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Reflecting on the Power of Nonprofit Advocacy and Nonprofit Networks

Posted By Tim Delaney, National Council of Nonprofits, Monday, January 18, 2016

In the minds of most Americans, the image of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., is of a man standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial delivering one of the finest speeches the world has ever heard.

While we normally focus on his mesmerizing cadence and inspiring words, we neglect to consider that he stood there not as just a great orator, but as the president of the nonprofit Southern Christian Leadership Conference and minister of a nonprofit Baptist church, surrounded by leaders of hundreds of nonprofits who had successfully rallied more than a quarter million Americans to participate peacefully in the 1963 March on Washington to advocate for people.

Dr. King’s astounding rhetorical gifts will continue to inspire generations to come. But equally important to the event’s success that particular day was how Dr. King and other nonprofit leaders advanced their nonprofits’ missions of helping people by flooding the streets of D.C. with a then-unprecedented number of individuals, forcing federal officials to begin paying attention to the power of the convictions of the American people. 

This week, as we listen to Dr. King’s immortal “I Have a Dream” speech, I urge us all to reflect on the power that nonprofits can yield when advocating to advance their missions to help people.

When doing so, let’s also reflect on the power of a network, as seen by those working closely with Dr. King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to make the March on Washington a success, particularly these luminaries of the civil rights movement: James L. Farmer, Jr., of the Congress of Racial Equality,(now Congressman) John Lewis of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, A. Philip Randolph of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, Roy Wilkins of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and Whitney Young of the National Urban League

Their courageous leadership demonstrated that when ignored individuals come together through nonprofits, they can be heard, and when separate nonprofits come together through nonprofit networks, they and those they serve can be heard even better. Thanks to these and other nonprofit leaders, we know that advocating to advance our missions works, and that working through networks works. In sum: Together, we can!

This guest post was shared by Tim Delaney, President & CEO of National Council of Nonprofits.

Tags:  Advocacy 

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Tips on Polishing Your Resume

Posted By Sharon Thomas, Sunday, January 17, 2016
With nearly 80 openings currently in the SCANPO Career Connection Center, "Best Resumes for 2015-2016" can help you sweep the dust off of your old resume and make it competitive with employers. Are you using adjectives and power words? Are you familiar with Functional/Skills-Based Resumes? These and other topics are covered in this informative article.

Tags:  HR  Sharon Thomas 

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Student Loan Forgiveness Available to Nonprofit Employees!

Posted By Ben Bullock, Monday, January 11, 2016

UPDATED 6/7/17: Have you seen our sister organization CalNonprofits' initiative, the Nonprofit Student Debt Project?

New York Times Coverage: How Student Loan Forgiveness Changed Graduates' Plans

We've heard much about Student Loan debt in the media in the last year. Collectively, Americans owe more than $1 Trillion in Student Loans!  In 2010, Student Loan debt eclipsed credit card debt.

If you're like me, you might ask yourself, "I work in the nonprofit sector! I'm not paid as handsomely as my peers in the for-profit world, and my work impacts people's lives! Surely I should get some credit for that!"

Well, guess what? If you have federal student loans, then you do! With the under-utilized and under-publicized Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, you may qualify to have your student loan debt erased after 10 years of service in the nonprofit sector. Here's how it works:

  • You must be employed (at least 30 hours/week) by a government agency or a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. 
  • You must enroll in the program by submitting the "Employment Certification Form"
  • Your Federal Student Loans (Ford Federal Direct Loans) will be transferred to FedLoan Servicing (The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency).
  • You will need to enroll in an "Income-Based Repayment Plan", or another qualified repayment plan, to determine your monthly payment. You will have to re-certify your income every year.
  • After you make 120 regular monthly payments (the amount of the payment does not matter, as long as it is the minimum required, multiple payments won't count), the remaining balance will be written off. 
  • The 'qualified payments' do not need to be consecutive. If you leave employment at a nonprofit for a period of time, and then come back, your qualified payments will pick up where you left off, until you reach 120.

I'm enrolled in the program myself, and I look forward to having no student loan debt in.... November 2022!



Ben Bullock,

SCANPO Operations Manager

Tags:  debt  Ford Direct Loan  forgiveness  Student Loans 


IRS Withdraws Proposed Regulations on Gift Substantiation!

