Celebrating the Future of Philanthropy

The Spartanburg County Foundation Opens First Center for Philanthropy in South Carolina

SPARTANBURG – The Spartanburg County Foundation hosted an opening ceremony for The Robert Hett Chapman III Center for Philanthropy, South Carolina’s first center for philanthropy, on Tuesday, June 29, 2021. The new center is located at 431 E. Kennedy Street on the campus of The Spartanburg County Foundation. After a delay due to COVID-19 precautions, the Center opened to the public with some limits on capacity. Over 100 community leaders gathered for the ribbon cutting and to tour the facility.

“This is a historic occasion as we open the first center for philanthropy in the state,” said Mary Thomas, Executive Director for the new center and Chief Operating Officer of The Spartanburg County Foundation. “This building is a community asset and represents the limitless possibilities of what can happen when we come together to generate change, not only in Spartanburg County, but also throughout the Southeast region.” 

In 2019, as part of its 75th anniversary, the Foundation announced plans to build the Center for Philanthropy and establish a collaborative, shared space that increases the Foundation’s role as convener and thought leader in the community. By combining convening facilities, state-of-the-art technology, and data-driven decision making, the Center is a hub for individuals and organizations to gain knowledge and leadership tools to take action and verify transformative change. 

“The Robert Hett Chapman III Center for Philanthropy will bring new tools and new ideas that will help build the capacity of nonprofit organizations of all sizes, which is so important after a very challenging year for these organizations,” said Troy Hanna, Chief Executive Officer at The Spartanburg County Foundation. “Through this ceremony, we wanted to celebrate and to thank our generous donors who have invested in this Center that will shape our community’s future.” 

In addition to the center’s value to the community, there is one small physical feature that will reap great benefits to the environment. Spartanburg Water System partnered with The Spartanburg County Foundation to install one of the newest Choose Tap water fountain and bottle refilling stations in the Center for Philanthropy. Launched by Spartanburg Water in 2016, the Choose Tap program seeks to promote the value of tap water by encouraging our Spartanburg community to consider the significant benefits of turning on the tap. This partnership fits well with the Center’s vision and contributes to its value as a gathering place where members from all walks of life can discover and engage in the role of philanthropy in the life of Spartanburg County.