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Greenville Literacy Association (GLA) Announces Leadership Transition

Posted By Ashlee Tolbert, Chair Greenville Literacy Association Board of Directors, Monday, August 20, 2018
Greenville Literacy Association’s Board of Directors announced the acceptance of the voluntary resignation of Executive Director Jocelyn Slaughter effective August 24, 2018.
“Jocelyn has accepted a local opportunity that will not only allow her to continue to serve those needing a second chance but also to spend more time with her family,” said Ashlee Tolbert, Greenville Literacy’s board president. “I would like to thank Jocelyn for her hard work and commitment while at GLA. I have enjoyed working closely with her and I wish her nothing but success in all of her endeavors. She will be missed.”
In a statement, Slaughter said, “I am honored to have been chosen in 2016 as the Executive Director of Greenville Literacy Association, an organization dedicated to changing lives through the power of adult education and literacy. I am confident that the organization is in good hands and will continue to serve those needing its services.”
Tolbert added, “There is never a perfect time for transition, but our organization is equipped to navigate this change. Our donors, partners, staff and board of directors appreciate Jocelyn’s service to GLA and our community.”

GLA’s Board of Directors, under Tolbert’s leadership, will begin a search for a new Executive Director and will announce its Interim Executive Director in the near future.

ABOUT GLA: Greenville Literacy Association (GLA) has served Greenville, South Carolina and surrounding areas for over 50 years. GLA is the largest community-based adult literacy program in South Carolina and is one of the most highly developed in the nation. GLA recruits and trains community volunteers to provide instruction for adults who need help with basic education, GED studies, WorkKeys/WIN test preparation, and English as a Second Language (ESL). The organization operates three fully-equipped and staffed learning centers across Greenville County and assists church and neighborhood literacy programs near these centers. For more information, call 864-467-3456 or visit the GLA website at

Tags:  executive director  Greenville Literacy Association  leadership 


Fred R. Sheheen Non-Profit Leadership Institute

Posted By Evrik Gary, Thursday, July 19, 2018

Great news non-profit leaders! The Non-Profit Leadership Institute is accepting applications for the 2018-19 program and we have even better news if your organization deals with issues of poverty, child literacy, underserved youth, or workforce development… Duke Energy has provided NPLI with scholarships to cover the full tuition ($350) for 10 participants from non-profits that serve those issues! On top of that, those participants’ organizations will be given a mini grant worth $1,000!

Click Here For Application Form

All applications are due by Aug. 8th. Classes will begin on Sept. 13th (9:30am – 4pm) and be held in Lake City, SC. Scholarship recipients will be decided after all applications are submitted.

For more information and application forms please visit our website at or contact Evrik Gary at 843-661-1199 (

The goal of NPLI is to provide a higher level of professional skills for the non-profit sector and a greater coordination of efforts to serve the people of the state.  Experts from the public, private, and non-profit sectors across the country will address the institute on various topics to provide the latest thinking in the non-profit sector. Also, there will be valuable networking opportunities among the participants.

Topics will include:

* leadership;

* program development and delivery;

* human resource development, including board members and volunteers;

* effective financial resource development and management;

* programmatic and organizational issues related to data collection and reporting;

* visibility, including managing external relations;

* public policy; and,

* case studies.


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Tags:  Financial Management  Grants  Leadership  Resource Development 


Facing the Evolution of Giving Behaviors

Posted By Sara Fawcett, President and CEO, United Way of the Midlands, Thursday, May 31, 2018

Generational differences, changes in giving behavior and noise in the marketplace – not to mention the unknowns surrounding the new tax law – have left the nonprofit sector asking, “How do we maintain relevance with our donors?” How do we continue our mission and create change in our community as we face so many harbingers of a decrease in individual giving?

There is a reality we all must accept as part of the NPO landscape: charitable giving has changed considerably over the past 10 years, and we have one option – adapt.

If we truly believe in our individual missions as non-profits, we must fundamentally change how we approach relationships with donors. We must remain relevant, impactful and seen as a necessity to our community. But how?

Until last year, I worked for a successful retail real estate company that developed open-air shopping centers in major metropolitan areas. You might think that in the age of online shopping, a real estate developer might not be successful making large investments in brick-and-mortar stores, but today, online still constitutes less than 10% of all purchases. This is growing every year and continues to fundamentally alter the relationship between the shopper and the store.

When I took my first job in the nonprofit world last year, it was interesting to find that my new industry is experiencing similar shifts with its target audience: donors. The relationship between donors and nonprofits is fundamentally changing in some of the exact same ways I experienced in my previous life—through demographic shifts and technological advancement.

As a real estate developer, we knew we couldn’t just put up a nice-looking, clean and well-lit shopping center on a busy corner and wait for the shoppers to come anymore. We realized that to be successful, we had to understand the shopper herself—what are her likes and dislikes, what environment makes her feel safe, what are her browsing and buying patterns online and offline? To do this, we used technology, research and close partnerships with our retailers to truly understand our shopper and provide an experience based on sensible design, amenities and a mix of tenants that would engage her so that she would visit more often and stay longer. These efforts led to great success.

You may have noticed I focused on the female consumer. Today, 85% of purchasing decisions made in the household are made by women. What does all this mean? This market was forced to shift its focus to meet and stay ahead of the evolving shopping habits of the female consumer if they wanted to be successful.

So how can we apply those lessons to bring success to a completely different market?”

First, we must ask “Where are we today?” We are in a fascinating time of major transitions.

Online Giving Growth Mirrors Online Retail Trends

According to Blackbaud Institute’s 2017 Charitable Giving Report Key Takeaways, giving through online-only campaigns was just 7.6% in 2017—a fraction of total giving. However, online giving grew 12% in 2017 (plus, 21% of online giving was done on a mobile device). The explosive growth of Giving Tuesday is one of the best examples of this phenomenon: in 6 years, donations have grown over 500%. In the last year alone, Giving Tuesday grew from $168 million in donations worldwide to over $270 million, including 28% growth in online giving, and mobile device giving made up 26% of total online giving.

Technology is Advancing at an Astounding Pace

The Internet has made it even easier for consumers to find information (real or fake) about our organizations with just a few clicks on a variety of devices. And the speed at which technology continues to advance is astounding. Count the number of smartphones you’ve had since the iPhone was introduced in 2004. My score: two BlackBerrys and four iPhones—each one with increasingly fancy bells and whistles. Not only is technology increasing access to organizations, it is also offering donors more channels through which to give. Facebook, for example, began offering the ability to donate to nonprofits online through your Facebook account in 2015. In 2017, Facebook added crowdfunding that mirrors GoFundMe, allowing users to set up personal fundraisers for any cause, charitable or not, and charging 1% less in fees than GFM.

We are in the Middle of a Sweeping Demographic Change: Baby Boomers vs. Millennials

Millennials today outnumber baby boomers, 83 million to 78 million, but with nature taking its course, we are not far away from the population being skewed dramatically to millennials.

However, current data from Fidelity Charitable’s Future of Philanthropy report shows:

  • In 2017, the average age of individual donor was 64, their average charitable gift was $2,000 and baby boomers made up 43% of private charitable giving.
  • Currently, 50% of household wealth is in the hands of boomers, and projections by Deloitte keep it at that level until at least 2025.
  • And what about millennials? They made up just 11% of individual charitable giving in 2017 with an average gift of $1,000. From a pure revenue-generation perspective, baby boomers are still the major source of our organizations’ dollars.

Baby Boomers vs. Millennials


The generational differences between these groups are already transforming the nonprofit landscape Fidelity Charitable reports that baby boomers tend to give to charities and nonprofits that they know well, trust and align with their personal values. Their giving is generally planned, not spontaneous.


  • This generation gives to causes, not organizations.
  • They want to be influencers with a voice, and shun titles like activist, advocate and even donor. To accomplish this, they use social media to post information and connect with others but not necessarily to protest issues or promote certain points of view—as a group, they don’t like confrontation, but they do like sharing of information.
  • When making charitable decisions, they are influenced by current charitable trends, what their friends are giving to, and alternative forms of giving. And, their giving is much more spontaneous and in the moment

These two generations, both of whom we must serve, could not be more opposite! The generation that fits most of our traditional fundraising models makes up the largest share of our donors, yet the generation that doesn’t is the one that is going to quickly take over.

So what do we do? Just like we did in retail real estate, we must get to know our donors first.

What do they like to do? What are they passionate about? Where do they volunteer and how much time do they spend volunteering? Where else do they give money? What causes make them engage, and how do they engage with those causes?

Once we know about our donors, we can present ourselves as a way for them to advance their causes. This may sound like the approach we traditionally take getting to know major donors before a big ask—and if it seems overwhelming to think about trying to get to know a huge group of smaller donors individually, then remember that this is where technological change is on our side. We must harness the data analysis and business intelligence tools that are available to track, analyze and target various donor profiles.

I think we would all say that we are donor-centric nonprofits, and we probably are. But in the rising age of donors giving to causes, following trends and giving spontaneously, the definition of being donor-centric in the future will have business intelligence and data analytics supporting it.

The Bottom Line

We need to leverage technology, research, demographics and close partnerships with community partners to truly understand our donor. We need to provide donors with innovative stories of our work, impact, and initiatives for the future. We need to show how we are specifically improving our communities and connect with donors through shared values and value-added benefits. We need to engage our donors on an individual level with personalized communication, and we need to understand why they support our organizations so we can better enable them to become ambassadors for our mission and influence their substantial social networks.

About Sara Fawcett

Sara Seitz Fawcett joined the United Way of the Midlands as President and CEO of United Way of the Midlands in June 2017. Prior to leading in the nonprofit sector, Fawcett previously served as Vice President of Human Resources for EDENS Investment Trust, one of the largest privately-held commercial real estate development companies in the United States, for over 12 years where she led recruiting and onboarding processes as the company grew by 51 percent over 10 years. Fawcett began her career at Wachovia (now Wells Fargo) where she spent 14 years in a variety of banking and human resources roles in Wachovia’s corporate banking, insurance and wealth management divisions.
is a long-time volunteer and supporter of United Way of the Midlands, having volunteered her time and expertise on both the resource development and community impact arms of the organization. Her roles have included a membership on the Board of Directors, Co-chair of the Campaign Committee, Chair of the Community Impact Committee and Chair of the Financial Stability Council.
As Co-chair of the Campaign Committee she helped lead a team of 30 volunteers responsible for raising $22 million over two years. While Chair of the Community Impact Committee she led a team of 25 volunteers accountable for $4 million in community investment and $2 million in grants and community initiatives.
Sara holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. She has three children, Maddie, Ben and Jon Jon.

Tags:  Leadership  United Way of the Midlands 


SVP Charleston is Seeking Applicants for the 2018 Investment Cycle

Posted By Lara D. LeRoy, Tuesday, March 13, 2018

SVP  works to build trust and establish true partnerships with nonprofits, working alongside to improve their ability to deliver effective programs and fulfill their mission. We seek organizations that can benefit from and are willing to embrace a partnership that includes hands-on involvement by SVP Charleston Partners, regular self-reflection and measurement of results.
SVP is hosting an Information session for Prospective Investees, March 19th 4:30-6:00 at Coastal Community Foundation, located at 635 Rutledge Ave. Charleston SC 29403.  Please RSVP by Friday March 16, so that they can plan accordingly.  Click here to RSVP
To access the application for investment please visit the Coastal Community Foundation website and go to the portal login.  You can access the CCF website by clicking the following link:  
Please direct any questions to
Lara D. LeRoy
Executive Director
Social Venture Partners Charleston

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Tags:  Charleston  coastal community foundation of sc  Education  Leadership  nonprofits  Training 


Just For Board Chairs!

