Coupling General Operating, Capacity Building Grants Drive Outcomes

Providing long-term general operating support along with capacity-building grants may be a “gold standard” funding practice that drives positive outcomes achieved at the community level, a report commissioned by the Citi Foundation and produced by Synergos finds.

Drawn from secondary research and interviews with more than fifty funders and nonprofits, the report, Funding From a Place of Trust: Exploring the Value of General Operating Support and Capacity Building Grants (41 pages, PDF), found that coupling multiyear general operating support with funding for capacity building allows nonprofits to avoid the tradeoff between investing in capacity and programmatic growth on the one hand and sustaining that newly acquired capacity on the other. Given that the benefits of general operating support and capacity building play out over time, the report argues that funders should invest early and for the long haul — with grant terms of five to seven years. One essential factor in the effectiveness of general operating and capacity building support, the study found, is the willingness of a grantee to make the changes necessary to move from a project mindset to a broader impact-oriented mindset.

According to the report, general operating support is a form of “trust capital” that, when coupled with capacity building or programmatic funding, establishes a trust-based relationship and helps re-balance the power differential between funder and grantee. Leveling the playing field also helps foster honest two-way communication and, in turn, learning and capacity building for both parties.

The report includes case studies of four recipients of flexible funding — Career Ready, the Firelight Foundation, the Global Fund for Children, and Whatcom Community Foundation.

“Donors should acknowledge the limitations of short-term cycles of one to three years which tend to be the norm in the funding landscape,” the report’s authors conclude. “[General operating support] combined with targeted [capacity building] funding can give organizations the time, space, and confidence to rethink and strengthen their engagement with the communities.”

Nonprofits and Philanthropic Organizations: Right There When We Need Them

GuideStar manages the world’s largest online source of information on nonprofit organizations. Using publicly available information, as well as information nonprofits provide, GuideStar has created a data and knowledge hub dedicated to a more transparent nonprofit sector, improved intelligence about tax-exempt organizations, and more confident charitable giving.

  • Your nonprofit organization already has a presence on GuideStar.
  • Did you know that funding organizations regularly use GuideStar, as part of due diligence?
  • As an Alliance member, you can conduct a subscription-level search of all nonprofits in Mississippi.
  • You can significantly improve your presence on GuideStar—and in doing do, increase your organization’s appeal to potential donors and funders.

Sign in to start your search.

The Ally: April 2020

Note from the Executive Director: What Enduring Effects Will COVID-19 Have on Education in Mississippi?

Classrooms on campuses across the state sit empty and silent while educators and administrators of students from Pre-K to postsecondary programs scramble to identify and implement new methods and modes of teaching during a time when teachers and students are separated by miles. The immediate and dramatic shift to virtual classrooms caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated inequities that exist at every level of education in Mississippi, with many low-income and rural students unable to access the technology required to shift to online learning.

Decades of disinvestment in poor, rural communities has limited access to technology thereby increasing achievement gaps, and if we do not develop a thoughtful and coordinated response that lasts beyond the COVID-19 crisis and that includes educators, parents, nonprofits, philanthropy, and public sector leaders, there could potentially be very negative impacts on the state’s education system and economy.

The Alliance’s Education Affinity Group (EAG) was established to convene funders supporting education at all levels to better understand education issues in the state, to learn from each other about what philanthropic investments are currently underway, and to identify ways philanthropy can help solve some of the state’s most persistent education challenges. EAG members recognize the COVID-19 pandemic has provided an opportunity to highlight the inequities that impact learning and to develop longer term strategies to rectify these inequities. The EAG will be inviting several funders and leaders in education to share their thoughts about how education inequity is showing up during COVID-19 and what nonprofits, funders, and the government should be considering as we move from response to recovery.

Over the next few months, The Ally will feature brief articles about relevant issues impacting education, including that of inequity. We will feature written pieces from individuals with knowledge about the field, beginning next month with an article from Jim McHale, CEO of the Woodward Hines Education Foundation.  We will also keep readers up to date on what is being learned from the Education Affinity Group conversations.

– Sammy Moon, Executive Director

Responding to the Enormous Need During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Nonprofit Perspective

By Dixie Renault, Project Director, Manna Ministries

On March 1, 2020, based on state and national recommendations regarding the COVID-19, Manna Ministries began to reassess our programs. Assuring patients that our free primary care medical clinic is available and that they still have access to care and medications is a priority. So immediately, we implemented telehealth operations in order to protect our patients and our volunteers. Many people have lost their jobs, or had their hours reduced. Those who cannot afford their medications any longer, have continued to receive our assistance. Manna Ministries had provided a food delivery program for shut-ins for many years. The need for food delivery has increased ten-fold due to the COVID-19 virus. Many of our clients are older citizens who are considered high risk due to age and/or compromised health conditions.

On March 16, we began making deliveries of food, cleaning supplies, hygiene products, etc. to a senior housing community that had requested our assistance. The residents were self-isolating and full of uncertainty about themselves and their families. In addition to food and supplies, we delivered some Easter baskets to them to provide some cheer.

Until our supplies ran out, we delivered personal protective equipment to our first responders, some of the local clinics and the hospital. We have ordered more, but as you can imagine our resources are rapidly diminishing. We are scrambling on two fronts now; to ramp up emergency services, and to find volunteers and resources to help those in need. We continue to receive daily requests for assistance at all levels.

I know we are not alone in this struggle. Nonprofits across our nation find themselves in unprecedented circumstances, attempting to fulfill greater obligations than ever before. I am sure non-profits in all our cities would request that funders reconsider their allocation of resources at this deeply challenging time. While I fully realize that this is a monumental request, there is enormous need right now. The essentials of everyday living are more difficult to sustain. From the need for food, personal protective equipment, medical access, and volunteers, the list is long and the need is great. I know that nonprofits across our nation will rise to the occasion.

That is what we do. Every day.

Member Spotlight

Manna Ministries

Picayune

Since their founding in 1999, Manna Ministries goal has been to help families and or individuals reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of poverty.

In time of human need, Manna Ministries provides and restores health and support to those in need without regard to geographical areas. Every day families struggle to make ends meet and suffer from lack of basic human needs such as food, clothing, shelter, and healthcare.

Since the organization’s founding, Picayune based Manna Ministries has provided more than $5 million to aid families in all of our programs. Last year alone, the organization served over 32,000 families through our various programs. Following the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Isaac, Manna Ministries assisted 1,800 families with repairs or rebuilds to their homes through their disaster case management program.

At Manna Ministries, their slogan says it best: “Together we can make a difference”.

News & Updates

The COVID-19 crisis has been a time of learning. Many people have learned new tunes to sing while washing their hands, how to make face coverings, how to attend a webinar, and how to order groceries online. While this can be a time of frustration and anxiety, The Alliance wants to help make this a productive time as well. What better way to spend some extra hours then attending one or more of our webinars?

During the course of May, we will be offering some incredible new webinars that will be taught by leaders in the field and adapted to meet the current situation. But wait, it gets better. We appreciate that money is tight, so we have cut our pricing by more than half! Our aim is to be able to make this so accessible that you will join us for more than one and bring some friends and colleagues along with you.

When you fill out our May Training Registration Form, if you sign up for one training it will be $25. If you sign up for two trainings they will only be $20 each. If you sign up for three trainings, they will only cost you $15 each! To see the full list of webinars you can visit https://alliancems.org/event-directory/.

