Thursday, January 29, 2015

Forest cleanup looking for volunteers

From The Moultrie News

The USDA and PalmettoPride will host the annual cleanup of the Francis Marion National Forest on Saturday, Feb. 7, from 8 a.m. to noon. Volunteers are wanted to help clean up litter and illegal dumpsites spread throughout the forest’s 260,000 acres. 

Since 2003, more than 1,650 volunteers have removed approximately 216 tons of trash from the forest.

This is a great event for families, service learning clubs, school and church groups, and outdoor enthusiasts. Volunteers need to dress appropriately for the weather. Sturdy shoes and long pants are encouraged. Lunch will be served at noon to all volunteers and staff.

Volunteers should report to the Forest Service Office at 2967 Steed Creek Road in Huger.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

SCANPO Team is Expanding to Better Meet the Needs of Nonprofits!

By Ben Bullock

Columbia, S.C. – "The South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations (SCANPO) recently added two new team members to serve and strengthen the state’s nonprofit sector. Sharon Thomas joined SCANPO’s staff as its Member Services Manager and Debbie Nelson assumed a new consulting role for its Knowledge Network resource center.

"As Member Services Manager, Thomas is the first point of contact for SCANPO’s members, answering questions, making referrals and ensuring that member organizations are getting the most of their membership. Prior to joining the SCANPO team, Thomas worked in the nonprofit field for 20 years as a trainer and consultant in child abuse prevention, as well as executive director of Helping Hands of Georgetown, a crisis response and poverty intervention agency, and SCANPO member organization. Thomas received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and religious studies from Charleston Southern University. A mother of five, Thomas resides in Berkeley County with her husband.
"Nelson assumed responsibility for SCANPO’s Knowledge Network in a new consulting role. She manages a variety of resources and learning experiences for SCANPO’s membership. Nelson brings more than 30 years of professional experience and understanding of nonprofits and their training needs to SCANPO’s members as the president and founder of DNA Creative Communications, and the founder of Shine the Light Nonprofit Forums. In addition, she teaches social marketing at Presbyterian College. Mother of two, Nelson currently lives in Greenville with her husband.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Charleston Association of Grant Professionals (CAGP) to meet Jan. 20

The Charleston Association of Grant Professionals (CAGP) will meet at the Main Branch of the  Charleston County Public Library,  68 Calhoun Street in Charleston, on Tuesday, Jan. 20 from 5:45 – 7:30 p.m.

The Speaker will be Thomas C. Keith, President, Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina.  He will be speaking on the topic,  “What Funders Want from Grantseekers”

Meetings are free and open to anyone interested in the grants process. For more information, email or call (843) 452-4492.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Run A Nonprofit Like A Startup To Move Fast And Help Things

By Ryan Seashore
TechCrunch Daily

The nonprofit model is broken.

Unless you’re part of a unicorn nonprofit like Charity: Water then your organization likely has too much overhead, too much bureaucracy, and a lack of focus on impact. Everything feels slow.

But things are beginning to change. Technology, new organizational frameworks, and alternatives to traditional fundraising are allowing new and early-stage nonprofits to consider adopting models more similar to a for-profit startup. The ways of the startup are being taken up by nonprofits — except that we’re not so much about moving fast and breaking things, as we are moving fast and helping them.

Last year I had the good fortune to be part of the first batch of nonprofits to go through Y Combinator. Even before YC, I had subscribed to the principles of the lean startup and consistently tried to apply those methods to my nonprofit, CodeNow. Nevertheless, the YC experience was transformative in terms of how I viewed growth, vision, and hustle at the nonprofit level. I’ve never been pushed harder and accomplished more in such a short period of time.

From my time at YC I’ve picked up a number of lessons that I think are worth sharing and important to think about if you’re leading, or working for, a nonprofit.

          Read more:

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Again, Nonprofit Mergers are No Cure-all

By Michael Wyland
Nonprofit Quarterly (NPQ)

The merger of two nonprofit organizations in western Pennsylvania is the jumping-off point for a rambling article that veers from mergers to collaborations to coordination between agencies and their leaders as ways to save money and be more effective in meeting their missions. The contradictions between the article’s title, “Experts urge nonprofit mergers as way to better help groups serve,” and its content is indicative of the confusion about whether and how nonprofit agencies should work, and work together.

Mergers, whether they’re between for-profit companies or nonprofit agencies, rarely save money. Administrative efficiencies are easy to cite, but they are the tip of the cost iceberg. While it’s true that a merged entity no longer needs two CEOs and will eventually merge many back-office operations like human resources and finance, it takes time and (re)training to accomplish these tasks in the best of circumstances. There are a host of issues involved in melding two or more entities’ workforces, physical locations, services, marketing, fund development, etc. In addition, there is the amorphous issue of merging “cultures,” usually referring to how the people affected by the merger will get along and align themselves with the new nonprofit.

The article states that “the number of American nonprofits filing annual returns nearly doubled in the past decade, up to nearly 1.1 million in 2013, IRS data show.” However, a recently released GAO report says that the number of U.S. charities actually increased by less than 10 percent since 2003. The article uses the erroneous information and a quote to assert that there are, somehow, too many similar charities chasing all-too-scarce resources. The need to “eliminate duplication” as an efficiency move is not only an anti-free market argument, it also glosses over important distinctions in how nonprofits serve similar populations, e.g., secular vs. faith-based, small vs. large, professional staff vs. committed volunteers. Even if it were true that the number of US charities were burgeoning, it does not follow that this is a bad thing for communities or for people in need.

           Read more:

Friday, January 2, 2015

International Paper awards $55,000 to area schools and nonprofits

GEORGETOWN, S.C. – International Paper’s Georgetown Mill operations, through the International Paper Foundation, have just announced this year’s grant awardees with a specific concentration on Environmental Education, Literacy, and Employment Involvement.

Totaling $55,000 in grants, to area schools, environmental groups and other charitable organizations, this year’s recipients have exemplified the community commitment that resonates with IP employees. Additionally, a portion of the grant funds were also used to purchase National Geographic Explorer magazine subscriptions for all third and sixth grade classes in Georgetown County Schools. In the past five years, the International Paper Foundation has awarded more than a quarter of a million dollars in grants to a number of organizations throughout the Georgetown area. 

           Read more: 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Small nonprofits rein in costs, expand reach with shared CFOs

By Natasha Lindstrom
Pittsburg Tribune-Review

The Society for Contemporary Craft has come a long way from its tiny storefront in Verona 43 years ago.

The arts nonprofit grew into a bustling space in the Strip District with gallery space Downtown. Its budget more than doubled in the past two decades, up to $1.1 million, and staffing tripled to 12 employees.

Last year, more than 45,000 people used its services, which include free exhibits, open studio space and workshops on everything from goldsmithing to carving wooden spoons.

But like many small nonprofits, the craft organization often scrambled to finish each year without a deficit, making it difficult to plan long-term investments.

“There are too many years that are just focused on breaking even,” Executive Director Janet McCall said, “and trying to get beyond break-even has been extremely challenging.”

This month, McCall and a group of fellow arts nonprofit executives did something to help put an end to that short-term scrambling: They hired a shared chief financial officer.


           Read more: