The Lincoln County Community Foundation was established in 2001 to increase the charitable giving resources in Lincoln County. From its first contribution to create a community endowment, the Lincoln County Community Foundation has grown into a philanthropic organization managing 7 funds with total charitable assets of $875,000 by the end of 2011. The Lincoln County Community Foundation is an affiliate of Foundation For The Carolinas.
The Foundation's first Board Chair, James E. Burt, III, is credited with educating the people of Lincoln 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 Lincoln 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 Lincoln County Community Foundation currently advises a community endowment managed by Foundation For The Carolinas. This fund 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 balance and produce grantmaking dollars in perpetuity.
In 2009, with the assistance of the Timken Foundation, the Lincoln County Community Endowment fund more than doubled in size. The Lincoln County Community Foundation received a $50,000 grant to its endowment fund from the Timken Foundation. Along with the initial grant, the Timken Foundation made a $50,000 challenge grant. Timken will match dollar for dollar, up to $50,000, any additional gifts made to the endowment. In September of 2009, the board of the community foundation successfully completed their fundraising effort, raising more than $150,000 towards the endowment.