Want more of the Alliance? Not a problem. You can see Sammy, Ellen, Jeffery and the rest of the team during our Weekly Webinars. This is a time to get updates about The Alliance, have expert presenters discuss important things happening in the state, and network with other organizations in MS. Join us each Thursday from 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM! Click here to participate.

Nonprofit & Philanthropic News

Mississipi Secretary of State Charity Registrations Extended to July 15

Due to the IRS COVID-19 relief efforts and in compliance with the law, the expiration date for renewal registrations due by May 15, 2020, has been extended to July 15, 2020. However, filers wishing to file the renewal registration today may do so at this time and are encouraged to file now. You may contact the Division at charities.customerservice@sos.ms.gov or 601-359-1599 for additional information.

Why All Foundations Should Support the Guardians of the Nonprofit World Now

[W]e need to do more to ensure that nonprofits get the help they need when new stimulus bills are crafted and implementation plans for existing ones are shaped. And throughout this critical period we need full-throated advocacy campaigns to make certain that America’s most marginalized people don’t face the prospect of entrenched inequities becoming even deeper.

Think about it: Every philanthropic strategy depends on the health of nonprofits. A philanthropist’s work can be no stronger than the nonprofit organizations actually doing the work.

Read the entire article here.

Rethinking Social Change in the Face of Coronavirus

COVID-19 has affected every aspect of life around the globe, from individual relationships to institutional operations to international collaborations. As societies try to defend themselves through severe restrictions on people’s movement and interactions, the disease continues to decimate families, upend governments, crush economies, and tear through the social sector.

How should the social sector respond to the evolving crisis? How will nonprofits, foundations, philanthropic organizations, and social justice advocates emerge from the pandemic? What unique insight and capabilities can civil society bring to bear on the problems the world now faces? How will organizations manage potentially calamitous challenges to funding their operations?

Read the entire article here.

Fundraising in the Time of COVID: A TechSoup Roundup

These are certainly strange days. People are sheltering in place and taking a much closer look at their finances in case of sickness and emergency. It just doesn’t seem like the right time for business-as-usual nonprofit fundraising — and it probably isn’t. But not so fast, says Ben Miller, chief analytic officer of DonorTrends and secretary of the Growth in Giving Initiative, a program of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). If we look at what happened during the Great Recession, giving to nonprofits remained steady, with only slight declines over the entire period.

His insights are in the recent AFP article Charitable Giving in Times of Fear and Uncertainty. Miller concludes, “When the current crisis ends, history will show that the most successful nonprofits continued to ask for donations, although likely in a different way. Those nonprofits who go ‘silent’ or attempt to give their donors a break will likely see the same results as others before them — and suffer or even go out of business as a result.”

Read the entire article here.

Hub for Volunteerism, Capacity-Building, and Training

New & Renewing Members of The Alliance

Charles L. Young Sr. Foundation

Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities

First Church of Deliverance

Gordon Community and Cultural Center

Mississippi Families for Kids

Mississippi Press Association Education Foundation

MS Delta Academies

Second Liners Mardi Gras Club

Waynesboro-Wayne County Library

Wildlife Mississippi

Wingard Home Ministry

Upcoming Training & Events

COVID-19 Weekly Webinar Update

When:  Every Thursday
Time:    9:00 am – 10:00 am
Where: Online Webinar

 The Alliance will host a weekly COVID-19 webinar update, beginning this Thursday, April 2nd. The webinars will occur at the same time each week. The focus will be on learning, sharing, identifying needs/resources, and generally supporting each other. Please take a moment and add these webinars to your calendar!

 https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/777167189

You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: 1-872-240-3212
Access Code: 777-167-189

Telling Your Story in Times of Crisis

When:  Monday, May 11
Time:    1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Where: Online Webinar 

There’s no denying that these are tough times. When times are tough, it’s really common for organizations to struggle with what to say, particularly on social media, but in other outlets also. Do you stick with your old messaging and pretend it’s still business as usual? Do you commit your feed to only COVID-19 related posts from now on?

Human Resources in a Time of Crisis

When:  Wednesday, May 13
Time:    9:00 am – 10:30 am
Where: Online Webinar

Diseases like COVID-19 can bring a busy workforce to a standstill. Organizations have to take numerous steps to limit the risk to your community from the possible spread of the virus. Human Resources continues to respond to the evolving situation by reviewing and updating related policies and procedures.

Basic Grant Proposal Strategies Part 1 of 3

When:  Thursday, May 21, 28, and June 4
Time:    1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Where: Online Webinar

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 compelling proposal, as well as the process for successful grant research. 

Update from the National Council of Nonprofits: Analysis of COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Legislation

How the COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Bill Would Affect Nonprofit

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act 

(CARES Act) (S. 748)

Congressional and Administration negotiators reached agreement on the Phase 3 COVID-19 economic stimulus bill early Wednesday morning and just released the legislative text this hour. The Senate and House hope to pass the $2 trillion legislation as quickly as possible.

What’s in the Bill for Nonprofits

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) (S. 748) provides significant funding for businesses, hospitals, schools, and social support programs, among many other things. Below are key nonprofit issues of sector-wide interest on which advocates have been most active. These are based on an initial analysis of the nearly 900-page bill. More details may become apparent with more thorough analysis.

Emergency Small Business Loans (emergency SBA 7(a) loans): Provides funding for special emergency loans of up to $10 million for eligible nonprofits and small businesses, permitting them to cover costs of payroll, operations, and debt service, and provides that the loans be forgiven in whole or in part under certain circumstances. Title I, Section 1102.

  • General Eligibility: Available to entities that existed on March 1, 2020 and had paid employees.
  • Nonprofit Eligibility: Available for charitable nonprofits with 500 or fewer employees (counting each individual – full time or part time and not FTEs). The final bill does not include a provision in earlier drafts that would have disqualified nonprofits that are eligible for payments under Title XIX of the Social Security Act (Medicaid).
  • Loan Use: Loan funds could be used to make payroll and associated costs, including health insurance premiums, facilities costs, and debt service.
  • Loan Forgiveness: Employers that maintain employment between March 1 and June 30 would be eligible to have their loans forgiven, essentially turning the loan into a grant. Section 1106.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL): Eliminates creditworthiness requirements and appropriates an additional $10 billion to the EIDL program so that eligible nonprofits and other applicants can get checks for $10,000 within three days. Section 1110.

Self-Funded Nonprofits and Unemployment: Only reimburses self-funded nonprofits for half of the costs of benefits provided to their laid-off employees. This is explained in a recent blog article. Section 2103.

Charitable Giving Incentive: Includes a new above-the-line deduction (universal or non-itemizer deduction that applies to all taxpayers) for total charitable contributions of up to $300. The incentive applies to contributions made in 2020 and would be claimed on tax forms next year. Section 2204. The bill also lifts the existing cap on annual contributions for those who itemize, raising it from 60 percent of adjusted gross income to 100 percent. For corporations, the bill raises the annual limit from 10 percent to 25 percent. Food donations from corporations would be available to 25 percent, up from the current 15 percent cap. Section 2205.

Self-Funded Nonprofits and Unemployment: Only reimburses self-funded nonprofits for half of the costs of benefits provided to their laid-off employees. This is explained in a recent blog article. Section 2103.

