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The Latest News & Updates

Social Justice Leader Sybil Jordan Hampton

to Give Keynote Address at

Philanthropy Internship Program Grant Awards Ceremony 

Dr. Sybil Jordan Hampton

Dr. Sybil Hampton will deliver the keynote address, "Playing the Long Game," at the Philanthropy Internship Grant Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, November 12th at 5:30 pm in Convocation Hall on the campus of the University of the South. Dr. Hampton, a lifelong proponent of social justice and education, was part of the second group of students to integrate Arkansas's Central High School following the historic Little Rock Nine. 


The Philanthropy Internship Program, a collaboration between SCCF and the University of the South, will recognize recipients from SCCF's second cycle of grant-making at the ceremony. In this second round recipients are selected by University students who have studied the philanthropy process in the spring and engaged in a thorough deliberative process in early fall. Please check back soon to view the names of the grant recipients to be honored November 12th!

Click here to learn more about Dr. Hampton's impressive career.


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SCCF Fall Fundraiser Featuring

National Geographic Photographer

Stephen Alvarez is SOLD OUT!

But You can Still Bid on the Alvarez Framed Prints Being Offered the Night of the Event in Silent Auction.

(Details below)

An Evening with Stephen Alvarez will be the focus of South Cumberland Community Fund's annual fundraiser on Saturday, September 28, 2019 at Monteagle Sunday School Assembly. Sewanee resident Alvarez will speak to "My Life as a National Geographic Photographer and the Deep History of the South Cumberland Plateau."
Cocktails and dinner will be served, with
the evening beginning at 6:00 pm.

Tables for eight are available for $1,750; individual reservations are available for $250 each as well as a promotional price of $100 each for attendees 40 years of age and under. Click here to reserve your place for An Evening with Stephen Alvarez.

Click here to learn more about Stephen Alvarez's fascinating work.


Four open edition prints, framed by Harriet Runkle of

Frame Gallery Custom Frames and Art and signed by Alvarez,

will be displayed and available for bidding the night of the 28th. 

Click here to view the prints and to find information for bidding by proxy prior to September 28th!

Thank You to All the Volunteers that Came Out for 2019 Make a Difference Day

Tennessee First Lady Maria Lee plants a poplar tree at Tracy City Elementary School on Make a Difference Day.

Many thanks to the more than 400 volunteers from across the Plateau who joined SCCF on July 20th at eight elementary schools to get campuses ready for the new school year. Click here to read SCCF's Letter to the Editor thanking the community for their participation.

Students colored signs welcoming staff and students back for the new school year.

Philanthropy Internship Program

Grant Application Now Available

South Cumberland Plateau nonprofit organizations that applied for an SCCF grant during the 2019 spring cycle are eligible to apply for a Philanthropy Internship Program grant,

offered during SCCF's fall grant cycle.


Click here to access the 2019 fall grant application.

Please note that the deadline for the application is

Monday, September 9, 2019.

If you have questions about the SCCF grants process please contact grants@southcumberlandcommunityfund.org.

Tennessee First Lady to Participate in Make a Difference Day

We are excited to announce that Tennessee First Lady Maria Lee will be coming to the Plateau to participate in Make a Difference Day on Saturday, July 20th. Come help get our schools ready for the new year - see you from 8 a.m.-noon Saturday,

July 20th. Students, families, and community members welcome.

Sign Up Here


Spread the word!

Click here to learn about the projects planned for each of the Plateau's elementary schools on Make a Difference Day.

As we celebrate our 2019 spring cycle grantees, we are pleased to share this presentation that shows the progress of the projects of our 2018 grantees which was featured at the Celebration of the Plateau

on June 22nd.

SCCF Announces 2019 Spring Cycle

Grants Recipients

South Cumberland Community Fund is pleased to announce the 15 nonprofit organizations from across the Plateau who will be awarded spring cycle grants at SCCF’s Celebration of the Plateau on June 22nd at noon at the DuBose Conference Center in Monteagle. These grants total just over $95,000, which brings the total amount awarded by SCCF to more than $800,000 since the establishment of this grants program in 2012.


