How to Get Your Giving Right

In this month’s Waccamaw Wisdom, Karen Minogue unpacks a recent study on philanthropy, and emphasizes the importance of how Waccamaw Community Foundation lives its mission to connect donors to the causes they care about. Suggestions for future topics are always welcome at

“To give away money is an easy matter and in any man’s power. But to decide to whom to give it and how large and when and for what purpose and how is neither in every man’s power nor an easy matter.”—Aristotle

According to U.S. Trust’s James Moore in Getting Your Giving Right, adopting philanthropic best practices can make one’s charitable giving more impactful and more satisfying.

For centuries, across all cultures and lifestyles, philanthropy has been an integral part of society, creating and sustaining great educational and art institutions, human service organizations and much more. Today, many people who give to charity are doing so in new ways.

People of wealth believe philanthropy is the path to effecting positive social change, but many are not sure their gifts are having the impact they desire. According to Moore, the 2016 U.S. Trust® Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy profiled the philanthropic behaviors, attitudes and priorities of wealthy donors and found that 91% of American high-net-worth households donated to charity in 2015, giving ten times more on average than the typical American household. Of note is that half of wealthy individuals also volunteered their time at one or more charitable organizations, and more donors of wealth (63%) reported greater personal fulfillment from volunteering than from giving (42%).

High-net-worth donors appear to put a premium on charitable giving as a means to achieving the greatest potential for strengthening their communities. And they cited charitable giving (45%) and volunteering (31%) above political contributions, socially responsible investing, and other means of effecting change.

But Here’s the Challenge

The study indicated that of those surveyed, 67% said identifying the causes they care about and deciding where to donate are their biggest challenges. That’s where Waccamaw Community Foundation’s tagline really ties into the 2016 U.S. Trust® Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy. Our tagline is “connecting donors to the causes they care about.” Each and every day, that is our mission. We help donors create meaningful connections to the causes they care about, ensuring their giving is impactful and sustainable over the long term!

Ways Waccamaw Community Foundation Can Assist

We help individuals connect to what is important to them, predicated on their values and interests.

If someone is interested in a certain field (such as the arts, education, historic preservation, health or human services) but does not know exactly which charities to support, we provide well-researched data to help them construct their charitable giving plan. We can even set up a site visit to an organization so the prospective donor can put his own set of eyes and ears on the organization and its programs.

Then, we help them establish an endowed fund that will support the causes dear to them long after they’re gone, by providing a stream of income to nonprofit organizations of their choice. This supports and enhances the missions and long-term financial sustainability of the organizations they care about most.

Measuring Impact

The study also indicated one of the top motivations for wealthy donors is to make a positive impact on society, yet the vast majority of donors do not monitor or evaluate the impact of their giving. Of those that do, only 44% believe their giving is having the intended impact.

That’s where Waccamaw Community Foundation can also be helpful. We monitor the grantmaking from donor funds, conduct site visits to nonprofit organizations, and evaluate the effectiveness of grants made to ensure the work meets the donor’s philanthropic objectives. Donors want to make a difference, and we help them accomplish this. Consequently the more personally engaged donors become in giving, the more fulfilled they feel, and they will likely give more to the causes important to them. It’s a win-win for charities and a win-win for the donor.

Moore states that “Deeper knowledge of philanthropy also corresponds with a greater adoption of philanthropic best practices, which might explain why knowledgeable donors reported higher levels of confidence in the efficacy of their giving than less informed respondents. For example, 16.7% of “novice” households consulted with a philanthropic advisor, compared with 29.5% of “knowledgeable” households and 37.1% of “expert” households. Similarly, donors’ knowledge level corresponds with their use of charitable trusts, donor-advised funds and private foundations.”

While every donor has different priorities, virtually everyone can increase the impact of their giving — and the satisfaction they derive from it — by taking the following actions:

  • Establish goals and strategies that connect to your core values and areas of interest
  • Conduct due diligence on potential gift recipients
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of both the charitable organizations and their broader philanthropic effort
  • Seek outside expertise if you have questions about the efficacy of your philanthropy

There is a core difference between charity and philanthropy. Charity is more about the process of gifting to nonprofit organizations, while philanthropy involves a more strategic approach to giving and effecting change. Thoughtful giving and philanthropy done well is more likely to motive the donor to give in the first place. Let Waccamaw Community Foundation assist you on your journey to philanthropy done well.

One of the most rewarding things one can do is to give back. Including charitable giving as part of a well thought out financial plan is not only emotionally gratifying – it can reduce estate taxes too. Waccamaw Community Foundation is your first resource and partner in all things charitable. Karen Minogue is poised to help you set up a charitable fund in as little as one day to support the causes you care about. Call Karen at 843-357-4483 or e-mail her at to find out more.

The purpose of this blog is to provide general gift, estate, and financial planning information. Always discuss your plans with your attorney, accountant, or financial advisor.

