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Leading Forward

Posted By Mike Riordan, Monday, May 1, 2017
I had the opportunity recently to attend the Together SC Upstate Board Leadership Summit and
 this event provided perspective for me as both a CEO and a board member. There are some great takeaways from Charles Weathers and the breakout sessions that I would like to share:

 

  • Charles Weathers reminded me there is a difference between a diverse board and an inclusive board. This is more than just optics; the opinions and experiences that an inclusive board brings allows an organization to provide better services to their community.
  •  “Take the best and leave the rest,” or as I think about it, taking 100% responsibility. While people like to be a hero, this requires there also be a victim and a villain. By being responsible only for yourself, you transform those roles from hero to coach, villains to challengers and victims to creators.
  • Similar to responsibility, Charles reminded us to serve on boards that we have the time and passion to commit to. Being able to say “No” is very powerful because it allows us to take responsibility for our lives and benefits the organizations we do decide to work with.  
  • A positive relationship between a CEO and board chair is crucial. Several years ago, I had a conversation with my board chair about a family matter. In a loving and supportive way, my board chair was able to ask about my personal needs while making sure the organization would continue to be successful. Having a comfort level that allows a good working relationship between CEO and board chair contributes to organizational success. 

 

About the Author

Michael Riordan serves as CEO of the Strategic Coordinating Organization (SCO) for Greenville Health System (GHS). GHS is one of the largest not-for-profit health systems in the Southeast with eight medical campuses, over 150 physician practice sites, more than 15,000 employees, including almost 2,000 physicians and providers, and operating revenues of approximately $2.2 billion.

 

Prior to joining GHS he served as president and CEO of the University of Chicago Hospitals and Health System and as senior associate hospital administrator for Emory University Hospital and Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. He also served three years in the United States Marine Corps as a lieutenant.

 

Riordan currently serves on the governing boards of the Association of American Medical Colleges Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems, and Health Sciences South Carolina. He is Chairman of the Furman University Board of Trustees and serves on the board of Liberty Fellowship, an incubator for leadership in South Carolina.

 

Riordan earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts/English and a master’s degree in education/psychology from Columbia University in New York, as well as a master’s degree in health systems from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Tags:  Leading Forward  Together SC 

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Together SC issues RFP for Accounting Services

Posted By Benjamin Bullock, Together SC, Friday, April 28, 2017


Request for Proposals

Date: April 28, 2017

To: All Interested Parties

From: Benjamin D. Bullock, Director of Operations, Together SC

Subject: RFP for Accounting/Bookkeeping Services

 

Together SC is currently seeking proposals from external accounting / bookkeeping organizations to provide such services to Together SC. 

 

Together SC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit membership association (with over 800 members) based in Columbia, South Carolina, whose purpose is “to unite, strengthen, and advance our state’s nonprofit community, so we may enrich the quality of life for all.” Its annual budget is approximately $600,000, with a staff of 3 employees and 7+ contractors. Its revenue is earned through member dues, training fees, contracts, sponsorships, and grants. Together SC operates on a Fiscal Year ending June 30.

 

SCOPE OF SERVICES

We are looking for a detail-oriented, highly-knowledgeable, and reliable firm with an excellent reputation in nonprofit accounting, that is committed to serving South Carolina’s Nonprofit sector, to provide:

 

1) Bookkeeping Services

  • Record semi-monthly payroll, benefits, and PTO information received from Together SC’s contracted Professional Employer Organization (PEO), as well as year-end functional expense allocations.
  • Record vendor invoices and pay bills. A cloud-based, mobile-friendly system for reviewing and approving bills is preferred.
  • Record A/R, payments, and bank deposits.
  • Reconcile bank statements.
  • Record deferred revenue on an annual basis.
  • Maintain the chart of accounts and an orderly accounting filing system.

 

2) Financial Reporting

  • Prepare quarterly statements of Income & Expense, Balance Sheet, and other reports as necessary for Finance Committee meetings.
  • Provide other financial reports as necessary.


