Hootie and the Blowfish Foundation

OVERVIEW: This rock band's funder mostly supports children in South Carolina and nationwide through education and the arts. It is managed by the Central Carolina Community Foundation.   

FUNDING AREAS: Children and youth, education, music education, the arts

IP TAKE:  You’ll need to work through a community foundation to get to this funder, but there are some great opportunities here for youth music education and equal education causes in South Carolina.

PROFILE: Best known for hit songs and heavy radio play in the 1990s, Hootie and the Blowfish is a band with a philanthropic spirit. The Hootie and the Blowfish Foundation was founded in 2000 and focuses on children in South Carolina. The foundation was formed in conjunction with Hootie and the Blowfish Monday, an event that takes place after the Masters Golf Tournament to benefit kids in the South Carolina.

Band members Mark Bryan, Dean Felber, Darius Rucker, and Jim Sonefeld established a fund at the Central Carolina Community Foundation to administer their philanthropy. The money for grants largely comes from the Masters Tournament event and other fundraisers the band engages in. Another event that the foundation stages is Hootie’s Homegrown Roundup, an annual August event that supports underprivileged kids in the Charleston County School District through school supplies, dental exams, and haircuts.

Local children’s education and the arts are top causes for this foundation: this funder believes children are society's best resource and most worthwhile investment. The band members have strong personal ties to South Carolina and grew up with strong educational and music influences. They have shared their appreciation for being so fortunate. To help other kids pursue their dreams, the band’s foundation supports school districts and music education programs.

Occasionally, the foundation may consider supporting nonprofits outside South Carolina, but this has been rare. The funder has given to many local causes, including the Long Bay Symphonic Society, Carolina Youth Development Center, and Growing Home Southeast. It has also given to prominent national causes like VH-1’s Save the Music.

Grantees include community learning centers, school marching bands, and educator training in public schools. Foster care youth, care for children who have been abused or neglected, and school music programs have been of interest here. Since it was established, the funder has given out over $2.5 million.

Grantseekers should contact the Central Carolina Community Foundation to request a grant from the Hootie and the Blowfish Foundation. The CCCF fund page will indicate whether applications are currently being accepted for school education grants, nonprofit professional development grants, or other local causes. A good point of contact for grantseekers interested in these opportunities is Erin Johnson, the CCCF vice president for community investment, at erin@yourfoundation.org or by phone at 803-254-5601 x 322.

Sign up for the CCCF newsletter to learn about future Hootie and the Blowfish grant opportunities. You can also follow the band foundation on Facebook.

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