Employee Retention Payroll Tax Credit: Creates a refundable payroll tax credit of up to $5,000 for each employee on the payroll when certain conditions are met. The entity had to be an ongoing concern at the beginning of 2020 and had seen a drop in revenue of at least 50 percent in the first quarter compared to the first quarter of 2019. The availability of the credit would continue each quarter until the organization’s revenue exceeds 80 percent of the same quarter in 2019. For tax-exempt organizations, the entity’s whole operations must be taken into account when determining the decline in revenues. Notably, employers receiving emergency SBA 7(a) loans would not be eligible for these credits. Section 2301.

Industry Stabilization Fund: Creates a loan and loan guarantee program for industries like airlines to keep them solvent through the crisis. It sets aside $425 billion for “eligible business” which is defined as “a United States business that has not otherwise received economic relief in the form of loans or loan guarantees provided under” the legislation. It is expected, but unclear, whether charitable nonprofits qualify under that definition for industry stabilization loans. Mid-sized businesses, including nonprofits, that have between 500 and 10,000 employees are expressly eligible for loans under this provision. Although there is no loan forgiveness provision in this section, the mid-size business loans would be charged an interest rate of no higher than two percent and  would not accrue interest or require repayments for the first six months. Nonprofits accepting the mid-size business loans must retain at least 90 percent of their staff at full compensation.  Section 4003.

 

Other Significant Provisions

Direct Payments to adults of $1,200 or less and $500 per child ($3,400 for a family of four) to be sent out in weeks. The amount of the payments phases out based on earnings of between $75,000 and $99,000 ($150,000 / $198,000 for couples).

Expanded Unemployment Insurance: Includes coverage for workers who are furloughed, gig workers, and freelancers. Increases payments by $600 per week for four months on top of what state unemployment programs pay.

Amendments to the New Paid Leave Mandates: Lowers the amounts that employers must pay for paid sick and family leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act* (enacted March 19) to the amounts covered by the refundable payroll tax credit – i.e., $511 per day for employee sick leave or $200 per day for family leave.

Significant Spending: The bill also calls for large infusions of cash to the following sectors:

  • $150 billion for a state, tribal, and local Coronavirus Relief fund
  • $130 billion for hospitals
  • $30 billion for education
  • $25 billion for transit systems

Legislative Summaries

 

* See: Analysis of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Share Letter with Congress

This week, United Philanthropy Forum joined other national nonprofit and philanthropy organizations in signing on to two letters sent to Capitol Hill on behalf of nonprofits, relating to proposed COVID-19 and economic stimulus package legislation.

On March 12, 2020, the Forum signed on to a letter to Congressional offices outlining why nonprofits must be included in COVID-19 stimulus package legislation. This letter highlighted practical policy examples and solutions for Members of Congress to think about when drafting legislation. On March 14, 2020, the House voted 363-40 to pass H.R. 6201, Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This bill ensures that nonprofits can use a tax credit to offer paid leave for their employees – one of the requests in the letter.

On March 18, 2020, the Forum signed on to a second letter that asks Congress to provide an infusion of $60 billion in capital to America’s charitable nonprofits to maintain operations, expand the scope to address increasing demands, and stabilize losses from closures throughout the country. Later that evening, the Senate voted 90-8 to pass the House bill and the president signed it into law. The final bill includes paid sick leave, food assistance for vulnerable populations and financial help for coronavirus testing.

Currently, Senate leaders are already working on another stimulus package, with a focus on relief for small businesses. As Congress continues to work on additional legislation, we encourage you to post the 2nd letter on your own websites and share the letter with your elected officials, and highlight two key asks in the letter:

  1. Urge them to infuse $60 billion in capital to America’s charitable nonprofits so they can be equipped to help the most vulnerable affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
  2. Urge them to enact an “above-the-line” or universal charitable deduction for charitable contributions through the end of 2021. Congress should permit taxpayers to donate today – at the height of the pandemic – and claim the benefit from these deductions on 2019 tax returns.

Also, please share the letter with your foundation members, as they reach out to their elected officials.

The Forum is grateful to the National Council of Nonprofits for its leadership in developing both letters. Developments pertaining to legislation are happening quickly, the Forum will continue to keep you updated on its progress.

For more information about philanthropy’s response to COVID-19, please visit the Forum’s website, here .

The Ally: March 2020

Special Note About COVID-19

Welcome to the March 2020 edition of The Ally. Those of us at the Alliance recognize the concern and stress brought on by COVID-19 and the disruption that has resulted from the outbreak. We are working through internal and external challenges while keeping the home fires burning so that we can continue to be a resource for nonprofits and philanthropies in our state.

For the time being, The Alliance staff will be working remotely. However, we will be available to respond to your questions, so don’t hesitate to contact us. Updates on the COVID-19 situation will posted daily on our website at www.alliancems.org/covid-19.

We are pleased to bring you this newsletter celebrating the leadership and service of women during Women’s History Month. Be safe and well.

March is Women’s History Month—a time when we acknowledge and celebrate the many contributions women have made to the country and the world.  And as I reflect on those contributions, my mind takes me to the oft-cited quote coined by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, “Well-behaved women seldom make history.”

Growing up in the South and being the only girl with two older sibling brothers, it was expected, or shall I say mandated that I be a “well-behaved” girl: be compliant, quiet and don’t cause a scene.  But as I’ve grown personally and professionally, this expectation has seemingly clashed with the core of who I am.

Over the past few years, I’ve been challenged by mentors, friends and colleagues to step beyond my boundaries, take more risks and grow as a leader. This in turn has forced me to find my way and my voice. I’ve learned through a journey of self-discovery to identify my motivation—the voice that gets me out of bed each day, ready to take on the world, and that is my true call to leadership—authentic leadership.

An authentic leader has come to understand their passion and their purpose.  That purpose is many times driven by their life story. I can recall many times as a child often feeling misunderstood and being hurt by the adults in my life. Those experiences guided me down a path to be an early childhood specialist and advocate who believes all children deserve to be respected, valued, and heard!

My experiences give meaning to my life, and the values formed from those moments became my call to action. Often, as women we try to fit into a mold created by the expectations of others, whether that is driven by our upbringing or societal norms. But I challenge us all to take the necessary steps to develop our authentic leadership.

Practice becoming more self-aware. Who is the real you? What experiences in your early years have shaped and impacted your life story? What motivates you to get up and do what you love doing every day? And what are your deeply held values and principles?

It’s when we discover who we truly are that we can lead more effectively and empower others to be leaders as well. And that is when we can change the world—well-behaved or not. Now, let’s go make history!

Ellen Collins, COO

What’s New: Conversations with Two Women Making History in Mississippi

In March of each year, we are reminded of the enormous contributions of women to our society. We celebrate women’s leadership in voting rights, arts and letters, science and medicine, social justice and equality. At the local level, women in Mississippi have been effecting change for years, but are now more engaged than ever.

We asked Ivye Allen, president of the Foundation for the Mid-South, and local attorney Wendy Mullins, a former board member of the Women’s Foundation and The Alliance, to reflect on their experience in the local nonprofit world.

Ally: Women lead 75 percent of nonprofit organizations; however, despite women possessing 51 percent of the wealth in this nation, only recently have the numbers begin to tick up for women leaders in philanthropy. As a woman leading a philanthropic organization, what kind of changes have you seen in the years you have been in a leadership role?