3) Audit

  • Develop and post end-of-year journal entries.
  • Prepare year-end balance sheet and revenue and expenditure reports for auditor.
  • Provide audit process and 990 support. Audits are typically conducted from July through August.

 

4) Information Technology

  • Provide accurate and up-to-date online access through a secure web portal to financial information.
  • Ability to synch with Together SC’s YourMembership database through Quickbooks plug-in is preferred. 

 

5) Support  

  • Provide assistance, guidance, and reccomendations to improve internal control procedures and efficiency.
  • Provide as-needed consultation on financial policies and procedures.
  • Provide timely assistance on an as-needed basis.

 

Together SC currently uses Quickbooks, and would prefer to stay on that platform but will entertain other options. The chosen firm would be working closely with Together SC’s Director of Operations, and we expect clear and timely communication and a team effort to complete the work needed. We would need this firm in place at the start of our next fiscal year, July 1, 2017.

 

PROPOSAL

Please use the following format when preparing your response. Please limit the proposal to five pages (excluding attachments).

 

Section 1: Proposer Information: Company name, primary contact, email, phone, etc.

Section 2: Scope of work/description of services and approach to bookkeeping, accounting, and reporting services, particularly as it relates nonprofits and membership organizations.

 Section 3: Firm’s qualifications: Summary of previous similar work for nonprofit organizations; proficiency with Quickbooks and YourMembership or similar Customer Relations Management software. Please include at least three nonprofit or association clients for which proposer has performed similar work as references, with current contact information for each.

 Section 4: Description of cost structure that include rates for bookkeeping and CPA services, as well as a description of how fees will be charged for questions on technical matters that may arise throughout the engagement.

 Attachments: Resumes and bios for the firm’s principal(s), as well as the account manager who would be assigned to this engagement. Any other materials to demonstrate capabilities and/or commitment to nonprofit organizations in South Carolina, and summary of prior involvement with Together SC.

 

DEADLINE

Complete proposals are due by 5:00 pm EDT on Monday, May 15, 2017. Completed proposals should be submitted via email to Benjamin Bullock, Director of Operations at benjamin@togethersc.org

 

SELECTION

Proposals will be reviewed for completeness, experience with previous similar work, quality of references, and reasonableness of cost structure, and a strength of support of South Carolina’s Nonprofit sector, generally, and Together SC in particular. Interviews may be requested with select proposers. Selected bidder will be notified in writing by May 29, 2017. Transition work will begin on June 19, 2017.

Tags:  accounting  bookkeeping  RFP 

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The Scoop on this Nonprofit Transparency Bill

Posted By Benjamin Bullock, Together SC, Monday, April 3, 2017

I can hear it now… “Not another report to file! We’ve already got so many! For-profit companies don’t have to jump through all of these hoops!”

But don’t fear! This bill is good for everyone, nonprofits and taxpayers, alike.

H. 3931 was introduced in the SC House of Representatives earlier this month, and has been making its way through the legislative process.

The bill, as originally written, would require any nonprofit organization that receives “public funds to submit a quarterly expenditure report to the awarding jurisdiction.” This applies to funds granted by state and local governments.

While this may sound like yet another burdensome report to file, there’s more to it than that. These reports would have to be made public by the public funder, not the nonprofit. In exchange, as long as the nonprofit files its reports correctly, it is exempt from the state’s Freedom of Information Act. What that means is, when an individual comes to your organization with a FOIA request, rather than drop everything you and your organization are doing, you may politely direct them to the public entity that granted the funds.

This is good news for nonprofits. South Carolina’s FOIA law is very ambiguous, and leaves nonprofits vulnerable to those who would stretch its application beyond the law’s original intent. Nonprofits are left uncertain about which FOIA requests are legitimate and which are not, when they receive requests for their private grant reports and donor lists. This bill would end that ambiguity by requiring a report of public funds only, and putting the burden of disclosure on the real public body.

