Triangle United Way taps new CEO

MORRISVILLE, N.C. — Mack Koonce, former chief operating officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, has been named CEO of United Way of the Greater Triangle.

Koonce, who begins his new job Sept. 4, succeeds Craig Chancellor, who is retiring after 37 years as a United Way professional and after 10 years as CEO of United Way of the Greater Triangle.

Koonce, a North Carolina native who lives in Chapel Hill, formerly was executive vice president of sales and marketing at Wyndham Hotels.

In Chancellor’s 10 years as CEO, United Way of the Greater Triangle has raised over $170 million for agencies and programs in the region.

Todd Cohen 

Boomer women bigger donors, study says

Single women who are Baby Boomers and older give more to charity, and are more likely to give, than single men the same age when education, income and other factors are equal, a new study says.

At all income levels, and no matter what share of permanent income they give, Boomer and older women give 89 percent more to charity than their male counterparts, says Women Give 2012, a study from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

Among  women in the top 25 percent of permanent income who give at the highest level, or 3 percent or more of income, Boomer and older women give 156 percent more than men the same circumstances.

The U.S. is home to 76 million Boomers, or Americans born from 1946 through 1964, a group that represents the biggest generation in the country.

Boomers hold over 90 percent of net worth in the U.S. and account for 78 percent of all financial assets.

Based on 2007 projections, women accounted for 51 percent of Boomers in the U.S., a share expected to grow to 54 percent by 2030.

And women age 50 and older control net worth of $19 trillion and own over 75 percent of financial wealth in the U.S., it says, while women age 50 to 70, or roughly the age of Boomers, hold 47.2 percent of the gross assets of the top female wealth holders in the U.S.

“Boomers and people of older generations are more likely to give and give more on average than younger generations,” the study says,

And Boomer women, it says, are “transforming philanthropy through innovative new charitable organizations and ways to engage in charitable activity.”

The number of nonprofit women’s funds, often public foundations, which are governed mainly by women and raise money from public sources to support programs for women and girls, now totals 165 in 27 countries on six continents, the study says.

A recent study by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute that included women of all ages found that, generally, households headed by single females are more likely to give, and to give more, than households headed by single males, when factors that affect philanthropic behavior are equal.

That study and the new study looked only at households headed by single females and single males to explain gender differences.

Married couples tend to pool income and decide together about charitable giving, it says, so studying married couples does not allow for testing gender differences in giving.

The new study also says Boomer and older women are more likely than men to be concerned about their economic future and funds available for retirement as they age.

Women generally have lower incomes and spend less time in the work force than men, it says.

In particular, it says, women as they age are affected more adversely than men by aversion to risk in making financial decisions, by longer life expectancy, by being single as they age, and by having less money in retirement.

So women tend to set aside more money as “precautionary savings,” limiting any spending, including charitable giving, the study says.

And more conservative investment by women of accumulated wealth, it says, likely will yield a lower level of permanent income.

Greater aversion to risk suggests that the tendency to spend out of a “certain flow of income and stock of wealth” will be lower among women than men.

“Women, in general, earn less and have less money in retirement than men, and then have a greater life expectancy,” Debra J. Mesch, director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, says in a statement.

“Although some may have concerns about their financial security,” she says, “our study suggests that Boomer and older women share their  resources with others more generously than their male peers.”

Previous research by the Institute also found that strong networks among women “may keep them more connected to both the needs of others and to opportunities to give,” Mesch says.

“The giving habits of Boomer and older women are a powerful reminder about the importance of gender in philanthropy,” she says. ‘These insights help nonprofits better understand their female donors and remind fundraisers of the importance and value of seeking gender balance in their fundraising strategies.”

— Todd Cohen

Nonprofits holding their own, survey says

Membership and funding are growing at nonprofits, but many also are seeing a rise in operating costs and need additional staff they cannot afford to hire, a new survey says.

“Generally speaking, the health of nonprofits appears stable or growing,” says the Constant Contact 2012 Nonprofit Pulse Survey.

Based on a responses in May from 307 nonprofits from marketing firm Constant Contact’s customer base, 67 percent expect membership or funding this year to be more than last year, while  7 percent expect it to be less.

Forty-nine percent have seen an increase in membership and funding this year, while 12 percent have seen a decrease.

And 55 percent have adequate cash flow.

But 46 percent of nonprofit are seeing higher operating costs, 35 percent need additional staff but are not able to hire, and 51 percent have increased the number of services they offer.

Asked what keeps them up at night, 64 percent said how to attract new supporters, 59 percent said how to connect and better engage with existing supporters, and 57 percent said getting funding.

Eighty-six percent of nonprofits responding to the survey said email is an effective marketing tool, while 80 percent said website marketing was effective, 73 percent said in-person interactions were effective, and 70 percent said events were effective.

Fifty-eight percent said social media marketing was an effective marketing tool, and among those, 88 percent said Facebook was most effective, compared to 5 percent that cited Twitter and 1 percent that cited Google+.

Samaritan House a haven for homeless after hospital

By Todd Cohen

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Residents of Samaritan House, which provides recuperative care for homeless men and women after they are discharged from a hospital, can watch satellite television, thanks to a former resident who pays the agency’s monthly bill for the service.

In 2008, having became ill and losing his job at roughly the same time, he stayed at the agency for about three weeks before leaving and finding an information-technology job at Wachovia, now Wells Fargo, and eventually getting a job at another company.

“He wanted to pay back,” says Brad Goforth, the agency’s executive director.

Operating with an annual budget of $260,000 and a staff of four full-time employees, Samaritan House has served over 800 people since it was formed in March 2005 by Ruth Woodend and Freda Schlaman, two volunteers at the Urban Ministry Center.

“They continually saw people who  were sick and injured come to the Center with no place to go during the day” after leaving the hospital, Goforth says.

Now, after moving to a new and larger location, the agency is serving 120 to 160 people a year, with the capacity to serve up to 200.

That is up from 100 to 110 people it could serve at its previous facility.

And while the larger facility has resulted in an increase in the number of people the agency serves, Goforth says, the ailing economy has generated a different mix of clients.

“Now we’re seeing more and more of the chronically homeless who have been in the elements for so long that their healthy has been compromised,’:he says. “Now they’re getting really sick and really need the help.”

Samaritan House, which does not accept government funds and does not receive United Way support, generates all its income from grants, churches and individual donors.

To cover the $225,000 cost of buying its new facility, it received $125,000 from the Carolinas HealthCare Foundation and $100,000 from the Leon Levine Foundation, both over four years, as well as $10,000 from the Dickson Foundation and $5,000 from the Philip Van Every Foundation.

And it used $40,000 from its reserves to renovate the facility.

To help cover its annual operating costs and provide services, the Samaritan House counts on donations and contributions, and on volunteers.

Roughly 10 to 12 churches provide an evening meal for clients staying at Samaritan House, with two to three volunteers from each church working on a given night.

Samaritan House aims to provide services for homeless people who otherwise would have no place to recover from injury or illness, services that also can help reduce costs for emergency rooms that often serve as the last resort for homeless people needing medical attention.

“If our bed days were spent in a hospital, that’s over $32 million we’ve saved in indigent care” since 2005, Goforth says.

More important, he says, it would be “almost impossible for these folks to really get well in any short period of time if they didn’t have a place like ours to come to.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 08.17.12

Boettcher to head Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation

Robin Boettcher, first vice president of chapter and community partnerships for the National Parkinson Foundation in Miami, and former president of the Raleigh-based Eastern North Carolina chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, has been named CEO of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation in Asheville. She succeeds co-founder Dianne Traynor, who died in July.

Charlotte YWCA fundraiser to play convention role

Marianne Schild, donor relations manager for YWCA Central Carolinas in Charlotte, has been tapped by YWCA USA as the National YWCA Correspondent for the Democratic National Convention. She will serve as a communication conduit among national and local YWCA associations and the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Concert to benefit North Carolina Rail-Trails

North Carolina Rail-Trails, a land trust specializing in preserving railroad corridors for use as public trails and greenways, will host Full Steam Ahead: A Benefit Concert for North Carolina Rail-Trails at The Arts Center in Carrboro on September 8th. The two-part benefit will feature singing and dancing, a silent auction featuring railroading memorabilia and North Carolina getaway packages, and a concert featuring Mary Johnson Rockers and The Spark.

