Through endowment funds established by individuals, families, businesses and organizations, our combined resources allow us to not only address community needs today, but help us chart a course for a brighter future in the nine counties we serve along South Carolina’s coast. With our donors, we invest millions of dollars through grantmaking, impact investing and scholarships each year. We are also known for understanding and acting upon the dynamic needs of the communities we serve, with recent examples including our disaster response efforts during and after major storms such as Hurricane Florence, and the creation of the Lowcountry Unity Fund in the wake of the Mother Emanuel AME Church massacre to support causes addressing systemic racism.
Financial resources are among the many tools we employ in our mission to create vibrant communities. Throughout our history, we have served as a community convener to bring residents and leaders together to tackle major structural challenges, such as housing shortages or inequitable school systems. We also have a long history of incubating grassroots causes and providing them with structural support to grow into fully operational nonprofit organizations. Some organizations that began as programs at Coastal Community Foundation — including the Lowcountry Food Bank, One80 Place and the Center for Heirs Property Preservation — are now major regional nonprofits addressing critical needs.
Coastal Community Foundation works to create communities rich in equity, opportunity, and well-being by uniting people and investing resources so that all community members have a pathway to achieve their goals.
Our Core Values and Goals
These principles are embedded in everything that we do at Coastal Community Foundation.
We will provide insightful service to our donors, grantees and communities.
We will earn and maintain trust by demonstrating ethical standards, honesty and consistency.
Inclusion with Equity
We will challenge ourselves daily to champion fairness and accessibility for all people in our communities.
We will take bold action to address the important issues affecting our communities.
To model honesty and courage by implementing the Civic Engagement Agenda, which endeavors to create vibrant communities by uniting people and investing resources.
To embed inclusion with equity within the walls of CCF and throughout the relationships we forge.
To achieve sustainability by building a healthy, agile and donor-centric business model.
To ensure CCF’s relevance in the communities we serve by executing thoughtful, responsive strategic communication plans.
Our Vision for a Vibrant Inclusive Community
Our vision and expertise earned over nearly five decades makes Coastal Community Foundation uniquely qualified as leaders in the community. Our strategies to advance the long-term regional success of coastal South Carolina have always included grantmaking to support regional nonprofits, incubating grassroots causes and facilitating solutions to community-wide problems. Drawing on the passion of our community of donors and fundholders, the knowledge of our past work, and the wisdom gained from listening to thousands of our neighbors, we are narrowing our focus and working to accelerate change across our nine-county region through six vitally inter-connected pillars.
Education is the fundamental building block of a successful community. One- third of our region’s schools are underperforming, which means thousands of our children are not gaining the skills they need for college, career, and life. By providing high-quality public education to all children, as well as ensuring they can attain higher education and workforce training and development, we will grow vibrant and diverse communities with thriving local economies.
Addressing economic mobility helps build stronger, more resilient communities and improves the quality of life for the hospitality worker commuting two hours for a low-wage job or the family striving to make ends meet despite both parents working full-time. The ability to secure safe and affordable housing, gain access to capital to start or expand a small business, or compete for jobs with higher wages, benefits, and a career ladder will move people toward economic security and help stabilize our communities.
As sea levels rise and changing weather patterns hurl more intense storms at our coastline, we will continue to see the destructive forces of flooding in our communities. Our most vulnerable communities lack sufficient resources to prepare for and recover from these naturally occurring disasters. By working with donors, policymakers, and industry leaders, we can make our region more resilient, while ensuring resources are invested equitably.
Physical and Mental Well-Being
Physical and mental well-being is the result of a variety of positive behaviors and choices that enable us all to live our healthiest lives possible. Addressing health disparities and encouraging positive lifestyle changes creates opportunities for all to experience sustained wellness that can result in a strong sense of satisfaction, confidence and belonging.
Culture and Inclusion
We believe in communities that embrace the diversity, culture, and expression of all its citizens to ensure all coastal South Carolinians live where they can belong, thrive, and contribute. With a focus on culture, access, and inclusion, we can invest in initiatives and programs that promote racial understanding and healing, and build local nonprofit capacity for social, economic, and environmental justice, while highlighting our region’s vibrant, distinctive culture and enhance our understanding of all facets of the Lowcountry community.
Family Philanthropy and Future Leader Cultivation
The visionary community leaders who founded each of our organizations understood the power of philanthropy. Their generosity has provided the financial strength to sustain numerous nonprofit organizations doing important work throughout our coastline. We aim to inspire a culture of generosity where donors not only actively co-invest in our community leadership priorities, but use their own donor advised funds to pursue grantmaking to organizations that match their personal passions and reflect their family values and multi-generational legacies.