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Nicole Echols Receives the Fred R. Sheheen Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership

Posted By Administration, Monday, March 18, 2019
On Wednesday, March 13 at the closing session of the 2019 SC Nonprofit Summit, Nicole Echols of Harvest Hope Food Bank received the Fred R. Sheheen Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership. 

The award recognizes individuals who have utilized organizational and resource development to effectively manage a nonprofit group. It is sponsored by the Fred Sheheen Non-Profit Leadership Institute at Francis Marion University.

Echols is the 12th recipient of the award.

Congratulations, Nicole!

Tags:  Allies for Good  Fred R. Sheheen Award  Together SC 

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Do you have a Succession Plan or other Board-approved Policies?

Posted By Benjamin Bullock, Together SC, Thursday, February 28, 2019
Updated: Friday, February 15, 2019

Together SC strives to model its own Guiding Principles and Best Practices, and we recognize that, just as it is with our member organizations and many other nonprofits, it's a work in progress. Guiding Principles and Best Practices is not about checking items off of a list and calling them done, but about assessment and re-assessment, by Board and Staff, to make sure the organization is adhering to it's policies.

In 2015, Together SC's Board of Directors and Governance Committee began a process (which still continues) to overhaul the organization's policies, adopting a new governance model in which the Board adopts policies (subordinate to the Bylaws) to:

  1. Define the boundaries of the Board and Staff.
  2. Define the Board's own processes and procedures.
  3. Define the organization's mission and strategic direction.
  4. Set parameters for the organization's operations within which the Staff operate.
    • Within these parameters, the President sets Staff Policies that go into greater detail and define specific programs and procedures.

After three years, the Board's Policy Manual is nearly complete! Two of the most recently adopted policies are of particular importance, and we want to showcase them to you, our members.

  • Succession and Transition Planning - This can be a difficult and awkward topic for Boards and Executives to talk about. But really, this is not about the current ED or CEO! It's about having a process in place that can be activated when it's needed. It gives the current CEO the means to plan responsibly to depart when the time comes, and to help the organization make a smooth transition. It also provides for emergency procedures in the event of a sudden loss of executive leadership, and defines who has what responsibilities in a period of interim leadership. Perhaps you may find this policy helpful for your own succession planning.
  • Board Nominations & Elections - As an association, our Board members are elected by our members to represent them. We realized that while the Bylaws provides the general outline for how Board Members are elected, it does not give much detail on the process. In order to ensure consistency in the process from year to year, the Board adopted a policy describing that process in detail. Does your Board have a plan in place for recruiting potential board members? Perhaps this policy can help you get started!

We keep the Board Policies posted on the Policies and Financials Page. They're all in .DOCX format, so that you and your board can download them, edit them, and use them as the basis for your own Board Policy design.

After looking at the policies we've posted, do you see if we're missing anything? Let us know!

Tags:  Board Governance  Policies  Succession Planning 


2019 Fred R. Sheheen Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, January 15, 2019

2019 Fred R. Sheheen Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership

Information About the Award
The Francis Marion University’s Non-Profit Leadership Institute and the Together SC are proud to present the Fred R. Sheheen Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership. The purpose of the award is to recognize a graduate of Francis Marion University’s Non-Profit Leadership Institute or a member of Together SC who has excelled in the management of their organization through organizational and resource development. This award is sponsored by Francis Marion University’s Non-Profit Leadership Institute.


2007 - Deborah Francis- Lexington- Richland Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council

2008 - Jennie W. Peze - Pee Dee Land Trust

2009 - Kristi King Brock - Anderson Interfaith Ministries

2010 - Fay Brown - Foothills Alliance

2011 - Denise Holland - Harvest Hope Food Bank

2012 - Cecilia Meggs - Lighthouse Ministries

2013 - Genevieve N. Waller - Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands

2014 - Sharon Clemmons Thomas - Helping Hands of Georgetown

2015 - Christina Jackson - Sea Haven

2016 - Tricia Richardson - SC Thrive

2017 – Carl Humphries – HopeHealth

2018 – Chris Manley- Rebuild Upstate


Submission Form and Instructions

The Francis Marion University’s Fred R. Sheheen Non-Profit Leadership Institute and Together SC are proud to present the award for excellence in nonprofit leadership. The purpose of the award is to recognize a graduate of Francis Marion University’s Non-Profit Leadership Institute or member of South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations/Together SC who has excelled in the management of their organization through organizational and resource development. This award is sponsored by

Francis Marion University’s Fred R. Sheheen Non-Profit Leadership Institute.

