A self-described “behind the scenes” kind of guy, Allen Jeffcoat is anything but behind the action. For many years, in fact, he has been a quiet but key leader in Myrtle Beach through his career as a lawyer and community supporter.
Raised in Columbia but educated at Princeton, Allen first came to Myrtle Beach as a young lawyer in 1977. He launched his law career at firm in Columbia, but had an opportunity here to run their local office. One of the specializations he honed over the years was estate planning. After Waccamaw Community Foundation launched in 1999, he first saw the organization as a tool for his clients, eventually building a relationship with the organization and serving on its board.
However, this board is just one of Allen’s many community involvements. He and his wife, Mary, are both alumni of Leadership Grand Strand and through that program, became involved in the founding of YMCA of Coastal Carolina more than 30 years ago. “I was a real Y believer from my childhood,” he shared. That love of the Y led him to serve on the board and help the organization grow since its founding.
Allen also helps out with United Way of Horry County’s agency allocations committee, volunteers at church and fundraises for Princeton in South Carolina. Another cause dear to his heart, though, is the environment. A stint as state board chair for The Nature Conservancy – and a passion for the North Carolina mountains – sealed his dedication to land conservation.
While Allen sees the full scope of Waccamaw’s work now, thanks to long-time involvement and board service, the piece of work that first drew his attention were field-of-interest funds. “I saw clients who were putting together their estate plans, and I would always ask, ‘Do you have any charitable interests?’”
When they replied yes, Allen would respond saying “There’s this organization I’ve heard of that allows you to put your charitable gifts into a field-of-interest area,” meaning they could dedicate their funds to a specific cause without having to designate it to a specific organization. Luckily for Allen – and Waccamaw – that flexibility appealed to a lot of his clients.
As time has passed, Allen has learned more about how Waccamaw works with community-minded individuals like himself. He likes “seeing the kind of work donors get done” with the help of Waccamaw, and we really like having Allen along to get things done with us too.