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South Carolina #CreativesForTheCount Workshop Brings Creatives, Nonprofits and Advocates from Across the State Together to Reach Hard to Count Communities with 2020 Census Campaigns

Posted By Administration, Thursday, October 10, 2019

2020 SC Counts Initiative; Together SC, United Way Association of South Carolina, The Neue South Collective and the SC Grantmakers Network have partnered with the US Census Open Innovation Labs (an arm of the Census Bureau) to host the first ever South Carolina #CreativeForTheCount Workshop in Columbia on October 14th. The workshop will host advocates, nonprofit leaders, agencies and creatives from Spartanburg, Greenville, Columbia and Charleston to develop campaigns reaching hard to count communities with information on the 2020 Census.

 “People of color, immigrants, LGBTQ people and people experiencing homelessness, rural communities, people with low incomes, renters, single parent households, people with limited English proficiency and young children are overwhelmingly undercounted in the Census. But we can help change that”, says Naomi Lett, Executive Director of United Way Association of South Carolina.

 The hard-to-count populations being addressed in the workshop were identified by the 2020 SC Counts Committee are Children 0-5, African American men, the LatinX community and the Native American Community. Organizations leading Census outreach efforts often have limited creative and/or digital capacity. Yet, as trusted voices, it is vital that their grassroots outreach efforts be amplified online to reach as many of their community members as possible.


 “We are thrilled to have so many advocates and creatives coming together for this important initiative. The creative assets from this event will be available to any nonprofit in our state who wants to utilize them at,” says Kathryn Harvey, Founder of the Neue South Collective. 


 Organizations such as the SC Grantmakers Network, who has committed more than $180k in private funds to support a complete count of all South Carolina’s residents will be supporting outreach efforts as well. Funds from the award will be invested in communities from across the state.


 About #CreativesForTheCount

 #CreativesForTheCount is a workshop being hosted nationwide by the US Census Labs to match creative talent (designers, copywriters, content strategists, video-makers, etc.) with those organizations so that they can conduct more effective digital outreach, with the ultimate goal of increasing response rates among the hardest-to-count communities that they serve in their respective state.


 Over the course of 5 hours, four teams from across South Carolina will collaborate to generate digital media, print toolkits and compelling messages that help spread awareness about the 2020 Census to communicate the importance of a complete and accurate count for SC.  

Below is an agenda for the day:

10:30am – Arrive & Check-in

 11:00am – Welcome & Kickoff

12-4pm – Breakouts, Creative Sprints & Lunch

4-5pm – Campaign Presentation & Wrap Up

5:00pm – Optional Networking Reception

Registration is still open at

Why this is important:

The count of the US population sets our country’s trajectory for the next decade, determining congressional apportionment, redistricting and how the allocation of close to $700 billion dollars is annually distributed to cities across the nation.

 SC currently receives $7.3B in census related funds. Every 100 community members who aren’t counted represents $2.6M in federal funds over 10 years that is sent to other states instead of SC.  And there are currently 133 Complete Count Committees in South Carolina that are made up by representatives from local government, community-based organizations, and businesses who recognize how critical it is to accurately document how many people reside in each community. Committees hope that their efforts will lead community members to recognize participating in the census is a civic duty akin to voting.


Kathryn Harvey 646 234 0734

Mary Dell Hayes 803-920-4868

Madeline McGee  843-708-3246  

Tags:  #CreativesForTheCount  2020 Census  South Carolina  Together SC 

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Census Equity Fund Award $150,000 To South Carolina Grantmakers Network For 2020 Census Efforts

Posted By Administration, Thursday, October 10, 2019

The New Venture Fund on behalf of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation awarded the South Carolina Grantmakers Network $150,000 as part of the Census Equity Fund’s national effort to increase census participation in key states.  South Carolina is one of a select few states to receive resources based on the expansive collaboration underway.

The funds are part of a statewide effort of more than 40 foundations and community partner agencies as well as the Office of Minority Affairs to assure a complete count for the upcoming 2020 census.  The effort is focused around assuring South Carolina receives its share of the more than $675 billion federal dollars that the census determines distribution.  Not to mention federal representation – as noted by the addition of a congressional seat from the 2010 census.  As South Carolina continues to grow,  South Carolina’s philanthropic sector is investing to assure the needs of all of our citizens are counted.