"We are proud that the fifteen applicants chosen for this round of grants will focus on our three new focus areas: education, health, and economic and community building," said Jeff Sholey, SCCF grants committee chair. "Through these grants I have seen how organizations across the Plateau have come together to share their talents, break down barriers, and improve lives.”


Click here to view the names of spring grants recipients and learn more about their projects.

#2 - 2018 SCCF spring cycle grantees wit

2018 Celebration of the Plateau

Grundy County moves up two positions in

the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's

2019 County Health Rankings and Roadmaps report. 

Read how the commitment and determination from the South Cumberland Plateau community has helped

increase well-being in Grundy County.

Click here to read the article from the Daily Yonder.


Lunch time at Sam’s Corner: From left to right are Sarah G. Brown, a member of the Tracy City city council and a home visitor with Prevent Child Abuse Tennessee; Sofia Leon-Meza, Grundy County public health educator with the Tennessee Department of Health; Julie Willems Keel, program director at Mountain TOP; Emily Partin, family resource center director, Grundy County Schools; Vickie Harden, assistant professor of social work at Middle Tennessee State University; and (not pictured) Sheila Beard, mental health liaison with Head Start and a board member of the South Cumberland Community Fund. (Photo by Shawn Poynter)




University of the South PKE sorority members and South Cumberland Community Fund joined forces last fall to create change for the South Cumberland Plateau. University Bonner student, Malicat Chouyouti, recently visited with PKE member and University junior Sarah Burgin to learn more about this new partnership.

Last spring then-PKE president Ellie Schwartz noticed that there was a need for PKE to take on more of a philanthropic role in the community. Through an Appalachian studies course she took at the University, Ellie learned about SCCF and the work the organization does for the community, and felt it would be a good fit for PKE. She shared her idea for an  SCCF/PKE partnership with the sorority and it was decided that it was a natural choice given their shared value of philanthropy and each organization’s ability to capitalize on a myriad of talents and backgrounds to serve many interests.


Over this school year PKE has sponsored several events that benefit SCCF, including selling Chick-fil-A sandwiches to students during finals week and sponsoring a silent auction on the Mountain during Mom’s weekend. In December, PKE also sold SCCF holiday cards at McClurg to students who liked the idea of spreading holiday cheer while supporting a nonprofit.


On March 30th, PKE hosted the first annual Red Dress Run in Sewanee with net proceeds  going to SCCF. The idea of the run came from current PKE treasurer Victoria Hearin, who is from Baton Rouge where the Red Dress Run is a popular event. PKE wanted to bring the Red Dress Run to the Sewanee community as they thought it would be fun to host a unique event that would make a big (red) splash in the community and bring about more awareness of  SCCF. The sorority decided to include both a 5k and 1-mile run so the race would attract more participants. The event was considered a success largely due to the diverse turnout, with community members, students, and faculty participating. Burgin said that her favorite memory of the Red Dress Run was “...seeing a sea of red at the intersection of the 5K and 1-mile routes.”


PKE is happy to announce that it has raised $2,000 for SCCF to-date. Burgin, who is the incoming community service chair for the sorority, said she sees opportunity for growth in the partnership as volunteer opportunities are expanded and ideas for more fundraising events emerge. SCCF is deeply grateful for PKE’s support, and, as SCCF Director Janet Cooper says, “This partnership keeps me young!”

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2019 Philanthropy Internship students interview an applicant for SCCF's fall cycle of grant-giving.

University of the South students who participate in the Philanthropy Internship Program are required to engage in a study of the philanthropy process during the spring semester followed by a series of in-depth deliberations in the fall. The process for SCCF's 2019 fall cycle of grant-giving is now complete, and students are looking forward to the opportunity to award these grants in a ceremony on November 12th in the University's Convocation Hall. 


Eight grants totaling $29,887 will be awarded at the ceremony which begins at 5:30 pm and will be highlighted by a presentation from social justice leader Dr. Sybil Jordan Hampton. This event is free and open to all community members. Click here to view this year's recipients and for descriptions of projects and individual amounts awarded.