November 12-18, The Spartanburg County Foundation joined more than 700 community foundations across America for Community Foundation Week. For more than 20 years, the effort has raised awareness about the increasingly important role of these philanthropic organizations in fostering local collaboration and innovation to address persistent civic and economic challenges.
“We always look forward to Community Foundation Week as a way in which to celebrate our heritage and the impact that the Foundation is making in this community with the help of our generous donors,” said John Dargan, president and CEO of The Spartanburg County Foundation. Since its inception in 1943, the Foundation has awarded over $102 million in grants and scholarships to improve the overall quality of life for citizens in Spartanburg County.
“At a time when the needs are many and resources are limited, we are more determined than ever to find innovative and effective solutions to our community’s most challenging issues,” said Dargan. “Building the capacity of local nonprofits is one area in which we are continually focused.”
Through its leadership, the Foundation has played an integral role in the establishment of several initiatives, including Nonprofit Connect. These monthly lunch and learn sessions offer nonprofit executives and board members an opportunity to gather together to discuss local and national trends, share organization updates, network, and receive information that will further assist them in fulfilling their mission. More than 245 individuals have attended the 10 sessions that have been offered this year. These sessions are free of charge and are open to all nonprofit organizations serving Spartanburg County.
Community foundations represent one of the fastest-growing forms of philanthropy. Every state in the United States is home to at least one community foundation—large and small, urban and rural—that is advancing solutions to a wide range of social issues. Last year, community foundations granted an estimated $4.2 billion to a variety of nonprofit activities in the areas of arts, education, health and human services, the environment, and disaster relief.
Launched in 1989 through a proclamation by former president George H.W. Bush, the first Community Foundation Week included a congressional briefing about the work of community foundations throughout America and their collaborative approach to working with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to address community problems.