SPARTANBURG, SC – November 12, 2012 – This week, The Spartanburg County Foundation will join more than 700 community foundations across America for Community Foundation Week. For more than 20 years, the effort has raised awareness about the increasingly important role of these philanthropic organizations in fostering local collaboration and innovation to address persistent civic and economic challenges.
We always look forward to Community Foundation Week as a way in which to celebrate our heritage and the impact that the Foundation is making in this community with the help of our generous donors, said John Dargan, president and CEO of The Spartanburg County Foundation. Since its inception in 1943, the Foundation has awarded over $102 million in grants and scholarships to improve the overall quality of life for citizens in Spartanburg County.
The Spartanburg County Foundation has planned a series of events which will begin with a donor education session on Tuesday afternoon, followed by a donor open house that evening. The Foundation will also host an extended Nonprofit Connect session at the Cleveland Park Event Center on Wednesday, November 14th. The session, entitled Board Selection: Building the Right Team, will feature a panel of community leaders and nonprofit executives who will discuss the challenge of board talent drought – the overuse of the same individuals on different boards – and how to strategically fill vacant board seats. On Thursday evening, the Grassroots Leadership Development Institute Alumni Association will gather for a special open house. The Foundation will also highlight key historic milestones daily on its website and through social media.
At a time when the needs are many and resources are limited, we are more determined than ever to find innovative and effective solutions to our community’s most challenging issues, said Dargan. Building the capacity of local nonprofits is one area in which we are continually focused.
Through its leadership, the Foundation has played an integral role in the establishment of several initiatives, including Nonprofit Connect. These monthly lunch and learn sessions offer nonprofit executives and board members an opportunity to gather together to discuss local and national trends, share organization updates, network, and receive information that will further assist them in fulfilling their mission. More than 190 individuals have attended the 9 sessions that have been offered this year. These sessions are free of charge and are open to all nonprofit organizations serving Spartanburg County.
Community foundations represent one of the fastest-growing forms of philanthropy. Every state in the United States is home to at least one community foundation-large and small, urban and rural-that is advancing solutions to a wide range of social issues. Last year, community foundations granted an estimated $4.2 billion to a variety of nonprofit activities in the areas of arts, education, health and human services, the environment, and disaster relief.
Launched in 1989 through a proclamation by former president George H.W. Bush, the first Community Foundation Week included a congressional briefing about the work of community foundations throughout America and their collaborative approach to working with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to address community problems.
About The Spartanburg County Foundation
The Spartanburg County Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of Spartanburg County residents by promoting philanthropy, encouraging community engagement and responding to community needs. Established in 1943, The Spartanburg County Foundation is the oldest community foundation in South Carolina. Additional information about the Foundation is available at www.spcf.org.