Education Is A Hot Commodity

Education is a hot commodity. In the past year, nationwide funding for educational efforts has increased by 8.9 percent while overall charitable giving has increased by only half that amount: 4.4 percent (see Giving USA 2014 more for details).
Here in the Lowcountry, Coastal Community Foundation has seen charitable giving increasing even more quickly than the nationwide statistics predict. In the past year, giving to education increased 56 percent. The donors who advise us on how to distribute money from the funds they created clearly care about education but even more remarkable, they are shifting their efforts towards education faster than the national rate.
I believe the speed of the shift in interest locally is directly attributable to donors talking amongst themselves about what they have learned from their giving. Coastal Community Foundation holds regular conversations at restaurants, in our conference rooms, even at donor homes, offices, or places of worship. Those conversations often answer start with “what have you seen? and “what have you learned?” and end up answering the questions: “what is working?” and “how do I contribute to the effort.”
I look at the local numbers and smile. By sharing information, by being a hub for exchanges between charities and charitably-minded people, we outpace national trends. At Coastal Community Foundation we are not so much trendsetters as much as we are conveners of those who are attuned to what can work, might work, and will work in the Lowcountry. In that regard we lead the nation.

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