St. Croix Foundation for Community Development (SCF) is a small, place-based foundation operating in the USVI. Founded in 1990 in response to the devastation of Hurricane Hugo, which left over 90% of structures on the island of St. Croix damaged or destroyed, we have been unflinchingly dedicated to holistic community development since our inception. While we employ some of the same strategies as traditional community foundations such as grantmaking and donor fund development, we have moved far beyond the boundaries of conventional community philanthropy. Unwavering in our commitment to serving as a conduit, rather than a container of philanthropic resources, St. Croix Foundation functions as both a philanthropic operator and grantmaker.
Even with our track record of success, the current unprecedented economic storm in the US Virgin Islands, the closure of our largest private employer with its attendant consequences, and the landfall of two back-to-back Category 5 Hurricanes in 2017 require us to redouble our efforts to lead our community forward. We are targeting the Territory’s greatest needs by developing diverse partnerships and innovative programs. We are advocating for progressive and innovative policy reforms in education, leveraging resources in order to beautify our island to act as economic incentive, and strengthening our work with our network of nonprofits to support our community in ways that will have the greatest impact. We invite all corporate citizens and residents to join us.
Steadfast in our belief that we cannot have healthy communities without healthy towns, we have led downtown revitalization efforts from our inception. Our work in community and economic development has earned us national recognition from the US Small Business Administration, International Downtown Association, and Council on Foundations. Most recently, the Foundation was one of five organizations in the nation to receive the 2022 HUD Secretary’s Award for our investment in Community Resilience Hubs in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Today, SCF is embarking on the largest downtown revitalization project in the history of our organization: the renovation and retrofit of the Alexander Theater in Sunday Market Square into a state-of-the-art performing arts center and a downtown Community Disaster Safe Room capable of housing over 300 people during a storm.
Since 2005, St. Croix Foundation has directed millions of dollars in funding toward youth and educational initiatives. In 2017, our first policy white paper, Cracking the Code, was published reporting to the community our findings relative to public policy governing the structure of our education system. Today, St. Croix Foundation is incorporating our policy work into our KIDS COUNT USVI Initiative as we seek to activate data we collect and report through our annual Data Book with civic engagement and policy action. SCF has been nationally recognized by the National School Boards Association (2009), and recently, in 2022, was invited by the Annie E. Casey Foundation to speak at their national conference for our work to nurture new data systems that collect real-time data.
The Foundation serves a vital role in supporting smaller nonprofit organizations and projects to fully focus their limited resources on delivering their mission-driven programs and services. In 2016, we expanded our work with local nonprofits by launching our Nonprofit Consortium (NPC), a regular convening of over 30 nonprofit organizations to discuss sustainability, impact, and capacity building, therein fostering a culture of trust, collaboration, and data collection. To date, the NPC has touched over 10,000 lives and nurtured over 15 new national partners for the Foundation and Consortium members, bringing new resources to the Territory.
Our success in sustaining high impact programs stems, in part, from strict adherence to financial and programmatic accountability. In fact, our financial administration and fund management services have expanded well beyond the customary scope of most traditional community foundations, providing fiscal services to organizations like Virgin Islands Community AIDS Research and Education, Inc., Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority, the Virgin Islands Department of Health, and the US Center for Disease Control.