Ivye Allen: Including myself, there has been an increase in women leading foundations and other nonprofit organizations throughout the South as well as the nation. In addition, there is an increasing number of women of color, particularly younger leaders of color taking the helm. There is also a shift in the number of women and people of color joining boards of directors of philanthropic and other nonprofit organizations. Women with a broad cross-section of education and career disciplines are sharing their skills and knowledge throughout the state and region. This creates a network of peers that provide advice and counsel on work ideas that sometimes result in partnerships and other relationship building. But it has also created a network of lifelong friendships that exist beyond professional relationships.

Ally: Your foundation strives to increase the quality of life for those in the Mid-South through better educational opportunities, better health outcomes, and increasing economic security.  What kind of impact has the foundation had on these issues, and what do you see as challenges going forward?

IA: We have been impactful in many quality of life indicators throughout our priority states of Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Our partnerships including municipal leaders, school districts, faith institutions and nonprofits. We have partnered to address quality housing including single family homes, apartments, and senior assisted living facilities. Our workforce development partnerships have assisted thousands through supportive services and programmatic investments. Approximately 250 individuals have been assisted with critical employment specific certification tests such as the NCLEX for nursing.  Over 500 individuals across the community colleges have participated in the manufacturing basic skills programs and related supplemental investments. Over 1,000 people have been directly impacted by our collaborative work towards making Mississippi a Work Ready state with Work Keys testing, remediation and job profiling.

Ally: You are also on The Alliance board and lead a philanthropic group that continues to change lives for the better.  How has your affiliation with The Alliance influenced what you do?

IA:  I can honestly say, through meetings, calls, emails, or simply conversing with other members, I always identify new ideas or approaches to improve our work.  The same is stated by other staff members that have engaged in alliance programs. This is an important entity for nonprofits and philanthropy throughout the state.  We have the opportunity to engage and learn in various settings.  This contributes to consistent information that ensures our effectiveness, communication, and how we engage with nonprofit leaders and organizations that we partner.  This results in better outcomes for our partners and the communities we serve.

Ally: What inspired you to get involved in philanthropy in the Metro Jackson area?

WM: My first memory was of a “Lunch and Learn” at the Women’s Fund in the Clarion Ledger offices where the speakers discussed social issues impacting women and children. It was the first time I had really thought about harnessing the power of women to help women. Women were already running businesses, families and communities, but I came to understand that we also have the power to effect multi-generational change for underserved women and children. [Editor’s note:  That experience led to Wendy’s service on the board of the Women’s Foundation, and later, the MS Center for Nonprofits.]

Ally: What can you share from your experience on those boards?

WM: The Women’s Foundation really helped me to understand that while each contribution matters, we have more impact when we work together. [Editor’s note: This theme of collaboration and intentional partnership between nonprofits and philanthropy further emerged in Wendy’s work on the board at the Mississippi Center for Nonprofits (now The Alliance).]

It became clear over time that we needed to build a better nonprofit and philanthropic network across the state and find a more efficient way to shepherd our resources for maximum impact”. The creation of the Alliance of Nonprofits and Philanthropy was very much a local effort, and yet we [Mississippi nonprofits and philanthropy] are trailblazers with the concept.  Now that we have The Alliance, we can really start moving the needle.  The publication Two Sides of the Same Coin illustrated to me the advantage of bringing both sides together; that teamwork and transparency can pull down the walls. The real prize in all this is the creation of an open, safe space to discuss our challenges so we can work together to solve Mississippi’s problems. [Editor’s note: More of these kinds of things are happening now and give women more opportunities than ever to make a difference.]

Wendy Mullins serves as General Counsel for Molpus Woodlands Group. A native of Dover, North Carolina, she received her undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D. at Mississippi College School of Law.

Guaranteeing Opportunity for Children and Families

Last year Aisha Nyandoro, CEO of Springboard to Opportunities and board chair of The Alliance, helped launch the Magnolia Mother’s Trust, a pilot project to explore the benefits of “guaranteed income” for mothers in Jackson.

After learning about guaranteed income at a conference, Nyandoro began laying the groundwork for the pilot program—the first ever to focus on low-income Black women. Springboard teamed up with the Economic Security Project to design a program for fifteen women who received “a no strings attached, direct cash benefit”, as Nyandoro describes it, for twelve months. Springboard intentionally approached this effort with a two-generation lens, combining financial services for mothers with children’s savings accounts and social support training.

Cheryl Gray, a Magnolia Mother’s Trust participant, recalled her initial reaction to the program in an interview with the Washington Post: I can do anything? Programs like the Magnolia Mother’s Trust can help turn questions tinged with uncertainty into declarations filled with possibility, and mothers like Cheryl Gray, along with countless children and families in Mississippi, can truly believe, “I can do anything.

“These kinds of pilots are a good role for philanthropy,” said Natalie Foster, a co-chairwoman of the Economic Security Project in a New York Times opinion article about the Magnolia Mother’s Trust. “They open up the political imagination and show what’s possible.”

If you’re interested in identifying a nonprofit or philanthropic partner to develop or scale innovative programming, contact us at connect@alliancems.org.

Member Spotlight

St. Gabriel Mercy Center

Mound Bayou

Dr. Shakebra L. Young, a native of Cleveland, Mississippi, was appointed executive director of St. Gabriel Mercy Center on July 9, 2018 and is the first African American female to hold the position.

Dr. Young obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Computer Information Systems & Office Administration from Delta State University and a Master of Science Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Tennessee. She earned a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Human Services from Capella University. Dr. Young later obtained a Graduate Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Walden University. She is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration Degree in Human Resource Management from Delta State University.

Dr. Young served as an instructor in the Department of Social Work at the University of Mississippi and an Adjunct Professor of Social Work at the University of Memphis. She worked as the Director of Programs at Sacred Heart Southern Missions. Dr. Young is also currently a professor in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Walden University.

We had the opportunity to ask Dr. Young a few questions about the impact the organization has on the community, any challenges and growth strategies and how the Alliance can assist the St. Gabriel Mercy Center (SGMC) in their operations.

Ally: How has the Mercy Center impacted the community?
SY: Partnerships with local and state agencies have given way to a stronger program-based system. Time is spent attending monthly and/or quarterly meetings with partnering agencies. These partnerships serve as a collective platform that fosters unity and commitment as agencies work collaboratively to further address the all encompassing needs of the vulnerable populations within our service region.

St. Gabriel Mercy Center stands as a beacon of light for countless vulnerable and less fortunate residents throughout Bolivar County and the surrounding areas. In 2019 alone, the Center served over 4,000 clients through its programs and services. These services include an Emergency Assistance Program, which offers food, clothing, and financial assistance, General Education Diploma Program, Senior Outreach Program, Parents as Teachers Program, Sewing Program, Volunteer Program, Summer Youth Program, Mercy Center Learning Lab, and a Thrift Store.

Ally: Do you see an opportunity for growth? And what are the biggest challenges you anticipate?
SY: When looking at program evaluation, I recognize the still much-needed effort for growth as well as the need to improve programs and services for the clients, students, residents, and the Mississippi Delta communities we serve. As we continue to broaden our scope of knowledge by developing services that foster systemic growth among individuals, families, and communities, the Mercy Center seeks to implement educational and life skills; enrichment classes geared to provide clients and residents with an opportunity to acquire the essential skills needed to become self-sufficient.

