Oakwood Cemetery works to keep history alive

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — In 1867, under federal occupation, the city of Raleigh was told the cemetery at its Civil War hospital, containing the remains of Union and Confederate soldiers alike, was becoming a national cemetery.

In response, a group of local women formed the Ladies Memorial Association, which successfully lobbied state lawmakers for $1,000. It then asked the Mordecai family for two-and-a-half acres where it could bury the remains of Confederate soldiers interred in the hospital cemetery in violation of a federal law prohibiting the burial of Confederate soldiers alongside Union dead.

The Association then bought the Mordecai land for $1, and used the rest of the funds from state lawmakers to move the remains of 494 Confederate soldiers and make improvements to the former Mordecai land, now part of Historic Oakwood Cemetery.

Oakwood Cemetery, which celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019, has grown to 72 acres and is home to the remains of 25,000 people, among them local and state political, business and civic leaders, and over 1,400 Confederate soldiers.

Oakwood each year hosts thousands of visitors, including hundreds of students, for public tours, events and educational programs on history, death and dying.

“A cemetery is a place of remembrance, where generations after us will come back to learn about the people who lived before them,” says Robin Simonton, executive director of the Raleigh Cemetery Association.

In 1986 the nonprofit purchased the two-and-a-half acre confederate cemetery for $1 from the women’s group that had formed it and had been renamed United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Operating with an annual budget of $550,000 and seven employees, Oakwood Cemetery holds five burials in a typical week, and has enough space to handle burials for at least 200 more years, says Simonton, former program and volunteer services executive at Raleigh-based Girl Scouts North Carolina Coastal Pines who studied Amish burial customs in graduate school and holds a master’s degree in historical administration.

Oakwood generates about 95 percent of its operating income through fees from the sale of burial plots and monuments, and the preparation of graves. It generates the remainder through donations, mainly contributions for tours and education programs.

Oakwood is in the early stages of considering whether to change its tax-exempt status. As a nonprofit cemetery, it now can accept contributions of no more than $13,000 a year. for which the donors can take a deduction. Becoming a charitable nonprofit as well would remove that limit.

If it made that change, Oakwood likely would launch a formal fundraising program, mainly to cover the costs of preservation, expansion of its education programs, and repairs from storms and vandalism.

Two years ago, Oakwood spent $23,000 to restore 11 headstones in its Confederate cemetery that vandals had defaced by painting anti-slavery language.

And in the wake of the toppling in September of a Confederate statue in Durham, the Raleigh Police Department has increased its patrols of the cemetery, Simonton says.

In 2011, Oakwood spent tens of thousands of dollars to remove 17 trees and restore dozens of grave monuments felled by tornadoes.

“This was a garden cemetery, which were precursors to city parks,” Simonton says. “This is where people came to socialize, go on dates and picnics, in the early days. We invite people to come in and enjoy the cemetery as it was for generations.”

As part of its nonprofit mission, she says, Oakwood provides learning opportunities throughout the year for students, civic groups, and for individuals and families trying to cope with death and dying.

Once a semester, students from William Peace University enrolled in a class on death and dying visit Oakwood to learn about death traditions and customs. And continuing-education students from N.C. State University visit the cemetery for a six-week course on “Discovering the Dead.”

Oakwood partners with Renaissance Funeral Home and Transitions LifeCare to host sessions on death and dying.

In a competitive business — Raleigh is home to two other cemeteries, and its incidence of cremation far exceeds that of North Carolina overall, and of rural areas — Oakwood does little advertising, and markets itself mainly by inviting the public to “use the grounds as they’ve always been used,” Simonton says.

Although one in five Americans has a cremation urn at home, “a cemetery is always important,” she says. “To be remembered is an important part of the grieving process for you and your family.”


Nonprofit news roundup, 11.17.17

Donor-advised funds surge

Total assets available to donor-advised fund accounts for grantmaking grew 9.7 percent to $85.15 billion in 2016, while grants from donor-advised funds to qualified charities represent four percent of all individual giving and grew 10.4 percent to $15.75 billion for a payout rate of 20.03 percent, a new report says.

Contributions to donor-advised funds grew 7.6 percent to $23.27 billion in 2016, and the number of donor-advised fund accounts grew 6.9 percent to 284,965, says the 2017 Donor-Advised Fund Report from the National Philanthropic Trust.

The average size of donor-advised fund accounts grew 2.6 percent to a record-high $298,809.

Massachusetts was home to 82,643 individual donor-advised funds, the most in any state,  and their grant value totaled $3.1 billion, while contributions to them totaled $5.18 billion, both the highest of any state.

Donor-advised fund charitable assets under management totaled $18.89 billion, the most of any state, while nearly half of all donor-advised fund accounts were sponsored by charities in Massachusetts, California and Pennsylvania.

Donor-advised funds are the fastest growing vehicle for charitable giving in the U.S., the National Philanthropic Trust says.

Giving circles raise nearly $1.3 billion

The number of collective-giving groups, known as giving circles, have tripled since 2007, engaged at least 150,000 individuals in all 50 states, and given up to $1.29 billion, a new study says.

Women represent 70 percent of all giving-circle members, while a specific shared identity, such as gender, race, age or religion, is the basis of 60 percent of all giving circles, says The Landscape of Giving Circles/Collective Giving Groups in the U.S. — 2016, from the Collective Giving Research Group, with support from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.

While men are members of 66 percent of giving circles, the study says, they represent the majority of members in only 7.5 percent of groups.

The minimum dollar contribution required to join a giving circle ranges from under $20 to $2 million, and the average donation was $1,312, compared to $2,809i 2007.

Twenty-five networks of giving circles have emerged, representing 45 percent of giving circles.

In addition to donations from their members, 52 percent of giving circles receive additional funds from community foundations, corporate partners and other outside donors.

Leadership, staff changes at Made in Durham

Meredythe Holmes, founding executive director of Made in Durham, has resigned, and Casey Steinbacher, CEO of Casey’s Company and former CEO of the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, has been named interim executive director.

Steinbacher, a founding member of the Made in Durham board, will serve as interim executive director for three months while the board looks for a successor to Holmes.

Lorenza Wilkins, program manager for Triangle Literacy Center and president, chairman and CEO of Compass Youth Center in Warrenton, has been named senior director of programs and operations, succeeding Valerie Anderson, who left in September to become senior director of programs for the Emily Krzyzewski Center in Durham.

Deanna Knighton, career specialist and adjunct accounting instructor at Wake Technical Community College, has been named career development specialist, succeeding Dolan.

initiative develop career plans and career-readiness skills.

Dominique Oliver, a social worker for the Durham County Department of Social Services, has been named re-engagement specialist, a new position that will support expansion of Durham Futures with a three-year, $750,000 grant from the Oak Foundation.

Jacob Dolan has been promoted to employer engagement strategist.

Forsyth United Way aims to raise $15.5 million

United Way Forsyth County has set a goal of $15.5 million for its annual campaign, $400,000 more than it raised a year ago.

Chairing the campaign, which on November 1 had raised 55 percent of its goal is John McConnell, CEO Emeritus of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Funds raised a year ago helped fund over 60 programs through over 40 agencies that served more than 78,000 residents of Forsyth County.

Chronic homelessness near zero in Guilford County

The number of cases of chronic homelessness in Guilford County fell to only three last summer from 143 in 2013, making the county one of only seven communities in the U.S. to attain or nearly reach a “sustainable zero” in chronic homelessness, according to the Phillips Foundation.

From 2013 to 2016, through United Way of Greater Greensboro, the Foundation invested a total of $1.96 million in Partners Ending Homelessness.

Based on an estimated cost to Guilford County taxpayers of roughly $30,000 a year in emergency services and subsidized care for each case of chronic homelessness, the Foundation says, its investment in the work of Partners Ending Homelessness helped save Guilford County taxpayers an average of $1.26 million a year over the life of the grant, or a total of $3.78 million.

Ties between foundations, grantees focus of report

Foundations can best strengthen their relationships with nonprofits they fund if they focus on understanding the nonprofits and the context in which they work, and if they are transparent with them, a new report says.

And the foundation program officer to whom a nonprofit grantee is assigned plays a crucial role in shaping how the nonprofit experiences its relationship with the foundation, says the report, Relationships Matter: Program Officers, Grantees, and the Keys to Success, from the Center for Effective Philanthropy.

The report, based on the perspectives of nearly 20,000 grantees of 86 foundations, also finds that nonprofit leaders value funders’ understanding of their organizations’ goals and strategies; the challenges they face; the communities and fields in which they work; the social, cultural, and economic context in which they work; and the needs of their ultimate beneficiaries.

Hotel Association collecting items for homeless

Through November 30, the Guilford County Hotel Association is collecting donated sheets, towels, blankets, pillows, and other linens for distribution through the Salvation Army, Greensboro Urban Ministry, Barnabas Network and other agencies to the homeless population.

Donated items can be dropped off in Greensboro at Greensboro Marriott Downtown at 304 North Greene St.; Courtyard by Marriott at 4400 West Wendover Ave; Hampton Inn and Suites Coliseum Area at 3033 West Gate City Blvd; and in High Point at Greensboro

Radisson at 135 South Main St.

Civic groups raise $13,500 for food for kids in need

The Nat Greene Kiwanis club in Greensboro and the eight Rotary Clubs of Greensboro raised over $13,500 at a golf event October 31 at Bryan Park Golf Club for the Out of Garden Project, with proceeds to be used to provide all children in need at Allen Middle School and Southern Middle School with food backpacks for the entire school year.

Coles to head foundation at United Way

Cathy Coles, former special education teacher at the Triad Academy at Summit School, has been named executive director of the United Way of Forsyth County Foundation.

Coles, who previously served as executive director of Project Potential, will oversee the major gifts and planned giving programs at United Way, and will be responsible for overseeing the development and growth of the foundation’s philanthropic goals.

Food Bank honors donors, vice president

The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina in Raleigh honored its top donors in fiscal 2016-17, including Food Lion, Walmart Foundation, Full House Farms, and Publix Super Markets Charities.

And it presented its annual Hunt-Morgridge Service Award to Earline Middleton, its vice president for agency services and programs.

Gunter honored by Goodwill

Michael D. Gunter, who retired last year as a partner at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice in Winston-Salem, received the 2017 Heritage Award from Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina.

The organization has presented the award, its highest honor, only four times in its 91-year history.

Thompson launches program for teenage girls in custody

Thompson in Matthews has began a program to provide short-term housing, assessment and “wraparound” services for females ages 12 to 17 in the custody of the Mecklenburg County Division of Youth and Family Services.

Dental foundation accepting grant applications

December 20 is the deadline for community-based oral health programs and organizations in North Carolin that focus on children’s oral health, particularly among underserved populations, to submit applications to the Delta Dental Foundation in Raleigh for grants that will total up to $45,000.

Jeffrey joins Cone Health Foundation board

Paul A. Jeffrey, president of Wesley Long Hospital in Greensboro and first chief inclusion office at Cone Health, has joined the board of directors of Cone Health Foundation.

John Rex Endowment board names new members, chair

The John Rex Endowment named three new board members, including consultant Warren Ludwig; John Rusher of Raleigh Pediatric Associates; and Kate Simpson, vice president of TrueBridge Capital Partners.

Linda Butler, vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer at UNC REX Healthcare, is board chair.

Goodwill, Habitat team up on recycling drive

Triad Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Greensboro are partnering on a recycling drive this weekend at Christ United Methodist Church at 410 N. Holden Road in Greensboro

The two agencies will collect donated clothing, linens, housewares, furniture and building supplies on November 18 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on November 19 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

They then will sort the items for distribution or for sale in their respective retail locations.

Board changes at Junior Achievement

Randy Brodd, a partner at Dixon Hughes Goodman, has been elected board chair at Junior Achievement of Eastern North Carolina, and Jon Dewar, president of LPL Financial, has been elected chair-elect.

Joining the board are Kevin McGarry, assistant vice president and relationship manager and PNC, and Felicia Woodard, senior vice president and market team lead for Triangle commercial banking at Bank of America.

Nonprofit news roundup, 11.10.17

Fundraising grows at nearly six in 10 charities

Fifty-seven percent of 1,104 charities in the U.S. and Canada saw growth in charitable revenues in the first half of 2017, and 75 percent were on track to meet their fundraising goals for the year, a new study says.

Larger charities were more more likely than the smallest organizations to be on track to meet their goals, while arts groups were more likely to be struggling to meet their goals, says the Summary 2017 Nonprofit Fundraising Study from the Nonprofit Research Collaborative.

Charitable revenue from major gifts grew at half the charities surveyed, with event revenue growing 47 percent, and online giving growing 48 percent.

Baby Boomers, or people born from 1946 through 1964, are the single  generation most likely to be the focus of charities communications, while fewer than half the charities said they were raising money or recruiting volunteers from Millennials, or people born from 1980 through 1995.

Endowment values grow at smaller foundations

Overall endowment values grew $200 million in 2016 to $3.7 billion at 876 foundations  that were at least three years old and had assets under $50 million, a new report says.

Foundations allocated 48.2 percent of their assets to equities in 2016, up from 46.7 percent in 2015, says the 2017 Report on Private Foundation Investment Performance from Foundation Source.

Excluding charitable expenses, the report says, foundations of all sizes granted more than the five percent minimum distribution that was required.

High Point University gets $1 million for planetarium

High Point University has received a $1 million gift from Robert G. Culp III,  executive chairman of Culp Inc. in High Point and treasurer of the University’s board of trustees, and his wife, Susan Culp, and their family, for a future planetarium on the school’s campus.

Vision for High Point, professional growth focus of summit

High Point’s vision for the future, as well as professional growth and community involvement, will be the focus of the second annual Young Professionals Summit on November 14.

Hosted by Young Leaders United, a group at United Way of Greater High Point, the event will beheld  from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the High Point University Community Center.

Feature speakers include Greg Demko, High Point city manager; Patrick Chapin, president and CEO of Business High Point – Chamber of Commerce; and Nikki Lee, sales and events manager of Radisson High Point.

Women’s Giving Network gives $95,800

The Women’s Giving Network of Wake County, a program of the North Carolina Community Foundation, awarded three grants totaling $95,800, bringing its cumulative grantmaking to over $1.1 million.

Energy United giving $40,000 to teachers

EnergyUnited Electric Membership Corporation in Statesville is awarding a total of over $40,000 to nearly 40 teachers to fund classroom learning projects serving over 12,000 students at schools in Alexander, Cabarrus, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Guilford, Iredell, Mecklenburg, Randolph, Rowan and Wilkes counties.

Women in Motion gets $1,000

Pinnacle Financial Partners has made an endowment gift of $1,000 to the Women in Motion Fund of the High Point Community Foundation, becoming its first corporate donor.

The gift will be matched by The L. Paul Brayton family, which made an initial gift of $500,000 to establish the Women in Motion Fund.

The initiative has raised half the funds it needs to meet a second matching gift of $250,000 the family has made for funds the initiative raises by December 31.

Zimmerman named to task force and initiative

Tracy Zimmerman, executive director of the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation , has been appointed to the new Birth-to-Eight Interagency Task Force at the North Carolina General Assembly.

Zimmerman also has been named to participate in My Future NC, an initiative that will bring together state leaders in education, business, philanthropy, faith, nonprofits and and state government to create an agenda and education plan to make the state more competitive.

Vellani by Triangle Sons and Daughters of Italy in America

Larry Vellani, CEO of Smart Start of Forsyth County, has been named Outstanding Italian American in North Carolina in 2017 by the Triangle Sons and Daughters of Italy in America.

Pro Fee donates socks for hurricane victims

Pro Feet in Burlington donated 30,000 pairs of socks to victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

The American Red Cross and other nonprofits in Houston, Corpus Christi and San Antonio and smaller communities outside Houston distributed the socks.

Habitat gets 10 donated storage units

Local UNITS owners Sabrah and Bill Hardin donated 10 portable storage units to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Greensboro for its effort to build five homes in one week on Asher Downs Drive in northern Greensboro.

The effort involved 20 homebuilders, 50 contractors, and hundreds of volunteers.

Junior League to host holiday market

The Junior League of Winston-Salem will host its eighth annual holiday shopping market, Boutique, on Nov. 17 and 18 in the Grand Pavilion Ballroom in the lower level of the Embassy Suites in downtown Winston-Salem.

Welborn Academy getting donated instruments

Triangle-based National Pawn is donating over 100 musical instruments and $2,000 for instrument upkeep to Welborn Academy of Science & Technology in High Point.

Sozo Children to host annual dinner

Sozo Children, a nonprofit ministry serving children in Uganda, will host its annual fundraising dinner on November 14 at WinMock at Kinderton in Bermuda Run at 5:30 p.m.

Women’s Leadership Council recognizes award-winners

The Women’s Leadership Council at United Way of Forsyth County presented awards at its 10th Annual Celebration Dinner at the Millennium Center on November 1.

Awards and winners are:

* Outstanding Volunteer: Alexis Thompson.

* Outstanding Corporate: Wake Forest University,

* Outstanding Youth: Jalissa Johnson, eighth-grader at East Forsyth Middle School.

* Outstanding Educator: Dossie Poteat, principal at East Forsyth Middle School.

* Susan Cameron Award: Priscilla Green.

Board and staff changes at Triangle United Way

Jes Averhart, executive director of Leadership Triangle, and Michael Botzis, an assurance partner with RSM US, have joined the board of directors of United Way of the Greater Triangle.

Also joining United Way are Caren Howley, former associate director for alumni engagement and employer strategy for Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who has been named vice president of strategic partnerships; Emily Page, president of Creative Knowing Consultancy, who has been named senior director of talent development; and Olivia Morris, controller at International Farming Corp., who has been named chief financial officer.

Greene County funder gives $4,200

Greene County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the North Carolina Community Foundation, awarded four grants totaling $4,210.

Building a regional arts hub

By Todd Cohen

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Artists and arts groups in the Triangle wanting to hold “pop-up” events, and property owners with available space, can turn to a pop-up toolkit, prepared with the help of law students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The toolkit spells out logistics and details of planning and staging the events, from permits and insurance to rules on access to parking and restrooms.

Emerging local arts leaders who want to increase their arts revenue through more effective use of marketing, social media, fundraising and other business functions can attend monthly workshops, while photographers, filmmakers, writers and other creative artists can learn about copyright law and other legal issues at monthly talks by lawyers.

And artists, nonprofit and for-profit arts groups in the region, and anyone else looking for information, resources or opportunities, from funding  and technical support to exhibit and performance space and calendars, can visit a website devoted to arts in the region.

Spearheading all those efforts is Triangle ArtWorks, a nonprofit formed in 2010 that aims to serve as a resource hub and advocate for the region’s arts community.

“We are working to make it easier for artists and arts organizations and businesses to thrive, which is good for the entire Triangle, not just the artists,” says Beth Yerxa, executive director and co-founder of Triangle ArtWorks.

When she chaired the Raleigh Arts Commission in the 2000s, Yerxa and Leigh Ann Wilder, who at the time served on a Commission panel and now is director of arts in communities for the North Carolina Arts Council, saw a gap in resources and infrastructure for the region’s arts community.

“There were a lot of organizations doing various levels of support for different types of artists,” such as fundraising by local arts councils, or professional support for segments of the arts community such as visual artists, says Yerxa. “But no one really was looking at how best to get the arts, as a business community, the resources they need to thrive and be financially sustainable.”

Lawyers, in comparison, can turn to county, state and national bar associations for professional development, networking, insurance, newsletters and other resources, says Yerxa, a lawyer.

But as a “business community,” she says, “artists have nobody doing that work.”

So she and Wilder launched Triangle ArtsWorks.

An all-volunteer nonprofit that operates with an annual budget of $10,000, and 30 to 40 active volunteers, the group serves artists and arts groups, both nonprofit and for-profit, in Chatham, Durham, Johnston, Orange and Wake counties.

It operates in The Frontier in Research Triangle Park in space donated by Research Triangle Foundation.

And with a total of roughly $10,000 in grants from Duke Energy Foundation, Durham Arts Council and the Town of Cary, it has been building its own organizational infrastructure — including development of its board and raising money — with the assistance of consultant Maggie Clay Love.

The group also is redesigning a digital platform it built, including a website, database and social media network, to connect and provide resources for anyone involved or interested in the arts.

Triangle ArtWorks also is talking with local arts councils throughout the region about expanding its program of two professional-development workshops a month for artists and arts groups.

Its board recently created a fundraising committee that initially aims to raise $70,000 — including $10,000 through December — to continue to strengthen its organizational “capacity.”

And Yerxa, a member of the North Carolina Small Business Alliance who quips she has “no arts bone in my body,” works with a range of economic development and planning organizations to connect the worlds of business and the arts, and raise awareness about the value each adds to the other and to the region.

“The arts enrich our lives,” says Yerxa. “The arts create jobs and are jobs. Artists are innovators. If the Triangle is building itself as a technology and innovative community, the arts need to be part or that.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 11.03.17

A&T gets $50,000 for education internships

The College of Education at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University will provide internships for education candidates, thanks to a $50,000 grant from the North Carolina State Employees Credit Union Foundation.

Ten SECU Public Fellows have been selected for the internships and each will receive a $5,000 stipend.

Women’s Fund to give nearly $157,000

The Women’s Fund of Winston-Salem will award nearly $157,000 in grants during its Twelfth Annual Luncheon on November 9 from noon to 1:30 pm. at Benton Convention Center.

Golf event raises $55,000 for Ronald McDonald House

The second annual Dickie Britt Memorial Classic at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro on October 23 raised $55,000 for Ronald McDonald House of Winston-Salem.

The inaugural tournament, held in May 2016, also raised $55,000 for the charity.

Peace new finance VP at Greensboro Community Foundation

Marci Peace, vice president for finance and administration at United Way of Greater Greensboro, has joined The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro as vice president for finance.

Former United Way CEO joins Capital Development Services

J. Mac Bennett, former CEO of United Way of the Midlands in Columbia, S.C, has joined Capital Development Services in Raleigh as senior counsel.

Schimizzi joining Public School Forum

Joanna Schimizzi, a former biology teacher in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, has been named statewide coordinator for the Beginning Teacher Leadership Network at the Public School Forum of North Carolina.

She succeeds James Ford, former program director at the Public School Forum, as statewide coordinator of the network.

Nonprofits get $50,000

Wells Fargo awarded $50,000 in grants to nonprofits across North Carolina to recognize employees who support them.

Housing Consultants Group gets $25,000

Housing Consultants Group in Greensboro received the annual Lighting the Way Award, including a $25,000 grant, from the SunTrust Foundation.

Event raises $24,000 for UNC Lineberger

Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston raised over $23,800 for the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center as part of its Pig Out For the Cure fundraiser.

Builders, Habitat team up to build five houses

The Greensboro Builders Association and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Greensboro teamed up the week of October 28 through November 3 to build five houses at the bottom of Asher Downs Drive off Yanceyville Street in Greensboro.

Children’s Flight of Hope honors LORD Corporation

LORD Corporation is the 2017 recipient of the Mark Ash and Noah Duncan awards from Children’s Flight of Hope in Morrisville recognizing, respectively, a commitment of time and expertise to the organization, and financial contributions.

The company, which since 2015 has donated the use of its private aircraft and their pilots to support of 13 private flights, is the first corporation to receive both awards.

Mental Health Association to benefit from run/walk event

The Mental Health Association in Greensboro will receive all proceeds from the 3rd Annual Shea’s Chase 5K Run/Walk, which will be held November 4 at 11 a.m. at the Railyard at SouthEnd in downtown Greensboro.

In its first two years, the event netted a total of $92,414.

Free meals at Panera Bread for veterans, service members

Covelli Enterprises will provide free meals for veterans and military service members on November 10, Veteran’s Day at its 15 Panera Bread locations in Greensboro, High Point, Burlington, Kernersville, Winston-Salem, Clemmons, Boone, Hickory, Salisbury, and Mooresville.

Nonprofit news roundup, 10.27.17

Religious ties spur charitable giving, report says

Americans who are affiliated with a religion are more likely to give to charity than those who are not affiliated, a new report says.

Sixty-two percent of religious households give to charity of any kind, compared to 46 percent of households with no religious affiliation, says the Giving USA Special Report on Giving to Religion from the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving at the Lilly School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.

The report is based on a study that tracks giving by over 9,000 individuals and families, and facts such as employment, health and marital status that influence their giving.

While the share of Americans who give to religious congregations is declining, the report says, those who give to religion are giving at a steady rate.

And contrary to popular belief, it says, younger generations give to religion, and the rate at which they give is similar to the rate at which earlier generations gave at the same point in their lives.

People who attend religious serves on a monthly basis are 11 times more likely to give to religious congregations, the report says, and they give $1,737 more to religion a year, on average, than people who attend less than once a month.

Donors ages 40 to 64 give $2,505 a year to religious causes, compared to $1,892 from donors under age 40, and $2,339 from donors age 65 and older, the report says.

Households with annual income over $100,000 give $1,600 more to religion a year, on average, than households with income under $50,000.

And households with a religious affiliation give as much or more to other types of charities as do households with no religious affiliation.

Religious congregations receive the biggest share of charitable giving in the U.S., or 32 percent of all charitable donations in 2016, according to Giving USA 2017, the Lilly School of Philanthropy says.

Giving to religion totaled $122.94 billion, compared to $59.77 billion given to education, which received the second-biggest share of overall giving.

Companies give more, and more strategically, report says

Median total giving among 258 of the world’s biggest companies grew 2.3  percent between 2014 and 2016, a new report says.

The top 25 percent of companies — measured by total giving — gave at least $53 million in 2016, or 1.7 percent of pre-tax profit, while median total giving among all 258 companies responding to the survey was $19 million, or 0.91 percent of pre-tax profit.

To increase the impact of their giving, companies also are working with fewer partners and decreasing the total number of grants they make, while increasing the size of their grants, says Giving in Numbers: 2017 Edition, from CECP, in association with The Conference Board.

Six of 10 companies are allocating their giving resources to the program area they consider their “strategic signature” program, and measuring the impact of corporate giving has become a more widespread practice, the report says.

In 2016, it says, 87 percent of companies measure the impact of at least one grant, up from 85 percent in 2014.

Cash giving to culture and arts programs grew 48 percent between 2014 and 2016, the report says, while pharmaceutical companies saw the biggest increase in giving.

TROSA raises over $2.64 million

Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers in Durham, or TROSA, raised over $2.64 million in its first-ever capital campaign to help fund the Comprehensive Care Center it will dedicate November 1.

Lead donors to the campaign include Peter J. and Prudence F. Meehan of Chapel Hill, Oak Foundation, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, and Duke Health.

Foundation gives $971,000 in scholarships

Triangle Community Foundation awarded a total of $971,000 in scholarships and awards to 183 students during the 2017 academic year.

Thompson Child & Family Focus getting $600,000

Thompson Child & Family Focus in Charlotte is getting $600,000 from Friends of the Children to launch a Friends of the Children affiliate in Charlotte.

Elon receives gifts for 30 scholarships

Elon University has received gifts and commitments from a group of donors that, along with funds from the school, will support endowments of $500,000 each for a total of 30 scholarships each worth about $25,000 a year.

A spokesman for Elon says the donors asked that the size of their gifts not be disclosed.

Meredith College getting nearly $1 million

The School of Natural and Mathematical Sciences at Meredith College in Raleigh has been awarded a grant of $997,077 from the National Science Foundation to support women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Briggs, Barfield join Armstrong McGuire

Beth Briggs, former executive director of Dress for Success Triangle, and Staci Barfield, former president and CEO of Children’s Flight of Hope in Morrisville, have joined Raleigh consulting firm Armstrong McGuire & Associates.

Event raises $99,700 for breast-cancer screening, support

The 25th Women’s Only 5K Walk & Run on October 14 at Women’s Hospital in Greensboro attracted over 2,100 women and raised $99,703 for mammograms to screen for breast cancer, and support during treatment, for uninsured women.

College students collect water bottle for hurricane relief

Students at High Point University collected 8,000 water bottles in one week that were matched by the school, then spent a morning loading the 16,000 water bottles onto a trailer for American Red Cross headquarters and to the Caribbean for hurricane relief.

Volunteer Center honor volunteers

Mary Magrinat received the Lifetime of Service award from The Volunteer Center of Greensboro at its 2017 Volunteer Recognition Luncheon October 25 at The Conference Center at Revolution Mill.

Other awards and recipients were:

* Emerging (Youth) Volunteer — Valerie Myrick.

* Outstanding Nonprofit Volunteer Program –A Simple Gesture, and Nehemiah Community Empowerment Center.

* Outstanding Individual Volunteer — Austin Healey.

* Corporate Volunteerism — Procter & Gamble.

Bayer Crop Science employees volunteer

Employees in Research Triangle Park of Bayer Crop Science volunteered on October 13 through Habitat for Humanity, United Way, and Wake County 4-H.

Peace Corps scholarships offered at Elon Law

Elon Law and the Peace Corps have teamed up to offer a scholarship program to returned Peace Corps volunteers who want to serve their communities as lawyers.

Each year, The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program will offer two returned Peace Corps volunteers a $31,500 scholarship at Elon Law.

Hoo serving as corporate chair for JDRF walk event

Dan Hoo, founder and president of HICAPS, is serving as corporate chair for the 2017 Greensboro One Walk that the Piedmont Triad chapter of JDRF will host October 28 at First National Bank Field.

