Nonprofit Consortium of St. Croix (USVI)

by St. Croix Foundation for Community Development
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Nonprofit Consortium of St. Croix (USVI)
Nonprofit Consortium of St. Croix (USVI)
Nonprofit Consortium of St. Croix (USVI)
Proving the power of people & place!
Proving the power of people & place!

Since our last report in October 2022, a new year has arrived and so, to all of our friends and family at GlobalGiving, we extend our sincere wishes to you for a year filled with good health and happiness.

St. Croix Foundation and our community have been partnering with GlobalGiving now for over 5 years. In that time, we’ve endured a protracted recovery from two back-to-back Category 5 Hurricanes, a global pandemic, social and political upheaval, as well as industrial threats to public and environmental health. But together, we have remained resilient and grown stronger.

This past quarter, our Nonprofit Consortium has once again been very busy, hosting our fourth environmental townhall to give our people voice while also cataloging the story of our collective work and impact – from data to our lived experiences serving a marginalized people and place. And so, we begin 2023 in full stride, and we hope you know that we are, quite simply, grateful for GlobalGiving’s constant presence, advocacy, and friendship.

Community Townhall Gives People a Voice on Imminent Health & Environmental Threats
On October 22, 2022, less than a week after we sent you our last report, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that the oil refinery on our small island, one of the largest in the world, “poses the risk of a fire, explosion or other ‘catastrophic’ releases of ‘extremely hazardous substances’.” The refinery, now under the ownership of Port Hamilton Refining and Transportation LLLP (PHRT), was closed in May of 2021 after it “rained oil” on residents. In the wake of its closure, the aging facility (c. 1960s) is still warehousing toxic chemicals that continue to threaten our people and place.

Once again, the stakes could not have been higher, and four members of the Nonprofit Consortium’s Environmental Sector – St. Croix Environmental Association (SEA), Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism (CHANT), VI Good Food Coalition (VIGFC), and St. Croix Foundation (SCF) – again partnered to host another emergency townhall on this critical issue.

On December 15, 2022, the Nonprofit Consortium hosted our fourth Engage VI Environmental Townhall, entitled Ensuring a Safe St. Croix: Status of the Oil Refinery & Next Steps, opening space for community voice and advocating for sound measures to address the “ticking time bomb” sitting on our shores. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Administrator for Region 2, in attendance at the virtual townhall, updated the community on the results of the EPA’s inspection of the refinery after its closure and outlined their next steps. Ultimately, federal agencies present at the townhall assured residents that they would be monitoring the safe repairs of the facility and removal of the chemical stockpiles throughout the course of 2023 – and that owners would be required to fulfill all regulatory obligations in order to maintain and operate the facility safely. Also in attendance were representatives from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency, and the Sierra Club National Clean Air Team. 100 people attended the virtual convening with another 200 views online.

Just this week, as we write this report, the EPA has distributed a new press release, announcing that Port Hamilton Refinery and Transportation’s application to conduct repairs and remove toxic chemicals from the plant has been “conditionally approved” by the EPA. Repairs to corroded systems will begin in March of 2023 and removal of the chemicals will begin in April. According to Reuters, “U.S. regulators say the new owners cannot restart the plant unless they obtain a Clean Air Act permit, which could cost hundreds of millions of dollars and take three years or more. The owners are appealing the decision, according to court filings.

Since 2019, St. Croix Foundation, alongside three small organizations with no more than 2 staff members each, has been on the frontlines of this crisis by capturing data, bringing resources to community, holding space for community voice— and maintaining open lines of communication with federal regulators and national media. It has been a long 4 years as the fight for environmental justice continues. But through the collective and vigilant efforts of the Foundation adjoined with these grassroots, community-rooted civic warriors – all women – we have already ensured a more equitable and just response.

Moving forward, our Nonprofit Consortium Environmental Sector will continue to be in direct, and regular, contact with the EPA and national network partners to begin planning our next steps and developing our Environmental Justice Agenda.

Our Annual Philanthropy Retreat Returns!
In 2020, St. Croix Foundation, side-by-side with our 30+ partners in the Nonprofit Consortium, hosted our fourth annual Philanthropy Retreat—and then COVID-19 shut the world down. For the next two years, our Nonprofit Consortium members worked on the frontlines of the pandemic, serving a predominantly Black community that was still in recovery from the 2017 hurricanes, not to mention grappling with deadly fumes from the oil refinery.

