How We Grant
Here at the Community Foundation, effective grantmaking is at the heart of everything we do and is our most powerful tool for positively impacting our local community.
We are Better, Together
We are embedded in our community in ways that help convene, connect, and grow our collective impact on issues that matter to us all. Our expertise and knowledge of the local nonprofit community helps us understand what a good nonprofit looks like and how to measure its success. That expertise is built upon 20-plus years of experience in awarding competitive grants from our unrestricted dollars to a variety of nonprofits in our region. With that knowledge, we strive to invest philanthropic dollars in the smartest, most impactful way.
The Community Foundation’s competitive grants programs include Community Grants, Harrisburg Literacy Initiative and multiple scholarships. Other local grant making funds, such as Women in Philanthropy, Mary Warren Fund and the St. Joseph Foundation, work with our team to award funds through a competitive grant process. All of these programs have a rigorous review process and track the outcomes and impact of their grantmaking each year. And each have made a measurable, positive impact on the CSRA.
Community Grants Program
The Community Grants Fund is the Foundation’s unrestricted pool of resources and is our largest competitive grant process. This fund provides a consistent source of funding for nonprofits that are doing outstanding work in Richmond, Columbia, Burke and McDuffie counties in Georgia and Aiken and Edgefield counties in South Carolina. Our four areas of focus are Education/Youth Empowerment, Health/Environment, People in Need, and Arts/Culture/History.
The Community Foundation is building a stronger region for all. Join us in making a powerful community wide impact by giving to the Community Grants Fund today.
In 2018, the Foundation committed to addressing long-term cyclical challenges to educational achievement. Funds have been allocated to provide focused grants in Augusta’s Harrisburg and Laney Walker/Bethlehem neighborhoods and the East Augusta area. This specific initiative addresses access to effective literacy programming for all ages. Join us in supporting this effort. No gift is too small to make a difference.
We partner with many of our local nonprofits by managing their endowment assets. See one of your favorite organizations on the list? You can contribute directly to that organization’s endowment anytime.
Want to learn more about nonprofits doing extraordinary work in our community? By partnering with the Community Foundation, you can access all of our expertise and connect your passions with causes that are making a real difference.
The Power of Endowment
One of the major reasons the Community Foundation can make grants year after year is that our Community Grants Fund, as well as many other funds held at the Foundation, are managed as an endowment. Endowments are conservatively invested for sustainable growth. The original gift is never spent, and a portion of the investment income is spent on grantmaking. Here at the Community Foundation, we use a “spending rule” – meaning we spend about 4.5 percent of the market value of our Community Grants Fund each year. This rule allows us to fund our grant programs as well as grow the endowment through reinvestment of earnings and additional gifts.
Endowments are like the savings account of a community and speak to its commitment to addressing the area’s most pressing needs and opportunities forever. It renews itself through smart investment and preservation of principal. This is what makes them sustainable and capable of funding local good in perpetuity.