 Led in partnership by the SC Grantmakers Network, United Way Association of South Carolina, and Together SC, the SC Counts: 2020 Census Initiative project is focused primarily on populations with historically low participation – African American males, children 0-5, LatinX, Native Americans, LGTBQ, and homeless populations – and in targeted census tracts with low participation.  In the 2010 census, some census tracts reported as low as a 57.1% participation rate – meaning resources and representation for nearly half of the community went unrealized.   The collaborative aims to change that by investing in community organizations to engage individuals and carry the message on how the census will impact individuals and family in key areas of their lives – like education, housing, jobs, and infrastructure (roads, etc.), healthcare, etc. 

 In order to qualify for the $150,000 funding, SC Counts: 2020 Census Initiative leveraged $215,000 in cash and in-kind resources from various partners to support a complete count of all South Carolina’s residents.  Funds from the award will be invested in communities from across the state. To learn more about how you can help go to

Naomi Lett, President & CEO 



Tags:  2020 Census  Grants  Together SC 

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What do we know about SC's Nonprofits?

Posted By Kara Davis, Metropolitan Studies Institute at USC Upstate, Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Over the past few months, it has been my pleasure visiting with Together SC members in Greer, Charleston, and Columbia discussing data and how organizations can use data to aid/inform the wonderful work going on in the nonprofit sector in South Carolina. While many meaningful topics were discussed, the following two topics stuck out to me from the data and discussions:

  • Data cannot be presented or used in isolation. Data should help inform work and inform the story. Organizations should strive to be data-informed, not data-driven. To read more about the differences, see this article.
  • Donor bases are changing, and organizations need to use the data to inform new practices for engaging younger donors.
    •  Millennials care more about results than they do institutions. Name recognition is not enough to motivate those in this generation to give. They need to know how the organization is moving the needle on the specific issue.
    • Volunteers donate to charity at twice the rate of non-volunteers. Engaging individuals as volunteers usually leads to multiple touchpoints that, after time, often result in financial giving.
    • Only 19.8% of those between the ages of 16-44 in South Carolina indicated that they volunteered in the most recent data released by BLS and CNCS. 24.3% of those between the ages of 16-44 in the US volunteered; a 4.5% difference.

Many were also very interested in how the recent tax law changes would impact charitable giving. While it is too early to tell what the long term impacts are, a report released by Giving USA in June of this year indicated a decline in giving by individuals but total dollar amounts donated surpassed 2017 record-breaking numbers. You may be asking, how this is possible. While individuals decreased their giving, corporate giving increased by 5.4% and foundation giving increased by 7.3% from 2017.  

Tax law changes were certainly a contributing factor to individual giving but many other economic factors in 2018 could also have played a role. The next few years should give a clearer indication to the full impacts of the tax law changes on charitable giving.

Kara Davis is the director of the Metropolitan Studies Institute at the University of South Carolina Upstate. If your organization has any questions about data—where to start, the data compiled for Together SC, etc. you may contact Kara at, 864-503-7366





Together SC Note: On October 18, 2019, the National Council of Nonprofits released "Nonprofit Impact Matters", a national sector impact report. Check it out!

Tags:  data  sector impact 


Midlands Nonprofits: Are your issues On The Table?

Posted By Benjamin Bullock, Together SC, Friday, September 6, 2019

Our friends at the Central Carolina Community Foundation are planning their second On The Table, for Tuesday, October 22, 2019. All day long, people in Lexington and Richland Counties will be gathering around tables to talk about what's great in the Midlands, and what could... use some work. After these conversations, participants will be asked to fill out a brief survey, the data from which the Foundation will use to make a report, make connections between folks with great ideas, and even help target the Foundation's grant initiatives!

Nonprofit Leaders! This is a great opportunity to get your donors, clients, and other stakeholders together to talk about your organization's role in the community and brainstorm some great ideas for improving your work! Learn more and sign up to host a table! If you want to offer breakfast, lunch, or snacks, or even need a location, your local Panera Bread is offering a 10% discount and free delivery!

