The Cherokee County Community Foundation was established in 1994 to increase the charitable giving resources in Cherokee County. From its first contribution of $100,000 from the Fullerton Foundation and matching $100,000 from the Timken Foundation, the Cherokee County Community Foundation has grown into a philanthropic organization managing 25 funds with total charitable assets of $4.1 million by the end of 2013. The Cherokee County Community Foundation is an affiliate of Foundation For The Carolinas.
The Foundation strives to educate the people of Cherokee County about the functionality of a community foundation and how the organization benefits the entire county through the charitable actions of donors and volunteers. The activities of the Cherokee County Community Foundation include building a general endowment (the earnings of which provide program grants for nonprofits within the county), helping nonprofit organizations build endowments and assisting individual donors in establishing their own charitable giving programs.
The Cherokee County Community Foundation currently advises one fund managed by Foundation For The Carolinas, which provides annual grantmaking dollars to support community needs as determined by the board. As a permanently endowed fund, the intent is to maintain and grow the principal balances and produce grantmaking dollars in perpetuity.
In addition to grantmaking, the board also focused its efforts on the Cherokee Indicators Project. The Indicators project is a partnership between United Way of the Piedmont, Cherokee County Community Foundation, Upstate Workforce Investment Board, and countless organizations and individuals throughout Cherokee County. The project engages community members in discussion about the area’s most pressing issues. The goal is to identify and examine key social, economic and environmental indicators that illustrate Cherokee County’s quality of life. The final product is a document that serves as an educational tool, a grant reference, a planning foundation – but most importantly a catalyst for change. The Board uses this document to inform future grantmaking.