The Ally: August 2019

Note from the Executive Director

I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer, hot though it may be.  Just think about next month bringing football games, and then after that the leaves will slowly start changing, that wonderful blue Fall sky will begin to appear, and by Thanksgiving it will be feeling like summer is over and we’ll be able to breathe again.  It is my wish that you all have time for a bit of vacation, and that it’ll be peaceful, restful, and will allow time with family and friends.  Far too often we get consumed by our work and we don’t take time to “smell the roses.”  I encourage you to take some time for yourself before the summer is over – it will make you more productive when you return!

We at The Alliance have been continuing our work toward full integration of what was the Mississippi Association of Grantmakers and the Mississippi Center for Nonprofits.  We are more convinced than ever that merging the two organizations into The Alliance was the right thing to do, but we also clearly realize that a merger is never easy.  Integrating programs, services, organizational cultures, boards and staff, and creating new by-laws, policies, procedures, and training protocols does not happen overnight.  I believe, however, we are well on our way to becoming much more effective and efficient, thereby providing more quality services and offering greater member benefits to both nonprofits and philanthropic members.

In that regard, one thing I want to let you know that’s coming in Fall is an update of the 2015 Philanthropy in Mississippi report.  You’ll recall that the 2015 report was the first comprehensive examination of the scope and scale of philanthropy in the state.  The 2019 report will update and add new information to the report, so we will keep you updated about its release.  It provides information that is valuable to both philanthropy and nonprofits, so you won’t want to miss it.

As we continue our journey of change, we invite you to engage with us.  Please don’t hesitate to let us know if there are ways we can better engage, interact, and provide services for you.  We are only in existence because of our relationship with you, so don’t ever hesitate to tell us what’s working and what’s not.  Our success is dependent on your success, so please think of all of us as part of a team that’s working to make things better for Mississippi’s children, families, and communities.

Wishing you the best,

Sammy Moon
Executive Director
The Mississippi Alliance of Nonprofits and Philanthropy

Join the Alliance Today!

Calling All Nonprofits…Members and Not-Yet-Members

ALL nonprofits, including members of our philanthropic community, are encouraged to become part of our work to assess and build capacity in Mississippi’s nonprofit sector.  You can support this process by:

  1. Completing our Organizational Diagnostic Tool for Capacity Building, which helps your organization discover any gaps you may have in your knowledge and practice of nonprofit and philanthropy management best practices and national standards.  After you complete the diagnostic, the Alliance will send you a report of your responses and then use this data to inform what workshops and capacity building events we schedule in the future.  This data will also assist funders and community leaders in their search for organizations that are ready to partner in projects that matter.
  2. Going to GuideStar, which manages the world’s largest online source of information on nonprofit organizations, visiting the profile of your nonprofit (already on GuideStar if you file a Form 990 tax return), and updating information for your organization.  Funding organizations and other donors regularly use GuideStar as part of their due diligence review before making grants or donations.  By improving your presence and information on GuideStar, you can increase your organization’s appeal to potential funders and donors.
  3. BECOME A MEMBER OF THE ALLIANCE.  Your membership includes subscription-level access to GuideStar ($1.000 value) and training on how to improve your GuideStar profile, along with access to profiles of all nonprofits in Mississippi that can help nonprofits find collaborative partners and funders assess potential grantees, and free membership in the Society for Nonprofits that includes a GrantStation membership ($699 value) with unlimited access to a database of funding sources and a weekly e-newsletter about funding opportunities.  The full list of member benefits here.

You can now JOIN THE ALLIANCE. If you have questions about membership, please contact Sandra Johnson, Membership & Administrative Services Coordinator,, 601-321-5541.

What’s New

Network for Good Survey Summary and the Jump Start Program

The Mississippi Alliance of Nonprofits and Philanthropy partnered with Network for Good to conduct a “first in the nation” statewide survey to understand where our nonprofit leaders need help sustaining their mission, specifically through the lens of fundraising.  You can find the early survey results on our website HERE  that we first shared at the July 12 Alliance Member Meeting.  There’s still time to be a part of this survey, by clicking HERE to complete this short survey.  As part of the partnership, The Alliance has secured all of Network for Good’s online training resources, which can be found on our website HERE.

