Friday, April 17, 2015

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

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

The presenter will be Mary Carmichael, Executive Director of the Public Charter School Alliance of South Carolina.  Her topic will be  “You Need to Cultivate the Soil to Grow as a Grant Writer.” 

Carmichael will facilitate a group workshop on how to grow as Grant Writers by "tilling the soil," learning new skills, and leveraging CAGP's Networking and Training.   She has over 20 years of nonprofit management and grant writing experience. 

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

Upcoming Events: May 19 - Next meeting of CAGP.    In  early July the annual Grant Writing Workshop will be presented by Dr. Linda Karges-Bone,  at Charleston Southern University . More information will be available soon!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Nonprofits Work to Come to Terms with Minimum and Living Wage Standards

By Martin Levine
Nonprofit Quarterly (NPQ)

As the momentum behind the effort to transform the minimum wage into a “living” wage grows, nonprofit organizations are struggling with the impact of increased labor costs. In city halls, state houses, and the United States Congress, there is increasing consensus that the minimum wage should be raised; the debate has shifted to how large the increase should be and how long should the phase-in period must be before that new level is reached.

with themselves about the merits of an increase. As advocates for low-income households, they support increasing the minimum wage to a level where it will meet basic human needs. As employers of many minimum-wage workers that have limited ability to pass on increased costs to their customers, nonprofits worry about the economic toll that increasing salaries will have on their fiscal health.

         Read more:

Five Steps to Increasing Diversity in Nonprofits

By Steve Scheier, CEO and Founder of Scheier+Group and author of Do More Good. Better. Using the Power of Decision Clarity™ to Mobilize the Power of Your Nonprofit Team.


In the aggregate, nonprofit organizations are staffed by people from diverse backgrounds. But if we take a closer look at who runs and makes the key decisions in these nonprofits we see patterns that are reflective of the larger society: the leaders of many nonprofits are white and the people implementing the decisions of these leaders are diverse.

This realization caused the respected NPQ to assert in its December, 2014 edition that “The Nonprofit Sector Has a Ferguson Problem.”

Why did the NPQ come to this conclusion? Because a number of studies have shown that whites lead 9.5 out of 10 philanthropic organizations. Only 7 percent of nonprofit chief executives and 18 percent of nonprofit employees are people of color.

So even though most nonprofit advocacy is targeted at diverse communities the people leading these efforts are usually white. They are likely very committed and well intentioned and committed to advancing the social needs they’ve vowed to take on but the preponderance of white leaders means that there is comparatively little opportunity for more diverse leaders to emerge.

          Read more:

Monday, April 13, 2015

Coastal Community Foundation Announces Leadership Transition

President and CEO George Stevens steps down, Richard Hendry to assume interim role as board initiates executive search

Charleston, SC, April 10, 2015 -- Coastal Community Foundation, a grantmaking institution dedicated to serving coastal South Carolina, today announced that President and CEO George Stevens has resigned, effective immediately.
“Due to differences in vision, George has decided to step down and we will begin the search for new leadership,” said Coastal Community Foundation board chair Bill Medich.
“With George’s help, Coastal Community Foundation has grown in every imaginable way. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved and see incredible potential for the future. We look forward to building on the momentum George helped us create and wish him all the best.”
During the transition, day-to-day operations will be overseen by interim President Richard Hendry. Community Foundation board member Paul Kohlheim leads the search committee and will present the board with candidates for the permanent position.
“It has been a great honor to serve the community,” said Stevens. “A principled discussion of direction is a sign of the relevancy and strength of Coastal Community Foundation. I am proud to have been in the conversation.”

See the press release and more news from the Coastal Community Foundation

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement Based on Data

By Beth Kantor

I’m always on the look out for useful and thought provoking resources on how nonprofits can use data to make better decisions that lead to greater impact.   So, when Mary K Winkler, one of the nonprofit data nerds I follow on Twitter and Senior Research Associate at Urban Institute’s Center on Nonprofits & Philanthropy specializing in performance management told me via Twitter she had just published a new guide on this topic, I had to check it out.

 Moving Beyond a Culture of Compliance to a Culture of Continuous Improvement is a resource guide to help leadership, management, supervisory, and data-focused staff in Head Start and Early Head Start programs (1) understand how data, including data they already collect, can help them achieve their program goals; (2) learn techniques for fostering a culture of learning in their organization; and (3) increase their ability to identify and address gaps and continuously improve their programs. It was designed to complement existing technical assistance resources through tip sheets, examples, and links to multiple resources. 

           Read more:

Monday, April 6, 2015

Going Viral: A Small Nonprofit Gets National Attention

How does a small nonprofit go viral and capture attention on the national stage? I set out to learn the answer from a Network for Good customer that has achieved the biggest exposure opportunity any business, organization, or individual could hope for: a commercial spot during the Super Bowl.

 Estella’s Brilliant Bus was featured in Microsoft’s Super Bowl ad this year. And the Super Bowl was just one appearance from the past 18 months: Estella has appeared on Dr. Oz and Oprah and was named a CNN Hero of the Year.

  I talked with the organization’s founder and sole staff member, Estella Pyfrom, to understand the story behind the exposure. Going in, I thought I might find a replicable strategy around networking, PR, and elevator pitches, but after talking with Estella, I realized what I should have been expecting all along: It starts with mastering your nonprofit basics.

          Read more:

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Using Loans: A 101 Guide To Borrowing For Nonprofit Organizations

By the Nonprofit Assistance Fund
via Nonprofit Quarterly (NPQ)

 Nonprofit organizations are founded and operated with a focus on a mission to serve their communities. This makes them different from businesses, which operate with a goal of making a profit for their owners. Yet nonprofits share many characteristics with businesses—both have revenues, expenses, personnel, and facilities. Like businesses, nonprofit organizations sometimes need cash in the form of a loan to operate their programs effectively. Astute managers and boards understand that loans can be a tool that can help their nonprofit grow and succeed.


We know from juggling our own bills that it is never a good idea to borrow money that you cannot repay. Using loans wisely requires thought and planning about how the cash will be used and a realistic plan for repayment.

Consider an organization that has an opportunity to open a new site for their service. They research the location and find that it’s a good fit with their services and mission.
They develop a budget based on attainable fundraising and fees. The only obstacle is $20,000 of upfront costs to prepare the facility and buy furniture and equipment. They have several choices:

Decline the opportunity because they don’t have the necessary startup funds

Delay a decision for up to six months until a grant request for startup costs can be prepared and considered;

Arrange for a $20,000 loan with monthly payments for four years and start the program right away.

In this case, it would be unfortunate to miss the opportunity. Taking out a loan in this situation is demonstration of good management and planning. 

          Read more: