Nonprofits First
News & Press
Blog Home All Blogs

Member Spotlight: South Florida Science Center and Aquarium

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Friday, March 27, 2020

Learning about science doesn’t have to stop just because we are limited in where we can go during the coronavirus crisis.


South Florida Science Center and Aquarium in West Palm Beach is still open – virtually. They offer many programs on their website related to science, technology, engineering and math.


We are spotlighting the Center this month, and asked Melinda Grenz, the director of marketing, to highlight their new virtual activities.

1) Explain what the Center offers the community.


Melinda Grenz: The South Florida Science Center and Aquarium provides curious minds of all ages with an entertaining and educational journey through the latest discoveries in science and technology.


Featuring more than 100 interactive exhibits, dozens of public programs and events, a fresh and saltwater aquarium, planetarium, conservation-themed miniature golf course and the world’s most advanced human brain exhibit, the South Florida Science Center offers a mind-opening experience for all!


2) What are your operations now during the coronavirus crisis?


Melinda Grenz: Although our Center is temporarily closed, our mission “to open every mind to science” continues through our new virtual programming.


We still strive to be a STEM education resource for your family and will offer weekly live science demos, aquarium programs, exhibit tours and more. These programs are designed to keep the next generation of learners engaged and plugged into the world of science, technology, engineering and math.


Learn all about our virtual science program at


3) What do you recommend families do to keep their children interested in science while schools are closed?


Melinda Grenz: Keeping your child engaged in science while school is out doesn’t have to be a chore. We recommend utilizing the fun and exciting new virtual technologies that organizations are starting to launch in our local community and world-wide. The programs we offer are on a weekly schedule so you can plan ahead and even tag along with science experiments from your very own home!


4) How has your membership to Nonprofits First helped your organization?


Melinda Grenz: We are very excited about our new membership with Nonprofits First. We plan to benefit from their education and professional development programs, accreditation standards, grant research assistance, volunteer outreach, and more. The networking events and award ceremonies will be icing on the cake!


Learn more about the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium here:




If you know a great story about a local nonprofit, please share it with Charlotte Gill, Nonprofits First’s director of development and business strategies. Her email is:

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  Charities  COVID-19  Membership  Nonprofit  Palm Beach County  STEM  Technology  Virtual Learning 

Share |

Community Resources (COVID-19 Response)

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Thursday, March 19, 2020
Dear Community Partners,
Please share these resources regarding hunger relief for school-aged children and families, the emergency business damage assessment survey, free counseling resources as well as other pertinent information regarding COVID-19 to assist during this challenging time.
Hunger Relief

Thirty (30) sites (listed below) be be open to provide breakfast and lunch to all children ages 18 years and younger from Monday, March 16, 2020 through Friday, March 20, 2020.  Meal service will be grab-and-go from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m..  Students must be present to receive a meal.

Additionally, below is what a few of our partners:
  • Feeding South Florida (FSF) is working with us to provide family meal boxes of food at the 30 sites for families of our students receiving our meals. This support from FSF will be ONLY given out on Tuesday, March 17th and Friday, March 20th. Please refer to this flyer.  Direct any questions to
  • Boca Helping Hands (BHH) is maintaining a modified operations throughout this crisis and is available for qualified families to receive food through the TEFAP commodities program.  All they would need to do is to come to one of their distribution points (East Boca and Boynton Beach) and fill out a two-page form and they would be entitled to a supplemental bag of groceries and frozen meat and/or fresh produce, when available.  The East Boca location is found at 1500 NW 1st Court, Boca Raton; and the Boynton Beach location is First Baptist Church Boynton Beach, 301 N Seacrest Blvd., Boynton Beach. Hours of operation are East Boca - 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. from Monday through Saturday, and Boynton Beach: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
  • Living Hungry (Maura Plante) - she is working with small local farmers to distribute boxes of farm fresh produce to the community.  One of her lead partners is Lox Farms along with others.
IMPORTANT NOTE:  Unfortunately, the School District is not permitted by the USDA to provide meals during Spring Break as it is an anticipated closure.  There may be an opportunity to have some of these schools open for community organizations to pass food out during the week of March 23, 2020 through March 26, 2020 (Monday - Thursday).  If you are interested please email as soon as possible, and copy Mrs. Allison Monbleau as well at (
Business Damage Assessment Survey

Governor Ron DeSantis has announced the activation of the Business Damage Assessment survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Florida's local business operations. The survey, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will evaluate businesses affected by COVID-19 and the impacts the virus has had on the local economy so actions to implement appropriate relief programs can begin.
"Gathering information about the impact COVID-19 has on Florida businesses and industries will be invaluable to the state's efforts in coordinating our response," said Governor DeSantis. "It is important that we understand the total impact COVID-19 has on businesses to ensure that we access the resources that may be available."

