Grant Application Guidelines

Community Impact and Community Investment Grants

Community Impact and Community Investment grants are designed to stimulate and help launch new programs and projects; or to help focus, enhance, and/or expand an organization’s existing programs and services; or as an investment in a large capital project which is a critical enhancement to the mission of the nonprofit organization.

These competitive grants are primarily funded by the Hilton Head Island Foundation Endowment Fund. This fund was created by the proceeds from the sale of the nonprofit Hilton Head Island Hospital and its endowment was designated for competitive grantmaking within the hospital’s original service area. As a result, grants are restricted to organizations that serve people who live and/or work in the Hilton Head Island, Daufuskie Island or greater Bluffton area.

Competitive grant terms are typically 12 months, although multi-year requests may be considered, and have a request budget greater than $10,000.



To be eligible for funding an organization must:

  • Be a nonprofit organization with a tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code, and are not classified as a private foundation;
  • Serve the people who live and/or work in the Hilton Head Island, Daufuskie Island or greater Bluffton area;
  • Attend a Grants Information Session at the Community Foundation (within 12 months of the application due date);
  • Complete and submit a profile on The Giving Marketplace;
  • Be invited to submit an application.


We generally will not consider requests for the following:

  • General operating support
  • Sectarian or religious activities
  • Political activities or organizations
  • Grants directly to individuals
  • Endowments
  • Annual fundraising campaigns
  • Special events or fundraisers
  • Scholarships for students in grades K-12

How to Apply

The first step in the application process is to attend a Grants Information Session to learn more about our grantmaking process and determine which programs would be suitable for your organization.


Selection Process

Community Impact and Community Investment grants follow a fixed schedule. Reviewing, considering and awarding grant proposals requires considerable time and attention and we encourage organizations to plan accordingly.

Our Grants Advisory Committee reviews the requests, conducts site visits and makes recommendations to the board of directors of Community Foundation of the Lowcountry.

The 2020/2021 Community Foundation impact grant deadlines will be updated June 2020.

Recent Grants

During our 2016 fiscal year, $660,703 was awarded to the following nonprofits under these programs:

Community Impact Grants

  • Bluffton Self Help: $40,000 to fund a development and marketing position
  • Programs for Exceptional People (PEP): $19,500 to fund a community liaison coordinator
  • American Red Cross: $20,950 for the Prepare SC: Ready 365 program
  • Coastal Discovery Museum: $45,000 for the Transforming the Coastal Discovery Museum project
  • Hope Haven of the Lowcountry: $66,835 for a clinical services director
  • The Literacy Center: $36,813 to fund Family Literacy 360: Phase II – Bluffton
  • SC Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics: $10,000 to fund iTEAMS Xtreme: Next Generation & CREATEng

Community Investment Grants


  • Boys & Girls Club of Hilton Head Island: $40,000 for their Discovery Playground
  • Hilton Head Island Deep Well Project: $55,000 to renovate their furniture warehouse
  • Hospice Care of the Lowcountry: $60,000 to fund electronic medical records
  • Volunteers in Medicine: $60,000 to expand technology and communications infrastructure
  • Antioch Educational Center: $75,000 to help purchase a building for their medical training programs
  • Lowcountry Amateur Radio Repeater Association: $10,800 to help fund their Emergency Digital Repeater Network
  • Santa Elena Project Foundation: $30,000 to support their opening exhibit
  • Friends of the Savannah Coastal Wildlife Refuges: $37,000 to increase visitor accessibility at Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge
  • Heritage Library Foundation: $15,595 to fund research on the Reconstruction Era on Hilton Head Island
  • Waddell Mariculture Fund of the Community Foundation: $17,710 to purchase a new seawater filter


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

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