The Joanna Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder supports education, community development, and conservation efforts in various parts of South Carolina. There are three pre-proposal deadlines per year.

FUNDING AREAS: Human services, education, environment, arts and humanities, public benefit.

IP TAKE:  This funder has made the largest grants to human services organizations lately. Grant seekers might consider pitching an idea related to mental health, literacy, or faith-based poverty prevention.

PROFILE: The Joanna Foundation is based in Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, and was established in 1945. It seeks to “support organizations and programs that strengthen community capacity and enhance individual involvement in achieving a better quality of life.” It originally operated to benefit the citizens of the town of Joanna, home of the Joanna Cotton Mills Company. Walter Regnery was the president of the company and co-founded this foundation with William H. Regnery, who was president of the parent company, Joanna Western Mills of Chicago.

Today, this foundation serves Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester Counties, as well as the communities of Joanna and Newberry in South Carolina. These are all counties in the southeastern part of South Carolina, but the designated towns are further northwest in the state. All grants benefit people living in these areas.

The foundation has always prioritized education, as well as community development and the conservation of natural areas. Most grants are single-year; recurring and multiyear requests are discouraged. However, the foundation does consider requests for seed money, special projects, matching funds, general operating, and capital campaigns. Requests for debt reduction, research projects, individuals, conferences, and fundraisers are denied.

Joanna Foundation has three funding cycles each year. Pre-proposals are due January 15, April 15, and September 15 and must be submitted electronically. Mailed and hand-delivered documents are not accepted. There is an eligibility quiz to take to get the process started. The foundation accepts one pre-proposal per organization per year—the forms can be downloaded online. Grant seekers should make sure to get pre-proposals in no earlier than 15 days before the due dates.

A majority of grants are for one-year and total between $1,000 and $3,000. Grants may get up to $10,000 but rarely exceed that. Overall, the foundation typically gives out less than $150,000 per year. Find a list of recent grants here.

Margaret P. Schachte is the executive vice president and the best contact for grant seekers. She can best be reached via online form—phone calls are discouraged. Walter C. Regnery is president of the board of trustees, and there are eight other board members. The mailing address is P.O. Box 308, Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina 29482.  

Keep up with foundation news and announcements for dates of upcoming grant cycles and windows for pre-proposal submission. View current foundation financial data here.

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