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Chapter Grants, Awards, the IRS and more!

SPJ professional and college chapters are invited to apply for grants of up to $500 for innovative programs and events that help build membership.

SPJ will award chapter grants three times in 2017 in a pilot program to distribute $12,000 in newly available funds. The board’s regional director caucus will pick recipients, preferring programs that recruit new members to existing chapters, revive dormant chapters, start new chapters, or connect pro and student members.

Funds may go to program expenses and refreshments, but not alcohol. Spending a majority of the money to fly in a speaker is discouraged.

Letters of application must include:

— Description of the program, with its title, day and place, if known. Specific plans are preferred ahead of potential plans.

— The event’s membership goal.

— The dollar amount requested and how those funds will be spent.

— The name, email and phone number of the chapter contact person.

A current chapter is eligible only if it submitted an annual report for the preceding year.

Applications will be considered three times in 2017. The deadlines are 5 p.m. June 30, Aug. 31 and Nov. 30. Reimbursements will be issued after SPJ receives copies of receipts and/or paid invoices and a summary of the event.

Send your letter of application to Andy Schotz, Region 2 director, and chair of the regional director caucus, at LawnGyland@aol.com. Please include SPJ CHAPTER GRANT APPLICATION in the subject line. Forward receipts and invoices to Schotz within 60 days after funded programs for reimbursement.

For information about starting or reviving a chapter, visit the “chapters” page at spj.org. SPJ also provides membership brochures, Code of Ethics bookmarks and posters, and other promotional material for membership recruitment. Contact Chrystal Parvin at cparvin@spj.org to request the materials before your event.


Keep your status!

It’s that time of year! Holiday bustle, good food and great friends, just like the ones at the IRS.

They’ve asked that our chapters file their annual Form 990s by Dec. 15. That’s a little over a month away, so mark your calendars (or, better yet, just get it over with)!

Chapters whose annual gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less can electronically submit Form 990-N, also known as the e-Postcard. It’s quick and painless and you’ll want to do it ASAP.

You can use this link to file.

If you have questions, contact Chrystal Parvin, Membership Coordinator.


Show us your best work!

SPJ’s Mark of Excellence awards for collegiate journalism and the Sigma Delta Chi awards for outstanding professional work are now open.

Think you or your chapter members have what it takes to bring home this year’s top honors? Be sure to take note of the following deadlines:

Mark of Excellence Awards: Closes Jan. 11

Sigma Delta Chi Awards: Closes Feb. 19

Don’t forget about the New America Award, honoring public service journalism that explores and exposes issues of importance to immigrant or ethnic communities in the U.S. The deadline to submit for the New America Award is Feb. 19.

You can also nominate a mentor or colleague’s exceptional contributions to the profession of journalism by nominating them to be a Fellow of the Society by Dec. 1!

Questions about awards can be sent to our Program Coordinator, Christine Cordial


EIJ18 Call for Programs and Ideas

The Excellence in Journalism Conference — a collaboration between RTDNA and SPJ — is ramping up planning — and we need your help to make it happen. The Call for Programs and Ideas is open and taking your thoughtful input on what you want to see at the conference.

But hurry, because the Call for Programs closes on January 18, 2018. That’s right, the conference is September 27-29 in Baltimore, but the window to submit programming proposals closes in January.

If you have an idea for a conference session and are interested in taking part in the convention, please submit your proposal. Use this form to submit specific program proposals with topic, content, and suggested speaker (even if yourself).


Get your Google on

Learn to find, analyze, interpret and visualize data in compelling new ways with SPJ’s free Google tools training. Learn more and request a training for your newsroom, classroom or chapter at: www.spj.org/google


Final notes

Finally, SPJ has a new Chapter Leaders Slack team and you’re invited to join in! This team is perfect for connecting with other leaders to share ideas and get valuable advice on programming, membership and recruitment, or just share what your chapter is up to. I’ll be around to help as well.

Use this link to join. It’s only good for two more weeks, so act fast! Join in the conversation.

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Come to EIJ17; Save some $$$

Registration for the journalism conference of the year – Excellence in Journalism – is open!

And, better yet, SPJ offers different grants, fellowships, and scholarships to help you get there.

The EIJ News – SPJ is seeking 10 interns to cover the EIJ17 conference for The EIJ News. Collegiate multimedia journalists are invited to apply by April 19 for these select positions. More details and how to apply are located here.

