The Ally: November 2019

Note from the Executive Director

Greetings Friends,

I hope everyone survived the ghosts and ghouls of Halloween without eating the left-over Snickers and Butterfinger bits.  That’s always the issue in my household—in fact, I may subconsciously buy more than is needed for that very reason!

My original intent was to use this space to talk about the very successful Endow Mississippi effort that was recently completed when this year’s tax credits were fully allotted.  I do indeed want to congratulate all involved in making that effort a success, especially our legislative champions—Representative Jeff Smith and Senator Joey Fillingane.  Over $2 million in endowment funds were contributed to community foundations across the state as a result of the tax credit legislation.  That means there will be more resources available for needed local services that positively impact children, families, and communities.  Our hope is that next year will be even more successful, thereby creating a growing and perpetual source of income for nonprofits.

As I began writing the longer version of the above paragraph, I realized that instead of going on-and-on about the success of Endow Mississippi, there is a different subject—one that impacts every one of us every day—that I should write about.  The subject I want to touch on is that of racial equity, particularly as we in the South live with a unique history that continues to shape our being in ways we only partially acknowledge or even understand.  If I were to title these comments, I’d call them “Fear of the journey keeps us away from where we need to be.”

This is prominently on my mind now because I’ve had the privilege of being in Montgomery for the last two days visiting the impressive civil rights museum here, but even more importantly spending quite a bit of time at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice.  I found both to be sobering and profoundly sad.  Sobering in that spending time there forced me to re-confront a past that can only be described as tragic and barbaric.  But it is also provocative and stimulating in that it forced me to more deeply question my own belief system, values, and understanding of the economic, human, cultural, and social factors that could have allowed such atrocities to happen.  For me it is important to realize that at 70 years old I’ve only just begun the journey of exploration and questioning, that hopefully can at some point help me at least have a contextual understanding.  I don’t know that I will ever have answers because I think some questions simply do not have answers, particularly the question of “what would I have done—who would I have been—if I had lived during the time of slavery?”

I do think that’s a critical question with which to wrestle because I think it helps us understand who we are today, but maybe even more importantly it leads us to ask the more relevant question which I think is, “Given our history and our best understanding of that history, what can I do today to make a positive difference?”

The Alliance and our work together will give us opportunities to continue the dialogue that was begun this year with The William Winter Institute’s Welcome Table discussion.  It is my hope that together we can learn more about how best to answer the questions noted above.

All the best,

Sammy Moon

What’s New

The Challenge of Nonprofit Leadership: Navigating a Perilous Moment

By Phil Buchanan

Phil Buchanan, president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy and author of Giving Done Right, shared powerful and pertinent remarks at the 2019 Philanthropy Summit hosted by the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy at John F. Kennedy University. In his remarks, Phil shares the heroic stories of real nonprofit leaders he has worked with, what funders should understand about supporting nonprofits, and the challenges nonprofits continue to face. We’ve included a snippet of Phil’s comments below, and you can read the entire blog post here.

For more information on the resources and tools we have to help you more effectively with funders or nonprofits, visit our website at alliancems.org or contact us at connect@alliancems.fahrenheitcreative.com.

I have spent the last six months talking mostly to donors about my book, Giving Done Right. But here, I want to address you, nonprofit leaders. And I want to start with some of the words I have heard said about you — about me, about us. Brace yourself.

“Nonprofit staff are overpaid.”

“Nonprofits are bloated.”

“Nonprofits are wasteful.”

“Nonprofits spend too much on overhead.”

“Nonprofit staff couldn’t make it in the ‘real world.’”

“Nonprofits don’t care about measuring effectiveness.”

“Nonprofits aren’t innovative enough.”

“Nonprofits are corrupt.”

Oh yeah, and this one, my favorite: “I have worked in business for the past couple of decades but am looking to slow down, give back, and have work-life balance, so I thought I’d explore nonprofit work.”

Has anyone heard any statements like these before?

Member Spotlight

Community Care Network

Ocean Springs, MS

Community Care Network (CCN) is a faith based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Ocean Springs, Mississippi seeking to empower their clients and minister to their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, enabling them to move from addiction, homelessness, and/or incarceration to a stable and independent life. Founded in 2003, their vision continues to be to equip their clients through life skills training, safe supportive housing, and ongoing support, and to minister healing and restoration through Christian counseling and teaching.