This is also great news for taxpayers! As it currently stands, the ambiguity of FOIA means that interested members of the public don’t know to whom to direct their questions. Nonprofits and Governments can point at each other, and make it very difficult to determine who is responsible for disclosure. FOIA requests can tangle up for weeks and more, and this law would clear that away, but putting the burden where it belongs: on public agencies, not on private organizations.

This is great for accountability! When a nonprofit seeks a grant from a foundation, a responsible funder requires reporting, not just on financials, but on impact. Government should do no less, and Nonprofits should expect no less.  In Guiding Principles & Best Practices for South Carolina Nonprofits we ask you to ask yourselves, “Do we openly and honestly communicate with stakeholders and the public about our mission, activities, finances and decision-making?” This bill will help give clarity on how to be more accountable for taxpayer dollars.

Your Together SC staff has been hard at work at the State House these last few weeks. We’ve been working with other interested parties and the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Bill Herkerbsman (R-Bluffton) to amend the bill to make the reporting annual, rather than quarterly, to acknowledge that contracts for goods and services already have reporting requirements under procurement rules, and other changes to improve organizations’ ability to comply.

The bill currently rests in the House Ways & Means Committee. We encourage you to please contact your House Member, especially if they are on the Ways and Means Committee, and encourage them to support H. 3931.

 

For the Greater Good,

Benjamin Bullock,

Director of Operations,

Together SC

Tags:  accountability  Guiding Principles & Best Practices  H. 3931  public policy  transparency 

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Together SC's new lobbyist: Ann Timberlake

Posted By Benjamin Bullock, Together SC, Monday, April 3, 2017

Advocacy is vital to the work of the Nonprofit sector. We all know this to be true, yet it is some of the work that is most difficult for us to engage in. It’s so easy to throw up our hands and say “Who has the time?” Your state Nonprofit Network, Together SC, is not immune to that feeling. A big part of our strategic planning, which led us to transform SCANPO into Together SC, was the recognition that we need to do more to advocate for the 25,000+ nonprofit organizations that do great work across South Carolina. We’ve just taken a big step to do that.

Together SC has hired a lobbyist. 

Ann Timberlake has been advocating for environmental conservation her entire life. She honed her advocacy skills in her early years volunteering in conservation campaigns to protect iconic places in South Carolina like the Congaree Swamp and the Chattooga River. She gained her first political experience in 1978 as a county coordinator for Dick Riley’s gubernatorial campaign.

After working as a sales representative for the Pillsbury Company, Ann opened a full service, neighborhood grocery, The Purple Cow, in downtown Columbia. In 2003, she returned to conservation and political work as the founding executive director of Conservation Voters of South Carolina.

Over thirteen years, Ann worked with Board members and donors to grow CVSC from an initial budget of $60,000 to a fully staffed, thriving organization with a budget over $600,000. She made bi-partisanship a trademark for conservation in South Carolina, elevated CVSC as a force in state electoral politics and helped the conservation community unite in support of “common agenda” priorities at the State House.

She is a lifelong resident of South Carolina and a graduate of Newcomb College of Tulane University. She and her husband, Ben Gregg, have two adult children. 

 

Tags:  Advocacy  Collective Voice  Public Policy 

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Public Trust in Nonprofits at Risk - Take 2 Minutes to Help Keep Politics Out of Nonprofits

Posted By Madeleine McGee Together SC, Friday, March 24, 2017

Last month, President Trump announced his plan to "get rid of and totally destroy" the federal tax law provision requiring 501(c)(3) nonprofits to be nonpartisan (which has been called the Johnson Amendment). Following up on the President's statement, Congress is seriously considering legislation that would politicize charitable nonprofits and foundations. The National Council of Nonprofits, Together SC and many other charitable nonprofits strongly oppose efforts to politicize charitable nonprofits. These proposals would harm nonprofits by:

  1. Subjecting charitable nonprofits and foundations to demands for campaign contributions (and thereby diverting donors' money away from mission-related work to benefit politicians); and 
  2. Damaging the public trust in the work of nonprofits. 

