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Letter of Farewell from David Harper

Posted By David Harper, Executive Director of Pee Dee Land Trust, Monday, October 30, 2017

I have enjoyed five wonderful years serving as executive director of Pee Dee Land Trust (PDLT) and now the time has come for me to take the next step on my career path in conservation. 

I know that I am leaving an organization that is stronger than ever, with an exceptionally talented staff and a dedicated board. Together, we have accomplished much more than I could have ever imagined when I started in 2012, including:

  • A 77% expansion of our conservation easement program to over 27,000 acres;
  • Achieving substantial growth in our budget and investments;
  • Attracting a conservation community of 500 members who all love the land;
  • Merging with the Black Creek Land Trust; and
  • Achieving our second national accreditation. 

The good news is that the PDLT board has such confidence in our team that they have promoted Lyles Cooper Lyles to serve as the next Executive Director of Pee Dee Land Trust.

In the 2.5 years that Lyles has served as PDLT's Director of Education and Outreach, she has brought her wealth of nonprofit and for-profit business experience and broad network of friends and colleagues in the Pee Dee region to help take our success to the next level.

You can reach her at To compliment Lyles' expertise, Seth Cook, Director of Land Conservation, will take on an expanded role representing the Trust's growing conservation program.

Long Live the Pee Dee!

David Harper

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  Pee Dee Land Trust 

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National Council of Nonprofits Shares Membership Ping, Featuring Together SC

Posted By Together SC, Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Make an old idea new again! That's just what Together SC did when it (re)created its “Plenty in 20” webinars designed to complement its Carolina Leadership Seminars.

“Plenty in 20” is a form of micro-learning that provides useful nonprofit operations and leadership "how-to" information in just 20 minutes. As described by Ben Bullock, Director of Operations for Together SC:

"Plenty in 20” was going to the be the revamped “Weekly Wednesday Webinars.” But we realized that those weekly webinars were not getting the foot traffic we wanted. So, we modified things. We reduced the number and length of the webinars, added the “Plenty in 20” concept to the Carolina Leadership Seminars Program, and opened the webinars to everyone.”

There is a nominal cost to attend the “Plenty in 20” webinars and members of Together SC receive a discount on registration.

"Plenty in 20" is a nice strategy for engaging members, expanding a state association's outreach, attracting new members, and building capacity. Sounds like 20 minutes well spent.

Together SC also graciously shared its rebranding journey with the network during a recent Network Call, “Thinking about rebranding your state association? Hear what one state association has to share about its rebranding journey.”

After 20 years, the South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations felt it was time to rebrand itself. With a vision to “reinvent” its identity that would encapsulate everything the organization does, SCANPO set out to completely change how it looks, talks, and behaves to become Together SC.

Thank you to Madeleine McGee (President) and Ben Bullock (Director of Operations) of Together SC, and Jessica Munday of TRIO Solutions, for sharing their time and insights with the network.

Warm regards,

Allison Higgins

Network Engagement Specialist


Tags:  National Council of Nonprofits  Together SC 

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USC College of Social Work Class Looking to Collaborate on Community Projects

Posted By Benjamin Bullock, Together SC, Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The University of South Carolina’s College of Social Work invites organizations to submit project proposals for the spring 2018 Master’s Level Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities course. This is the second year for the service learning model in this course and we seek community partners to collaborate with us on this important and exciting process.

In this course, first-year master of social work students learn about stakeholder assessment, community engagement, and management in diverse settings. They apply their developing knowledge and skills in projects completed in partnership with coalitions, organizations, and government agencies in the region. The projects are structured to address an organizational or community practice question that your agency may need answered. 

Perhaps you need to know more about a target population for a program, effective program options for addressing a given issue, or how to reach or mobilize a stakeholder group. Students can engage with stakeholders, review the best available evidence, and recommend strategies for addressing the issue.

As described in the attached materials (See Download Link below), the project will correspond to the learning objectives for the course. The project must also include a point-person within your agency who will work with the student team and agree to attend both an orientation and the project presentations. Other relevant details include:

  • Projects will occur for the duration of spring semester 2018
  • Students will work in teams of four or five students.
  • Each student team will be led by a faculty member and a community liaison.
  • Students will have dedicated class time to work on the project, and will complete a comprehensive project report and presentation for your agency.

Organizations interested in hosting a project team or multiple teams can express their interest by completing a project proposal online.


