COLUMBIA, SC, September 13, 2021 — Together SC, the state’s network of nonprofit organizations and their allies for good, recently announced three new board members elected by its nonprofit member organizations from across South Carolina.
They include: Darrin Goss, President and CEO of Coastal Community Foundation of SC headquartered in North Charleston and serving the nine county coastal region; Shawn Edwards, Chief Inclusive Excellence Officer of The Citadel; and, Spencer Scott, Executive Director, Florence and Marion County First Steps.
Additionally, Together SC’s 16-person statewide board of directors re-elected Monroe Free, president of Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County, as board chair. Joining Free in continuing to lead the organization are Sherrie Snipes-Williams, who leads Charleston Promise Neighborhood and was re-elected vice-chair; Nate Barber, retired Sr. Vice President of Community Development for South State Bank, who was re-elected as treasurer; and Melanie Huggins, Executive Director of Richland Library, who was elected to a second board term and continues to serve as immediate past chair.
Together SC sees nonprofit and philanthropic organizations as integral players in successfully building vibrant, equitable communities. Since March of 2020, the organization has worked tirelessly guiding its members through COVID-19 response and now recovery.
“So many nonprofits have indeed been integral players, working on the front lines addressing the impacts of the pandemic and the existing underlying inequities that hold back so many South Carolinians,” Free shared. “As nonprofits advocate for those they serve, so must Together SC advocate for the needs of nonprofits themselves.”
Last fall, Together SC and its advocacy allies successfully secured $25 million for SC CARES Nonprofit Relief Grants, aiding nearly 700 organizations, but leaving $50 million in requests unfunded. Together SC’s subsequent March 2021 survey found nearly two thirds of the 900 plus respondents still had only six months or less in funding, even among those who had received SC CARES funding.
That’s why Together SC, in collaboration with the United Way Association of SC and the SC Grantmakers Network and numerous others, is currently advocating for the SC Legislature to provide $100 million from its $2.4 billion American Rescue Plan Act allocation to engage South Carolina’s nonprofit and philanthropic sectors in meeting the needs of each community and pushing our state forward.
Nonprofits work day in and day out addressing the most complex and costly challenges facing our state, from workforce readiness and housing to health care, community livability and basic needs. Deploying our state’s existing grantmaking infrastructure and nonprofit expertise will facilitate the most effective deployment of ARPA funds directly to areas most in need, including rural communities. For example, as the State invests in broadband infrastructure, nonprofits stand ready to help families, many of whom they already serve, take advantage of this new resource.
Together SC’s commitment to helping members tackle issues of racial inequities is another reason leaders are stepping up for board service.
“The recent focus of Together SC on supporting nonprofits through COVID-19 and helping them advance racial equity through their work is in complete alignment with Coastal Community Foundation’s priorities,” said Goss. “I am proud to serve on the Board of a like-minded organization alongside visionary leaders in our state so that we may work together to build a strong, resilient and equitable nonprofit community in South Carolina.”
The organization’s offerings include: Removing Our Blinders, monthly conversations with white leaders willing to share how they came to see racial inequities; its much needed Black Nonprofits Leaders Group, and the upcoming March 2022 SC Nonprofit Summit in Spartanburg that will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the organization and focus on the Urgency of Now.
Together SC’s board is composed of highly respected and tenured leaders with notable accomplishments in their communities. It looks to these leaders to help engage and serve their local communities.
“As someone who has worked for and served nonprofits, and their mission, in several ways throughout my career, it is a pleasure to bring my perspective and research abilities to Together SC,” commented Edwards. Edwards is also chairing Together SC’s Consultant Collaborative which aims to connect nonprofits with businesses offering needed skilled expertise.
As the director of two nonprofits, and having previously worked in the business sector, I am excited to serve on the Together SC Board and to help connect nonprofits and businesses,” said Scott.
Together SC’s board also includes: Nicole Echols, executive director of the Pee Dee Branch of Harvest Hope Food Bank in Florence; Robyn Ezzell, manager of Nonprofit Executive Search Practices for Find Great People International, located in Greenville; John Hart III, executive director of Good Samaritan Medical Clinic, in Chester; Erika Kirby, executive director of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation, located in Columbia; Amanda Lawrence, vice president for Community Impact at Trident United Way serving Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley counties; Tamela Spann, vice president of Strategic Initiatives for Hollingsworth Funds, located in Greenville; Paige Stephenson, president and CEO of United Way of the Piedmont, located in Spartanburg; JoAnn Turnquist, president and CEO of Central Carolina Community Foundation, located in Columbia; and Ann Warner, CEO of Women’s Rights & Empowerment Network (WREN) headquartered in Columbia.
Run by nonprofit leaders and their allies, for nonprofit leaders, Together SC serves as the unifying voice for our state’s nonprofit and philanthropic organizations. And, through its member organizations, aims to support and empower volunteer and professional leaders dedicated to community service, leadership and caring.
Together SC, which was known as SC Association of Non-Profit Organizations (SCANPO) for its first 20 years, began operating in 1997 with 67 charter member organizations. Today, its statewide network includes 800+ organizations, large and small, whose diverse leaders believe in Together SC's vision for creating a world in which SC’s nonprofits and their allies are integral players in successfully building vibrant, equitable communities.
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