[image-1]Lowcountry Giving Day, formerly run by the Coastal Community Foundation (CCF), is returning this September with a new host and a big party. The Collective Force Foundation is bringing back the online donations coupled with a philanthropic festival on September 19 at the Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park. The festival, in a partnership with the Charleston RiverDogs, will feature live music, entertainment, food, raffles, and opportunities to donate or sign up for service.
The Coastal Community Foundation started Lowcountry Giving Day in 2014 as a one-off event for the nationwide celebration of the 100th anniversary of community foundations, but the day’s success led to two more giving days in 2015 and 2016. After a lack of staff and resources forced CCF to stop hosting Lowcountry giving days, the foundation was approached by several organizations interested in hosting.
“Our board saw that it was not sustainable for us to continue running the event,” says CCF executive vice president Angel Johnson-Brebner. “We connected several organizations that expressed interest in continuing the event and provided them with information about preparation and staffing.”
Once Collective Force decided to host Lowcountry Giving Day; CCF met with their team to relay details and advice.
“It is inspiring to see the infusion of new and creative ideas that springs from having a new event host,” says Johnson-Bebner. “We are thrilled an organization that realizes the potential positive impact of a regional giving day has stepped up to host and manage this year’s Lowcountry Giving Day.”
Rebecca Finley, Collective Force’s director of Community Giving and Engagement, says they hope to increase the engagement of Lowcountry Giving Day by adding the festival in addition to online donations.
“We have consulted with both Coastal Community Foundation and BIDR on their processes in the past, and they have been instrumental to our deciding to keep the online portion of the giving day,” Finley said. “This event is really just the next iteration of any already successful platform to elevate nonprofits and the communities they serve.”
Around 20,000 people donated during the 2016 Lowcountry Giving Day, Finley says, and Collective Force hopes to double that this September.
“As many resources as people have virtually, there is not quite anything like sitting in front of someone and hearing their story or directly seeing how they impact another human,” Finley said. “We, as a society, need to stop having reactive events to a tragedy and start having proactive events to empower our community.”
Lowcountry Giving Day will benefit over 140 nonprofits covering a wide selection of causes — education, affordable housing and homelessness, the arts, community outreach, health, hunger, animals, conservation, and the environment. Sponsors include the RiverDogs, Bidr, Gotcha Group, South State Bank, GigDawg, Awendaw Green, WCIV ABC News 4, and PSG Limited.
In addition to the festival, donations will be accepted online through text.gives. You can also drop off checks made out to nonprofits at local South State Bank branches.