Dori Maynard Diversity Leadership Program – SPJ works to promote a broader voice for diverse journalists in newsrooms across the country, and to expand the depth and quality of news reporting through better sourcing. The Fellow’s participation in the annual conference is the jumping off point to building a connection and a loyalty to SPJ. Learn more and apply here by June 5.

Terry Harper Memorial Scholarships – SPJ will award scholarships to the Excellence in Journalism conference in memory of Terry Harper, SPJ’s executive director from 2002 to 2009. Get more details and apply online here by June 5.

Columbia Journalism School Student Fellowships – The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism is providing SPJ with scholarship funds for five SPJ student members from any school to attend the Excellence in Journalism conference. Get more details and apply online here by June 5.

New this year: the Eldridge Lowe Scholarship! Awarded to the SPJ Campus Chapter of the Year, the scholarship includes a free conference registration and $450 toward travel expenses. More details coming soon.

It’s that time of year again — springing forward for Annual Report season! 

This is a reminder that your report will be due May 30, 2017 and cover the period from May 1, 2016 to April 30, 2017. The form will be up soon and we’ll send you an email when it’s ready.

Again, I’m happy to answer any questions or help in any way that I can. Please don’t hesitate to reach out at any time.

Mark your calendars for May 30!

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It’s almost Annual Report time!

Annual Report Information
It’s that time of year again, the sunshine and preparing for Annual Reports!
This is an early notice that your report will be due May 30, 2017, and cover the period from May 1, 2016, to April 30, 2017. We’ll send you the link a bit closer to the deadline, but I wanted to share a few tips for preparing ahead of time to make things easier on both you and the entire chapter board.

  • Start a Word Doc with information about each of the programs you held within the past year (this is a good idea to keep going all year). Pass it around to other board members to gather important details so you’ll have all the info when you are ready to fill out the online form.
  • Keep the questions to the online form in that same Word Doc – technology fails sometimes and it’s good to have a copy!
  • Gather up important information (your chapter links to online locations, information about all board members, your banking information, etc.)
  • Conduct a financial review before the deadline! This is a required part of being a chapter each year so get three or more people together to do a full review – look at the checkbook, look at the bank statements, look at the receipts, look at everything!
  • Collect bank statements for the past year and put them together into one PDF file! If you need help, check out this online tool that merges single PDF documents together.
  • Ask questions in advance. It’s so much easier for me to help you before the deadline than after.
  • Remember how important these are – it’s sometimes the only way we know your chapter is alive, how we assign delegates and so many other things that happen quietly on the back end of our chapter management. Help us help you!

Again, I’m happy to answer any questions or help in any way that I can. Please don’t hesitate to reach out at any time.

Mark your calendars for May 30!

Best,
Chrystal

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Have a holly, jolly 990 deadline and spread that Christmas cheer! 🎄

Get ’em filed, friends!

The deadline is tomorrow! We understand how busy the holiday season is. The IRS, not so much.

They’ve asked that our chapters file their annual Form 990’s by Dec. 15. That deadline is tomorrow, so please don’t delay!

Those chapters whose annual gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less can electronically submit Form 990-N, also known as the e-Postcard. It’s quick and painless and you’ll want to do it ASAP.

Give the gift of SPJ this year

There’s no better gift to give this season than the gift of information through quality, ethical journalism.

Honor those who support the right to know by making them an SPJ Supporter for just $20. 

Have a special journalist in mind? Make them a part of the largest journalism organization in the country by signing them up in one of a variety of membership categories.

Click here to give the gift of all things journalism – give them SPJ.

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Our friends at the IRS and chapter programming for all

Get ’em filed, friends!

It’s that time of year – holiday bustle, good food and great friends, just like the ones at the IRS.

They’ve asked that our chapters file their annual Form 990’s by Dec. 15. That’s a little over a month away, so mark your calendars or, better yet, just get it over with.

Those chapters whose annual gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less can electronically submit Form 990-N, also known as the e-Postcard. It’s quick and painless and you’ll want to do it ASAP.

You had me at pizza.

Professional and student chapters can also try out our super easy Program in a Box. Great time, great food, and a great opportunity to network. We made it even easier for you by creating some downloadable resources to make your event a great success.

Some are as simple as our “Slice ‘n’ Dice” program. We’ve got everything you need in the “virtual” box, including directions, flyers and a sign-up sheet. There are even some nifty table tents to spruce up the place. All you need to do is bring in the pros and order some pizza.

