Lowcountry African American Giving Circle Founding Members
Left to right: Craig Ascue, Jerome Harris, Gwendolyn Harris, Elise Davis-McFarland, Janister Herring, Sonja Southerland, Priscilla Robinson, Herbert Drayton III, Kenya Dunn, Kerri Forrest, Darrin Goss


The Lowcountry African American Giving Circle is a philanthropic collaborative of Coastal Community Foundation. Seeded with $50,000 through a matching grant from Facebook, which has been matched, the Circle’s purpose is to be a catalyst for change addressing the pressing needs of the African American community by leveraging philanthropic efforts, community empowerment and advocacy. It’s a growing, vibrant, effective and sustainable network of donors’ financial resources, time and talent.

The Circle aims to be a broad-based membership group with leadership reflecting the communities served. It’s members will build, enhance and sustain a network of leadership within African American communities across the nine South Carolina counties served by Coastal Community Foundation. Grants awarded by the Circle will support initiatives that give African-American communities a voice and that retain/grow their economic, social justice and educational interests. Through their work, Circle members will introduce new organizations to Coastal Community Foundation, a relationship through which leaders may grow networks and capacity, and become connected to other funding opportunities within and outside of the Foundation.

Become a Founding Donor

This legacy-building fund supports the African-American community with philanthropic capital for grantmaking today and for generations to come. We invite you to become a founding donor. Founding donors make a $5,000 commitment payable over four years to the Lowcountry African American Giving Circle. We are seeking 200 founding donors to answer this call of creating a $1 million endowment.

Ways to Give

Checks are payable to Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina with Lowcountry African American Giving Circle in the memo line. Checks should be mailed to Coastal Community Foundation, 1691 Turnbull Avenue North Charleston, SC 29405.

Wire transfers and transfers of appreciated securities can be donated by contacting Director of Impact Investing and Treasury Tess Martin at (843) 793-6122 or tess@coastalcommunityfoundation.org .

Give online by debit or credit card here.



Janister HerringExecutive Chair
Sonja SoutherlandVice Chair
Elise Davis-McFarlandSecretary/Treasurer
Montez MartinMembership/Fundraising Co-Chair