Free Counseling Support Helpline During COVID-19 Health Crisis

A bilingual, tollfree, 24-7 helpline is now open for all Floridians - no matter whether they are Florida Blue members or not - to help individuals cope with the stress and anxiety they may be feeling given the COVID-19 public health care crisis.  This is in collaboration Florida Blue's partners at New Directions Behavioral Health.
This information is also posted on the Florida Blue blog: or download the flyer here.
Other COVID-19 Related Resources

Please send us any information that you would like us to share with our community.
We will continue to provide information to you as situations arise. 
Jessica Cecere
Chief Executive Officer

Tags:  Charities  Community  Hunger Relief  Leadership  Palm Beach County  Resources 

Share |

February Member Spotlight: Loggerhead Marinelife Center

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Wednesday, February 26, 2020

February Member Spotlight: Loggerhead Marinelife Center


Right in our backyard is a leading ocean conservation organization: Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC).


This nonprofit does research, rehabilitation and education on the endangered population of sea turtles. It's great to watch them grow as they expand “out-of-the-classroom” learning programs in Palm Beach County and beyond.


As our February member spotlight, we asked Amanda Moore from the Center to explain her organization’s mission and programs in more details. We also asked her to share how the Center has relied on Nonprofits First’s workshops and services to help it become a stronger organization.



What is Loggerhead Marinelife Center?


Amanda Moore: Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) is a nonprofit sea turtle research, rehabilitation and educational institution that promotes conservation of ocean ecosystems with a focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles. The Center features an on-site hospital, research laboratory, educational exhibits and aquariums.


The Center’s conservation team works with 90 local and international organizations across six continents to form partnerships and share conservation initiatives and best practices that are core to its mission of ocean conservation.


The Center is expanding and has launched its Waves of Progress capital expansion campaign, designed to accelerate and amplify LMC’s conservation and education impact. 


Tell us about your programs/tours.  


Amanda Moore: LMC's Education programs aim to empower and inspire individuals to engage in the conservation of the world's ocean by providing STEM-based knowledge and resources to take responsible action. Our education programs are designed for individuals of all ages and demographics. To accommodate a larger audience, our team offers programs and tours in ASL and English.


Designed as “out-of-the-classroom” learning experiences, our programs take guests into the field to understand South Florida’s natural ecosystems, including hammock and dunes. Throughout the week, guests can enjoy tours of the Center through our Public Guided Tours, Public Guided Tours - Evenings, Private Guided Tours, and Virtual Tours. In the Summer, guests have the opportunity to participate in engaging programs, such as Sea Turtle Walks, Hatchling Releases, Hatchling Feedings, and Sunrise Nest Excavations. 


What’s new at your organization?


Amanda Moore: In January, LMC launched its inaugural Hike2O event in partnership with the Florida Trail Association. Participants set foot on the Ocean to Lake trail, which connects Lake Okeechobee to the ocean. Guided by trail experts from LMC and the Florida Trail Association – Loxahatchee Chapter, participants hiked through some of the most iconic ecosystems of South Florida. The three-day, 2-night backcountry benefit supports marine conservation and education outreach to non-coastal schools across South Florida and promotes environmental stewardship of Florida’s fresh and saltwater systems.


In addition to this new event, LMC continues to add programming for individuals of all ages and demographics. 


Why do you support Nonprofits First?


Amanda Moore: Nonprofits First is a great addition to the community, the organization empowers nonprofit organizations to excel by providing resources and professional development opportunities. The workshops are designed to provide actionable tools to the nonprofits and focus on issues related to finance, fundraising, and training.


The organization provides support to our South Florida communities and helps amplify the impact of the work of nonprofits. With the assistance of Nonprofits First, local nonprofits can thrive, expand and enhance their mission.


Learn more about the Center here.