If you don’t like pizza (I don’t believe that’s a thing but if it is, you do you) and prefer a movie night, we have that covered as well. J-Movie Night is another fun and easy program idea. We’ve even recommended some great movies to educate and inspire every journo.

Feedback and suggestions

If your chapter has used one of the programs included in “PIB,” we would love to know how it turned out! Please share both successes and failures so we can continue to build and improve.

Additionally, if you’ve held a successful program that you think another chapter could benefit from or just have something to add to our list, please let us know!

Direct all feedback to  Tara Puckey.

Because sharing is caring, some chapters have let us know what worked and we want to share it with you. Feel free to add your own spin or completely copy these terrific ideas.

Have a good week,
Chrystal Parvin
Membership Coordinator
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Back to SDX roots

SPJ President John Ensslin spent the weekend in Greencastle, Ind., on the beautiful campus of DePauw University, the very birthplace of Sigma Delta Chi.

Take a look at some shots of Ensslin with the students – more to come soon!

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May 15: Annual reports due TODAY, new Chapter Coordinator

Dear chapter leaders,

Today’s issue includes some goodies. First I’d like to introduce to you SPJ’s newest staff member, Tara Puckey. A member for several years, including building a chapter in college and serving a term on the national board, Tara joins us as SPJ’s first-ever Chapter Coordinator. She is here to develop and implement strategies for stronger chapters across the country, and given her experience, we know she’ll make a great addition to the staff.

In fact, Tara is taking over the role that I was going to start here at SPJ, until my partner was offered a job in another city that was just too good to pass up. So I’ll be leaving SPJ in mid-June, but until then I’ll be working with Tara and hiring/training the new Communications Coordinator.

Contact Tara with all your chapter questions at tpuckey@spj.org. She’ll be seeing many of you at the Scripps Leadership Institute next month.

Annual Reports Due TODAY
As you know, annual reports for pro chapters are due today, May 15. File yours online here. The online form will close at midnight, so please contact Linda Hall at lindah@spj.org if you have questions or miss the deadline.

Excellence in Journalism marketing
Excellence in Journalism, SPJ’s annual journalism conference hosted jointly with RTDNA, is a hugely valuable event for journalists new and experienced, members and non-members alike. Your efforts to promote the conference to your chapter members will help us hit home the message that EIJ is the place to be this September. Please include the short blurb below and one of these EIJ ads on your chapter’s website or e-newsletter. Thanks!

Excellence in Journalism 2012, hosted by SPJ and RTDNA, is a three-day journalism conference packed with cutting-edge professional development sessions, outstanding programs with some of the best in the business, and opportunities to network, learn and share with journalists from around the country. We invite you to explore the website and join your colleagues in Ft. Lauderdale this Sept. 20-22.

Remember, all previous Leading Edge emails are stored on the Leading Edge blog.

Have a great week!

Sincerely,

Abby Henkel
SPJ Communications Manager
317-927-8000 ext. 215
ahenkel@spj.org

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May 1: EIJ scholarships, annual report deadline

Dear SPJ chapter leaders,

Happy May Day! Here are your leadership updates from HQ.

ANNUAL REPORTS

Yesterday (April 30) was the deadline for campus chapters to submit their annual reports. Pro chapters have until May 15. Linda was swamped with calls all day yesterday, so if you have questions, please contact her sooner rather than later! Call 317-927-8000 ext. 200 or email lindah@spj.org.

NEW OFFICERS

Included in your annual report should be a list of your chapter’s officers. However, if you are holding elections this summer or later, those officers might change. Please update us as soon as officers change, because that is the only way we know whom to contact. Email ahenkel@spj.org or lindah@spj.org.

EIJ SCHOLARSHIPS

SPJ and the SDX Foundation are pleased to offer these competitive scholarships to help members and other journalists attend the Excellence in Journalism conference. Please encourage your members to apply!

Terry Harper Memorial Scholarships: Former Executive Director Terry Harper passed away in 2009 after a two-year battle with brain cancer. In honor of Terry’s efforts to improve SPJ and the entire journalism community, the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation established a memorial fund. With a generous outpouring of support, the Society can now proudly provide scholarships to Excellence in Journalism 2012.

Diversity Leadership Fellows Program: As we face the many challenges of an evolving industry, strengthening SPJ’s diversity efforts is more important than ever. The goal of the Diversity Leadership Fellows program is to increase the diversity participation of SPJ members within national committees and on the national board of directors.

