Current Chairman of the Board Sharon Bryant has witnessed firsthand the establishment, growth, and evolution of Central Carolina Community Foundation (CCCF). Sharon, who is president of the South Region of First Citizens Bank, says, “It’s difficult to believe it’s been 35 years. I remember when the foundation was first created and new to our community. Look what has been achieved and built philanthropically. From the beginning, Central Carolina Community Foundation has been about partnering with members and organizations in the community to help them accomplish more with their charitable investments.”
Founded in 1984, CCCF was founded by a group of five business leaders as well as a $25,000 investment from United Way of the Midlands. Currently, the foundation, with a 13-person staff, has awarded nearly $200 million in grants.
“As opportunities and issues have surfaced over the years, the foundation has played a key role in educating the community and engaging its residents in working together to address them,” says JoAnn Turnquist, president and CEO of Central Carolina Community Foundation. “The lives we touch, the people we connect, and the relationships we build have allowed us to create a new reality of collaborative philanthropy.”
In three and a half decades, some of the ways CCCF has impacted the region, according to JoAnn, have been:
- To identify the most pressing opportunities and issues throughout the community and to collaborate on ways to make the community more vibrant, connected, and appealing;
- To pair donors with nonprofits and individual recipients in an effort to realize more diverse philanthropic leaders;
- To respond to calls to action necessary to resolve community problems, strengthen neighborhoods, and leave a lasting, positive impact on the community.
Some of the most impressive aspects of CCCF over the years, says Sharon, include the On the Table initiative, which involves bringing together people of various backgrounds — from churches, businesses, schools, and organizations — to discuss ideas that might lead to beneficial programs and actions intended to further strengthen the community. In 2019, 2,160 community members participated in On the Table. Equally impressive is Midlands Gives, an 18-hour, local online giving challenge that provides people with a way to give instantly to various nonprofits. Since inception in 2014, the event has raised over $9.3 million.
Besides On the Table and Midlands Gives, CCCF has a rich history of collaborating with community partners. Past initiatives and partnerships include: Giving Back: The Soul of Philanthropy exhibit; the Gehl Public Space Public Life survey; the “RACE: Are We So Different” exhibit at the South Carolina State Museum; the Graduation Imperative; Central Carolina AIDS Partnership; Talk About Giving; BGTime; the BullStreet Campus master plan study; the International Festival of Wines and Food; Women in Philanthropy; the Best of Philanthropy Awards; and more.
“As the foundation’s impact continues to grow, we strive to create a new reality of collaborative philanthropy, helping the Midlands community make smart investments in one another,” says JoAnn.
Sharon adds, “It’s just so refreshing to realize the role that the foundation has played and the impact it has made in ensuring that this community is a quality place to live.”
To learn more, visit www.yourfoundation.org.