Unite for the future

  • Follow Opinion columns

These are difficult times for many in our community. Unemployment remains high; paychecks don’t go very far; and every day it seems another public service is being curtailed in the interest of budget cuts. That’s why the kinds of innovative investments being made by philanthropy – particularly community foundations – have never been more important in Richmond, Columbia, McDuffie, Burke, Aiken and Edgefield counties.

This week, through Nov. 18, the Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area joins more than 700 community foundations across America to recognize Community Foundation Week. These community foundations play a vital role nationwide in supporting essential services such as health-care clinics, food banks, domestic violence shelters, libraries and literacy centers.

In 2010, these foundations granted an estimated $4 billion to a variety of nonprofit activities in the arts, education, health, human services, family services and the environment. Though they could never replace the role of government-funded services, community foundations can and do help nonprofit organizations and others by using their private resources for public good.

AN ADVANTAGE OF community foundations’ philanthropy is their ability to drive innovation as an incubator for great ideas. While government has the resources to accomplish big things, it is not known for being nimble or innovative. This is where community foundations can really make a difference, developing timely solutions to pressing problems in our society.

Community foundations know that the investments they have made in the past and continue to make today will help people for many years. By marshaling the financial resources of individuals, families, businesses and foundations, we can address problems such as unemployment, stagnant economic growth, hunger and poverty. By strategically working with others, community foundations can equip society to more effectively deal with such future challenges that we face in the CSRA.

I am pleased to report that the Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area, your community foundation, has accomplished the following:

Since April 1996 through this past Oct. 15, the foundation made 4,904 donor-advised and unrestricted-fund grants – investments – to deserving not-for- profit organizations totaling $37,706,531. Thanks to the Masters Tournament, an additional $450,000 will be awarded in December to deserving not-for-profit organizations in the six counties neighboring Augusta.

Because of the vision and determination of the foundation’s Board of Directors, the foundation has truly become a regional asset.

(The writer is president and chief executive officer of he Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area.)

Comments (1) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
broad street narrow mind
broad street narrow mind 11/13/11 - 03:54 am
i'd be interested to hear

i'd be interested to hear what had really been done rather than just the dollar amount. even a list of organizations to receive that money would have been much more informative. mr. Smith, do you have that information for us? thanks in advance.

copperhead 11/13/11 - 07:35 am
We need more community

We need more community organizers! Doesn't matter what they get done as long as they spend lots of money doing it.

rmwhitley 11/13/11 - 10:23 am
As long as there is a

As long as there is a charity, someone must head it . That person generally requires his/her stipend up front. He/she needs assistants, who need assistants, to dole out the contributions. These assistants need their stipend and of course these donations require a committee to disburse any charity. Ask Elizabeth Dole how much she and her minions were paid for "running" the Red Cross? If you wish to truly help the needy, try The Salvation Army. They are more dependable and disburse a far greater share. I'm agnostic and don't have a dog in the hunt but I am informed enough to know.

Back to Top
Search Augusta jobs
Top headlines
Hyde Park activist not pleased with city buyout offer
Charles Utley, who fought to get Augusta to address contamination concerns in the Hyde Park community, now is questioning the city's offer of $90,500 for his four rental properties there.