If you know a great story about a local nonprofit, please share it with Charlotte Gill, Nonprofits First’s director of development and business strategies. Her email is:

Photo courtesy of Loggerhead Marinelife Center

Tags:  Charities  Education  Membership  Nonprofit  Science  Storytelling 

Share |

IRS Updates Filing Requirements for Exempt Organizations

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The Taxpayer First Act, enacted July 1, 2019, requires tax-exempt organizations to electronically file information returns and related forms. The new law affects tax-exempt organizations in tax years beginning after July 1, 2019.


The following IRS forms are included in the mandate:

• Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax.

• Form 990-PF, Return of Private Foundation or Section 4947(a)(1) Trust Treated as Private Foundation.

• Form 8872, Political Organization Report of Contributions and Expenditures.

• Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income (if filed by a Section 501(d) apostolic organization).


Those who previously filed paper forms will receive a letter from the IRS informing them of the change. Filing deadlines vary by form type. The IRS will postpone the required e-filing of Form 990-EZ for one year, while optional e-filing continues to be available. Although Forms 990-T and 4720 will come under the e-filing requirement next year, the IRS will continue to accept these forms on paper pending conversion to electronic format.

Form 8872

The IRS will no longer accept paper Forms 8872 reporting on periods after 2019. Forms 8872 reporting information for periods starting on or after Jan. 2020, will be due electronically by Section 527 organizations. These include political parties, political action committees and campaign committees of candidates for federal, state or local office.

Among other requirements, most tax-exempt political organizations have a requirement to file semiannual, quarterly or monthly reports on Form 8872. To file electronically, the organization must have the username and password it received from the IRS after electronically filing its initial notice (Form 8871). Organizations can file electronically using the IRS website at To replace a username or password, please contact:


Attn: Request for 8872 Password

Mail Stop 6273,

Ogden, UT 84201 Fax (855) 214-7520

Form 990 & 990-PF E-filing

Under the legislation, most e-filings won’t be due before Dec. 15, 2020, from charities and other exempt organizations that generally file Form 990 or 990-PF by the 15th day of the 5th month after the tax year-end. In other words, Forms 990 and 990-PF with tax years ending July 31, 2020, and later MUST be filed electronically. Forms 990 and 990-PF filings for tax years ended on or before June 30, 2020, may still be on paper. In the case of a short tax year or certain other circumstances detailed in the 990 or 990-PF Instructions, the IRS will continue to accept paper filing as its systems are yet unable to receive these forms electronically. More information on software providers is available at

Form 990-EZ Transition Relief

For small exempt organizations, the legislation specifically allowed a postponement (“transitional relief”). For tax years ending on or before July 31, 2020, the IRS will accept either paper or electronic filing of Form 990-EZ, Short Form Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax. For tax years ending Aug. 31, 2020, and later, Forms 990-EZ must be filed electronically. Generally, Form 990-EZ is for organizations with annual gross receipts less than $200,000 and total assets at tax year-end less than $500,000.

Paper Forms 990-T & 4720

In 2020, the IRS will continue to accept paper forms. These include Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return, and Form 4720, Return of Certain Excise Taxes Under Chapters 41 and 42 of the Internal Revenue Code. The IRS plans to have these returns ready for e-filing in 2021 (reporting on tax year 2020).

Pre-existing E-file Rules

In effect, the legislation supersedes the pre-existing e-file regulation for large exempt organizations. Until tax years beginning after July 1, 2019, exempt organizations with total assets of $10 million or more at tax year-end that had filed 250 or more returns of any type during the calendar year were required to e-file Forms 990 and 990-PF. E-filing was also required of Form 8872 filers that had or expected more than $50,000 of contributions or expenditures in the calendar year. These prior rules will continue to apply to some e-filings made in 2020.

Form 1065 E-filing

For most Section 501(d) apostolic organizations which use Form 1065, the e-filing legislation won’t apply to returns due before Oct. 15, 2020. Generally, the Form 1065 deadline is the 15th day of the 3rd month after the tax year-end. Appropriate software is offered by the providers listed on the IRS 1065 MeF Providers web-site.

Taxpayer First Act

The Taxpayer First Act aims to expand and strengthen taxpayer rights and to reform the IRS into a more taxpayer friendly agency. The legislation requires the agency to develop a comprehensive customer service strategy, modernize its technology and enhance its cyber security. More information on the Taxpayer First Act is available at


If you have a technical or procedural question about Exempt Organizations, visit the Charities and Nonprofits homepage on 

If you have a specific question about exempt organizations, call EO Customer Account Services at 877-829-5500.

