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)
Breaking Through Barriers meeting in Atlanta, GA
Breaking Through Barriers meeting in Atlanta, GA

November 2018


A major objective for the St. Croix Foundation and the Nonprofit Consortium has been to maintain visibility on the radar of national funders and networks, especially throughout the recovery and rebuilding period. St. Croix Foundation participated in numerous convenings to continue to educate partners on the mainland regarding post-hurricane realities in our small-island community. In September, Deanna James, Executive Director participated in the Southeastern Council of Foundations’ Breaking Through Barriers meeting in Atlanta, GA. In October, she was invited to be a nonmember attendee at the Environmental Grantmakers Association Annual Retreat in Asheville, NC. For that retreat, Frandelle Gerard of the Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism entity joined Deanna and together they created an appetite for further education from Environmental Funders who will visit St. Croix in January 2019- many for the first time in their organization’s history. In November, as the first foundation members of the US Caribbean, St. Croix Foundation was invited to host a plenary session at the Southeastern Council of Foundations Annual Meeting, Bridge the Divide, in Louisville, Kentucky. Deanna James, as well as Nonprofit Consortium members Sommer Sibilly and Sonia Dow presented on the impact of place-based philanthropy in the US Virgin Islands in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The plenary focused on smart investment in the civic sector and sustainable rebuilding while warding off disaster capitalism. Link.

On November 27 the St. Croix Foundation participated in the USVI Alliance for Response Forum. During this Forum, key representatives of the Virgin Islands cultural heritage and arts organizations met with the Territory’s principal emergency managers and first responders to lay the foundation for facilitating increased cooperation and effective emergency response in times of disaster. Executive Director Deanna James was a member of the Source of Funding panel. Members of the panel provided information about funding for cultural heritage stewards and arts organizations for disaster preparedness, emergency response, recovery techniques and disaster mitigation strategies. The same forum was also held on the island of St. Thomas.


The St. Croix Foundation continues to be a guiding and grounding voice in meetings with territorial, federal, and other recovery partners, recognizing that while the recovery of our physical infrastructure continues, our need to rebuild and strengthen our community and its diverse members is equally important; important to the cultural life of the island, important to the sense of community among our populations, and important to rebuilding a more sustainable future for the Island. AmeriCorps VISTA on St. Croix will be a major step to enhance the capabilities of our nonprofits today and develop more leaders for the future. Key finding from the Nonprofit Disaster Recovery and Capacity Assessment showed that more than 90% of the nonprofits had damage to their facility as a result of the storm. Most nonprofits (69.6%) reported an increased demand for program services, yet 72.8% of nonprofits survey respondents were still operating on a limited basis or not at all. 75% of respondents said funds were a current need for their organization, 76.4% expressed the need for assistance identifying grant opportunities and 50% of organizations needed assistance marketing and advertising. Additional data from these surveys can be found at the St. Croix Foundation website:

To that end, the St. Croix Foundation is proposing a 12 Member VISTA Team with a VISTA Leader to assist multiple non-profits. Our work with our team of St. Croix’s nonprofits has illuminated this one fact: everything really is connected to everything! When seemingly disparate organizations sit at one table and gain understanding of each other’s work and challenges, the intersections where missions and visions meet is unearthed, and bridges are built. We seek to continue directing resources at those points to support collective impact and sustainability. In line with the AmeriCorps VISTA Core Principles, St. Croix Foundation work is rooted in anti- poverty focus, community empowerment, sustainable solutions and capacity building.

The St. Croix Foundation is committed to providing increased services to nonprofit organizations and dedicated to VISTAs for this disaster recovery project including office space, shared professional services, professional development, and a network for grassroots and NGOs conducting hurricane relief efforts. In compliance with the VISTA Program Guidance, VISTAs will support the long-term recovery of the St. Croix community. Throughout their various roles with the nonprofits, VISTAs will provide programmatic, technical, research and outreach assistance. The Foundation anticipates that with greater data available and a stronger operational structure, nonprofits will be able to provide a more cohesive approach to fully uniting the civic sector around a vision for St. Croix and the Virgin Islands through our work with AmeriCorps VISTA. Through assistance from AmeriCorps VISTA and driven by data, nonprofit organizations spanning arts and culture, youth and education, public safety, environmental preservation and community revitalization will identify projects necessary for the community and partner on critical work that will them to leverage resources, to increase impact on targeted low-income populations, and to sustain and expand programs to ensure the future health and prosperity of this island community.


As we continue to ensure that the Virgin Islands remains relevant and on the radar of many national funders, we are also ensuring that our nonprofits remain a part of the holistic recovery. We are currently preparing to host our 3rd Annual Philanthropic Retreat in February 2019. The Retreat will focus on our work during the recovery and our plans for rebuilding. Because of these convenings, we now have personal champions who know St. Croix, who know St. Croix Foundation, who know the passion and potential of our civic leaders, and who are working to open doors of opportunities for St. Croix.

Southeastern Council of Foundations' convening
Southeastern Council of Foundations' convening
Deanna James, ED discussing post hurricane reality
Deanna James, ED discussing post hurricane reality
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Our Youngest Voices are Heard!
Our Youngest Voices are Heard!

Hurricane Rebuilding by Empowering & Strengthening Nonprofits
As the nation once again prepares for yet another Superstorm as Hurricane Florence approaches the coast of the Carolinas, one year after the two Category 5 Storms hit the U.S Virgin Islands, we are reminded of the critical importance of long-term philanthropic support for American citizens living on a remote island trying to recover from a catastrophic disaster. For St. Croix, which is 10 miles wide and 25 miles across in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, the stakes are very high.

What if government systems collapse and private sector operations shut down? That’s what happened on St. Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Islands in September of 2017. In fact, it’s what happens in most small, remote communities. Who fills major service gaps such as a nonworking 9-1-1 phone call? Who ensures that our elderly are safe in their homes when our health and human service agencies have collapsed. Who serves thousands of displaced children when the public schools are condemned, and the system is in chaos? It’s St. Croix’s nonprofits that fill those critical gaps.

But what happens if St. Croix isn’t on the national philanthropic map? What happens if issues of inequity, often exacerbated after natural disasters, affect local funding and there are no advocates for vital nonprofit organizations that are filling increasing needs with fewer resources?

This is why St. Croix Foundation for Community Development is aggressively supporting our St. Croix Nonprofits through a myriad of philanthropic strategies from grantmaking and advocacy to direct services through our Nonprofit Consortium and today, one year after the storms, we can say that our nonprofits are getting stronger, serving more of our most vulnerable residents, and creating strong collaborations.

The St. Croix Foundation hosted a small delegation of Board members from the Southern Partners Fund (SPF) from July 11th -15th. Southern Partners Fund is a 501(c)(3) public foundation serving grassroots organizations in rural communities across 12 states; Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Their visit to St. Croix served to help the Foundation make a case for expanding SPF’s funding map to include the Territory.

With a commitment to “giving voice and opportunity to marginalized and underserved communities and families in the rural south, SPF’s mission is to support rural Southern communities and organizations seeking social, economic, and environmental justice by providing them with financial resources, technical assistance and training, and access to systems of information and power to shift the balance of power in their communities.

One of the primary goals of SPF’s visit was to expand opportunities to get the Territory ‘on the map’ and recognized as a relevant and legitimate funding priority for national funders. The Foundation fundamentally believes that one of the critical components of a holistic recovery is a healthy civil society.

With far too many of our nonprofit organizations too dependent on government subsidies the Foundation hosted 20 of our local nonprofits in an intimate gathering with SPF with the overarching goal to support our nonprofits so that they can ultimately exert the level of political power necessary to advocate for an equitable recovery and for social justice for the constituents they serve.

Organizations that connected with Southern Partners Fund include St. Croix Women’s Coalition, who serves as an advocate and direct service provider for victims of abuse and violence; the Caribbean Centers for Boys and Girls, who serves nearly 200 young people every single day; the St. Croix Landmark’s Society, who houses one of the most comprehensive culture and heritage archives on the African Diaspora in the region; and the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts, whose wide range of economic, educational, artistic, cultural and civic events and services are bringing together community in an innovative and culturally relevant way!

The Foundation, through their Nonprofit Consortium, is working to elevate the efficacy and force of the nonprofit sector and in turn build a model for other communities’ recovery and sustainability efforts. Toward that end, SPF has already made a commitment to supporting the work of St. Croix non-profits through several direct grant awards to local nonprofit organizations.

In the aftermath of any disaster, rebuilding efforts must be grounded in each community’s unique culture and DNA. It is common, however, for redevelopment to happen with marginalized groups very much on the sidelines and for the fabric of a community’s culture and core values to be torn apart by disaster capitalism which can oftentimes exploit community’s in the areas of employment, housing, health, and education. To mitigate this and ensure that our nonprofits have the ability to advocate for the vulnerable residents they serve, the Foundation has undertaken to provide real technical skills and introduce nonprofits to advocacy-based organizations. Here’s just a snapshot of our recent convenings:

  • In early August the Foundation hosted a week of activities geared at empowering organizations and our community at-large to become change agents. Led by Tuesday Ryan-Hart, an internationally renowned systems change strategist who has worked with organizations and stakeholders engaged in community building, we introduced over 55 organizations in 3 days to a new concept of community engagement entitled, “The Art of Hosting” to help build organizing capacity in our community through conversations and training around high impact collaborations.
  • The Foundation also hosted a two-day session with the Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) which has committed itself to increasing national philanthropic engagement in the U.S. Caribbean (USVI & Puerto Rico). In the aftermath of the Hurricanes, ABFE is nurturing a shift toward greater social equity and philanthropic investments in communities of color which have historically been ignored by the field. 25 of St. Croix’s nonprofits joined, representing organizations that are directly advocating for a food security, workforce development, historic and community revitalization and the preservation of our environment and culture and heritage.

Nonprofit Consortium – Building Infrastructure!
As stated in the St. Croix Foundation’s Third Quarterly Report for the Nonprofit Consortium, a 30-60-90 day plan for building infrastructure around the Consortium was built and is today officially being implemented. While much of the work will be ongoing, the Foundation is currently pleased to report on the following components of the plan:

  • Practice inclusion – Recent events such as the Art of Hosting and the convening hosted by ABFE as well as our workshops with the Southern Partners Fund listed above were opportunities for nonprofits and interested partners and agencies to witness and practice internal development work as well as an opportunity to connect with agencies they may not have been able to reach in the past. These convenings also built technical skills around collaboration, building awareness for public advocacy, hosting effective meetings, and analyzing issues through an equity and data based lens.
  • Develop a logo and an overall brand for the Nonprofit Consortium – St. Croix Foundation recently offered the Nonprofit Consortium a logo and tagline of “Holding the Vision”. The Foundation is now working to have Consortium members provide input and vote on the formal adoption of this logo.
  • Refine and distribute Nonprofit Consoritum Contact Listing – An ongoing activity and critical to communications and gaining traction, the NPC Listing is regularly updated and distributed to members.
  • Create a Facebook page – To share our calendar of activities and events and provide announcements pertinent to the community that will enhance connectivity a group has been created within the St. Croix Foundation’s Facebook page to begin sharing announcements and updating our NPC. Once the official logo has been decided, the page will be made active but exclusively for NPC member.

Building structure around the Foundation's NPC will provide greater communication and leveraging of resources for nonprofits who are actively working to help St. Croix recover from the hurricanes. Because of the support of GlobalGiving and some generous support of local corporate citizens, we’ve been able to build the cornerstones of what we know is already becoming a strong consoritum of nonprofits who have the capacity to affect social change that connects with St. Croix’s economy, environment, culture and heritage, and the education of our young people.

We wish to thank our generous partners who have made all of the Foundation’s work possible and hope you’ll stay the course with us. Making the Nonprofit Consortium possible makes anything possible!

Addressing Unemployment through an Equity Lens
Addressing Unemployment through an Equity Lens
Our Nonprofits Connect with National Partners
Our Nonprofits Connect with National Partners
Collaboration & Hosting Skill-building
Collaboration & Hosting Skill-building
55 Nonprofits Collaborating for Recovery
55 Nonprofits Collaborating for Recovery
Our NPC Holds the Vision, Considers a New Logo
Our NPC Holds the Vision, Considers a New Logo
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Acknowledging the weight of their work.
Acknowledging the weight of their work.

A One of a Kind Consortium

While Hurricanes Irma and Maria have presented unparalleled challenges for the Territory, the storms have also highlighted the intrinsic value of collaboration in small communities.  As we all witnessed our community working together to clear roads; partnering with Virgin Islanders abroad to ship and distribute relief aid; and joining forces to ferry water and food and batteries between islands, there’s no question that when put to the test, we are natural collaborators.

 A collaboration is successful if the parties are eager to work together, again. Since the inception of the Nonprofit Consortium in 2016 this group of dynamic and diverse individuals have been eagerly working to solidify their stance on collaboration. The Consortium has remained on the path of building a one of a kind model for other small underserved communities to replicate.

Today, as we chart a radical new course to recovery for our community, we have drawn the conclusion that in small, isolated communities, directing investments to the Civic Sector is the most viable pathway to social justice, to equity, and to healthy economies.


Building a Consortium of Collaborators

We know that collaboration is a skill that develops over time. Having dedicated many years to building partnerships with both private, public, and nonprofit entities, St. Croix Foundation has learned in an intimate way how challenging of an exercise collaboration can be when convening diverse sectors around important, complex issues. 

Today, we are encouraged to witness a level of organic collaboration that is increasingly becoming the norm in our nonprofit sector. But, we also know that for our community to maximize the current flow of federal and philanthropic resources, we must make it an intentional practice- beginning with the end in mind and leveraging every dollar to go farther. There is no question that the storms have afforded us all an unprecedented opportunity to re-assess and re-frame our core values.  As we strive to support our nonprofit partners and our community on a whole, we know that collaboration is a central vehicle for manifesting a collective vision.

The work of the Nonprofit Consortium begins and ends with a razor-sharp focus on the principle of collaboration. Through collaboration we give equitable voice to partners in our island’s critical nonprofit sector thus strengthening our ability to focus resources and ensure deeper impact.


 St. Croix Nonprofit Consortium Next Steps

We organized three teams to begin collaborating on cross-organizational projects/site-visits that benefit the community. In addition, we also focused on next steps for formalizing the Nonprofit Consortium, which include the work below: 

30 Days

  • Practice inclusion – currently being executed
  • Develop a logo and an overall brand for the Nonprofit Consortium 
  • Refine and distribute an updated Nonprofit Contact List 
  • Create a Facebook page for the purpose of sharing NPO calendar of activities and events and provide announcements pertinent to the community to enhance connectivity (30-60 days)

60 Days

  • Create a volunteer registry
  • Develop criteria and guiding principles for formalizing memberships/relationships 

90 Days

  • Create a catalog of Nonprofit Partners 
  • Create a private portal on our website 
  • Create a strategic plan with St. Croix as our focus


Our fundamental belief is that, it is indeed Philanthropy’s role (and obligation) to be responsive and strategic in supporting the civic sector and filling funding gaps, particularly in support of the most vulnerable!

NPC gathered in a brainstorming session.
NPC gathered in a brainstorming session.

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30 nonprofits created visions for true rebuilding!
30 nonprofits created visions for true rebuilding!

The Consortium Leverages Hurricane Recovery into a Vision for St. Croix
In the first 100 days after Hurricane Maria struck the U.S. Virgin Islands in September 2017, so much of the community’s focus on the island of St. Croix was acutely focused on survival and front-line relief. Because of you, however, at the St. Croix Foundation for Community Development, we were concurrently coordinating relief efforts while also looking to the future, knowing that immediate needs would be met but that our community would soon need to move into the long-term community rebuilding and recovery phase.

As a nimble and innovative, place-based community foundation committed to equity, resilience, and collaboration, St. Croix Foundation is approaching disaster recovery differently with your help! By supporting and convening St. Croix nonprofit organizations through our Nonprofit Consortium, we are developing comprehensive and progressive sector-wide cases for the recovery and transformation of our island community. Working diligently and intimately with local nonprofits who span every sector of a healthy society (from Health and Human Welfare to Arts and Culture), we are clarifying and holding a vision of sustainable, holistic rebuilding. Having launched our Nonprofit Consortium in September of 2016, St. Croix Foundation was able to begin convening Consortium partners immediately after Hurricanes Irma and Maria in order to leverage our collective resources and meet the needs of the most vulnerable and underserved residents impacted by the storms.

With many critical government services on the verge of collapse before the storms, and completely broken afterwards, our Consortium of nonprofits has had to work collaboratively to restore their operations while also filling essential service gaps. In the six months since Hurricane Maria, our Consortium has begun to build a strategic framework and a collective vision for developing new approaches to strengthening and stabilizing St. Croix’s nonprofit sector as well as mitigating the devastation of natural disasters. As we chart a radical new course to recovery for our territory, we have drawn the conclusion that in small, isolated communities, directing investments to the Civic Sector is the most viable pathway to social justice, to equity, and to healthy economies.

Since our last report in December of 2017, St. Croix Foundation’s Nonprofit Consortium has been incredibly busy. Thanks to generous partners like you and Global Giving, the work of the Nonprofit Consortium is presenting a profound case for the critical importance of our grounding recovery strategies in our Civic Sector. Here are just a few major accomplishments of the Consortium in just the past 3 months:

On the Map at the Southeastern Council of Foundations
As one of the primary goals of the Consortium, St. Croix Foundation sought to expand opportunities to get the territory and U.S. Caribbean ‘on the map’ and recognized as a relevant funding priority for national and global funders. As is so often the case, many national funders or membership organizations have not recognized the Virgin Islands. In fact, before the work of the Consortium, St. Croix Foundation was notified by many of the largest national funders that the territory was simply not on their radar and that we shouldn’t expect that to change any time soon. Hurricane Maria changed that! And, today, after countless hours of advocacy, networking, and partnership building, on March 6, 2018, it was officially announced that St. Croix Foundation had successfully made the case for inclusion and membership at the Southeastern Council of Foundation (SECF), which boasts a network of over 300 foundations serving the southeast of the U.S., affording us and the 30-plus civic organizations that make up our Nonprofit Consortium access to a new national network of funders for support.

Hosted the 2nd Annual Nonprofit Consortium Funders Forum
In support of our NPC partners and to relieve local donors from the burden of supporting an overburdened sector, in February of 2017, we hosted 7 Senior Executives and CEOs from national philanthropic organizations on the mainland including the Southeastern Council of Foundations, Association of Black Foundation Executives, Minnesota Council of Foundations, Southern Education Fund and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation along with local thought leaders. Our goal? To introduce more philanthropic leaders to the Territory in order to open currently inaccessible funding streams for our entire civic community. As a result of that convening immediately after the hurricane St. Croix had 7 fierce champions who knew St. Croix Foundation, knew our nonprofit landscape, and who knew the passion and potential of our civic leaders who were working tirelessly to meet the immediate needs of the most vulnerable residents in our often forgotten American territory.

From March 9th -11th, the Foundation recently hosted our 2nd Annual Nonprofit Consortium Funders Forum, with 6 national philanthropic leaders. At the conference, 30 nonprofit leaders presented ‘sector-specific’ positioning and vision statements for the future of St. Croix. With Education, the Environs, Health & Human Services, and Arts & Culture organizations represented, nonprofits made progressive ‘cases’ to senior philanthropic executives from the Council on Foundations, the Southeastern Council of Foundations, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, the philanthropic arm of FEMA and the Association for Black Foundation Executives.

The outcomes? Sonia Dow, Executive Director of the St. Croix Landmarks Society, provided historical and cultural context for the unique resiliency and vital importance of civic organizations on St. Croix. Ms. Dow was invited to speak at the next annual conference of the Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) and the Southeastern Council of Foundations to highlight how a deep and shared understanding of cultural heritage and history among diverse groups leads to collaboration and resiliency even during the most challenging of times. As a model of how to achieve real resiliency, the Consoritum's work at the conference will further increase our exposure to the network of support for all of our nonprofits in the territory.

A Cohesive Vision for St. Croix
The Nonprofit Consortium brought together over 30 organizations that worked on positioning statements that would ground the Consortium in equity, sustainability, collaboration, empowerment, and policy. The following statements were developed at the 2nd Annual Nonprofit Consortium Funders Forum:

Nonprofit Consortium Positioning Statements

  1. St. Croix Foundation Nonprofit Consortium (NPC) is a place-based community convener and a network of grassroots organizations committed to equity and inclusion. The various non-profits who engage in the NPC serve the community and allow the NPC to identify the needs of the community. We utilize the resources of local and national networks to support, strengthen and empower the organizations and the community of stakeholders we serve.
  2. St. Croix Foundation and the Nonprofit Consortium is a leader incubator, bringing leaders together across over 30 organizations and 4 sectors for the purpose of system community change. We build collective power by maximizing the capacity of each organization to achieve their individual missions, build alignment, and share perspectives across and within the community. We create a unified voice for advocacy and social change on St. Croix and the infrastructure to support those changes.
  3. St. Croix Foundation, through the Nonprofit Consortium, bridges barriers and creates opportunities for cross-sectional collaboration towards one common goal: a brighter, more resilient St. Croix. By convening the Nonprofit Consortium, the Foundation has demonstrated its unique ability to engage our very diverse community like no other organization or government agency. Our charge now is to expand our reach by: (1) Creating stewards of positive change out of every person with which we interact, (2) Engaging with corporations, foundations, other non-profit organizations, governments, and individuals for the resources that we need to affect change; and (3) Empowering new, for-the-people political leaders that speak one, unified voice.
  4. The Nonprofit Consortium of the St. Croix Foundation develops and disseminates timely research and data that are equitable and accessible for supporting the intellectual capacity and power of the St. Croix community we are serving through transcultural and transformative initiatives. We develop and facilitate multi-strategic work that assesses and analyzes data driven - both quantitative and qualitative - eclectic human dynamics that implement multi-tiered solutions with sustainable economic foundations for intellectual research and development of the work of the Nonprofit Consortium.
  5. St. Croix Foundation Nonprofit Consortium represents a fearless and collective voice to secure political capital and resources to effectively change policy and remake economic development for inclusive growth.  By increasing philanthropic capital and civic collaboration, we can leverage our voice to bring social, public, and private sectors to the table.  We will grow the tax base for St. Croix by expanding the local entrepreneurial and small business community.  We strive for equitable distribution of resources for growth, capacity, and impact for the benefit of the people of St. Croix.
  6. St. Croix Foundation for Community Development and the Non Profit Consortium work in partnership to change policy that eliminates structural barriers that contribute to key elements of the community as a need for systemic reform.

Sector Positioning Statements
Prior to the Funders Forum, four of our civic sectors in the Nonprofit Consortium had been work-shopping for a year to build a cohesive vision for St. Croix. In collaboration with their sister nonprofits, led by a dynamic international consultant, Allyson Reaves, their positioning statements and visions for the future were presented at the Funders Forum representing the groundwork for a unified, strategic plan that includes the following:

The Environment Sector: A Matter of Wealth
The Environment Sector supports the protection, conservation, mitigation, and restoration of our island’s natural resources (including historic built environments); helping to build environmental and, in turn, community resilience, while reconnecting our community with nature. 

Arts & Cultural Heritage: The Conduit for Community Development
The Arts and Culture Sector serves as an artistic and cultural bearer for the St. Croix community by documenting our culture, caretaking our cultural archives, and creating a social fabric that feeds the young and old. The Arts & Cultural Heritage Sector bridges societal gaps through connecting and convening diverse populations and is a magnet for pride, self-worth, and happiness that heals the soul and addresses complex issues in an accessible way. Essential for public health and a powerful economic force, arts and culture is the grounding factor of a healthy St. Croix.

Education: Change Agents
Although the Education Nonprofit Sector has faced fiscal, leadership, and infrastructure challenges, and our families have experienced the devastation of two Category 5 hurricanes, we are responding by providing collaborative, adaptive strategies  and embracing opportunities to create new paradigms for the development and education of all of our children.

Health & Human Services: Revolutionaries for Social Justice & Healthy Communities
In the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma & Maria, the social ills on St. Croix have been exacerbated by the reduction of resources and lack of accessibility to relief. The Health and Human Services sector empowers our community by advocating for justice, equality and well-being. We serve as champions for underserved and unserved populations by transforming social norms, embracing collaboration, promoting education and being an example of compassion, love and healing.

Building Trust for Collaboration and Transformation
The Nonprofit Consortium is creating a safe space for our nonprofits to engage in transformative dialogue and strategic planning. With budget cuts, including a recent announcement that our local government will be cutting funding allotments for nonprofits in the Human Service Sectors, with greater demands, and with the urgency of local recovery efforts, the opportunity that the our Nonprofit Consortium has before it to demonstrate a new framework for disaster recovery is profound. With growing recognition around the ingenuity and courage intrinsic to our sector, the Consortium has helped the Foundation reframe our narrative about this cadre of community warriors who are shepherding social transformation every day.  Because here’s the reality: our civic partners not only represent a steadying force in our community but are also filling critical service gaps while advocating for and moving the needle around equity and social justice for the most vulnerable and underserved residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Looking to a Resilient Future
As needs increase and resources become scarcer in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, leveraging the strengths and staying power of the civic sector through the St. Croix Foundation Nonprofit Consortium has become more critical than ever before. Consider the following even 6 months after the storms:

  1. Eight of thirteen public schools on St. Croix are condemned, requiring every single public school student and teacher to endure grueling double sessions. Public school students now receive only 4 hours of instruction every day after having lost almost 3 months of school directly after the hurricane. Because of reduced time in school, our nonprofit sector is filling serious service gaps, providing before and after school programming, bussing students, and providing safe spaces for children and families while also protecting and preserving our natural and historic, built environment.
  2. St. Croix's only hospital is still slated to be condemned and mental health services are almost nonexistent. To exacerbate matters, in a recent email sent to all nonprofits who receive local government funding for health and human services, organizations were informed that, "We most certainly understand the importance of your organization to this territory, and have seen your tremendous response efforts and we continue to work towards resiliency. Unfortunately at this moment, Office of Management and Budget has informed our department that they are unable to provide legislative funding to your organization and will continue to monitor the revenue and respond accordingly." After receiving no funding for the last two quarters of 2017, this message from the Department of Human Services underscores the importance of the work of the Nonprofit Consortium to leverage and expand funding opportunities.
  3. 60% of all blue-roof tarps in the four islands of the Virgin Islands are on St. Croix, the poorest of all the islands even before the hurricane. The multiplier effect of this will be felt in every sector and will require that our Long Term Recovery Group, a sponsored project of the Foundation, to combine its efforts with our nonprofit organizations to achieve true resiliency.

