steeltown?
So I think right now I’m really focused on the filmmaker side of it. What can we do that we’re not doing? Is there a gap there now that these filmmakers are feeling? And then looking at the kids. I think that we’ve identified there that it’s serving more kids. And we talked to some people in different neighborhoods around Pittsburgh about coming in and doing (our) program.

Is there a void that you think you need to fill with what’s happened with Pittsburgh Filmmakers, which has cut back and faced challenges?
That’s what we want to find out. I think that’s what we’re hearing. Individuals are kind of saying to me, “hey, can you do this?” … But you have to look at again, and is it doable? If it didn’t work the first time around with another organization, then should we pick up a broken program and try to implement it? I really want to talk to the filmmakers and say what do you really need us to be doing? That we’re not doing already.

Is it common for nonprofits to get themselves in over their heads with whatever they’re trying to do?
That’s the nature of nonprofits. People who start nonprofits have missions. Big dreams. They want to eradicate diseases. They want to help people. They want to help animals. Just by their very nature of how it starts. I think the answer to your question is yes. The biggest limiting factor that you’ll see again and again is funding. I think that’s true on the business side, too, though, when you talk about entrepreneurs who have these wonderful ideas for these great products and services and they can’t convince an investor or a bank to lend them money. It’s a very similar kind of thing. And if you don’t have a good plan and you don’t have good budgeting and you’re not paying attention, then it can get overwhelming. And sometimes something happens that is completely out of your control. Nonprofit founders in particular, but most people attracted to working in the nonprofit sector, tend to dream big and tend to be kind of optimists at heart.

Title: President and CEO, Steeltown Entertainment Project
Education: B.A., human service administration, Chatham University
Residence: South Side
Family: Son, Teddy, 23
Causes: Board, Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse
Interests: Reading; volunteer for the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University


Just a few seats left for Excel Classes on June 27

These classes are fully-hands on and almost sold out with just ONE seat left for the full Excel Day and 3 seats left for Introduction to Excel only. We’ll also be offering “Advanced Excel” this fall, so stay tuned and brush up on those Excel basics skills now!

Instructor: Sarah Thurston, Allegheny Department of Human Services

Excel Day: Introduction to Excel
Thursday, June 27 from 9 a.m. – noon
Learn Excel basics in the morning session, including worksheet creation, formula creation, cell formatting using “mouse pointers,” absolute cell references, and printing your worksheet.

Excel Day: Intermediate Excel
Thursday, June 27 from 1 – 4 p.m.
Learn more about Excel in the afternoon, including worksheet template creation and use, using functions, creating links between worksheets, database features, and chart creation and formatting.

Fee: $65 each or $115 for both classes. Don’t delay – register online!



Compliance with Employment Laws: Is it Time for an Audit?

Small businesses and nonprofits are increasingly faced with a laundry list of local, state and federal laws that regulate how they hire employees, how they treat employees after they are hired and how they discipline employees.  Because these laws and the interpretations given to these laws by the courts frequently change, businesses and nonprofits should engage an attorney to “audit” their employment practices to ensure they are compliant.  Such audits will decrease the likelihood of employment claims and lawsuits and, if such claims and lawsuits do occur, will increase the likelihood of a successful result.
At a minimum any employment audit by counsel should examine the following subjects:


  • Background Checks. Do your hiring practices comply with federal laws such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), state laws such as Pennsylvania’s Criminal History Record Information Act (CHRIA) and the Medical Marijuana Act, and local “ban the box” statutes, all of which may limit the use of a prospective employee’s criminal, medical and credit history?
  • Social Media. What limits exist on your ability to examine a prospective employee’s social media accounts when making hiring decisions?

