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Non Profit Votes Education Seminar

Mar 16, 2010

gsSCENE held another great educational series on Tuesday, March 16, on Philanthropy and The Young Professional. Attendees were treated to breakfast by Prestwick Country Club and had a chance to mingle with the six area non-profits that were on hand to spread awareness about their cause. Those non-profits attending were the Children’s Museum of South Carolina, the Humane Society of North Myrtle Beach, Mercy Care, Rape Crisis Center, Substitutes for Santa/an SOS Caring for Kids program, and United Way of Horry County.

The presentation by Cookie Sprouse, Chapin Foundation, and Jonathan Kresken, Waccamaw Community Foundation, kicked off by defining volunteerism and exploring what motivates individuals to volunteer. Motivation included helping others, the feeling it gives the volunteer, networking, career advancement, learning new skills, and being passionate about a particular cause. Ms. Sprouse further explained that non-profits need volunteers to carry out their mission and goals. In today’s economy it is more important than ever to volunteer as funding is down and positions are eliminated within the non-profit sector. How do you find the best non-profit organization that fits you, your time and talents? Ms. Sprouse suggested looking at the board of directors, being passionate about the cause, sample various organization, explore how well the non-profit is organized, can they provide you a volunteer job description and does the non-profit respect your time and appreciate your talents.

Mr. Kresken followed and presented on the tools you need to make the choice to volunteer. He suggested reviewing the financials and board of directors before you decide to sit on a board. Red flags should appear if an organization is not willing to share their financials with you and be transparent in their work. Many non-profits can be reviewed on guidestar.org. Mr. Kresken also recommended a SCANPO booklet titled “Guiding Principles & Good Practices” for those that decide to sit on a board of directors. Non-profit organizations should have on hand a liability policy and general insurance information. He also stated that if you participate on any board a Conflict of Interest Statement is essential. The presentation concluded with a challenge for young professionals to get involved in the Grand Strand community. Today there are generational issues with leadership, practices and vision. We are the tech savvy and the old guard has years of experience to offer!

The morning ended with participants voting for a non-profit to receive funding via gsSCENE through our volunteer efforts and BeerFest and the Kickin’ it for Charity Kickball Tournament. It was a very close vote but the winner of the profits from Kickin’ it for Charity was Substitutes for Santa/an SOS Caring for Kids program and the $1,000 donation from community service work benefits Mercy Hospice. Congratulations to both of these winning non-profits!