Francis Marion University’s Non-Profit Leadership Institute

Together SC


Submission Information

Francis Marion University’s Fred R. Sheheen Non-Profit Leadership Institute (FMU NPLI) and Together SC (formerly SCANPO) join together for the Fred R. Sheheen Award for Excellence in Non-Profit Leadership to be presented to a professional who exemplifies characteristics deemed worthy of this award. The recipient must be a graduate of FMU’s NPLI or a member of Together SC. You may self nominate.

Recipients will receive a distinguished award to proudly display in their office, registration for the award recipient at Together SC’s South Carolina Nonprofit Summit (March 11-13, 2019) and through state-wide recognition through Together SC communications with nonprofit, business and foundation sectors. Additionally, the recipient’s name will be listed on Together SC’s Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership plaque displayed at the Together SC office in Columbia.

The recipient will also receive a $500 cash award by Francis Marion University.

The award will be given after extensive review of the applications by the award selection committee. The individuals represented on the committee will not be eligible for the 2019 award. All information submitted for consideration will remain confidential to the selection committee members.

Friday, February 8th, 2019

Questions regarding the FMU NPLI / Together SC Fred R. Sheheen Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership can be directed to Evrik Gary at Francis Marion University at 843.661.1199 or


Click here for submission requirements and nomination form

Tags:  Francis Marion University  Fred Sheheen  Nonprofit Leadership 


Call for Volunteers with Explore Charleston

Posted By Administration, Friday, December 7, 2018
Hello, Akilah Edwards and Louis Yuhasz with Explore Charleston here!

A big focus of the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is assisting groups who are visiting our area, many for the first time. Often we are asked for opportunities to provide service work in our community. Many of you may know about my work personally with Louie’s Kids. We ourselves have been the beneficiaries of a group that came into town last year for their annual retreat (Bridgestone Tires from Nashville). The group was looking to do something active and fun with their team for a local non-profit. They built us 20 bikes (as teams) that we then distributed to kids and families who had made significant strides in our programs. The Bureau has lots of groups that reach out for this type of opportunity while they are in Charleston. 

Does your nonprofit have a regular need for volunteer work that could be met by well-meaning volunteers who are visiting for a short time? Akilah and I are compiling a list to refer to our clients who are seeking these types of team-building and community-giving opportunities. We certainly don’t want to send a client to a nonprofit who would not understand why they are calling or have no need for help.

Would this be of interest to your organization? Who would be our contact to refer our clients to?  We can't send our meeting planners to someone who will be clueless about why they're calling.) 

If you would like to add your organization's name to a list we can refer to clients please email myself, or Akilah Edwards at

Seasons Greetings!

Tags:  Explore Charleston  volunteers 

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Posted By Administration, Thursday, September 20, 2018

Hey Y'all!

We have big, bold plans for #GivingTuesday. Let's celebrate the hard work and impact of SC’s nonprofit community and amplify your voice. And, here's a fun way to do just that!

Say hello to #yalltogetherSC, our very own statewide movement leading up to, and happening on, Tuesday, Nov. 27, this year's global #GivingTuesday celebration.

#yalltogetherSC is a collaborative 6-week social media campaign offering participating groups FREE social media tools, training material and weekly calls-to-action aimed at celebrating togetherness and building understanding and appreciation of our nonprofit sector.

From staff to volunteers to donors to board leaders, we invite y'all to come together to help create and participate in this one-of-a-kind Palmetto State movement!

To learn more about becoming a #yalltogetherSC participant, attend one or both of our upcoming "Together Tuesday" team calls happening at 11:27 a.m. (Get it? Learning at 11:27 to prep for 11/27) on Sept. 25 and Oct. 9.

Let's come together y'all and celebrate what we do! We look forward to chatting with you next Tuesday.


Click to Register for 10/9 Team Call


Your Ally for Good,   

 Madeleine McGee      

Together SC

P.S. Please note that #yalltogetherSC is not a fundraising campaign. We won't talk about fundraising and there will not be a shared online giving platform. Any organization choosing to raise funds can do so on their own. Regional and other collaborations can also be layered and linked.
A special thank you to our marketing partners and statewide ad-hoc advisory team for helping to lead,develop and implement this campaign.

Tags:  #yalltogetherSC  Giving Tuesday  South Carolina  Together Tuesday 


Hurricane Florence Recovery is Underway

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Dear Allies for Good,

After an oh-so-long week of prepping and waiting, for most of our state, Hurricane Flo was thankfully a “No Go!” How blessed are we!
With family and property safe, let’s get to work helping those who have not fared as well. First step is being in the know. That’s where Together SC comes in. 
Below you will find resources for how each and every one of us can "Lend a Hand" to those hardest hit by Hurricane Florence. Please continue to check our social media channels for updates on this long-term work.

A really big shout out to the many members helping with recovery efforts. Thank you for all you do.

