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ACTION ALERT: Federal Tax Bill Harms Nonprofit Nonpartisanship

Posted By National Council of Nonprofits, Monday, December 4, 2017

Take Action to Protect Public Trust in America’s Charitable Nonprofits

The House and Senate have passed separate versions of tax reform. The difference between the bills must be negotiated in what’s called a conference committee made up of a dozen or more Representatives and Senators who will be named soon. We write asking for your help in convincing all in Congress, and particularly the “tax conferees,” to preserve nonprofit nonpartisanship and to reject any changes to the Johnson Amendment.

Each bill contains multiple provisions that would harm the ability of charitable nonprofits to advance our missions. The most damaging is Section 5201 of the House-passed bill; it would radically change the longstanding, vital protection in law for nonpartisanship of charitable, religious, and philanthropic organizations, known as the Johnson Amendment. Section 5201 would allow political operatives to pressure those organizations to endorse or oppose candidates for public office, and powerful donors to exert even more pressure by giving or threatening to withhold charitable contributions to get the organizations to endorse or oppose candidates the donors prefer. The proposed change would also make political donations – for the first time ever – tax-deductible when funneled through charitable nonprofits, houses of worship, and foundations.  

The Senate respected, but the House blatantly ignored, the widespread and resolute opposition to changing the law expressed by religious denominations and faith leaders, law enforcement officials, charitable nonprofits and foundations, and the vast majority of the American public. As the National Council of Nonprofits has warned, “This shameful attempt to advance the self-interest of politicians for more money and control at the expense of independent civil society must be stricken from the tax bill that comes out of the conference committee.”

All people have a vested interest in preserving the independence and nonpartisanship of the charitable and philanthropic sectors. We urge you to immediately take one or more of these steps.

 

Step One: Call your Representative and Senators (Capitol switchboard: 202-225-3121) and deliver this important message:

“I’m a constituent and I’m calling in opposition to a very harmful provision in the tax bill that would weaken the Johnson Amendment and politicize charitable nonprofits, houses of worship, and foundations against our wishes. The harmful provision is Section 5201 of the House-passed tax bill that is now in a conference committee with the Senate. It is imperative that Senator/Representative [NAME] reach out to every member of the conference committee and tell them the Johnson Amendment language in the House bill must be stripped from the final bill. Thank you.”

 

Step Two: Forward a link to this page as an Action Alert to your board members, employees, volunteers, and the people you serve and encourage them to join you in speaking up to preserve the independence and nonpartisanship of the charitable, religious, and philanthropic sectors. 

 

Step Three: Send tweets. Find your Representative and Senators, then send direct messages to their Twitter handles. Make use of those 280 characters to let them know how politicizing charitable nonprofits would affect your organizations’ ability to serve the community. Include the period at the start to send directly to your elected officials. (Be sure to include the period at the start so that Twitter does not think its a private reply) Here are some sample tweets:

.[Senator/Representative twitter handle] Tell the tax conferees to strip House Sec. 5201 #JohnsonAmendment language from the final #taxreform bill.

.[Senator/Representative twitter handle] Sec. 5201 of the House bill would be damaging to work of #nonprofits. Remove this language in the final #taxreform bill and protect the #JohnsonAmendment.

.[Senator/Representative twitter handle] Let #nonprofits and houses of worship focus on #CommunityNotCandidates. Strip House Sec. 5201 from the final #taxreform bill and keep #JohnsonAmendment in place.

 

Step Four: Write and send a letter to the editor or op-ed to your local newspaper. Examples of effective messages can be found by reading the op-eds and letters to the editor posted at www.GiveVoice.org. Be sure to include the names of your Representative and Senators and “the Johnson Amendment” in your message – elected officials will definitely see what you have to say because they all use search filters that alert them when their names appear in print.

 

General Background

Tags:  johnson amendment  National Council of Nonprofits  nonprofits 

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Fundraising Essentials for Small Shops

Posted By Samantha Shirley, CharityProud, Wednesday, August 23, 2017

If you are a 1-, 2-, or 3-person shop, wearing multiple hats in your nonprofit office in addition to needing to fundraise: this post is for you. Nonprofit leaders are often brought in because of their passion for the cause and ability to run an amazing program for the community they serve--but did we also mention you need to fundraise to keep your doors open? Where do you start? What are the essentials when you would rather be spending your time saving the world? (Psst…it’s not planning a gala.)

Much of the success in a fundraising plan comes from forming good habits. When you figure out the percentage of time you can devote to your development work, divide that into thirds—acquiring annual donors, major gift relationships and stewardship.

 

Build Your Network

You may already have a constituent base and not even realize it. All of those volunteers, program participants, event attendees—those are future donors! They may not have given yet, but everyone that touches your organization should be a constituent in your donor management software. You may want to even try asking them to spread the word about your organization—one they are already engaged in and have their own story.

These days, social media is also going to play a big role in your community outreach. The great thing is you can come up with your content and schedule it in advance. Commit to posting at least once per week—whether it’s a link to an article, your donation page, a feature on your program, etc.

