After receiving a $500,000 pledge from Wells Fargo just last month, Charleston’s International African-American Museum has another $500,000 in its pocket thanks to a generous donation from two local leaders and their families.
Shawn Jenkins and Mason Holland, co-founders of solution software company Benefitfocus, announced their $500,000 pledge this week to IAAM’s Founders Fund, local station News 2 Charleston reported.
Both Jenkins and Holland have years of leadership experience when it comes business and philanthropy. Holland actively serves on the board for Carolina’s American Red Cross while Jenkins set to have a children’s hospital named in his honor, according to the station.
“We are so proud to announce Shawn and Mason’s pledge to the Founders Fund,” IAAM President and CEO Michael Boulware Moore. “Their families have wisely chosen important and impactful projects to support over the years, and we are honored to be counted among them.”
Earlier this year, Boulware announced that the museum was halfway done with its funding campaign and that developers were slated to break ground on the project early next year. The IAAM also launched the online version of its genealogical research center this summer, an interactive resource aimed at helping patrons discover their ancestral roots.
“Given our backgrounds in the technology space, we see the value and potential of this museum,” Jenkins told local station ABC4. “This institution will evolve over time, serving generations to come. It’s exciting to support a cultural landmark that will serve this community and its families far into the future.”
The museum, slated to open its doors in 2020, recently released renderings of one of its galleries, called “South Carolina: Power of Places.” The exhibit will feature an interactive map of the Palmetto State that allows visitors to take a deeper look into its history. Leaders at the museum said this is just one example of the state-of-the-art technology it plans to use to present the history in an exciting way.
The Benefitfocus donation is the latest in a number of big-name pledges to the IAAM in recent months, including a $10 million pledge from the Indianapolis-based Lilly Foundation and a $250,000 donation from AT&T.