How Waccamaw Community Foundation helps nonprofits build their capacity

Throughout the nonprofit community of Horry and Georgetown counties, Waccamaw Community Foundation is well-known for our donor advised funds and competitive grants programs. While we are proud of the financial contributions the Foundation makes to our communities through the generosity of our donors, we know that to help nonprofits truly thrive, we have to help them build their own internal organizational capacity.

That’s why Waccamaw Community Foundation, together with The Chapin Foundation, the Bunnelle Foundation and the United Way of Horry County, hosted the first-ever Waccamaw Nonprofit Summit on July 23, 2019. This event was specifically designed to help nonprofit organizations build their capacity through improved grantsmanship, better financial tools, more thorough understanding of Board governance, clearer fundraising planning, and increased collaboration with other nonprofit organizations.

More than 100 people representing 55 nonprofit organizations that serve Horry and Georgetown counties attended the inaugural summit held on the Grand Strand Campus of Horry-Georgetown Technical College. Because the Board of Directors of the presenting partners recognized the need for this training, each presenting partner helped underwrite the cost of the event. This made the registration fee only $25 per person, making the summit accessible to all organizations regardless of the size of their budgets.

While the summit was focused on capacity building education, we also wanted to make sure that nonprofit executives and Board members had the opportunity to learn from one another. There were multiple networking opportunities throughout the summit and the event was capped off with an ice cream social happy hour – the perfect end to a very fun and informative day!

“I was blown away at the coordination and attendance at the Waccamaw Summit,” said Joe Kunkel, executive director of Neighbor to Neighbor in Myrtle Beach. “Hearing from colleagues about their fundraising successes, best finance practices, and the panel of funders and their priorities for the Waccamaw Region tied together and showed how powerful we nonprofits are.”