Additional Important Information

The 2016 U.S. Trust® Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy is based on a nationally representative random sample of 1,435 wealthy donors, including, for the first time, deeper analysis based on age, gender, sexual orientation and race. The study is based on a survey of U.S. households with a net worth of $1 million or more (excluding the value of their primary home) and/or an annual household income of$200,000 or more. Average income and wealth levels of the participants in the study exceeded these threshold levels; the average income and wealth levels of study respondents was approximately $331,156 and $16.8 million, respectively.


3655 S. Hwy. 17 Business, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576

843-357-GIVE (4483)

Our business hours are 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. on Friday.

Waccamaw Community Foundation is an affiliate of Coastal Community Foundation.

Copyright © 2022 Waccamaw Community Foundation

Fundholder Alert

To guarantee that your grants are distributed by the end of the year, please submit your requests by Friday, December 9th at 3:00p.m.

If you have any questions, please contact Shawna Mosley-Foster at 843-357-4483 or


Dennis L Wade

Dennis Wade is a native of Lancaster, SC and a graduate of the University of South Carolina. Mr. Wade has been President and Chief Executive Officer of The Jackson Companies since 2001. The Jackson Companies is a diversified tourism, hospitality and real estate development company located in the South Strand of Myrtle Beach. For more than five decades, the Jackson family has instilled philanthropy and community service into their multifaceted group of businesses. Dennis is a graduate of Leadership Grand Strand XIX and a Waccamaw American Leadership Forum Senior Fellow. He currently serves on the Coastal Educational Foundation Board of Directors, the Board of Visitors for the Wall College of Business at Coastal Carolina University, and the Conway Medical Center Board of Trustees. He is also chairman of the Board of Directors of Coastal Carolina Bancshares, Inc. and a director of Coastal Carolina National Bank. Dennis and his wife, Marie, have two children, Erica and Taylor, and have called the Grand Strand home since 1997.

Allen Jeffcoat

Allen Jeffcoat has been practicing law in Myrtle Beach since 1977. His areas of practice include real estate, estate planning, probate administration, environmental law, corporate and business law, and bankruptcy.  He serves as an expert witness in cases in these areas of practice. He is licensed to practice law in SC and NC. He has served as chair of the Real Estate Practices Section of the SC Bar.

Allen’s relationship with Waccamaw Community Foundation began many years ago, when he would advise his estate planning clients to invest their funds to benefit their philanthropic interests, such as education, the arts, and environmental protection. After working alongside his clients and WCF, Allen joined the Foundation’s board of directors in 2007 and served as director until 2016.

In addition to his professional to his professional interests and his involvement with WCF, Allen has a history of supporting coastal and statewide conservation efforts. In 1985, Allen joined the South Carolina Nature Conservancy board of trustees, and fulfilled a variety of leadership roles- including a stint a chairman— from 1987-1989. Allen also served on Governor Carroll Campbell’s Freshwater Wetlands Forum, and continues to apply his experience in environmental and real estate law to help preserve and protect natural resources and ecosystems vital to the local community.

Allen is also a founder and first president of the YMCA of Coastal Carolina.

Allen has resided in the Grand Strand since 1977 with his wife, Mary. They have two grown children and a granddaughter.

Tim Whitten


A native of Alabama, Tim received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Auburn University and a master’s degree in religion from Lenoir-Rhyne University. He brings to WCF a background in grant writing and in disaster recovery most recently serving the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church.

Tim resides in Galivants Ferry with his wife Julie and their four children.

Phillip Anderson


Phillip Anderson is a Senior Vice President & Senior Lending Officer for Asheville, North Carolina-based HomeTrust Bank, serving the coast of South Carolina. Throughout his 22-year banking career, he has served in commercial banking, trust administration, retail banking, and market leadership roles with mid-size and regional banks in South Carolina and Georgia. He has always embodied the community banking model of building strong local relationships and being active in numerous non-profits and promoting their causes.
He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, GA, the Cannon Financial Institute’s Trust School, The Stonier Graduate School of Banking and Wharton Leadership program. He is also a graduate of several Chamber of Commerce Leadership programs over his career.
Phillip resides in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, with his wife Mary Beth and daughter Carolina. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, and playing golf.

Ellen Barney Sycks

Stewardship & Communications Officer

Ellen serves the Foundation as its Stewardship and Communications Officer, responsible for communicating with fund holders on a regular basis and providing advice when needed, particularly around fund development as well as relevant field of interest information.

A native of Hillsboro, Ohio, Ellen provides more than three decades of non-profit leadership experience, focusing on creating major gift and planned giving opportunities to support organizations’ programs, special projects and capital campaigns. Ellen received her B.A. in National Security Policy from The Ohio State University. She lives in Murrells Inlet with her husband Jay and their two cats, Mabel and Murray.

Chris Hanna


Chris Hanna is a Senior Broker Associate with Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage. Born and raised in Myrtle Beach, he started in the real estate business in 1993. Chris is a member of the Coastal Carolinas, South Carolina and National Associations of REALTORS and is an active local community member as well, having served on various boards such as the Horry County Zoning Board of Appeals, the Coastal Carolina Athletic Foundation, and Horry County school district Carolina Forest Advisory Board. He is a member of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality and Oceanview Baptist Church. Chris is a graduate of Socastee High School in Myrtle Beach, and he received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of South Carolina at Coastal Carolina in 1992.

