A vibrant, just, and inclusive Greenville where equitable opportunities exist for all to advance and thrive.
Who We Are
To collectively remove the systemic barriers that hold people back based on race, place, and socioeconomic status, and strengthen the pathways that propel all people forward.
We believe in a community that advances inclusion and creates conditions in which everyone can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.
We know empathy is a pathway to equity, and that means listening first and acting second.
We co-design solutions by working with a cross-section of community partners because bringing together our experiences and resources leads to lasting change.
In the spirit of Mr. Hollingsworth, who was an inventor and innovator, we challenge ourselves and our community to bring innovative thinking to everything we do.
A successful community fosters adaptive leaders who thrive in challenging environments. We are committed to asking hard questions and supporting individuals and organizations that promote a vibrant, just, inclusive Greenville.
As a catalyst, convener, collaborator, advocate, and leader, Hollingsworth Funds’ role extends far beyond grantmaking. We deploy all forms of our capital – social, moral, intellectual, reputational, and financial – to help Greenville reach its full potential.
We Use Our:
- Social capital to cultivate relationships and networks that foster change.
- Moral capital to advocate for meaningful public and institutional policy change.
- Intellectual capital to share significant data and knowledge with community partners seeking solutions to complex community problems.
- Reputational capital to back people who are trying to get ahead, despite barriers holding them back, and the organizations and initiatives that support their journey.
- Financial capital to strengthen our impact by combining real estate and investment assets with our grantmaking, making our investment in community partners even more impactful.
John D. Hollingsworth, Jr.
Born in Atlanta, GA in 1917, John D. Hollingsworth, Jr. moved to Greenville, SC at a young age. His grandfather, Pinkney C. Hollingsworth started the family textile machinery business with a mule-drawn wagon in the late 1800s until his father, John D. Hollingsworth, Sr. traded in the wagon for a truck in 1919 and operated the company out of the garage of the family’s house in Greenville. John Jr. was 10 years old when he began to tag along with his father on trips to the area’s textile mills to help fix the machinery, and he took over the company when his father died in 1942. Hollingsworth built John D. Hollingsworth on Wheels into one of the world’s leading fiber-processing equipment makers, inventing machinery that separated textile fibers ten times faster than earlier machines. He was recognized worldwide by his customers for providing immaculate service and ultimately was credited with helping to revitalize America’s textile machinery industry. Outside of his business, Hollingsworth had a keen interest in real estate. He spent 40 years amassing 42,000 acres, making him one of the largest private landowners in South Carolina.
An extraordinarily private individual, John D. Hollingsworth, Jr. established Hollingsworth Funds Inc., a charitable supporting organization, in 1976 as a means to provide anonymous support to the people of his adopted hometown. Upon his death in 2000, the bulk of his self-made textile and real estate fortune—valued at some $290 million—passed to Hollingsworth Funds.
Since our inception, Hollingsworth Funds has faithfully performed our responsibility, investing strategically in our named beneficiaries and other Greenville nonprofit organizations. In addition to philanthropic investments, the sale and development of Hollingsworth Funds’ real estate also have brought about significant economic development and opportunity for the Greenville area.
Already, our work has resulted in the Millennium Campus, the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research, the Shops at Greenridge, and the 1,100-acre master-planned development known as Verdae. Roughly half of the developable real estate remains in Verdae and we are exploring ways to further align development opportunities with our vision and mission.
Under provisions of our trust documents, our distributions are designated for specific beneficiaries, as outlined below:
45% of distributions
As the primary beneficiary of Hollingsworth Funds, Furman University receives 45% of our annual distributions. The majority of this investment supports the Hollingsworth Scholars program, which provides scholarship awards to incoming students from South Carolina who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and a strong commitment to their communities. Funding also supports the programs and activities of the Department of Economics and the Department of Business & Accounting, a longstanding relationship established and nurtured by John D. Hollingsworth himself. Furman’s President also uses discretionary funds to support strategic opportunities and challenges for the university throughout the year.
YMCA of Greenville
10% of distributions
As the secondary beneficiary of Hollingsworth Funds, the YMCA of Greenville receives 10% of our annual contributions to support the Y’s ongoing operating, programming, and capital needs. With its core focus on youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility, the Y serves approximately 48,000 members and 60,000 program participants annually across Greenville County, and it plays an important role in increasing the economic mobility of Greenville.