United Way of Horry County made news this month for an amazing achievement: On April 11, the organization reached its $1.3 million fundraising goal, many weeks prior to the campaign’s April 30 closing date. It’s been a long road for philanthropy since the Great Recession, and the United Way’s recent success is a testament to the strength of our local economy’s bounce back from hard times.
On May 3, next Tuesday, our region has another opportunity to show just how generous we are on Lowcountry Giving Day.
Hosted by Coastal Community Foundation – of which my organization, Waccamaw Community Foundation, is an affiliate – this day is an opportunity for everyone in our region to unite with communities across the state and the country for one 24-hour day of giving.
Last year was the first year nonprofits in Georgetown and Horry Counties participated in Lowcountry Giving Day. With widespread community participation, 26 local organizations raised $517,000 thanks to 1,359 gifts and matching fund support from the Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation, also a Coastal Community Foundation affiliate, and Waccamaw Community Foundation.
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This year, nearly 60 nonprofits are participating in Lowcountry Giving Day, including Waccamaw Community Foundation. Overall participation in Lowcountry Giving Day has increased by 75 percent, but how incredible that in our community, nonprofit participation went up by 130 percent this year.
Whatever your interests, there is definitely a cause that is making a difference in our community not just on Tuesday, but every day of the year. For example, this year, gifts to Waccamaw Community Foundation will benefit the Waccamaw Community Trust, which supports an array of organizations in Horry and Georgetown Counties through competitive grants four times a year. The Trust is an endowed fund, so your donation will be invested to make a permanent impact responding to community needs.
Other participating organizations are working on everything from environmental advocacy to education, disaster relief and youth development. Many organizations also have matching funds in place that will increase the impact of gifts made through Lowcountry Giving Day. The Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation has committed $165,000 to the event for the second year in a row, providing $7,500 matches to 22 different Georgetown County nonprofits.
Although large numbers make headlines on Lowcountry Giving Day, any size donation can make a big difference. Last year’s median donation was just $50, and this year there is no minimum donation to participate in Lowcountry Giving Day.
So, whether you can give $1 or $10 or $1,000, I hope you will join me in supporting the valuable work of our local nonprofit sector this Tuesday. With more than $1.5 million already pledged in support of Lowcountry Giving Day, let’s show just how generous our community – and local economy – can be.
Visit www.lowcountrygivingday.org to find the causes you care about and schedule your gift today.
Minogue is director of development at Waccamaw Community Foundation, serving donors and the causes they care about in Horry and Georgetown Counties since 1999.