Foundation’s One SC Fund builds connections and provides quick and impactful relief during disasters.
While some in South Carolina were still recovering from the historic floods of 2015, COVID-19 began heavily impacting the state. The One SC Fund at Central Carolina Community Foundation quickly pivoted efforts, galvanizing the support of fellow organizations and the community to grant over $2.3 million to support those most impacted by the pandemic.
Housed at Central Carolina Community Foundation, the One SC Fund provides grants to nonprofits throughout the state of South Carolina for relief, recovery, and rebuilding assistance programs from state-declared emergencies. Established in the wake of the historic floods of 2015, the One SC Fund was established and expanded by then-governor Nikki Haley to serve the entire state including the heavily impacted 24 FEMA-designated
emergency counties in South Carolina.
Since then, the fund has supported disaster recovery from Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Hurricane Florence in 2018. The fund has distributed over $5.2 million in grants to support disaster recovery projects across South Carolina, helping over 2,400 families return to their homes.
Central Carolina Community Foundation relies on Blackbaud for fundraising and relationship management, as well as fund accounting. The integration between the solutions has been key to Central Carolina Community Foundation’s streamlined grantmaking and fund allocation process, which ensures donations are used as intended and the money gets distributed as quickly as possible.
The One SC Fund was still providing grants to support victims of the most recent hurricane when the COVID-19 pandemic began impacting South Carolinians. Since the fund is typically used in response to natural disasters impacting only one portion of the state at a time, this was the first statewide disaster that the fund would support.
“We had never experienced a statewide disaster where, in our 46 counties, every single individual could potentially be impacted. And, it wasn’t as clear as this house was destroyed, so we know we need to rebuild it. With the pandemic, we knew we’d need help to support the scale and uncertainty of this type of a disaster,” shared Erin Johnson, vice president for community investment at Central Carolina Community Foundation.
The One SC Fund partnered with South Carolina Grantmakers Network, Together SC, and United Way Association of South Carolina—with all funds held at Central Carolina Community Foundation.
“We’re bringing in all of the gifts, acknowledging them, doing the reporting to any vendors as needed, and then actually doing the grantmaking,” said Johnson. “Our Blackbaud solutions have been invaluable to ensure we’re properly tracking all of the donations we receive and getting that money back out into the communities where it’s needed most right now.”
Central Carolina Community Foundation also credits the implementation of Automatic Clearing House (ACH) payments in Financial Edge® for its success in moving grants from an approved application to distributed dollars in just weeks. Kevin Patten, vice president for finance and administration for Central Carolina Community Foundation explained, “At the beginning of the year, we implemented ACH payments and that’s been a huge help during these times when we’re all working remotely. It’s really streamlined the process.”
On average, the One SC Fund deploys funds two weeks after an application is approved. To date for COVID-19, the One SC Fund has processed 72 grants totaling over $2.3 million to fight food insecurity and provide rent and utility assistance, as well as some medical needs. All money that comes into the fund goes back out to the people in South Carolina who need help, prioritized by most urgent needs.
“Disasters take a long time to recover from,” said Johnson. “A lot of money comes quickly, so people can get shelter and food, but then they’re often forgotten about. There are still people who are recovering from the floods of 2015. Through our partnerships across the state, the One SC Fund is ensuring people impacted by COVID-19 receive the necessary support now and in the future.”
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