January 7, 2014

Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina holds first collaborative site visit with Upstate Collaborative Network

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina met with four nonprofit organizations it supports in Upstate South Carolina in December to discuss the collective and collaborative process between the foundation and the organizations. Katrina Spigner, the foundation’s senior program director, met with the newly formed “Upstate Collaborative Network” in what was the first collaborative site visit of the year after the foundation moved to a more strategic catalytic focus.

The Upstate Collaborative Network consists of GAIHN (Greenville Area Interfaith Hospitality Network), Serenity Place (The Family Effect), Women and Children Succeeding (Anderson Interfaith Ministries), and Homes of Hope. Over the course of two days together, the collaborative identified emerging issues affecting women, girls and their families; explored new ideas to grantmaking and grassroots change; and, created strategies for moving forward locally and regionally, recognizing that the new face of poverty is the single mother and her children. The Upstate Collaborative Network is seeking to go deeper with addressing this hidden population.

Viewing them as partners more than grantees, the foundation works collaboratively with the organizations as they work together to move families through their networks. “What makes this collaborative work,” said Scott Dishman of The Family Effect, “is that each organization has a specialty, so why wouldn’t we want to partner with these specialties?”

On their own, each organization works to improve the lives of people in their community and to meet the needs of the impoverished and homeless through collaboration and development of community partnerships. GAIHN is a coalition of religious congregations providing homeless families with a safe and secure shelter, and offering emergency assistance while helping to reintegrate as soon as possible. Women and Children Succeeding (WACS) is a college support program for impoverished parents with children, transitioning low-income families toward independent, self-sufficient and successful families for life. Serenity Place is at the center of The Family Effect mission to transform families at risk of collapse through addiction, providing comprehensive, residential treatment to pregnant women, young mothers and preschool-age children each year. Homes of Hope strives to help others change their lives by providing safe, affordable, and energy-efficient housing for low-income and/or homeless families or individuals.

The foundation seeks to change the face of poverty and with collective impact and catalytic grantmaking. The Upstate Collaboration Network “will help to facilitate a continuum of care that will change generations and lives forever,” said Alexandra Haymond of WACS.

After 16 years of grantmaking, in 2011 the foundation transitioned from responsive grantmaking to strategic grantmaking. The transition was made to ensure the foundation would have greater impact with the grant dollars it has to invest.

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.

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From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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