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Jason Rapp

S.C. non-profits requested $76 million in SC CARES Act relief

Nearly 1,600 applications submitted


Gov. Henry McMaster and the South Carolina Dept. of Administration (Admin) announced late yesterday that 11,217 applications were received for the SC CARES Act grant programs for the Minority and Small Business Relief Grant Program and the Nonprofit Relief Grant Program.

These programs award grant funds to small and minority businesses and nonprofit organizations to reimburse qualifying expenditures for providing services or for revenue loss due to COVID-19. Beginning on October 16, Governor McMaster, Admin, and other state leaders held events in Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Greer, and Myrtle Beach to raise awareness of the program and encourage business owners to apply for the program. “Small businesses are the cornerstone of our state’s economy and they were hit hard by the pandemic,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “We knew we had to quickly get them the help they need through an easily-accessible program, and I’m happy to say that the results have exceeded our expectations.” Act 154 of 2020 allocated $40 million for the Minority and Small Business Program, with grant awards ranging from $2,500-$25,000. The total number of application submissions for the Minority and Small Business program was 9,627, with a total requested amount of $213,297,112.30. Act 154 allocated $25 million for the Nonprofit Program, with grant awards ranging from $2,500-$50,000. The total number of application submissions for the Nonprofit program was 1,590 with a total requested amount of $75,980,037.43. In early December, applicants will receive a notification indicating grant approval and the dollar amount of the grant. Grant awards will be issued to qualifying grant recipients by mid-December. If other CARES Act funds are not utilized, both the Nonprofit and Minority and Small Business Grant funds are eligible to be replenished and additional grants may be distributed at a later date.
In accordance with Act 154, applications for the Minority and Small Business Relief Grant Program will be evaluated and awarded by a panel consisting of:
  • the director of the Commission for Minority Affairs, or her designee;
  • the Secretary of Commerce, or his designee; and
  • the director of the Department of Revenue, or his designee.
Act 154 further provides that priority must be given to minority businesses, to applicants that did not receive other assistance, such as a Paycheck Protection Program loan or other CARES funds, to businesses with fifteen or fewer employees, and to businesses that demonstrate the greatest financial need. Applications for the Nonprofit Relief Grant Program will be evaluated and awarded by a panel consisting of:
  • the director of the Department of Social Services, or his designee;
  • the director of the Department of Mental Health, or his designee;
  • the director of the Department of Consumer Affairs, or her designee;
  • the director of the Department of Health and Human Services, or his designee;
  • the director of the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services, or her designee;
  • the Secretary of State, or his designee;
  • the director of the South Carolina Arts Commission, or his designee;
  • the director of the Department of Archives and History, or his designee; and
  • the executive director of the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority, or her designee.
For the Nonprofit Relief Grant Program, priority must be given to applicants that did not receive other assistance, such as a Paycheck Protection Program loan or other CARES funds. Then, priority shall be given to applications for expenditures related to food assistance, including prepared meals, rent or mortgage assistance, utilities assistance, mental health counseling, health care services, including access to health care supplies, mental health, and behavioral health, criminal domestic violence and children’s advocacy services, and arts and cultural items or activities. Additionally, the panel will give consideration to the geographic distribution of services provided by the nonprofit organizations, so that grants are awarded on a statewide basis.

Recovering from Hurricane Matthew: resources for arts and culture nonprofits

Hurricane MatthewPrivate nonprofits have 30 days from the disaster date to apply for FEMA assistance. FEMA has provided this information to help cultural institutions, arts organizations, and historical sites navigate the road to recovery after Hurricane Matthew.

- Proof of ownership

- Proof of legal responsibility to repair the facility

- Insurance policy

  • There are two overarching types, or categories, of work – Emergency Work and Permanent Work. All private nonprofits in affected counties are eligible to apply for Emergency Work, which includes debris removal and emergency protective measures.
  • Cultural institutions are considered non-critical PNPs. Non-critical PNPs may apply for Permanent Work in certain affected counties; check with your County Emergency Manager at http://www.scemd.org/who-we-are/county-agencies. Permanent work can address the following (this list is not inclusive):

- Your building/facility – damage to the structure/envelope itself

- The materials, equipment, and exhibition furnishings associated with the storage, display, preservation, or exhibition of collections and individual objects. This would include HVAC systems and fire suppression systems.

