PO Box 2420
Bluffton SC 29910
Contact Information
Organization DBA (Doing Business As)
Organization DBA
Bluffton Self Help
Address PO Box 2420
Bluffton, SC 29910
Telephone (843) 757-8000 100
Fax (843) 757-6600
Projected Annual Revenue $512,070.00 (2015)
Mission Statement Founded in 1987 to help Bluffton neighbors in critical need of short term financial assistance, food and clothing, while supporting them to become more self-reliant.
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Lili Marlene Coleman
Board Chair Mrs Ashley Feaster
Board Chair Company Affiliation Hilton Head Builders Association
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1987
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.
Additional Documents
Other Documents 3
Gift Acknowledgement Policy2015View
Mission Founded in 1987 to help Bluffton neighbors in critical need of short term financial assistance, food and clothing, while supporting them to become more self-reliant.
Background Bluffton Self Help was founded by Mrs. Ida Martin when she witnessed her neighbors suffering from food insecurity. The agency is over 25 years old and continually grows to meet the needs of the Bluffton community. Free food and clothing is available as well as emergency financial and education assistance. The agency has four full time staff persons and touches over 30,000 annually.  Workshops are offered to identify resources and skills to move those dependent on our services toward self-reliance.

Five Accomplishments from 2014

1) Re-qualified clients for food and clothing based on one per household, thus eliminating misuse and abuse of food allowance

2) Created a toy shop for clients during the holiday season to offer choice and dignity

3) Obtained grants for computers and invested agency funds to update IT equipment for the agency

4) Provided financial emergency assistance to over 800 families

5) Provided free food and clothing consistently to over 3000 regular clients most coming twice a week for food and once a week for clothing

Goals for the upcoming year: 

1) Establish weekly workshops to move clients toward self reliance and training programs for volunteers on harassment, dignity, food handling and program policies and more.

3) To move agency toward SCANPO Guidelines of Excellence

4) Establish an annual signature event

5) Establish financial emergency assistance for residents residing in the Jasper County service area 29927 and 29936.

2) Paperless Processing: Electronically file needed documents to eliminate duplicate requests from clients and making Charity Tracker forms


1) Staff member to concentrate on marketing and development to improve funding reliability and to reach out beyond current donor pool

2) Adequate funding to extend reach into Jasper Country

3) Adequately trained volunteer pool

4) Funding for lease of unit 9 to continue to offer programs that move toward dignity and self reliance

5) ESTABLISHED ANNUAL FUNDRAISING PLAN AND EVENT for improved financial stability

CEO/Executive Director Statement e. Statement from CEO/Executive Director: Bluffton Self Help’s mission is to help all who are in need. This includes children their families, seniors, handicapped and disabled individuals. The self help part of our name was purposely included to move people from dependence and entitlement to self reliance. The vision is to provide the resources to help people help themselves and their families. This requires constant documentation.
Board Chair Statement

I was first introduced to Bluffton Self Help (BSH) in 2006, soon after my husband and I had moved to the Lowcountry.  In my position with the Home Builders Association, I was responsible for identifying a number of local charities for our organization to partner with and help throughout the year.  In meeting with different charitable organizations, Bluffton Self Help stuck out and touched me in a way I will never forget.  When I first arrived at BSH’s then location -- a tiny building off of May River Road -- a line of at least 50 people were patiently awaiting their turn to go inside and pick up food.  As I met with the executive director, I watched in the background, person after person being greeted by volunteers with kindness, dignity and respect.  Most remarkable to me was that in spite of the stresses that must come with difficult times, a smile was brought to the face of every single BSH client before leaving. It was an awesome moment, which left me with the desire to learn more about the organization.  


