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Together SC's new lobbyist: Ann Timberlake

Posted By Benjamin Bullock, Together SC, Monday, April 3, 2017

Advocacy is vital to the work of the Nonprofit sector. We all know this to be true, yet it is some of the work that is most difficult for us to engage in. It’s so easy to throw up our hands and say “Who has the time?” Your state Nonprofit Network, Together SC, is not immune to that feeling. A big part of our strategic planning, which led us to transform SCANPO into Together SC, was the recognition that we need to do more to advocate for the 25,000+ nonprofit organizations that do great work across South Carolina. We’ve just taken a big step to do that.

Together SC has hired a lobbyist. 

Ann Timberlake has been advocating for environmental conservation her entire life. She honed her advocacy skills in her early years volunteering in conservation campaigns to protect iconic places in South Carolina like the Congaree Swamp and the Chattooga River. She gained her first political experience in 1978 as a county coordinator for Dick Riley’s gubernatorial campaign.

After working as a sales representative for the Pillsbury Company, Ann opened a full service, neighborhood grocery, The Purple Cow, in downtown Columbia. In 2003, she returned to conservation and political work as the founding executive director of Conservation Voters of South Carolina.

Over thirteen years, Ann worked with Board members and donors to grow CVSC from an initial budget of $60,000 to a fully staffed, thriving organization with a budget over $600,000. She made bi-partisanship a trademark for conservation in South Carolina, elevated CVSC as a force in state electoral politics and helped the conservation community unite in support of “common agenda” priorities at the State House.

She is a lifelong resident of South Carolina and a graduate of Newcomb College of Tulane University. She and her husband, Ben Gregg, have two adult children. 


Tags:  Advocacy  Collective Voice  Public Policy 


Public Trust in Nonprofits at Risk - Take 2 Minutes to Help Keep Politics Out of Nonprofits

Posted By Madeleine McGee Together SC, Friday, March 24, 2017

Last month, President Trump announced his plan to "get rid of and totally destroy" the federal tax law provision requiring 501(c)(3) nonprofits to be nonpartisan (which has been called the Johnson Amendment). Following up on the President's statement, Congress is seriously considering legislation that would politicize charitable nonprofits and foundations. The National Council of Nonprofits, Together SC and many other charitable nonprofits strongly oppose efforts to politicize charitable nonprofits. These proposals would harm nonprofits by:

  1. Subjecting charitable nonprofits and foundations to demands for campaign contributions (and thereby diverting donors' money away from mission-related work to benefit politicians); and 
  2. Damaging the public trust in the work of nonprofits. 

Furthermore, the repeal or revision of the Johnson Amendment isn't necessary to protect the free speech of nonprofits, foundations, and churches. Nonprofits - and their individual staff, board members, and volunteers - already have many legal avenues to freely express their views on a wide range of policy issues.

Together SC proudly joins the National Council of Nonprofits, our national network, and nonprofits and foundations across the country, in signing onto a special Nonprofit Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship

Here's what you can do today: Join other South Carolina nonprofits in signing your organization onto the Nonprofit Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship

Thank you if your nonprofit has already signed on to the letter.

Madeleine McGee | President

Tags:  Advocacy  National Council of Nonprofits 


Changes Coming for Nonprofits in the New Congress and Administration

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

With the likely change from government gridlock to fast and furious legislating in Washington this month, many nonprofit and foundation professionals are struggling to see how the pieces fit together and where their advocacy efforts can promote positive solutions. Our national network, the National Council of Nonprofits*, just published a look at six federal issues of sector-wide importance that will likely be taken up in the coming weeks and months, and lays out what they mean for your nonprofit. We encourage you to read the article Nonprofits Need to Stand Together to Push for Smart Public Policies,” share it with your board and other stakeholders, and be ready to stand up to defend nonprofit missions. Working with our colleagues at the National Council of Nonprofits, we will keep you informed on developments in our nation’s capital that affect the work of nonprofits in South Carolina.

*SCANPO member organizations are also members of the National Council of Nonprofits!

Tags:  Advocacy  Congress  National  National Council of Nonprofits  Public Policy  Trump 


2016 SC Election Results Recap

Posted By GP McLeer, SC Arts Alliance, Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, November 9, 2016

                               2016 Election Recap

The 2016 election wrapped up very early this morning, with the presidential call coming around 2:30am. Over the course of the night we monitored every race that impacts South Carolina, from the State House to the White House. We at the SCAA look forward to working all newly elected officials and those returning for another term, working together to keep the arts alive in our state and nation!

Today, we bring you an update on who won last night. While final numbers are still being tabulated in some areas, winners have been declared in each race. Below you will find results from each race in South Carolina. Click here to read more.

  GP McLeer

GP McLeer is the Executive Director of the South Carolina Arts Alliance, the only statewide organization dedicated to advancing the arts for all South Carolinians through advocacy, leadership development and public awareness. The SC Arts Alliance is a proud member organization of SCANPO.

Note: Numbers are subject to change and reflect totals as of the morning of Tuesday, November 9.




Tags:  advocacy  elections  nonprofits 


Brewery Beer Donations at Risk

Posted By Brook Bristow, Bristow Beverage Law, Friday, July 22, 2016

Hi SCANPO friends, 

As someone deeply involved in the alcoholic beverage industry, I'm concerned with SLED's (SC Law Enforcement Division) anticipated stepped-up enforcement of a 20-year-old state law prohibiting breweries from donating their products to nonprofits.

It's always been the policy, but it hasn't been wholly enforced until now; that's why everyone is getting upset.

I predict that the crackdown will ultimately affect manufacturers of wine and spirits, along with any charitable groups seeking alcohol donations for special events. You can learn more about how these laws will affect you (and whether there's a need to change these laws) by joining me on August 3 at 11 am for my Wednesday Webinar presentation.

This is huge - it's not just about beer. The new focus on upholding these laws will affect everybody.

You can find out more by reading my overview on the policy and how it will affect nonprofits.

I hope you can join me on August 3.

Brook Bristow

Beverage Law Attorney and Owner of Bristow Beverage Law

P.S. Read more about SLED's plans in a recent Post and Courier article.

Below is a picture of Brook in front of the Cloud Gate in Chicago, IL.

Tags:  Advocacy  beer donations  fundraising  Legal  nonprofits  rules  SLED 

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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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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 


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 

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