- Collections and individual objects, including records and archives of the organization

  • To apply for Permanent Work, non-critical PNPs must apply to the Small Business Administration (SBA) to obtain a low-interest loan. You will go through the SBA process and either accept a loan or be denied a loan. Public Assistance (PA) will continue to work with you to identify damages. PA may be able to provide financial assistance if the damages are beyond the accepted amount of the SBA loan.
See https://www.sba.gov/offices/disaster/dfoce/resources/1546390 for information about applying for SBA disaster assistance. If the SBA approves a loan and you don’t want to accept it, PA will offset the amount of the loan on the damage claims but would look to reimburse for eligible costs over the loan amount. If you are denied an SBA loan, then PA would work with you to reimburse eligible Permanent Work expenses.
  • In short, affected PNPs should take the following actions as soon as possible:
  1. First and foremost, apply for FEMA assistance by submitting the RPA form (see URL above) by the deadline. This will essentially get you “into the pipeline.” The deadline varies based on your county; check with your County Emergency Manager. Once you submit the RPA, you can decide not to go ahead with the process, or you can go through the process and then decide not to accept any funds. But if you don’t apply by the deadline, you won’t be eligible to receive any funding through the Public Assistance Program.
  2. Apply for a disaster loan from the SBA. The sooner you do, the faster your federal disaster assistance can be processed.
  • Be on the lookout for the Applicant Briefing date(s) in your county, meetings held by the State at which the PA process is explained. Consult your County Emergency Manager for the date(s).
Other resources: For more information, go to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division Public Assistance page, http://www.scemd.org/recovery-section/pa. Via: FEMA

Midlands-area Cultural Council closes formal operations

From The State:

COLUMBIA, SC — The Cultural Council of Richland/Lexington Counties – a major funding source in the Midlands arts community for more than 25 years – has closed its office operations and will function strictly as a volunteer-only group going forward. The nonprofit – which at its peak more than a decade ago distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to various artistic and cultural venues – officially shut its doors late last week. Agency leaders say the decision was primarily a financial one, citing a drop-off in funding. “It’s very unfortunate that we find ourselves in this position, but in all honesty we have cash flow issues,” Cultural Council board chairwoman Cindy Cooper said this week. “It’s a funding issue.” Cooper said the council’s executive committee plans to maintain its nonprofit status and hopes to honor all outstanding grant commitments, though she did not have the exact amount. She said the council also hopes to continue making grants, although it wasn’t clear how that process would work without full-time paid staff or an executive director. The most recent executive director, Norree Boyd-Wicks, resigned in late September and was not replaced. “We’re in the position of evaluating where we are and will take it from there,” she said, adding the executive committee will run the day-to-day operations. Former Columbia Mayor Bob Coble, a longtime Cultural Council and arts supporter, said the evolution facing the council is the same being felt by many nonprofit groups in the Midlands. Coble said rather than giving to umbrella groups and letting them decide which organizations to fund, more businesses are making those decisions internally. “They want to give directly, I think,” he said. “Umbrella groups are not as essential today.”
What’s more, Coble said, many businesses have merged, and more decisions are being made out of state and with more scrutiny. “Quite frankly businesses are more bottom-line oriented,” he said. Such changes are prompting more groups to rethink the way they operate. “As things transition,” Coble said, “it’s sometimes a tough decision, but the right one to make adjustments.” As recently as the early 2000s, the Cultural Council was raising about $400,000 annually and distributing funds to arts groups. That dropped to about $350,000 around 2004 and has been decreasing since. Last year, the group gave out about $102,000, Cooper said. Another shift in recent years has seen more arts groups directly approaching local governments, including the city of Columbia, with requests for hospitality tax dollars to fund cultural events and related activities. Along with individual contributions, the council, founded in 1984, has been funded through the years by various cultural and governmental agencies including The South Carolina Arts Commission, Central Carolina Community Foundation, city of Columbia, and Richland and Lexington counties. But the council has seen its contributions reduced or eliminated by some area governments, either because it did not apply or was not approved for specific grant funds. Lexington County, for example, has not given the council any funding since the 2009-10 fiscal year. The Cultural Council revised its grants program in 2010 to better incorporate art and culture in local economic development efforts. Even so, Cooper said, fundraising for the arts has grown increasingly difficult in the face of many human service outreach efforts. “While the arts is vitally important to the community, it doesn’t have the same impact as (saying) we need food for people who don’t have it, (or) shelter for those who need it. “It’s been a tough three or four years for all the nonprofits. It’s easy to see how that (type plea) takes priority.” For a time, under the leadership of executive director Dot Ryall, the council expanded beyond funding groups and took an active role in programming and helping fund numerous public art projects, including the Steel Palmettos and the cancer garden at Maxcy Gregg Park. Ryall, energetic but controversial, resigned in 2003, after 15 years with the group. Now, the council’s reorganization could pose challenges for those many cultural and artistic venues that have long relied on it for portions of their annual operating budgets. Columbia City Ballet artistic and executive director William Starrett said replacing any lost funding is becoming an increasing challenge. “It is difficult for us,” Starrett said. “Every arts organization is struggling and is in need of every resource.” Starrett said the $15,000 his group most recently was awarded by the Cultural Council already is a fraction of the nearly $100,000 it once received in the 1990s. But even the loss of another $15,000 can be devastating, he said. “We’re already facing terrible challenges,” Starrett said. “We have to turn over many, many rocks.” Recent Cultural Council fundraisers have included “Tales of Beatrix Potter,” a narrated children’s ballet featuring the Carolina Ballet junior and apprentice companies at The Township auditorium; and Madame Magar’s Fashion Fete, the finale of Madame Magar’s Workshop installation and a fashion performance at 701 Center for Contemporary Art, both in April. This summer, the council partnered with the Columbia Metropolitan Airport to present the first classic car Cruise-In, which offered car lovers the opportunity to show off their classic cars and chat with other owners and aficionados. Many grants from the council have supported smaller individual projects. Eugene “Gene” Washington, a 64-year-old Columbia filmmaker, recently received an $800 grant from the Cultural Council for a project depicting how early South Carolina civil rights pioneers endured hardships to bring about justice. Columbia Children’s Theatre has received funding from the council the past eight years and most recently received a $6,000 grant for the 2013-14 budget year. “A lot of organizations do rely on them for annual support,” said Children’s Theatre managing director Jim Litzinger. “To lose a significant source of funding that everyone has come to count on is definitely going to have an impact on the arts community.” The Cultural Council maintains a website. To contribute, email Cooper at Cindy.cooper@bcbssc.com.

