A Letter To Our Community

May 6, 2016

May 6, 2016

Dear Friends and Supporters,

First, we want to thank the entire community--especially the many nonprofits, donors, volunteers, sponsors and businesses that make Midlands Gives possible.  In spite of technical issues, Midlands Gives 2016 received 12,536 gifts totaling $1.6 million for 382 local nonprofits, surpassing last year’s totals in dollars raised, numbers of donations and participating nonprofits.

In order to demonstrate our sincere commitment to you and the importance of your philanthropy, we want to explain what happened on Tuesday.

The Platform Provider’s Technical Failures

The national giving platform and host of Give Local America, KIMBIA, experienced severe technical issues with their website causing massive system slowdowns nationwide – grinding many giving days across the country to a halt.  Kimbia worked to address the problem and eventually got the site operating normally but not before hampering participating nonprofits that rely on this day as an important source of unrestricted support.  Kimbia assured us that although they encountered problems resulting from malfunctioning hardware and overwhelming transaction volume, at no time was the security of donor information compromised. In response to the criticism from community foundations across the country, Kimbia reduced the per transaction fee.

The Foundation’s Solution

Starting in the 11:00 a.m. hour on May 3, our team began receiving calls and emails from nonprofits and donors reporting problems with the Kimbia site.  We immediately contacted Kimbia and remained in frequent contact while we waited for them to provide a solution. When it became clear that they had no viable solution to offer, Central Carolina Community Foundation’s team implemented our crisis plan, extending the giving deadline by 12 hours, to noon on May 4, and quickly building an alternate web page enabling donors to continue to give to their chosen charities.  The Foundation’s Board also approved the addition of two $2,000 Power Hours in order to keep the giving momentum going on May 4th.  Many generous donors elected to cover the Kimbia processing fee when they made their donation, other donors did not, so our board has also agreed to underwrite the remaining Kimbia processing fees, approximately $15,000, allowing every nonprofit to maximize their donations.

Now for the Good News

Our entire region rallied behind Midlands Gives 2016!

Our event hosts, The Columbia Fireflies at Spirit Communications Park, provided a spectacular venue at no charge.  They were with us the entire day starting at 4 a.m., when stadium lights were on for the early morning TV broadcasts, to midday when the mayors arrived at the park for their pitching contest and Governor Haley stopped by to promote philanthropy. And, they were with us late into the night as Heart & Soul Band played their last tune and packed up their instruments for their next gig. 

Our fourteen Corporate Philanthropy Champions that underwrote all of our giving incentives were amazing!  They lent their support throughout the day and, when we were faced with technical difficulties, they publicly shared their confidence that the show would go on. The prizes provided by our Champions have been awarded and an official list can be found on the Foundation’s website www.yourfoundation.org.

Our television, radio, print and billboard partners were exceptional!  Beginning weeks before the event, and throughout the 36 hours of giving, they encouraged their audiences to donate by sharing stories of how nonprofits make our community a better place to live, work and play. 

Thank you! The donations you made through Midlands Gives 2016 are already hard at work—books are being delivered to children through literacy programs; bus passes are being given to hard working people in need of transportation to and from work; service dogs will be trained to aid a returning soldier or person with special needs; free tickets will be offered to individuals who have never seen a live performance. All because of you.

Finally, some might say, “Our philanthropy broke the internet!”  We prefer to say we are #SCStrong.  Our nonprofits showed just how resilient they are and you, their donors, rallied behind them.  We are grateful to live in a region where people genuinely care and, like you, give back to make the community we call home stronger—A Connected Community.

With thanks,


JoAnn Turnquist



JoAnn M. Turnquist

President & CEO

Phone: 803-254-5601
Email: joann@yourfoundation.org


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Cherise Arrendale

Strategic Initiatives & Communications Manager

Cherise implements and monitors all marketing, communications and public relations efforts by the Foundation. She also develops strategies to build brand awareness, manages the Foundation’s online presence, and oversees Midlands Gives, the Foundation’s 24-hour annual giving day.

An Atlanta native, Cherise has a Master of Business Administration degree from USC's Moore School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in music from Furman University. She previously worked for the Peace Center for the Performing Arts and the SC Governor's School for Arts and Humanities. In her spare time, she enjoys running, reading, playing in a local community band and spending time with her husband and their fluffy Maine Coon cat.

Inquiry from the media? Seeking information about Midlands Gives? Contact Cherise.

(803) 254-5601 x317


Cortney Bailey

Program Associate

Cortney manages the granting process for all donor advised funds and corporate competitive grants. She also supports all functions within the Foundation by ensuring that policies, procedures and best practices for the database are followed and producing timely reports using this data.

Cortney comes to the Foundation with seven years of prior nonprofit experience. She earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and enjoys spending her free time with her two wonderful daughters. Her hobbies include woodworking, pottery and relaxing at the beach.

Looking to recommend a grant from your donor advised fund? Or seeking information about competitive grants for Aflac, Sonoco, or Hootie & the Blowfish? Reach out to Cortney.

(803) 254-5601 x332


Jamie Bray

Advancement Administrative Associate

Jamie is responsible for providing clerical support and event administration for the Advancement Team and supporting other administrative needs across departments. 