Recovery efforts from the impact of Hurricane Florence will be long term. Please follow us on Facebook as updates will be shared until help is no longer needed. #OneCarolina

Your Ally for Good,


Madeleine McGee, President Together SC

Tags:  disaster relief  Hurricane Florence  National Hurricane Center  natural disaster 


Madeleine McGee on Together SC's Board Leading by Example

Posted By Madeleine McGee, Tuesday, September 4, 2018
Hello Allies,
I have to crow - just a little.

Last week, your Together SC Board kicked off its new fiscal year with an inaugural board meeting that was all about impact and “leading by example.”  We started by welcoming five new Board Members, all of whom attended (by phone or in person) an hour and a half long orientation led by our Board chair.  We’re a big believer in board member led orientation so I'm sharing our Orientation Agenda.
I know it’s just a piece of paper, but written member agreements adopted by the Board and signed by each member each year are an easy first step toward effective governance. Together SC’s Governance Committee and staff recently rewrote our agreement incorporating ideas from last year’s Board Leadership Summit. The Board’s first order of business was to review and adopt this new Board Member Agreement.  I would love to hear what you think.

While lots more was done, I want to personally thank the Board, and especially our Board Chair, Forrest Alton, for their thorough attention to my performance review.  It’s always helpful to know where you stand with the board and that you are all on the same page.  A quick reminder that evaluating the executive director is a Board responsibility as laid out in our Guiding Principles and Best Practices. And the first step MUST be adopting a written policy on how the review is to be done. Here’s our policy for evaluating the president. 

If your board hasn’t reviewed your organization's executive, we’re glad to help you get started.
Your Ally for Good


Madeleine McGee, President Together SC

Tags:  Board Governance  Board Member Agreement  Board of Directors  Board Orientation  Governance  performance reviews 


Dinner with Dr. Eddie Thompson

Posted By Beth Wingard, President, SC Planned Giving Council, Thursday, August 2, 2018

The South Carolina Planned Giving Council has joined forces with TogetherSC, the Lowcountry Chapter of AFP, and the Coastal Community Foundation to bring you Dr. Eddie Thompson of Thompson & Associates for a Summer Symposium on Blended Gifts on Friday, August 24th. 

You won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn from one of the most highly-regarded and inspirational speakers in nonprofit, planned gift fundraising.  In this half-day workshop, Dr. Thompson will guide us through how to secure transformational gifts from both major and annual gift donors.  This presentation will provide tremendous benefit for both new and experienced annual, major, and planned gift fundraisers alike.

We will enjoy a morning of fellowship and professional development at the Citadel Beach Club, with the seascape of Isle of Palms as our backdrop!  Gather your peers to come enjoy this great opportunity to refine your development skills 
before heading out to take in all that Charleston has to offer! 

When: Friday, August 24, 2018
            9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Location: The Citadel Beach Club
                 4700 Palm Blvd.
                 Isle of Palms, SC 29451
Brunch and light refreshments will be served.

Cost: $35 for SCPGC/TogetherSC/Lowcountry AFP/CCF Members,

$42 for Non-Members

You can register for this exciting event through August 22nd by clicking here

Please plan to join us!

My Best Regards,

Beth Wingard
President, SC Planned Giving Council

Meet Dr. Eddie Thompson

Dr. Eddie Thompson founded Thompson & Associates. As CEO he provides leadership and direction to over 35 seasoned charitable estate planners with Thompson & Associates. Dr. Thompson has planned thousands of estates, which has generated billions of dollars to charity during his thirty plus years working with nonprofits.

In 1983 Eddie obtained his Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration from Vanderbilt University. His doctoral dissertation was on successful fund raising methods. His academic achievements include two MA degrees and a BA and Associate of Fine Arts.

Eddie speaks to organizations from coast to coast on successful fundraising techniques, nonprofit management and charitable estate planning. He was recognized by the National Society of Fund Raising Executives as a Certified Fund Raising Executive from 1986 to 1996.

Eddie began his career at David Lipscomb University where he served as Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Assistant to the President, and Director of Planned Giving. His career advanced to The EAR Foundation, an international nonprofit, where he served as Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Thompson has garnered many honors during his distinguished career.

He was selected by Freed Hardeman University as its 2000 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year. In 1992 he was selected as a Kellogg Foundation Board Trainer assigned to Special Olympics International; International Directory of Distinguished Leadership 1988; Who's Who in American Education 1992; Personalities of America, 6th edition; and 2000 Notable American Men, 2nd edition.

In March 2013, Eddie was appointed to Partnership for Philanthropic Planning's Leadership Institute.

He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of four nonprofits: Institute of Board Certification, The Barnabas Foundation, African Christian School, and The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Nashville. He is also a member of the Middle Tennessee chapter of Partnership for Philanthropic Planning.