EMPLOYEE HANDBOOKS. Handbooks should be updated by counsel at least every 2 years to ensure that the Handbook reflects changes in the laws relating to discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment, use of personal cell phones, electronic monitoring and discipline for off-duty activities, including social media.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICIES AND TRAINING.  Despite a 10% overall drop in employment discrimination charges, the EEOC recently reported that sexual harassment claims jumped by 13.6% from the previous year and the Agency obtained a record $56.6 million in settlements and awards for victims of sexual harassment.  These figures demonstrate the lasting impact of the #MeToo movement on the workplace.  To avoid harassment claims from occurring and to best defend such claims if they do arise, counsel should audit your practices to determine:

  • Whether your Handbook unequivocally explains that harassment in the workplace will not be tolerated and whether it includes concrete examples of the types of behavior that will considered harassment;
  • Whether your harassment policy is disseminated to all employees;
  • Whether you consistently enforce your harassment policy;
  • Whether your policy provides a clear method for reporting harassment;
  • Whether you promptly investigate all harassment claims and your policy clearly states that no retaliation will result from reporting harassment; and
  • Whether you conduct annual sexual harassment training for managers and supervisors, along with separate training sessions for all other employees.

WAGE AND HOUR ISSUES. Any audit of your wage and hour practices should address the following issues:

  • Do your exempt employees meet both the salary basis and job duties tests?
  • Are the exemptions you are relying on recognized under both federal and state wage and hour laws?
  • Do your practices relating to unpaid interns and volunteers comply with federal and state regulations governing the legality of such practices?
  • Do your time-keeping practices for non-exempt employees, including rounding, meal breaks and travel time, comply with federal and state laws?
  • Are your non-exempt employees compensated when they provide services from home?
  • Are any persons you classify as independent contractors really employees due to the control you exert over such persons?
  • Do you retain payroll records for the period of time required by law?

NONDISCLOSURE, NONCOMPETES AND NO-SOLICITATION AGREEMENTS.  If employees are required to execute nondisclosure, noncompete and no-solicitation agreements as a condition of their employment, any audit should examine a number of issues, including:

  • Are your Agreements enforceable under the applicable state law, some of which severely restrict an employer’s ability to enforce such Agreements?
  • Do you include the language required by the Defend Trade Secrets Act?
  • Are your Agreements used with all employees, even lower-level workers?

The topics and issues highlighted above are just some of the employment law compliance matters that should be the subject of any legal audit.  As small businesses and nonprofits consider whether to expend the legal resources needed for such an audit, the old adage that an “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” must always be part of the decision-making process, since the cost of even a single lawsuit is likely to exceed the legal cost of engaging counsel to review and revise your employment policies and assist in the training of your employees.

Larry Silverman, Esq.

The 2019 Wage and Benefit Survey in the News!

The release of the 2019 Wage & Benefit Survey for Southwestern PA Nonprofit Organizations has received its fair share of news coverage. The new data was made public at the Leadership Briefing on February 1 to a full house of survey participants who eagerly discussed the results despite being greeted by a very snowy morning.

Dr. Carrie Tanctraitor chatted with KDKA’s Jon Delano on “The Sunday Business Page” on February 24.

Peggy Morrison Outon discussed gender pay disparity with KDKA News Radio host Lynne Hayes-Freeland on February 1.

Joyce Gannon covered the survey in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette on February 1 with her story, “Women still face gender pay gap at Pittsburgh-area nonprofit firms.”

The 2019 survey is available for purchase. The cost is $200 for nonprofits with budgets under $2M, and $300 for nonprofits with budgets over $2M.  Visit our research page on our website to find out how to purchase the survey, and to see previous iterations of the survey for the last ten years.

Join PACE and BCNM for our free “Daring to Lead” series

The “Daring to Lead” research conducted by Building Movement Project and introduced to Pittsburgh by the Program to Aid Citizen Enterprise (PACE) asks provocative questions about equity access and justice in our social justice sector. Join PACE and The Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management as we explore this research further in this series and seek to bring greater opportunities to Pittsburgh nonprofits by insisting on practices that promote fairness.  Both sessions are FREE, but RSVP is required and space is limited. Register online today!

