Our mission is to provide a lifespan of services for the autism community through programs that:
Help families,     
       Open minds,               
        Promote inclusion,    

  Expand potential.  

Project HOPE Foundation was founded in 1997 by moms looking for services for their young sons with autism. As the rate of autism has expanded from 1 in 2500 to 1 in 59, our programs have also expanded into an innovative lifespan of autism services. We are broad in our scope, serving across ages (from two to young adults), across the spectrum of autism, and across programs (ABA therapy, classroom options, adult employment, social groups, life skills, community outreach, professional trainings). We are individualized in our approach, seeking to meet the unique needs of each specific person. Our programs benefit not only the child affected with autism but also the entire family, all of whom are forever changed by this diagnosis.  Our therapy and adult services have been honored to be designated as United Way of the Piedmont's programs of excellence. Our educational program, accredited through SCISA, received the Education Spirit Award through the Community Foundation of Greenville, Greenville Journal, and Town Magazine. Based on our use of funding, we received the Angel Award from the SC Secretary of State. No other South Carolina organization offers our range of services and support for the autism community.

Project Hope Foundation gave us just that: hope. I can’t begin to explain this amazing group of people ... They have an amazing heart for these kids and their families.
— Current Parent

Leadership of Project HOPE Foundation


Co-Founder and Executive Director

Board of Directors

Joe Vaughn, Chair
Kelly Fairbairn, Vice Chair
Doug Hayes, Treasurer
Linda Dolny-Lister

Lisa Hyman Lane
Stephanie Martin
Susan Sachs


Co-Founder and Executive Director

susan lisa.png

Our History

In 1996, Lisa and Susan were moms of young sons who were newly diagnosed with autism. At the time, the rate of autism was 1 in 2,500. To get ABA therapy for their sons, they had to fly in consultants from New York and California, recruit their own therapists, provide their own training, coordinate their own programs, and find their own funding.

In an effort to fill the gap in services, they incorporated Project HOPE Foundation as a nonprofit organization. For them, “HOPE” was the perfect acronym for their goal for their sons: “Help Our Potential Emerge.”

Our Funding

As a nonprofit organization, Project HOPE Foundation works diligently to provide quality services as efficiently and effectively as possible.  Project HOPE Foundation’s programs receive funding support from a variety of sources, including Exceptional SC Scholarships, insurance, Medicaid, and Medicaid waivers. However, we must raise over $1 million annually to cover the funding gap for our services.  

To do so, we rely on:

·      our annual fundraising events;

·      local, state, and federal grants, and 

·      corporate and individual donors.  

our collaborations

Project HOPE Foundation partners with a wide variety of organizations to build a network of support for the autism community.  Click here for a look at our current collaborations.

Big Brain Staffing

Clemson ICAR

Greenwood Genetic Center

Employment with Project HOPE Foundation

Project HOPE Foundation provides a number of career paths for people who are looking for positions that allow them to impact the autism community - in therapy, in classrooms, and in support.  Additionally, Project HOPE Foundation is committed to facilitating employment for adults with autism through our partnership with Big Brain Staffing.  

Hope News