What Has the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry Been Up to in South Carolina?

It’s been a busy few months for the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, a funder based in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

For the fall grant cycle, the funder awarded five new grants totaling $93,930. This was one of three competitive grant cycles that the foundation held in 2016. And a couple things stood out to us about this recent round of grantmaking. This is a funder that has been increasingly interested in the internal affairs of local nonprofits, such as campaign-building, strategic positioning, and staff training.

For example, one grant went toward marketing and communication strategies and materials for a merger between Citizens Opposed to Domestic Violence Abuse and Hope Haven. Other grants funded a community awareness campaign, recruiting for a new dementia care specialist, and developing a training satellite center.

But another big cause that this foundation has backed lately is disaster recovery. In early December, it awarded an additional $40,000 in grants from its Disaster Recovery and Rebuilding Fund. This brought the total awarded to $100,000 for damage caused by Hurricane Matthew. These new grants were $10,000 and $20,000, and went to the Children’s Center, Lowcountry Legal Volunteers, and Volunteers in Medicine. Previous disaster recovery support went to the American Red Cross–Lowcountry Chapter, Bluffton Self Help, Deep Well Project, Neighborhood Outreach Connection, and the Sandalwood Community Food Pantry.

In other news, the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry recently hired two new board members. According to a press release, Allen Ward of Bluffton, is president and principal of Ward Edwards, Inc., a civil/environmental engineering and allied services firm headquartered in Beaufort County. And David Wetmore of Hilton Head Island also serves as board chair for Grange Mutual Insurance Companies and Nationwide Mutual Funds Group.

Overall, strengthening nonprofit grants and disaster grants have defined this funder’s giving for the latter part of 2016. Keep in mind that the next grant proposal deadline is April 1, for consideration by the board in late July.  And fortunately for grantseekers, three competitive grant programs are open to applications: community impact grants, community investment grants, and organization development grants.

The Community Foundation of the Lowcountry has over 300 charitable funds and combined assets of at least $65 million. Annual grant and scholarship commitments typically exceed $60 million, which makes it is the largest source of unrestricted funding in Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper counties.