Picking Up the Gauntlet: The Board’s Role in Achieving Greater Racial Equity in Leadership
Tuesday, March 5 from 4 – 7 p.m. at Co-Lab 18
In 2018, the Nonprofit Quarterly magazine challenged Pittsburgh’s nonprofit sector to use the impending retirement of nonprofit executives (who are primarily white) to increase the numbers of leaders of color. In this hands-on workshop, we will examine the cause as well as the effect and craft a Pittsburgh response to the challenge.
Instructor: Luci Dabney, Program to Aid Citizen Enterprise  

Working with Our Foundation Allies: Equity in Grantmaking
Friday, April 12 from 9 – 11 a.m. at The Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management
The pursuit of equity in grantmaking is crucial in our community. Many generous gifts from foundations have often secured the future for nonprofits in our region, but how do they ensure that they are using a racial equity lens to determine their grantmaking? In this discussion, we’ll talk to foundation leaders who pay disciplined attention to race and ethnicity while still analyzing problems, looking for solutions, and defining success for an excellent return on investment.
Conversationalists: Peggy Outon, Bayer Center; Carmen Anderson, the Heinz Endowments and Michele Cooper, McAuley Ministries


Applications are OPEN for “Ready to Compete” cohort two!

February 12 launched the BNY Mellon “Ready to Compete” project, with 11 nonprofits making up the inaugural cohort. Our second cohort will launch in April, and we’re looking for 14 more nonprofits who are looking to address two key areas of nonprofit management: finance and human resource (HR) management.  Applications are currently being accepted! The deadline to apply is March 15.

Like all work at the Bayer Center, this program will employ best practices and be custom to each organization. Thanks to the generosity of BNY Mellon, the cost of these engagements valued at $6,500 are just $500 per organization.

This thoughtful application and selection process will ensure selection of organizations to create a cohort ready to make full use of the expertise offered.  Consultants will work carefully to identify the most significant challenges and put the right tools and team to work to resolve them. Each agency in the cohort will begin by completing a comprehensive assessment and be provided consulting support to analyze the findings. One or two urgent issues will be identified and resolved by our consulting team. The product of each engagement will be a roadmap of the particular issues facing the agency, ordered in priority, and a concrete solution to one or two of the most urgent.

Since we also believe in peer learning to lessen the isolation endemic to small organizations, each cohort will convene twice to share their lessons learned and to forge relationships.

Possible issues in finance may include

  • Developing a cost-centered budget
  • Better management of cash flow
  • Creating necessary internal controls
  • Assessing financial risks and equipping the board to provide proper oversight
  • Working with board and staff to review annual audits and 990s

Possible issues in HR may include:

  • Developing a performance management system that fosters values and culture
  • Writing job descriptions, screening and interview guidelines
  • Compensation studies or help with total employee rewards systems
  • HR’s role and ensuring appropriate functions in supporting the board facing

The outcome of this investment will be twenty-five more capable, stable organizations that are equipped to deliver high quality services because their internal house is in better order. In short, this program will help to insure that these agencies are Ready to Compete!  Apply today!

Volunteers: Enhance, Empower, Engage

Thursday, Nov. 29 from 9 am–noon with Stacy Bodow and Julie Strickland-Gilliard, Global Links

For most nonprofits, the real challenge lies not in finding volunteers, but in keeping them. Volunteer engagement can be the key to making this link! In this session, we’ll explore how to:

  • Enhance the volunteer experience so that your volunteers enjoy their time with you and feel it is well spent
  • Empower your volunteers so they can take on important tasks that you need done and their time makes a real difference
  • Engage your volunteers in ways that speak to them and that help them feel appreciated, vested, and connected to your mission

Learn different strategies and techniques for achieving these goals, including focusing on why people choose to volunteer with you, storytelling, personalization, social media tools, and well thought-out systems.

Fee: $65 Register online today!

Why does my nonprofit’s website need terms of use and a privacy policy?

By guest author, Larry Silverman

You have just created your website. The work took longer than expected so you are anxious to get the site up and running, but a friend of a friend urges you to prepare Terms of Use and a Privacy Policy before going online. Is he right? The short answer is YES. In this article, I will highlight just some of the reasons why.


