Columbia, S.C. (January 29, 2020) – Central Carolina Community Foundation, the Midlands’ local center for philanthropy, is celebrating three and a half decades of philanthropy and growth across the region. To commemorate 35 years of serving the Midlands as its philanthropic collaborator, the Community Foundation is hosting an open house celebration Tuesday, Feb. 4, 4 – 7 p.m. For more information, visit yourfoundation.org/35th-anniversary-open-house-celebration/.
Founded in 1984, the Foundation was created to enhance the lives of citizens in the Midlands by a group of five business leaders and a $25,000 investment from United Way of the Midlands. Today, the Foundation has awarded nearly $200 million in grants and continues its commitment to increasing the vibrancy and livability of the region by:
1. Identifying the most pressing opportunities and issues throughout the community: Through research and community involvement, the Foundation is constantly working to identify strategic issues in the Midlands and collaborate on ways to make the community more vibrant, connected, and appealing.
2. Convening partners, engaging diverse donors and leveraging resources: The Foundation serves as the community’s philanthropic collaborator — pairing donors with nonprofits and individual recipients, and building more diverse philanthropic leaders.
3. Mobilizing action: The Foundation facilitates action to resolve community problems, strengthen neighborhoods, and leave a lasting, positive impact on the community.
“As opportunities and issues have surfaced over the years, the Foundation has played a key role in educating the community and engaging its residents in working together to address them,” says JoAnn Turnquist, president and CEO of Central Carolina Community Foundation. “The lives we touch, the people we connect, and the relationships we build have allowed us to create a new reality of collaborative philanthropy.”
The Community Foundation’s Impact Over the Last 35 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. More than 120 grants totaling $5 million has been distributed from this fund.
• 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 $9.3 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 will take place May 5, 2020.
The Foundation’s Notable Past Collaborations and Initiatives
The Foundation has a rich history of collaborating with community partners. Past initiatives and partnerships include: Giving Back: The Soul of Philanthropy exhibit; the Gehl Public Space Public Life survey; the “RACE: Are We So Different” exhibit at the South Carolina State Museum; the Graduation Imperative; Central Carolina AIDS Partnership (CCAP); Talk About Giving; BGTime; the BullStreet Campus master plan study; the International Festival of Wines and Food; Women in Philanthropy; the Best of Philanthropy Awards and more.
The Foundation’s Current Initiatives and Projects
The Foundation’s focus on grantmaking and stewardship has spanned 35 years. The 13-person staff stewards more than $165 million in assets for its fundholders and manages a number of grant programs including Connected Communities and the One SC Fund (our state’s disaster recovery fund). In addition to this work, the Foundation leads several current initiatives including: Midlands Gives; On the Table; the Corporate Philanthropy Champions initiative; the African American Philanthropy Committee; the David W. Robinson Catalyst Award; and manages a variety of annual scholarships, such as the Harmon Scholarship, the Rogers and Meredith College Fund, and the LinkScholars Program Fund.
As the Foundation’s impact continues to grow, it strives to create a new reality of collaborative philanthropy, helping the Midlands community make smart investments in one another. Learn more about Central Carolina Community Foundation at www.yourfoundation.org.
About Central Carolina Community Foundation:
Central Carolina Community Foundation, the Midlands' 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, the Best of Philanthropy Awards, and annual scholarships. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.yourfoundation.org or call 803.254.5601
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