One of CCN’s critical programs is Sue’s Home. It is a long-term residential program for women and children. Sue’s Home accepts women who have graduated from residential drug or alcohol treatment facilities or have been released from incarceration. Women can remain in Sue’s Home for six months and may, after completing the program, receive assistance with relocation, partial rent. and utility deposits.

“Being an Alliance member benefits the families we serve at Community Care Network/Sue’s Home by providing on-going training, staff development, and networking opportunities for our staff and Board of Directors. Whether we are attending workshops, conferences or accessing the one-on-one consultation made available to Alliance members, we receive individualized, up to date information that help us further our mission. ”
– Diane Easley, Executive Director of the Community Care Network

The Community Foundation for Mississippi

Jackson, MS

Mississippi is one of the most charitable states in the nation, and the Community Foundation for Mississippi (CFM) works alongside its partners to help communities harness their philanthropic potential. In 1994, Jackson was the last major southern city without a community foundation.

Serving as a place for charitable fund investment, community foundations frequently are the “permanent endowment” for a community, connecting philanthropic resources and creating a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. That year, a visionary group of Leadership Jackson alumni began the work of creating such a resource for the capital city, and the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson was founded—starting with four charitable funds totaling just $250,000. Fast-forward two decades — our charitable assets have grown to more than $52 million, and we have awarded more than $40 million in grants and scholarships that have directly benefited communities in the Greater Jackson area and across the state.

CFM is an experienced leader and trusted partner in philanthropy and can help counties without a community foundation cultivate donors with a desire to help their nonprofits, for good and forever.

“One of the overwhelming needs in the nonprofit community is for what we call capacity building. It’s a buzzword, of course, but it means helping nonprofit organizations invest in their long-term health – building strong organizations, crafting reasonable budgets and plans to fund them, educating boards, training staff, and learning to identify needs and create programs that can address them in meaningful ways. The Alliance is already changing the way we address capacity, by forging partnerships with GuideStar, Network for Good, the Association of Fundraising Professionals and others, to bring world-class training opportunities to its members. But perhaps more important, grantmakers are co-investing in this work. We are all learning to align grantmaking goals with nonprofit programs, to make sure that our scarce charitable resources in Mississippi are used for maximum benefit. Truly, when these sectors can work together, real change is possible. We are delighted to see how these public-private-philanthropic initiatives are reshaping the charity landscape in our state!”
– Jane Alexander, President and CEO, Community Foundation for Mississippi

Member News

Deadline to Register a Charity with an Extension is November 15

November 15, 2019 is the deadline for charitable organizations in Mississippi who have requested an extension to file to renew their charitable registration. If a charity’s fiscal year ends on December 31, the renewal date was May 15. For organizations getting an extension, the renewal date is now November 15 or six months after the original deadline.

For more information, please contact the Mississippi Secretary of State Charities Division at 601-359-1599 or visit https://www.sos.ms.gov/charities/Pages/default.aspx.

Hub for Volunteerism, Capacity-Building, and Training

Family Volunteer Day is November 23rd

Join us on Nov. 23 and spend time with your family! Family Volunteer Day is a global day of service that celebrates the power of families who work together to support their communities and neighborhoods.
Powered by generationOn, the youth division of Points of Light, and sponsored by The Walt Disney Company, it’s a great way to be inspired by the power of helping others. It’s an amazing day to bring your family together to make your mark on the world. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity! Read more here.

7 Keys to Finding & Keeping Valuable Volunteers, Part 1

So, you’ve realized you need some volunteer help at your nonprofit… now what? Where should you start? Who is this “free help” anyway? Finding and Keeping Valuable Volunteers will help answer your questions. In this interactive session, learn the basics of volunteer management from start to finish, including strategically assessing your organization’s needs, writing position descriptions for the people you need, recruiting skills-based and other volunteers, training and retaining them, and recognizing and rewarding your volunteers. You’ll leave this 3-hour workshop with a toolbox of great ideas, templates, sample forms, and a support network to keep the momentum going!

