Thursday, June 30, 2016

What to PUT in Your Newsletter

By Kivi Leroux Miller

Puzzling over what makes really good newsletter content, especially in email?
It’s really not that hard.
People like email content that is Personal, Useful or Timely . . . or PUT.

Make your newsletter more Personal by:
Sending from a real person with a functioning reply-to address.
Segmenting your mailing list so you can send people content that’s more relevant to them.
Merging in personal information like a first name or last gift amount.

Read more:

Monday, June 27, 2016

IRS opens data on tax-exempt organizations

By Zach Noble

The IRS is taking a step to open financials data for non-profit organizations with its June 16 announcement that most of the 990 forms will now be available in machine-readable XML format. Up until now, the forms have only been offered as image files.

The XML files will be hosted through Amazon Web Services as an AWS Public Data Set."The IRS' move is a very good thing," said Hudson Hollister, executive director of the pro-transparency Data Coalition. "There is no reason why public information that the government already collects in a machine-readable format can't be published in that same format!"

Covered forms include electronically filed Form 990, Form 990-EZ and Form 990-PF from 2011 to the present, which the IRS is publishing with some personally identifiable tax-identification numbers redacted. According to the agency, more than 60 percent of Forms 990 are filed electronically.

         Read more:

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Grant writing workshop at Charleston Southern July 12

"Grant Writing Basics: A Step-by-Step Journey" will be offered by the Charleston Association of Grant Professionals on Tuesday, July 12.

Location: Charleston Southern University, 9200 University Boulevard in North Charleston


12:00 noon - Registration/Networking Lunch

1:00 - 4:00 pm  - Grant Writing Workshop presented by Dr. Linda Karges-Bone

Registration Info:


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Charleston Association of Grant Professionals (CAGP) to meet June 21

The Charleston Association of Grant Professionals (CAGP) will meet tonight, June 21, in the auditorium at the Charleston County Public Library, 68 Calhoun Street from 5:45 – 7:30 p.m.

The topic is: “Exciting News for Grant Seekers!”    The presenter will be John Van Dalen, Reference Librarian, Charleston County Public Library (CCPL) and supervisor of the Foundation Directory Online (FDO) at the library.   

Foundation MAPS is now available at the CCPL. Created by the Foundation Center, this tool gives grant seekers access to detailed funding data and gives users the ability to generate maps and charts that will show the connections between funders and their grants. It covers more than 3 million grants made by over 33,000 foundations.

"John will demo this amazing tool at tonight’s meeting.  I previewed this with John and can’t wait to use it! Once you see the demonstration, I’m certain you will see its great value and want to give it a try."  said Carolyn Lackey with the CAGP.
Meetings are free and open to anyone interested in the grants process.

For more information, call 843.452.4492 or email

Friday, June 10, 2016

Four Common Branding Mistakes That Harm Your Nonprofit's Fundraising Efforts

from Forbes Nonprofit Council

The best storytellers will tell you: Keep your message concise, relevant and engaging. Yet, you put time and hard work into crafting your nonprofit’s story — how it started, grew over time, and became the success it is today — all to find out your donors couldn’t care less. What’s the deal?

You probably know the basics of good branding, but what’s harder to nail down is how to tailor your message to your audience. Your current message could very well be concise, relevant and engaging, but not to your target audience. It’s a good idea to occasionally scrutinize your branding to see what simple mistakes might be diluting your fundraising efforts.

The four nonprofit executives below from Forbes Nonprofit Council tweaked their brand over the years, and here are the top branding mistakes they come across.

          Read more:

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Hiring In The Non-Profit Sector Is Increasing: Five Ways That You Can Benefit

By Caroline Ceniza-Levine 
contributor, Nonprofit HR, and The Improve Group partnered to survey hiring trends in the non-profit sector, and the 2016 Nonprofit Employment Practices Survey point to several areas of opportunity:

• 57% of non-profits anticipate creating new positions (versus 36% in the private sector).

• Fewer non-profits are decreasing staff size this year, compared to last year.

• Fundraising/ Development jobs show strongest growth, though Direct Services and Education/ Community Outreach follow closely behind.

          Read more: 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

The French connection: New mural at Charleston airport honors influential 1700s botanist Andre Michaux

By Adam Parker,
The Post and Courier

It’s hard to imagine it, but a couple of centuries ago the land on which the Charleston International Airport now sits was the French Botanic Garden, established by the famous botanist Andre Michaux.

Michaux, born and raised at Versailles, spent about 20 years in the United States when it was newborn. He came primarily to collect trees to replace those France had lost to clearcutting for ship building and waging war.

Michaux set up a nursery in what is now Hoboken, N.J. He got to know Thomas Jefferson and George Washington and the English botanist John Bartram.

In 1786 he came to Charleston, introducing the area to the camellia, crape myrtle, gingko, mimosa tree, tea plant, and pomegranate, and where he collected South Carolina specimens — rhododendrons, Oconee bells, Carolina lilies, wild azaleas, oak, maple, magnolia and other trees — for shipment to France.

In botany circles, his adventuresome work in the fledgling U.S. has become the stuff of legend. And now Michaux will be commemorated with a huge mural by local artist Karl Beckwith Smith, to be installed in a prominent place at the Charleston International Airport.

The work was commissioned by the small nonprofit Friends of Andre Michaux, which has been working for about nine years on the project, hoping to raise Michaux’s profile at the airport. Last year, when Jenny Sanford served as chairwoman of the Aviation Authority’s art committee, Smith contacted her (they knew one another because of a previous art project) and proposed a Michaux mural. It was a happy coincidence: Smith and his advocates wanted the mural displayed at the airport; the airport, under renovation, needed some art.

         To read more go to   and enter the term "Michaux" in the search box.
         Then click sort option by "date."

          The Post and Courier