Furthermore, the repeal or revision of the Johnson Amendment isn't necessary to protect the free speech of nonprofits, foundations, and churches. Nonprofits - and their individual staff, board members, and volunteers - already have many legal avenues to freely express their views on a wide range of policy issues.

Together SC proudly joins the National Council of Nonprofits, our national network, and nonprofits and foundations across the country, in signing onto a special Nonprofit Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship

Here's what you can do today: Join other South Carolina nonprofits in signing your organization onto the Nonprofit Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship

Thank you if your nonprofit has already signed on to the letter.

Madeleine McGee | President

Tags:  Advocacy  National Council of Nonprofits 

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Welcome Together SC Members (New & Renewing Members for Week of 3/20/17)

Posted By Together SC, Monday, March 20, 2017

We are pleased to announce that we are welcoming a brand new member to our growing Together SC family this week! Join us as we share some love on social for:

We are also excited to share that we have a womping 23 renewing members joining us for another year of networking, advocacy and fun! Be sure to share some love on social for:

Tags:  New Members  Renewing Members  Together SC 

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More than $20,000 in Unclaimed Property Found for SC Nonprofits

Posted By SCANPO, Friday, March 10, 2017

Together SC joined forces with SC Treasurer Curtis Loftis and the Unclaimed Property Program to help return unclaimed property to nonprofits across the state.

Staff found $24,219.71 for nonprofit organizations and individuals while working at the 2017 Nonprofit Summit conference Tuesday. The money found will go to 48 organizations. 

"I know that every dollar counts when it comes to nonprofits," said Treasurer Loftis. "I'm so grateful Together SC allowed us to come in and find money for the organizations. It's amazing to return money to people who strive to help others."

Examples of the type of property covered by the Unclaimed Property Program include bank accounts, stock certificates, checks, insurance policies and utility deposits. The Unclaimed Property Program does not include tangible property like land or vehicles.

Read the original article. 

Tags:  2017 Nonprofit Summit  Curtis Loftis  SC Treasurer's Office  Together SC 

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POWER FORWARD!

Posted By Dr. Katrina Spigner, Friday, March 10, 2017

(adapted from her 2017 Together SC Summit Keynote Speech)

For the past 20 years, Together SC has focused on being a resource in education, advocacy, networking, and leadership for nonprofit organizations in South Carolina. Created out of a collaborative effort, Together SC has had a rich history and many nonprofits represented at this 2017 Summit have been a part of that journey. Indeed, the nonprofit sector is an amazing entity. Nonprofit organizations have been Partners, Advocates, Ambassadors, and Champions in making a difference in South Carolina. This state has counted on nonprofits to deliver vital community services, advance solutions for challenges facing society, contribute to building and sustaining vibrantly healthy communities, and serve the marginalized and disenfranchised wherever and whoever they may be. 

Most importantly, when we look back over the history of the sector in South Carolina, we find people who have been committed to serving and giving their gifts, talents, and abilities to a cause greater than themselves; programs and projects that have been mission and purpose-driven; hearts that have desired to promote the greater good; and innovative minds that have focused on transformation and change. As we look back we recognize the impact, influence, and evolution of the sector and can readily identify lessons learned, best-practices established, and innovation at its finest.

However, while we can find tremendous value in looking back, we cannot afford to keep looking back. Why? When we look back for too long it keeps us stuck where we are; it causes us to become resistant to change; it causes us to miss opportunities in front of us; and it causes us to lose sight of what is ahead. So then, we look back to remember…But, there is GREATER POWER in looking FORWARD! 

Now, you may be asking, why. Well, I am glad you asked!