Want to participate, but can't host? Together SC and the Sisters of Charity Foundation of SC are teaming up to host some conversations over breakfast from 8:00AM to 9:30AM.
Come sit at our Table!

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Call for 2020 Summit Speakers

Posted By Debbie Nelson, Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Dear Allies,
Our state’s annual gathering of Allies for Good is heading in a new direction this year. Facing Race Together will offer an immersive learning experience to aid attendees and their organizations in better understanding and tackling issues of race, equity and inclusion (REI).

The Nonprofit Summit Program Committee, chaired by, Melanie Huggins of Richland Library and Sherrie Snipes-Williams of Charleston Promise Neighborhood, is off to a great start! Starting Wednesday, March 4, we kick off our three days together with acclaimed author of "Biased" and recent interviewee on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt.

In addition to two plenary sessions, Thursday and Friday will offer attendees the ability to chart their own Summit experiences. Individuals will pre-select four concurrent sessions to help them better understand and tackle issues of race, equity and inclusion (REI) no matter where they are on their own personal journeys—as an individual, an organizational leader or a community leader.
At this time, Together SC is seeking dynamic and experienced presenters with REI expertise to facilitate concurrent sessions. 

Topic areas that we are seeking:

  • Advocacy and Legislative Action
  • Creating a Culture of Inclusion
  • Environmental Justice
  • Equity in the Arts
  • Grantmaking with an REI Lens
  • Health and Food Equity
  • Inclusive Strategies for Attracting and Retaining POC
  • Income Inequality
  • REI Strategies for Board Members
  • Unconscious Bias
  • Working With and Engaging Donors of Color

If you would like to facilitate a session in one of our specified topic areas, we encourage you to submit an application now through September 6. 

We look forward to hearing your ideas! 

Debbie Nelson

Tags:  2020 Summit  Allies for Good  Nonprofit Summit  Together SC 

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t(ED) Talks

Posted By t(ED), Thursday, August 1, 2019

Nonprofit work is hard. Leadership is lonely. Surviving the first few years as an Executive Director or CEO of any organization can be tenuous, exhausting, and thrilling all at the same time. Combine the classic challenges we just described with succeeding a strong leader and inheriting a staff you didn’t hire, and you have a recipe for…[FILL IN THE BLANK].

How does one weather the ups and downs of leadership transitions, managing staff, working with a Board, and advancing the organizational mission without losing their mind?

The simple answer is - friends. And maybe some alcohol. Definitely coffee. 

In all seriousness, leaders need to belong to a community of other leaders that they can call, text, email, snapchat, etc. with stories of success, desperate pleas, burning questions, and more. But, how do you find your people? How do you develop a group of peers that coalesce around a common set of challenges, and all get along at the same time? 

We don’t have all the answers, but let us share what has worked for a group of six (6) nonprofit leaders in Charleston called t(ED) i.e. “tired Executive Directors.”

First, the concept was inspired by multiple interactions and connections between several individuals, made primarily through Together SC members and staff. It was almost as if the universe was conspiring to pull this diverse group together through completely separate yet distantly related connections. The common denominator amongst all of the conversations and connections was a visceral recognition of the challenges of leadership and the value of linking new leaders together.

Admittedly, the initial start-up of t(ED) was not of our making; however, the first conversation between two ED’s, and then another, and another, all centered around a common desire for regular information exchange, sharing lessons learned, and a curiosity about how to effectively lead in a time of unique challenges, led to the formation of a small group now known as, or rather self-identified, as t(ED).

An important, and profound, aspect to this is the group grew organically. It was not forced. It was built slowly on key principles that were intuitive, but upon reflection, can be listed as follows:

  • Trust
  • Vulnerability
  • Authenticity
  • Safety
  • Positive energy
  • Different missions
  • Honesty
  • Gender, race and age diversity
  • Small, intimate
  • Regular, scheduled gatherings over a meal or happy hour
  • Prioritize the meeting dates over other obligations

What t(ED) has learned over years it has been convening is that the “special sauce” is in gathering together around shared values and a desire for community and safety. There are issues we share in common, and there are issues that are unique or first-time experiences with which we help each other wrestle.

Perhaps the most fulfilling and beautiful outcome of t(ED), is that we have all become friends.No matter what, we have each other’s backs, we cheer each other on, and the foundation of trust is solid. This is a recipe for not just survival of leadership, but for learning and growth. 