Terms of Use (“Terms”) tell users the rules that govern their use of the site. All nonprofits should post these Terms on each page of the site. Below are just some of the reasons why:

  • Even if a user does not purchase products or services on your site, a contract is formed each time they use your site. As such, unless the site contains language in the posted Terms that clearly disclaims liability, your nonprofit could face liability from a user who claims an injury based on his/her alleged reliance on information contained on the site
  • If your site allows users to post User Generated Content (“UGC”) such as photos, videos and writings and that UGC infringes on a third-party’s copyright, your nonprofit may be liable to that copyright owner UNLESS your site contains takedown procedure language in the Term’s that comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
  • Particularly if users can purchase products or services thru your nonprofit’s site, the site should require affirmative acceptance of the Terms via the “click thru” acceptance method. Otherwise, the various restrictions in your Term’s, including resolution of claims thru binding arbitration, the requirement that claims be filed in your locale and language limiting damages to the cost of the product or service, are likely to be deemed invalid and unenforceable by the court


Your Privacy Policy tells the user what personal and aggregate information is collected thru the site, how that information and data is used and secured and whether the information is shared with third-parties. A link to your Privacy Policy should be contained in the Terms so the user knows he/she is bound by both policies. The policy should be separate from the Terms, since many states require that your Privacy Policy be posted on the site. It is imperative that the policy fully and accurately disclose your site’s data collection activities. Only then can you minimize the chances of liability from a user who claims they were unaware how their personal data was being used, shared and secured. While the rules in the U.S. differ from state to state, if any users are located in the European Union, your nonprofit may be subject to the General Data Protection Rules (“GDPR”) that became effective in May of 2018. The GDPR broadly defines “personal information” and grants users sweeping protections, including requirements that your Privacy Policy contain rules protecting the user from unwanted electronic communications, advise the user of their rights to access their data, detail their rights to erase their personal information and describe how their data is secured. Since the GDPR’s penalties are substantial, complying with this law is a must.


Now that we agree that the friend of a friend is correct, that is, you should post Terms and a Privacy Policy when the site goes online, how can your nonprofit minimize its liability? Because
each nonprofit’s website activities are different, the Terms and Privacy Policy must be tailored to fit those particular activities. “Off the Shelf” policies found online often fail to fully and accurately disclose your particular nonprofit’s activities and data collection practices. Experienced counsel can usually prepare both of these policies for a modest cost. Considering the risks your nonprofit faces if it fails to post Terms and a Privacy Policy or if those posted policies fail to include the necessary language or fail to accurately describe the site’s operations, that cost is a small price to pay. Don’t be “penny wise and pound foolish”.

4719 Bayard Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

TechNow 2018

The 15th anniversary of the TechNow Conference took place on Wednesday, October 3 and was a great success! We are extremely grateful for all of our sponsors, especially our headline sponsor, Microsoft, which allowed us to offer tiered pricing for TechNow starting as low as $25.  We also want to thank our keynote speaker, Lucy Bernholz, Senior Research Scholar at the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society at Stanford University.

If you missed the conference and would like to hear Lucy’s dynamic keynote presentation, you’re in luck! The keynote is available via video on the TechNow website, as well as conference materials from many of the breakout sessions, with more being added every day. It’s the next best thing to being there!

BCNM proudly introduces the BNY Mellon “Ready to Compete” project

The BNY Mellon Ready to Compete project helps build a stronger future for our regional nonprofit community. Ready to Compete will address two key areas of nonprofit management – finance and human resource (HR) management – with the goal of equipping participant organizations with specific solutions to their most urgent challenges in these areas.

Like all work at the Bayer Center, this program will employ best practices and be custom to each organization. Thanks to the generosity of BNY Mellon, the cost of these engagements valued at $6,500 are just $500 per organization.

Applications to participate will be available on November 26. If you would like to receive an application, please email Carrie Richards at richardsc@rmu.edu.

A thoughtful application and selection process will ensure selection of organizations to create a cohort ready to make full use of the expertise offered.  Consultants will work carefully to identify the most significant challenges and put the right tools and team to work to resolve it. Each agency in the cohort will begin by completing a comprehensive assessment and be provided consulting support to analyze the findings of the assessment. One or two urgent issues will be identified and resolved by our consulting team. The product of each engagement will be a roadmap of the particular issues facing the agency, ordered in priority, and a concrete solution to one or two of the most urgent.

Since we also believe in peer learning to lessen the isolation endemic to small organizations, each cohort will convene twice to share their lessons learned and to forge relationships.

