Nonprofit news roundup, 09.14.12

Chief fundraiser at UNC-Chapel Hill resigns

Matt Kupec, vice chancellor for university advancement at UNC-Chapel Hill, quit on Sunday after an internal probe found he and Tami Hansbrough, a university fundraiser and the mother of former UNC basketball star Tyler Hansbrough, may have taken personal trips at the university’s expense, media reports said. They said Kupec played a key role in hiring Hansbrough, who also has quit. She was hired with the knowledge of UNC-CH Chancellor Holden Thorp, the reports say.

Kupec’s departure leaves UNC without a chief fundraiser as the university gears up for a comprehensive fundraising campaign that expected to begin its quiet phase next summer and have a goal of roughly $3 billion.

Nonprofits honored for stewardship

The Cape Fear Literacy Council in Wilmington, Youth Empowered Solutions in Raleigh, and Apparo, a nonprofit in Charlotte that provides technology support for other nonprofits, received the Nonprofit Sector Stewardship Award from the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits, recognizing organizations that use exemplary practices in their stewardship of the community’s trust and resources.

Easter Seals UCP at  85% of goal

Easter Seals UCP, in partnership with Levine Children’s Hospital, has secured over 85 percent of the funding needed to build a multi-sensory environment in Charlotte for children with multi-sensory disorders.  Easter Seals UCP, a nonprofit that provides support, care and hope to children and adults living with disabilities and mental health challenges, aims to raise the rest of the funds needed through donations from the community.  This will be the first multi-sensory environment in Charlotte open to the public and will be located at the Easter Seals UCP Children’s Center at 716 Marsh Road.

National MS Society raises $110,000

The Central North Carolina Chapter of the National MS Society raised over $110,000, including a gift to the Research NOW campaign made during its annual Greensboro Dinner of Champion in honor of the honoree, Wes Miller, men’s basketball coach at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Held September 6 at Greensboro Country Club, the event attracted over 300 people.

United Way of Alamance County building Habitat home

United Way of Alamance County in Burlington will hold its 6th Habitat Blitz from September 17 through September 28. Underwritten by Wells Fargo, which is contributing $30,000, the effort will build a house on property donated by Residential Treatment Services of Alamance for one of its employees who is a former client.

North Carolina Medical Society

The North Carolina Medical Society Foundation received a $100,000 grant from The Physicians Foundation to fund an effort launched in August. by the North Carolina Medical Society and 26 other medical societies and organizations in the state that aims to help the medical community improve health and the healthcare experience for patients through better care coordination, enhanced patient engagement, quality measurement and cost containment.

Junior Achievement

Junior Achievement of Eastern North Carolina named three new members to its board of directors, including  Will Austin, director of governmental affairs at LORD Corporation; Randy Brodd, regional managing partner at Dixon Hughes Goodman; and Steve Crouse, chief financial officer and executive vice president at Paragon Commercial Bank.

SECU Family House

SECU Family House at University of North Carolina Hospitals in Chapel Hill provided its 100,000th guest stay since opening in March 2008.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Greensboro

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Greensboro’s 2013 Raising Roofs builders blitz, a partnership with Greensboro Builders Association, will benefit from Chic Chateau, a design showhouse featuring two custom-built homes designed by 27 local designers to be held the last two weekends of September. All furniture, furnishings and accessories in the house will be for sale.

Clarity Group and The Futures Company

Clarity Group and The Futures Company, both in Chapel Hill, have teamed up to offer a suite of products that makes market research from Yankelovich on the attitudes and motivations of consumers available to nonprofits.

Martinsville Henry County Coalition for Health and Wellness

Martinsville Henry County Coalition for Health and Wellness in Virginia has named Lisa Watts to its new position of development director. A former magazine writer and editor, Watts has been based in the Triad and has consulted since 2008 on nonprofit development and communications.

Teach for America

Teach for America reported over 10,000 first- and second-year corps members will be teaching this fall in high-need classrooms, a record-high and 10 percent increase over last year’s total corps size. The 5,800 first-year corps members represent more than 1,500 colleges and universities across the U.S., topped by the University of California-Berkeley, with 88 graduates beginning their two-year commitment this fall. UNC-Chapel Hill ranked fourth among large schools, with 75 graduates beginning their commitment this fall.