Class topics will include, but are not limited to, adult and teen parenting education, nutrition and wellness, financial planning, credit restoration, anger management, conflict resolution, self-esteem, homebuyer education, and basic computer classes. All classes will be free to clients and community residents. I foresee the biggest challenge being that of transportation. The Mississippi Delta does not have public transit, and has limited cab services, so that clients who do not have adequate transportation will experience difficulty in being able to attend classes.

Ally: What can The Alliance do better to serve organizations like yours?
SY: The Mississippi Alliance of Nonprofits and Philanthropy has done an excellent job in helping to educate and enhance organizations throughout Mississippi. The workshops and webinars are very informative and have assisted St. Gabriel Mercy Center, Inc. in strengthening its overall administration and our program base.

About the SGMC

The St. Gabriel Mercy Center began in 1999 and is in Bolivar County in the community of Mound Bayou, Mississippi.  They serve the communities of Mound Bayou, Shelby, Winstonville, Renova, Merigold, Duncan and Cleveland, all of which are clustered along Highway 61 to the north and south of St. Gabriel Mercy Center.

The St. Gabriel Mercy Center is dedicated to working with organizations, programs and schools in the community with a focus on equipping and developing self-supporting, productive and successful individuals for our world.  St. Gabriel Mercy Center is a faith-based, non-profit organization with a mission; rooted in the mission of Jesus and the tradition of Mercy, St. Gabriel Mercy Center seeks to promote and participate in establishing services aimed at enhancing human dignity for residents of Bolivar County.

Nonprofit & Philanthropic News

How To Get More Black Women In Philanthropy Leadership

The median wealth of a single black woman in the U.S. is $200, compared with the median wealth of a single white man, which is $28,900, because of factors such as higher levels of debt and lower incomes. Getting more black women at the decision-making table of philanthropy is one of the ways to ensure that more philanthropic dollars and economic dollars reach the black community, especially black women. Read more here.

On Philanthropy: Funding for charities focused on women and girls in short supply

Charitable support for organizations that serve women and girls is surprisingly deficient when compared with philanthropic giving as a whole.

The Women & Girls Index, which measured giving to more than 45,000 U.S. organizations dedicated to women and girls, found that only 1.6% of all philanthropic support went to these causes — about $6.3 billion. Of this amount, 90 cents of each dollar are focused on reproductive health, leaving inadequate funding for the range of other issues affecting women and girls. Read more here.

Hub for Volunteerism, Capacity-Building, and Training

MLK National Day of Service Book Drive

The Central MS Hub for Volunteers and Nonprofits invites you to participate in its MLK National Day of Service book drive on Monday, January 20th to benefit the Institute of Southern Jewish Life’s (ISJL) 2020 Literacy Achievement Bonanza. The Central MS Hub will be accepting donations of new or gently used books for elementary students. ISJL needs over 1,000 books for their spring break literacy day camp. Participants of the camp receive free books each day!

On Monday (MLK Day),  all you have to do is drive up to Beth Israel Congregation with your books, and we will accept them from your vehicle without you leaving the driver’s seat!

Monday, January 20, 2020 at 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Beth Israel Congregation
5315 Old Canton Rd, Jackson, Mississippi

For more information, please contact Karla Edwards at (601) 968-0061 ext. 13 or karla.edwards@alliancems.org


It’s Time to Nominate an Outstanding Volunteer for a Prestigious Give Award!

The Governor’s Initiative for Volunteer Excellence (GIVE) Awards celebrates the exemplary work of Mississippi’s most dedicated citizens. This award program, presented by Volunteer Mississippi in partnership with the Governor’s Office, recognizes and honors the valuable contributions of some of Mississippi’s extraordinary citizens while inspiring others to follow their example.

NOMINATIONS ARE DUE MONDAY, JANUARY 27, 2020 BY 5:00 PM

Click here to nominate someone for a GIVE Award.

New & Renewing Members of The Alliance

But God Ministries

CFL-Developmental Learning Center

Children’s Foundation of Mississippi

Cleveland Empowerment Foundation

Diabetes 411 Solutions

Earnest Security Service

Hancock County Chamber of Commerce

Historic Natchez Foundation

Lanier High School National Alumni Association

Legacy Village

Midtown Partners

Mississippi Alliance to End Suicide

Mississippi Animal Rescue League

Mississippi Center for Re-Entry

Mississippi Early Learning Alliance

Mississippi Public Health Institute

National Association of Junior Auxiliaries

Pearl River County SPCA

Reaching Beyond Ministries

The LAD Project

The Pinebelt Foundation

Women’s Foundation of Mississippi

Charlotte Allen (Individual)

Upcoming Training & Events

We are currently working to identify ways to deliver training online and will share information via email about upcoming workshops and training.

Millsaps College Map

  1. Millsaps Bell Tower
  2. Whitworth Hall
  3. Sanders Hall
  4. Franklin Residence Hall
  5. Becky Bacot Residence Hall
  6. Sanderson Residence Hall
  7. Franklin W. Olin Hall of Science
  8. Maurice C. Hall Activities Center
8a. Hangar Dome
  1. Twenty Field (Baseball)
  2. Tennis Courts
  3. Softball Field
  4. Intramural Field
  5. Track & Field / Soccer Facility
  6. James Observatory
  7. Ranager Field House
  8. Maintenance and Grounds
  9. Windgate Visual Arts Center
  10. Harper Davis Field
  11. English House
  12. Sullivan-Harrell Hall
  1. A. Boyd Campbell College Center
21a. Leggett Living Room
21b. Lindsey Suite—3rd Floor
21c. Bookstore / Post Office—1st Floor
21d. Cafeteria—2nd Floor
  1. Sorority Lodges
  2. Millsaps-Wilson Library
  3. Gertrude C. Ford Academic Complex
  4. Murrah Hall
  5. Selby & Richard McRae Christian Center
  6. John Stone Hall
  7. Reuben’s
  8. John Hall
  9. Susanna Hall
  10. Charles Hall
  11. New South Residence Hall
32a. Campus Security
  1. Ezelle Residence Hall
  2. Fraternity Houses
  3. Goodman Residence Hall
  4. President’s Residence
  5. Buie House
  6. 38. Weems House

The Ally: January 2020

Greeting Friends,

Now that the holidays are over and we’re all relaxed, refreshed and ready to tackle the new year, it’s time to build off 2019 successes and continue our work to make things better for Mississippi’s children, families and communities. I assure you The Alliance is beginning its second calendar year with an eye towards building on the solid foundation we have established, and we will continue to push for better quality, increased customer service and more supports and benefits for members. We realize and appreciate the fact that our work is directly related to creating opportunities that benefit you!

Early in 2020, we will host the official Public Launch and Celebration of The Alliance. This event will be on Friday, February 7, and will feature nationally known speakers, including Phil Buchanan of the Center of Effective Philanthropy, Jeffrey Moore from the Independent Sector, Janine Lee from the Southeastern Council of Foundations, and Donna Murray-Brown, board chair of the National Council of Nonprofits. This is quite a line-up of individuals in the field who have been recognized and lauded for their expertise and experience with both philanthropy and nonprofits.

We will also continue to celebrate the success of Endow Mississippi that greatly exceeded expectations in its first year, which will include a press conference during our Capitol Day on Monday, January 27. Programmatically, we will seek to advance the work of the statewide Campaign for Grade Level Reading Initiative, the Education Affinity Group, and the Community Foundation Network.