We hope this bit of insight inspires new groups all across the state. After all, we’re in this together. 



Click here to read about #yallTogetherSC: Marketing Mondays

From the left: 

Kim Clifton, HALOS | Jonathan Wright, Bridges for End-of-Life | Ericka Plater, Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach Services | Stephanie Kelley, ECCO | Courtney Plotner, Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired SC | Ashley Demosthenes, Lowcountry Land Trust

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#BrewingGood on #GivingTuesday

Posted By Zach Sykes, Octagon Solutions & Kathryn Harvey, Neuesouth Marketing, Monday, July 22, 2019
Hello #AllyNation!

What would happen if we connected and really engaged all the brilliant marketing folks working in and with nonprofits across our great state?

Imagine your voice amplified across SC. Imagine the strength of our collective voice!  

As Business Partners, we here at Octagon and Neue South Marketing love that Together SC gives us the opportunity to work with passionate nonprofit leaders. We were so wowed last year by all those who helped create #yalltogetherSC, our state’s first ever #GivingTuesday celebration, that we’ve offered to help build an affinity group for marketing folks who want to learn and work together year-round.  

That’s right, we're expanding #yalltogetherSC to celebrate and connect great people doing good work.

First step is engaging marketing "do-gooders” who want to collaborate. We’ll start by #BrewingGood on #GivingTuesday. Then, tackle the 2020 Census, and who knows what else it could lead to!

On the second Monday of every month at noon, we'll host a one-hour, call-in work session. Join us to hear great tips from your marketing peers and help design collaborations that you can implement in your own shop. 

Don’t miss out. Help build our network of marketing do-gooders—sign up now: #yalltogetherSC

Our first call is Monday, August 12 at noon. Register now to hear what’s in the works and help plan.

Let’s celebrate #yalltogetherSC!


Zach Sykes,                                  Kathryn Harvey,
Octagon Solutions                          Neuesouth Marketing  


 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  #yalltogetherSC  Giving  Giving Tuesday  Marketing 


#yallTogetherSC: Marketing Mondays

Posted By Zach Sykes, Octagon Solutions, Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Hey Y'all,

We hope you are having a great summer! As you may know, we are right at 5 months away from December 3, also known as GIVING TUESDAY 2019! 

Over the past few months we have been speaking to YOU, our nonprofit allies all over the state, about how to better structure this year's #yalltogetherSC campaign. 

After much thought and discussion, we landed on two main goals for 2019:

  1. Amplify the great work that YOU are doing on this day and throughout the giving season as best we can and; 
  2. Work with regional partners to plan coordinated, FUN Giving Tuesday events around a central theme that won't pull you away from your own campaign goals. 

We'll work with our marketing partners and use our digital and social media channels to promote these events and help spotlight what great work you're doing locally.

In addition, to better learn from each other and keep the conversation going, we are expanding#yalltogetherSC to represent not just Giving Tuesday, but a group of "do gooders" in the Palmetto State who want to collaborate on other projects, too.

So, the second Monday of every month at noon, we will host a one-hour call with guest speakers and updates on these projects. We hope you will join #yalltogetherSC and participate in these calls. Upcoming topics include Giving Tuesday and The 2020 Census. 

If you would like to be a part of #yalltogetherSC, please visit and complete the signup form on the home page. 

Our first call is August 12 at noon. Be sure to sign up so you'll receive the call calendar and agenda. 

This group encourages two-way communication, so expect us to reach out soon to find out what you're up to and how we can help spread the word about it. 

Thanks for all that you do and for being a part of #yalltogetherSC!  

Check out this link to read about what New EDs in the Charleston area are up to


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Tags:  #yalltogetherSC  giving  Giving Tuesday  marketing 


USC Law School Opportunity for Nonprofits

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 2, 2019

The Nonprofit Organizations Clinic at the University of South Carolina School of Law, which provides free legal assistance to nonprofit organizations of all types, is accepting clients for the fall 2019 semester.


