Nonprofit news roundup, 05.29.15

High Point Salvation Army launching backpack program

Salvation Army of High Point will provide low-income students in kindergarten through 8th grade in Guilford and Randolph counties with free backpacks filled with basic school supplies.

Cumberland Community Foundation awards scholarships

Cumberland Community Foundation awarded $164,500 in seventy-eight scholarships to students.

Scholarship awards range from $800 to $10,000 a year and depend on the size of the scholarship endowment fund established by the donor. All awards are selected by volunteer committees consisting of retired educators and community volunteers.

Most of the awards are based on financial need, academic excellence, and citizenship, and a few are based on a special skill or interest area. 

Through the Robert H. Short/Cumberland Community Foundation Scholars Program, the Foundation also awards $530,000 in scholarships for Cumberland County students who have attended Cumberland County high schools and apply directly to Fayetteville Technical Community College, Fayetteville State University and Methodist University.

Mecklenburg County gets $150,000

Mecklenburg County is one of 20 jurisdictions in the U.S. that has been awarded a $150,000 grant and expert counsel from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to create plans designed to lead to fairer, more effective local justice systems.

Salvation Army to hold kickball event

The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of High Point will hosting its sixth annual Kickball Classic on May 30 at 121 SW Cloverleaf Place to benefit its Summer Day Camp scholarship fund.

Golf event to benefit High Point Boys & Girls Clubs

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater High Point will benefit from the 27th Annual Betty Lynn McInnis Memorial Golf Tournament, to be presented by High Point Bank on June 11 at Willow Creek Golf Course at High Point Country Club.

Last year, the tournament raised over $32,000 to help disadvantaged youth in High Point. 

BB&T employees volunteer

Over30 volunteers from BB&T volunteered to repair a Greensboro home for Community Housing Solutions during the company’s seventh annual Lighthouse Project that fields employee teams to volunteer for projects for nonprofit agencies in May and June.

Community Housing Solutions has completed 430 home repairs, investing over $4 million  in preserving homes for low-income families in Guilford County.

Ronald McDonald to benefit from golf event

Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill will benefit from the 27th Annual Carolina Kids Classic Charity Golf Tournament on June 2 at Finley Golf Course.

Make your event messages strategic

A special event provides a nonprofit with one of its best opportunities to sell itself to supporters, so make the most of it.

Be strategic in planning and creating the communications for your gala dinner, annual luncheon or other special event.

Start by setting your goals for the event. How much money do you want to raise? What do you want participants to learn and do?

Then determine the audiences you need to reach to achieve those goals, and the best ways to reach them. Which donors, sponsors and prospects should attend? Which communications vehicles and channels are the best way to reach them?

Then find out everything you can about those audiences. What issues and causes do they care about and support? What, if any, is their connection or history with your nonprofit?

In your save-the-date note and invitation, and in your news release advancing the event, focus on the purpose of the event and why it matters.

Weave into the event script and printed program the core messages you want to communicate to your audience.

Repeat those messages in your thank-you notes, follow-up appeal, and post-event news release, and in the article you write about the event for your newsletter, website and annual report. And gear to your respective audiences the message in each of those communications.

A special event provides your nonprofit with a great opportunity to make your case to donors and supporters. Use it wisely.

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 toddcohen49@gmail.com.

C Foundation works to assist breast-cancer survivors

By Todd Cohen

GREENSBORO, N.C. — In October 2012, during a 10-month period when she was undergoing treatment for breast cancer, Christie Lee of Greensboro attended Pink in the Park, an event to raise awareness of breast cancer that was sponsored by The Breast Center of Greensboro Imaging.

At the event, visiting a vendor table for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a nonprofit that works to fight breast cancer, she was invited to apply to be Komen’s Face of Breast Cancer for Guilford County.

She was selected for 2013, and in that role began to receive product donations from companies. So in May 2013, she formed the C Foundation, which provides donated products, financial assistance, discussion groups and information for breast-cancer survivors.

In the past two years, the Foundation has received donations worth $15,000 to $20,000 from over 30 vendors and served at least 3,000 patients, says Lee, who is senior technical team lead at AT&T and works on a volunteer basis as founder and director of operations for the Foundation.

“We are trying to eradicate the financial responsibility” to pay for medical costs, daily living and needs such as prostheses, she says.

The C Foundation has landed two official product sponsors, including K-Y and Priscilla McCall’s, and provides patients with donated products ranging from those related to female libido to makeup, footwear, exercise apparel and books.

The Foundation, which counts on 10 volunteers plus Lee, also sponsors Let’s Talk, a bimonthly forum that meets at Greensboro restaurants, beauty spas, community centers and hotels, and typically attracts 20 to 30 people.

“We discuss common side effects that are being experienced by most of the survivors,” Lee says. “We then give them products to help assist.”

The next forum, which will focus on skin and hair care, is scheduled for June 20 at the Double Tree on High Point Road.

C Foundation is expanding beyond North Carolina, and has begun introducing itself in Virginia and in New Orleans, says Lee, who devotes about 15 hours a week, during the evening, to the charity.

It will hold a fundraising events in October at a restaurant in Alexandria, Va., and in November at the same jewelry store in Woodbridge, Va., where it held an event last year that raised $1,000.

And in April, Lee and two other volunteers visited New Orleans to talk to breast-cancer centers and to vendors.

She also hopes to begin working with hospitals that have treatment centers for breast cancer, along with support groups for patients and survivors.

Lee, whose treatment included chemotherapy, a lumpectomy and radiation, and ended in December 2012, says she now is considered cancer-free.

“The experiences from one survivor to another are unique,” Lee says. “We aim to ensure that we broadly help all those involved.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 05.22.15

Big talk, little action by big funders on ‘impact investing’

A big share of big private foundations in the U.S. say they engage in “impact investing” — making investments that explicitly seek a social return — yet they tend to invest only a tiny share of their endowments or budgets for that funding strategy, a new report says.

And few foundations use “negative screening” of endowment investments to avoid investing in areas such as fossil fuels or tobacco work, says the report, “Investing and Social Impact: Practice of Private Foundations,” from the Center for Effective Philanthropy.

Among survey responses from CEOs of 64 U.S.-based private foundations that provide $10 million or more in annual giving, 41 percent say their foundation engages in impact investing, most commonly in community development, employment or economic development, and education.

Yet the median share of endowments used for impact investing totaled only two percent, and the median share of budgets for programs and grants used for impact investing was only 0.5 percent.

The report also found that 83 percent of respondents are not using negative screening to exclude particular companies or organizations, or both, from their investment portfolios.

Among the 10 foundations that say they screen out investments, seven exclude tobacco and three screen out fossil fuels.

No respondents say they screen to exclude nuclear power, private prisons, adult entertainment, or animal testing from their investment portfolio.

The survey was funded by the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation and co-sponsored by BoardSource and Mission Investors Exchange.

Reynolds Trust funds behavioral health, primary care

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in Winston-Salem is giving over $3.5 million to continue expanding behavioral health services in rural North Carolina, and over $300,000 to provide primary care in Forsyth County.

That includes nearly $2 million to provide behavioral health services at five existing Federally Qualified Health Centers sites in Edgecombe, Nash and Wilson counties, delivering integrated care to roughly 27,000 people who visit the sites annually. 

It also includes $1.3 million to Rural Health Group to provide behavioral health services at existing and new School Based Health Centers in five school districts in rural, northeastern North Carolina.

That will provide over 9,000 students with access to new behavioral health services, and will provide school staff with consultation, training and prevention programming tools to help student get access to services.

Nearly 17 percent of North Carolinians over age 12 say they experienced some mental illness between 2011 and 2012, according the N.C. Rural Health Action Plan released last year, the Trust says.

Yet only just over half of children and adults who needed mental health services obtained care through the state’s publicly-funded mental health system.

And in 2012, 27 of the state’s 100 counties, many of them rural, had no psychiatrists, and another 15 counties had fewer than 0.33 psychiatrists per 10,000 people.

The Trust also awarded a $302,000 grant to Southside United Health Center to expand primary care services to nearly 4,000 Forsyth County residents and establish a care coordination team to ensure patients receive the appropriate care, referrals and follow-up to improve their health.

The effort also provide patients with access to transportation, behavioral health and other services designed to improve long-term health.

Smaller private foundations give 7.5 percent of assets

Private foundations with less than $50 million in assets made charitable distributions in 2014 averaging 7.6 percent of their net assets, roughly the same as in 2013, compared to the five percent they are required to distribute, says the fourth Annual Report on Private Foundations from Foundation Source.

Growth in assets for foundations with less than $50 million in assets averaged 3.7 percent, down from 20.7 percent in 2013.

The report is based on transactions of 769 Foundation Source clients.

Guilford event to benefit Heart Association

The 2015 Greater Guilford Heart and Stroke Walk on May 16  attracted over 4,300 residents and raised nearly $380,000 for the American Heart Association for heart disease and stroke research and prevention education.

Chairing the event, which was held at Kaplan Commons at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, was Mike Howard, vice president of AM West Field Sales for Ecolab.

Baseball groups raising $65,000 to fight cancer

West Raleigh Baseball raised $50,000 last weekend for the Vs. Cancer Foundation to help kids battling pediatric cancer, and North Wake Baseball expects to raise at least $15,000 at the 2nd Annual Vs. Cancer Benefit Tourney, which will be held May 30-31 and expects to attract over 30 travel baseball teams.

YWCA Greensboro gets $20,000

YWCA Greensboro has received a grant of nearly $20,000 to offer education and services related to childbirth and healthy pregnancies to women at Alcohol and Drug Services and the Greensboro Metro Treatment Center.

YWCA Greensboro will offer childbirth education services and doula services for 10 pregnant women in treatment for addiction, and preconception and “interconception” health education for 50 women of childbearing age in treatment for addiction.

Johnston joins WakeMed Foundation.

Abby Johnston, director of development at Saint Mary’s School in Raleigh, has been named director of major and planned gifts at WakeMed Foundation in Raleigh.

Brumley moves to CureSearch

Susan Brumley, senior national director for Foundation Fighting Blindness, has been named vice president for individual giving at CureSearch for Children’s Cancer.

Chapel Hill Public Library Foundation names executive director

Hollie Rose-Galli, former pastor of Grow Ministries at Peachtree City United Methodist Church in Peachtree City, Ga., has been named executive director of the Chapel Hill Public Library Foundation.

Hospice of Davidson County names medical director

Jennifer L. Davis, an adjunct assistant professor of internal medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine and former medical director at Hospice and Palliative Care Center in Winston-Salem, has been named physician medical director at Hospice of Davidson County.

She succeeds Lana J. Riemann who now works with Hospice programs in Western North Carolina.

Public School Forum names chair-elect, new board members

Malbert Smith, president and co-founder of MetaMetrics, has been elected chair-elect of the board of directors of the Public School Forum of North Carolina. He will become board chairman on July 1, 2016, succeeding Michael Priddy.

Miles Devaney, director of manufacturing at Biogen, and Paul Spreen, senior vice president and global head of enterprise sales at Quintiles, were elected as new members of the board.

The Forum also elected five new at-large members, including J.B. Buxton, principal at Education Innovations Group; Jeni Corn, director of evaluation programs at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University; Ed Croom, superintendent of Johnston County Schools; Lou Fabrizio, director for data, research and federal policy at the N.C. Department of Public Instruction; and Richard Schwartz, founding partner at Schwartz & Shaw.

Student-led fundraising event top in U.S. for Heart Association

HeartChase, a fundraising event at Wake Forest University on April 23 planned, organized and led by Timmy Weitzel, a Wake Forest junior majoring in economics, enlisted 21 teams with 75 total participants and raised  $10,656 for the American Heart Association, the most of any collegiate HeartChase event in the U.S.

Children’s Museum to benefit from golf event

The Greensboro Children’s Museum will receive proceeds from the 8th annual golf tournament sponsored by the Young Professionals of the Triad Chapter of the Risk Management Association, to be held June 8 at Starmount Forest Country Club.

Echo Foundation to honor Bernanke

The Echo Foundation in Charlotte will present its inaugural Levine Medal for Life to Ben Bernanke, former chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, at its 17th Annual Awards Gala on September 17 at the McGlohan Theater at Spirit Square.

Eastern Music Festival gets $12,500

Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro has received $12,500 from Lincoln Financial Foundation to Support “Encircling the City,” a five-year-old program designed in partnership with Greensboro Public Library that provides educational performance and service learning.

National Folk Festival lands sponsors

PNC Bank will sponsor the North Carolina Arts Marketplace and VF Corporation will sponsor the Wrangler Stage at the 2015 National Folk Festival, which will feature 300 artists on seven stages over three days in downtown Greensboro from September 11 to 13.

Heart Association honors advocates

The American Heart Association has named Cassidy Collins of Hickory its Youth Advocate of the Year and Dr. David Huang of Chapel Hill its Science Advocate of the Year.

Make your case for support make sense

In asking for money for your nonprofit, be clear, direct and brief, and make your case for support compelling.

Use plain language, take the perspective of your donors and funders, and help them understand the need you address and its causes; the people and places you serve; the program you want to fund; and the difference it will make.

Explain — simply — how and why your initiative will work, the indicators you will use to gauge its success, and the impact you expect it to have.

Ultimately, help your donors and funders understand why your initiative will matter, and why they should care.

That will require not only that you make your case clear and help donors understand your nonprofit, what you do and your impact, but also that you understand who your donors and funders are, what they care about, and why they might want to support you.

So write your case for support for them. Do not write to impress your CEO, board chair or peers. Do not load your case statement with data, jargon and technical explanations of the need you are trying to address or the strategy you are using to address it.

When you ask for money, stick the facts, use plain words that are easy to understand, think about your donors, and make it matter to them.

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 toddcohen49@gmail.com.

Nonprofit news roundup, 05.15.15

DeRonja to head SAFEchild

Cristin DeRonja, director of the SAFEchild Advocacy Center in Raleigh, has been named executive director SAFEchild, starting in July.

DeRonja, who has worked for SAFEchild for 11 years, will succeed Marjorie Menestres, who is retiring as the organization’s founding executive director.

Menestres was hired in 1993 just after the agency was formed by the Junior League of Raleigh as the first and only agency in Wake County focused on providing direct child abuse prevention services to area families.

SAFEchild, which became an independent agency three years later, now employs 14 people and operates with an annual budget of $1.2 million.

In 2009, SAFEchild opened its Advocacy Center, which provides medical evaluations and advocacy support for children reported for sexual and physical abuse.

Raleigh consulting firm Armstrong McGuire conducted the search for Menestres successor and worked with the SAFEchild board of directors in 2013-14 to create a succession plan it used when she announced her retirement in January. 

George named community impact manager for Google

Jess George, executive director of the Latin American Coalition in Charlotte, has been named community impact manager for Google in Charlotte.

Martyn heads private donor group for Fidelity Charitable

Elaine Martyn, former vice president of development for the Global Fund for Women in San Francisco, has joined Fidelity Charitable in its Cary office as vice president of its private donor group, working with major donors.

Victory Junction getting $500,000

Victory Junction, a camp in Randleman for children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses, is getting nearly $500,000 from Kangaroo Express to send 200 children ages six to 16 to summer camp.

During its seventh annual fundraising campaign, with Coca-Cola as its partner, Kangaroo Express collected donations throughout March at over 500 convenience stores in the Carolinas and Virginia.

Since 2009, donations have totaled nearly $4 million and supported sending 1,500 children to summer camp.

Heart Association raises $270,000

The 4th Annual Guilford Go Red For Women Educational Expo & Luncheon hosted by the American Heart Association at Koury Convention Center in Greensboro on May 4 attracted over 520 women and helped raise nearly $270,000 for women’s heart disease research and prevention education through the Guilford Go Red For Women year-round campaign.

The campaign aims to raise $300,000 by June 30.

Winston-Salem State getting $100,000

Winston-Salem State University is getting $100,000 over four years from Amica Mutual Insurance Company for an endowed scholarship fund to support undergraduate honor students.

The fund was established with an initial gift of $100,000 from Chancellor Donald Reaves, who retired in December, and his wife, Deborah Reaves.

Winston-Salem Foundation honors community leadership

The Winston-Salem Foundation presented its 2015 Winston-Salem Foundation Award and 2015 ECHO Awards at its annual Community Luncheon on May 6 that attracted 1,100 community members.

Receiving The Winston-Salem Foundation Award, established in 1996 and recognizing visionary leadership in the community, was Woody Clinard, who over the years has supported El Buen Pastor Latino Community Service, The Hispanic League, and Old Town Elementary School.

He has designated the $10,000 Foundation grant that accompanies the award be divided among 10 organizations.

Receiving the ECHO Awards, which recognize individuals and organizations that build social capital and were presented jointly by the Foundation and ECHO Network, include:

* Books for Dudes, Forsyth County Public Library’s book club for men.

* Jake Denton, who has supported Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County as a volunteer, neighborhood organizer and AmeriCorps National Service member.

* Terry Hicks, choral music teacher at R.J. Reynolds High School.

* WinstonNet, which focuses on making technology available in the community.

Each of the four recipients will receive $1,000 to grant to a nonprofit of their choice.

Junior Achievement gets $20,000 from Wells Fargo

Junior Achievement of Eastern North Carolina was awarded a grant of $20,000 from Wells Fargo.

It will use the funds to provide financial literacy, entrepreneurship and workforce readiness programs to over 700 students in eastern North Carolina. 

ArtsGreensboro gets $25,000 to support grants program

ArtsGreensboro has received a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support a program supported by the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation that will provide grants for special needs and innovation at nonprofit arts groups with annual operating budgets over $50,000.

Bailey’s gives $11,000 to Food Bank

Bailey’s Fine Jewelry donated $11,000 to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina in Raleigh through a campaign that donates funds to purchase 360 meals to feed a family in need for every ring purchased from a special collection of engagement and wedding jewelry.

Housing Foundation renames campus

The North Carolina Housing Foundation in Winston-Salem has renamed part of its 16-acre campus The SECU Commons.

The new name recognizes a $1 million challenge grant the Housing Foundation received last fall from the SECU Foundation to complete development of campus facilities for a program to assist three groups at risk of chronic homelessness, including homeless families, youth aging out of foster care, and young adults on the autism spectrum.

The campus, which uses four of the 16 acres, includes 15 condominiums; a 20-bed multipurpose building with a commercial kitchen; two stand-alone houses; a 4,800-square-foot conference center with training rooms; a medical office, and a 10-office administrative facility.

The SECU Commons will complete development of the campus and expects to begin receiving referrals from agency partners and housing participants in the program before the end of the year.

John Rex Endowment to fund Wake coalitions

The John Rex Endowment in Raleigh has created a new program to fund coalitions in Wake County working to keep children from being obese and overweight, or to support children’s mental health and social and emotional well-being.

Fidelity Charitable gives $1 billion

Fidelity Charitable says that, as of May 7, it made over 223,000 donor-recommended grants in 2015 totaling $1 billion, a level of giving it reached nearly six weeks sooner than the previous record pace it set last year.

Those grants supported over 55,000 charities.

Keep your board in the know

A nonprofit’s board of directors must play many roles, yet many boards lack the information they need to do their job effectively.

So make sure your staff gives your board a steady flow of the clear, substantive information it needs.

A board must govern the nonprofit, set its direction, hire and supervise the executive director,  oversee finances and investments, and assist in fundraising.

Yet, other than an orientation session for new members, regular meetings that often involve little more than routine discussions, and possibly an annual retreat, boards typically are not plugged into the daily life of the organization.

That disconnection can lead to dysfunction and serious problems. If a board is not aware of what actually is going on, often because the executive director is the board’s only source of information, what might begin as seemingly minor problems involving staff morale or shortfalls in finances or fundraising, for example, can spin out of control and put the organization at serious risk.

And if it is not well-versed and kept up to speed on all aspects of the nonprofit — from the need it addresses and the people it serves to the programs it delivers and the difference it makes to its constituents — the board will be of little use in setting long-term goals and strategies, helping the executive director address organizational challenges, or providing connections to prospective donors and raising money.

Equipping the board to do its job requires clear, continual communication from the staff.

So keep board members informed and up to date about the organization, and prepared to  talk about it.

Give them your nonprofit’s basic story, including the need you address, the people and places you serve, the programs you deliver, and the difference you make.

Help them understand your donors, what they care about, and how supporting your nonprofit will address community needs while advancing the donors’ own values.

Set aside time at every board meeting to talk about key organizational issues, to get feedback on them from board members, and to give them an opportunity to practice telling your nonprofit’s story.

And make sure that, before joining the board, prospective members are fully versed in the many roles they will be expected to play.

For your nonprofit to thrive, you need a board that is informed, engaged and prepared to tell your story.

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 toddcohen49@gmail.com.