Springs Close Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder awards basic needs grants in the South Carolina counties of Chester, Lancaster, and York. Food, shelter and basic medical assistance are top priorities.

FUNDING AREAS: Basic needs, food, shelter, medical assistance, early childhood education

IP TAKE: SCF grants aren’t necessarily huge, but this is a funder that human services organizations in South Carolina should know. Small grants may also be awarded throughout the year.                              

PROFILE: The Springs Close Foundation (SCF) is based in Fort Mill, South Carolina, and is committed to the communities that were once home to the textile mills of Springs Industries. The funding region includes Chester, Lancaster, and York Counties of South Carolina. The foundation was established in 1942 following the success of the Springs Textile Mills and Colonel Elliott White Springs’ tradition of giving to the surrounding communities.

The foundation has recently been focusing on critical basic support to people in need. This means grants for food, shelter, and medical assistance. At the time this profile was written, SCF was only considering grant applications from nonprofits that deliver these services.

In addition to basic needs, another recent interest has been early childhood and the birth-to-age-five demographic. Chester Park School of the Arts and Chester Park Elementary School have received support.

SCF and its predecessor foundations have awarded over $104 million to local nonprofits since inception. There are three community boards in place, one in each of the counties where grants are made. These boards review grant applications, do site visits, and make final grant decisions for awards in their counties. The foundation has an executive committee that reviews proposals that serve multiple counties.

To apply for an SCF grant, you’ll need to download the online application form, complete it, and then mail, fax, or email it to the foundation. The email address is amccrae@springsfnd.com, which is the email of the foundation's president, Angela McCrae. If you are requesting more than $2,500, you’ll need to submit your grant request by March 1 for the spring board meeting or by October 1 for the fall board meeting. Requests up to $2,500 can be submitted at any time.

In a recent grant cycle, the foundation awarded a total of $580,310 to 22 organizations and agencies. Of this, $109,000 went to Lancaster County groups, $82,500 to multi-county groups, $80,000 to York County groups, and $65,310 to Chester County groups. All of these grants went to emergency needs and early childhood education. A list of recent grants is here.

SCF supports a Weekend Backpack Program that provides nutritious foods for children. You can learn more about SCF community awards here. The foundation has a no-interest student loan program to help local students afford post-secondary education; SCF has loaned more than $9 million to over 8,400 students.

The foundation has had full-time management since 1972, and the affiliated two foundations merged to become one in 2003. In addition to President Angela McCrae, there is also a 14-member board of directors, a full-time staff of two, and two part-time consultants.

General questions can be directed to the staff at 803-548-2002 or info@springsfnd.org. The address is 168 Skipper Street, Fort Mill, South Carolina 29715. Keep up with foundation news and events on the blog.

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