Students provide legal assistance to nonprofit organizations, under the supervision of Professor Jaclyn Cherry, in transactional matters that include incorporation, preparation of by-laws, preparation and filing of 501(c)(3) applications, contract review, preparation and negotiation, real estate, intellectual property and land use issues. Students may attend board meetings, provide advice on various legal matters, and provide legal assistance to start up organizations or organizations that are merging, converting or spinning off new ventures.


The number of clients that can be assisted is limited and once capacity is reached a waiting list will be created. 


If you are interested in becoming a client, please contact Professor Cherry as soon as possible at or 803-777-3394.


Click Here for More Information

Jaclyn A. Cherry 

Jaclyn A. Cherry


Jaclyn Cherry is a leading expert in nonprofit and tax exempt law. She serves as an advisor for the American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law of Charitable Nonprofit Organizations and has co-authored several nonprofit tax exempt articles and texts including the 3rd edition of her casebook Tax Exempt Organizations: Cases and Materials (2014) and Understanding Nonprofit and Tax Exempt Organizations (2012). Jaclyn served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from July 2014–June 2018 where she oversaw and managed the Law School curriculum and all academic programs and services.  Jaclyn teaches nonprofit, tax exempt and other courses, including the nonprofit organizations clinic and small business capstone course at the Law School. Her presentations include “Nonprofit Board of Director Governance” for the Advanced Leadership Academy in cooperation with the Initiative on Social Enterprise at the Harvard Business School. She is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

She serves on the advisory board of the Nelson Mullins Riley Scarborough Center on Professionalism, is a member and advisor of the American Law Institute, and founding member of the South Carolina Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (SCVLA).  Jaclyn served as the Chair of the Veterans Clinic Director hiring committee during the fall 2017. She was a co-chair of the Governance Review Committee of the Clinical Legal Education Association of the American Association of Law Schools and won the G.G. Dowling Faculty Award given by the University of South Carolina School of Law to a faculty member who typifies to fellow faculty outstanding qualities of integrity, concern for others and legal scholarship.  Jaclyn was a Visiting Professor at the University of San Diego School of Law and Associate Director and Professor of Clinical Legal Education at Duquesne University School of Law. She has practiced law and served as General Counsel to many nonprofit tax exempt organizations. She served as board president of the Bethlehem Project, was a board member of Pittsburgh Neighborhood Legal Services Association, and a board member of Redstone Highlands Presbyterian Seniorcare. She is the author of several chapters in the recently published SC Nonprofit Corporate Practice Manual, 2nd ed. (2015).

Tags:  law  Legal  nonprofit legal help  USC 


The Fred R. Sheheen Non-Profit Leadership Institute Applications Open

Posted By Chuck MacNeil, Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Dear Allies, 

Get excited for another amazing opportunity!

The Fred R. Sheheen Non-Profit Leadership Institute (NPLI Institute) at Francis Marion University is now accepting applications for its nineteenth season.

This very valuable program is something that hundreds on Non-Profit executive staff throughout South Carolina have taken advantage of. The classes this year will be in Lake City, SC in a newly renovated facility specifically redesigned for this type of training experience. The NPLI format obligates participants to attend eleven full day sessions spaced over a seven-month time-frame. Thusly, each session is spent with a different instructor covering a variety of subjects that every non-profit leader can benefit from. The faculty include experienced non-profit leaders, seasoned university faculty members, and public officials.

The sessions include practical insight on processes that non-profit leaders benefit from and take home to apply within their own organization. Case studies provide more in-depth examples of successful practices to enhance the effectiveness of overseeing a non-profit entity.

Lunch is provided each day during which guest speakers are invited to address attendees on additional subject matter relevant to the non-profit sector.

A key benefit from the NPLI program is networking with fabulous people who are passionate about their own organization and their mission, and who share mutual desires to learn how they can improve their own efforts to advance the goals of their non-profit work. The class size is capped at 30 to ensure that each participant can have a productive experience. Therefore, applying early is greatly encouraged.

As the NPLI program is supported by FMU and the Darla Moore Foundation, tuition is relatively inexpensive at $350 for the entire program.




Applications to the upcoming NPLI class are available on the FMU website or by contacting Evrik Gary at or at 843-661-1199.

Chuck MacNeil

Director, Non-Profit Leadership Institute 

Tags:  Francis Marion University  Fred R. Sheheen  NPLI 

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