Lee Goble has a message for anyone thinking about giving to a charity this holiday season.
“You don’t have to be Warren Buffett to be a philanthropist,” said Goble, who is the communications associate for the Columbia-based Central Carolina Community Foundation.
The foundation kicked off the second year of its 12 days of giving program on Tuesday. Twelve days of giving, based on the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” is an extension of Midlands Gives, a year-round online portal for almost 500 charities. It’s one-stop shopping for anyone wanting to donate to community organizations.
The nonprofits are listed on the website in alphabetical order but can also be grouped by categories, which are animals, arts and culture, Black-led and Black-benefiting, community improvement, education and scholarships, environment, faith-based, health, human services, veterans and military and youth development.
Beginning Wednesday, a category will be highlighted each day through Dec. 11. The categories are chosen alphabetically, so first up is animals.
The nonprofits are located in the 11 counties the foundation serves: Calhoun, Clarendon, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Saluda and Sumter.
The beneficiaries range from organizations that get a lot of attention to those perhaps lesser known. Each charity has a site that explains what they do, shows some photos and, of course, a page to donate.
The foundation does the due diligence to ensure the charities are legitimate and registered with the South Carolina Secretary of State’s Office.
Goble said more than $30,000 was raised last year during the 12-day campaign. The top two categories were human services and arts and culture. All of the money donated besides a 2.2% credit card fee and a 2.8% technology fee, goes to the nonprofits.
Central Carolina Community Foundation holds assets totaling $194 million in numerous funds and distributed $4.8 million to area nonprofits in its first quarter this year, which ended Sept. 30, Goble said. Since its founding in 1985, the foundation has awarded $225 million in grants.
Giving increased during the coronavirus pandemic, Goble said, allowing the foundation to award more than $40 million in the past two years.
“The needs of the past two years — it was greater than ever, and the community understood that,” Goble said.