DI Gives Back in a Big Way in 2016
2016 was a banner year for giving for Charleston’s island town. A total of 29 nonprofit organizations received funding from the Daniel Island Community Fund, our community’s primary vehicle for giving back to neighbors in need. A record $777,000 was distributed (a nine percent increase over last year’s record for giving). The amount represents approximately $577,000 in grant requests, along with an additional $200,000 in community initiative funding.
Since its establishment in 2000, the DICF has distributed more than $4 million in funding to dozens of Charleston-area nonprofit organizations that offer services to our community and our neighbors in need. The Fund’s endowment originates from a half-percent enhancement fee paid by the buyer on all resale transactions on the island. A sister organization, the Daniel Island Community Foundation, is a vehicle for collecting additional donations and funding from businesses and individuals.
The DICF is truly unique. While many master planned communities like Daniel Island operate a fund like this, most allocate as much as 70 percent of their fund’s endowment to undertake capital projects and shore up reserves for their own community. But for the DICF the ratio is reversed: The Fund gives between two-thirds and three-quarters of its funds to non-profit organizations that provide services to residents in the Daniel Island, Wando, Cainhoy, and Huger communities.
From helping to provide meals and housing repairs to those in need to assisting with educational initiatives in many of our community’s schools, the DICF has helped countless organizations provide needed services since it was established in 2001. For an idea of the impact, consider this list of organization that benefited in 2016 alone:
East Cooper Community Outreach
Rotary Club of Daniel Island
Daniel Island Swim Team
Berkeley County Library
Daniel Island School
Susan G. Komen Foundation
Golfers for Education
Lowcountry Food Bank
Philip Simmons Middle School
Holy Cross Church
East Cooper Meals on Wheels
Daniel Island Historical Society
Daniel Island Animal Hospital
American Red Cross
Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry
Charleston Promise Neighborhood Humanities Foundation
Engaging Creative Minds
The Music Battery
Jane Baker, Vice President of Community Services for the Daniel Island Property Owners’ Association, oversees the giving activities of the DICF with the help of a X-person Board that consists of residents and other community leaders. She hopes their work is helping to create a vehicle that has lasting value for both the Daniel Island community and its neighbors.
“It is my absolute hope and desire that this giving carries on in perpetuity,” said Baker. “I really hope that the community has embraced the concept of the Community Fund and Foundation enough to want to keep it going forever, because I think it’s a big part of what makes Daniel Island special.”