The Lowcountry Unity Fund was created in response to the attack on Emanuel A.M.E. Church to promote long-term solutions that address systemic issues contributing to racism and economic inequality affecting African-American communities. Programs targeting racial equity in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties will be considered for mini-grants up to $5,000. Mini-grants are intended to support new or existing projects that utilize collaboration and partnership as a means toward achieving racial equity. Eligible projects will demonstrate how partnerships are being developed or strengthened to address structural racism and economic inequality affecting African American communities. Interested applicants can contact Samuel Bellamy at or (854) 222-3457 for further information.

For the purpose of this funding opportunity, Coastal Community Foundation will apply the following definitions in evaluating proposals:

  • Structural Racism: A system of hierarchy and inequity that offers preferential treatment, privilege, and power at the expense of African American communities. The key indicators of structural racism are inequalities in power, access, opportunities, treatment, and policy impacts and outcomes, whether they are intentional or not. 
  • Racial Equity: The proactive adoption and reinforcement of policies, practices, attitudes, and actions that produce equitable power, access, opportunities, treatment, impacts and outcomes for all. 

Average award: $3,200
Deadline: 11:59 p.m. January 15 or next business day if that date falls on a weekend, but this remains flexible in order for CCF to be responsive to community needs.

Criteria for eligibility

  • Applications are accepted from nonprofits that serve people who live in Charleston, Berkeley, or Dorchester counties; are recognized by the I.R.S. as  public charity, exempt from income tax with a 501(c)3) designation under I.R.S. Code Section 509(a)(1); are not a political or lobbying organization; and do not discriminate on the basis of age, religion, sex, race, color, sexual orientation, national/ethnic origin or disability.

Application process and schedule

  • Interested applicants will apply through our online portal.  A committee comprised of individuals involved in racial and social justice activism in the community will consider the applications and make recommendations, and final decisions will be announced three to four months later.