Waccamaw Community Foundation, the Murrells Inlet-based nonprofit serving Georgetown and Horry counties, has a new affiliation with Coastal Community Foundation that WCF board chairman David Bishop says will strengthen the connections of donors to their causes.
Started 16 years ago, WCF has assets of $29 million held in 120 individual funds and endowments. In 2014, Waccamaw distributed $2.2 million to several hundred nonprofits. Coastal is much larger, with $190 million in assets held in 680 funds.
Bishop, who was one of the founding board members of WCF and has been its executive director, says of the affiliation, “It’s a big move, but a good one. It’s not a merger, it’s an affiliation. Partnering with Coastal Community Foundation strengthens both of our work. It gives us access to new community networks and institutional knowledge that will help us work together to connect donors to the causes they care about.”
Coastal CF began in Charleston in 1974 and with the new affiliation serves nine counties: Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry and Jasper. The affiliation increases the total assets of Coastal Community Foundation to $220 million. CCF also partners with four other affiliate foundations, including the Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation of Pawleys Island, Darby Family Foundation, The Jewish Endowment Fund and Saul Alexander Fund.
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“Now when we say we serve coastal South Carolina, this partnership means we serve all of coastal South Carolina, Coastal Community Foundation’s interim president/CEO, Richard Hendry said in the announcement. “Working together with Waccamaw Community Foundation, we look forward to building on their 15 years of experience to increase the philanthropic impact of donors in Georgetown and Horry counties.”
Coastal CF has 17 staff people, and two (chief operating officer Angel Johnson-Brebner and regional vice president Edie Blakeslee) are at the WCF office in Murrells Inlet once or twice a week to work with Bishop and Shawna Mosley-Foster, donor services and office manager. Bishop is in the process of interviewing applicants for the other WCF staff position, director of development. (Karen Bisko left when her husband took a new job in another state.)
In addition to “economy of scale” efficiencies in accounting and so forth, CCF communications associate Monica Tanouye says Coastal and Waccamaw are partnering in grantmaking and philanthropy. “For example, we’ve introduced site visits so that all nonprofits that receive competitive grant funding” have in-person visits. In philanthropy, “We helped build strategies for reconnecting with current donors and meeting new ones.”
The Coastal-Waccamaw affiliation did not happen overnight. The affiliation was official on July 1 but “we’ve been working together for several months,” Bishop says. The initial talks about affiliation started three years ago. Waccamaw looked at other possible affiliations, but “we felt a kindred spirit there.”