St. Croix Foundation for Community Development is celebrating 31 years of service to the U.S. Virgin Islands community on Sept. 24. Since 1990, St. Croix Foundation (SCF) has been advancing its mission to encourage greater philanthropic activity, to marshal resources and to act as a catalyst to benefit the people of the territory. As a place-based community foundation established in the wake of Hurricane Hugo, the organization’s founders, Philip Gerard and Michael Neuburger, intentionally positioned the organization to support broad-based community development grounded in the civic sector.
As a unique model in the field of philanthropy, the foundation’s portfolio of work and impact includes grantmaking as well as direct programming and fiscal sponsorship. In total, it has been the conduit of $43 million into the U.S.V.I.
For over three decades, the organization has served as a catalyst for systemic change, marshaling resources to focus on nonprofit capacity building as the cornerstone of its community development work. As the fiscal sponsor of up to 40 projects at any given time and a total of over 250 charitable projects since its inception, it encourages philanthropic activity by allowing projects that do not have formal 501(c)3 status to operate under its umbrella and apply for and raise critical funding.
To date, it has been the conduit of over $23 million in funding for projects providing vital community services. The St. Croix Long Term Recovery Group (LTRG) is a current sponsored project of the foundation and an example of the invaluable role of its fiscal sponsorship services. The Long-Term Recovery Group is a “cooperative body made up of representatives from faith-based, non-profit, government, business and other organizations working within St. Croix to assist individuals and
families as they recover from Hurricane Maria.” As a sponsored project, the LTRG, in partnership with Lutheran Social Services, has rebuilt 71 homes housing 141 people and provided lifesaving case management services for affected residents.
According to St. Croix Foundation President Deanna James, “As with isolated, under-served and under-resourced communities of color around the globe, in the wake of Hurricane Hugo, capacity for organizations to leverage the full power of grantmaking was severely limited. Our founders understood that the Virgin Islands needed an organization focused solely on strengthening civil society and, today, SCF’s results are evidence of their unconventional approach.”
St. Croix Foundation’s total portfolio also includes over $1 million in grantmaking and scholarships, which provides immediate relief and operational and programmatic support to organizations and individuals – funding that intersects with the foundation’s own direct programming and its fiscal sponsored projects.
The foundation’s direct services catalyze change, providing model programs that introduce equitable, new systems to the territory. Today, serving as a holistic grassroots model for philanthropy in under-resourced communities of color like the Virgin Islands, the foundation is focusing on a legacy project to completely renovate the Alexander Theater in Sunday Market Square. As a longstanding vision of the St. Croix Foundations’ founders and board members, the theater’s renovation is testimony to the foundation’s collaborative and strategic approach of leveraging and intersecting projects for multiple benefit.
James said that, “SCF is busier than ever, leading some of its most comprehensive initiatives, from our Nonprofit Consortium and the restoration of the Old Alexander Theater to Kids Count USVI data collection. We are oftentimes quietly, but always intentionally and collaboratively, building
new, equitable systems around food security, energy justice, workforce development, nonprofit capacity building – and data collection. With each passing year, as the work of the foundation expands and deepens, we could not be more grateful for our founders, our current board of directors, our staff, volunteers, sponsors, national funders, thought partners and, of course, our local nonprofits. Together, we are amplifying a truly progressive, high impact approach to community development.”
The foundation invites anyone interested in learning more and supporting its current projects to contact President Deanna James at