Understanding community foundations: CCCF reflects on 35 years

CCCF TeamColumbia, S.C. (March 2, 2020) – Central Carolina Community Foundation — the Midlands' center for philanthropy — is approaching a record-setting total of $200 million in grants and scholarships awarded since its inception. This will be a major milestone for philanthropy in the 11-county Midlands region and illustrates the impact that can take place when donors, nonprofits, and corporate philanthropy champions work together. Over the past 35 years, the Community Foundation has supported 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 the Foundation’s impact and initiatives, visit yourfoundation.org/impact-initiatives.

What is Central Carolina Community Foundation’s overarching goal?

The Foundation promotes, facilitates, and increases philanthropy to create a sustainable impact within the community through responsible giving. Throughout the past three and a half decades, the Foundation has harnessed the collective resources of the community and, through philanthropy, mobilized action in areas vital to the long-term vitality, wellbeing, and vibrancy of the region.

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. Since its inception, the Foundation has been committed to building a substantial endowment to provide for community needs for generations to come.

“Our ultimate goal at the Foundation is to create a new reality of collaborative philanthropy. To do this, we must make smart investments in each other. We must see what’s possible, engage everyone, and demand more from ourselves,” says JoAnn Turnquist, president and CEO of Central Carolina Community Foundation. “When we look ahead to surpassing $200 million in community investments, we see 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.”

What is a community foundation?

Community foundations are grantmaking public charities that serve specific regions or counties by helping individuals, families, and businesses establish funds to benefit nonprofit organizations and programs. Community foundations across the nation vary in size and types of grantmaking but they have one shared mission — enhancing the lives of residents by improving the long-term livability of a defined geographical area. The Council on Foundations, the nation’s professional association of foundations, outlines six characteristics that all community foundations have in common, which include the following:

1. Flexible, yet permanent collection of funds: Supported by a wide range of donors.

2. Relative independence: Determining the best use of funds to meet community needs.

3. Governing board of volunteers: Knowledgeable about their community.

4. Commitment: Providing philanthropic leadership on critical community issues.

5. Donor assistance: Helping to identify and attain their philanthropic goals.

6. Sense of community: Putting the community first, rather than individual interests.

Central Carolina Community Foundation’s story

The Community Foundation was founded in September 1984 by local business leaders who wanted to establish a permanent endowment that would enhance the lives of citizens in the Midlands. Today, the Foundation is a partnership of individuals, families, and businesses that share a philosophy of giving back so the entire community can benefit. Generous giving and prudent investing have increased the Foundation’s assets from $25,000 in 1984 to more than $160 million today and has provided more than $192 million in total grants and scholarships since its founding. While the numbers have increased over the years, its mission has remained the same throughout the past three and a half decades — to promote, facilitate, and increase philanthropy to create a sustainable impact within the community through responsible giving.

The Community Foundation: giving by the numbers

Throughout its history, the Foundation has impacted the community through the following:

· Has managed more than $165 million in assets.

· Has awarded more than $192 million to deserving organizations in the region.

· Houses nearly 420 funds of varying types and purposes.

Why choose Central Carolina Community Foundation?

The Foundation supports philanthropy in all of its forms. There are specific advantages, however, that come from working with a community foundation. Private foundations can require increased levels of management on the part of the donor, such as excise taxes, minimum payouts, public disclosure, and rigorous IRS reporting requirements. IRS regulations can be especially challenging when giving to foundations with less than $5 million in assets. A community foundation, such as Central Carolina Community Foundation, can provide personal service and flexible options that ease the process for the donor, as well as minimal maintenance requirements and extensive local knowledge and support.

“We invest time and resources to identify the critical needs and opportunities within our community,” says Turnquist. “This knowledge helps us connect donors, nonprofits, and community leaders, and increase the impact of their philanthropic investments.”

Bringing the region together through philanthropy

One of the ways Central Carolina Community Foundation connects nonprofits with donors is through its annual giving day and year-round online platform, Midlands Gives. With gifts starting at only $20, contributors can discover new nonprofits or donate to organizations they love, making philanthropy accessible to all. Since its inception in 2014, Midlands Gives has raised $9.3 million for nonprofits across the region, helping to provide them with the funding needed to execute and sustain their missions. This community-wide effort deepens the relationship between nonprofits and donors and increases nonprofits’ impact throughout the community.

Midlands Gives will take place Tuesday, May 5, 2020. For more information, visit midlandsgives.org.

The Community Foundation was established to serve as a stable and enduring resource for 11 counties in central South Carolina. Now, three and a half decades later, the Foundation is serving multiple generations of residents — many who were born after its inception. As it moves into the future, the Foundation will continue to engage everyone and see what is possible when collaborative philanthropy becomes the new reality.

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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