The Sisters of Charity Foundation is happy to share its 2019 Annual Report.

Foundation president, Tom Keith, past board chair, Thomas Otis, and current board chair, Lisa Bernardin shared this in their letter:

“Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina has been carrying out the philanthropic mission of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine since 1996, investing more than $73 million in South Carolina’s communities and distributing more than 3,000 grants in all 46 counties.

In 2019, we took time to reflect on our history and plan for our future by undertaking an intensive strategic planning process, which resulted in focusing on three main intentions: raise and extend the profile of the Foundation to inspire and influence positive change for those living in poverty in SC; deepen and sharpen our grantmaking focus for greater impact on our mission; and elevate and expand action and results in the diversity, inclusion and equity space as a driver of reducing poverty.

The last quarter of 2019 was largely devoted to preparing for the launch of these three strategic intentions including a complete revamp of our grantmaking framework that began in early 2020. Our grants team studied our past grantmaking, best practices from other foundations across the country, and sought feedback from current stakeholders to build a new application and review system that is equitable and streamlined and will continue to support our commitment to trust-based philanthropy.

We also continued to strengthen policy and advocacy work in 2019: we hosted our second Kinship Care Day at the Capitol and continued supporting the need for more resources for kinship care providers; worked to raise awareness for the College Access and Workforce Development Act which creates a pathway for DACA students to receive in-state, professional licensure and access to state scholarships; a listening session was held to learn more about the barriers that face individuals who are returning to society from the justice system; and staff took a lead role in advocating for a complete and accurate 2020 Census count.

In the area of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, we hosted three well-attended regional workshops for our grantee partners, entitled “Leading and Engaging Across Differences.” The Foundation also continued its Benedict College President’s Fellows program, introducing the philanthropic sector to two outstanding African American male students. Additionally, it was determined in 2019, that in order for us to continue to deepen our DEI work, we needed a full time staff person to lead the efforts which led to us now having our first Director of Diversity Equity and Inclusion.

We hope this report provides an understanding of the Foundation’s impact in South Carolina in 2019. We also hope you are inspired to help us make positive change for people experiencing poverty in South Carolina and beyond. We are humbled by and grateful for the many people who walk along with us in our quest to serve others across South Carolina.”