The Gulf Coast Community Foundation (GCCF) is a non-profit public charity that has been serving the people of South Mississippi since 1989 when a group of concerned citizens saw the need for a public education foundation.

Funded by a seed grant of $30,000 from Mississippi Power Company, the Foundation received a $75,000 challenge grant from the Phil Hardin Foundation of Meridian in January 1991. Gifts from the Knight Foundation, Bell South, Hancock Bank, and the Sibyl C. Knoth Memorial Trust followed soon after, and the decision was made to expand the focus of the Foundation to address other community needs.

As a result, the Gulf Coast Community Foundation was established as a 501(c)(3). GCCF is a vehicle for charitable giving, an instrument through which individuals, companies, and non-profit organizations and foundations can make charitable gifts to benefit South Mississippi.

The Foundation’s primary mission is to increase philanthropy by making grants to worthy causes, providing donor services and promoting and providing leadership in response to the community’s changing needs. The Foundation meets this mission by developing and managing a comprehensive base of funds, currently totaling over $20,000,000. These funds represent an expanding pool of charitable dollars, committed to meeting the needs of the people of South Mississippi.

In 2014, the Foundation will celebrate 25 years of grant making. In these 25 years, we have made grants totaling more than $65,000,000 in support of programs in the areas of education, the arts, social welfare, health, historic preservation, neighborhood enrichment and disaster recovery.

Donors to the Foundation include individuals, families, corporations, private foundations, agencies and other organizations. They have placed their trust in our ability to manage their contributions wisely, and to make charitable awards in a careful and responsible manner. The Foundation pools all gifts in a common investment fund, much like a mutual fund, with each donor holding a percentage of the total portfolio. This pooling of contributions permits low management fees and a diversified portfolio.

The Foundation’s funds are invested on the advice of the Investment Committee, composed of individuals with expertise in the fields of investment, financial consulting, estate planning and accounting. All funds are invested for a sound combination of growth and income, in portfolios of equity securities, fixed-income securities, and short-term (cash) investments.