Possible issues in finance may include

  • Developing a cost-centered budget
  • Better management of cash flow
  • Creating necessary internal controls
  • Assessing financial risks and equipping the board to provide proper oversight
  • Working with board and staff to review annual audits and 990s

Possible issues in HR may include:

  • Developing a performance management system that fosters values and culture
  • Writing job descriptions, screening and interview guidelines
  • Compensation studies
  • Guidance to boards facing executive transition

The outcome of this investment will be twenty-five more capable, stable organizations that are equipped to deliver high quality services because their internal house is in better order. In short, this program will help to insure that these agencies are Ready to Compete!

The 2019 Wage and Benefit Survey needs your participation!

Since 2002, The Wage & Benefit Survey of Southwestern Pennsylvania Nonprofit Organizations has provided the most current data about regional salary and benefits, needed both for valid decision-making and 990 compliance. Additionally, it sparked the “74%” and “What Now?” conversations which have helped to improve equity for the nonprofit workforce.

Your willingness to provide information makes this sector-wide resource possible. The survey will be available for purchase in January 2019, OR you can receive a copy for FREE if you take part! Start the survey now!

The submission deadline is Friday, November 9. All information is held in the strictest confidence, viewed only by our independent consultants. Questions? Contact Dr. Carrie Tancraitor at tancraitor@rmu.edu or 412-397-6003. If you are NOT the party who should complete the Wage & Benefit survey, please forward to the appropriate person in your organization.

Thank you in advance for your commitment to the nonprofit sector and your participation in this important survey.

The link to the questionnaire supplies the following information on the first page:
1.  An Excel file for the compensation portion
2.  A PDF list of jobs
3.  A PDF list of job descriptions
4.  A PDF survey glossary

Putting Pay Equity into Practice

Ten years ago, BCNM began research that was eventually released as “74% – Exploring the lives of Women in Nonprofit Organizations”.  One of the primary findings was a gap in salaries between female and male executives, particularly in organizations with an annual budget over 7 million.  Women executives, we learned, were earning approximately 74 cents for every dollar that was paid to men.  While this study revealed trends on the executive level, there are similar national and international trends in wage inequity for a variety of groups – ranging from people of color to people with disabilities.

The latest iteration of BCNM’s biannual wage and benefits survey indicated that the pay gap originally identified had significantly decreased – now the earning gap was 81 cents on the dollar.  It’s great news, but also begs new questions – what was going on behind the scenes that made the change?   Perhaps board members were making time to consider the list of HR questions that BCNM generated.  Possibly they were also making some changes in hiring or promotion practices.

What kind of actual, on-the-ground hiring practices lead to equitable pay? A few years ago, Vu Le of Ranier Valley Corps wrote a blog post naming the disclosure of salary ranges as a way to promote equity, both with new hires and inside of the organization.  One of the points of the post was women and others who often find themselves paid less than the industry average get caught in a cycle if new salaries are based on incremental upticks on past, discriminatory salaries. Furthermore, Vu argued, time is a privilege. It’s harder for lower-earning but highly qualified people to spend their time angling for jobs that they can’t ultimately afford to take. The comment section lit up with relief on his perspective and stories of past frustrations.  Some states have been considering the same idea for the same reasons and nine have currently enacted legislation banning employers from asking about salary history (Pittsburgh bans salary history questions, but only for City positions).

However, executive director searches are located with the board of trustees, not HR.  Will salary disclosure work towards equity in these cases? Susan Egmont, a search consultant in Boston and a friend of BCNM, feels that many boards approach hiring a new director the way that people approach buying houses.  They may have a fixed budget and set of most desirable qualities in mind at the start, but the search itself often educates them about a reasonable salary given the market as well as highlight criteria that weren’t originally on their radar.  In those cases, publishing a wage range at the start of a search may discourage qualified, diverse applicants from applying.  Wage equity in hiring at the top level, in her experience, is promoted by a diverse set of people and perspectives on the board, as well as a collective understanding of what the job is worth.

There is no one practice that can eliminate wage discrimination within organizations.  BCNM’s research indicated that larger organizations where there was a woman board chair and a woman executive, there was even greater wage inequity.  This gives some indication of the complexity of the issue, and the way that cultural practices and assumptions have generational impacts.