Robert D.G. Lewis First Amendment Award: From the generosity of the Lewis family, the award is given each year to a student SPJ member who has demonstrated outstanding service to the First Amendment through the field of journalism. The award assists a student with his/her attendance to our annual convention.

Remember, all previous Leading Edge emails are stored on the Leading Edge blog.

Have a great week!

Sincerely,

Abby Henkel
SPJ Communications Manager
317-927-8000 ext. 215
ahenkel@spj.org
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April 17: Reminders

ANNUAL REPORTS are due soon. Have you finished yours? Have you started it? Conducting an annual report helps you, your board, your regional director and HQ staff understand the overall health of your chapter. It helps us identify areas of need for chapter strength and growth.

Campus chapter reports are due April 30.

Professional chapter reports are due May 15.

Remember, part of the annual report process includes a review of the chapter’s finances by a three-member committee, led by the treasurer. If you have questions on this or any other requirement for the annual report, please contact Linda Hall at lindah@spj.org or 317-927-8000 ext. 203, or contact your regional director.

FOUR-STAR REWARDS REMINDER – CONVENTION REGISTRATION

Last year’s four-star chapters are eligible for a 35% discount for two of their members for the 2012 Excellence in Journalism conference in Ft. Lauderdale this September. However, you must ask for the discount at the time of registration…not afterwards. We are unable to provide refunds for those chapters who do not give notice prior to their convention registration. Contact Linda Hall at lindah@spj.org.

TOOLS FOR LEADERS

You can find all kinds of goodies for chapter programming, membership recruitment and more in the Tools for Leaders section at SPJ.org. And all previous Leading Edge emails are stored on the Leading Edge blog.

Have a great week!

Sincerely,

Abby Henkel
SPJ Communications Manager
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March 15: Annual Reports

Dear chapter leaders,

Spring is a busy season at SPJ, so there’s a full docket of information in this edition of Leading Edge. Please read through this email and prepare yourself for all the great upcoming programs. Thanks for your continued commitment to SPJ!

Annual Reports

As you know, all chapters must file an annual report to remain in good standing with SPJ. It is wise to begin writing it early — and you probably already have most of the information you’ll need. The deadline for campus chapters is April 30, and for pro chapters the deadline is May 15. Forms can be found at spj.org/annualreports.asp. Linda Hall is always willing to answer questions; you can contact her at lindah@spj.org or 317-927-8000 ext. 203.

Scripps Deadline: TODAY

The Scripps Leadership Institute is a training weekend crafted specially for SPJ chapter presidents. All incoming chapter presidents (serving the 2012-2013 term) are encouraged to apply. Please touch base with your incoming president about submitting an application.

  • Cost: Attendees pay $100 total – SPJ funds the rest, including lodging, meals and travel expenses
  • Dates: June 1-3 in Indianapolis
  • More information: spj.org/scrippslt.asp
  • Contact: Heather Dunn at hdunn@spj.org or 317-927-8000 ext. 204

March Membership Month

To keep improving on membership recruitment and retention efforts, please send me a short description of your chapter’s event/program/efforts for March Membership Month. Even if it doesn’t take place in March, we’d like to hear what kinds of ideas chapters had for recruiting new members and keeping current members involved. I’ll be gathering this information to put together a resource guide for membership outreach. Please send the information to ahenkel@spj.org. Thank you!

Position opening: Communications Post-Graduate Intern

Exciting news: SPJ is hiring! Please spread the word to college seniors, graduate students and recent graduates who are looking for an entry-level job in communications. We’re looking for someone with a passion for writing and social media who can help spread SPJ news to members and the public. This is a one-year position, paid and with benefits. Click here for more information, including a job description and application instructions.

Note from President Ensslin

John Ensslin has asked me to share this note with chapter leaders:

Here is a link to a video the folks with Colorado SPJ produced last year called “This I know.” It’s a heartfelt testament to the power of journalism by a group of volunteers. With the exception of a crusading high school newspaper editor, they are all non-journalists.

This spring, as we move into our season of regional conferences, ethics seminars and membership events, I would ask if you could find a time and place to air this one-minute video. I realize it’s not the slickest video in terms of production values, but I think it delivers a powerful and authentic message: that journalism matters.

Yours truly,
John Ensslin

Again, thank you for all you do for SPJ and for journalism. We couldn’t do any of this without you!

Sincerely,

Abby Henkel
SPJ Communications Manager
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