Our Blog - Live Generously

Read the thoughts and impressions on a variety of topics written by Christopher F. Kerrigan, President and CEO of the Community Foundation as well as occasional guest bloggers.

Audi Hilton Head Spotlights Community Foundation of the Lowcountry

Everyday Matters: Every Day Matters


Philanthropic Soul-Searching
By Denise K. Spencer / February 23, 2011

Revising my Will recently has caused me to review once again the things that are important. What kind of legacy do I wish to leave? Who is depending on me now—from family members and friends to organizations? From a charitable perspective, what “causes” have great value, but funding is for them is difficult to find? Those donors who come to the Community Foundation to possibly set up a fund are generally either going through this same philanthropic soul-searching, or have done so recently and have determined with specificity what they want to support.

I have, during the course of my career, helped a number of individuals and families to make some of these difficult philanthropic decisions. I remember one person who had recently lost a family member for whom swimming was a great passion. All he could think of to do in memory of this person was to set up a scholarship fund for someone who wanted to be in competitive swimming in college. By the end of our conversation, he had instead set up a fund which supported a local summer swimming program for at-risk youth. He was so excited! The fund was going to help many more than one student a year, and had the potential to give motivation to kids who often found it to be in short supply.

While scholarships funds are indeed wonderful, there are also many other kinds of funds which can help in a myriad of different ways. Another family was worried about a particular nonprofit organization that they gave a $1,000 gift to almost every year. They knew that the organization depended on that gift, but they also felt that the organization would not handle a larger gift well by investing it and leveraging its use over time. They set up a $25,000 endowment fund to support the organization, with instruction to the Foundation that an annual gift of available spendable be sent to the nonprofit. Generally that gift was $1,000 or more—and this gift would continue long after the family was no longer around.

One retiring Chairman of an organization set up a “Leadership Endowment” to provide for board and staff training—a budget item often deleted in difficult financial times. It would not be deleted if the money came annually from the Foundation with the caveat that it be used only for this purpose!

So, have you done your “philanthropic soul-searching?” What has been your passion throughout your life? What problem needs a solution? What cause needs help? How creative can you be in establishing your legacy? Know that when you are ready, so is the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry. We are able to assist with brainstorming, research, or just capturing on paper your charitable desires. And don’t wait too long to consider these things. Every day matters.

Denise K. Spencer

blog comments powered by Disqus

Featured Post

  • Make the Most of Year-End Giving Posted last month
    This time of year your mailbox is stuffed with end-of-year giving requests from nonprofits. If your bulging mailbox has motivated you to make a charitable donation, here are some things to consider before you write that check or click that “donate now” button.
  • Paying it Forward Posted 3 months ago
    Student loan debt. Three words that strike fear in the hearts college students and their parents. As college costs have skyrocketed, so has the amount borrowed to pay for it. Roughly 43 million Americans carry student loan debt, estimated to be about $1.51 trillion. (That does not include the estimated $119 billion in student loans from private sources not backed by the government.) The amount of student loan debt in the U.S. now exceeds both auto loan debt ($1.28 trillion) and credit card debt ($850 million). The only category of debt greater than student loans is mortgage loans.
  • All Together NOW Posted 6 months ago
    For many communities in the Lowcountry, “all together now” has taken on a more purposeful meaning. Seven local communities — Long Cove Club, Belfair, Palmetto Dunes, Hampton Hall Club, Colleton River Club, Hampton Lake and Moss Creek — have established funds with Community Foundation of the Lowcountry.
Read More »
Community Foundation of the Lowcountry

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 23019
Hilton Head Island,
South Carolina 29925

Office Location
4 Northridge Drive, Suite A
Hilton Head Island,
South Carolina 29926

Connect With Us

E-News Signup

Follow Us