Charleston’s Benefitfocus launches new fund for charitable giving

Benefitfocus Inc. says it’s taking a new approach toward corporate giving: letting its employees call more of the shots.

The Daniel Island-based technology company says it’s set aside a new pool of money for gifts, and it’s taking requests for how to divvy it up.

The developer of workplace benefits software has received a handful of requests since employees were told about the new fund last week, but they’ll have plenty of time to send in proposals, said Nina Sossamon-Pogue, vice president of community and culture. The initiative is starting with funding for three years.

Sossamon-Pogue wouldn’t say how much money the company had contributed, but she said the new initiative wouldn’t affect its other philanthropic efforts.

The fund is being managed by the Coastal Community Foundation. It will target a few main areas — the arts, “basic human needs,” education, the environment and health and wellness — but no one region: The fund is open to charities outside of the Lowcountry, or even abroad.

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