South Carolina’s nonprofits are local community organizations, directed and administered by boards made of your friends, neighbors and coworkers. These boards strive for openness and transparency because it is not only the right thing to do but also the law. The Internal Revenue Service requires them to make their annual tax document public.
South Carolina’s nonprofits employ almost 10 percent of the workforce, and every year, volunteers working through them contribute more than 130 million hours to help improve our communities.
South Carolina’s nonprofits are trusted to leverage private donations, grants, contracts and public support from government to fight poverty, preserve history, create art, conserve natural resources, educate children, promote mental and physical health, defend civil rights and strengthen communities.
Nonprofits expand upon services provided by government, and partnerships between public agencies and private nonprofits are the basis of many of our state’s most successful initiatives, including Nurse-Family Partnership, Children’s Trust of South Carolina, community economic development initiatives, museums, zoos and libraries.
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Together SC, formerly the S.C. Association of Nonprofit Organizations, believes that transparency is essential. For the past 10 years, we have urged nonprofit leaders to ask themselves, “Do we openly and honestly communicate with stakeholders and the public about our mission, activities, finances and decision-making?”
We believe that donors and funders — including taxpayers — absolutely have a right to know how their donations and grants are being spent.
This is why we support H.3931, and we thank Rep. Bill Herbkersman for introducing it. This bill, as amended, will require every nonprofit that receives tax funding to account for how that money is spent, through an annual public reporting process. Although, most governments already require this kind of accountability, it is important for the General Assembly to make this practice the standard.
Current reporting requirements vary widely from agency to agency and county to county. We urge the Legislature to act this year on H.3931 to assure that public agencies and private nonprofits understand what is required of them and are held accountable for the use of taxpayer funds.
President & CEO
United Way of the Midlands