The lives of many of our neighbors were upended, not only by the virus, but by the challenges the virus created.

We met the crisis head-on.

Our Lowcountry Community COVID-19 Response Fund deployed almost $700,000 in funds to frontline, community-based nonprofits in Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper Counties that addressed - and are continuing to address - needs resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. 

Our grantmaking focused primarily on health and human services, residents who are food or housing insecure, and education to benefit children who have increased educational needs relating to COVID-19. 

Read further to learn more about the history and impact of the response fund - including insights from our fund's donors and grant recipients.

The community's response was overwhelming.

Donations of almost $500,000 poured in and we matched an additional $200,000.

We granted almost $700,000 to 43 nonprofits that provide food and/or mortgage/rent relief or are addressing domestic violence. To see a list of grantees, click here. 

To see a list of donors to our Lowcountry Community COVID-19 Response Fund, click here. 

Our response fund made a profound impact on the region.

Not only did our generous community step up to donate to this cause, local nonprofits did impressive, transformative work with the grants they received from our Lowcountry Community COVID-19 Response Fund. 

Read our impact report to learn more about the impact of the fund on our four-county region, including how local nonprofits have addressed - and are continuing to address - fallout from the pandemic.

We're helping provide continuing support through ARPA grant making.

Learn more about our partnership with the towns of Hilton Head Island and Bluffton.

Local Needs

Based on the COVID-19-related grants made, the initial loss of employment and subsequent underemployment created food insecurity and a need for housing assistance. Food insecurity continues to be a great need in the rural counties of our service area (Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper Counties), while housing insecurity continues to plague many families.

Additionally, some at-risk and marginalized students/families struggled with remote learning because of a lack of devices and/or connectivity. Our Student Tech Connect Fund, established in August 2020, addresses those needs by providing funding for internet connections, devices and digital curriculum.

If you would like more information about how you can support efforts to address these needs, please call us at 843.681.9100.

Local Funds Addressing COVID-19

As we've witnessed time and again, when the Lowcountry faces a crisis, our residents respond. Below is a list of funds launched by local organizations to address COVID-19. Each has a unique approach and mission:

Lowcountry Community COVID-19 Response Fund: This fund was established by Community Foundation of the Lowcountry to rapidly deploy resources to community-based front line nonprofit organizations addressing the COVID-19 pandemic in Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper Counties.

Student Tech Connect Fund: The mission of the Student Tech Connect Fund is to provide critical technology resources for Lowcountry students, including internet access for students without home connectivity, to ensure that all students have the ability to connect with their teachers and access critical learning resources. The Fund will initially focus on providing internet connections for students as they engage in remote learning during the COVID-19 crisis.

USCB Education Foundation - Student Emergency Fund: This fund will provide support for students who are housing/food insecure and may not have internet accessibility or transportation, have academic or basic household needs during times of an unforeseen crisis or unexpected hardship.

With so many nonprofits, why is the Community Foundation your best bet for disaster giving?

  1. Community foundations know their communities. We’ve been serving our community since 1994 and we work with donors and nonprofits every day. We can quickly deploy funding to the appropriate nonprofits on the front lines of disasters to make the greatest impact.
  2. We vet organizations. We have a deep understanding of our local nonprofits’ missions, their financial stability, their governance structure and how they serve the community. You can be assured your donation is being used effectively.
  3. We know how to partner. We work closely with government agencies, corporations and other nonprofits. We have memorandums of understanding with several towns and nonprofits; we’re the only local funder to have these agreements in place. These relationships are particularly important during an emergency.
  4. We’ve done this before. In 2004 we created our Disaster Recovery and Rebuilding Fund. In 2016, after Hurricane Matthew hit, that fund allowed us to provide more than $220,000 to help our community rebuild.
  5. We can take immediate action. We have already mobilized relief by establishing our COVID-19 Neighbors Helping Neighbors Response Fund. We’ll be deploying gifts to frontline nonprofit organizations within days.
  6. We’re here for the long haul. Our investment in the community is long term – not just responding to this crisis as it’s happening, but working to rebuild and support our community afterwards.
  7. We’re accountable to our donors, our partners and our community. We share our tax returns, our investment strategies, our approach to philanthropy and our impact in the community.
  8. We plan for the future. Though we all hope our area doesn’t experience any disasters, if any money remains in our disaster funds, we’re prepared for the next time.

Additional Information

To make a gift to the Lowcountry Community COVID-19 Response Fund click here.