We look forward to building on and expanding partnerships in 2020. We will continue to build stronger relationship with GuideStar, Network for Good and Volunteer Mississippi. We are also working on several other partnerships that can bring additional opportunities for our members—more information on those will be forthcoming soon. In the coming months, we will be expanding affinity groups beyond education to bring nonprofits and funders together to tackle some of the larger issues we face in our state.

2020 is going to be an incredibly exciting year! We look forward to working with you, and we hope you’ll encourage your friends and colleagues who aren’t currently members to join The Alliance. Together, we’ve only just begun to do good things!!!

All the best,

Sammy Moon

What’s New

Save the Date: The Alliance Public Launch | Friday, February 7, 2020

On Friday, February 7, 2020, we’ll be hosting our public launch celebration and luncheon at the Two Mississippi Museums (222 North Street, Jackson, MS), which will include a panel featuring some of the nation’s foremost experts on nonprofit and philanthropic issues. The event will start at 11:30 am and conclude at 2:00 pm.

We’ll be sharing registration details soon, so stay tuned for more information.

Our 2020 Live Event Training Calendar Is Here!

Our new 2020 live-event training calendar is now available, which includes detailed information about our most comprehensive training and education options to date. Our Volunteer/Nonprofit Hubs in Hernando, Clarksdale, Greenville, Tupelo, Columbus, Jackson and Gulfport will be heavily involved in hosting many of these events to bring high quality and impactful training options closer to you.

We have scheduled our events from January through June, and with a diverse offering of learning opportunities, we are confident you will find a training that helps you build capacity and increase impact. If you are interested in discussing more personalized training, technical assistance or coaching, you can email us at connect@alliancems.org to discuss custom packages.

Webinar Wednesdays are Coming!

We recently launched our #WebinarWednesdays, during which we will be hosting live webinars from our team and partners, enabling you to access quality training from your home or  office! We’ll be posting information about these webinars on Facebook and Twitter, and we’ll send emails to keep you informed about upcoming trainings.

Some of the webinar topics we will be exploring in 2020 include fundraising, legal compliance, leadership and board development.

Member Spotlight

Monroe County Children’s Vision Center

Aberdeen, MS

The Monroe County Children’s Vision Center has hosted three unique conferences on “Hidden Disorders—Right in Front of Our Eyes” for teachers, medical professionals and the public. Each year, six hours Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are made available for teachers, and in 2019 these CEUs were also available for medical professionals. Each conference faculty included at least two world leaders in their respective fields.

Their work is extremely important because approximately one in four people have eyes don’t align properly, even if they pass the “20/20 vision test”. Perfect acuity and collaborative eyes do not always go hand-in-hand! This condition is known as Binocular Vision Disorder (BVD), and most sufferers (adults and children) are generally unaware they have a problem. They’ve always seen the world this way and without a frame of reference, the sufferer doesn’t know what an alternative world looks like!

“QUOTE”
– LuEllen Childress, Chair Pro Tem, Executive Director and Chair, Research Committee

Women’s Foundation of Mississippi

Jackson, MS

The Women’s Foundation of Mississippi is the only grantmaking and advocacy organization in the state entirely dedicated to funding programs that improve the lives of women and girls statewide. Their mission is clear: economic security for women.

Women have greater opportunity for upward mobility and economic sustainability when they can plan for pregnancy, earn a degree or receive relevant job training, and pursue a viable career with a livable income. By cultivating social change, the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi has committed to helping women and girls transcend our state’s dire social and economic barriers – because when women are economically secure, safe, and healthy, then families and communities are economically secure, safe, and healthy.

“QUOTE.”
– NAME, TITLE

Nonprofit & Philanthropic News

Women’s Funds Report Success in Achieving Short-Term Objectives

Although women’s foundations and funds define impact in various ways, three in four report success in achieving their short-term objectives, a report from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy finds. Read more here.

The Women’s Foundation of Mississippi awarded more than $200,000 in new grants in 2019 to benefit women and girls in our great state. To see a list of those who were benefactors, click here.

#GivingTuesday 2019 Brought In Nearly $2 Billion

#GivingTuesday yielded another bumper crop of gifts for nonprofits this year with total giving reaching more than $1.9 billion in the United States. More than a quarter of those gifts were made online, for a grand total of $511 million in online giving—about $111 million more than 2018, an increase of almost 28 percent.  Read more here.

Did you have a unique strategy or approach that helped you succeed on #GivingTuesday? We’d love to highlight your success via social media and email. If you need ideas or help with fundraising, we have several training opportunities and programs that can boost your fundraising expertise. Send us an email at connect@alliancems.org to discuss how we can help grow your fundraising capacity.

Remember #GivingTuesday is on December 1, 2020. To see some additional data and findings about online giving, click here.

The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation Announces Funding Opportunity

In order to address a leading cause of death in the United States, the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation recently announced a funding opportunity for its Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM (CCH), a program with the mission of improving cardiovascular health.

CCH provides grants to U.S.-based nonprofit organizations engaged in community level work in the United States that is aligned with the program’s mission. The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation will hold an open call for applications for the CCH Next Generation program from February 3 to February 21, 2020 at 4 p.m. CST.  For more information, click here.

Gates Foundation CEO Stepping Down

Susan Desmond-Hellman, M.D., CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is stepping down at the end of January, citing health and family considerations. Mark Suzman, the foundation’s chief strategy officer, will take over the $51.8-billion organization on Feb. 1, 2020.  Read more here.

Hub for Volunteerism, Capacity-Building, and Training

MLK National Day of Service Book Drive

The Central MS Hub for Volunteers and Nonprofits invites you to participate in its MLK National Day of Service book drive on Monday, January 20th to benefit the Institute of Southern Jewish Life’s (ISJL) 2020 Literacy Achievement Bonanza. The Central MS Hub will be accepting donations of new or gently used books for elementary students. ISJL needs over 1,000 books for their spring break literacy day camp. Participants of the camp receive free books each day!

On Monday (MLK Day),  all you have to do is drive up to Beth Israel Congregation with your books, and we will accept them from your vehicle without you leaving the driver’s seat!

Monday, January 20, 2020 at 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Beth Israel Congregation
5315 Old Canton Rd, Jackson, Mississippi

For more information, please contact Karla Edwards at (601) 968-0061 ext. 13 or karla.edwards@alliancems.org


It’s Time to Nominate an Outstanding Volunteer for a Prestigious Give Award!

The Governor’s Initiative for Volunteer Excellence (GIVE) Awards celebrates the exemplary work of Mississippi’s most dedicated citizens. This award program, presented by Volunteer Mississippi in partnership with the Governor’s Office, recognizes and honors the valuable contributions of some of Mississippi’s extraordinary citizens while inspiring others to follow their example.

NOMINATIONS ARE DUE MONDAY, JANUARY 27, 2020 BY 5:00 PM

Click here to nominate someone for a GIVE Award.

New & Renewing Members of The Alliance

Month of December

El Pueblo Immigration Legal Services

Ever Reaching Community Outreach

Families as Allies

Mississippi Center for Legal Services Corp

Twin Forks Rising Community Development Corporation

Images from Our Quarterly Member Meeting

More than 70 Alliance members were on hand for our first Alliance members meeting for 2020 at Families First in Jackson.  We unveiled our 2019 Philanthropy Giving Report in Mississippi, and we updated attendees on our 2019 accomplishments and shared our vision for 2020.

