We are facing a unique and potentially staggering health crisis. The lives of many of our neighbors will be upended, not necessarily by coronavirus itself, but by the consequences the virus will wreak. Many local workers might soon find themselves unable to pay their rent, buy groceries or pay their bills.
The Community Foundation is meeting this crisis head on. Our Lowcountry Community COVID-19 Response Fund will rapidly deploy funds to nonprofits in Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton and Colleton Counties that are addressing the needs resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
We are matching up to $100,000 of donations, and 100% of gifts go directly to support the fund's mission.
With so many nonprofits, why is the Community Foundation your best bet for disaster giving?
• Community foundations know their communities. We've been serving our community since 1994 and we work with donors and nonprofits every day. We can quickly deploy funding to the appropriate nonprofits on the front lines of disasters to make the greatest impact.
• We vet organizations. We have a deep understanding of our local nonprofits' missions, their financial stability, their governance structure and how they serve the community. You can be assured your donation is being used effectively.
• We know how to partner. We work closely with government agencies, corporations and other nonprofits. We have memorandums of understanding with several towns and nonprofits; we're the only local funder to have these agreements in place. These relationships are particularly important during an emergency.
• We've done this before. In 2004 we created our Disaster Recovery and Rebuilding Fund. In 2016, after Hurricane Matthew hit, that fund allowed us to provide more than $220,000 to help our community rebuild.
• We can take immediate action. We have already mobilized relief by establishing our COVID-19 Neighbors Helping Neighbors Response Fund. We'll be deploying gifts to frontline nonprofit organizations within days.
• We're here for the long haul. Our investment in the community is long term - not just responding to this crisis as it's happening, but working to rebuild and support our community afterwards.
• We're accountable to our donors, our partners and our community. We share our tax returns, our investment strategies, our approach to philanthropy and our impact in the community.
• We plan for the future. Though we all hope our area doesn't experience any disasters, if any money remains in our disaster funds, we're prepared for the next time.
If you're looking for a way to help, look to us. Donate to the Lowcountry Community COVID-19 Response Fund on our website at cflowcountry.civicore.com/covid.
Please stay safe.
Christopher Kerrigan is the CEO and president of Community Foundation of the Lowcountry. cf-lowcountry.org