Our Blog - Live Generously

Read the thoughts and impressions on a variety of topics written by Denise K. Spencer, President and CEO of the Community Foundation as well as occasional guest bloggers.


Everyday Matters: Every Day Matters


So Many Funds, So Much Grantmaking
By Denise K. Spencer / July 31, 2017


Most people who are familiar with Community Foundation of the Lowcountry probably know us as grantmakers. While we are much, much more than that, we do indeed have a competitive grantmaking process. This is just one of the reasons most nonprofits in our area know us well.

But the Community Foundation is home to over 300 different funds with different purposes—from scholarships, to advised funds, to organizational funds, and more. We also have a variety of other competitive grantmaking funds that have been established by connected groups of donors. For nonprofits, this means that there are many “pots” attached to the Community Foundation from which organizations may apply for grants.

A few examples:

The Belfair 1811 Charitable Fund, the Colleton River Plantation Club Operation Santa Claus Fund, the Hampton Hall Charitable Fund, the Hampton Lakes Tiger Bass Charitable Fund, the Long Cove Club Charitable Fund, and the Women of Palmetto Bluff Charitable Fund are examples of funds established by the residents of some area planned communities and involve residents in collective charitable giving and grantmaking.

The DragonBoat Beaufort Fund supports the healthy physical activity of cancer patients and survivors while it raises money to assist cancer patients with unmet needs.

The Hargray Caring Coins Fund exemplifies how a business can do charitable work; money raised by its round up program is put in the fund, and supports grants in the Hargray service area.

The Jasper Community Fund supports grants to Jasper County organizations.  The PEARLS of Hampton County Endowment Fund and the Women in Philanthropy Endowment Fund are women’s giving circles – women join these groups and their annual membership dues provide the funds to make grants to organizations meeting their geographic or thematic criteria. The Women’s Association of Hilton Head Island Charitable Fund is an example of philanthropy being accomplished by a club/organization. And there are others.

These amazing community groups, combining the resources of many to strengthen and leverage their giving, could apply for 501c3 nonprofit status of their own. Instead they have chosen to be under the fiscal agency of the Community Foundation. This is beneficial in many ways: They do not have audits to undertake, federal tax filings to accomplish, investments, receipting, organizational due diligence for grantmaking, or filing for a license to solicit in each and every state that requires it. For those whose donor base includes people with homes in other states, that last one alone is a major benefit! Each group has 24-hour online access to information about the available dollars in the fund they established, and the grantmaking that has been accomplished. For some groups, we are beginning to work on the ability for them to use our online grantmaking process—making things easier for their grants committees and for their applicants as well.

So, whether you are a nonprofit organization looking for funding, or a community group looking for an easy way to do charitable work, Community Foundation of the Lowcountry can make living generously easy, cost-effective, and fun!

Denise K. Spencer
President and CEO


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Community Foundation of the Lowcountry

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 23019
Hilton Head Island,
South Carolina 29925

Office Location
4 Northridge Drive, Suite A
Hilton Head Island,
South Carolina 29926

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