Named as one of the top 10 international food and wine events by ForbesTravel.com, the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience is the annualbenefit of St. Croix Foundation for Community Development and has raised over $1.5 million for community programs since its inception. As a part of the Foundation’s belief in leveraging resources, in addition to the charitable work the Experience supports, it also helps to bring in millions of dollars of revenue into the Virgin Islands economy. During the weekend series of events, shops on St. Croix are busy, hotels are full, restaurants bustle, and distributors and wholesalers see a boost in sales.
As a model of the power of public, private, and civic sector partnerships, the Experience has now evolved into a benefit for the Territory that keeps on giving.
St. Croix Foundation is a 501(c)3 hybrid community foundation that serves the U.S. Virgin Islands as a grantmaker, fiscal sponsor and nonprofit field-builder, convenor, and programmatic administrator. For over 30 years, the Foundation has been committed to identifying emerging needs in the community and forging innovative solutions while leveraging scarce resources and, to date, has invested over $44 million dollars into the U.S. Virgin Islands Community. St. Croix Foundation has been nationally recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Council on Foundations, the National School Boards Association, and the International Downtown Association for our comprehensive community development and education work. 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.
St. Croix Foundation is an unendowed community foundation who must raise critical funding for its operations and comprehensive community development initiatives each year… making the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience a vital support to our current work, which includes:
Holistic Community Development is the hallmark of St. Croix Foundation’s 33-year record of impact. Today, we are engaged in the most exciting (and comprehensive) initiatives in our organization’s history, including the renovation and retrofit of the old Alexander Theater in Historic Christiansted which will be transformed into St. Croix’s only indoor, state-of-the-art performing arts center and Community Disaster Safe Room capable of housing over 300 people.
The Foundation’s KIDS COUNT USVI Initiative represents the only comprehensive repository of territory-wide data on the well-being of children and families. This invaluable resource is helping to generate critical federal and national philanthropic funds for the territory while also building a profile of our youth that informs public policy and programming to support better outcomes for our children. In 2022, the Foundation 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.
Far beyond grantmaking, 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 the past 30 years we have served as the fiscal sponsor for over 250 grassroots nonprofits, providing access to funding and sound financial/grants management to vital organizations, like the VI Good Food Coalition, Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism, and the VI Breast Cancer Project, to name just a few.
In 2016, we expanded our work with local nonprofits by launching our Nonprofit Consortium (NPC), a coalition that convenes over 30 nonprofit organizations to discuss sustainability, impact, and capacity building, therein fostering a culture of trust, collaboration, and data collection. Now in its 7th year, SCF’s Nonprofit Consortium provides nonprofits with intensive workshops on collaboration and systems-thinking, strategic board development coaching sessions, and philanthropic retreats featuring national foundation executives the serve to marshal deeper national philanthropic resources to the territory for our local nonprofits. 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. Watch our video retrospective here: https://youtu.be/XH54E4hTIWg.
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., the Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority, the Virgin Islands Department of Health, and the US Center for Disease Control.