Thursday, October 23, 2014

"UGG"! Are you ready?

Greg Bollenbacher,
Fiscal Director
Uniform Grant Guidance (UGG) or “Super Circular” will become effective for non-federal agencies beginning December 26, 2014. Is your organization ready? Fifty five staff members at 21 of Ohio’s Community Action agencies are more prepared now than they were.

OACAA/OCATO (Ohio Community Action Training Organization) hosted two regional trainings on September 23rd and 24th in Jeffersonville and Huron. Mary Pockl and Michael Zeno of Zeno, Pockl, Lilly & Copeland (ZPLC) presented information regarding the upcoming changes included in the Super Circular.

Prior to this change there have been multiple different circulars providing guidance for administrative requirements, cost principles and audits depending on whether your organization was a nonprofit, local government or an institution of higher education. The UGG provides this guidance for all of these types of organizations in 2 CFR 200. There are six subparts and eleven appendices, so don’t worry, there is plenty of detail included.

Mary and Michael summarized new acronyms and definitions, some key terms, pre-award changes, post-award requirements, procurement standards, pass-through entity (PTE) and cost principle changes as well as adjustments to audit requirements. Some examples include:

  • Acronyms and Definitions: PPI (Personally Identifiable Information) and PPII (Protected Personally Identifiable Information
  • Key Terms: “Contractor” will be used to replace “Vendor” and the term “Non-Federal Entity” (that’s us!) has been added.
  • Procurement Standards: Do you know what is required for micro-purchases (<$3,000)?
  • Audit Requirements: Will you still qualify as a low-risk auditee?
  • Cost Principles: Are advertising costs allowable? Do we still need activity reports?
Michael even offered to provide a copy of his searchable PDF file on the portion of the UGG that covers cost principles. This file was sent to all the agencies in the Fiscal Group, which is comprised of Fiscal Directors (CFOs) from most Community Action agencies in the state. If you didn’t receive your copy and would like to, please give our office a call. If you are not a member of the Fiscal Group, and would like to increase communication and share ideas with agencies in Ohio, contact me at greg@oacaa.org to join and take advantage of this membership benefit.

All in all, the trainings were very well received and OACAA/OCATO is planning to continue and increase the number of regional trainings provided across the state. To stay up-to-date on upcoming trainings, subscribe to our blog and visit our website www.oacaa.org

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Community Action Provides Direction


Mike had a good job that he lost unexpectedly. Unfortunately, to cope with this loss he turned to drugs. For the next nine years Mike would be incarcerated three times for charges of drug possession and selling.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Community Action Provides Opportunities


Many families come to a Community Action Agency’s Head Start program looking for help for their children, but in the process begin to see the resources available for their entire family. Following is the story of one such person at the Community Action Agency of Columbiana County:

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Community Action Helps Expectant Mothers

Carrie, a first-time expectant mother, was unemployed and did not have support from her family members. During her pregnancy, she also had complications and was told that she may have to be on bed rest and receive injections to speed up the baby’s lung function development. In October, Carrie enrolled in the Help Me Grow Home Visiting program at Gallia-Meigs Community Action Agency for assistance.

The Help Me Grow (HMG) program provides first-time expectant parents or parents with a child that is six-months-old or younger with home visitors that teach them an evidenced-based parenting curriculum called Parents as Teachers. Children are screened to make sure they are reaching developmental milestones. The program also provides support and referrals to other community services.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Getting Started with Social Media: The Top 5 Sites Explained

Kathryn Clausen,
Communications Director
Navigating the world of social media can be a little overwhelming with new sites gaining momentum daily. While there are similarities, each site has its strengths, weaknesses and specialties. If you’re new to the social media scene or are considering getting your agency started, below is a quick run-down of today’s top five social media sites.

  • Facebook: Facebook is not only a social media site, it’s a verb! “Facebooking” is a pastime across the world with nearly 60 percent of social media users interacting on the site daily. Though the most common age demographic is between 25 and 34 years old (53 percent being female), people of all ages and genders continue to interact and connect with friends, family, companies, charities and causes. Facebook is generally considered a good stepping stone into the social media world. It has the highest number of daily users, provides excellent analytics to see how you’re interacting with followers and has an easy to use mobile application for page management.
  • YouTube: Not only a social media site, YouTube is also one of the most popular search engines around. Since its creation, billions of people have watched, discovered, learned and shared inspiring, funny, educational or other videos. Many bloggers have moved from traditional blog posts to vlogging (video weblog) using YouTube and with over 6 billion hours of video being watched each month, YouTube is a great way to share visual messages.
  • Google+: Considered a mere toddler of social media, Google+ is one of the fastest growing social media sites ever. Built from a user’s Google account, communities, circles, and hangouts are created based on your interests and online interaction. With over 500 million daily active users Google+ is worth consideration to expand social media outreach.
  • Twitter: My favorite description of Twitter when it burst onto the social media scene was, “Twitter is to Facebook what Post It Notes are to blogs.” With only 140 characters, Twitter users maintain an up-to-date news feed filled with hashtags and photos to join and stay in the conversation. Twitter is a fast-paced social media site with a constantly changing news feed. Users tweet, retweet, favorite and reply to over 500 million tweets per day.
  • LinkedIn: Reported to be one of the oldest social media sites and the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn’s 300-million-strong daily users interact with 3 billion professional profiles in 200 countries and territories. Users connect with classmates and colleagues to share the latest business news and get inspired to strengthen their business or career.
One of the most effective ways to share the Community Action mission and current agency events with neighbors, elected officials, funders, the media, and the local community, is by creating and maintaining social media profiles. Want to learn more about how to get started or gain a following? Subscribe to OACAA’s blog for future updates.