NAMI Lowcountry
117 William Hilton Parkway
Suite K
Hilton Head Island SC 29926
Contact Information
Organization DBA (Doing Business As)
Organization DBA
NAMI Lowcountry (SC)
Address 117 William Hilton Parkway
Suite K
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
Telephone (843) 6812200 1#
Fax (843) 6812290
Projected Annual Revenue $207,344.00 (2018)
Mission Statement

NAMI Lowcountry is dedicated to improving the lives of people with mental illness and their families. We reach out to our community; advocate for mental health; and provide education and support so that all those affected can build better lives.


CEO/Executive Director Sarah Eliasoph
Board Chair Alexandra Joseph
Board Chair Company Affiliation Solicitor's Office
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1991
Former Names
NAMI Beaufort County2015
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Beaufort County SC1991
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years
Graph: Expense Breakdown Graph - All Years
Revenue vs Expenses Area Graph - All Years

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

NAMI Lowcountry is dedicated to improving the lives of people with mental illness and their families. We reach out to our community; advocate for mental health; and provide education and support so that all those affected can build better lives.



The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Beaufort County SC (NAMI Beaufort County) was formed in 1989 by a group of family members who met at the Coastal Empire Community Mental Health Clinic in Beaufort and needed support and housing for their adult children with mental illness. The organization received 501(c)(3) designation from the IRS in 1991 and operated as NAMI Beaufort County until 2015, when our name was changed in 2015 to NAMI Lowcountry to better reflect our expanding service area to include Jasper, Hampton, Colleton and Allendale Counties.

In 2012 NAMI Beaufort County was named National Affiliate of the Year among over 1,100 affiliates nation-wide. In 2017, we received a Certificate of Affiliation from the national NAMI organization in recognition of our commitment to NAMI Standards of Excellence.


 2017 and early 2018 Accomplishments:

1.   Increasing our income through grants, donations and fundraising events and reducing our expenses through careful spending, which enabled us to achieve financial stability for the first time in many years.
2.   Training of additional facilitators for our Connection Recovery Support Groups, Family Support Groups, Family-to-Family education course for parents of adults with mental illness,and Peer-to-Peer, an education program focusing on mental health, wellness and recovery for anyone experiencing a mental health challenge.
3.   Continuing to lead the Beaufort County Clubhouse Working Group forward, with the opening of this mental health clubhouse scheduled for April 2018 on a limited basis.  There is a very great need for this clubhouse, we anticipate serving 20-30 adults living with mental illness from the outset, with future membership reaching 250.  The Clubhouse will be run by the members with a very small staff and give adults with mental illness a place to call their own, with education, employment opportunities and socialization. 
4.   Increased interest by qualified individuals in joining NAMI Lowcountry's Board of Directors, which confirms our increased visibility and growth.  We have established Board committees that include other non-Board volunteers, giving these volunteers a good background and experience in NAMI before election to the BOD. 
2018-2019 GOALS: 
1.   Board of Directors to set their individual goals for supporting NAMI Lowcountry's financial stability enabling expansion into outlying communities.
2.   Hire additional part-time staff to assist the Executive Director.
3.   Develop and implement a plan of succession for a new Executive Director, allowing a gradual hand-over of the many facets of this position. 


  • Secure more grants and community funding for NAMI’s free programs. Since all our programs are given without charge, we rely 100% on individual and corporate donations, grants, and our two annual fundraising events
  • Enlist more volunteers, including board members, for the Beaufort County Clubhouse project
  • Enlist more volunteers, including board members, for NAMI Lowcountry
  • Increase outreach into Colleton, Hampton and Allendale Counties
  • Secure funding to hire an assistant to our Executive Director to facilitate succession.


CEO/Executive Director Statement

NAMI Lowcountry is uniquely positioned to provide our free mental health education and support services in the various communities that we serve.

Our programs for individuals with mental illness are given by peers: trained volunteers who themselves live with mental illness and have experienced difficult and varied journeys into full, productive lives. Their insight into schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, major depression and the gamut of serious mental illnesses is invaluable and they are extraordinary role models for others who often have not yet accepted their diagnosis and continue to struggle with their symptoms. Their generosity of spirit and the time and energy that they give to NAMI is invaluable.

NAMI’s programs for families and friends of individuals with mental illness are based on the same premise: that the best support comes from others who have lived through similar circumstances. The mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, and children of individuals with severe mental illness have lived – and often are continuing to live – with profoundly ill individuals whom they support financially, emotionally and spiritually. For most this is an exhausting and endless journey. We are extremely grateful for those trained family volunteers who are able, and very pleased, to facilitate and lead our education and support programs for family members.

NAMI Lowcountry depends heavily on volunteers. We currently have one part-time staff member and without volunteers we would not exist. Our hands-on Board of Directors is largely composed of individuals with mental illness and family members, many of whom volunteer to teach and facilitate our programs. In recent years, we have expanded board membership with the addition of qualified members of the community who bring special talents and experience from diverse backgrounds.

During the last few years we have developed many partnerships in the community, bringing greater opportunity to work together to improve the lives of individuals with mental illness and their families. Our membership and activities within Beaufort County’s Human Services Alliance has enabled NAMI to host and participate in three Mental Health Summits, leading to positive changes in how mental health services are brought to severely ill adults. We are partnering with other mental health organizations to bring a Clubhouse International facility to Beaufort County in 2018. It is this pro-active focus and determination that made NAMI Lowcountry the NAMI Affiliate of the Year in 2012.

Board Chair Statement

Our most significant corporate success in 2017 was that we have been granted affiliate status from NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Affiliate status is granted to affiliates which demonstrate adherence to NAMI’s Standards of Excellence. These standards provide clear and unambiguous guidance for operations. The practices expressed in the standards reflect the requirements for affiliation, including principles of good governance and ethical practices. Affiliates receiving affiliate status must offer a prescribed level of support, education and advocacy in their communities.

NAMI Lowcountry has always been governed by a board that was largely composed of individuals with mental illness and their family members, and many of them were also program volunteers, donating their time to teach and facilitate our peer-led programs and support groups. We are asking these few people to do too much.

In the past couple of years, we have recruited business leaders to expand our board and bring necessary talent and experience that we lacked in the past. We have also been successful in strengthening and broadening our Board with the addition of new younger members who have the enthusiasm and experience to help us better carry out our mission. We have also focused on broadening our board profile to include representation from Latino leaders and veterans.

One challenge is to further broaden our Board, for example by reaching out to the African American community. As we continue our expansion of services in Jasper County, with the stated goal of reaching Hampton and Colleton counties in 2018, and Allendale county in 2019, we would greatly benefit from strong representation on our Board from leadership in these areas. NAMI staff (one part-time) and volunteers will continue our participation in both the Beaufort and Jasper Human Service Alliances, Beaufort Mental Health Access Coalition, the housing and transportation coalitions and at health fairs, town Leadership programs, etc. as we are able.

We also need to encourage and grow our Directors to identify and cultivate the next generation of board officers. We have taken a step by electing one of our newer, younger Directors to be President in 2018. We are also establishing committees (fundraising, programs, etc.) to provide leadership and active involvement opportunities.

One longer term concern is staffing. We have a wonderful Executive Director in Sarah Eliasoph, but can’t expect her to be around indefinitely. Due to lack of resources, we can’t afford to hire any more staff (except for projects like the annual fundraising walk). Sarah is on board with this concern and I am confident will do whatever is needed to do to select and train her replacement. The board has initiated a campaign to identify major donors to strengthen our financial position, to help support hiring an "assistant" and eventual successor.  To help lighten our ED's workload, we are hiring additional assistance for fundraising through social media and more coordinated postings in Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments We are excited at our present opportunities in 2018.  Our Peer Recovery Council, composed of adults living with mental illness, is developing into an independent and reliable group involved in mental health advocacy and support; they also have their own fundraising events to support scholarships to attend the annual NAMI SC conference.  The Beaufort County Clubhouse, which will be an independent organization with its own 501(c)(3) and Board of Directors (and will have no connection to NAMI, SC DMH or any organization involved in its development), is scheduled to open on a limited basis in April 2018.  Crisis Intervention Training is expanding in this area thanks to a new CIT trainer, allowing us to give CIT to all staff at Beaufort County Detention Center, government agencies, law enforcement (public and private), school resource officers, college residence assistants and staff and non-profits and businesses which come in contact with individuals in crisis.  Parents are demanding more information on mental health so that schools are contacting us for educational presentations.  PeachJar is a new service that enables us to reach parents digitally, increasing their participation in NAMI Basics (for parents of children and adolescents with behavioral concerns).  School staff are requesting mental health information for themselves and students. We are receiving more unsolicited grants and donations than in the past, allowing us to be cautiously optimistic about opportunities for growth as an organization, including the ability to support additional part-time staff.
Areas of Service
Beaufort County
Jasper County
Hampton County
Colleton County

NAMI Lowcountry currently serves Beaufort County with full mental health services and Jasper County with support groups for individuals living with mental illness.  Our goal is to increase services in Jasper County to full mental health services, and to begin support groups for individuals living with mental illness in both Hampton and Colleton Counties when we have sufficient facilitators trained.

Board Chair
Board Chair Alexandra Joseph
Company Affiliation Solicitor's Office
Term Dec 2017 to Dec 2018
Board of Directors
Marybeth Buonaiuto real estate agent
Enid Carranza Development officer, La Isla Magazine
Michelle Casey Author and professional speaker
Susan Horn Professional equestrian judge
Ray Horn leader, NAMI Lowcountry Peer Recovery Council
Alexandra Joseph Beaufort County Solicitor's Office
Mollie Lynes Kinard teacher
Dick Males retired
Benjamin Martin Personalized Medicine Consultant, AlphaGenomix
Jacob Paris Community Program Director, Coastal Empire Community MH
Laurie Shay retired
Michelle Taylor business owner
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 10
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 8
Board Term Lengths 3
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 0%
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Risk Management Provisions
Commercial General Liability
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Executive Director
Executive Director/CEO Sarah Eliasoph
Employment Vogue Magazine, Mobil Oil Company (both NYC), Public Relations Assoc. and Canadian Joint Staff (London, England).
Support staff, including acting controller, for Lewis Foods, Riverside CT (7 McDonald's restaurants in NYC), aircraft leasing company and owner's personal finances. Initial employee for Foundation for Hospice Care (raising funds to build a hospice house in Beaufort County), dissolved in 2008.  Joined NAMI (then Beaufort County) in 2009 as part-time fundraiser and bookkeeper, then Director of Operations, then Executive Director. 
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 2
Volunteers 150
Contractors 1
Retention Rate 100%
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures No
Diversity Policy
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI)2017
Description NAMI Connection is a peer-led recovery support group for people living with mental illness in which people learn from each others’ experiences, share coping strategies, and offer each other encouragement and understanding.
Budget $6,500.00
Short Term Success

In the past two years the weekly Hilton Head support group has grown from 4-5 people to 12-15 and the weekly Bluffton/Okatie group has had similar growth. Members of these groups have formed the Lowcountry Peer Recovery Council, an advisory group to our Board of Directors, and have monthly meetings with education presentations, their own fundraisers and social events. They volunteer to assist at health fairs and they are developing a plan for distribution of NAMI information to hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices. This is a giant leap forward from where they were three or four years ago! While there are occasional setbacks, the Hilton Head/Bluffton participants are functioning as a group where they support each other, enjoy each other’s company and are welcoming and equally supportive of new group participants.

Long Term Success

Participant experience improved adherence to regularly-scheduled doctor visits, medication compliance and a healthier life style. Participants demonstrate a better understanding and acceptance of their mental illness and participation in socialization, education and volunteer opportunities.  Participants achieve a full and productive life while living with mental illness.

Strategy Yes
Program Success Monitored BY Success is measured by the increasing number of participants and feedback from participants. Attendance has grown from 510 participants in 2014 to 1062 in 2017, up by 108%.
Description In Our Own voice is a presentation by individuals living with mental illness for the general public in order to to promote awareness of mental illness and the possibility of recovery. 
Budget $3,500.00
Short Term Success We continue presentations at Beaufort Memorial Hospital at the request of the mental health staff – they see the positive effect on both their patients and the staff.   The staff has told us that they see the first sparks of interest in their mental health patients after these presentations – that people are learning that there is the possibility of living and full and productive life in recovery and that their participation in their mental health treatment is essential.
Long Term Success

The two goals of this program are (1) giving the audience (mental health patients in hospitals, individuals with mental illness and their families, college students) a safe place to ask questions and gain understanding of an often-misunderstood topic; and (2) giving the presenters power over their own illness and the knowledge that they are changing the face of mental illness and making a difference.

Strategy Yes
Program Success Monitored BY

Positive feedback and demand for the program. We continue presentations at Beaufort Memorial Hospital at the request of the mental health staff – they see the positive effect on both their patients and the staff. Colleton General Hospital (Walterboro) is also asking for this program; we hope to be able to fulfill their request in a year or so when we have a greater number of people trained to give the presentations.  

USCB and TCL welcome the program for their students (nursing, psychology, health studies) and we give several presentations a year at each school. This is also an excellent program for HOSA students in Beaufort High School.

Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year 2018
Projected Revenue $207,344.00
Projected Expenses $193,868.00
Spending Policy Income Only
Audit Documents
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$150,817--$111,200
Administration Expense$39,943--$79,286
Fundraising Expense$34,627--$35,707
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.92--0.81
Program Expense/Total Expenses67%--49%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue31%--43%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$444,643--$504,664
Current Assets$3,325--$0
Long-Term Liabilities$57,658--$68,518
Current Liabilities$2,290--$3,852
Total Net Assets$384,695--$432,294
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities1.45--0.00
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets13%--14%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201420132012
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount ---- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount ---- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount ---- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
Registration Yes May 2018
Nonprofit NAMI Lowcountry
Address 117 William Hilton Parkway
Suite K
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
Primary Phone (843) 6812200 1#
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Sarah Eliasoph
Board Chair Alexandra Joseph
Board Chair Company Affiliation Solicitor's Office
Year of Incorporation 1991
Former Names
NAMI Beaufort County
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Beaufort County SC