Coastal Community Foundation, the largest nonprofit community foundation in South Carolina, is releasing its first-ever advocacy initiative, marking a major pivot in the Foundation's 45-year history. Called the Policy Agenda, this initiative lays out the eight policy areas Coastal Community Foundation will prioritize in its advocacy work in 2020.
The Foundation has also rolled out its new logo and brand identity and moved into its new headquarters on the former Naval Base in North Charleston. The office has been renovated over the past six months to reflect this new identity and community-focused work, with tenant spaces for nonprofits, as well as collaborative spaces for community groups to gather and share their insights and ideas.
"With our new Policy Agenda, our new space, as well as our new brand identity, we are reintroducing ourselves to our communities as a regional community leader," said Darrin Goss, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation. "Our strategies to advance the long-term success of our communities in coastal South Carolina have always included grantmaking to support regional nonprofits, incubating grassroots causes and facilitating solutions to community-wide problems. Today, we’re adding advocacy to that toolbox."
The Policy Agenda is the culmination of a three-year effort begun in 2017 to identify and research the needs of the communities served by the Foundation. In this process, the organization conducted dozens of small-group conversations in its nine-county service area, gathering input from more than 800 people living and working across coastal South Carolina. With their input, as well as data and research by the University of South Carolina-Upstate’s Metropolitan Studies Institute, the Foundation crafted a Civic Engagement Agenda outlining the greatest opportunities for structural and societal changes in our region.
The Policy Agenda is one way the Foundation aims to address those needs. As advocates, the Foundation's goal is to educate the general public, its donors, nonprofit partners and policymakers about the issues identified in the Civic Engagement Agenda and general policy measures that address them. The Foundation will also advocate for the well-being of the endowed philanthropy sector to sustain its work in communities.
While foundations have often been involved in advocacy efforts related to the philanthropy sector, few have taken the step to advocate for policy measures affecting their communities. Coastal Community Foundation is the only community foundation in South Carolina with a published agenda of policy priorities.
Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that works to create vibrant communities by uniting people and investing resources across Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry and Jasper counties. Through our tools for long-term charitable giving, we help individuals, families, businesses and organizations be the reason why communities thrive in the nine counties we serve along South Carolina’s coast. To learn more, visit coastalcommunityfoundation.org or call (843) 723-3635.