Posted By Benjamin Bullock, Together SC, Thursday, January 7, 2016

Today, the IRS announced that it had withdrawn its proposed regulations on gift substantiation which would have encouraged nonprofits to collect, store, and report donors' Social Security Numbers, placing a tremendous liability and burden on the nonprofit sector.

The IRS received 37,977 comments during the comment period, with the overwhelming majority fervently against the proposed rules. Many networks, from the United Way, Independent Sector, and the National Council of Nonprofits, rallied their members and stakeholders in opposition to the rulemaking.

The IRS issued the following statement:

“The Treasury Department and the IRS received a substantial number of public comments in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking. Many of these public comments questioned the need for donee reporting, and many comments expressed significant concerns about donee organizations collecting and maintaining taxpayer identification numbers for purposes of the specific-use information return. In response to those comments, the Treasury Department and the IRS have decided against implementing the statutory exception to the CWA requirement, and therefore that exception remains unavailable unless and until final regulations are issued prescribing the method for donee reporting. Accordingly, the notice of proposed rulemaking is being withdrawn.”

Even if the IRS had not withdrawn their proposed rules, Pennsylvania Rep. Keith Rothfus introduced the "Charitable Giving Privacy Protection Act", which would prevent the IRS from making such a rule.

Thank you to all of our members who submitted comments and helped exercise our Collective Voice to stop these misguided rules from going into effect.

Tags:  Advocacy  IRS  Regulations 

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Sign up for Public Policy Day!

Posted By Benjamin Bullock, Together SC, Monday, January 4, 2016

To our Association Partners and Statewide Nonprofit Leaders:

As the folks who know and care about nonprofit advocacy in South Carolina, SCANPO invites you to join us on January 20th for two terrific opportunities: 

Register for either or both.  

1) SCANPO Public Policy Partners Meeting - Come ready to network and share regarding national and statewide legislative issues impacting nonprofits.  Additionally, SCANPO aims to strengthen its public policy work. We seek your input in expanding our services.  Look for a detailed agenda in January. 

WHEN: 9:30–11:30 a.m. on Wednesday - January 20, 2016 

WHERE: Edens Conference Room, 1221 Main Street, 10th Floor, Columbia (Expect a lovely view of our State House from Columbia’s newest skyscraper!) Park in the 1st level of the garage, parking will be validated.


2)  UWASC / SCANPO Legislative Luncheon - SCANPO is proud to join the United Way Association in sponsoring this gathering. Two years ago when we co-sponsored, we saw nearly 47% of the House members and 28% of the Senate attend this luncheon. This is great time to show the strength of the broader nonprofit community. 

WHEN: Noon-2 p.m. on Wednesday - January 20, 2016 

WHERE: Blatt Building Rm 112, State Capital, Columbia

COST: $15 per person       

Here’s a link to the United Way Association’s webpage detailing their plans for the entire Public Policy Day. This include releasing The Self-Sufficiency Standard for South Carolina 2016. You are invited to attend all events that interest you. 

Register for either or both.  

3) PLUS, we invite your help preparing a 2015 - 2016 Nonprofit Legislative Overview. Jamie Moon and Sue Williams helped us brainstorm this idea. 

Please use this link to share with us bills your organization is working on, including those that passed during the 2015 session and those that you will be working on in 2016.  

Your responses will be compiled into a comprehensive list of all bills that our members support.

We will include: Bill number/name, status, subject area, nonprofit advocates, legislative sponsors, and what they aim to accomplish. We hope this comprehensive list will encourage your coordination and collaboration. 

If the message is meaningful, we may even choose to share with the legislators. We need your responses by Friday, January 8.   

Thank you for giving 10 minutes to submit your information. 

Many thanks to the United Way Association for this opportunity to collaborate.

We so look forward to this convening and hearing from you.  

Happy New Year! 

Madeleine McGee

Tags:  Advocacy  Public Policy Day  UWASC 


What You Need to Know About Classifying Employees?

Posted By Sharon Thomas, Wednesday, December 30, 2015

What do I need to know about classifying employees? What is the difference between an independent contractor and an employee? That is the question presented by Nonprofit Answer Guide, a project of the Center for Nonprofit Management. It's a good question and one that comes up often in the nonprofit world.