But the relationships and skills honed among our nonprofit partners since we launched our Consortium back in 2016, in conjunction with the small network of national partners from our first and subsequent Philanthropic Retreats, have empowered us to leverage our collective assets to meet the varied and rising needs of our community. To date, the national partnerships being nurtured have generated over $3,000,000 in funding for St. Croix nonprofits, and the Foundation has also connected local nonprofits to relevant intellectual brain-trusts and funding networks in targeted ‘sectors’ including arts & culture; the environs; health & human services; and youth & education.

Today, after a 2-year pause due to COVID-19, we are so pleased to announce that St. Croix Foundation for Community Development will be hosting our 5th Annual Philanthropy Retreat this February 16th through February 18th, 2023, on the island of St. Croix. Designed to be an intimate gathering for national and international foundation executives, the 3-day retreat will offer 20 senior executives the opportunity to learn about the inherent challenges and assets of the territory’s social and economic landscape. The theme for this year’s convening is centered on the power of place-based philanthropies like us, and some of our peer organizations in the rural south and Puerto Rico, to achieve deeper and more holistic social impact and equitable outcomes for marginalized communities. The retreat will also explore and challenge philanthropy’s current paradigm, which often serves as a ‘funding gatekeeper’ that prevents the (equitable) flow of resources to those closest to the ground.

Entitled The Power of Place: Reframing Old Paradigms in Philanthropy to Build Radical New Systems of Equity, Rooted in Place, the invitation-only convening will feature guests and speakers from across a diverse philanthropic landscape, including Association of Black Foundation Executives, Black Belt Community Foundation, The Bridgespan Group, Foundation for Appalachia Kentucky, Vieques Conservation and Historical Trust, GlobalGiving, The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and more. Members of St. Croix Foundation’s Nonprofit Consortium, Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism, St. Croix Environmental Association, and the Virgin Islands Good Food Coalition will lead a panel focused on collective impact and environmental justice, with other local nonprofit partners hosting activities throughout the three days.

Because GlobalGiving was one of the very first (and most sustained) partners to join us for our annual Philanthropy Retreat and provided ongoing support for our Nonprofit Consortium, as we roll into our sixth year of convening, we are reflecting on the work we’ve accomplished together Unquestionably, we know we couldn’t have done it without YOU. And, because of you, we are optimistic about the work we will achieve in the future.

Thank You!
Wikipedia defines Ubuntu as a Nguni Bantu term meaning "humanity". It is sometimes translated as "I am because we are" (also "I am because you are"),[2] or "humanity towards others"… [It] is often meant in a more philosophical sense to mean "the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity".[3] Here on St. Croix, our civic sector is actively leveraging community-rooted collaboration to fully deploy our assets before, during, and after a crisis for the most vulnerable among us. Every village, every community - every place - has the power within it to confront the most intractable problems we each face. And with partners like GlobalGiving, we will continue to unearth and bring to light the full power of philanthropy--- Together.

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Lifting Community Voice for All!
Lifting Community Voice for All!

In the U.S. Virgin Islands, our territorial (colonial) status matters in so many ways. Politically marginalized and geographically isolated, our nonprofits actually perform many of the services that municipal government offers with full statehood. And so, when it comes to having a healthy, strong civic sector on the island of St. Croix, the stakes are high indeed – particularly during times of crisis.

In past reports, we’ve talked about the civic sector as an often overlooked yet powerful driver of equitable and sustainable community advancement. In fact, it is our theory that nonprofits, beyond the critical nature of the direct services they provide, are the “missing ingredient” to informed and effective policy that truly serves and supports the needs of the People. And so, we are pleased to report that in this past quarter, St. Croix Foundation’s Nonprofit Consortium continues to turn theory into practice.

This summer, the Nonprofit Consortium led a powerful and informative forum for political aspirants and is laying the groundwork for town halls that will further amplify community voice in the face of gentrification. As we write, we think of our family and friends at GlobalGiving, who recognized early on what could be and helped to bring the Nonprofit Consortium to this pivotal juncture. Thank you!

The 3rd Bi-Annual A-Political Forum Lifts Community to the Center!
As grantmakers, fiscal sponsors, and program administrators ourselves, St. Croix Foundation has witnessed the impact of nonprofits – as collaborators, innovators, and social disruptors, they are capable of serving under extreme circumstances with scarce resources. But their unique ability to represent, give voice to, and intentionally advocate for policies that meet the needs of unseen and unheard members of a community is critical.

Recognizing this, in 2018, our Nonprofit Consortium (NPC) hosted its first Bi-Annual A-Political Forum, presenting the civic sector’s “platform” to political aspirants and incumbents during a significant election year. And, this September 28th, the NPC held our 3rd A-Political Forum, entitled Civic Leadership & Shared Power, once again turning the tables on aspiring senators and governors by requesting they listen during the forum rather than speak.

In the 2-hour forum, which attracted over 60 registrants, NPC members presented specific examples of nonprofit collaboration across the Consortium’s four “sectors,” including (1) Arts, Culture, and Crucian Heritage (2) Health and Human Services, (3) Education and Youth Development, and (4) the Natural and Built Environs. CMCArts, the only accredited museum in the territory, cited its ability to reach cancer survivors with art therapy offered by the VI Breast Cancer Project and expand its educational programming through cross-collaborations with Fueling Youth Reading is Leaders in Training (FYR is LIT). And that was just one example.

NPC members also spoke in depth about the reach, influence, and impact of the nonprofit sector, emphasizing the need for policymakers to collaborate with nonprofits as more than an afterthought. The Women’s Coalition of St. Croix detailed the history of specific legislation around sexual assault and the age of consent that it had helped to pass within the USVI territorial government, thereby changing and saving lives. NPC members also spoke about challenges around data collection and some of the current limitations with publicly available data in the Virgin Islands. The St. Croix Long Term Recovery Group highlighted best practices that neighboring islands have implemented around disaster recovery funding, and veteran sector leaders facilitated a discussion about what an optimal collaboration between the public and nonprofit sectors could look like and achieve.

With more than 25 political aspirants and governmental staff present during the forum, our NPC successfully made the case to reserve a nonprofit seat at every table, informing and developing policy. Calls to make public a recording of the forum have been testimony to its impact, again proving what can happen when we harness the collective power of community-rooted organizations.

Forthcoming NPC-led events include a series of environmental townhalls, to cover topics such as brownfield sites and blight, and the redistricting of our historic town to allow development, as well as a series of meetings with newly appointed territorial agency Commissioners to connect them directly with the nonprofit organizations who are doing work within their spheres of influence. Together, the Nonprofit Consortium is changing the way in which nonprofits are perceived in the Virgin Islands, a long overdue phenomenon that will have a direct and positive impact on St. Croix's most vulnerable and underserved residents. 

Thank You!
With the increase in natural disasters, heightened political and social unrest, and sudden economic shifts – not to mention the echoes of COVID-19 still reverberating across the globe – policymakers, nonprofits on the frontlines, the private sector, and the field of philanthropy itself are asking the hard questions. How do we achieve equity and justice for the smallest, the most disenfranchised, the most fragile among us? The Nonprofit Consortium is actively proving that an empowered civic sector embeds equity and sustainability into all efforts.


As our President, Deanna James, said at our A-Political Forum, “We fundamentally believe in people and in a just society – and this really is just the beginning.” And we thank GlobalGiving for sharing these values and being a part of it all.

Advocating for Nonprofits and Effective Policy!
Advocating for Nonprofits and Effective Policy!
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Our Nonprofits Collaborate for Greater Impact!
Our Nonprofits Collaborate for Greater Impact!

The past few months have been busy for St. Croix Foundation’s Nonprofit Consortium as we continue to build capacity around our Nonprofit Consortium for 2022! To date, members of the Consortium have convened six times to plan this summer’s activities, which include another town hall series, a professional development series, and an A-Political Forum. As outlined in our last report, the Foundation’s goal for this year is focused on identifying new funding opportunities for capacity building for our civic sector. As local and federal recovery dollars from the 2017 hurricanes begin to flow into the community, building voice and power rooted in community is crucial to advancing the wellbeing of every resident. With thanks to all of the nonprofits, national partners, and of course, GlobalGiving, today the Nonprofit Consortium is a bonafide community asset!

