How We Got Started

We were founded in 1984 by leaders of the state’s business community who believed that every problem we face has a solution. Over the years, they brought together civic leaders, educational institutions, corporations, governmental agencies, and others to rethink our state’s approach to everything from healthcare to education, from election reform to race relations.

Our Mission

Our mission is to identify innovative strategies to address the social and economic challenges facing our state, and put them into action.

We look at states that have been successful and learn from them.

Through unique partnerships with governments, businesses, civic groups, schools, and religious organizations, we then go to work, applying the strategies we’ve discovered to the ongoing work of building successful communities

Independent. We’re not a government agency or a private business. We are an independent, non-profit initiative. Our funding comes from many sources, but mostly from citizens who believe in the potential of our state.

Innovative. The Palmetto Project has been the catalyst for over 330 successful public-private partnerships that have helped change South Carolina for the better. Many of these ideas have been replicated in other states and even in other countries.

Results. Today, our efforts are helping communities create jobs and provide health care, making schools safer and exciting while improving test scores, and enhancing the learning skills of our youngest children in ways that will help them compete on an equal footing with others.