Fast forward nine years, I’ve now found myself chairing the organization’s board.  Bluffton Self Help which first operated out of a garage belonging to founder Ida Martin, still continues its undertaking of providing food and smiles to those in need.  However, today it is doing so on a much larger scale.  During one of the nation’s largest economic recessions -- a time when most charitable organizations struggled to even keep their doors open – BSH, thanks to the heart and passion of its volunteers and leadership, figured out a way to rally the support necessary to fund a larger and more conducive headquarters and expand its services and client base.


Of course, with growth comes new challenges.  A larger building and an increase in services and clients, meant many operational changes for BSH. The ‘this is the way we’ve always done it’ attitude had to be abandoned by all involved for a ‘this is the way we can do it and make it even better’ attitude.  Changes in policies, procedures and even ways the organization decides to raise awareness and funds have all been items the board and staff frequently address and adjust in order to keep BSH successful in its core mission.  Another challenge the organization has encountered, which is a tribute to its success within the greater Bluffton area, is how to handle requests for assistance in areas that are outside BSH’s geographical area.  It has been a struggle to balance the desire of leadership to help as many as possible, with the mission that guides BSH’s success. Creative ideas for helping other neighboring areas in our region establish an organization using the trials, tribulations and successes of Bluffton Self Help will be one of many goals in the coming years. One that I know will make a difference for our entire region and beyond.


