Empower Charleston was founded in 2010 and throughout the existence has held affiliations with Social Venture Partners International (until 2023). We’ve most recently operated as Social Venture Partners Charleston. Empower Charleston was selected as the organization name by partners in September 2023 to reflect the core mission dedicated to supporting non-profits and growing impact across the Tri-County Region.
What is Empower Charleston’s mission?
Empower Charleston cultivates philanthropists who collectively invest their expertise and financial resources in mission-driven nonprofits to achieve sustainable, measurable impact.
What is Empower Charleston’s operating model for investments?
Empower Charleston operates the investment cycles under a Venture Philanthropy Model that invests in nonprofits where we can have the greatest impact over time. Partners combine knowledge, experience, connections and money to have the most powerful impact, deeply connecting with selected nonprofits both as direct advisors, board members, and investors.
What is Venture Philanthropy?
Empower Charleston utilizes a philanthropic approach known as Venture Philanthropy. Our goal is to create measurable positive change in the world while also ensuring the nonprofits we serve produce a return on the investment. “Returns” may be in the form of lower operating costs for the nonprofits, increased access to services with lower costs to access, or improved quality of life for the community. Investments under this model come in the form of knowledge and expertise sharing, known as intellectual capital, and as financial grants, sometimes referred to as venture capital.
I’m interested in being a partner, how do I get involved?
Does Empower Charleston have a relationship with the Coastal Community Foundation?
Yes. Empower Charleston operates under the aegis of the Coastal Community Foundation (CCF), the largest grant-making entity in South Carolina. CCF manages nearly $400 million in more than 700 funds established by individuals, families and organizations. Empower Charleston benefits from CCF’s strong relationships with hundreds of local nonprofits.