Kirk A. Foster, PhD, MSW, MDiv
Associate Professor
University of South Carolina | College of Social Work | Columbia SC 29208

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  community  Midlands  social work  USC 


SC Future Minds Launches New Online Platform, Inspire A Career

Posted By Caroline Mauldin, executive director of SC Future Minds, Wednesday, August 30, 2017

When I was five or six, a childhood friend had her birthday party on Mr. Knozit’s television show.  The jovial host, who became an institution in South Carolina educational programming, had a favorite question, and I couldn’t WAIT to answer it. “What will YOU do when you grow up?” he asked. I piped up with unbridled enthusiasm: “A cheerleader for the Carolina Game-cops [sic]!” Obviously.

It didn’t take long into my adolescence for me to realize that I didn’t quite have the chops for professional cheerleading. But it was also during those formative years that I was watching my dad build a local cable company and my mom build a retail company that helped artisans in Mexico. I was a lucky kid. Though I didn’t think much of it at the time, it was undoubtedly my exposure to their non-traditional, entrepreneurial paths that gave me the courage to pursue a unique career in public service.

A young person’s imagination is a powerful thing; but I daresay it is—often to our collective detriment—limited by what we know: the people, jobs, lifestyles, and communities we’re exposed to in our formative years. 

That’s why SC Future Minds is proud to partner with LeadershipSC on a new online platform, Inspire A Career. We want to expose South Carolina’s students, many of whom live in isolated communities, to what they may not know—the expansive universe of job opportunities that await them around our state.

The website, developed by LeadershipSC and hosted by SC Future Minds, serves as a matchmaking service for South Carolina professionals and public schools whose students will benefit from learning about different career paths. 

Through a simple online registration process, we will connect professionals in our database to schools and classrooms for career days or other job-oriented events. 

But the platform can’t work without you! 

We need professionals from all industries and backgrounds to offer their stories and adventures with classrooms around the state. The process takes three minutes, and you can even indicate how far (or short) you’re willing to travel. 

I encourage you to sign up today, and, like Mr. Knozit and my parents, help stoke the imagination and ambition of our future workforce. You, too, can Inspire A Career.


Caroline Mauldin is the Executive Director of SC Future Minds, a statewide nonprofit connecting private resources to public education as a cornerstone of social and economic progress in South Carolina.  Learn more about their work at 

Tags:  Inspire A Career  LeadershipSC  SC Future Minds  Together SC 

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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.



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.



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 


Quickbooks Made Easy!!!

Posted By Meagan Tarnow, Quickbooks Made Easy, Thursday, August 17, 2017

The first time I heard Gregg Bossen speak, at a conference for QuickBooks ProAdvisors where he was schooling a room full of accountants on how best to use QuickBooks with their nonprofit clients, I tweeted out on the conference app, “I’m going to give this man a megaphone!!!”

I may have used a few more exclamation points.

And I’m sure Gregg never knew, because the amount of time he seems to spend on social media is pretty close to zero.

The reason for my excitement was that Gregg was the first accountant on the national stage who used QuickBooks the way I thought it should be used. Other people focused on setting up the data file in a way that lined up directly with the 990 – resulting in account headings like Indirect Public Support (what?!?). Gregg was the only one who prioritized the needs of the people who were actually using the information on a daily basis – the management and Board.

(Later I found out that the reason Gregg “agreed with me” was that he was responsible for a lot of my opinions in the first place. When I first decided to specialize in nonprofits back in 2000, I purchased and studied a pair of CDs from Real World Training called “Using QuickBooks in Nonprofits.” Turns out that curriculum was written by none other than Gregg Bossen.)

When I learned that Gregg would be doing his live training near me (well, near-ish. The training was in Chicago, and I live in Saint Paul. But that counts as near for a girl raised in Montana), I signed right up. In part, I wanted to check it out – see if he knew what he was talking about, whether he was full of baloney, or giving solid advice.

Several entertaining, informative hours later, I had my answer. The training was time and money well-spent. Even though I had been using QuickBooks exclusively with nonprofits for more than fifteen years, I walked away with some great new ideas, as well as a renewed commitment to my initial impulse to “give this man a megaphone.” I started campaigning to bring his live training to Minnesota, and a year later, we filled the room.

With the live seminar in Columbia, SC coming up no matter where you live South Carolina, the drive is shorter than mine was to Chicago. And whether you are new to QuickBooks and want to do things right, trying to clean up an inherited “mess”, or an old dog like me who thinks she knows all the tricks, I’m convinced you’ll find the training worth your time.