 

Appeals

Keep in mind that donations will not roll in if they are not being asked for. Schedule one appeal per quarter—rather than just your typical “end of year appeal”. This can be an email, letter or postcard. Let it show the impact donations make on your program.

 

Major Gifts

Identify your major donors or business partners and schedule one lunch or coffee meeting per week so you can begin to build a relationship, learn their philanthropic priorities, how they would like to be involved with your organization, and eventually make an ask.

 

Stewardship

It will always cost more to acquire new donors than to retain those that you already have. One of the most effective ways to do this is to send timely acknowledgements—if not the day the gift is received, at least at the end of the week. You can set up a night once per quarter for volunteers or board members to make thank-you calls. Here are some other ways to say thank you!

 

When you are able to set up your strategy and create reminders for yourself, these tactics will become second-nature. Eventually you will be able to build on them for even more impact, but it’s important to create your sustainable foundation and internal process before trying to take on everything at once—or nothing at all!

 

Samantha Shirley, Lead Product Manager, CharityProud

Charityproud is a donor management software based in Charleston, SC. The user-friendly and robust platform is affordable, and provides access to free, unlimited customer support. Together SC members can enjoy 50% off their implementation fee and one month of free service—a $200+ savings! Click here to request a demo.

Tags:  donors  fundraising  nonprofits 

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2016 SC Election Results Recap

Posted By GP McLeer, SC Arts Alliance, Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, November 9, 2016

                               2016 Election Recap

The 2016 election wrapped up very early this morning, with the presidential call coming around 2:30am. Over the course of the night we monitored every race that impacts South Carolina, from the State House to the White House. We at the SCAA look forward to working all newly elected officials and those returning for another term, working together to keep the arts alive in our state and nation!

Today, we bring you an update on who won last night. While final numbers are still being tabulated in some areas, winners have been declared in each race. Below you will find results from each race in South Carolina. Click here to read more.

  GP McLeer

GP McLeer is the Executive Director of the South Carolina Arts Alliance, the only statewide organization dedicated to advancing the arts for all South Carolinians through advocacy, leadership development and public awareness. The SC Arts Alliance is a proud member organization of SCANPO.

Note: Numbers are subject to change and reflect totals as of the morning of Tuesday, November 9.

 

 

 

Tags:  advocacy  elections  nonprofits 

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New Entity Causes Concern With Spam Emails

Posted By Madeleine McGee, SCANPO, Monday, July 25, 2016
Updated: Monday, July 25, 2016

Unsolicited, yet flattering emails continue to be sent to thousands of nonprofit leaders across the country from a new entity created by a long-time for-profit consultant located in South Carolina.

This effort is in no way connected with SCANPO or the SC chapters of AFP, or any of the national organizations with whom we work, including National Council of Nonprofits and the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

After receiving questions from hundreds of our members, we feel we must speak out on this issue.

Here's the scoop as explained in a terrific article from Nonprofit Quarterly.

They say that your name was submitted as a nominee for their Board of Governors. The email may have also mentioned your current or past work with SCANPO or your own organization. SCANPO is not affiliated with this group in any way, either in partnership or endorsement. 

We take the privacy of our members very seriously. We do not give out contact information or loan/sell our lists to any other entities. We did not submit any names to their organization for nomination. Nor did we knowingly give them member information of any kind.

Clearly they have assembled quite the list of “nominees,” as thousands have received their “exclusive invitation.”

Board Governance Practices

If your organization has used SCANPO’s Guiding Principles & Best Practices, you know the importance of a strong, well-informed and engaged Board of Directors. 

For almost 20 years, SCANPO has worked collaboratively with other statewide networks: United Ways, Community Foundations, and the National Council of Nonprofits to promote tested and effective best practices in nonprofit management and governance which represent the best thinking in our sector. SCANPO encourages healthy, balanced, and accountable relationships between nonprofit boards and staff.

This new entity seeks to entice you into a new way of thinking - by recommending that your board should practice limited engagement and responsibility. These are not board governance practices that you will learn in any SCANPO training sessions or ones that we would recommend. 

National Council of Nonprofits

If you are interested in becoming involved with a national network, we remind you of our affiliation with the National Council of Nonprofits. As SCANPO members, your organization automatically participates as an Affiliate Member of the National Council of Nonprofits. If you are not currently receiving updates from the National Council of Nonprofits, please feel free to sign-up for their e-newsletter.

Next Steps

Consider unsubscribing to their emails so they will know you don’t see the need for yet another national professional network that competes with existing entities. 

SCANPO will continue to reach out and work to better understand their intent.

Finally, if you have any questions, or want to know more about proven credentialing programs available for nonprofit leaders such as CFRE, or about SCANPO’s Guiding Principles & Best Practices and the Award for Nonprofit Excellence, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Madeleine McGee

President, SCANPO

Tags:  email  NANOE  Nonprofits 

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Brewery Beer Donations at Risk

Posted By Brook Bristow, Bristow Beverage Law, Friday, July 22, 2016

Hi SCANPO friends, 

As someone deeply involved in the alcoholic beverage industry, I'm concerned with SLED's (SC Law Enforcement Division) anticipated stepped-up enforcement of a 20-year-old state law prohibiting breweries from donating their products to nonprofits.

