The Philanthropy Corner for June 4th-10th

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Behind The Scenes with The Beaufort Fund

The Beaufort Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation has awarded nearly $7 million to nonprofits in Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper Counties since its founding in 1998. Fred Washington, Chair of the fund’s Advisory Committee, has worked with the fund since its inception. He sat down with us to give us some behind-the-scenes insight on The Beaufort Fund as it enters its eighteenth year of supporting our local nonprofit community.

Fred Washington
Fred Washington

What is your favorite part of serving on the committee?

The diversity of the group does not diminish the commonness of purpose. We’ve been very fortunate to have people on the committee who get along, but bring different perspectives to the table. They are willing to listen, work and adjust their views to work towards a common good. Additionally, I think it’s great that the committee really values the work of the smaller nonprofits that do important work in the community.

How has the local nonprofit sector evolved during your time as a committee member?

Before, people operated independently in separate tiers. People realize now that there is a need for collaboration and coordination. In the Beaufort community, there’s a big emphasis on coordinating services with groups like the Human Services Alliance. Personally, I think the Beaufort nonprofit sector today is a model for other counties.

Can you name a common misconception about The Beaufort Fund?

Because of the name, many folks believed that the fund only served Beaufort County – in fact, it also funds Colleton, Hampton and Jasper Counties. Years of good communication among nonprofits have mostly dispelled this notion.

How does The Beaufort Fund support local organizations in a unique way beyond funding?

Even if we can’t provide funding to a specific nonprofit, the committee tries to give recommendations for improvement. Coastal Community Foundation’s staff helps a lot here – they do a great job distilling the committee’s comments to help improve the operations of these nonprofits.

First-round applications for The Beaufort Fund, due electronically by Friday, August 14th, are available online at http://coastalcommunityfoundation.org/grants/list-of-grants/. Questions about The Beaufort Fund may be directed to Program Officer Ali Titus by calling (843) 723-3635 X101 or emailing ali@coastalcommunityfoundation.org.

Each week, Coastal Community Foundation highlights organizations, donors and other charitable news in The Philanthropy Corner. If you’re interested in learning more about philanthropy in the Lowcountry, reach out to their regional Stewardship Officer, Gloria Duryea, at Gloria@CoastalCommunityFoundation.org or (843) 379-3400.