Monday, May 2, 2016

For small, grassroots nonprofits, Lowcountry Giving Day can make a big impact

By Deanna Pan
The Post and Courier

In Emily Hoisington’s classroom, it’s not uncommon for students to arrive hungry because they didn’t have dinner the night before, or dressed in unwashed and torn clothing because they had nothing else to wear.

As a student-teacher at Mitchell Elementary, a high-poverty school in downtown Charleston, Hoisington knows firsthand what happens when students’ basic needs aren’t met at home: They’re distracted. They can’t focus. They’re not prepared to learn.

 Four years ago as a freshman at the College of Charleston, Hoisington, who’s now 22 and a week shy from graduating, co-founded Charleston Hope, a grassroots nonprofit serving more than 2,000 students at five Title 1 schools in the Lowcountry.
  Next fall, Hoisington plans to pilot a new project in one of Charleston Hope’s partner schools, a basic need’s closet outfitted with toiletries, canned goods, uniforms, undergarments and school supplies, available to any student at any time year-round.

 To keep the closet stocked and maintained, Charleston Hope needs to raise $15,000. On Lowcountry Giving Day, Hoisington hopes donors will rise to the challenge.

 “For small nonprofits like us, days like these are really important,” Hoisington says. “I think when people donate to small nonprofits, especially the little ones, you can really see the impact that you’re making with your financial donations.”

 Unlike years past, any registered nonprofit can participate in the third annual Lowcountry Giving Day, set for Tuesday.

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

How to Start Your Own Nonprofit

By Benjamin Pimentel

Nonprofit organizations often come from the heart.

 They can begin with a goal of addressing a social or community issue or need. Making money may not be on the priority list. But you can still set up your nonprofit in ways that help keep costs down, particularly taxes. You can then direct more funds toward achieving your organization’s objectives.

 Here’s what you need to know:

 Steps to take to start your nonprofit

The first step is to register your nonprofit in the state where you want to incorporate. An organization called the National Association of State Charity Officials has information on filing requirements for charitable organizations in different states. The U.S. Small Business Administration also has information on the state agencies where you can file papers of incorporation.

Once you’ve registered your nonprofit, you must file IRS Form 1023, which is the formal request that the IRS recognize you as a 501(c)(3) organization eligible for tax exemptions under this rule.

If you are going to ask an attorney or some other party to represent you on matters related to your application with the IRS, you also need to fill out and submit Form 2848.
You also will have to fill out and submit IRS Form 990, or “Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax.”

Timing is an important consideration. According to IRS rules, you must file for nonprofit tax-exempt status by the end of the 27th month after your organization is legally created, which means when your group is formally incorporated.

The application can be a long and tedious process, so you’ll need patience. The IRS will have a tax specialist go over your application and may ask for more information. But if your nonprofit passes the test, you will get a “determination letter” recognizing your tax-exempt status.
Overview of nonprofits

Now that you know the basic steps, let’s take a step back.

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Nonprofit Provides Free Medical Care For Homeless People’s Pets

By Elyse Wanshel
Trends Writer, The Huffington Post

"A pet can enrich a homeless person’s life, and vice versa.

"This is precisely why the nonprofit Pets Of The Homeless, provides those in need with free food and medical services to keep their pups and cats happy and healthy.

 “ 'My dog is at home right now by herself,' Genevieve Frederick, the founder of Pets of the Homeless told Elite Daily in the video below. 'She’s wondering when me and my husband are going to come home. The homeless pets are with their owners 24/7, and they have a way bigger bond than you and I have with our pets.'

"Frederick started her nonprofit with her daughter, Renee Lowry, in 2007, after a trip to New York City. It was there that she saw a homeless man with his dog.

“ 'I was confused as to the reason anyone who is homeless, who could barely feed or take care of themselves, would even consider having a pet,' she wrote on Pets of the Homeless’ site. Yet, she also observed that the dog, that wasn’t on a leash, was happily standing at the owner’s side.

"When Frederick returned to her home of Carson City, Nevada, she began to do research and discovered that homeless individuals with pets often have to make hard decisions. Because many shelters do not allow pets, many people have to choose between staying with their companion animals or having a roof over their heads. Many choose the only thing they’ve got left — their pets.

"Soon after this discovery, Frederick asked her dog’s veterinarians to help her collect pet food donations for the homeless. The vets spread the word and thanks to local media coverage, on Frederick’s first day of collections she had enough donations to fill a 55-gallon trashcan.

"Since that day, her efforts continued to burgeon.

“ 'To my amazement, the organization quickly evolved into the nonprofit it is today,' she told AARP.

Friday, April 22, 2016

How To Accelerate Your Nonprofit Using Strategies From The For-Profit World

via Forbes Nonprofit Council

These days, you might hear about innovative nonprofits that are either in part or entirely self-funded — think TOMS and Out of Print. One thing’s for certain: They’ve come a long way from the charitable donations and endless fundraisers you typically associate with nonprofits.  

What’s interesting is that many of these organizations actually incorporate characteristics of a for-profit company. This, however, doesn’t mean they seek a profit. Rather, it’s about creating a sustainable business model to ensure the continuity of their social efforts.

We asked three social entrepreneurs from Forbes Nonprofit Council about the ways in which they run their nonprofit like a for-profit business — and how that helped shape the success of their organization today.

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Charleston Association of Grant Professionals (CAGP) to meet April 19

The Charleston Association of Grant Professionals (CAGP) will meet Tuesday, April 19 from 5:45-7:30 pm in the auditorium of the Charleston County Public Library, 68 Calhoun Street in Charleston.

The presenter will be Jessica Browning, Vice President for Communications for the Winkler Group. Her topic will be "Navigating Today's Grant Landscape."

Tomorrow night's program will mainly focus on the 990 and what it says to funders about your organization. We will also look at the 990PF of a foundation and discuss how it can help a grant writer uncover clues about foundations. You will also hear about the other components of a successful development program.

Meetings are free and open to anyone interested in the grants process.

For more information, call 843.452.4492 or email

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Fundraising: Information and Resources from the National Council of Nonprofits

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From:  National Council of Nonprofits

Most charitable nonprofits rely upon the generosity of donors for some or all of their funding. Consequently, fundraising is an activity of major importance to the charitable nonprofit community. The National Council of Nonprofits does not provide funding or offer assistance with fundraising, however, your state association of nonprofits offers many different opportunities – such as workshops, webinars, peer learning, and even discounts on products and services that are used by charitable nonprofits to fundraise.

Fundraising is a regulated activity

Before your nonprofit solicits donations, learn about:

Fundraising and tax-exempt status

What if your nonprofit is not tax-exempt?

- See more at:

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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Leaner, Greener Nonprofits Need To Be Authentic To Stand Out

by , , Op-Ed Contributor

For nonprofits, persuading the masses to donate is a matter of survival. To fund their work continually, they must be able to reach the people who care most about what they're doing — and make sure those people can find them, too. 

Don't broadcast, connect

Nonprofits are certainly making use of digital channels like email and social media, while continuing tried-and-true tactics like print mailings for older generations. 

But is that enough? For too many nonprofits, "going digital" simply means having a website, and having social media options for those who want to follow them that way. While these are both important steps, nonprofits need to be sure all digital channels are optimized for best return. 

To that end, social channels shouldn't solely be vehicles for broadcasting your latest heart-wrenching video, or appeals for donations. 

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