The Daniel Island Community Fund provided 35 non-profits with grants in 2018
Every year, the city is decorated with red ribbons and greenery from Christmas trees, while citizens match the aesthetic with a charitable disposition. Giving is always encouraged during the holiday season, but the Daniel Island Community Fund (DICF) spreads the spirit of the season through the other 11 months of the year as well by writing grants for non-profit organizations in the Lowcountry.
In 2018, the DICF provided grants to 35 different non-profits, totaling $647,000 given by November 30.
“The Daniel Island Community Fund’s impact on Daniel Island and our neighboring communities is significant,” said Jane Baker, vice president of community services for the Daniel Island Property Owners’ Association. “Through the Fund, we have been able to improve island parks, offer amazing social and cultural programming for our residents and visitors, and most importantly, serve our neighbors who are less fortunate.”
Some of the groups that were helped in 2018 include Reading Partners, the Charleston Gaillard, the Lowcountry Food Bank, and Wando-Huger Community Development Corporation.
Darkness to Light, an organization that attempts to prevent child sexual abuse and aid its victims, was given $5,000 by the DICF this year.
Director of Communications and Marketing for Darkness to Light Gwen Bouchie said that the money will likely go to their efforts to educate “specific audiences in the Daniel Island area” on child sexual abuse during April 2019, which is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
“Instead of blanketing communities with just standard language, how can we really reach specifically to folks with information that’s applicable to the environments that they find themselves, every day?” she stated. “For instance, one of the groups that we’ve been working with is parents, specifically, looking at their challenges.”
“What we really try to do every year is focus our charitable giving on health and human services, education, and organizations that benefit children,” added Baker.
The year 2018 brought a new focus on projects, like the Guggenheim Plaza renovation and the permitting phase of the new Waterfront Park, as opposed to programs.
“We’ve asked our outside non-profit grant recipients to continue to focus on projects versus programs,” said Baker. “It’s just a way not to enable multi-year gifts, basically because our budget is based on the real estate market. And if we have a good number of resales each year, then we’re able to have a significant budget with which to support nonprofits.”
The shift in direction for the DICF is in response to the length of programs.
“We want to focus on one-year contributions for one-year projects versus multi-year programs,” Baker stated.
Grants Committee member Bill Stevens of Daniel Island said that he was “absolutely” pleased with the DICF’s contributions in 2018.
“I think it’s across a broad spectrum of activities and needs across the community,” he said.
Stevens added that in 2019, he hopes to see more community involvement in the Fund.
“I think first on the list would be to continue to have residents on Daniel Island know more about the Community Fund, then participate, so their giving can get increased or doubled through the activities of the Community Fund,” he said.
As usual, the giving won’t stop in the coming year, thanks to the impression it leaves on the island.
“By funding educational, human service and environmental initiatives, the Daniel Island Community Fund has positively impacted the futures of our greater community’s children and seniors, as well as our quality of life,” said Baker. “We look forward to working with our nonprofit partners in 2019 to continue this important mission.”