A new tool is now available for Lowcountry residents feeling generous and looking to help local charities.
The Giving Marketplace, launched Wednesday by the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, is an online portal that matches givers with local nonprofits.
"A lot of people come down here with a passion and already support that cause with a group where they're from," foundation spokeswoman Jean Heyduck said. "Instead of sending their money 'back home,' we wanted to keep it here in the Lowcountry."
The Giving Marketplace functions as an online directory, splitting the noprofits into seven categories based on their focus, such as arts and culture, education or animal welfare.
Each participating nonprofit creates a profile page that contains pertinent financial, governing and program information gleaned from each group's federal tax filings and profile application.
"Donors are growing more sophisticated in how they make philanthropic-giving decisions," foundation president Denise Spencer said in the announcement. "They want information about the nonprofits they support. ... And they want to see outcomes. The Giving Marketplace provides detailed information about all of this -- information that donors can't obtain from any other single source."
Thirty groups from across Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties already have signed up to join the marketplace, and another 20 are in the process now, Heyduck said.
The Community Foundation of the Lowcountry is one of only 15 organizations across the country using such a marketplace, which is created by the nonprofit tracking website GuideStar. That puts the Lowcountry in league with similar foundations in Boston, Kansas City, Oklahoma City and Sacramento, Heyduck said.
The website also offers visitors the opportunity to donate to their preferred charity right from the marketplace. Those donations are processed by the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry and given to the chosen groups as grants, according to the website.
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