DI Community Fund, Foundation see successful year of giving
Both the Daniel Island Community Fund and Foundation saw a successful year in terms of giving, awarding over $900,000 total to nonprofits in the area and beyond.
Daniel Island Community Fund 501(c)4
A total of 30 area nonprofits reaped the benefits of the Community Fund’s hard work in 2017, with a total amount awarded at over $826,000 via grant making (events, grants and community initiatives). The fund, which is the island’s 501(c)4, also hosted an impressive 46 community initiatives, explained Jane Baker, vice president of Community Services for the Daniel Island Property Owners Association (POA).
“Community initiatives can be anything from some of the events that we host, to the Boy Scouts doing a special project, to the DI Historical Society hosting their ‘Campout Under the Stars,’” said Baker. “That’s a feel for how much the Community Fund is imbedded in this community. Forty-six events and/or initiatives that the community puts on is, I think, a very robust offering.”
Baker’s highlight of the year as the manager of the Community Fund, she explained, was a special project completed in Cainhoy.
“One of my highlights of the year managing the Community Fund was a special project that Senator Tim Scott’s office brought to us,” she said. “Partnering with Nucor, BP and Senator Scott’s office we rehoused Rufus Lockwood, an amazing WWII veteran who lives in Cainhoy.”
Moving into next year, the Community Fund is looking at doing things a little differently, added Baker.
“Next year, we’re going to have a bit more of a focus on projects versus programs,” she said. “… Our funding is based 100 percent on resale (real estate) transactions…We’re at the mercy of the real estate market. If and when that starts to slow down, our funding will start to slow down. We don’t want to get into a position of having multi-year commitments or being the sole entity responsible for making sure that a reading program still happens. We want to find different ways of giving.”
For example, instead of funding an after-school reading program, although valuable, Baker explained, the Fund would focus on one specific project, like filling the school’s technology needs.
Daniel Island Community Foundation 501(c)3
The Community Foundation also participated in various opportunities to give back though hosting fundraisers and events.
Through the Foundation’s Employee Advised Fund, 105 employees of the Daniel Island Company, which includes the Daniel Island Club, Daniel Island Company, Daniel Island Real Estate and the POA, raised $22,000 for a variety of area nonprofits, said Baker. That figure was matched by the Daniel Island Company for a total donation of $44,000.
“The company matched those contributions and distributed it to 20 different nonprofits throughout the region, not just in our geographic service area,” she added. “Many of our employees don’t live on Daniel Island or near it, so we’re able to, with the Employee Advised Fund, have a much broader reach with nonprofits in the region because we have this in place.”
In addition to the funds raised through the Employee Advised Fund, the staff members also took part in several community-geared projects throughout 2017.
“A group of employees went to the Neighborhood House, which is downtown on America Street, and fed the homeless four different times,” said Baker. “…We also did a ramp build with Operation Home in Cainhoy for a wheelchair-bound, house-bound gentleman. That was a really fun staff project. We also helped 100 children through the HALOS Christmas project. HALOS is a nonprofit that supports abused and neglected kids. They do a Christmas present fund drive. We adopted 100 kids this year.”
Another initiative through the Community Fund came after the devastation left by hurricanes that hit Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico in 2017, continued Baker. In response to the hurricanes, a group of residents set up a fundraiser through the Foundation, raising over $20,000. The Community Fund matched the total raised and the money was donated to charities assisting the affected areas.
Park Day, an event hosted by the Community Foundation each year, was also a success, added Baker, raising a total of $15,000 for the nonprofit charity Pet Helpers.
As the Foundation moves forward into 2018, some exciting new changes are in the works. With the addition of a new resident-led advisory board, headed up by residents Carina Buckman and Elizabeth Perkis, more ways to donate will soon be available to residents, explained Baker.
“We’re really excited to create a new digital platform for online resident giving in January of 2018,” she said. “When you go to our website, under the philanthropy tab of the dicommunity.org, you will get two different options. There’s the Daniel Island Community Fund with an explanation and then a grant application, which is linked to new software to make the grant applications easier for people. Then we also now will have a Foundation part of the website where we have different categories of giving. Any resident, or anyone really, can go into Human Services, for example, and there will be two or three nonprofits that provide human services, two or three that are geared towards children and two or three that are education-centric.”
This new software will allow anyone the ability to make a donation directly to the nonprofit of their choice. As an added perk, continued Baker, the Community Fund will match up to $5000 of the cumulative total annually.
DANIEL ISLAND COMMUNITY FUND/2017 CONTRIBUTIONS
Winwood Farms Home for Children -- $10,000
City of Charleston -- $9,900
Daniel Island Band Booster Association -- $5,000
Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center -- $7,000
Humanities Foundation -- $7,100
Operation Home -- $51,419
Lowcountry Food Bank -- $5,000
Hearts of Huger -- $46,500
Holy Cross Church -- $10,661
Camp Happy Days -- $2,500
ECCO -- $35,000
Daniel Island School -- $7500
East Cooper Meals on Wheels -- $12,500
Berkeley County Library -- $2500
Philip Simmons Middle School -- $17,500
Susan G. Komen Foundation -- $7,500
Philip Simmons Elementary School -- $7,500
Lowcountry Freedom Reigns -- $5,000
Daniel Island Garden Club -- $1,785
American Red Cross -- $20,000
Palmetto Project -- $5,000
Junior Achievement -- $13,000
Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry -- $5,500
Sustainability Institute -- $10,000
Daniel Island School PTA -- $25,000
Reading Partners -- $12,500
Philip Simmons Middle School PTA -- $4,000
Bishop England High School -- $25,000
Cainhoy Elementary -- $27,500
Friends of the Berkeley County Library -- $3,000
Daniel Island Community Foundation Hurricane Relief Fund -- $21,543
Young Life -- $10,000
St. Vincent DePaul Society -- $5,000
Daniel Island Community Garden -- $5,000
Golfers for Education $1,000