Meet the 2022 Nonprofit Consortium!
St. Croix Foundation is pleased to introduce our family at GlobalGiving to the members of our Nonprofit Consortium. As a body, members of the Consortium pledge to collaborate within and across sectors, engage in convenings and workshops, and work toward a unified vision for St. Croix. Our members to date are diverse and represent all four sectors of our civil society!

  • Caribbean Center for Boys and Girls of the Virgin Islands
  • Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts
  • Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism (CHANT)
  • Frederiksted Health Care Center, Inc.
  • FYR is LIT (Fueling Youth Reading is Leaders in Training)
  • Helping Ordinary People Every Day (HOPE)
  • Liberty Place
  • Lutheran Social Services of the Virgin Islands
  • Music in Motion School of Higher Dance
  • Per Ankh
  • St. Croix Council of Elders
  • St. Croix Environmental Association
  • St. Croix Landmarks Society
  • St. Croix Long Term Recovery Group
  • Virgin Islands Breast Cancer Project
  • Virgin Islands Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Council
  • Virgin Islands Good Food Coalition
  • Virgin Islands Partners for Healthy Communities
  • Women’s Coalition of St. Croix
  • World Ocean School
  • Yvonne A. Galiber Foundation, Inc.

Grantmaking + Collective Work = Exponential Impact!
The past 31 years have taught St. Croix Foundation that funding, while critical, is only part of a formula for equitable social impact. In fact, it is people, unified by a vision, that leads to true change. Recently, our Nonprofit Consortium has proven once again that collective work, coupled with flexible funding, has an exponential impact that is sustainable!

As reported at the beginning of this year, SCF’s CARE Fund recently awarded $160,000 to 11 of our Consortium Members for emergency COVID relief with funding from GlobalGiving. In the past three months, SCF awarded another $15,000 to the St. Croix Long Term Recovery Group to provide Disaster Case Management to elderly residents for the renovation of historic properties damaged in the 2017 storms. In total, the CARE Grant has awarded $175,000 in the past six months… but that funding has been leveraged several times over for greater impact and operational and programmatic capacity building.

In testimony to the impact of collective work, a cohort of our CARE Grant awardees has been collaborating on multiple levels and in doing so has achieved a true multiplier effect. World Ocean School, for example, took children and families to the sea through their marine STEM program– and contracted fellow NPC partner, Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism (CHANT), to offer a cultural and historic tour from the water. World Ocean School and CHANT both expanded access to their programming while also supporting CHANT’s operations. While working with World Ocean School, CHANT also provided facilities for FYR is LIT (Fueling Youth Reading is Leaders in Training) to conduct a leadership development session for their teens. CHANT’s discounted fee for space allowed for more program funds for FYR is LIT while also powering CHANT’s own operations. FYR is LIT also worked with Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts (CMCArts) on facilities and programming, who in turn did the same with the Virgin Islands Breast Cancer Project!

If this sounds like an intricately connected civic system, it should! Organizations flexed and pivoted as needed, found new resources, and met the spirit of the Nonprofit Consortium: collaboration and capacity building for organizations and the nonprofit sector as a whole to serve our People. By themselves, each organization would have undoubtedly had impact – but together they are proving the true power of relational work.

Advocating for Greater Investment through the Community Reinvestment Act
As part of the Nonprofit Consortium’s strategy for 2022, we also wanted to provide a quick update on our work to identify diverse funding sources to support our nonprofits.

Recently St. Croix Foundation, joined by CHANT and the Christiansted Community Alliance, presented at the FDIC’s webinar, Community Reinvestment Act for Community Based Organizations in the US Virgin Islands: Partnering for Success. Presenting on the impact of the civic sector and community-driven investments, our Nonprofit Consortium partners highlighted the impact of nonprofits and educated the financial community on dynamic, community-rooted opportunities for deeper investments. Together with both the FDIC and local banking institutions, the Consortium will continue conversations around advocating for equity and for creative investment mechanisms that serve to build nonprofit capacity and catalyze deep social impact.

A Townhall to Preserve Place & Create Space for Community
One of the unfortunate realities of disaster recovery is that it often places the well-being of already vulnerable communities directly into the hands of external mega corporations, consultants, and construction firms that do not necessarily reflect the values and vision of the affected people. While development is critical for the island of St. Croix, if it is not directed by the indigenous truths of the people who live here, it will not benefit rank-and-file residents. As defined by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, “Gentrification is a term used to describe what happens when lower-income neighborhoods receive massive levels of new investment, adding amenities, raising home values and bringing in new upper-income residents. This can lead to cultural displacement, when members of a racial or ethnic group who were longtime residents of gentrified neighborhoods are pushed out.”

Today, as local and federal recovery dollars have reached the Virgin Islands, so too have developers. To make room for a massive influx of disaster capitalists, protected historic properties are under threat of redistricting to allow a broader and deeper footprint for development.  The stakes couldn’t be higher, as all factors known to lead to gentrification are currently in place.

As such, SCF’s Nonprofit Consortium is committed to empowering residents to lift their voices, use their influence, and drive the vision for what their neighborhoods look and feel like. To provide a neutral space for convening, this summer the Nonprofit Consortium will host a Community Townhall, during which residents and invited guests will explore policy around redistricting, describe lived experiences with gentrification, disaster capitalism, and most importantly learn about successful stories of community-rooted recovery.

As stated at the Nonprofit Consortium’s 2020 A-Political Forum, “development from within” is a model that focuses on building local capacity by placing our Black Virgin Islands culture at the center of business development, putting our people at the forefront of all we do, and celebrating the contributions of our people, culture, and community.

The Bi-Annual A-Political Forum: Advocacy for Nonprofits and the Community We Serve

In response to such threats, since 2018 St. Croix Foundation and our Consortium have been hosting A-Political Forums. Scheduled during election years here in the U.S. Virgin Islands, political aspirants are invited to listen to our Nonprofit Sectors’ Platform. When the Nonprofit Consortium hosted its first A-Political Forum, roughly 30 nonprofits came together, with each of the four sectors presenting their impact and challenging candidates to consider the civic sector’s platform as the voice of the voiceless and vulnerable in our community.

This year, St. Croix Foundation’s Nonprofit Consortium is hosting its Biannual A-Political Forum on September 28th at 7:00pm. Open to the public, the virtual town hall will feature sectors representing (1) Arts, Culture, and Crucian Heritage (2) Health and Human Services, (3) Education and Youth Development, and (4) the Natural and Built Environs.  The Consortium will once again invite all candidates on the ballot to attend – not to speak but to listen to each sector present data on how nonprofits in the community are performing, how philanthropic funding is flowing, and what service gaps exist.

Ultimately, the Nonprofit Consortium’s objective is to educate potential legislators on the voice and power of the civic sector and nonprofits’ role as accountability partners and catalysts of equitable development. As the Consortium confirms details on the Forum, we’ll be updating our website and Facebook page.

Gearing Up...
After nearly six years of collaboration and realizing objectives in every priority area – from organizational and sector-wide capacity building to new funding opportunities – the Nonprofit Consortium is demonstrating a new framework for disaster recovery that is profound. With growing appreciation for the ingenuity and courage intrinsic to our sector, the Consortium continues to amass people-power. Today, St. Croix Foundation is gearing up to deepen our support. We’re now designing a professional development summer series for our nonprofits and exploring subjects such as board governance, understanding federal funding, and the rules of advocacy for 501(c) organizations.

But, in as much as the Foundation is supporting the Consortium, this effort is also helping the Foundation reframe our narrative about this cadre of community warriors who are shepherding social transformation amid crises. Because here’s our reality: our civic partners not only represent a steadying force in our community, but they are also consistently filling critical service gaps while moving the needle forward on equity and social justice issues for the most vulnerable and underserved residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Today, with our sincere appreciation to GlobalGiving, we can report that the Nonprofit Consortium is now poised for even greater social impact work. Thank you!

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Our Consortium: Touching Lives through COVID
Our Consortium: Touching Lives through COVID

This winter season, the theme for the Nonprofit Consortium has been strategy. As we look forward to the next 5 years and beyond, the Foundation has deepened its commitment to identifying new funding opportunities specifically for capacity building within the sector. And while a lot of the work undergone over the last few months has been internal, we are excited to share a few of our big wins with our GlobalGiving Family.

SCF Awarded 160,000 to 11 Consortium Members for Emergency COVID Relief
In November of 2019, the Foundation opened an invitation-only CARE Grant cycle aimed at providing capacity-building support to Nonprofit Consortium member organizations. Applications were carefully reviewed by the Foundation’s Grants Review Committee, with the following nonprofits and charitable projects receiving awards between $10,000-$15,000:

Caribbean Center for Girls and Boys of the Virgin Islands: Out-of-School Programming

  1. Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts: Art Ignites!
  2. Diane Hampton Breast Cancer Project: Art Therapy Workshops
  3. FYR is LIT: BLAZE Literacy and Teen Leadership Development
  4. Music in Motion: 39th Dance Season
  5. St. Croix Environmental Association: Afterschool Environmental Education
  6. St. Croix Landmarks Society: Junior Preservationists Program
  7. St. Croix Long Term Recovery Group: Resilience Hub Planning
  8. Virgin Islands Architecture Center for Built Heritage and Crafts: Strategic Development Organizational Capacity Building
  9. Virgin Islands Good Food Coalition: Organizational Capacity Building
  10. World Ocean School: Roseway Program Capacity Building

Funding for this round of awards will support programs that collaborate to leverage scarce resources and span literacy skill development, art therapy, and organizational capacity-building to achieve more significant impact. The CARE Fund, which was established in the immediate aftermath of 2017 Hurricanes Irma and Maria, supports strategic, high-impact investments in the Virgin Islands for disaster recovery and community resilience. Now a permanent Fund of the Foundation’s, in this cycle of grantmaking, the CARE Fund prioritized 1) Stabilizing nonprofits serving vulnerable populations through the Open-Door Funding; and 2) Providing direct support to frontline NPOs to build or expand programming.

Building Capacity to Activate Data at the Policy Level
St. Croix Foundation for Community Development holds distinction as the USVI’s Territorial Grantee for KIDS COUNT - Annie E. Casey Foundation's national initiative designed to collect and act on critical data about child wellbeing at the federal, state, and local levels. The Foundation has been hard at work accomplishing both tasks - collecting quantitative and qualitative data from our public agencies and nonprofit organizations while also developing opportunities to activate the data by publishing an annual Data Book and activities focused on local and territorial advocacy and engagement.

During our interviews with nonprofit organizations in the Consortium, one theme emerged as a common thread- providing opportunities for members to build greater capacity for impact around children and families. Toward that end, the Foundation held a series of skill-building sessions that focused on powerful tools and critical skills to help us move the data that we collect from simply being informational to becoming a call for action and a mandate for change.

In December 2021, we were pleased to partner with FrameWorks Institute, an internationally renowned organization that has been helping nonprofits to communicate more effectively for over 22 years, to offer a two-day capacity-building workshop. FrameWorks’ unique approach has helped partners worldwide have different conversations – moving away from the stories that hold us all back and toward stories that start conversations and mobilize community. The two-part experience gave participants ready-to-use framing tools and strategies for their next proposal, conversation, presentation, or publication to tell a more holistic and compelling story about the communities they serve.

The Foundation looks forward to continuing to identify synergies such as these between the programs that we fund and operate. The 2021 KIDS COUNT USVI Data Book can be accessed here:

The Foundation and the Environmental Sector Awarded Two Year 200K EPA Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem Solving Grant
The Environmental Sector of the Nonprofit Consortium has been busy at work! In addition to being the recipients of a three-year grant from the HIVE Fund in the third quarter of 2021, the Foundation was notified in December 2021 that the Environmental Sector and the Foundation, in partnership with the University of the Virgin Islands, were named one of 34 recipients in the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem Solving (EJCPS) Grant Cycle for 2021. The incredibly competitive grant is funded through the American Rescue Plan aimed at providing support to projects that address health outcome disparities from pollution and the COVID–19 pandemic and that identify and address disproportionate environmental or public health harms and risks in minority populations or low-income populations through activities authorized by section 103(b) of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7403(b)) and section 1442(c)(3) of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300j–1(c)).

The Foundation and the Environmental Sector, in partnership with UVI, will utilize the funding to develop a community driven program that will provide our residents with data and information on health and environmental risks and risk mitigation best practices through engaging senior high school and college students as lead investigators and analysts to monitor air quality. Project activities include establishing an Air Quality-Asthma monitoring system; developing an air monitoring program that produces data that is scientifically valid and useful to the community; and establishing a Community Steering Committee of local advocates and concerned residents.

Expected outcomes of this project are the development of new air quality ordinances and policies enacted by local government; a decrease in the number of asthma-related hospital visits among community residents; and an increase in community dialogue about environmental impacts and public health. Direct beneficiaries of this project are predominantly low-income/high-density neighborhoods of primarily brown and black persons who have historically been adversely impacted by the industrial operations adjoining their neighborhoods. Partners will coordinate project activities, provide technical assistance, and lead the air-monitoring education and training program.

Connecting data with nonprofits who are on the ground, working with and for community members directly affected by environmental hazards, is also connected to one of the overarching goals of the Foundation’s KIDS COUNT Initiative: activating the data! We are so incredibly excited for this work to begin later this year.

Thank you, GlobalGiving!
As we think about the future ahead, we look forward to witnessing the evolution of the Consortium as a new model for communities whose needs require a strong civic sector, one that truly represents and is rooted in the voice of its people. It was our family at GlobalGiving who first saw that the value of cross-sector collaboration lies in a Community’s ability to leverage relationships for sustainable systems change. As always, St. Croix Foundation remains unwavering in our commitment to holding equity and access to resources and opportunities as central virtues in our philanthropic approach. We couldn’t have done it without you, and we look forward to the next chapter!

Building capacity to put data to action!
Building capacity to put data to action!
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Thank you! The Consortium just celebrated 5 years!
Thank you! The Consortium just celebrated 5 years!

We did it! This September, St. Croix Foundation’s Nonprofit Consortium celebrated five years of collective service, impact, and leadership in the U.S. Virgin Islands! Despite a protracted recovery from the 2017 hurricanes, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, since our first table conversations with 50+ local nonprofits back in 2016, the Consortium has evolved into one of the Foundation’s most important investments and a vital Community Asset. Through intentional collaboration around missions, programming, advocacy, and fundraising, the members of the Consortium have built dynamic relationships, enduring national partnerships, and organizational and cross-sector capacity to serve and give voice to the People most vulnerable and hardest hit by ongoing crises.

As populations the world over continue to face unprecedented challenges, and as we locally close out another Hurricane Season while continuing to serve on the frontlines of COVID, we see the evidence of what collaboration (rooted in Community) can truly accomplish.

And so, from all of us at St. Croix Foundation and on behalf of the members of the Nonprofit Consortium, we would like to extend our deepest appreciation to GlobalGiving. Because of your early, pioneering spirit and trust-based philanthropy, the Nonprofit Consortium has now engaged 50+ organizations, of which 30 are official members. Combined, the Consortium has had a service reach of over 10,000 people and created 10+ new national funding partnerships that are even now supporting new systems of resilience. As the Consortium prepares for the next 5 years and beyond, we look back with gratitude on the investment that has been made in the strengthening of our Community.

Highlighting 5 Years of Ingenuity in the Civic Sector
On September 16th, St. Croix Foundation’s Nonprofit Consortium hosted our virtual 5th Anniversary Community Presentation to showcase the investments, impact, and collaborative service of our Nonprofit Partners. The presentation brought together 75+ attendees and speakers--- and of course, all 30 members of the Nonprofit Consortium. Partners such as Susan Taylor Batten of the Association of Black Foundation Executives and Donna Callejon from GlobalGiving spoke about the lessons our Civic Sector, unified in such a unique format, had to share with the entire field of Philanthropy.

The presentation highlighted the Foundation’s strategic work to raise the collective profile and impact of our Civic Sector partners--- and to get the U.S. Virgin Islands onto the philanthropic funding map. Guest speakers and members spoke about fostering new partnerships that collected critical data on residents and nonprofit capacity to rebuild after the hurricanes, created safety nets for unmet needs, and connected nonprofits to resources that helped them advocate for their organizations and the people they serve. Presenters spoke of a growing network of national private funders and the technical competencies around collaboration, community organizing, social justice, and systems thinking that the Nonprofit Consortium helped build. From the words of Consortium members themselves, we can get a glimpse of the impact:

  • St. Croix Foundation has been instrumental in helping us to expand our dental services. ~ Frederiksted Health Center
  • We have, in our first six months of service, served 25 homeless individuals and 1,500 meals at our location; we’ve moved 9 people to permanent housing, we’ve placed 6 people in full-time employment, 2 people in part-time employment, and 2 people in job training.  All it took was a nudge from a local foundation to help us open.  ~Liberty Place.