Delta Hub

When:   Tuesday December 3rd
Time:     9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Where: Delta Arts Alliance (104 S. Court Street, Cleveland, MS)

$39 per person

New & Renewing Members of The Alliance

Month of October

Created to Serve

Gilmore Foundation

Innovate Mississippi

Jackson Heart Foundation

Mental Health Association of South Mississippi

Mississippi Heritage Trust

The Leap Frog Program

Theatre Oxford

WE ENGAGE

Rob Greuling

Images from our 2019 Gulf Coast Nonprofit Leadership Forum

Gulf Coast Forum | October 29, 2019 | Biloxi, MS

The Alliance in partnership with Volunteer Mississippi welcomed over 90 nonprofit and philanthropic professionals and volunteers to the Gulf Coast Convention Center for a day of learning and networking.

Images from our Network for Good Year-End Fundraising Live-Stream Event

The Alliance partnered with Network for Good for a year-end fundraising live stream session. The training originated from the Jackson State University e-Center but was streamed to our Hubs in Gulfport, Tupelo, and Greenville to very captive audiences looking to ignite their year-end giving campaigns. Rachel Ramjattan, CFRE of Network for Good led the live session and we brought in a team of fundraising consultants to work in the Hubs with the participants to help them better understand how year-end giving accounts for 70% of nonprofit donations and how these organizations can better tap into that resource.

Upcoming Training & Events

Lunch & Learn: Your Year-End Financial Tune Up
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
11:45 AM – 1:15 PM
Grantham Poole, Ridgeland, MS

$25 Alliance Members
$40 for Not-Yet Members

In this Lunch & Learn session you will learn from a team of CPA’s and financial professionals with the firm Grantham Poole.

  • Learn changes to IRS Form 990 and new nonprofit tax issues
  • QuickBooks tidbits, including setting up a budget
  • Preparing for your organizations audit

This quick moving and informative session will allow you to ask questions of these professionals while enjoying lunch and networking with other organizational leaders.

Basic Grant Proposal Strategies

Wednesday, January 22, 2020
9:00 am – 3:30 pm
MS Alliance Training Room

$139 Alliance Members
$209 Not-Yet Alliance Members

This class is designed for beginners, as well as practiced grant writers who need to understand the elements of a proposal and how to successfully integrate each into a successful proposal, as well as the process for successful grant research.

This workshop will cover basic grant writing objectives, the elements of almost every proposal, customizing proposals, locating grants and funding opportunities, developing relationships with funders, and grants management. This workshop is will also help you learn how to conduct successful grant research.

You will hear real stories and the do’s and don’ts of grant writing.

How You Will Benefit:

  • You will gain a new understanding of the grant writing process.
  • You will be able to research, plan, and write grants for your organization.
  • Create a working budget
  • You can use your new skills to advance your career—or start a new one!

The Right Way to Start a 501(c)3 Nonprofit
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
MS Alliance Training Room

$149 per person (includes Guidebook)

Do you have a dream to make a difference in your community? How about to advocate for a cause near and dear to you, or support the arts in your area?

Well this one-day workshop provides the legal and practical steps to successfully organize and secure state and federal approval to operate as a tax-exempt organization. The class includes a guidebook developed by the MS Center for Nonprofits (valued at $49).

This workshop will cover:

  • Completing IRS Form 1023-EZ
  • Creating by-laws
  • Setting your board of directors
  • Creating a funding plan
  • Mississippi Secretary of State requirements
  • Plus much more

Role of the Board Chair (Partnership with Washington Nonprofits)
A Four Part Series

Thursday, January 30, 2020 through
Thursday, February 20, 2020
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm CST
Online Webinar

$80 for Alliance Members
$160 for Not-Yet Members

Leading a group of governance volunteers can be challenging as well as rewarding. Serving as the chair of the board is not a role for the uninspired and undecided. In this workshop, participants will learn about the chair’s responsibility in strengthening and improving the leadership work of the board as a whole.

This course is a great primer for new board chairs and excellent refresher for more seasoned board members! Whether you’re a current chair, chair-elect, or head up a committee, this workshop covers leadership skills every board member needs. Topics include leadership characteristics of effective board leaders, key relationships in and out of the board room, your leadership legacy, facilitating meetings that matter, and ways to engage individual board members.

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