I’m excited to tell people each day about the efforts being made by Bluffton Self Help. There are many great and notable charitable organizations out there, but it’s not often when you can walk into an organization (at any given time in the week) and physically see the discouragement and stress created by hard times change to smiles and confidence.  It starts with dignity and helping thy neighbor know they can overcome their immediate struggles. Bluffton Self Help embodies all this and more.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments
Bluffton Self Help works to elevate hunger, poverty and food insecurity.  Programs also offer funding for education assistance, emergency financial assistance assisting children, their families, seniors, elderly, handicapped and disabled.  Also BSH provides workshops to move people toward self-reliance.  
Current needs include a van for picking up food and clothing, for major food drive, podium for training, sofa table for training, tv monitor for nutrition education in food line.  In addition $4,000 is needed for furniture and equipment to offer workshops and train clients on the use of computers to stay connected, seek employment and apply for necessary benefits.
Areas of Service
In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
Beaufort County
Bluffton, SC 29910 and 29909, off island 29926 and those who work in these zip codes but live in Hardeeville (Jasper Country).  The holiday program held in conjunction with WSAV-TV reaches families in Beaufort, Hampton and Jasper counties.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mrs Ashley Feaster
Company Affiliation Hilton Head Builders Association
Term Dec 2014 to Dec 2015
Board of Directors
Mr Doug Adamson Retired
Ms. Jean Andersen Retired
Ms. Sharon Brown Bulletin High School
Mr. Mario Doria-Medina Berkeley Hall Plantation
Ms. Jan Fierick Retired
Mr. Paolo Grandjacquet Community Volunteer
Mr. Fred Hamilton Town of Bluffton
Mrs. Constance Martin-Witter Retired
Mrs. Elaine Morris Decorator
Ms. Katie Rosenberry Bluffton Today Newspaper
Mr. Charles Russ Retired
Mr. Nick Scheller Retired
Mr. John Troutman Jr.Merrill Lynch
Ms. Susan Zellman Retired
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 11
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 7
Female 8
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 85%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 80%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 80%
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Standing Committees
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Bluffton Self Help board and staff realize that a more aggressive and planned fund development plan must be put into place to protect the mission and legacy of the agency.  As a result, in 2015, the first direct mail campaign will be launched and a new annual signature event will be established.  In addition, there is a grant submitted to support adding a development marketing professional to the staff.  Bluffton Self Help also must recruit board members who have the talents and passion required to grow the agency and serve the clients who face hunger and poverty.  Bluffton Self Help is working hard to document short-term outcomes for the clients to move them toward self-reliance.  Workshops and educational opportunities are marketed to the clients and other partner social agencies to move clients toward self reliance.
Executive Director
Executive Director/CEO Ms. Lili Marlene Coleman
Experience Most recently marketing manager for super regional shopping center for 12 years, work experience includes 6 years in non profit, 4 years in corporate, 2 years in public relation leadership and 4 years in community relations.  Degreed in journalism, marketing and advertising.  
Co-CEO Ms Julie Jones
Term Start Apr 2010
Experience Julie has been heading the financial assistance program since she joined the agency and served as interim director during the search for a new executive director.  She holds a fine arts degree and has worked in non profit for most of her career.  
Former Executive Director/CEOs
Ms. Jenny Haney 2008 - Jan
Mrs. Ida Martin Oct 1987 - Jan
Full Time Staff 4
Part Time Staff 1
Volunteers 157
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 75%
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Sept 2013
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Diversity Policy
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Bluffton Self Help works closely with the service agencies in the Bluffton market to assist clients with their needs.  Also, these agencies work with Bluffton Self Help to head workshops that will benefit our Bluffton neighbors.
Presidential Citizen's MedalPresident of the United States2012
Angel AwardState of South Carolina2007
Description Clients are offered two opportunities per week to come to one of four food distributions and received fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy and non-perishables. Clothing:  up to 10 items per week.  One visit per week.
Budget $8,000
Short Term Success Provide food for those facing food insecurity
Long Term Success Move people out of poverty.  The DRESS TO IMPRESS event resulted in two people obtaining a job.
Strategy Yes
Program Success Monitored BY
Food - provide food to over 500 families each week
DRESS TO IMPRESS - result in 10 percent of attendees getting a job 
Description Clients unable to pay for basic needs such as housing, utilities, medical care and other basic needs can request financial assistance once every 12 months.  If they qualify for the assistance the funds are paid to the bill collector and not the client.  Each client must select an outcome if and when they return for assistance to move themselves out of dependence and entitlement and toward self-reliance.
Budget $185,000
Short Term Success
Long Term Success
Description Provide education assistance for tuition and books/lab to first-generation students.
Budget $22,000
Short Term Success
Long Term Success
Description Workshops are held partnering with other service agencies on budget, parenting, trauma, nutrition, education assistance, financial assistance, credit etc.  These workshops are held at least once a week.  Twice a year DRESS TO IMPRESS workshops are held offering free business attire, job interviews on-site, and workshops toward job seeking and career opportunities.
Budget $1,000
Short Term Success
Long Term Success
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year 2015
Projected Revenue $512,070.00
Projected Expenses $512,070.00
Spending Policy Income Only
Audit Documents
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201320122011
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$401$299$1,891
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$0$0$0
Revenue In-Kind$1,448,406$1,186,241$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201320122011
Program Expense$1,696,706$1,407,010$281,369
Administration Expense$60,673$129,283$75,656
Fundraising Expense$80,391$0$0
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.061.162.58
Program Expense/Total Expenses92%92%79%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue4%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201320122011
Total Assets$1,379,845$1,387,840$1,300,469
Current Assets$586,732$447,445$375,671
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$100,075
Current Liabilities$4,496$3,746$64,172
Total Net Assets$1,375,349$1,384,094$1,136,222
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities130.50119.455.85
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%8%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201320122011
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --United Way $42,490
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Donor $125,000
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Berkeley Hall $30,000
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
Permit? Yes May 0
Registration Yes May 2016
Organization Comments Bluffton Self Help has been fortunate to receive strong community support.  One donor, at the end of the year, for the past three years has donated a sizable amount that has permitted BSH to build a reserve.  Depending on this donation is a mistake.  We are becoming more development minded and seeking out ways to depend less on this end-of-the year donation.  It is the only responsible way to operate.
Address PO Box 2420
Bluffton, SC 29910
Primary Phone (843) 757-8000 100
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Lili Marlene Coleman
Board Chair Mrs Ashley Feaster
Board Chair Company Affiliation Hilton Head Builders Association
Year of Incorporation 1987