Central Park NC gets $10,000

Central Park NC received $10,000 from Duke Energy Foundation to expand arts and cultural programming to reach more students and lifelong learners.

MapAnything pledges 1% of equity

MapAnything in Charlotte has pledged one percent of equity in its company to Foundation for the Carolinas.

Lucy Daniels Center names board officers, members

Shane Bull of Carolinas IT has been named chair of the board of directors of the Lucy Daniels Center in Cary, and Toni Peck, a lawyer with Nelson Mullins Law Firm, has been named vice-chair.

Joining the board are Amanda Lynde, a lawyer with Brennan, Wasden & Painter; Ted Whiteside, director of partnerships for Dynamic Videocasting; Danielle Niedfeldt, president and CEO of Carolina Donor Services; and Tucker King, senior estimator at Baker Roofing Company.

Three join Emily K Center board

The board of directors of the Emily Krzyzewski Center in Durham has added three members, including community volunteer Jane Dimmig; Genevia Gee Fulbright, president and chief operating officer of Fulbright & Fulbright in Durham; and David P. King chairman and CEO of LabCorp in Burlington.

Two join N.C. Community Foundation board

John Bratton, chairman of Wake Stone Corporation, and executive coach Madhu Sharma have joined the board of directors of the North Carolina Community Foundation.

Connecting families and schools to support kids

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — What are schools serving for lunch? How nutritious are the meals? Who makes up the menu? How do they decide which foods to serve?

Recognizing that children do better in school when their food is more nutritious, the North Carolina PTA is working with the Wake County School Health Advisory Council to find ways to get parents to work more closely with schools to make sure children eat healthier food, both in school and at home.

A key goal is to help parents better understand how their kids’ schools make the decisions behind the meals their cafeterias serve. The effort also aims to help parents see the impact of nutrition on academic performance, get them more involved in the food decisions schools make, and offer classes on preparing healthier meals at home.

Improving connections between families and schools is critical to helping students succeed, says Virginia Jicha, president of the board of directors of the state PTA.

“Research shows that in schools where the community and parents are involved in the education of their students, the students are more successful,” says Jicha, a fourth-grade teacher in Fayetteville.

Founded in 1919, the state PTA works as an advocate for 130,000 members of local PTAs that represent 40 percent of North Carolina’s public schools. Its top priority is school funding, particularly an increase in per-pupil spending, which Jicha says has not kept pace with rising public-school enrollment and costs.

The state organization operates with four full-time employees and an annual budget of $500,000, with member fees generating half the revenue, and grants to support health initiatives nearly the rest.

This fall, to diversify its funding, the state PTA will kick off its inaugural annual fund campaign, which aims to raise about $5,000 its first year, and $10,000 to $20,000 a year within three years, Jicha says.

A key job of the state PTA, which in November marks the start of its 99th year, is to provide training, tools and support for local PTA affiliates, says Catherine Peglow, who joined the state PTA in July as executive director and general counsel.

Late this summer, the PTA hosted training sessions for new leaders of local PTAs on their roles, their affiliates’ operations, and programs the affiliates and statewide group provide.

Local PTA leaders earned how to use the state PTA’s membership database — both for electronic collection of membership fees, and as a tool to get information to members and communicate with them.

And leadership in getting families engaged in schools was the focus of a training session at the School of Business at Campbell University.

Throughout the school year, the state PTA offers 11 webinars on topics ranging from the role of a local PTA treasurer to raising money and serving as an advocate.

It also fields questions from local affiliates on topics like recruiting new members, or forming partnerships between families and local schools to identify student needs and find ways to address them.

In May, at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, the state PTA will host about 200 members at its annual convention, held the past two years at N.C. A&T State University in Greensboro.

The PTA also hosts a statewide arts competition, with students creating arts projects — based on a single national theme based on suggestions from students — in art forms ranging from dance, film and writing to music, photography and visual arts.

And the national PTA, which supported the introduction of school lunches throughout the U.S. in 1946, now is spearheading efforts to encourage parents to partner with local schools to make school meals healthy and to promote healthy behavior.

Making children’s potential a reality is the PTA’s mission, says Peglow, who most recently was director of continuing education for the North Carolina Bar Association.

Student success in school — including higher literacy and overall academic performance — depends on improving students’ health and wellness, she says.

A critical step, she says, is to get more parents more involved and active in working with schools to make sure children are healthy and ready to learn and succeed.