Posted By Shayne Kinloch M.A., Together SC, Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Just for Board Chairs

If you are reading this because you were just elected board chair of a nonprofit, first: Congratulations for the recognition by your peers, and thanks for your service to the community. Next, you may be thinking, ‘Whoa, now what?’


Don’t worry, you’ve got this. If you love the mission of the nonprofit and are willing to put in the time to build a strong, trusting relationship with the executive director, as well as your colleagues on the board, you’ll be a rockstar board chair. But just in case you’d like to remind yourself about HOW to be that rockstar board chair, you may want to read Joan Garry’s post sharing a “Five-star board chair checklist.” Yes, you should familiarize yourself with the roles a board chair is expected to play, such as managing/facilitating meetings and overall good governance (here and here). But you’ll also benefit your organization and yourself by spending time thinking about why a board chair is even needed and how that relates to the importance of having a great relationship with the executive director.

 Consider how hard it is for an executive director to hold the full board accountable, when the executive director is simultaneously accountable to the board. It’s more natural for the board chair to hold the rest of the board’s feet to the flames. And in order for that to happen, the executive director has to be able to candidly, honestly, and fearlessly share concerns when it seems that the board is dragging its feet, distracted, or not engaged. Similarly, the board chair has to candidly, honestly, and fearlessly share the board’s concerns relating to the executive director or the organization’s performance. Unless there is a trusting relationship, those important conversations won’t happen productively.

In case it’s not altogether clear, the role of board chair is all about building positive, trusting relationships, because it also falls to the board chair to develop a trusting relationship with each other board member. You can do that by – among other things – making sure the board has time together outside the board room to get to know one another. (See Leading with Intent, “The role of social time,” page 26, and “Invest in a Board’s Culture,” page 51.) You will be respected as a leader when you show respect for your peers by making sure that all board members feel valued and have the opportunity to ask questions and share ideas during meetings.

In sum, it’s the time and effort that board chairs, executive directors, and other board members commit to building relationships between meetings that create the foundation for strong, trusting, and honest relationships all around. These honest relationships are assets that your organization will be very grateful for whenever the board faces difficult decisions – and when everything’s humming along, too!

Practice Pointers

Should the board chair vote? There is no universally correct answer and no external requirements or limitations. That decision differs from one nonprofit to another since it’s reflective of the organization’s culture – although sometimes the answer is set forth in the nonprofit’s bylaws. In some nonprofits, the board chair only votes to break a tie, which reinforces that the board chair is a consensus-builder facilitating the meeting and decision-making process. At other nonprofits, the board chair – as a duly elected or appointed board member – participates fully in the decision-making process and votes on all motions (unless s/he abstains due to a conflict of interest, such as may happen if the vote is to approve the CEO’s compensation).  

Just finding time to meet with the executive director/board chair around and among your already busy calendar commitments can create unnecessary (but understandable) stress that can sabotage the relationship. Committing to a regular time to meet may take that stress off the table. Perhaps share with each other in advance the issues you want to explore together so that you can each do some preliminary thinking on your own. 

Crafting the board meeting agenda together is an activity that executive directors and board chairs find gets smoother with time. Consider checking in after meetings to evaluate what worked well and what could use a little improvement. Have you considered using a consent agenda? Interested in more meeting tips? Here are 10 tips for effective meetings.

Additional Resources

Tags:  Board Governance  Board Retreats  Executive Director  Leadership  Member News  nonprofits  Together SC 


Nominations for the Award for Nonprofit Leadership are open!

Posted By Benjamin Bullock, Together SC, Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Francis Marion University’s Non-Profit Leadership Institute and the South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations 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 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.

Applications are due February 9th, 2017

More Information, and the Application Instructions can be found here: 

Tags:  Awards  Leadership  Nonprofit Leadership Institute 

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