Harnessing the collective resources of the community through over 26,000 grants and scholarships
Central Carolina Community Foundation, the Midlands’ local center for philanthropy, has awarded over $200 million in grants and scholarships since its founding in 1984 — a tremendous milestone and cause for celebration.
The Community Foundation was established to enhance the lives of citizens in the Midlands by a group of five business leaders with a $25,000 investment from United Way of the Midlands. The first grants were awarded in 1989 — 17 grants totaling $100,000. The Foundation has worked to earn the trust of residents, community leaders and donors in the region through effective investments of assets, strategic grantmaking and meaningful collaboration across various sectors in the Midlands.
The $200 million awarded comprises 26,066 grants and scholarships that have been distributed across the region, state and country. Some grants and all scholarships are awarded through a competitive process led by the Foundation’s Community Impact and Scholarship Committees, while others are awarded based on donor recommendations. All grants and scholarships are approved by the Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
The Foundation harnesses the collective resources of the community in a way that mobilizes action in areas vital to its long-term vitality and wellbeing — effectively connecting community partners to areas of need in the community.
“Our $200 million milestone could not have been accomplished without the generosity of our fundholders and donors across the communities we serve,” said JoAnn Turnquist, president and CEO of Central Carolina Community Foundation. “This accomplishment is much more than a number. It is a celebration of collaborative philanthropy at its best — a celebration of the impact that donor contributions of all sizes have made. We hope that this philanthropic milestone will inspire pride and energize the community’s giving spirit.”
The Foundation currently has more than 425 funds that provide grants and scholarships in the following areas: animal welfare, arts and culture, community impact, economic development, education and scholarships, faith-based, health and wellbeing, human services, and youth development.
The Community Foundation’s Impact Over the Last 36 Years
• The Foundation is one of the first calls for many when disaster strikes: In 1989, the Foundation’s first grants were awarded to the Salvation Army and the American Red Cross to assist in relief efforts to aid Hurricane Hugo victims. When historic flooding hit South Carolina in 2015, the One SC Fund was established with support from former Governor Haley and several regional mayors. Over 135 grants totaling $5 million has been distributed from this fund in response to natural disasters. Additionally, the One SC Fund: COVID-19 Response awarded 93 grants totaling $2.95 million across the state.
• The Foundation is the region’s philanthropic collaborator: A partner in the 2004 Blueprint to Address Homelessness, supporting housing and homeless programs and initiatives since its inception, the Foundation announced a $500,000 commitment to the Midlands Housing Alliance to fund a homeless services center in downtown Columbia in 2008. The commitment was followed by a $5 million challenge grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
• The Foundation inspires national conversations about giving: In 2010, the Foundation launched the Talk About Giving Game — a fun way to encourage conversation about philanthropy for children and their families. It quickly sold out and garnered attention from across the country, including features in the New York Times.
• The Foundation connects everyday philanthropists with the community through Midlands Gives: In 2014, Midlands Gives was launched, raising $750K for 150 nonprofits in 24 hours. Since its inception, the event has raised $12.6 million for local nonprofits and draws more than 400 participating nonprofits; it is now a year-round online giving platform. The seventh annual Midlands Gives Day took place May 5, 2020, raising a record-breaking $3.3 million via 22,477 individual gifts for 416 nonprofits.
The Foundation supports nonprofits across the Midlands, telling their stories and working with donors and partners to transform communities and change lives through the 400-plus charitable funds it manages. To learn more about its impact and initiatives, visit yourfoundation.org.
About Central Carolina Community Foundation:
Central Carolina Community Foundation, the Midlands’ local center for philanthropy, is a nonprofit organization serving 11 counties in the Midlands by distributing grants and scholarships and linking the resources of donors, nonprofits and area leaders to communities in need. Major initiatives include the online giving challenge Midlands Gives, On the Table, Connected Communities grants, the One SC Fund, and annual scholarships. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.yourfoundation.org or call 803.254.5601.
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