Foothills Community Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder provides education, health, human services, youth, and recreation grants in Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens Counties in South Carolina.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, health, human services, youth, recreation, arts and culture

IP TAKE: The foundation website does not detail an application process, so grant seekers should contact the president directly to inquire about funding.

PROFILE: The Foothills Community Foundation (FCF) is located in Anderson, South Carolina. It seeks “to inspire participation in philanthropy and retain the charitable wealth in Anderson, Oconee and Pickens Counties to positively impact lives now and for future generations.” The foundation was created in 1999 and has since distributed over $13 million to local causes. FCF was initially made possible through a challenge grant from William Law Watkins, an attorney in Anderson who challenged the community to raise $4 million to match $1 million from his estate. Residents met the challenge and in 2002 the foundation purchased Central Carolina Bank’s headquarters. FCF now serves as a landlord for local nonprofits, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, United Way of Anderson County, the Greater Anderson Musical Arts Consortium, Community Works, and Homes for Hope.

Funding priorities include education, health, human services, arts and culture, youth, and recreation. Donors who make grants through FCF include Louise and Ernest Trammell and Sara Jane and Lujack Orr.

In a recent cycle, FCF awarded 31 grants to 27 charities, totaling more than $70,000. Many of these grants were made possible by the Sol Flowers fundraiser organized by the Jeff Roberts family. Thirteen other fund holders made grants to community programs and organizations at this time. In recent years, grant awards have been announced in October. Total foundation assets exceed $14 million.

Past grantees include Calvary Home of Children, Safe Harbor, the Cancer Association of Anderson, the Haven of Rest, Meals on Wheels, AIM, Foothills Alliance, Salvation Army, Anderson Free Clinic, the Beautillion, Westside Community Center, Anderson Arts Center, GAMAC, United Way of Anderson County, Anderson Area YMCA, The Rotary Club of Anderson’s Centennial Project, and Hospice of the Upstate.

FCF also manages agency endowments for nonprofits, distributes scholarship funds, and maintains specific foundation initiatives. It has several field-of-interest funds, such as the Rocky River Conservancy and the Piedmont Health Assistance Fund. A list of donor-advised funds held at FCF is in the annual report.

Grant seekers pursuing FCF funding should contact foundation staff to inquire about current opportunities. R. Dean Woods is foundation president, at The other staff member is Cindy Ervin Kibler, at

The foundation phone is 864-222-9096, and the address is P.O. Box 1228, Anderson, South Carolina 29622. Grant seekers can keep up with grant announcements and other foundation news here.


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