For every challenge, however, there is an opportunity. It lies in the strength, innovation and passion of the nonprofits on St. Croix. To help build operational capacity, St. Croix Foundation is committed to providing the Nonprofit Consortium with professional development and organizational development training as well as collaboration skill-building. St. Croix’s nonprofits have illuminated this one fact: everything really is connected to everything! When seemingly disparate organizations sit at one table and gain understanding of each other’s work and vision, the intersections where missions and visions meet is unearthed and bridges are built. We seek to begin directing resources at those joints to support collective impact and sustainability.

Our investments in our civic sector are already paying off and we can report that we now have personal champions who know St. Croix, who know St. Croix Foundation, who know the passion and potential of our civic leaders, and who are working on our behalf to open doors of opportunities for St. Croix. GlobalGiving and every single person who continues to believe, is one of those champions. We hope you'll stay the course with us because, in the end, we are affirmed in our belief that Civic Leadership is the pathway to holistic community development and disaster recovery.

The Landmarks Society grounds the work in culture!
The Landmarks Society grounds the work in culture!
The Boys & Girls Club makes up for lost class time
The Boys & Girls Club makes up for lost class time
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A roof gets the Boys & Girls Club back to work!
A roof gets the Boys & Girls Club back to work!

Three months after two category five hurricanes hit the Virgin Islands, the demand for services has expanded and our nonprofits have fewer resources than ever before. Today, through the Nonprofit Consortium and with your support, St. Croix Foundation is actively convening organizations and connecting them to critical resources.

The Consortium's first action item was to survey over 30 nonprofit organizations to assess damages and needs, providing information that identifies where and how support can help organizations for the greatest impact. Armed with data, the Foundation's Nonprofit Consortium has accomplished the following to date:

  1. Established a partnership with the Danish Emergency Management Agency (DEMA), allowing us to make strategic project referrals that led to a number of nonprofit organizations receiving assistance as part of DEMA’s mission. Overall, DEMA completed 24 projects on St. Croix, such as the following notable nonprofit emergency repair projects (to name just a few):
    • Installing blue tarpaulin roofs at the Boys and Girls Club of The Virgin Islands Christiansted Clubhouse and at the Whim Greathouse and Museum;
    • Repairing the roof at the Women's Coalition of St. Croix's shelter among other restoration efforts;
    • Conducting major flood mitigation and electrical repairs to the Queen Louise Home for Children of Lutheran Social Services of the Virgin Islands.
  2. Served as the steward of a $25,000 donation of tools and supplies from the Danish Emergency Management Agency for voluntary organizations to use in support of  rebuilding missions; secured funding for storage and security of the tools and supplies through ReV!ve, a grassroots, charitable disaster relief movement.
  3. Approved the Long Term Recovery Group as a fiscal sponsored project (free of charge), allowing them to operate and fundraise under the Foundation's nonprofit umbrella.
  4. Assisted in raising $10,000 in funding for the repairs to the St. Croix Montessori School which resumed classes over a month before public schools on St. Croix through GlobalGiving.

Through the Consortium, the Foundation is also currently working to broaden funding opportunities and partnerships for all Virgin Islands nonprofits. Most recently, the Foundation and the Southeastern Council of Foundations are exploring how to allow nonprofits in the Virgin Islands to be eligible for membership in the Council, allowing Virgin Islands organizations to join a network of over 300 civic organizations.

And today, the Foundation is excited to report that the Nonprofit Consortium is finalizing plans and securing funding to hold the Second Annual St. Croix Nonprofits Funders Retreat, in which the Foundation and members of the Nonprofit Consortium introduce the Virgin Islands to national partners and make a case for future philanthropic investments in the Territory.

St. Croix Montessori School Reopens!
St. Croix Montessori School Reopens!
Nonprofits thank DEMA for their support.
Nonprofits thank DEMA for their support.


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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
$4,510 raised of $1,000,000 goal
62 donations
$995,490 to go
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Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


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Gift Cards

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