Miss. Secretary of State Discusses Nonprofits at USM

Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann and members of his staff ended their visit to Hattiesburg Monday by delivering a lecture at The University of Mississippi about the regulation of charitable organizations.

The lecture was hosted by the Department of Anthropology and Sociology and the nonprofit studies program at Southern Miss. Students in the nonprofit studies program, board members of various nonprofit organizations, executive directors of various nonprofit organizations and other members of the the community were in attendance for the event.

I was happy with the turnout.” said Ann Kinnell, director of the nonprofit studies program at USM.  “I wasn’t sure who would come. In addition to the students enrolled in (Kinnell’s nonprofits and social change course), we had students, staff and faculty from other programs as well as people from the local nonprofit community.

Much of the lecture focused on protocol, liability and accountability for charitable organizations. These topics are important to those who are currently, or are planning, to serve in the nonprofit sector.

We are very appreciative of the Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann coming to Hattiesburg to discuss the regulations that Mississippi nonprofit and charitable organizations have to follow,” said Theresa Erickson, executive director of The Greater PineBelt Community Foundation.

The Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office is helpful to those who are interested in setting up a charitable organization. Monday night’s presentation helped those new to the field and reminded those in the nonprofit world of what needs to be done to keep in good standing.

The secretary of state’s office is solely responsible for the regulation of charitable organizations in Mississippi. So, Secretary Hosemann was able to truly bring authoritative reinforcement to some of the subjects that students are learning about in the nonprofit studies program.

The practical experience that the speakers bring really supports the academic perspective that students get from the textbook,” Kinnell said.

It’s one thing to read the information in a book, but it becomes more relevant when you also hear it from someone who has practical experience. We can talk all day about accountability, but when the secretary of state says he can revoke your nonprofit charter if you break the rules, it becomes a lot more real.

Secretary Hosemann, who recently announced that he will run for re-election in November, and two of his staff members discussed many issues related to the regulation of nonprofit organizations before fielding questions from the audience.