 

Our members also heard from two important guest speakers: Dr. Carey Wright, Superintendent, Mississippi Department of Education, and Dr. Thomas Dodd, State Health Officer, Mississippi State Department of Health. Presentations from the meeting can be viewed in our

Our next quarterly member meeting will be Friday, April 17, in Jackson. If you are interested in becoming a member, contact Sandra Johnson at sandra.johnson@alliancems.org or call (601) 968-0061.

Upcoming Training & Events

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!

Now We Rise: How to be a Better Nonprofit Leader

Wednesday, February 5, 2020
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Online Webinar

$49 Alliance Members
$79 Not-Yet Members

Many people who are working within the ranks of nonprofit organizations could become great senior nonprofit leaders. However, in part because of budget constraints, few organizations in the sector have formal professional development programs to prepare mid-level managers for senior roles. As a result, most mid-level nonprofit professionals must take responsibility for their career development.

This webinar will show you different ways you can improve your leadership skills and position yourself for advancement in the nonprofit sector.

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.

Strategic Planning 101

Thursday, February 6, 2020
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Knight Center, Gulfport, MS

$69 Alliance Members
$109 Not-Yet Members

Good strategic planning helps nonprofits clarify where their organization is going, how it’s going to get there, and how it will know when it’s arrived. It creates the framework for board and staff to focus their energy and resources toward common goals.

This half-day workshop is a practical introduction to the key concepts and techniques of strategic planning and will help participants understand how to design an effective planning process that meets their organization’s needs.

The Ally: December 2019

Note from the Executive Director

Happy Holidays Friends,
As we enter the most joyous season, a time to be with family and friends and the time to start anew in 2020, the staff and board of the Mississippi Alliance of Nonprofits and Philanthropy wish you and yours a very happy holiday season and a great and prosperous new year.

2020 will be a year of great excitement, expectations, and growth for us. Soon we will be moving into our new state-of-the-art office space in the renovated Landmark Center in downtown Jackson. And we’ll continue to provide quality courses, material, tools, consultation, technical assistance and opportunities for you to learn, share and work collaboratively to achieve better results for children, families and communities.

Although the Alliance came together in April of this year, we have an official public launch on Friday, February 7, 2020 in Jackson. We have already confirmed nationally recognized leaders to engage with local stakeholders to celebrate the Alliance, including Phil Buchanan, CEO of The Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) a leading voice for the philanthropic community; Jeff Moore, chief strategy officer at Independent Sector; Donna Murray-Brown, president and CEO of the Michigan Nonprofit Association and board chair of the National Council of Nonprofits; and Janine Lee, president and CEO of the Southeastern Council of Foundations.

Please stay tuned to more information, including times and locations.

We are quite excited to continue learning from you and sharing the mission of the Alliance as we continue to serve, build the capacity, and foster collaboration among and between Mississippi’s nonprofit and philanthropic communities.

All the best,

Sammy Moon

What’s New

New Report: Philanthropic Giving in Mississippi

We are proud to announce the release of our 2019 philanthropy report, Philanthropic Giving in Mississippi, which is the second in a series of data-driven students of philanthropy and nonprofits in the state. Although this report focuses on philanthropy in the state, the information contained in the report will be of great benefit to nonprofits as they seek to build stronger relationships with grantmakers.

We would like to express our sincere appreciation and gratitude to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for providing the resources to make this report possible. We hope that this information provides a spark of hope and enthusiasm for what lies ahead for your organization and Mississippi.

What Nonprofits Need to Know About the 2020 Census

Results of the U.S. 2020 Census will influence individuals, communities, governments, for-profit entities, and nonprofit organizations throughout the next decade. Data obtained from the Census will help inform decision-makers in all sectors and determine the distribution of both political power and financial resources.

If the data is incorrect or incomplete, there will likely be an inequitable distribution of resources for basic community needs, such as education, food, and income security, health care, housing, transportation, and much more. The allocation of $600 billion in federal funds hinges annually on the decennial data, including funding for state and local governments, as well as for nonprofits to deliver services to individuals and communities. Read more here.

If your organization is interested in learning more about the 2020 US Census or want to explore other ways to educate your community, contact Carla Ross at 662-996-8700 or carla.ross@2020census.gov

The census is important to your nonprofit and to those you serve.

  • Every person counted in your community affects public funding, representation, and allocation of public services and infrastructure for the next decade.

Your voice and funding are at risk.

  • Federal Funds: Census data is used to determine the allocation of critical funding that nonprofits and those you serve rely on, including health care, education, social services and more.
  • Political Representation: Census numbers re-draw boundaries for congressional districts, state senate districts, state house districts, city councils, county boards, and more.
  • Public Infrastructure: Government and businesses use census numbers to locate schools, transit, and retail outlets. Read more here.

Member Spotlight

Toughest Kids Foundation

Crystal Springs Springs, MS

In 1977, Jim and Mary Kitchens heard those words no parent ever wishes to hear: “Your child has cancer.” There were surgeries, radiation treatments, and chemotherapy with all of the attendant side effects.

“We didn’t realize it then, but God had a plan,” the couple said. “And a sick little boy was a necessary part of that plan.” The family founded Mississippi’s Toughest Kids Foundation (MTK) in 2008, and the whole family, including that little sick boy—who is all grown up now—is very involved and thankful to be a part of bringing Camp Kamassa to Mississippi.

From the beginning, volunteers and board members have visited out-of-state special needs camps and attended several American Camping Association conventions. During the summer visits have been made to Mississippi camps holding sessions for children with special needs.

“I am so excited about Mississippi Alliance of Nonprofits and Philanthropy and the opportunities it will offer nonprofits. We all struggle to find the most productive way to spend our hard-earned funds. I believe the Alliance is going to be the tool we need to find available funds and to also equip us with the necessary skills to acquire those funds. Another extremely valuable benefit of the Alliance has always been in networking. The Alliance will fill this need we all feel to learn from each other by connecting us with even more organizations. I am very thankful to see the formation of the Alliance and plan to be a very active member.”
– Mary Kitchens, Founder and Executive Director of MTK Camp Kamassa (building a camp facility for children and adults with special needs)

The Pinebelt Community Foundation

Hattiesburg, MS

In 1997, a group of young leaders created The Pinebelt Community Foundation as part of their ambitious leadership project. Since that time, the Pinebelt Foundation has grown to over 220 funds and has distributed more than $15,000,000 throughout the Pine Belt region. By managing and growing the charitable resources of individuals and corporations, the Pinebelt Foundation enables short- and long-term charitable impact.

The foundation is committed to leading and partnering with community stakeholders in a way that is respectful, transparent, and trustworthy and focused on helping the Pine Belt of Mississippi continue to become a more equitable and prosperous community for all of its residents.

“The Pinebelt Foundation is deeply invested in the idea that our work will never successfully happen in a vacuum. We are utterly dependent on the support and wisdom of our friends in the field, and those with expertise other than own. The Alliance provides us both programmed and organic opportunities to network, share best practices, and learn with a wide variety of practitioners in Philanthropic and non-profit work. Our membership in The Alliance is a budget line that we view as far more of an investment than it is an expense.”
– Michael Dixon, Executive Director, The Pinebelt Community Foundation

Nonprofit & Philanthropic News

Our New Blog + Why Giving for Core Mission Support Matters

Earlier this month, we added a blog section to our website where we are featuring in-depth articles and important information for nonprofits and philanthropy directly from leaders and excerpts at the state, regional, and national level. We recently added Why Giving for Core Mission Support Matters, a post from Anne Phillips and Melinda Mosier from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. We’ve included a brief excerpt of that article below, and you can click here to read the entire post on our website.