Stabilizing fragile families

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, and four private foundations named local partners for a new $35 million initiative to stabilize fragile families and keep children out of foster care. Broward County in Florida; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Memphis, Tenn; San Francisco, and the state of Connecticut will test a new model for preventing foster care placements by placing highly fragile families in supportive housing that coordinates needed social and health services within the home setting. Private funders for the initiative, which is based on a pilot effort in New York City known as Keeping Families Together, include the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Casey Family Programs, and Edna McConnell Clark Foundation.

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Triangle United Way targets poverty

By Todd Cohen

MORRISVILLE, N.C. — Since 2007, the year before the economy crashed, the number of residents in the Triangle who live on low-incomes or in poverty has grown by 25 percent, a rate of growth that mirrors that of the population of low-income and poor people in the United States.

Yet during the same five-year period, donations to United Way of the Greater Triangle and to its 77 partner agencies have declined.

“This is a burden the nonprofit sector cannot continue to bear,” says Jim Green, senior vice president for resource development at United Way. “We’re not maximizing in this community the total potential for philanthropy.”

As it kicks off its annual fundraising campaign today, United Way is focusing on a year-round effort to do a better job telling the story of people in need in the four counties it serves, and the role its partner agencies play in addressing those needs.

Chaired by Rick McNeel, chairman, president and CEO of Lord Corp., the campaign will focus on getting more people to give through workplace campaigns, which account for the bulk of donations but historically have not mustered more than 20 percent of employees at participating companies.

It also will focus on generating more contributions from people who give $1,200 or more, a group that accounts for about one-fourth of the annual campaign.

Last year’s campaign raised $16.5 million, down from $17.4 million in 2010, with donors last year giving $8.65 million of the total to United Way’s general Community Care Fund, one the remaining dollars designated to other agencies, one-fourth of them United Way partner agencies.

United Way did not set a goal last year and did not set a public goal this year but aims to raise roughly the total it raised last year.

“Through surveys, we find our donors are not motivated by a big overall goal,” Green says. “The things that motivate them are the stories, the agencies and the people being helped, and the impact being done with their donations.”

Telling those stories are critical, he says.

“We are really here to help low-income individuals and people in poverty,” he says, a group that includes “new entrants”  who were not in such dire straits before the economy collapsed four years ago.

“These are people who were working, they were getting by, maybe they were on the edges, they were surviving, but now they are not, they definitely need help,” Green says.

It is United Way and its partner agencies, he says, “who are caring for these folks, making sure they have food on the table, that they can afford housing, that they’re getting job skills and training, that they have access to better money-management skills to help them try to get by.”

While workplace campaigns will continue to generate most of the dollars contributed through United Way, it also has been expanding its use of social media and blogging to reach and engage new generations of donors, and to tell its story, Green says.

United Way has built its Facebook following to nearly 700 fans since launching its Facebook page in late 2008, with its Twitter following growing to over 1,500 since it began Tweeting in 2009.

“Our community has to  come together to figure out what we’re going to do,” he says. “We can’t continue to operate the way we have been as a nonprofit community and as a community as a whole. There are too many people falling through the cracks.”

Greensboro arts drive meets goal

GREENSBORO, N.C. — United Arts Council of Greater Greensboro raised $1.1 million in contributions and grants to its annual arts fund campaign that ended June 30, meeting its goal, and received donated goods and services during the year worth another $101,500.

The Council also awarded grants totaling $120,000 to 13 organizations, kicking off its 2012-13 arts funding year.

Chaired by Frank LoNano, owner of LoNano Financial, the campaign received contributions from over 1,400 individuals, companies and foundations, using those funds to support grants to nearly 60 arts groups, projects, artists and schools.

Helping to power the campaign was a seven percent increase in corporate giving, including a big increase from Lorillard Tobacco, a special campaign challenge from VF Corporation in addition to its annual gift, and big new or increased support from BB&T, Wells Fargo Bank and other financial institutions.

