Nonprofit news roundup, 01.31.13

Community Development Initiative awarding $5.85 million

The N.C. Community Development Initiative will invest $5.85 million in 28 nonprofits over the next three years to spur economic growth and job creation in some of the state’s most distressed areas.

The Initiative is making the grants through two new programs, Community Enterprise Fund and Capacity Building Grants, with financial support from the state, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, BB&T Corp. and other public and private organizations.

The Community Enterprise Fund program will award three-year grants ranging from $210,000 to $300,000 to help 19 nonprofits put into place strategic economic development plans in their communities, while the Capacity Building Grants program will award one-year, $40,000 o help nine organizations strengthen their operations for greater impact.

Public policy events set for nonprofits

Public policy and nonprofits will be the focus of two events in Raleigh hosted by the N.C. Center for Nonprofits on February 25 and 26.

Legislative leaders and advocates will speak at the Public Policy Forum for North Carolina’s Nonprofit Sector on February 25 in the McKimmon Center, and will be briefed by the Center for Nonprofits the following morning in the Legislative Building, with the opportunity to spend the day talking with lawmakers.

Carolina Theatre names director of development

Laura “Treat” Harvey, former director of development for the Emily Krzyzewski Center in Durham, has been named director of development for The Carolina Theatre of Durham.

Parker leaving Wake Tech Foundation

Virginia Parker, associate executive director of the Wake Tech Foundation, will become executive director of The Dan Foundation, a startup, and a vice president on the senior leadership team of the Divers Alert Network in Raleigh, effective March 1. The Network, a membership association with over 230,000 members internationally and annual revenue of roughly $18 million, focuses on scuba diver safety.

National MS Society hosts climb up Winston Tower

The Greensboro-based Central North Carolina chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society is sponsoring a race up the stairs of the Winston Tower in Winston-Salem on February 2.

Participants are challenged to climb 30 floors, or 618 steps, starting in 10 second intervals, and race to the top of the tower, timed by chips.

MS affects over 400,000 people in the U.S., and 2.1 million worldwide.

The Central North Carolina chapter of the National MS Society provides educational and support programs and services such as financial assistance and equipment loan programs to over 2,500 people living with MS in a 15-county region.

VantageSouth Bank sponsors Go Red for Women campaign

VantageSouth Bank is a $25,000 sponsor of the 2013 Go Red for Women campaign of the American Heart Association. On Feb. 1, the bank will host a heart health fair with representatives from The Prevention Group/Lifesigns providing blood pressure checks, body mass index assessments and counseling on heart healthy lifestyles at no cost. Heart health literature will be available in all Triangle VantageSouth branches

Global Schools Network

The Global Schools Network Foundation is changing its name and brand to Boundless Impact.  While still supporting the Global Schools Network, the group also is expanding its mission to include other cross-boundary initiatives in education, economic development, international relations and interfaith community building.

Rex Healthcare Foundation

The Rex Healthcare Foundation in Raleigh has created a Foundation Leadership Council to identify, engage and solicit donor prospects for financial support of programs and initiatives at Rex Healthcare and improve care for all patients. Inaugural members include Richard L. Daugherty, chairman, and Maureen G. Alexander, Louis C. Arp III, Mary Susan Fulghum, Richard S. Myers, Robert Thomas, Florence B. Winston, Sherry C. Worth and G. Smedes York.

United Arts awards over $18,000 to artists

United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County awarded over $18,000 to 16 individual artists through its regional program designed to help advance the recipients’ artistic careers by awarding grants for such needs as professional development workshops and conferences, equipment, and marketing materials.

Methodist Home for Children

Methodist Home for Children raised $220,000 through its Jan. 26 gala, A Winter’s Tale, drawing more than 400 guests in its 16th year, and honoring, as its 2013 Guardian Angels, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, based in Chapel Hill; Mark and Mitzi Janas of Raleigh; Rich Products Corp., based in Buffalo, N.Y.; and Richlands United Methodist Church of Onslow County.

Archer Daniels Midland to sponsor film festival

Archer Daniels Midland, a food manufacturer with a plant in Charlotte, is presenting sponsor for the 2013 Joedance Film Festival, to be held August 2-3, 2013, in Charlotte’s Fourth Ward.

Cancer survivor enlists athletes to shave heads

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — Chase Jones loves baseball.

But his childhood dream of playing in the major leagues or coaching in college was shattered the fall of his freshman year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Pounding headaches sent him from varsity baseball practice to Campus Health Services, where he got a CAT scan and bioposy that found a tumor the size of a golf ball at the top of his brain stem that was blocking the flow of spinal fluid and causing the headaches.

He was diagnosed with Stage IV brain cancer, underwent surgery to remove the fluid, and then five rounds of chemotherapy.

During the treatment, which caused him to lose his hair and 20 pounds, his life changed.

Feeling frustrated and negative about life, he says, he had an insight when he saw young children nearby who also were receiving treatment.

“I got to go to the prom and college,” says Jones, whose cancer is in remission. “These kids didn’t know anything outside the hospital. For me to complain did injustice to those kids who were battling every day with smiles on their faces.”

So in the spring of 2010, after taking a year off for his treatment and returning to school the following fall, he persuaded his teammates, coaches, managers and trainers, a group of  about 50 people, to shave their heads to raise money for the pediatric oncology program at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The event, dubbed BaseBald at UNC, raised $5,400, and a similar event a year later raised over $14,000, an effort that landed Jones the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Award last year from the Triangle chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

After graduating in 2011, Jones pitched the idea to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which raises money through head-shaving events to benefit kids with cancer.