Looking forward is powerful because it positions us to see what hasn’t been seen (vision), to do what hasn’t been done (expectation), and to be all of what we have the potential to be (purpose). Consider this:

Vision – is the power to see it although you haven’t experienced it yet 

Expectation – is the power of anticipating the coming of what you’ve seen 

Purpose – is the power of keeping you grounded in what you’re doing, while you’re seeing what you see and while you’re waiting for it to come

Looking forward inspires you in the face of adverse circumstances. Looking forward encourages the heart as you work to heal those whose hearts have been broken by the vicissitudes of life. Looking forward opens the way for you to be a voice for those who are silent and have been silenced …even if yours is the voice crying out in the wilderness. Looking forward compels you to shift where necessary, change where needed, and refocus for greater impact.

So today, I am asking you to adopt a new mantra, and it is simply this…POWER FORWARD! 

There is great work and great opportunity ahead. But, we must POWER FORWARD!
Now, you may be asking, “What does she mean by POWER FORWARD?” I thought that was a position played in basketball. IT IS! But, here is what I mean when I say POWER FORWARD! Ask me what! I am glad you asked! To POWER FORWARD in this context means to:

1. Push through – even when it’s difficult

2. Not quit – when it’s the most challenging

3. Not give in – even if you are standing alone; keep standing

4. Not shrink back – even when there are adversaries all around you

5. Be courageous – in the face of fear; do it anyway

6. Be confident – recognizing your intrinsic strength

7. Be audacious – boldly proclaiming the truth

8. Show up – with the intention to make your presence matter

9. Speak up – with the intention to use your voice in a meaningful way

10. Step in faith – even when you don’t know where it may lead you

We are at a time in our state, in our country, and in our world, when you must POWER FORWARD! You must POWER FORWARD when:

1. When as of 2016 South Carolina ranked 16th highest in the nation in the percentage of individuals living below the poverty level 

2. When approximately 28% of children live in poverty in this state

3. When reports tell us that South Carolina is ranked 50th in the nation in education

4. South Carolina is ranked 8th highest in the nation for incarceration

5. When NEW HIV infections in South Carolina are on the rise, occurring more in Blacks than that of other races combined

6. When a woman is beaten by her husband or boyfriend every 12 seconds in the United States and South Carolina ranks #5 in deaths related to domestic violence

7. When South Carolina is a target rich environment for sex slavery and human trafficking 

You must POWER FORWARD to address issues of racism, sexism, and a host of other “isms”!

You must POWER FORWARD to address blatant injustice, deliberate inequities, and systemic barriers!

You must POWER FORWARD to unite, strengthen, and advance the critical work needed in this state!

You must POWER FORWARD with the intention to have a collective voice!

You must POWER FORWARD with the determination to be allies for good!

And how will we get there? Ask Me How? I am glad you asked!

We will get there TOGETHER South Carolina!!

We will get there TOGETHER!!


About the Author
Dr. Katrina Spigner, affectionately known as, “Dr. K”  is the founder and CEO of Re-Source Solutions LLC, a personal and professional growth and development company. She is also a Certified Personal & Executive Coach, Consultant, Speaker, Author, and Assistant Professor with over 15 years experience as a senior leader in the nonprofit, philanthropic, and higher education sectors.

 

Tags:  2017 Nonprofit Summit  Katrina Spigner  Re-Source Solutions LLC  Together SC 

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Mac Bennett receives Order of Palmetto

Posted By Together SC, Thursday, March 9, 2017

Mac Bennett receives Order of the Palmetto during 2017 Nonprofit Summit

Columbia, S.C.  – Mac Bennett, president and CEO of United Way of the Midlands, was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor, during the 2017 South Carolina Nonprofit Summit held at the Columbia Marriott.

State Representative Beth Bernstein and Tom Keith, president of Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina, presented the award to Bennett on behalf of Governor Henry McMaster.

