Joe Salamone

Long Island Coalition Against Bullying (LICAB)

NRH: Jonathan, we are so excited to welcome you and LICAB to the  Nonprofit Resource Hub and our growing community! We all want to get to know about you and your organization. Let’s start off by having you tell us a little bit more about LICAB and its mission?

JS: The Long Island Coalition Against Bullying was founded in 2013 and is dedicated to emphasizing the importance of bully-free communities on Long Island through education, increased awareness, and therapeutic outlets.  We seek to fulfill that mission by making sure that all of our programming and initiatives answer one of three vital questions related to bullying:

  1. How do we find kids and families who are struggling with bullying?
  2. How do we help them?
  3. How do we prevent future instances of bullying from happening?

Those three questions really help keep the focus on the key areas of importance so that we can make sure that we maximize our impacts across the Long Island community.

NRH: Now, can you tell us about yourself? How and why did you choose this organization to work with?

JS: I founded the organization and I did so based on my own experiences with adolescent bullying that were at their worst in my middle school years, lasted until my senior year in high school, and almost caused me to take my own life in the 9th grade.  

However, it was witnessing an individual with special needs being openly mocked and harassed in a local hospital that served as the catalytic event to take my interest in nonprofits and start my own.

NRH: Tell us what your goals are for your organization this coming year?

JS: This year we are particularly focused on expanding our various committees like our Youth Board and our internship program to engage youth more directly in our efforts as well as getting other strategic advisory groups up and running.  We are also looking to launch a social-emotional learning conference for schools this coming summer.

NRH: Tell us about one success story you are really proud of.

JS: I am so proud to say that we have helped so many children, families and schools deal with what at the time appeared to them as the worst thing they have ever had to deal with – and that is just in thinking about the success stories that we had a direct role in and not any of the ones that we might have played a role in without knowing.  So it is so difficult to pick just one.  From the pictures and letters, we receive from kids who received one of our Smile Packages, to the parents overwhelmed with emotion when we are able to connect them to a therapist AND help them pay for it – it is impossible to pick just one story.

However.  If I had to pick one of my favorite moments over the last 9 years, I would say was working with a unique group of teens – all who struggled with bullying in one form of another and who eventually found themselves filled with enough bravery and courage to tell their stories that they were featured on an episode of The Long Island Medium – definitely is at the top of the list.  

NRH: What do you find to be the biggest challenge to working in the nonprofit industry (or with your organization in particular) since the start of the pandemic?

JS: Ironically, at our board meeting in December of 2019, one of my declared focuses for 2020 was to begin to break our dependence on the ‘in-person/live’ event for fundraising.  Of course, I had no idea what was lurking around the corner just a few months away that would FORCE us to break our dependency on those events.  However, I think we still have a lot of learning to do as far as diversifying our income in a post-pandemic world.  While we are thankful for finally moving in a strong direction towards a return to normalcy – it is important, at least from my perspective – that we not fall back into the same traps but actually learn from the lessons of the last two years.

NRH: Aside from increasing awareness and donations, what is one area of your business you would love assistance with?

JS: Expanding our partnerships with school districts across the island – both private and public.  A strong, symbiotic relationship between LICAB and schools is essential to providing resources to kids and families; while also assisting schools’ efforts to bring positive outcomes to bullying situations beyond where their legal limitations may exist.

NRH: What program initiatives do you have scheduled for this coming year and how can the NRH community get involved to support you?

JS: We are going to be hosting several community events via zoom meant to educate the community on various issues related to bullying and we would love the NRH’s support in gaining more exposure for them once they are announced.  We of course are hosting our staple fundraising events of the year – our Golf Outing on May 23, our Inaugural Boardwalk Benefit on August 4, and our 2nd Annual Family Fun 5K Run/Walk on October 8th.  All of those go directly to funding our involvement with schools and our program resources within the community for kids and families in need.

NRH: What are you most looking forward to as a new Nonprofit Partner with the NRH?

JS: Working with so many knowledgeable and experienced individuals that are so willing and able to help support one another in their notable efforts to further their respective missions.

NRH: Is there anyone you would like to connect with that, perhaps, we could help make an introduction for you?

JS: We are always looking to meet with individuals in school leadership positions – especially central administration, building administration, or district social workers or guidance counselors in an effort to expand our school partnerships – so those types of introductions are always great.  

However, I always take this opportunity to say that the greatest introduction anyone could make for us is to a family or child in need.  The topic of bullying is never far away when you have children in your lives.  Sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, kids of close friends – the relationship doesn’t matter.  Bring up the discussion, talk about it at family parties. You would be surprised who you never knew dealt with it or is dealing with it – and the greatest tragedy for any nonprofit is to know someone out there was in need of their help and they didn’t know help was out there.  

