One of the many things I enjoy about my job is bringing together groups in our community that are working toward our common good. Building collaboration, pooling ideas, and sharing resources and manpower are some of the best ways to affect positive change. Group effort initiates buy-in and, it is hoped, leads to more impactful outcomes.
These same concepts have been adopted by a number of neighborhoods and communities in our area. Their residents have joined together to create philanthropic funds, realizing that by pooling their time, talent and treasure, they can accomplish more.
We proudly administer these funds for nine local communities. The funds and their missions include:
• Belfair 1811 Fund, impacting the lives of those in need in the greater Bluffton area.
• Hampton Hall Charitable Fund, supporting the charitable interests of Hampton Hall residents and assisting with needs in the community.
• Hampton Lake Tiger Bass Race Charitable Fund, supporting the charitable interests of Hampton Lake residents.
• Long Cove Community Charitable and Endowment Funds, supporting the needs of health, housing, hunger and education in Beaufort and Jasper counties.
• Moss Creek Giving and Endowment Funds, supporting local charitable organizations and those with the greatest need.
• Operation Colleton River, supporting the charitable interests of the Colleton River Club.
• Palmetto Dunes Cares, supporting the charitable interests of those who live, invest, work and play in the Palmetto Dunes community, benefiting the greater Hilton Head Island area.
• Port Royal Community Charitable Fund, supporting the charitable interests and enhancing a sense of community while providing resources to improve the lives of people in the Lowcountry.
• Women of Palmetto Bluff, providing support and resources for charitable programs and services of Women of Palmetto Bluff.
Individually, these groups have accomplished phenomenal things. Each fund has established its own grant process and awarded thousands of dollars to local nonprofits. If we combine all their efforts, these nine funds have invested an astounding $3.38 million into our community.
So one day a thought occurred to us: If we gathered all of these groups together, could their impact be amplified even more?
Thus, the Lowcountry Communities Collective was born.
We held the first meeting in November. Not surprisingly, we learned many of the communities face similar challenges and have had comparable experiences in their philanthropic journeys.
By discovering ways they might work together, even if on just a small scale to start, the groups will learn and grow together, and their impact on our communities can be even more powerful. Who knows what they might accomplish?
Convening groups is just one of the many things community foundations do to bring people together and strengthen our communities. Learn about others at cf-lowcountry.org.
Scott Wierman is the president and CEO of Community Foundation of the Lowcountry.