Meagan Tarnow

Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor
Account Manager with QuickBooks Made Easy
Principal at The Mobius Group

Tags:  accoutning  financial mangement  quickbooks 


Together SC seeks proposals for Board Leadership Summit Keynote

Posted By Debbie Nelson, Together SC, Friday, July 14, 2017

Together SC is seeking a Keynote Partner to collaborate in the development and delivery of an inspiring and engaging curriculum for the 2017 – 2018 Board Leadership Summit (BLS) Program to be held across South Carolina. Together SC has held 5 successful BLS events over the past year with more than 400 nonprofit board leaders and CEOs in attendance. Given the positive feedback we have received from participants we are eager to expand this programming over the coming year.

In the past, each half-day BLS kicked off with an inspiring and engaging keynote address. Following this session, participants interacted with their colleagues at “Lead & Learn” table discussions facilitated by nonprofit experts. Info about past events can be found at

Please see the attached RFP, and contact Debbie Nelson by email at with any questions.

 Attached Files:

Tags:  Board Leadership Summit  knowledge network 


Perspective on Senator Tim Scott's Opportunity Agenda

Posted By Naomi Torfin, Senior Director of Public Policy, United Way of SC, Monday, June 19, 2017

Senator Tim Scott’s Opportunity Agenda represents key conservative efforts to tackle difficult barriers many Americans and South Carolinian’s face while struggling to move out of poverty.

Through avenues of empowerment and investment for individuals, communities, and employment, the Senator’s Agenda is an important opportunity for nonprofits across SC to become “Allies for Good” in key areas.

Senator Scott’s visit with nonprofit leaders from across the state served to build understanding for both the intention of the Opportunity Agenda, and how nonprofit leadership can align their efforts with the Senator’s national efforts to forge pathways out of poverty for millions of Americans. The vital work of the Opportunity Agenda also needs those of us who work with individuals in the community every day to make it a success on the ground. 

As SC continues to see growth in skill manufacturing and similar jobs in the state, the opportunity for nonprofits from all areas to partner and utilize these avenues to lift individuals and communities out of poverty will only continue to grow. 

The Opportunity Agenda is precisely toward that end, as Senator Scott articulated to nonprofit leaders, to lift families and communities out of poverty through training, apprenticeship, and education. It has already seen success through the passage of the SKILLS Act and hopes to see even more success with the Investing in Opportunity Act, currently in the Senate.   

More and more, those of us working in education and job training see the gaps between employee skills and employer needs. The SKILLS Act focused on modernizing programs to ensure education and training focuses on today’s in-demand jobs, supports young job seekers by reducing the age limitation from 18 to 16. It recognizes that not all graduates will move on to college, and seeks to ensure that our youngest workers find opportunities through alternative skills and don’t fall into poverty because of it. Nonprofits working in K-12 education and workforce development are most closely aligned with the work of this bill. In short, the SKILLS Act works to assure opportunities for financial stability for all. 

The LEAP Act seeks to empower Apprenticeship programs to assure individuals can receive income while they work. Many of SC’s workforce and basic needs programs serve people every day for whom these programs could transform their lives.  

The Investing in Opportunity Act focuses on developing communities – a effort many nonprofits across the state are invested in. It is similar to a tax credit, but uses capital gains as investment rather than individual donations, SC nonprofits working in community development can look at ways to partner on this effort that guide and support investments reflect the needs of community members and expand upon the great efforts of existing development and community finance work. 

The Opportunity Agenda is part of a growing conservative effort to become a greater participant in the poverty solution. Senator Scott’s leadership is an important part of this effort, as he understands the difficult road many trudge to break out. It is now up to us to recognize and align where we can to inform and act in our neighborhoods and cities – with our neighbors, clients, and partners to see how we can truly become Allies for Good. 

Naomi Torfin

Senior Director of Public Policy

United Way of SC


Tags:  Opportunity Agenda  Public Policy  Senator Tim Scott  United Way of SC 

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Carolina Business Solutions Shares Top Five Actions For Protecting PCs

Posted By John Morelock, Carolina Business Equipment, Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Six days a week, I manage an IT team that supports thousands of users and hundreds of servers. We see a lot and I read two to four articles a day trying to stay ahead of the curve. I’ve been asked to share the top things a nonprofit organization can do to protect its PCs from hackers, infections, and Malware.