Tags:  Accounting  Charities  Finance  IRS  Nonprofit  Reporting  Taxes 

Share |

Member Spotlight: West Palm Beach Library Foundation

Posted By Charlotte Gill, Monday, December 16, 2019

The Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach provides free quality programs, services and resources that serve more than 750,000 people each year.


It’s a huge operation that’s supported by our member West Palm Beach Library Foundation, which raises funds for the library.


As our December member spotlight, Nonprofits First asked the Foundation’s Executive Director Tami R. Lesser to explain why the library is known as a center of learning and inspiration that enriches the entire community.


Explain why the foundation exists.


Tami R. Lesser: The West Palm Beach Library Foundation (WPBLF) was created to raise funds for the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach to provide free quality programs, services and resources that serve more than 750,000 people each year and enrich and strengthen our diverse community.


Private gifts from individuals, foundations, and the corporate arena create public libraries that are world-class institutions.


We are fortunate to have the Mandel Public Library, a community building institution offering unlimited possibility. The Mandel Public Library is a vibrant place where diverse members of the community can gather, grow, learn, and live more productive lives.


 What impact do the library programs have in the community?


Tami R. Lesser: The West Palm Beach Public Library’s KidSpace programs, workshops, Storytimes, special events and services have a lasting impact for more than 38,000 children and teens who participate and on their families.  The Let’s Read program involves reading to children in preschool through second grade. Teachers have seen a difference in their students reading comprehension skills and test scores. The Homework Center for children and teens has certified teachers, librarians and volunteers to help students with assignments or a project.  The summer academy provides free programs, services and a healthy lunch every day all summer to prevent summer slide. The library offers a myriad of health and art classes to promote healthy choices, exercise, art and creativity that attract hundreds of people every day. 


Some of the other services the library provides are:


  • Lending books, eBooks, movies, music cd’s, downloadable music, movies and audiobooks, magazines, audiobooks on cd, and other information formats.
  • Professional assistance with research, computer use, job hunting, use of e-government services, and utilizing library collections and the internet to get valid.
  • Aiding young adults 16 – 25 years old that are struggling with completing high school, securing employment or gaining the skills to become successful citizens.
  • Computers for patrons, many of whom have no other access to the internet, that helps bridge the "digital divide" and allow them to apply for jobs, utilize government services, and learn.
  • A wide variety of library programs:  Career-Readiness Classes, Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Latin Cardio, Computer Classes, Book Clubs, Art Classes, Job Hunting Classes and many more. 
  • Homework Help, Dog Tales, Coding Classes, Storytime’s, Ballet, Karate, Cooking and Summer Reading programs and classes.
  • Access to a vast array of online commercial databases and magazine articles (not available on the internet to non-library card holders), as well as specialized library informational websites.



How can the community support your work?


Tami R. Lesser: Support of the West Palm Beach Library Foundation is an investment in the entire community.


Your gift benefits children, teens, adults, and seniors from all walks of life, whose lives are enriched every day at the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach. Our public library is a community builder and a safe space for children, teens and adults to learn, grow, explore and be inspired. Individuals and businesses can contribute gifts of any size to support the free programs and services and can donate event sponsorships for our main event “Food for Thought 2020.”


We also have naming opportunities that range from a $2,000 name plate to a $2.5 million gift to name the Children’s Library. It’s a meaningful way to offer recognition or to honor or memorialize a loved one. The Library Foundation relies on the generosity of our community members, foundations and businesses to support our beloved library and ensure that it will continue to be a center of learning and inspiration that enriches the entire community.


Why is the WPBLF a member of Nonprofits First?


Tami R. Lesser: WPBLF became a member of Nonprofits first to connect and engage with our colleagues and other organizations in the nonprofit community. We hope to learn and benefit from the many educational opportunities provided by Nonprofits First. We also want to find additional opportunities for the Mandel Public Library to partner with other nonprofits to bring more of the wonderful library programs out into the community and expand access to the library for the benefit of the community.


 Learn more about the West Palm Beach Library Foundation here.


If you know a great story about a local nonprofit, please share it with Charlotte Gill, Nonprofits First’s director of development and business strategies. Her email is:

Image credit: Facebook page of West Palm Beach Library Foundation

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  Charities  Cultivate  Membership  Network  Nonprofit  Nonprofit Philanthropy  Palm Beach County 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
Page 1 of 5
1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5

Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal