Collaboration, flexibility seen key to change

By Todd Cohen

[Note: This was written for Triangle Community Foundation.]

RALEIGH, N.C. — Sustaining the Triangle’s growth and making it a better place will depend on how well individuals and organizations can adapt to sweeping, rapid change and work together to fix the region’s most pressing social problems.

That message was the focus of What Matters, an event hosted by Triangle Community Foundation on April 1 at the Raleigh Convention Center.

Struggling in prosperity

The Triangle is home to stark contrasts, leaders of Triangle Community Foundation told the 450 civic and business leaders from throughout the Triangle at the event.

“In the midst of prosperity, many among us struggle daily to survive and thrive,” said Lacy Presnell III, chair of the Foundation’s board of directors and a lawyer at Raleigh firm Burns, Day & Presnell.

Lori O’Keefe, the Foundation’s president, said the Triangle is the fastest-growing region in the U.S. and ranks fourth in economic growth. Raleigh is the sixth-most-affordable city to live in, Durham is among the 10 most-educated cities, and the region’s quality of life ranks highest in the U.S., she said.

Yet four in 10 public-school students in the region are enrolled in a program for lunch that is free or at a reduced price, one in five children live in poverty, and nearly half of all home renters spend 30 percent or more of their incomes on housing costs, she said. And nearly one in five public school students who enter ninth grade do not graduate in four years, she said, while people of color earn $7 less an hour than whites.

“As proud as we are of this region,” she said, “we must not lose sight of the real challenges we face as we continue to grow.”

Framework for change

Making change happen requires “crystal clear direction about where we’re headed,” motivation for the emotional side of the brain, and the need to “shape the path,” make it easy to “get to from point A to point B, remove the obstacles, create a culture conducive to change,” author Dan Heath, senior fellow at the Center for Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship at Duke University, said in his keynote speech at the event.

He cited a Stanford University study of a food drive in a single dormitory there. Testing the hypothesis that “there are nice people and they give, and there are jerks and they don’t,” the study canvassed the dorm to rank all students from the most to least kind.

Then it tested two versions of a letter promoting the food drive, with one version providing only basic instructions, and the other suggesting that, if students could not figure out what or how to donate, they should bring a can of beans and pick a time to drop off the can.

The second version provided a map showing where to drop off the donation. Among students who received the basic instructions, eight percent of the those identified as “saints” in the canvas and none identified as “jerks” donated food.

Among those who received the detailed instructions, 42 percent of the “saints” and 25 percent of the “jerks” made a donation.

Those findings suggest the food drive was “three times better off betting on a jerk with a map than a saint without one,” Heath said.

In times of change, he said, people are quick to put people “in buckets,” treating them as “saints and jerks,” he said.

“A crucial lesson for leaders of change,” he said, is that “when the path around us changes, people change, so we’ve got to be thoughtful about shaping the path.”

Shaping the path

A key to finding effective solutions to change is to “get better at meeting people where they are, shaping the path for them, not shaping the path” preferred by many advocates of change, Heath said.

He described a challenge faced at the airport in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where the men’s room had a problem with “spillage” that was “caused by poor aim.”

After considering a range of solutions, the committee decided to hire an artist who etched the likeness of a black housefly into every urinal in the men’s room.

Suggesting that the male psyche tended to see a target around the etching, which served as the bull’s eye, Heath said spillage in the men’s room immediately fell by 90 percent.

“We’ve got to shape the path to make change a little easier,” he said.

Bright spots

The social sector often gets so bogged down focusing on its ideal goal that it sometimes fails to see what is real and can lead to an effective solution, Heath said.

In the 1970s, he said, Jerry Sternin, director of Save the Children in Vietnam, wanted to fight child nutrition. Rather than address the problem’s root causes by trying to reform the education system, cure poverty and provide access to clean water, Heath said, Sternin focused on how families in a single village actually were feeding their children.

First, he identified which children in the village were well-nourished for their age, then watched how their parents prepared meals.

Most families in the village served their children two bowls of white rice a day, but the “bright-spot” mothers divided the same amount of rice into more meals during the day, making it easier for their children to digest more rice at each meal.

Sternin invited the “bright-spot” mothers to share the way they were preparing meals with other mothers in the village. Six months later, two-thirds of children in the village were better nourished. And after word of the success spread, leaders of other villages traveled to learn how the mothers in the village were preparing food.

Eventually, the more effective approach reached over 2.2 million Vietnamese in 265 villages, Heath said.

Sternin “did not cure child malnutrition in Vietnam,” Heath said. “But he put an enormous dent in the problem with a meager budget, and never solved any of the problems allegedly responsible for child malnutrition. That’s the power of looking at bright spots.”

So rather than “spending all your time obsessing about problems,” he said, community leaders should “steal some time to think about successes.”

Working together

The problems communities are trying to tackle, Heath said, are “daunting, long-standing, will not yield to easy solutions.”

And while it may not be apparent from day to day, he said, big changes do take place over time.

“Nothing great is ever accomplished easily,” he said. “But together, we’ll make it possible.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 05.01.15

Terry Foundation giving $16 million to N.C. State University

The Randall B. Terry Charitable Foundation in High Point is giving $16 million to fund research, scholarships and endowed professorships at the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University.

Created in 1996 by the late Randall B. Terry Jr., who was co-publisher of the High Point Enterprise, the foundation has contributed over $47 million to the vet school at N.C. State.

Heart Ball raises $295,000

The Winston-Salem Heart Ball attracted 439 guests and raised a record-high $295,000 for the American Heart Association through tickets, tables sold, sponsorships, silent and live auctions, and individual donations.

All funds raised benefit research and prevention education on heart disease and stroke.

Children’s Museum getting $500,000

Phillips Foundation is giving $500,000 to the Greensboro Children’s Museum to establish an endowment to support programming and maintenance.

Over the past two years, the Foundation has committed over $10 million to education and learning enrichment initiatives for children in Guilford County.

Parker leaves United Way for Bank of America

Virginia Parker, who joined United Way of the Greater Triangle in February 2014 as senior vice president of resource development and strategic partnership, has been named senior vice president and Triangle market manager at Bank of America.

Perry-Manning heads Delaware Office of Early Learning

Susan Perry-Manning, founding director of the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation and former vice president of the North Carolina Partnership for Children, has joined the Delaware Office of Early Learning as executive director.

McIntyre joins Faison

Jane McIntyre, retired executive director at United Way of Central Carolinas in Charlotte, has been named director of charitable giving at Faison, working part-time.

Less than half of churches offer online giving

Only 42 percent of U.S churches provide congregation members an opportunity to give online, compared to 70 percent of nonprofits that let donors give online, according to two studies by Campbell Rinker, including one — on churches — with Dunham+Company.

Only 29 percent of churches with fewer than 200 people attending each week offer online giving, compared to 70 percent of churches with weekly attendance of 200 or more.

Rotary volunteers pack meals for kids

Over 220 Rotary Club volunteers packed 130,000 fortified mac-and-cheese meals over three weekends in November, February and March at the warehouse of the Out of Garden Project in Greensboro to feed children and families in need over the weekend during the school year.

The effort was organized by Meals of Hope, a project of Summit Rotary Club, and also included volunteers from six other Greensboro Rotary Clubs that are members of District 7690.

Cindi Hewitt, a member of Summit Rotary, chair the Meals of Hope project.

High Point Salvation Army opening third Family Store

The Salvation Army of High Point will open its third Family Store, in Suite 116 at 2100 North Main St., with a kickoff celebration on May 8.

The store will sell gently used items, with all profits to benefit families needing emergency financial assistance.

Alamance County United Way enlists volunteers

Eighty volunteers recruited by United Way of Alamance County contributed a total a 204 hours through 11 service project at local nonprofits and schools in April during National Volunteer Week.

Greensboro United Way getting $30,000

Samet Corporation is contributing $30,000 over three yearrs to United Way of Greater Greensboro to support its Family Success Centers pilot program, an effort to help break the cycle of poverty in the region.

Davidson County Hospice honors couple, church; to train volunteers

Funeral home owners Joan and Jack Briggs have received the 2015 Founder’s Award from Hospice of Davidson County, and Rich Fork Baptist Church in Thomasville has received the 2015 Community Partner Award.

Hospice also will hold a training session for new volunteers each May 11 through 14  from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. each evening in the Administrative Building on its campus at 200 Hospice Way in Lexington.

Duke gets $9.76 million

Duke University has received $9.75 million in gifts and matching funds to support an initiative that focuses on harnessing data to tackle big societal challenges.

Safe Alliance to benefit from volleyball festival

Safe Alliance, a Charlotte agency that serves families surviving domestic violence, will benefit from the 5th Annual Jennifer Roberts Volleyball Festival, to be held May 9 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Jeff Adams Tennis Center in Renaissance Park in Charlotte.

Concert to benefit Levine Children’s Hospital

Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte will benefit from the third annual Joedance Jam, to be hosted by Joedance Film Festival May 2 from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., at Tyber Creek Pub at 1933 South Boulevard in SouthEnd.

Documents shredded, electronics recycled

Nearly 53,000 pounds of documents and 26,000 pounds of electronics were collected, securely destroyed and recycled in a document shredding and electronics recycling event on April 18 sponsored by the Better Business Bureau of Eastern North Carolina.

Over 1,500 Triangle residents participated in the semi-annual event, which was held at Coastal Federal Credit Union and Lafayette Village.

At-risk youth in Triad focus of partnership

Two annual fundraising initiatives over the next three years aim to benefit at-risk youth in the Triad.

The two efforts, both sponsored through a partnership between The Ricky Proehl P.O.W.E.R. of Play Foundation and the Hutchinson Family Office, include The Ricky Proehl Celebrity Golf Classic Tournament, to be held June 5 at the Farm Course at Greensboro Country Club, and a holiday gift drive in October to collects food, toys and clothing for needy families.

Free directory of mental health services available

Mental Health America of the Triangle has produced a free Directory of Mental Health Services in Orange, Person and Chatham counties.

Urban Ministries gets sleep-apnea machines

Active Healthcare donated machines that treat sleep apnea, and provided training on how to use the machines, to Urban Ministries of Wake County.

Nonprofit news roundup, 04.24.15

Nonprofit boards seen as ineffective

A new survey supports a long-held belief that many nonprofit boards of directors are ineffective, say researchers at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.

A significant minority of 924 members of nonprofit board surveyed were not sure of their organization’s mission and strategy, dissatisfied with their ability to evaluate their organization’s performance, and uncertain whether their fellow board members have the experience to do their jobs well.

Still, nearly all directors surveyed believe the organization’s executive director understands the mission well, 87 percent are satisfied with the executive director’s performance, and 85 percent are satisfied with their organization’s overall performance.

The survey found:

* 27 percent of board members don’t think their colleagues have a strong understanding of the mission and strategy.

* 65 percent don’t think their board is very experienced, and roughly half don’t think their colleagues are very engaged in their work.

* 46 percent have little or no confidence that the performance data they review accurately measures their organization’s success.

* 32 percent don’t think their board can evaluate their organization’s performance.

* 42 percent don’t have an audit committee, and many rely on monthly bank statements to monitor financial performance.

* 57 percent don’t benchmark their performance against peer groups.

* 39 percent don’t establish performance targets for their executive directors.

* Two-thirds don’t have a succession plan in place.

*  78 couldn’t immediately name a successor if the current executive were to leave suddenly.

Alamance United Way investing in public transit

United Way of Alamance County will give $100,000 to support the new public bus system the City of Burlington expects to launch in the spring of 2016.

United Way says it is making the investment because the new transit system will provide people in need with an affordable way to get to work or school or to appointments for health and human services.

United Way also says earnings from investments and other funds it has accumulated through its fiscal management have generated $200,000 it will be able to use, in addition to funds from its current annual campaign, to support health-and-human-services programs in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Heidi Norwick, United Way president, said the campaign so far has raised $1.3 million and likely will raise as much as the $1,586,000 it raised a year ago.

YMCA of Garner raises $5.5 million

YMCA of Garner, a branch of YMCA of the Triangle, has raised $5.5 million in the silent phase of a capital campaign to raise money to build a permanent YMCA facility in Garner.

It will launch the public phase this spring.

Women’s Fund to give over $100,000

The Women’s Fund of Winston-Salem expects to grant over $100,000 to local nonprofits that serve women and girls, and is seeking proposals that focus on their economic security.

An initiative of The Winston-Salem Foundation, the Women’s Fund has awarded over $1.1 million since 2007.

The 2015 grants will be awarded at The Women’s Fund 10th Annual Luncheon in November 2015.

Dining for Friends to benefit Triad Health Project

Triad Health Project, an HIV/AIDS service organization, will hold its 26th Annual Dining for Friends this spring to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and funds for the organization.

Individuals and groups are invited to host a Dinner with Friends event. And a Grand Dessert Finale for all sponsors, hosts and guests will be held May 16 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. at The Terrace at The Greensboro Coliseum Complex.

Community Matters raises $73,000

Community Matters, an insurance-industry group that supports selected nonprofit partners, raised $72,578 at its Fourth Annual Dodgeball Tournament.

Family Promise volunteers serve 6,000 meals

Family Promise of Greater Guilford County says its volunteers have served over 6,000 meals over the last 11 months, provided over 2,000 hours of support at its shelter, donated supplies, toiletries and household items, and made financial contributions.

Staunch to chair board at North Carolina Community Foundation

Linda Staunch, president and CEO of Linda Staunch & Associates, a public relations and marketing firm in New Bern, has been named chair of the statewide board of directors of the North Carolina Community Foundation.

Becoat joins UNC development office

Paulette Becoat, for manager for fundraising and special events at the American Diabetes Association, has been named assistant director of stewardship services in the Office of Development at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Rock concert to benefit charity

The Fifth Annual Rock Your World Free Benefit Concert will be held May 8 from 6 p.m. to  11 p.m. at RallyPoint Sport Grill in Cary.  Donations from the free event will benefit Hope for Haiti Foundation and Dew4Him Ministries.

Thompson to hold annual luncheon

Thompson, a Charlotte-based provider of clinical and prevention services for children and families across the Carolinas, will hold its 13th annual benefit luncheon at April 28 at noon at The Westin Charlotte.

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to hold walks in Triangle

The Carolinas Raleigh Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will hold walks on May 16 at 9 a.m. at the Research Triangle Park campus of Credit Suisse and at Halifax Mall in Raleigh.

Youth Grantmakers in Action gives $1,900

Youth Grantmakers in Action, an initiative of The Winston-Salem Foundation for  youth ages 15 to 18, awarded four grants totaling $1,900 to projects serving youth in Forsyth County.

Since its first round of grants in 2006, the group has awarded over $18,000 to youth-led community projects.

Housing for New Hope to hold annual breakfast

Housing for New Hope in Durham will hold its annual Rays of Hope breakfast on May 5 at 7:30 a.m. at PNC Triangle Club at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

Make the most of your nonprofit’s mistakes

Overcoming a problem at your nonprofit is a great opportunity not just to learn from a mistake but also to help your staff, board, supporters and partners see how you are working to improve the way you do business.

Did your annual fund or capital campaign fall short of its goal? Did your earned revenue miss its target? Was the impact of one of your programs less than you expected it to be?

If in response to disappointing results your nonprofit took stock of itself, identified what had gone wrong, and adjusted your operations, programs or expectations, one outcome ought to be better results.

Another possible outcome, often overlooked, is the opportunity to tell a great story about the way your organization adapts to problems.

So tell that story.

Explain what you did to identify the problem and its cause. What metrics, outcomes and business processes did you look at?

Describe your method for finding a solution. What roles did your staff and board play, as well as any consultants you may have hired?

Spell out your new approach. What are your new goals, what indicators are you using to measure success, and what results are you showing?

And talk about the lessons your nonprofit has learned. How will you now be able to better serve the people who count on you for services, and what difference will you make in their lives?

Keep your story short, and use language that is clear and easy to understand.

And, as appropriate, share your story with the audiences you depend on to do your job, including your staff and board, your donors, funders and other supporters and partners, and your constituents.

Problems are opportunities for your organization to learn and grow. Learning and growing, in turn, are opportunities to show your supporters and partners your nonprofit means business and is working to make the most of the investment they make in you to better serve your community.

Want help?

Philanthropy North Carolina is a consulting practice that provides writing and strategic communications support for nonprofits, foundations, colleges and universities, and others working for social good.

To find out more about hiring Philanthropy North Carolina to work with your organization to improve your communications, contact Todd Cohen at 919.272.2051 or

Nonprofit enlists students to fight violence

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — In the 2013-14 school year, while the number of reportable acts of crime and violence in North Carolina schools fell 4.7 percent to 11,608, the number of assaults on school personnel by students grew 14.4 percent to 1,333, and the number of sexual assaults grew 38.8 percent to 179, according to state data.

From 2004 to 2012, the most recent year for which data are available, 2,814 North Carolina residents ages 10 to 24 died as a result of violence, including 1,252 deaths from suicide.

And 20 percent to 30 percent of U.S. students say they have been bullied at school, while 70 percent of young people say they have seen bullying in their schools.

Working to prevent violence by raising awareness among students, helping them manage conflicts, and engaging them in service projects in their schools and communities is the National Association of Students Against Violence Everywhere, or SAVE, a Raleigh-based nonprofit.

“School violence has become more accepted in society,” says Carleen Wray, executive director of SAVE. “We are desensitized to it. Students are growing up with bullying.”

Starting with a group that students at West Charlotte High School created in 1989 after the death of a student who was trying to break up a fight at an off-campus party, SAVE now has established 2,140 chapters in 48 states and seven countries.

SAVE operates with an annual budget of $250,000, two full-time employees and 75 volunteers. It gets 75 percent of its funds from contributions, and the rest from $100 annual dues that chapters pay, the sale of educational materials and items, in-kind support, and an annual summit that in March attracted 400 people from eight states.

SAVE chapters, which operate at elementary, middle and high schools, and at community organizations, offer a range of programs.

At Garner High School, with part of a $75,000 grant to SAVE from AllState Insurance to promote safe-driving efforts at 20 North Carolina chapters, faculty adviser Vickie Szarek is working with students to raise awareness about auto accidents, which are the number one cause of death among teens.

At Chapel Hill High School, SAVE students painted over a graffiti-filled wall and cleaned up garbage in the area to create a “Peace Garden.”

And at Cuthbertson High School in Waxaw just southeast of Charlotte, students hold an annual drive to collect teddy bears they distribute to children at a domestic-violence shelter, where the students read stories to the children.

SAVE formerly was a program of the state Center for the Prevention of School Violence, which in 1994 held 12 town hall meetings throughout the state to try to find a model it could help replicate in schools and community groups.

The Center adopted the SAVE model from West Charlotte High School after learning about it at a town hall meeting. It became a separate nonprofit in 2001, when it also received a five-year grant of $350,000 a year from Chevrolet that helped it add at least 200 chapters a year.

Bullying, physical assaults, drug deals and other violence and crimes have “become a norm” in elementary, middle and high schools, Wray says.

And while metal detectors may help improve the security of schools, she says, understanding the family, mental and other issues that students bring with them to school is critical to prevent violence.

“We really try to reach students and give them the life skills and education and knowledge to create safe environments for themselves in their school and their community,” she says.

To help do that, SAVE focuses on relationships among students and with teachers and administrators.

Bullies bully, for example, because of an “imbalance of power,” Wray says.

“You aren’t a victim unless it’s continued and repeating,” she says. “If one other students steps up for a student being targeted, bullying is more likely to stop.”

A key to preventing youth and school violence is to “talk to kids,” Wray says. “They have wonderful ideas, they know what’s going on in the school and community, and they truly want to make a difference and be part of the solution.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 04.17.15

Merged Planned Parenthood names CEO

Jenny Black, former CEO of Planned Parenthood of New Mexico and of Planned Parenthood of Maryland, has been named president and CEO of Raleigh-based Planned Parenthood South Atlantic.

The affiliate, formed earlier this year through the merger of Planned Parenthood Health Systems and Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina, operates 15 health centers in the Carolinas, West Virginia, and Blue Ridge area of Virginia.

Greensboro United Way raises $11.1 million

United Way of Greater Greensboro raised $11.1 million in its 2014-15 fundraising campaign.

The effort, which did not set a goal, marks the second straight year of campaign growth.

Last year, when it also did not set a goal, United Way raised $11 million, exceeding the previous year’s total by $800,000 and posting its first year-over-year increase in five years.

Over 500 organizations participated in the 2014-15 campaign, over 15,000 individuals contributed, and over 1,400 donors gave $1,000 or more

Chairing the campaign was Jason Bohrer, president and partner at management consulting firm Newbold Advisors.  

Public School Forum raps school-performance grading system

North Carolina’s A-F School Performance Grading system serves only to label schools based on the family income of the students served and does not provide support to help struggling schools improve, the Public School Forum of North Carolina says.