Pictured (L to R): Rep. Beth Bernstein, Mac Bennett and State Senator Joel Lourie

Bennett’s career spans 37 years in the Midlands, spending the last 12 years as the head of United Way. Among his many accomplishments, he is a founding organizer of the South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations (now known as Together SC), the state’s largest nonprofit association for nonprofit professionals. 

Bennett received the award in front of hundreds of nonprofit leaders from around the state gathering in Columbia for the statewide association’s annual three-day conference. He accepted the award during the organization's 20-year anniversary reception held at the Columbia Museum of Art.

“In grateful recognition of contributions and friendship to the state of South Carolina and her people, I do hereby confer upon James McCauley Bennett the Order of the Palmetto,” read Rep. Bernstein from framed award presented by the Governor's Office.

South Carolina Governor John West created the Order of the Palmetto in 1971 as a formal way to recognize individuals for extraordinary lifetime service and achievements of national and statewide significance. In order to receive the award someone must nominate the individual and multiple letters of recommendation must be sent to the Governor’s nomination committee. The award is an once-in-a-lifetime achievement.

Mac has been not only a leader in our nonprofit sector, state and local community, he has been a loyal and generous friend,” said Keith. “His leadership spans so many levels and runs deep in the Midlands and beyond.”

Bennett announced his retirement last October. In a press release, Holt Chetwood, board chair of United Way said, “Mac is a humble, servant leader who is always eager to share credit for his accomplishments with staff and volunteers.”

 

Under Bennett’s leadership, United Way has experienced continued growth in improving the lives of Midlands residents through the organization’s education, financial stability and health initiatives in Richland, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Calhoun and Fairfield counties.

Tags:  2017 SC Nonprofit Summit  Beth Bernstein  Columbia Museum of Art  Joel Lourie  Mac Bennett  Order of Palmetto  Tom Keith  United Way of the Midlands 

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Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired Charleston wins South Carolina Award for Nonprofit Excellence

Posted By Together SC, Thursday, March 9, 2017

Columbia, S.C. – During South Carolina’s 2017 Nonprofit Summit held at the Columbia Marriott this week, the Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired Charleston was recognized with South Carolina’s Award for Nonprofit Excellence., sponsored by Blackbaud, and presented by Together SC, formerly SC Association of Nonprofit Organizations.

Courtney Plotner, executive director of the Charleston-based nonprofit, was presented the award by Janet Martini, executive director of Keystone Substance Abuse in Rock Hill, last year's recipient.

Pictured: Center with award is Courtney Plotner with members of the Together SC Awards Committee during the 2017 Nonprofit Summit in Columbia.

"We could not be more excited and honored to win this award," said Plotner when informed about being selected. "The mentors were amazing and the process itself was so rewarding."

"It is so incredible to be honored for doing the work we love."

The Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired Charleston is celebrating its 80th year as an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for people who are visually impaired by providing services, programs and advocacy to promote independence and self-sufficiency as well as help individuals’ participate fully in their communities. Their programs provide vision clinics for children in Title-I schools and vision clinics for uninsured or underinsured adults in the Charleston Tri-County area.

“We had several very strong candidates, but what stood out to the committee was the understanding that excellence is a continuous process with the Association for the Blind,” said Derek Lewis, Together SC board member. Lewis serves as the award committee chair and is the executive director of Greenville First Steps whose organization received the award in 2014.

“There were so many places where the Association for the Blind excels — governance, clearly defining the roles of staff and board, responsible fundraising best practices — but their commitment to consistently seek ways to continually improve stood out to our team.”

Together SC goes through an intensive selection process to identify a member who demonstrates nonprofit excellence within the state. The recipient is selected by a committee and announced during the annual gathering each year in front of hundreds of nonprofit peers.

Tags:  Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired  Blackbaud  Courtney Plotner  Derek Lewis  Greenville First Steps  Janet Martini  Keystone Substance Abuse  Nonprofit Excellence Award 

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