NRH: We encourage all of our Members and Partners to work on building our community and relationships within. How can we get in touch with you? What is your preferred method of communication?

JS: My direct email is and our office line is (516)777-7709.  I am always willing to jump on a call, Zoom, or grab a bite!

NRH: Is there anything else you would like to share with the NRH community?
JS: The pandemic has created based on most national estimates a 70% increase in cyberbullying alone – which shouldn’t surprise anyone given the number of time kids have been spending on their devices.  I cannot emphasize enough how important the work we are doing is as masks begin to come off and kids feel ridiculed for personal decisions and life begins to move forward where kids are not on top of each other again without most having dealt with the mental impacts the pandemic has caused them. 

Protecting Your Nonprofit from Cyber Threats

By Michael Fleischer

Senior Vice President, SterlingRisk

The cyber-attacks that make headlines are often aimed at large corporations and financial institutions with household names. The sad truth, however, is that no one is safe from cyber activity, including today’s nonprofit. In fact, a growing number of charitable organizations that engage in online fundraising and giving campaigns have discovered the hard way that cyber criminals don’t discriminate when targeting victims.

While ransomware and phishing pose a growing threat to all organizations, the following tips can help protect your agency or association from cyber-attacks, cybercrime, and online fraud.

Plan for Worst Case Scenarios

If someone orchestrates a cyber-attack against your nonprofit, it is important to be able to respond quickly. All organizations should have cyber protocols and testing in place. You should be systematically testing your business for cyber weaknesses and entry points, and if a hack or mistake shuts down a vital system, have a plan B. Find a workaround that allows you to keep as much of your business running as possible.

Assess Your Vulnerabilities

You might not always know the risks you and your employees are taking. Bringing in an independent contractor to audit your technology systems and processes is one way to get ahead of those risks. A contractor can uncover hidden dangers such as unpatched software, insecure processes, or compromised systems.

Be Mindful of Emails

Research has found that more than 90 percent of detected malware arrived via email. This is due to the number of ways email can be manipulated.

An employee might receive a seemingly innocent email attachment, only to discover it carries malicious software, known as malware. This malware could take down a single computer or your entire network. Emails can also contain links leading users to websites that automatically download malicious code onto their computers. This type of code cannot always be prevented using traditional antivirus software alone. If an employee’s email account gets broken into, a hacker can pose as a trusted sender and dupe you into sharing valuable information.

Train Your Employees to Detect Threats

Another reason email is such an effective way into an organization is that employees don’t always know what to look for and are not fully aware of the risks they are taking when they check their messages.

Phishing emails, which are messages sent by someone posing as a reputable sender, often have small details changed or contain odd phrasing. With good training, employees will know to ask questions, double-check procedures, and verify requests via other sources. One effective technique is to send test emails that can track whether employees click links or follow a direction contained in a message. If they do, then the system can display educational materials or you can follow up to make sure they understand their mistake.

Require Strong Procedures for Payments

When COVID-19 first emerged, many of the usual processes and procedures had to be reimagined. This created new opportunities for invoice fraud.

For example, after COVID-19 started, businesses and nonprofits saw an increased number of invoices sent via spoofed, disguised, or hacked email addresses. Cyber attackers who spent time observing workers were able to imitate language and processes perfectly. Due to this, it is recommended that employees be skeptical of all invoices and to have client, vendor, and bank phone numbers readily available in order to easily verify any payment or bank charge.

Use Strong Passwords

Passwords should be complex, but they don’t need to be hard to remember. Rather than pasting your passwords into a spreadsheet or writing them down, consider using a password manager with strong encryption. Password managers can assist with password protection, giving the ability to store encrypted passwords for multiple sites in a secure vault. These high-tech tools can keep hundreds of passwords safe and are easy to use.

While no system is foolproof, following the above cyber tips will go a long way towards safeguarding your nonprofit. If you experience any unusual requests or think you might be a victim of fraud, contact me at or call me directly at 516-719-8759.

Michael Fleischer is Senior Vice President at SterlingRisk, one of the nation’s largest privately held insurance brokers. He brings over 35 years of insurance and risk management experience to his clients at SterlingRisk. Michael’s understanding of cyber insurance, claims, risk management, complex coverage issues, and carrier relationships enables him to develop and implement complete and comprehensive solutions to his clients’ exposures. To learn more about SterlingRisk, visit