Foothills Community Foundation is an independent public charity that stewards philanthropic resources from institutional and individual donors to community based organizations.
Throughout its history, the Foundation has served as a tax efficient and cost effective means for individuals, businesses and charitable organizations to provide the financial resources critical to improving the lives of our citizens. Our mission is “To retain and nurture the charitable wealth in the South Carolina counties of Anderson, Oconee and Pickens.”
Since our inception in 1999, Foothills Community Foundation has been able to distribute over $13 million in charitable grants to civic organizations and charitable causes that matter to our donors and to our communities. All of this is made possible by our donors, the agencies that have established endowment funds with us, the families that use our donor advised fund services, and individuals that have made unrestricted bequests to us.
Foothills Community Foundation is pleased to provide you with useful financial information. Our fiscal year is July 1 through June 30. You may click on the link below to view our current IRS Form 990:
In addition, the following information is available upon request:
William Law Watkins (1910 –1999) a respected Anderson attorney, historian and statesman had a vision that our area would benefit from a community foundation. Mr. Watkins’ will issued a challenge to the community: raise $4 million for a charitable foundation and his estate would provide an unrestricted gift in the amount of $1 million. Charter members of the Foothills Community Foundation Board included Lamar Bailes, James T. Boseman, Marie Collins, Fred Foster, Sue Greene, Lee W. Logan, John A. Miller, Jr., Lujack Orr, William R. Phillips, Robert Rainey, Cordes Seabrook, Jr., Linda Kelley Smith, Harold P. Threlkeld, and Bowen Wakefield.On July 13, 1999 Foundation President Tom J. Ervin held a ribbon-cutting at 201 South Murray Avenue in Anderson, marking the official opening of Foothills Community Foundation.
Having met Mr. Watkins’ challenge, the Foundation received one million dollars on July 18, 2000, at a special ceremony honoring the Watkins family. The board of directors of the Foundation have managed and invested his gift along with the other funds already received from various donors in our community.
Through an innovative public/private collaboration in 2002, the Foundation purchased Central Carolina Bank’s headquarters at Main and Bleckley streets. This downtown Community Center Building also became home to the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce and Partners for a Healthy Community.
“The synergy and collaboration now made possible by sharing this space is tremendous,” said board chairman Harold Threlkeld. “We envision many positive interactions, not just among the organizations, but among the individual business leaders.”
The Foundation soon became landlord to other nonprofit organizations after finalizing the sale of the building, including the United Way of Anderson County, the Greater Anderson Musical Arts Consortium, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Community Works and Homes for Hope.
In April, 2009, Foothills Community Foundation received notification that it met the nation’s highest standards for operational quality, integrity and accountability as a National Standards Foundation. The National Standards compliance effort for U. S. Community Foundations is administered by the Council on Foundations; a Washington, D.C. based nonprofit membership association of more than 2,000 grant making foundations and corporations world-wide. Meeting these rigorous standards assures the public of the Foundation’s ability to achieve its mission to strengthen the community and help donors achieve their personal charitable goals.
The Robert M. Rainey Philanthropy Award is presented to a philanthropist in the Oconee, Pickens, and Anderson county area who has made significant contributions to the betterment of the community by raising awareness for charitable causes, selflessly contributing personal resources, advocating for needs in the community, and inspiring others to have the same benevolent spirit.
The award is named after longtime president of the Foothills Community Foundation, Robert M. Rainey, who took the helm as President of the Foundation in March of 2001. During his tenure Robert helped to grow the Foundation’s total assets to just over $12 million from $5.5 million, while at the same time distributing over $14 million in grants to nonprofit organizations. Robert is passionate about the community and has been instrumental in local initiatives including the TBA 100 beautification projects, the Brighter Christmas Fund, The Spirit of the American Doughboy and others.
2017 Foundation Board Chairman Lujack Orr pointed out that “Robert is known as someone who quietly gets things done for the community.” This award is presented to an individual who similarly labors on behalf of worthy causes, advocates for those less fortunate, and inspires others to work toward a better community.
The inaugural recipient of the Robert M. Rainey Philanthropy Award will be announced on March 11, 2018.
Criteria for Selection:
Philanthropic Leadership and Impact
Providing leadership and fostering philanthropy in Anderson, Oconee and Pickens Counties.
Investing personal and professional time and resources to foster positive community improvement