Merrill Joins Community Foundation Board

Linda Dolny, Chair of the Greenwood County Community Foundation (GCCF) Board of Directors announced recently that Jane Merrill had been accepted as its newest member.

A Greenwood native and local attorney, Merrill is a Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude graduate of the University of South Carolina where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a Juris Doctor. She clerked for the late Circuit Court Judge Wyatt T. Saunders, Jr., and has litigated cases in both civil and criminal courts.

Jane opened Hawthorne Merrill Law in 2013. She practices adoption and assisted reproductive technology law, criminal law, and represents Veterans before the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims in Washington, D.C.

Jane actively participates in her church community at The Episcopal Church of the Resurrection. She enjoys playing mandolin and performing in community theater productions.

Jane is married to Albert Merrill and they have two bright and spirited daughters.

According to Dolny, Merrill represents a transition in the makeup of the Foundation’s Board. “Our current Board consists of individuals who were instrumental in getting GCCF up and running, and very successful, in a short period of time. These are true community leaders, people of vision who have made a tremendous impact. Jane is part of a new generation of Greenwood leaders who will step in as these current leaders begin to transition off of the Board.”

Foundation Refocusing on Greenwood Gives

This piece was originally published by the Index-Journal.

Mary Woodiwiss, left, and Jeff Smith of the Greenwood County Community Foundation are spearheading the effort to revitalize the foundation supported website Greenwood Gives. Greenwood Gives allows people to donate to local, specific projects online.

With the hopes of introducing the community to nonprofits, the Greenwood County Community Foundation is revitalizing the Greenwood Gives website.

Jeff Smith, Greenwood County Community Foundation president and CEO, said the website’s focus is primarily on smaller projects such as furnishing a room as a children’s center.

The website is already in place and has been used to fully fund 13 projects ranging from $250 to $1,500.

Smith said Greenwood Gives saves the more in-depth grant process for larger projects instead of smaller projects.

“It allows them to think bigger later on,” he said.

Visit the Greenwood Gives website at greenwoodgives.org.

The Greenwood County Community Foundation supports the website and PayPal portal, but the organizations are responsible for reaching out for support to fully fund the project within 90 days. All donations are direct, online donations and are not granted by GCCF.

The projects have a maximum budget of $3,000, and the organizations must submit an application, including a project description and details to GCCF. If a project is not fully funded in 90 days, the donations will be disbursed through GCCF’s general granting category for projects closely related to the underfunded project.

Mary Woodiwiss, Greenwood County Community Foundation projects and grants manager, said Greenwood Gives is a good way to encourage the community to become more aware of possibilities for helping nonprofits.

“I think it really serves everybody involved,” she said.

Operating as a way to let the community what the nonprofits are working on as well as nonprofits learning what other organizations are doing, Greenwood Gives allows people to donate to projects focused on five categories: youth, art and culture, education, human and health services and alternate causes.

Smith said it also lets the organizations learn more about their donor bases to help fund future projects.

GGCF is working on a soft launch for the beginning of 2016 by reaching out to boards and organizations. The site will officially launch when about five projects are approved.

Woodiwiss said the reaction has been positive so far.

“I think people will be pleased to know that’s an option, and people who have used it before successfully are very likely to come and post other projects,” she said.