There’s a lot to this question and most people are starting from different places, so this answer varies depending on where you are today. That said, here are the things I would tell most people who asked me.

1) There could be several #1’s so here’s 1A, 1B, and 1C:

a. Keep you operating system and drivers up to date!
Companies like Microsoft and Apple work hard to release updates to protect your PC from vulnerabilities used to penetrate your system. The manufacturer of your hardware also has software to allow your PC to function, called drivers. Make sure your drivers are current, too.

b. Use firewalls.
Turn on the software firewall in the operating system and invest in a firewall router, rather than using the cheap router your ISP provides. Firewalls help control I/O traffic and help keep you safe from unauthorized access.

c. Keep your AV (AntiVirus) updated.
Most AV relies on updated lists to ID Malware. Some free AV is worth less than you pay for it, because it instills a false sense of safety. Get an AV package you know is good and keep it up to date.

2) Be vigilant about the emails you open and read.
Like the legend of the vampire, some evil wants to be invited in. Most email hacks are old and weak, but if you open that email and click that link, you’ve just become a victim. Do not open unexpected email, even from your mom or pastor. Someone you know may have an infected PC and that PC is accessing their list and emailing you to look just like it came from them; asking you to “Click this funny link,” but the joke is on you…and you may not even know it. Clicking a simple link could give the hacker access to your private data, allow them to use your PC as a software “bot,” to even encrypt your files and demand a ransom. Simple rule, “Don’t click it unless you know it.” Go old school and call to verify those emails. It’s a hassle but not as much as being a pawn in a worldwide hack scheme.

3) Don’t go to dicey websites
Thousands of websites are used to spread malware and the list is growing and changes. How are you to know what sites are safe? You can use a free tool called Open DNS.
You can learn how to use this tool by going to: This is the gold standard for safe sites. You can also block unwanted sites like terrorist sites etc.
Be wary of web based ads on the Internet offering free downloads.

4) Power off your PC when you are not using it.
Your PC can’t get infected when it is off. In today’s fast paced world, hackers are constantly looking for any vulnerable system. If the website you have up in your browser on gets infected your PC could get attacked too.

5) Get offsite automatic cloud-based backup.
Without a team of IT professionals to cover every issue, you may miss something. Don’t panic or grow paranoid, there is no need to be anxious if everything is backed up. Turn on Carbonite or a similar service and if your files get locked or lost or your system is hit or even lost, the real importance is your files. It’s a hassle, but in the worst case, you can wipe your system, set it to new and reinstall everything.

There’s a lot more to good IT and there are more things that you can do to be safe, like: close unused ports, use better passwords and don’t take candy from strangers. BUT the 5 points listed above are the big ones for protecting your PC from hackers, virus, malware and Kryptolocker attacks.

CBE does all this and much more for our clients. So, in closing if you’re the DIY type, this list will get you started. If you are ready to step up to the big leagues get an outsourced IT provider to make this happen for you.

John Morelock 
Director IT Solutions & Services 
Carolina Business Equipment

Tags:  Carolina Business Equipment  IT 

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Riggs Partners to host 2017 CreateAthon for SC Nonprofits

Posted By Together SC, Friday, June 2, 2017
CreateAthon season is upon us! 

For the past 20 years, Riggs Partners has hosted CreateAthon, a 24-hour marathon where marketing professionals provide services to nonprofit organizations on a pro bono basis. In total, Riggs Partners have served upwards of 200 nonprofits in South Carolina and have helped more than 100 marketing organizations across the country host in their communities. 

Riggs Partners will accept applications from nonprofit organizations in the Midlands and Upstate until July 15. Applications are available on the Riggs Partners website. Midlands and Upstate-area nonprofits selected for participation will be notified in August. 

Trio Solutions, a marketing firm located in Mount Pleasant, has helped host CreateAthon for several years in the Lowcountry. If you are a Lowcountry nonprofit interested in participating, Trio Solutions will be accepting applications starting July 10. 

CreateAthon began as Riggs Partners’ local community service program in 1998 and is now a national 501(c) 3 organization that recruits marketing and communications agencies, universities, professional organizations and corporate marketing teams as CreateAthon partners. In total, the program has served more than 1,300 nonprofit organizations in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico, delivering pro bono marketing projects valued at more than $24 million. 

Tags:  CreateAthon  Riggs Partners  SC Nonprofits 

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