Rick Elliott


Rick Elliott is president of his family business, Elliott Realty, one of the most prominent real estate companies in North Myrtle Beach. As a native of Horry County, he has always made giving back to the community a part of his approach to business. Each guest who stays with Elliott Realty is given the option to add an additional $1 per night to their bill to be donated to the Elliott Realty Charitable Community Fund at Waccamaw Community Foundation, which invests in causes throughout the surrounding community. Rick brings this commitment to community philanthropy to his service on the Waccamaw Community Foundation Board of Directors. He has also served as the chairman of the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce.

Tyler Easterling


Tyler Easterling is a native of Marietta, Georgia and has resided in Georgetown County since moving to the area in 2002. Tyler is the president and COO of The Brandon Agency, an integrated marketing agency headquartered in Myrtle Beach. She is the current board chair for Coastal Montessori Charter School and serves on the boards of Helping Hands of Georgetown and Young Presidents’ Organization Southern 7 Chapter. She is a member of the 2018 Liberty Fellowship class.

Tyler holds an undergraduate degree in Journalism from the University of Mississippi and a Masters of Mass Communication from the University of South Carolina. She is an active member of Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church and enjoys spending time with her husband, Marshall, and two daughters, Julia and Anne Marshall.

Terri DeCenzo


Terri serves as executive director of Women in Philanthropy and Leadership for Coastal Carolina University (WIPL). She is married to Coastal Carolina University President David A. DeCenzo, and when he joined the university in 2002, she became passionately involved with the life of the university, taking an active role in issues relating to student government and NCAA athletics, among others. Previously Terri has served on the boards of the American Red Cross and the Foundation for Georgetown Hospital System and was an adviser to the Safe Families Initiative that established Family Justice Center of Horry and Georgetown Counties. In 2016, Terri was awarded the Order of the Silver Crescent by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. A graduate of St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing and Towson University, she spent most of her career practicing in critical care. The DeCenzo’s have four children: Mark (his wife Jen), Meredith (and her husband Ryan Daley), Gabriella and Natalie; and one beautiful grandson, William Mason Evans.

Executive Director, Women in Philanthropy and Leadership for Coastal Carolina University (WIPL)

Dr. Tracy Bailey


Dr. Tracy Bailey earned a Ph.D. in Education with a specialization in Language and Literacy at the University of South Carolina in May of 2013. She is a Teaching Associate with Coastal Carolina University teaching Intermediate Literacy Development and Instructional Practices for Early Literacy.

Dr. Bailey began her career in education as a high school English instructor and has worked in both rural and urban educational settings. After realizing the impact professional development and community literacy had on her personal and professional growth, she wanted others to experience this. She is the founder and executive director of Freedom Readers, Inc., a nonprofit company dedicated to promoting literacy. Tracy seeks to instill in teachers, students, and the community at large the belief that every student can learn and every learner has the responsibility to pass on new knowledge to another.

Dr. Bailey earned her BA from The College of Charleston- majoring in English Education- and a Masters in Secondary Education from Coastal Carolina University. She is married to award-winning writer, Issac J. Bailey, and is the mother of two wonderful children, Kyle and Lyric.

Brent Groome


A 1987 graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, Brent came to the Grand Strand area in 1989. After a 31 year career with HTC (Horry Telephone Cooperative), he retired in 2021.  In addition to his current role with WCF, he also serves as a member of the Board of Commissioners for HGTC. He is also active with his church; serving as a Sunday School teacher and congregational song leader.  He and his wife, Dana, live in the Conway area.

Shawna Mosley-Foster

Service and Operations Officer
843-357-4483 x200

Shawna, a native of Jamaica, NY, has more than 15 years of experience working in the hospitality and tourism field. Since relocating to South Carolina in 2004, she spent a few more years working with a local hospitality company before joining WCF’s staff.  While a native New Yorker, Shawna has a rich heritage right here in the Waccamaw area. Her mother was born and raised on Sandy Island, and her father is from Bucksport. She enjoys cooking, stargazing with her family, cruising and once retired….RVing! Shawna and her husband are empty nesters and resides in Myrtle Beach. 

Mike Mancuso

Executive Director

Mike is a veteran business leader with more than 30 years of experience as an innovative problem solver and change agent for nonprofit, banking and small business organizations. Mike is a skilled economic developer with background in community development, downtown redevelopment, industrial development and strategic planning. His passion is helping Communities and Businesses thrive and grow. Most recently Mike served as the President and CEO of the Triangle East Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Foundation in Johnston County, NC and as Executive Director for the Sustainable Opportunity Development Center, Inc in Salem, OH. Mike and his wife Christine make their home in Little River, SC. They have 3 children and 5 grandchildren living in Charleston, SC, Atlanta, GA, & Austin TX. Mike enjoys boating on the ICW, tinkering in his workshop/garage and spending time with family and friends.