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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.

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Endowments for Lowcountry Nonprofits: For Good. For Ever.
By Denise K. Spencer / September 1, 2016

How do you know if a nonprofit organization is making a serious attempt to have stable funding for the long term? One way is to look at the list of funds below. These are endowment funds that nonprofit organizations have established at Community Foundation of the Lowcountry to support their mission or a specific piece of their mission.

What is an endowment fund? It is a fund designed to exist in perpetuity, and spending from the fund is controlled by a spending policy. Our current spending policy is that 4.5% of the market value of the fund, based on a 5-year rolling average, becomes spendable each year. That amount, if unused, remains spendable into the future. Endowment funds are designed to be permanent sources of revenue for the organization. The fund is invested for growth and designed to receive additional gifts over time.

Some organizations use these funds as a hedge against uncertain times; they let the funds continue to grow without using the spendable each year. Others budget for their year’s operations by including the spendable dollars as revenue; they need to count on this stable source of funding to supplement other income on an annual basis.

If one of your favorite organizations has had the foresight to establish an endowment fund, its board has made a conscious decision to create a permanent financial anchor. You can reward this wisdom by helping them grow this fund. Your gift to the fund remains invested and continues to support the good work of the organization to meet needs and enrich the community forever.

Because these endowments are at Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, we are able to help these nonprofits with many things. Gifts that can be accepted on behalf of the fund include cash, stock, credit cards, real estate, charitable gift annuities, bequests and other planned gifts. And of course, the fund’s purpose will be protected.

Donate through the Community Foundation’s website, or call 843-681-9100 for assistance. If your favorite organization has not yet established an endowment, we’d be happy to help them—with your encouragement and support it could be one of the most important things they accomplish this year. 

  • Arts Center of Coastal Carolina Endowment Challenge 2000 Endowment
  • Child Abuse Prevention Association Endowment
  • The Children's Center Endowment Challenge 2000 Endowment
  • Citizens Opposed to Domestic Abuse Endowment
  • Colcock-Teel House Endowment (Bluffton Historical Preservation Society)
  • Deep Well-Charlotte Heinrich Memorial Building Endowment
  • Don Ryan Center for Innovation Endowment
  • Friends of the Hilton Head Island Library Endowment
  • Hilton Head Orchestra Endowment Challenge 2000 Endowment
  • Hospice Care of the Lowcountry Endowment Challenge 2000 Endowment
  • Island School Council for the Arts Endowment
  • Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry Endowment (The Literacy Center)
  • Palmetto Animal League Endowment
  • Port Royal Sound Foundation Endowment
  • Programs for Exceptional People Endowment Challenge 2000 Endowment
  • Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island Endowment
  • Sea Pines Montessori Academy Endowment
  • Second Helpings Endowment
  • United Way of the Lowcountry EndowmentVolunteers in Medicine Endowment Challenge 2000 Endowment
  • The Ella C. White Memorial Scholarship Endowment

Of course, we practice what we preach. You can also make a gift to the Administrative Endowment at Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, which supports a portion of our own operations. One way to live generously is to support the efforts of nonprofits to support themselves—For Good. For Ever.

Denise K. Spencer
President and CEO

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Community Foundation of the Lowcountry

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

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Hilton Head Island,
South Carolina 29926

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