Our Grantmaking

What We Fund

Hollingsworth Funds primarily seeks to ensure that low-wealth people in Greenville County have the opportunity and pathways to participate in a prosperous society. Upward mobility in our community is exceedingly difficult to attain. The variables that impact it are numerous and interrelated, including, but not limited to, education, employment, housing, violence and abuse, and health. Indeed, a child raised in Greenville County has less than a 5% chance of moving from the bottom fifth in family income to the top fifth during their lifetime.

With this in mind, we give priority to investing our philanthropic capital in organizations that:

  • Share our vision, mission, values and guiding principles.
  • Impact one or more of the community outcomes related to improving upward mobility.
Education – Children enter school ready to succeed.
– Students successfully graduate high school.
– High school graduates complete a post-secondary degree.
Employment – People have the ability to earn a livable wage
Housing – People have access to affordable housing.
Violence, Abuse & Neglect – People live in safe environments free of violence, abuse and neglect.
Health – People have access to healthy foods and active living.
– People have access to quality healthcare.
  • Participate in a multi-stakeholder initiative or have the potential to participate in a future multi-stakeholder initiative.
  • Recruit and retain strong leadership at the board and senior management levels who are not only keenly focused on internal organizational effectiveness, but also actively aligning their work externally with other stakeholders.
  • Operate at a scale that impacts people County-wide or has the potential to do so in the future.

Other Interests

Arts & Culture

While our primary focus is on upward mobility, we also believe that a vibrant and successful community must include access to robust arts and cultural institutions that have a significant creative, social and economic impact on our community. Hollingsworth Funds invests approximately 10% of our community grantmaking budget each year to support capital campaigns, deferred maintenance requests and other capacity building needs of selected arts and cultural organizations.

Discretionary Opportunities

The Board of Directors appreciates that there will be important short-term opportunities that do not always “fit” with our long-term, systemic interests. As one of the largest funders in Greenville County, Hollingsworth Funds believes it has a responsibility to always maintain its flexibility to respond to the changing needs of the community. Therefore, we will consider requests as needs arise.

What We Do NOT Fund

  • Grants to organizations not aligned with our guidelines
  • Grants or scholarship awards made directly to individuals
  • Grants that exclusively serve religious purposes
  • Political campaigns and legislative lobbying efforts
  • Sponsorship of special events, celebration functions or annual meetings

Grant Guidelines


We are restricted to supporting nonprofit organizations operating for the benefit of Greenville County.  Organizations must fit the description in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and be exempt from taxation under section 501(a), or an entity or organization described in sections 170(c)(1) or (2) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Grant Type

We primarily consider grant requests for project and capital support. However, we recognize the need to provide unrestricted support to many of our nonprofit partners and we will consider general operating support for high performing organizations on a case-by-case basis.

Grant Amount

We consider grant requests of all sizes and do not have a specific minimum or maximum. Generally, our grants range from $10,000 to $250,000. We encourage potential grantees to submit a request that meets their needs. Please note that we may provide partial support for a grant request.

Grant Period

We primarily fund grants for a period of one year. However, we recognize the need to provide longer term commitments to many of our nonprofit partners and we will consider multi-year grants on a case-by-case basis. We also consider one-time pledges that we may choose to pay over multiple years, typically for larger capital grants.

Our Grant Application Process

We implement two grant cycles per year in the Spring and Fall using a two-stage online application process. Hollingsworth Funds uses a Letter of Intent (LOI) to assess if there is a good match between our mission and your request prior to soliciting a full application. Organizations that submit a successful LOI will be asked to complete a full application designed to provide more detail about the goals, objectives and outcomes of the proposed grant.

Before submitting an LOI, we would appreciate the opportunity to briefly discuss your request during an introductory phone call. This gives both Hollingsworth Funds and you a chance to ask clarifying questions prior to submission. To schedule your introductory call, please email Tamela Spann at [email protected].

Introductory calls should be scheduled at least 10 days prior to the LOI submission deadline. Any LOI submissions received after the deadline will be considered for the next grant cycle. All decisions will be communicated via email.

Submission and Notification Dates (by 11:59pm that day):

2018 Spring Cycle

LOI Submission: January 17, 2018

LOI Notification: March 8, 2018

Application Submission: March 30, 2018

Application Notification: May 24, 2018

2018 Fall Cycle

LOI Submission: June 25, 2018

LOI Notification: July 30, 2018

Application Submission: August 21, 2018

Application Notification: November 21, 2018