In the first year of school performance letter grades, among 325 district and public charter schools throughout the state with low-income students that account for at least 85 percent of all students — the state’s highest-poverty schools — none received an A, and only two received B’s, the Public School Forum says in “A is for Affluent,” an issue brief.

And among 222 schools with low-income students accounting for less than 25 percent of all students, none received an F and only one received a D.

Nearly 90 percent of those schools received A’s or B’s.

 “The current school grading system does little more than identify schools that serve students from low-income families,” said Keith Poston, president and executive director of the Public School Forum. “If the intent is to capture how well schools serve students, a better approach would be to place a much greater emphasis on student academic improvement year over year.”

GSK, North Carolina New Schools partner on STEM

Drugmaker GSK and North Carolina New Schools are teaming up on a new effort to boost public education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, and tie it to industry and higher education.

GSK is making a $1 million investment in the new STEMAccelerator, a project of North Carolina School that aims to speed effective STEM education strategies focused on improving math and science instruction, and develop new strategies.

Nonprofits want better data to track performance

Most nonprofits that receive funding from big foundations collect and use information about their performance, yet many want to gather additional or better data, and only a minority say they get support to do that from their foundation funders, a new report says.

Nearly all nonprofits among 183 surveyed for the report from the Center for Effective Philanthropy say they make efforts to assess their performance, but seven in 10 respondents say they want more detailed data, a larger volume of data, or data that is collected more frequently to help them perform better to advance their goals.

The report, “Assessing to Achieve High Performance: What Nonprofits are Doing and How Foundations Can Help,” analyzes survey data from organizations based in the U.S. with $100,000 to $100 million in annual expenses that received funding from foundations giving at least $5 million a year.

Foundation support for black males growing

In 2012, the latest year for which data are available, 98 foundations made $64.6 million in grants explicitly intended to benefit black men and boys, says a report from the Foundation Center and the Campaign for Black Achievement.

That total was up from $40.4 million a year earlier and continues rising trend, says the report, “Quantifying Hope: Philanthropic Support for Black Men and Boys.”

Over half of all foundation funding for black males from 2003 to 2012 was distributed in the most recent three years.

Americans favor charity tax deduction

Most Americans oppose limiting, capping or eliminating the charitable tax deduction as part of any tax reform, according to a Dunham+Company study conducted by Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research.

Fifty-four percent of Americans said they opposed changing the deduction, while only 35 percent favored changes as part of tax reform, a stated priority of the Republican-controlled Congress, Dunham+Company says.

Victory Junction teams with Ronald McDonald House

Victory Junction, a camp in Randleman for children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses, is partnering with Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill to provide camp-like activities to residents and their families once a month.

Staff from Victory Junction and volunteers from Carolinas Credit Union Foundation will bring camp activities to Ronald McDonald House every third Thursday of the month.

AT&T a sponsor for Folk Festival

AT&T North Carolina will serve as Artists-in-the-Schools Sponsor for the 2015 National Folk Festival, which will feature 300 artists on seven stages over three days in downtown Greensboro from Sept. 11 to Sept. 13, 2015.

Co-produced by the National Council for the Traditional Arts and ArtsGreensboro, the Festival this year begins a three-year residency in downtown Greensboro.

Law firms recognized for food bank campaign

Five law firms have been recognized for their support of efforts by the Young Lawyers Division of the North Carolina Bar Association in the annual “Legal Feeding Frenzy” campaign of the North Carolina Association of Feeding America Food Banks to restock stock shelves at food banks in the state.

In this year’s statewide campaign, which ran from March 9 to March 27, North Carolina law firms and related organizations competed in categories based on their employee count. 

Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice in Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Research Triangle Park contributed the most pounds overall.

Other winners included Simonsen Law Firm in Edenton in the Sole Proprietor Division; Rose Harrison & Gilreath in Kill Devil Hills in the Small Firm Division; Bell, Davis & Pitt in Winston-Salem and Charlotte in the Medium Division; Moore & Van Allen in the Large Firm Division; and Wake Forest University School of Law in Winston-Salem in the Law School Division.

Autism Society offers guide for parents, guardians

The Autism Society of North Carolina has released “Accessing Services” a free guide for parents and guardians of children and adults on the autism spectrum about services and supports that may be available to them and their families in North Carolina and how to obtain them. 

Event to benefit Triad Health Project

Friends and supporters of Triad Health Project, an HIV/AIDS service and support organization, are hosting the inaugural Ribbons & Roses for THP, a Kentucky Derby-themed Dining for Friends party, on May 2 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the historic Briles House at 1103 N. Main Street in High Point.

Barnabas Network gets donation

Matrix is donating over $30,000 worth of children’s beds, nightstands, dressers, and desks to The Barnabas Network, a nonprofit furniture bank serving individuals and families in Guilford and nearby counties.

Elias receives humanitarian award

Ric Elias, CEO and co-founder of marketing-and-sales firm Red Ventures, has received the Nish Jamgotch Jr. Humanitarian Award, presented annually to an individual or group for  service to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community.

Named for the retired UNC Charlotte professor who established the program, the award is facilitated by Foundation For The Carolinas and includes a $6,000 cash gift, which was presented to Golden Door Scholars in Elias’ honor.

Raleigh Junior Woman’s Club to hold wine raffle

The Junior Woman’s Club of Raleigh will hold its Third Annual Stock Your Cellar Wine Raffle on April 21 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Mia Francesca Trattoria at North Hills.

Dinner to benefit nonprofits

Pilot Benefits will host a dinner at a Greensboro home on May 21 from  5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. to benefit local nonprofits.

Featured at the dinner will be author and speaker Jennifer Pharr Davis, National Geographic Adventurer of the Year.

For information, call 336-230-2007, ext. 208.

Nonprofit news roundup, 04.14.15

Leadership changes at Kenan Trust, Kenan Funds

The William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust has a new chief, and the head of The William R. Kenan Jr. Funds has left the organization.

Doug Zinn, assistant executive director of the Kenan Trust, in Chapel Hill, was named executive director in January, succeeding Richard Krasno, who retired after 15 years as executive director.

Mark Bensen left in late February as president of the Chapel Hill-based Kenan Funds, which support Kenan Institutes at N.C. State University, at the Kenan-Flager Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, at the UNC School of the Arts, and at Duke University.

Dan Drake, a former board member for the Funds, has been named interim president.

Before joining the Kenan Trust in September 2012, Zinn served for over 30 years as executive director of the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation in Durham.

Bensen, who joined the Kenan Funds in July 2013, previously had served as president and CEO of Triangle Community Foundation in Durham.

He left the community foundation in October 2012 after less than two months on the job.

Before joining the community foundation, Bensen was executive vice president of Durham-based think-tank MDC Inc.

New executive director at Center for Public Policy Research quits

Linda Struyk Millsaps, who last September was named executive director of the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research, has resigned to become research director for the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners.

Nancy Richmond Rose, director of operations and finance for the Center, has been named acting director.

Millsaps, who was assistant secretary and chief operating officer for the state Department of Revenue before joining the Center, succeeded Ran Coble as executive director after he retired.

She continues to work with the Center on a contractual basis through April, and begins her new job May 1.

Peggy Valentine, chair of the board of directors at the Center and dean of health sciences at Winston-Salem State University, says the board is putting together a transition plan for the organization.

The search that led to the hiring of Millsaps took nearly six months, Valentine says, and was handled by Triangle consulting firm Moss+Ross.

CEO out at Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina

Bud Lavery, who joined Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina in July 2013 as president and CEO, has left the organization.

Lavery and Tommy Schenck, chair of the board of directors at Prevent Child Abuse and general manager at WCHL Viacom in Chapel Hill, each declined to comment.

Lavery, whose last day at work was Friday and who formerly was executive director of Communities in Schools of Durham, succeeded Rosie Allen Ryan, who had served as president and CEO since 2008.

Founding executive director leaving Pat’s Place

Anne Pfeiffer, founding executive director at Pat’s Place Child Advocacy Center in Charlotte, has resigned after 13 years.

The nonprofit’s board of directors plans to hire an independent interim executive director soon to work with Pfeiffer before she leaves in late May for Ohio to be closer to her mother, who is experiencing health issues, Linda Komanduri, board chair, says in an email message announcing the change.

The board has formed a search committee to look for a permanent executive director.

Pat’s Place, formed to provide a coordinated response for victims of child sexual abuse, has served over 3,500 children in Mecklenburg County.