In considering whether disclosing salary ranges for open positions and prohibiting questions on salary history can be a tool for equity in your organization, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do we hire a number of people with the same job description, or do we write customized job descriptions for each new hire? (it’s easier to implement this policy when you have standard job descriptions)
  • What information do we currently provide about our compensation policies to existing staff?
  • How can we educate ourselves on the market before we publish our posting?

Equity can be explored both as an art and a science.  We need creativity as well as ongoing, intentional testing to reach the dollar for dollar mark.

Interested in creating more transparency and equitable salary distributions in your organization? BCNM consultants may be able to help.  Contact loucks@rmu.edu for more information. 

Critical Strategies for Fundraising Success: Join us on June 27!

This interactive and intensive session will explore four mainstays of fundraising success: leadership, systems, case, and donors. Participants will learn how to develop a fundraising board, manage top donors, identify new donors, prepare a poignant one-page case for support, and build relationships that will lead to long-term fundraising success.

Along with step-by-step instruction for implementing each strategy, you’ll get tips, tricks and templates that can be used each year to set up your fundraising program for success.

Instructor: Emma Gilmore Kieran, Pilot Peak Consulting
Fee: $65 ($55 if paid online)
Register online today, or call Shelby at 412-397-6000 to register over the phone.

#Time’sUp for the Nonprofit Gender Gap

Join Top Nonprofits for a roundtable webinar about the future of women in nonprofits on Thursday, May 17 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. We’ll discuss the challenges women face today and how each of us can create, support, and champion equity, access, and inclusion for all members of the nonprofit community, featuring the Bayer Center’s own Consultant and Researcher, Dr. Carrie Tancaitor.

Register online today! 


Remembering Darcy Tannehill

On April 21, The Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management lost a beloved board member and friend.  A long-time advocate for The Bayer Center since its inception, Darcy Tannehill was diagnosed in 2012 with light chain amyloidosis, a rare and incurable disease. She became a tireless advocate for amyloidosis research, chairing the Pittsburgh Amyloidosis Research Benefit in 2016 and joining the Amyloidosis Foundation Board of Directors in 2017.  We are so glad to have known her, and miss her terribly.

Obituary – Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Apr. 24

Darcy Tennehill, age 59, of South Fayette Twp., passed away peacefully on Saturday, April 21, 2018. Born on May 14, 1958, in Pittsburgh, PA, the daughter of the late Joseph Bartins and Ileane (Roy) Bartins-Yerman; beloved mother of Courtney Sullivan and Dr. Adam Sullivan; cherished Gigi of Alaina Sullivan. She leaves behind many friends and loved ones that she has inspired and held so dearly in her heart. Dr. Tannehill was also predeceased by her husband, Dr. Norman B. Tannehill, Jr.; her father-in-law, Dr. Norman B. Tannehill, Sr.; her mother-in-law, Maxine Hart Tannehill; and her stepfather, Joseph Yerman. Darcy fought courageously and passionately against amyloidosis, a disease with which she lived since diagnosis in April 2012, even though it had been a much longer fight. This passion led her to begin the annual Pittsburgh Amyloidosis Research Benefit in 2016 and recently create the Dr. Darcy B. Tannehill Amyloidosis Research and Education Fund through the Department of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine. Darcy was already planning the 3rd annual Pittsburgh Amyloidosis Research event that will still be held, now in her honor, on October 26, 2018. She was a board member of the national Amyloidosis Foundation and active in patient support throughout the Amyloidosis community. Her goal was to fight and see a cure for this horrific disease, but her legacy will live on through the education she’s provided others in not only early diagnosis, but in management and care. Darcy worked fulltime during her entire illness as an administrator and associate professor at Robert Morris University and taught online at many other institutions throughout the country. Darcy was also an avid animal rescuer and lover. She and her late husband, Norm, worked with the Northern Virginia Sheltie Rescue to rescue 12 shelties and give them the best lives possible. In addition to the dogs, Darcy dedicated a small portion of her yard for bird feeders and corn cobs for the birds, squirrels, and deer. Darcy graduated high school from West Allegheny High School, received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Duquesne University, and earned her doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Northern Virginia Sheltie Rescue (http://www.nvsr.org), or to the national Amyloidosis Foundation (www.amyloidosis.org).