Michael Scott Mater Foundation

Rosanna Saladin-Subero, programs direcctor for the Michael Scott Mater Foundation in Charlotte, has been named executive director. Founded by Joshua Mater and Jesus Quispe, two young veterans, the foundation has the mission of supporting and encouraging entrepreneurship in Charlotte by providing access to business development training, networking opportunities, and financial resources.


Truliant awarded mini-grants of up $1000 to 29 nonprofits in the Carolinas and Virginia to support their operations. Nonprofits receiving mini-grants include Samaritan Ministries, Communities Helping All Neighbors Gain Employment, Veterans Helping Veterans Heal, and Southside Rides Foundation, all in Winston-Salem; Triad Food Pantry of the SDA Church, Think Fit Foundation of North Carolina, United Way of Greater High Point, and YWCA of High Point, all in High Point; Men’s Empowering Resource Center, Alamance Community College Foundation and Alamance County Community Services Agency, all in Burlington and Mebane; Community Foundation of Gaston County, Junior Achievement of Gaston County, Cancer Services of Gaston County, and Shining Hope Farms, all in McAdenville and Gaston County; Communities in Schools of Cleveland County and Washington Outreach Ministry in McAdenville and Gaston County; and Pennies 4 HOPE Project of Charlotte, Supportive Housing Communities/McCreesh Place, Victory Christian Center School Alumni Association, and Crossroads Reentry Ministries, all in Charlotte.

Girl Scouts’ CEO set to retire amid growth

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — One of every two women in the U.S. was a Girl Scout, according to estimates by Girl Scouts USA. The Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines is counting on a lot of those women to help girls become Scouts and leaders.

“You can’t be something you haven’t seen,” says Rusine Mitchell Sinclair, who has served as the Raleigh-based council’s CEO since Aug. 1, 2007. “It’s so important for girls from all of our areas, whether major cities or rural areas, to have role models.”

Mitchell Sinclair credits her own experience as a Girl Scout in a small town in southern Illinois with helping to equip her for a corporate career that included 25 years at IBM, most recently as a vice president, corporate officer and senior state executive for North Carolina.

After retiring from IBM at age 55, she joined the Girls Scouts as CEO, two months before two councils based in Raleigh and Goldsboro merged to form the current council, which serves nearly 33,500 girls ages five to 17, as well as 10,000 volunteers.

In her five years as CEO, the council’s membership has grown 6 percent, while contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, which account for 10 percent to 12 percent of its $8.5 million annual budget, have grown 86 percent.

Now, as Mitchell Sinclair prepares to retire from the Scouts on Jan. 31, 2013, the Council is sponsoring a series of events and raising money as part of a $1 billion “To Get Her There” campaign by Girl Scouts USA for its 100th anniversary this year to boost equal representation of women in public and professional life over the next generation.

This year, for example, all 41 counties the Council serves have held local celebrations that included community partners, elected officials and donors, as well as service projects ranging from food drives and collections for local military bases to volunteer work for groups such as nursing homes and animal shelters.

The Council produced “At the Speed of a Girl,” an exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of History that celebrates North Carolina women involved in the Scouts.

Operating with service centers in Raleigh, Goldsboro and Fayetteville, six camps and a full-time staff of 61 people, the Council generates 71 percent of its revenue from the sale of Girl Scout cookies, a entrepreneurial program for girls that grew 3 percent over the past year and in recent years has included a special effort that has donated over 1 million boxes of cookies to military troops.

The Council, which has adopted standardized leadership programs from Girls Scouts USA that provide girls with age-appropriate “journeys” focusing on advocacy, the environment and self-esteem, has launched initiatives that aim to boost high-school programs in science, technology, engineering and math.

It also has launched a Lego League robotics effort, with one team winning the innovation award in this year’s national competition, as well as a leadership camp it developed in partnership with the Women’s Leadership Council of United Way of the Greater Triangle and with local corporations and nonprofits.

And local Girls Scouts have been outspoken advocates, one attending a conference in Washington, D.C., , and visiting the White House, for example, on behalf of the Triangle-based National Inclusion Project, co-founded and chaired by Clay Aiken, that advocates for people with disabilities.

The Girl Scouts “is about women sharing their stories with girls,” and teaches them “social responsibility, volunteering, community and the value of community service,” as well as the opportunities that Scouting can lead to, Mitchell Sinclair says.

Those are lessons and opportunities, she says, “that you cannot not be exposed to and learn from if you’re a Girl Scout.”