The Foundation is dedicated to investing in the nonprofit organizations that work to transform Spartanburg County. By providing funding, workshops, technical assistance, and access to additional resources, the Foundation helps increase the operational effectiveness of area nonprofits and strengthens their capacity to serve.
The Foundation offers a broad grantmaking program that supports a wide variety of projects that clearly provide innovative responses to address the goals and priorities set forth by the Spartanburg Community Indicators Project with a particular emphasis in the areas of education and social environment.
Each year, the Foundation sets an unrestricted grant budget to award funding to nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations and institutions that provide services to the residents of Spartanburg County.
In addition to providing workshops and networking opportunities for nonprofits, the Foundation provides technical assistance to nonprofit organizations serving Spartanburg County. From assisting in the creation of a request for proposal to providing knowledge and expertise in planning an event to convening individuals together around a specific issue or need, the Foundation’s staff work diligently to assist nonprofits to increase their reach and impact.
DATA COLLECTION AND FOCUS GROUPS
The Spartanburg County Foundation created Critical Indicators in 1987, under the board leadership of John Wardlaw, to measure the quality of life in Spartanburg County. Known today as the Spartanburg Community Indicators Project, this county-wide initiative presents data and engages the community in dialogue and strategy leading to positive change.
Additionally, there are times when the Foundation will commission a study or hold listening sessions/focus groups to gather feedback from the nonprofits to help guide the Foundation’s work.
WORKSHOPS AND CAPACITY-BUILDING TRAININGS
The Foundation offers a variety of workshops and capacity-building trainings for Spartanburg County nonprofit staff and board members. In 2011, the Foundation created a lunch-and-learn program called Nonprofit Connect that offers a monthly opportunity for nonprofit staff and board members to learn about relevant topics from subject matter experts.
Additionally, the Foundation partners with the other Joint Funders (Mary Black Foundation, Spartanburg Regional Foundation, and United Way of the Piedmont) to host extended training sessions on relevant topics for the nonprofit sector.
The Foundation also led the development of the Healthy Organization Institute in partnership with the Joint Funders in 2014. This best practices training program for executive directors and board chairs was designed to provide an opportunity to assist organizations in building their operational capacity through instruction, peer learning, and problem solving. The Healthy Organization Institute was piloted in 2014 and held an additional class in 2015.
KNOWLEDGE SOURCE AND COMMUNITY CONNECTOR
The Foundation serves as a knowledge source and connector to nonprofits, providing nonprofits with access to additional funding opportunities, potential board members, networking opportunities, donations of in-kind office supplies/computers, potential partnership opportunities, access to national best practices, and knowledge of issues. Additionally, there are times when the Foundation assists a nonprofit in bringing people and resources together to build awareness about an issue and gather feedback.