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Jamie attended college at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky and moved to Columbia in Spring of 2017. Jamie enjoys walking her German Shepherd mix dog, spending time with family, and playing sand volleyball.

Contact Jamie to RSVP to Foundation events.




Brooke Dickerson

Administrative Associate

Brooke provides administrative and clerical support for the President & CEO and the Board of Trustees.  She assists with data entry, grant tracking, database management and grantee mailings.  

Brooke is a native of Douglasville, Georgia. She comes to the Community Foundation with previous administrative experience both in Georgia and for a nonprofit in Rochester, New York. Brooke volunteers with youth at the Department of Juvenile Justice. In her spare time, she can be found spending time with family and friends, joining them in cheering for her favorite baseball and college football teams.

Need to update your contact information or have a question about a gift? Give Brooke a call.

(803) 254-5601 x329


Erin E. Johnson

Vice President for Community Investment

Erin leads the Foundation’s efforts to increase our impact in the Midlands. She oversees competitive grantmaking, scholarship programs, and program-related initiatives, such as Connected Communities. She also implements community engagement strategies that help connect community needs and opportunities with available resources.

Erin previously served as the Chief Community Investment Officer for South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.  She is a proud alumni of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and  University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. In her spare time, Erin enjoys watching the Tar Heels and Carolina Panthers, reading and spending time with her husband Shawn and daughters Maya and Nina.

Contact Erin for information about the Foundation’s grantmaking or community engagement.

(803) 254-5601 x322


James Mercado, II

Senior Program Associate

James supports the Foundation through the execution of communication strategies. He works to advance the Foundation’s strategic objectives by creating and monitoring communication campaigns across the Foundation’s communication platforms.

A Northern Virginia native, James earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Radford University and has several years of marketing and nonprofit experience.  In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife, Haylee, and their three kids, Hayden, James III, and Harper.

Questions about the Foundation’s social media or website? Or have a story you want to tell? Give James a call.

(803) 254-5601 x316


Kevin L. Patten

Vice President for Finance and Administration

Kevin manages fund balances and investment information for donors, local organizations and agency endowments and directs all finance and accounting functions of the Foundation. He also oversees human resources and office administration for the Foundation.

Kevin earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting from Loyola University in Baltimore, MD. He is an avid sports fan and can frequently be found rooting for the Miami Hurricanes and spending time with his wife and four children.

Reach out to Kevin for more information about the Foundation’s investment policies, audit inquiries, securities, and other non-cash gifts.

(803) 254-5601 x325


Jamesha Shackerford

Program Associate

Jamesha oversees the scholarship administrative process by working closely with scholarship fundholders and students. She also works with the Vice President for Community Investment to support the Connected Communities grant initiative and provides logistical support to the Community Impact Committee.

A South Carolina native, Jamesha earned a bachelor’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Columbia College and minored in dance, an interest she still pursues. She enjoys spending her spare time with family and friends.

Contact Jamesha for information or help with scholarships, Connected Communities applications and reports or the Foundation’s due diligence process.

(803) 254-5601 x301


Heather Sherwin

Vice President for Advancement

Heather works with donors to set up charitable funds and collaborates with professional advisors and their clients to fulfill their philanthropic goals. She is responsible for promoting awareness and support for the Foundation among its varied constituencies. She leads the overall communication, public relations and donor relations strategy. Heather also serves as a resource for charitable planning in the Midlands community.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Heather held fundraising positions with Cleveland Museum of Art, Great Lakes Theater, American Red Cross, Hawken School and The Masters School. While living in Cleveland, Ohio, her hometown, Heather was the third generation to lead her family foundation, The Sherwick Fund, a fund of The Cleveland Foundation. In Columbia, Heather and her life partner, Buddy Register, are currently renovating an historic home in Elmwood.

Contact Heather about starting a fund at the Foundation or for information about planned giving.

(803) 254-5601 x331


Kim Turnipseed

Accounting Manager

Kim supports the finance team with the ongoing financial and accounting responsibilities of the Foundation.  She handles the day to day accounting functions and fund management of the Foundation, along with analyzing, evaluating and recommending process improvements.

She comes to the Foundation with over 20 years of accounting experience, earning her degree in Accounting from Columbia College.

In her free time, Kim enjoys spending time with her three children, seven grandchildren, family, and 1 dog.

Questions regarding fund statements or invoices, contact Kim.

803-254-5601 x330


JoAnn M. Turnquist

President & CEO

Named president and CEO in 2009, JoAnn works closely with her board of trustees and staff to develop and implement the vision and strategic direction of the Foundation.  She leads a team dedicated to helping individuals, families, businesses and nonprofit organizations establish charitable funds to support causes they care about and make a difference in the Midlands and beyond.

Before joining CCCF, JoAnn served as Vice President for Institutional Sales at The Clorox Company and Johnson Diversey. She is 2013 Riley Diversity Fellow.  JoAnn received the SC Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Community Diversity Award in 2014 and the Engenuity SC Vision Award in 2016. JoAnn enjoys cycling, swimming and reading. She and her husband Ernie are avid golfers and amateur chefs. They share their home and hearts with three dogs and two cats.

Contact JoAnn to learn about the Foundation’s strategic vision or if you have an opportunity for collaboration in the community.

(803) 254-5601 x323


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