The survey results will be used in two ways:

  1. to provide targeted training on priority topics that have surfaced as specific needs across the state
  2. to identify those organizations that completed the survey and therefore may be eligible for Network for Good’s JumpStart program, an intensive year-long program that includes training on improving fundraising (especially increasing individual giving), use of Network for Good’s fundraising software, as well as targeted coaching to address  the organization’s unique needs.

Alliance Supporters

Four Funders Pledge $1.25 Million to Launch the Alliance

Four visionary funders—the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Phil Hardin Foundation, the Barksdale Reading Institute and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi— have committed $1.25 million to help the Mississippi Alliance of Nonprofits and Philanthropy launch and bring to scale its innovative services to Mississippi’s nonprofits and grantmakers.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation committed a three-year investment of $900,000 to help fund The Alliance’s ground-breaking efforts to bring funders and nonprofits together to design and implement collaborative strategies to address pressing issues facing Mississippi’s children, families, and communities.  These issues include early childhood education, literacy, healthcare, economic development, and arts and culture.

“We are excited by The Alliance’s efforts to bring funders and nonprofits together from across Mississippi to tackle the state’s more difficult challenges to ensure its children, families and communities thrive,” said Rhea Williams-Bishop, director of Mississippi and New Orleans programs for the Kellogg Foundation.

To help launch and scale The Alliance’s services, the Phil Hardin Foundation of Meridian has made a three-year commitment of $225,000. “The Alliance in the first time in our nation that nonprofits and grantmakers have come together to work closely and collaboratively to address critical issues facing our state and the Hardin Foundation Board believes this effort can produce significant dividends for our state and her families and communities,” said Lloyd Gray, executive director of the Hardin Foundation. “We have worked for the last two years to help create this exciting new organization and encourage others to join this effort to improve outcomes in education, healthcare and other issues facing our citizens,” said Gray.

The Barksdale Reading Institute (BRI) has made a three-year commitment of $100,000 to support the Alliance’s efforts to bring capacity building services to nonprofits and grantmakers across the state.  “Now more than ever we need to help nonprofits working to improve educational outcomes for children do a better job of measuring their impact on instruction and student learning.  This is true also of the philanthropies that support their work and the Alliance itself.  BRI’s enthusiastic support of the Alliance is to continue to foster partnerships across the education sector to accelerate change that is lasting and consequential,” said Kelly Butler, Chief Executive Officer of the Barksdale Institute.

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi contributed $25,000 to The Alliance. “Nonprofit organizations and Grantmakers collaborating to join resources serve to enhance the charitable assistance available to the residents of our state,” said Sheila Grogan, Vice President, Community and Public Relations. “We support The Alliance as they work to improve the health and overall quality of life for all Mississippians.

The Alliance’s associate director Jo G Prichard said, “We deeply appreciate the visionary grants of these four institutions who all want to see Mississippi accelerate progress and improve the quality of life for all Mississippians. Without these splendid partners and others, it would be impossible for The Alliance to empower our state’s 12,000 nonprofits and philanthropies to multiply their positive impacts.”

“We also want to salute our important partners, the Mississippi Volunteer Commission and our state’s community foundations who have committed $250,000 in funding, plus office space and other resources to open a chain of regional nonprofit-volunteer service hubs across the state. We are so grateful for the CREATE Foundation, the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi, the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Washington County who are hosting these hubs in their facilities in Tupelo, Hernando, Gulfport and Greenville,” said Prichard. The fifth regional hub is being hosted by the Mississippi Alliance of Nonprofits and Philanthropy in its offices on West Capitol Street in Jackson.

Hub for Volunteerism, Capacity-Building, and Training

We are amid Hurricane Season and the MS Hub Network is preparing to assist communities in the event a disaster occurs.  The Hubs will be conducting training in conjunction with Volunteer Mississippi on Volunteer Reception Centers.  Volunteer Reception Centers connect unaffiliated volunteers (those who are not affiliated with emergency response groups) to volunteer opportunities in the community to aid in short-term disaster recovery.  If you are interested in being contacted in the event of a disaster to assist, please contact the Hub director in your area (view coverage area).  Also, if your organization utilizes volunteers and have not joined the Hub Network, please visit the Hub site to join!

Central Mississippi Hub – Jackson
Hub Director: Karla Edwards

Gulf Coast Hub – Gulfport
Hub Director: Bridget Turan

Golden Triangle Hub – Columbus
Hub Director: Errolyn Gray

Northeast Hub – Tupelo
Hub Director: Rebecca Nelson

Northwest Hub – Hernando
Hub Director: Brenda Smith

Northwest Satellite Hub – Clarksdale
Hub Director: Kara Dulaney

Save the Date of Our Regional Forums

Alliance is once again partnering with Volunteer Mississippi to present four regional Nonprofit Leadership Forums.

Delta Forum (Indianola), Wednesday, September 25th – The Capps Center

Central Mississippi Forum (Jackson), Monday, October 7th – Hilton Hotel County Line Road

Gulf Coast Forum (Biloxi), Tuesday, October 29th – Gulf Coast Convention Center

North Mississippi Forum (Oxford), Wednesday, November 13th – Oxford Conference Center

Stay tuned for more information in the coming days on the 2019 Nonprofit Leadership Forums

New and Renewing Members of the Alliance

Baddour Center

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of MS Foundation

Community of Hope – Jubilee Mennonite Church

Deliver Me Senior Support Services

Dusti Bonge’ Art Foundation

Fixin The Coast

Higher Purpose Co.

Historic Mound Bayou Foundation

Lafayette County Literacy Council

Lauren Rogers Museum of Art

Library Foundation of Hancock County

Lynn Meadows Discovery Center

Metropolitan YMCAs of Mississippi

Mission Mississippi

Mississippi American Federation of Teachers

Mississippi Children’s Museum

Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Mississippi Council on Economic Education

Mississippi Food Network

Mississippi Lower Delta Partnership

Mississippi Methodist Senior Services

Mississippi Museum of Art

Mississippi Puppetry Guild

Mississippi SIDS & Infant Safety Alliance

Mississippi’s Toughest Kids Foundation

Operation Shoestring

United MSD Foundation

William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation

Online Training is Here!

The Alliance now offers learning opportunities online through our Canvas Learning Management System. You can access these  trainings through our website or click here to find our training calendar.

  1. According to a Brandon-Hall Study, learning through e-learning typically requires 40% to 60% less employee time than learning the same material in a traditional classroom setting. This is because it can be performed asynchronously and whenever the student needs it; this way workflow is not interrupted. It is important to note that saving time doesn’t affect learning quality; it’s actually quite the opposite.
  2. The Research Institute of America found that e-Learning increases retention rates 25% to 60% while retention rates of face-to-face training are very low in comparison: 8% to 10%. This is because with e-Learning students have more control over the learning process as well as the opportunity to revisit the training as needed.

Upcoming Training & Events

Strategic Planning 101
Wednesday, August 7, 2019
9AM – 12PM

Mississippi Alliance of Nonprofits and Philanthropy
Jackson, MS

Basic Grant Proposal Writing Strategies
Wednesday, August 14, 2019
9AM – 3:30PM

Mississippi Alliance of Nonprofits and Philanthropy
Jackson, MS

Maximizing Your Dollars through Digital Marketing
Wednesday, August 14, 2019
1PM – 4PM

Knight Nonprofit Center, Gulfport, MS

Fundraising 101
Thursday, August 22, 2019
9AM – 12PM

Mississippi Alliance of Nonprofits and Philanthropy
Jackson, MS