CONTACT: DEANNA JAMES, PRESIDENT
(TEL)340.773.9898, (EMAIL) DJAMES@STXFOUNDATION.ORG
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
FEBRUARY 12, 2019
St. Croix Foundation for Community Development will be hosting its 3rd Annual Philanthropy Retreat February 14th thru February 17th on the island of St. Croix. The invitation-only retreat will connect National and International Senior Philanthropy Executives with Board and Staff of the Foundation’s Nonprofit Consortium partners. This year’s convening will feature Executives from Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Council on Foundations, the Southeastern Council of Foundations, the Association of Black Foundation Executives, TIDES Foundation, Global Giving, and Partnership for Southern Equity.
As a vehicle for supporting St. Croix Foundation’s Nonprofit Consortium, which is an almost 3-year-old association of approximately 35 St. Croix nonprofits, the retreat will afford national funders insight into the inherent challenges and assets of St. Croix’s social and economic landscape.
The theme of this year’s convening is Civic Excellence: Demonstrating Impact in Rural & Isolated Communities. Over the course of 3 days, nonprofits and Foundation Executives will convene around issues focused on diaspora philanthropy, social equity and nonprofit capacity building. The weekend will also include an island tour and a visit to the Agricultural Fair.
According to St. Croix Foundation President, Deanna James, “The retreat is an unprecedented opportunity for the Foundation to highlight our Consortium of Nonprofits and thank them for the incredible contributions they are making to nurture a healthier St. Croix community. When we launched our Nonprofit Consortium in 2016, we affirmed our commitment to building capacity and rallying partners around strategic collaborations and collective impact. Initially opened to all St. Croix nonprofits, to date approximately 35 organizations have committed their time and effort to being active members of the Consortium. The retreat is the Foundation’s opportunity to build a broader network of philanthropic partnerships in support of the work of St. Croix’s civic sector.”
To date, the Foundation has hosted over 15 Foundation Executives at past convenings. As a result of the first retreat, despite the lack of national media attention on the impact of the 2017 storms on the island of St. Croix, the Foundation had already secured several fierce champions on the mainland who knew St. Croix’s nonprofit landscape and knew the passion and potential of our civic leaders to meet the immediate needs of the most vulnerable residents in our community.
Leveraging this work, in the fall of 2017, the Foundation applied for and was awarded its first major grant from W.K. Kellogg Foundation to support nonprofit organizations on St Croix in their recovery efforts. That Kellogg grant, along with funding secured from other national foundations after the hurricanes, translated into over $700,000 in grants to St. Croix nonprofits.
Since hosting its first philanthropy retreat in February of 2017, exactly 7 months before Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the Foundation has developed some of its most enduring national partnerships. And, despite years of isolation from most national philanthropic organizations which have historically regarded the U.S. Caribbean as either irrelevant or international, St. Croix Foundation (assisted by the media attention from 2017’s hurricanes) is working tirelessly to change that trend.
Additionally, in March 2018, St. Croix Foundation was invited to become a member of the Southeastern Council of Foundations (SECF), which boasts a network of over 300 foundations serving the U.S. Southeast. SCF is, today, the first and only territorial foundation to be a member of SECF.
“Taking into consideration the demographic realities of St. Croix, with far greater needs and fewer economic resources, local nonprofits have had to rely on dwindling local government funding and fatigued corporate donors,” James stated. “St. Croix Foundation has become a steadfast advocate for the territory’s Nonprofit Sector, who we believe is essential in counterbalancing stretched and struggling governmental systems.” As a placed based operating foundation, St. Croix Foundation’s work is focused on holistic community development, providing not just grantmaking but broad-based support to nonprofits to allow for greater impact.
St. Croix Foundation extends its sincere gratitude to its local, national, and international partners who have made this convening possible. For more information on the Retreat or on how to support the Foundation’s community rebuilding and Nonprofit Development efforts, please call the Foundation’s office at 340.773.9898 or visit their website at www.stxfoundation.org.