McClellanville Arts Council searching for new director

The McClellanville Arts Council, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit, seeks a dynamic, experienced individual familiar with nonprofit practices and policies to serve as the director of the organization. The director serves as the organization’s primary contact with artists, writers, local schools, and other organizations. He or she is responsible for daily operations of the Arts Center and for the long-term development and execution of the MAC’s mission statement, strategic planning, and policies. This job requires working with the board of directors, interacting with prospective donors, collaborating with other organizations, communicating in a sometimes high-profile multi-cultural environment, and fostering community involvement. The ideal candidate would be a visionary leader with strong skills in consensus building, fundraising, and grant writing. Preference will be given to candidates with demonstrated skills and/or experience in organizational, financial, and project management; grant writing and grant/contract reporting management; direct fundraising; and nonprofit arts management, including gallery operations and programming. Competence with computers and applications, including QuickBooks and social media, is very important. So is a sense of humor. The mission of the McClellanville Arts Council is to enhance the quality of life in the Sewee to Santee area of Charleston County, S.C., through arts and educational programming, and to record, preserve, and publicize the unique culture of McClellanville and the surrounding communities. For more information about the organization, visit the website. No phone calls, please. Please e-mail your resume and three references to macarts@tds.net, by May 1, 2014. Via: McClellanville Arts Council

Underdeveloped: the challenges facing nonprofit fundraising

The newly released study UnderDeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising reveals that many nonprofits are stuck in a vicious cycle that threatens their ability to raise the resources they need to succeed. A joint project of CompassPoint and the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, the report found high levels of turnover and lengthy vacancies in development director positions throughout the sector. More significantly, the study reveals deeper issues that contribute to instability in the development director role, including a lack of basic fundraising systems and inadequate attention to fund development among key board and staff leaders. Key findings:

  • Insufficient amount of qualified candidates for development director jobs
  • Inadequate organizational capacity to carry out fundraising activities
  • Lack of shared responsibility for fund development among key board and staff leaders at many organizations
The report issues 10 calls to action, including leveraging new technology tools, embracing and valuing fund development, and training boards differently to cultivate a culture of philanthropy. Download the full report. UnderDeveloped: National Study of Fundraising Via: CompassPoint