Capacity Building Support

We recognize the need for capacity-building support. For those who need it, we offer workshops to bridge the gap between passion for the organization's mission and work experience. Some of the workshops we've offered in the past include:

  • Nonprofit Board Orientation
  • Board Roles and Responsibilities
  • The Value of Endowments
  • Consultation on Governance Concerns

Our Work with Nonprofits

A nonprofit's capacity to grow, fulfill its mission and operate efficiently and effectively is reliant upon the knowledge and ability of its board and staff, a strong governance framework and a strategic approach to all of the aspects of its work – from program execution to marketing to fund development.

Like any other skills, these are learned. And in many cases, those who work in the nonprofit sector or volunteer to serve on nonprofit boards have not had the training necessary to assure their capabilities in these areas.

We offer comprehensive services for our nonprofit community. In addition to funding, we offer workshops and learning opportunities, online resources and Lowcountry Volunteer Connections. The Lowcountry is rapidly changing and we're here to help prepare nonprofits to better serve their clients, ensuring charitable dollars are used effectively and work harder.

Lowcountry Executive Director Leadership Program

February 2024 – January 2025

The Lowcountry Executive Director Leadership Program is a peer-based learning program provided by Community Foundation of the Lowcountry. The program includes group learning meetings and individual coaching sessions for up-to six Lowcountry executive directors. This program is facilitated by Neil Sklarew, an experienced executive coach and past manager of the Georgia Center for Nonprofit’s consulting group.

The program includes alternating monthly group and individual meetings with Neil for twelve months. Group meetings are six hours and individual coaching sessions will be 60-90 minutes long. The program generally starts in February of each year and concludes in January of the following year.

The focus of this coaching experience is to address the executive director’s “use of self” in effectively working with his/her primary constituents (board, staff, volunteers, clients, etc.) While it will provide tools and skills development on nonprofit topics such as board development, staff development and strategic planning, its primary goal is to develop the executive director’s self-knowledge and skill to effectively work with others around issues of communicating, decision making, managing conflict, managing stress and influencing others.

What is required of the executive director/CEO to participate in the coaching process?

    • attend six group peer-learning meetings in person
    • attend six individual coaching sessions in person and/or on the telephone
    • secure the support and expectations of the board to participate in the coaching process
    • complete self-reporting style surveys
    • identify board, staff and other feedback sources
    • establish development goals and plans
    • work on assignments in between sessions
    • prepare a final report
    • provide feedback to your board on your learning and on the effectiveness of the coaching process

    The fee for participation in the Lowcountry Executive Director Leadership Program is $1,000. A $500 deposit is required to reserve your spot in 2024. The balance is due prior to the first group workshop.

    Executive Directors representing the agencies below have participated in the program:

    • Agape Family Life Center
    • Antioch Education Center
    • Beaufort Jasper YMCA
    • Bluffton Community Soup Kitchen
    • Child Abuse Prevention Association
    • Community Foundation of the Lowcountry
    • Hilton Head Island Recreation Association
    • Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park
    • Hopeful Horizons
    • Hospice Care of the Lowcountry
    • Lowcountry Legal Volunteers
    • Port Royal Sound Foundation
    • Riverview Charter School
    • SOAR
    • The Children’s Center
    • The Good Neighbors Free Medical Clinic
    • The Hilton Head Island Deep Well Project
    • Volunteers in Medicine Hilton Head Island

    If you are interested in learning more about the Lowcountry Executive Director Leadership Program contact Debbie at 843.681.9100.

    Workshops are held in the conference room at Community Foundation of the Lowcountry's office - 4 Northridge Drive, Hilton Head Island, SC.

    Additional Resources


    Consultants can provide expertise often not available within an organization. The decision to use a consultant to strengthen an organization can be a challenging one, so we offer additional information on working with a consultant.

    Lowcountry Lead Newsletter

    Our quarterly e-newsletter provides a broad overview of all of the great work taking place at the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry. Included is a section devoted to the Community Investment department, including scholarships, grants, workshops, and local nonprofit news.  If you are interested in receiving the newsletter via email, please contact Rob Ennamorato at

    Lowcountry Lead - Fall 2023

    Community Impact News

    We have a blog with need-to-know information about upcoming deadlines, events and grant opportunities. Check here often to keep up-to-date with Community Foundation news that affects nonprofits.

    Is your organization looking for a way to establish a fund?

    If you are looking to establish an endowment, eliminate the administrative burden of fund management and increase your ability to handle large and complex gifts, consider an agency fund.

    How to establish a fund