In the past 5 years, the Nonprofit Consortium has been put to the test. From two Category 5 Hurricanes in 2017 to COVID-19 and the racial justice movements of last summer, it has met the challenge, pivoted, grown, and is now a model of unified Civic Leadership and People Power.

Watch our Community Impact Presentation here:

Reimaging a Sustainable St. Croix Rooted in Community Voice"
In our last update, we reported on our Engage VI Environmental Virtual Town Halls, a three-part series that took place over the summer to address environmental hazards spurred by the reopening of Limetree Bay Refinery and Terminals. As a geographically and politically isolated territory of the U.S., environmental and health issues are compounded for the People of St. Croix, and our objective was simple but profound: ensure Community Voice take center stage and create space for open, honest and transparent dialogue between regulators, stakeholders, and residents.

In the final Town Hall on July 29th, St. Croix Foundation and Nonprofit Consortium Members from the Environmental Sector - St. Croix Environmental Association (SEA), Crucian Heritage And Nature Tourism (CHANT), & the Virgin Islands Good Food Coalition (VIGFC) – opened the floor to reimagine the future.

Following the first and second Town Halls on emergency response and the environmental impacts of heavy industry and agriculture, the theme for the third town hall in the series was aptly entitled Reimagining A Sustainable Future: Balancing Economic Promise & Environmental Stewardship. With panelists from the Economic Development Authority, U.V.I. Research and Technology Park joined by the Partnership for Southern Equity, the discussion centered around exploring a future independent of heavy industry that represents a progressive and justice-focused landscape while balancing economic promise and environmental justice.

Over the course of the entire series, guest panelists included high ranking executives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control, V.I.T.E.M.A., VI Dept. of Planning and Natural Resources, VI Dept. of Health, VI Dept. of Agriculture, the 34th Legislature of the Virgin Islands, VI Economic Development Authority, U.V.I. Research and Technology Park, and the Partnership for Southern Equity. In total, over 100 people attended the third Town Hall, and many attendees have signed up to engage around working groups that could potentially actualize some of the themes discussed in the final town hall series.

View our third virtual Town Hall here:

The Foundation and the Environmental Sector Receive Hive Fund Award
We are also happy to report another milestone! In the last quarter, the Foundation and members of the Environmental Sector – C.H.A.N.T., S.E.A., and V.I.G.F.C. – were awarded a three-year $225,000 Grant by the Hive Fund in recognition of the Environmental Sector’s collaborative efforts and vision as outlined in a joint case for support.  The award’s purpose is to empower the Sector, which “advocates for and mobilizes around a community vision rooted in environmental justice, placing a historically marginalized community in charge of decision-making around energy supply, environment, health, workforce, and community development.” The grant represents one of the key goals set forth five years ago when the Consortium was launched- increase funding for small nonprofits through coalesced, collaborative funding requests. It is one of the first major funding wins a Sector of our Consortium!

In alignment with the HIVE Fund’s priority of “shaping new clean and equitable economies,” funding will be used to build capacity around community organizing and movement building and general operating support. Through the competencies and collaborations nurtured in the Consortium, the Environmental Sector has been active in responding to issues of environmental justice and equity specifically as it pertains to the Limetree Bay Oil Refinery. The sector intends to capitalize on the work completed over the summer and continue empowering Community to hold policymakers accountable through efforts supported by the in-development ‘working groups’. The Foundation thanks the Hive Fund and its civic partners for their commitment to funding Black-led and Black serving environmental justice causes!

Thank you, GlobalGiving!
From the Foundation’s inception 31 years ago, nonprofits have been at the center of everything we do. But, over the past 5 years, we have harnessed extraordinary wisdom about our Community through our Nonprofit Consortium. Today, we are fostering and cultivating the most inspirational, intentional and dynamic culture of collaboration in the U.S. Virgin Islands. GlobalGiving has been a thought partner, an advocate, and a trust-based funder – and we can confidently say that it’s really just the beginning!

Our Third Town Hall: Reimagining St. Croix!
Our Third Town Hall: Reimagining St. Croix!
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Organization Information

St. Croix Foundation for Community Development

Location: Christiansted - Virgin Islands
Twitter: @stxfoundation
Project Leader:
Deanna James
Christiansted , USVI Virgin Islands
$4,300 raised of $1,000,000 goal
57 donations
$995,700 to go
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