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our impact.

Why are we needed? In the United States, about 20% of the population resides in a rural area, yet only about 6% of philanthropic dollars go to support rural causes. Additionally, in Tennessee, there is no single private or community foundation that has the mission of supporting the entire state. Rural areas, at the edge of larger philanthropies’ service area are largely forgotten. The South Cumberland Plateau is among those forgotten areas, and since 2012, SCCF has served the people of this area with philanthropic dollars and community development leadership. Our area of service includes nine towns in portions of Franklin and Marion counties, and the entirety of Grundy County, one of Tennessee's most economically challenged counties. 

What do we do? We serve this community through project-based grants, professional development for nonprofits, research, and capacity building. We work hard to facilitate meaningful collaborations, and we support energetic AmeriCorps volunteers in their work on the Plateau. 

What is our goal? Our overarching goal is to achieve the vision that the South Cumberland Plateau is a place of hope and prosperity for all who live here. Through conversation with the people of the Plateau, we identify areas of concern where our funding and our actions can make a positive difference in the the lives of our people 


We invite solutions and innovations from the people of the Plateau and support those ideas that work best to achieve our vision. 


We measure progress by working with partners to identify the factors that lead to thriving and observe how the data underlying those factors change.


We share our passion to bring in new partners and donors to support an area that has great potential to grow and thrive.

Over the past 10 years, we have worked with over 70 local nonprofits in our service area, focusing on priority areas of health, education, and economic development. Our work has yielded new nonprofits and a stronger nonprofit community.

Our current strategic plan identifies three areas of special emphasis:

Reading and Literacy Development 

Improve children’s educational achievement and attainment over the next three years by increasing the fund’s investments in reading readiness and literacy development, and efforts aimed at increasing 3rd grade reading proficiency levels. 

Currently, only 23 percent of Grundy County 3rd graders read at grade level. Our goal is to have 50 percent of students reading at or above the state and national levels for reading proficiency by 3rd grade. 

As a part of our work to become a stronger organization, SCCF completed a strategic plan review in 2023 for this reason, to read more and see the report click here:  LEARN MORE>


We have begun to implement a new strategy to understand our local impact called results-based accountability. In order to better define and improve  our service we will be gathering information about where our money does work. This data will be used to improve our effectiveness and will be shared with the public to increase transparency.
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