Eddie serves as the Chair of the Charitable Estate Planning Institute, a 501(c)(3) public charity offering top level education on charitable estate planning for development staff, gift planning officers and professional advisors. Eddie and a group of Thompson & Associates colleagues formed the Institute in 2012.  He is also a Fellow in Charitable Estate Planning (FCEP) awarded by the Institute.

A native of Florida, Eddie and Sheryl have made Nashville their home. Eddie and his family are involved in many community organizations and their church. He is a very active pilot with both Land and Seaplane ratings.

Follow Eddie on Twitter: @thefrcoach
Eddie's Blog:
To e-mail Eddie, click here.
To download Eddie's vCard, click here.

Tags:  Donors  Giving  Nonprofits  Planned giving 


ICYMI - Advocacy Recap with Committee Chair Paige Stephenson

Posted By Paige Stephenson, Thursday, June 28, 2018

Image may contain: 9 people, people smiling, people standing

Dear Allies,

Together SC takes its advocacy responsibilities seriously. You look to us to keep watch and speak up, while always keeping you informed. Today’s letter aims to do just that.

The General Assembly ended its 2-year session in May but will soon return to finalize the budget and to consider unresolved energy bills. Here are a few important updates.

Thanks to Senator Greg Hembree (Horry/R) who responded to concerns from several nonprofits, the Raffle Act that Together SC helped pass in 2013, was amended to ease restrictions on nonprofit raffles. 

ACTION REQUESTED: As the Raffle Act must be reauthorized before July 2020, we need to hear from you! Share your experiences and other changes needed.

Another issue at the State House concerned the vulnerability of nonprofits to FOIA requests. Although H.3931 stalled in the House, the SC Supreme Court thoughtfully ruled on May 23 that nonprofits receiving public funds are not automatically subject to the state's Freedom of Information Act. The case arose from a 2013 suit against the Hilton Head-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, a nonprofit organization. The opinion concluded that "while the Chamber technically expends public funds, we are firmly persuaded that the General Assembly did not intend the Chamber to be considered a public body for FOIA purposes based upon its receipt and expenditure of accommodation tax funds.”

Next year’s plan of work for your advocacy committee includes efforts to ensure fair reporting procedures and consistent standards to hold nonprofits accountable to public entities that grant or contract with nonprofit organizations.

It takes a team to make legislative change happen. Today’s featured photo (above) was taken at a recent meeting with Senator Scott regarding the idea of Universal Charitable Deduction. We thank Clay Grayson for joining Madeleine in presenting our ideas and concerns.

We consider the United Way Association of SC one of our biggest allies and have looked to Naomi Lett as our expert on the opportunities for specific communities provided by Senator Scott’s Opportunity Zone legislation.

We are also proud to work with the National Council of Nonprofits. Last week’s Lobby Day in D.C. focused on five critical federal issues to be addressed, including renewed threats to repeal the Johnson Amendment, that protects nonprofits from partisan politics.

The end of the legislative session is a good time to thank those leaders who worked on your behalf. Keep us in the loop, so we can amplify your praise with an additional “shout out” from Together SC.

We love sharing the great advocacy work you're doing. Today’s 'Collective Voice' section offers some great examples. Thanks to all for sharing.

As always, we look forward to working with you as we advocate together for good.

Your Ally for Good,
Paige Stephenson
Chair, Together SC Public Policy Committee
President and CEO
United Way of the Piedmont

Tags:  Advocacy  Collective Voice  Raffle Act 


Momentum Growing for IRS to Delay Implementation of New UBIT Rules; Action Needed

Posted By Madeleine McGee, Monday, June 25, 2018

Last week, the National Council of Nonprofits sent a comprehensive and compelling letter to the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service requesting delay of the implementation of two new taxes on nonprofits from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. 

The letter identifies dozens of challenges and questions that nonprofits have with the new federal tax law and demands that the IRS delay implementation of the new unrelated business income tax provisions in Section 512(a)(6) and 512(a)(7) of the Internal Revenue Code until one year after the IRS promulgates final regulations on these new laws. 

Section 512(a)(7) imposes a new, counter-intuitive tax on nonprofits' transportation and parking expenses. Section 512(a)(6) requires nonprofits with business income to pay the tax on each separate "trade or business" and prohibits the blending of profits and losses across lines of business. 

Both changes took effect on January 1, 2018 and both are causing significant confusion for many nonprofits because their applicability is unclear without further guidance from the IRS. 

Add your voice to the call for relief!

Go to the IRS public comment form and ask  that Treasury and the IRS delay implementing the two new UBIT subsections until one year after Final Rules are promulgated(In the public comment form’s line for Form/Instruction/Publication Number,fill in "Form 990-T".)

Thanks for taking action!

Tags:  Advocacy  IRS  UBIT 

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