Overall, new or increased gifts to the campaign totaled $188,000.

United Arts Council also reported the Half-Century Fund it launched this year with the help of long-time supporter Betty Cone has raised $84,297. The fund is designed to help the Council with community arts leadership and project planning, to provide a grant-making cash reserve fund for the arts fund, and to serve as an emergency capital reserve fund to assist arts organizations with emergency capital needs as a result of catastrophic circumstances.

The Council also says that power2give.org, the crowd-sourcing website it launched in May to address changing trends in fundraising toward online giving, has raised over $23,000 for more than 20 projects, four of which have achieved full funding.

Todd Cohen

Nonprofit news roundup, 09.07.12

Rocky Mount United Way getting building from Boddie-Noell

Boddie-Noell Enterprises will donate its former administrative building on Sunset Avenue in Rocky Mount to United Way Tar River Region for its headquarters. United Way is expected to relocate its offices to the 4,900-square-foot facility by the end of this year. It will be the first stand-alone office United Way has owned.

Bank of America sponsors Habitat Charlotte house

Bank of America is presenting sponsor of Legacy House, a LEED-registered home to be built by bank employees, community volunteers and students for Habitat Charlotte.

Ronald McDonald House of Winston-Salem gets 4-star rating

Ronald McDonald House of Winston-Salem received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, an independent charity evaluator.  The agency is the only Ronald McDonald House in North Carolina, and only one of five charities in Winston-Salem, to receive that rating.

Communities in Schools award

Alex Holmes, who helped found Communities In Schools of Wake County in 1990, and Doug Eury, dean of the School of Education at Gardner-Webb University, have received the H. Glenn Williams Power of One Award for 2012 from Communities in Schools of North Carolina.

John Rex Endowment

The John Rex Endowment in Raleigh is accepting proposals for projects that focus on early childhood, birth to age 5, in Wake County, and for grants for organizational assessment, capacity building and strategic restructuring. Proposals for , or notification of intent to apply or letters of intent must be emailed by noon on Oct. 9.

Michael Scott Mater Foundation

The Michael Scott Mater Foundation in Charlotte, a groupfounded by two young U.S. Army veterans to provide financial resources, workforce training, cross-cultural exchanges, and sustainable solutions for individuals and communities, has been approved by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management for the 2012 Combined Federal Campaign.

Charlotte United Way investing in impact

By Todd Cohen

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — To meet rising demand fueled in part by the damaged economy, United Family Services in December will open a new 80-bed Shelter for Battered Women, replacing its 29-bed shelter.

To help pay for the new facility, the United Way partner agency eliminated a program that had provided economic-independence counseling, with its former clients now served by Community Link, another United Way agency.

As part of a larger allocation from United Way of Central Carolinas to help cover costs at its shelter, United Family Services received $49,809, up 50 percent from the total United Way gave it last year for shelter programs.

But the agency, which received a total of nearly $1.3 million, did not get another $25,000 it had requested from United Way, which continues to see funding requests outstripping contributions in what has emerged as a year-long fundraising campaign.

Now, as it begins that campaign, United Way is focusing on connecting with donors, and connecting them with its partner agencies so donors can better understand the community needs those agencies address and the impact they have in the five counties United Way serves.

The goal of building a culture of philanthropy has become an ongoing process at United Way, says Jane McIntyre, its executive director.

“It’s connecting with the donor, and connecting the donor with the need,” she says.

Chaired by Jennifer Weber, executive vice president and chief human resources officer at Duke Energy, the campaign aims to raise $21.2 million, up from the $20.9 million raised last year for its general Community Care Fund.

Last year’s campaign, which exceeded its goal by $400,000 and the previous year’s total by $700,000, marked the first campaign since the economy crashed four years ago that grew in both dollars and in the number of donors.

Still, while United Way has allocated $16.5 million to its 87 partner agencies for the fiscal year that began July 1, that total remains flat compared to the fiscal year that just ended and includes $1.2 million from United Way’s reserve fund.

To stimulate more community support, McIntyre says, United Way is counting on a new funding strategy that targets donors’ dollars to agencies such as United Family Services and Community Link that can show they are operating efficiently and making a measurable impact on addressing urgent community needs that United Way and its volunteers leaders have identified as priorities.

One way of measuring the success of that strategy, McIntyre says will be gradual growth in annual contributions to United Way, which posted its best fundraising effort in 2007.

In the new fiscal year, 44 of United Way’s partner agencies will see funding increases totaling $441,527, marking the first time in four years that so many agencies have received more funding than the previous year.

Those increases resulted partly from the fact that some agencies closed and others did not seek funding for programs that did not address priority needs identified in an assessment completed last year by the Urban Institute at UNC-Charlotte.

Bill Norton, vice president of marketing at United Way, says collaboration is key to that strategy.

“These agencies are more effective when they collaborate with one another,” he says. “No one agency can serve all this community’s needs.”

In addition to engaging donors, McIntyre says, United Way has stepped up efforts to better understand what they care about, and to thank them, personally and continually.

This summer, for example, United Way decided to discontinue a bimonthly e-newsletter because it found that over 99 percent of its 60,000 subscribers, mainly donors, were not reading it.

In its place, United Way distributed by email a 90-second video thanking donors for their donations, a video that 10 percent of subscribers viewed.

“The most important thing in giving,” McIntyre says, “you cannot say ‘thank you’ enough.”

Duke Energy to continue level, focus of philanthropy

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — The level of corporate philanthropy at Duke Energy, which merged with Progress Energy effective July 2, will not shrink from the combined support the two companies have been providing in the communities they serve, and its philanthropy will continue to focus on the social needs the two companies have been addressing, the head of the Duke Energy Foundation says.

“The overall focus will continue to be building strong communities,” says Richard “Stick” Williams, president of the Duke Energy Foundation.

In North Carolina, annual philanthropic giving in 2011 totaled $8.5 million at Duke Energy and $4.7 million at Progress Energy, he says, with Duke Energy giving a total of $33 million a year throughout its entire service area, and Progress Energy giving a total of nearly $9 million throughout its entire service area.

In documents they filed with the N.C. Utilities Commission, he says, they agreed to maintain their combined giving over the next four years at $16 million to $17 million, or a total of $65 million to $66 million.

In addition to philanthropic dollars, both companies encouraged their employees to volunteer and donate to charity, and they provided corporate support to sponsor charitable events.

In 2011, Duke Energy employees and retirees contributed over 200,000 volunteer hours worth $4.4 million. While Progress Energy employees and retirees also were actively engaged in community initiatives, the company did not track total volunteer hours or the dollar value of those hours.

As part their philanthropic giving, both companies offer programs that match charitable contributions by employees.

For each employee, for example, Duke agrees to match up to $5,000 a year in giving, dollar-for-dollar for giving to education, and 50 cents on the dollars for giving to other causes.

The corporate match totals about $1.2 million a year, a total that is included in the company’s overall philanthropic giving.

Progress Energy has given about $1.1 million a year in matching support during its annual employee giving campaign, Williams says.

While the two corporate foundations will not merge until January 1, Williams says, the goal is for each foundation to continue focusing on the causes it has supported in the past.

All those causes have focused on “community vitality,” he says, including support for nonprofits that work in the areas of human services, economic development, the environment, prekindergarten-through-high-school education, and higher education.

“That will not change,” Williams says.

And in the region that Progress Energy served, he says, his goal over the next several years is to “continue to focus on things Progress has considered to be important.”

Alisa McDonald, vice president of the Duke Energy Foundation, says both companies provided significant financial support to similar organizations in the Triangle area.

Duke Energy, for example, awarded $1.25 million over five years to the Advanced Transportation Energy Center at N.C. State University, $1.2 million to the College of Engineering at N.C. State, $1 million to the Hunt Library at  N.C. State and $1 million to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

And Progress Energy has contributed $1 million grant over five years to the Museum of Natural Sciences, $1.25 million over five years to the Advance Transportation Energy Center and $1.2 million over five years to the College of Engineering at N.C. State.

“It is part of the DNA of Duke Energy,” Williams says, “to be very engaged in the communities and be very supportive of the communities we serve,” Williams says.