It's always been the policy, but it hasn't been wholly enforced until now; that's why everyone is getting upset.

I predict that the crackdown will ultimately affect manufacturers of wine and spirits, along with any charitable groups seeking alcohol donations for special events. You can learn more about how these laws will affect you (and whether there's a need to change these laws) by joining me on August 3 at 11 am for my Wednesday Webinar presentation.

This is huge - it's not just about beer. The new focus on upholding these laws will affect everybody.

You can find out more by reading my overview on the policy and how it will affect nonprofits.

I hope you can join me on August 3.

Brook Bristow

Beverage Law Attorney and Owner of Bristow Beverage Law

P.S. Read more about SLED's plans in a recent Post and Courier article.

Below is a picture of Brook in front of the Cloud Gate in Chicago, IL.

Tags:  Advocacy  beer donations  fundraising  Legal  nonprofits  rules  SLED 

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2017 SC Award for Nonprofit Excellence

Posted By Derek Lewis - Award for Excellence Selection Committee Chair, Thursday, June 2, 2016
Updated: Thursday, June 2, 2016

Is Your Nonprofit Excellent? Do You Wish It Were?

Since 2004, SCANPO has been recognizing organizations that embody excellence within our sector. Using the Guiding Principles & Best Practices as a framework, the Award for Nonprofit Excellence singles out two organizations that  embody this continued pursuit of excellence

Don’t Stop Believin’: Excellence is a Journey, not a Destination

SCANPO believes that excellence isn’t the completion of a checklist, it is a fundamentally transformative pursuit of the highest standards and practices.  We hope each SCANPO member organization uses the Guiding Principles & Best Practices as a living document, allowing us the opportunity to re-evaluate our practices and priorities.

With a Little Help From Your Friends: Learn From Your peers

SCANPO has assembled a core group of  leaders from 10+ winning organizations from across the state who are willing to share the steps each took to lead their staff and volunteers through their own Pursuit of Excellence.  Some are multi-million dollar agencies with multiple layers of staff; others are one or two person shops who rely on volunteers for day to day operations.  Our previous award recipients are as diverse as our state.

Glory Days: The Benefits of the Award for Excellence

I have the privilege of not only serving as the SCANPO Award for Excellence Committee Chair, but also the honor of being one of the award recipients.  The award carries with it a $1,000 credit for SCANPO summit expenses and some great publicity- as well as a snazzy award.  But, more importantly are the intangible benefits. We have had funders, donors, and future board members who CONTACTED US after hearing we won, asked us how they could get involved, and were excited to have us come and share our path to excellence with others. It was some of the most meaningful recognition our organization has ever received.  Here are some of the benefits the award brings:

  • A $1,000 credit to use for the Nonprofit Summit and other trainings or publications.
  • Recognition at the 2017 Nonprofit Summit including the presentation of a distinguished plaque to display in your organization’s office
  • Participation in Guiding Principles & Best Practices peer learning session at the Nonprofit Summit and at regional gatherings.
  • Mentor future award applicants as they articulate their journeys toward excellence.
  • Recognition through SCANPO communications, social media, and local and statewide media
  • A SC Award for Nonprofit Excellence decal to display on your website and other social media.

 

Step By Step: Ready To Get Started?

We have built a series of webinars and online resources to help you on your journey. First, visit the SCANPO Award for Excellence webpage. Here we have provided a video that provides more information about the award and the benefits of applying, and a link to the online application and instructions. Also, consider attending the July 7 Journey To Excellence Webinar: How to Apply for the Award for Nonprofit Excellence

We also have a great calendar of online trainings. Whether you are ready to apply or whether you just want more information on the Guiding Principles & Best Practices, consider attending these free online forums (Click on the links below to register):


July 7, 2016 @ 1:00 p.m
. Journey To Excellence Webinar – How to Apply for the Award for Nonprofit Excellence

Aug 11, 2016 @ 1:00 p.m. Journey To Excellence Webinar – Pursuing Excellence I:  Learn How Previous NPE Award Recipients Pursued and Attained Excellence – Guiding Principles 1 – 4

Sep 8, 2016 @ 1:00 p.m. Journey To Excellence Webinar – Pursuing Excellence II:  Learn How Previous NPE Award Recipients Pursued and Attained Excellence – Guiding Principles 5 – 9

Oct 6, 2016 @ 1:00 p.m. Journey To Excellence Teleconference – Final opportunity to ask and have your questions answered before draft deadline.


Finally, I encourage you to reach out to Sharon Thomas, SCANPO Member Services Manager. She is an incredible resource, and has done some remarkable work in helping nonprofits in their pursuit of excellence. 




Derek Lewis

Executive Director, Greenville First Steps
Chair, SCANPO Award for Excellence Selection Committee
SCANPO Board of Directors

Tags:  award  excellence  Governance  Guiding Principles & Best Practices  nonprofits 

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