According to Nonprofit Answer Guide, more and more nonprofits are hiring a mix of employees and independent contractors to fulfill their missions and make the most out of limited resources. But classifying employees and determining who is and is not an independent contractor isn’t always an easy task. If a hire is misclassified, an organization can face hefty fines and even lawsuits. So understanding the determining factors to classification is key.

To learn the basics about the difference between employees and independent contractors, read the full article from Nonprofit Answer Guide.

If you still have questions, feel free to contact Sharon Thomas, Member Services Manager, at or 803-929-0399 ext. 14.

Tags:  Center for Nonprofit Management  Employee  HR  Independent Contractor  Nonprofit Answer Guide 

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IRS receives 37,000+ Comments on Donor SSN Collection Rule

Posted By Benjamin Bullock, Together SC, Tuesday, December 22, 2015

From the National Council of Nonprofits


More than 37,000 concerned individuals and organizations submitted comments on the proposed gift substantiation regulation, and virtually all that are viewable expressed a common theme: it is a very bad idea for nonprofits to be asking for donors’ Social Security numbers, maintaining that personal information in their files, and submitting it to the IRS. In the view of many, “never is the better answer” when the question is whether individuals should give their Social Security numbers to people claiming to be soliciting on behalf of a charity.


Read more here! (second article)

Tags:  Advocacy  IRS  Regulations 


Congress makes 3 Giving Incentives Permanent!

Posted By Benjamin Bullock, Together SC, Tuesday, December 22, 2015

From Independent Sector:

Dear Colleagues,

The United States Congress has finally made permanent three tax incentives for charitable giving!

These incentives strengthen the charitable community’s ability to improve American lives and our communities, and ends the sector’s nearly 10-year long struggle to make these incentives a permanent part of the tax code.

The incentives include the IRA charitable rollover and enhanced deductions for the donation of food inventory and land conservation easements. After years of renewal and expiration, including the most recent expiration on January 1, 2015, the permanent extension of these three charitable giving incentives is now headed to the president’s desk for his signature.

In addition to these critical incentives, Congress included important provisions to make the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit permanent.

This tax deal, known as the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015, shows true leadership in understanding the value of the charitable community and the role it plays in American society. This law ends the uncertainty caused by the repeated expiration and subsequent reinstatement of these three charitable giving incentives.

Read More here!

Tags:  Advocacy  Congress  Giving Incentives 


Please Pardon our Website "Construction"!

Posted By Benjamin Bullock, Together SC, Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Perhaps you've noticed a slight difference in SCANPO's website?

We are in the process of rolling out a new look, so all December, we will be updating, and moving pages around to bring our website into the "Mobile Age"!

If you have trouble finding what you are looking for, please contact SCANPO Staff, and we'll be glad to point you in the right direction!

Thank you for your patience during this transition period, and we hope you like the new site once it's finished!

This post has not been tagged.


SCANPO opposes proposed IRS rule requiring NPOs to collect donor SSNs!

Posted By Benjamin Bullock, Together SC, Monday, December 14, 2015

There’s still time to submit your comments! Comments close Wednesday Dec. 16!

Ready here why the IRS’s proposal to require nonprofits to collect donor SSNs is a bad idea!

Here’s what we sent to the IRS:

The South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations opposes this proposed rule. The requirements would place an additional burden on charitable organizations and would expose them to additional liability.

Our donors trust us with their resources, believing in our missions and that we will use those resources to fulfill those missions. If we had to collect personal private information such as their social security numbers, the burden to protect that information would be overwhelming.

This rule would open the door for scam artists to solicit social security numbers and other private information from our donors, all under the protection of this rule. Furthermore, most organizations use cloud-based databases, and while they are often very secure, no encryption is perfect.

Charitable organizations would become targets of determined hackers, knowing that we will have social security numbers. Small organizations would be forced by this rule to spend money that should go to furthering their missions on higher security databases more appropriate for large healthcare systems.

Our donors are already very cautious with their personal information. This rule would be one more obstacle for donors, and there are already so many. Charitable giving will suffer under this rule, and with it, the good work the charitable sector does.

The existing rules are more than sufficient to substantiate donor contributions to validate tax deductions. Please do not add more rules which would force charities into an awkward and legally perilous position, and put at risk the sacred trust between donors and the charities they support.

Tags:  Advocacy  Comments  IRS  Regulations 

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