As you read this, a nonprofit organization is keeping a mother and children safe from domestic abuse. An elder knows that someone from Meals-on-Wheels will be coming to check on him — and deliver a hot lunch. A watershed critical to clean drinking water is being protected. A downtown is coming back to life — with help from arts and economic development nonprofits. Nonprofit media are keeping citizens informed about the news of the day. A child is getting dental care. A New American is learning English. A young boy has a mentor. Read more here.

Hub for Volunteerism, Capacity-Building, and Training

It’s Time to Nominate an Outstanding Volunteer for a Prestigious Give Award!

The Governor’s Initiative for Volunteer Excellence (GIVE) Awards celebrates the exemplary work of Mississippi’s most dedicated citizens. This award program, presented by Volunteer Mississippi in partnership with the Governor’s Office, recognizes and honors the valuable contributions of some of Mississippi’s extraordinary citizens while inspiring others to follow their example.

NOMINATIONS ARE DUE MONDAY, JANUARY 27, 2020 BY 5:00 PM

Click here to nominate someone for a GIVE Award.


January is National Mentoring Month

Mentoring, at its core, guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter. Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations. Ultimately, mentoring connects a young person to personal growth and development, and social and economic opportunity. Yet one in three young people will grow up without this critical asset. Read more here.

New & Renewing Members of The Alliance

Month of November

Christian Services

Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities

Hinds County Human Resource Agency

Hope Haven Children’s Advocacy Center

ICU Ministries

Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church

Mississippi Delta Community College Development Foundation

Oxford Film Festival

Red Door Jackson

Restore My City

Sisters in Birth

Solid Foundation, CDC

Sunnybrook Children’s Home

WE2GETHER CREATING CHANGE

Christine Williams

Mississippi Center for Legal Services

Images from our 2019 North Mississippi Nonprofit Leadership Forum

Gulf Coast Forum | November 13, 2019 | Oxford, MS

The Alliance, in partnership with Volunteer Mississippi, welcomed more than 50 nonprofit and philanthropic professionals and volunteers to the North Mississippi Nonprofit Leadership Forum at the Oxford Conference Center. This was the final forum of 2019 with previous stops in Indianola, Jackson, and Biloxi.  In all, more than 270 nonprofit and philanthropic staff attended forums to learn and network with others in their service areas.  The forums were a huge success, and we are already planning the forums for 2020 and look forward to seeing you there next year.

The Alliance Honored by the Mississippi Business Journal

The Mississippi Business Journal honored 40 nonprofit and community groups during its Mississippi’s Nonprofit Awards ceremony on Thursday, November 21, at the Old Capitol Inn in Jackson. The Alliance is grateful to be one of those 40 organizations from across our great state to receive this honor. Some of the organizations honored—who also happen to be members of the Alliance—include Stewpot, Columbus Arts Council, Extra Table, The Baddour Center, Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, and R3SM. Congrats to all those honored and continue the great work you do.

Upcoming Training & Events

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!

Now We Rise: How to be a Better Nonprofit Leader

Wednesday, February 5, 2020
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Online Webinar

$49 Alliance Members
$79 Not-Yet Members

Many people who are working within the ranks of nonprofit organizations could become great senior nonprofit leaders. However, in part because of budget constraints, few organizations in the sector have formal professional development programs to prepare mid-level managers for senior roles. As a result, most mid-level nonprofit professionals must take responsibility for their career development.

This webinar will show you different ways you can improve your leadership skills and position yourself for advancement in the nonprofit sector.

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.

Strategic Planning 101

Thursday, February 6, 2020
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Knight Center, Gulfport, MS

$69 Alliance Members
$109 Not-Yet Members

Good strategic planning helps nonprofits clarify where their organization is going, how it’s going to get there, and how it will know when it’s arrived. It creates the framework for board and staff to focus their energy and resources toward common goals.

This half-day workshop is a practical introduction to the key concepts and techniques of strategic planning and will help participants understand how to design an effective planning process that meets their organization’s needs.

Why Giving for Core Mission Support Matters

By Anne Phillips and Melinda Mosier

This post originally appeared on the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation website and has been reshared from the Center for Effective Philanthropy’s blog.

As you read this, a nonprofit organization is keeping a mother and children safe from domestic abuse. An elder knows that someone from Meals-on-Wheels will be coming to check on him — and deliver a hot lunch. A watershed critical to clean drinking water is being protected. A downtown is coming back to life — with help from arts and economic development nonprofits. Nonprofit media are keeping citizens informed about the news of the day. A child is getting dental care. A New American is learning English. A young boy has a mentor.

Nonprofits are at the heart of civil society, tending to our most pressing needs, caring for the most vulnerable among us. And yet most struggle, year over year, to maintain enough funding to carry out missions that make our communities healthier, happier, safer, more vibrant, and prosperous.

Nonprofits not only need our support — but they need support that is not earmarked for discrete items, programs or projects, but that funds their critical core missions.

It can be tempting to direct charitable dollars only to specific items, projects, or programs — and away from “overhead” like staffing, facilities, and materials. It is absolutely understandable — and commendable — for people to want to know where their money is going and to want to quantify its impact. But we would encourage generous people to take a holistic approach when they think about what it takes for nonprofits to do what they do for our communities.

If you are going to make a donation to a food pantry, for instance, it might be natural to think about restricting your donation to pay only for food. Your desire to help feed your neighbors who are struggling is, after all, what prompted you to make the donation. But if no one supported the food pantry’s staffing, rent, electricity, and outreach — in addition to the food for its shelves and coolers — there would be no food pantry. There would be a bag of groceries on a street corner.

We understand this, intuitively, about every other kind of business. Author Vu Le, who writes extensively about the nonprofit sector, puts it this way:

“No one goes to a bakery and says ‘I want to buy cake, but I don’t want any of this $20 I am giving you to pay for the vanilla or the electricity for the oven or for your chef’s salary.’” But too frequently, we have been encouraged to do exactly that when we think about giving to nonprofits.

When the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation surveyed our grantees with help from the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP), we got this message loud and clear: nonprofits need more funding that supports their core missions.

The Charitable Foundation increased this kind of support during the most recent recession. Other funding streams for critical services were drying up, and nonprofits desperately needed an influx of flexible capital to help fill budget gaps. The reality is that funding that disappeared during that recession is, for the most part, not coming back. Nonprofits are doing more with less, facing decreased resources and increased need for services — and they badly need more flexibility from funders. Last year, the Foundation changed its competitive Community Grants program so that all the largest grants from that program are for operating support, and the vast majority are now multiyear grants. Many generous people who hold donor-advised funds at the Foundation regularly recommend grants from those funds for core operating support.

No matter how much you have to give to support the nonprofits that you know are doing critical work in your community, we encourage you to give to support their whole missions — and to feel great about doing that. Food pantries, after all, need more than food.

Anne Phillips is director of grantmaking and senior program officer, Manchester and Statewide Programs, at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.

Melinda Mosier is director of donor services at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.

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