Jones joined the Foundation just over a year ago as BaseBald and family relations coordinator, and last year helped raised over $375,000 through 40 head-shaving events by high school, college, minor league and youth baseball teams in 14 states.

“Both my doctors that treated me at UNC were funded by St. Baldrick’s,” he says. “Somebody shaved their head before me, and I’m here because of it.”

In the Triangle, teams that have participated in BaseBald include those at UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State University; Orange, Cedar Ridge, East Chapel Hill and Chapel Hill high schools; and North Wake Baseball in Wake Forest.

Now, Jones has formed his own charity, the Vs. Cancer Foundation, which has the mission of “saving kids’ lives by empowering athletes and communities to fund lifesaving childhood cancer efforts.”

“No one is going and actively seeking athletes,” he says, “and introducing them to the idea that as student and professional athletes, they themselves can directly make an impact on a child who’s battling cancer.”

Giving grows in 2012, expected to slow in 2013

Total giving to nonprofits grew 6.7 percent to $369.23 billion in 2012, a pace that is expected to slow to 1.6 percent in 2013, when giving will total $375.13 billion, one of the slowest rates in 50 years, a new report says.

With giving to environmental causes growing 11 percent, faster than any other nonprofit field, giving last year was fueled by “robust stock market performance, an improving economy, and a few very larger individual contributions,” Rob Mitchell, CEO of The Atlas of Giving, which released the report, says in a statement.

But projected declines in the investment markets “will produce corresponding drops in giving,” he says, while discretionary income will fall as a result of a 2 percent hike in the payroll tax, affecting giving decisions by individuals and families.

And continuing high unemployment represents a “persistent detriment to giving for many Americans, a dynamic that does not impact all charities equally,” Mitchell says.

“The manner in which a given nonprofit raises money has everything to do with what effect unemployment has on gift receipts,” he says. “Organizations that rely on larger numbers of relatively small gifts from individuals are hit the hardest when unemployment is high.”

Giving to education grew 8.8 percent, as did disaster-related giving, much of it from donations in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in October.

Giving to religion, which accounted for 50 percent of all charitable donations in 2002, represented just 36 percent of all giving in 2012, a share that will drop to 35 percent in 2013, The Atlas of Giving says.

Giving to environmental causes is expected to continue its rapid growth, increasing 5.9 percent in 2013, while giving to religion is expected to decline slightly to nearly $131 billion from nearly $132 billion.

The share of giving from individuals, foundations, bequests and corporations is expected to remain the same in 2013 as in 2012 at 75 percent, 13 percent, 7 percent and 5 percent, respectively, while foundation gifts are expected to grow 4.9 percent, the most of any source, and corporate gifts are expected to fall 0.3 percent.

Mega-gifts in 2012, the report says, included $3 billion from Omaha investor Warren Buffett to charitable foundations operated by each of his three children; $499 million from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to Silicon Valley Community Foundation; $300 million pledged by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen to his Allen Institute for Brain Science; and $200 million from Mortimer Zuckerman, the publisher and real estate tycoon, to the Mind Brain Behavior Institute at Columbia University.

Todd Cohen

Volunteer Center aims to expand

By Todd Cohen

GREENSBORO, N.C. — What began in 1963 as an arm of the Greensboro Community Council, which was a predecessor to United Way of Greater Greensboro and later merged with a similar program in Randolph County, now operates as the Volunteer Center of Greensboro, an independent agency that places 2,500 volunteers a year with local nonprofits.

Since 1993, it has raised over $3 million for 150 nonprofits through its annual Human Race, an event that over the years has worked with 5,000 volunteers and over 40 business sponsors.

And it operates with 150 member agencies that are looking for volunteers, a database of 5,000 volunteers, and an advisory council of 30 corporations.

Now, with a new executive director, the agency wants to raise awareness about its work and expand its reach by enlisting small and mid-sized businesses as it prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2013.

“Our main goal is to connect volunteers with agencies that need their help,” says Carley Swaim,  who joined the Volunteer Center as executive director in October after serving as director of development at Bell House, a community for adults with physical disabilities.

Operating with an annual budget of $225,000 to $250,000, the Volunteer Center receives all its operating support from United Way of Greater Greensboro, and also receives grants to support specific programs and projects.

For its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service in 2011, for example, it received federal funds through the Points of Light Foundation.

That event, through a partnership with the Guilford County Schools, enlisted 5,000 volunteers to participate in community projects.

A separate event in 2011 that also partnered with the school system enlisted another 5,000 volunteers for a day of service commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The Center, which had not had an executive director for five months, has just filled two other positions, including a director of programs and a director of volunteers, and also employs an administrative assistant.

It helps match volunteers and nonprofits through an online system known as VolunteerConnect that lets member nonprofits post volunteer opportunities, and lets individuals look for options to volunteer.

The Center helps manage those relationships, and follows up with agencies to see how the relationships worked.

It also provides half-day workshops every other month for member nonprofits on topics such as how to manage volunteers, work with boards of directors, and raise money.

It works with a Corporate Volunteer Council that brings together corporations with strong volunteer programs on a monthly basis to exchange ideas and talk about their programs.

Swaim says she hopes to expand the Council by enlisting small and mid-sized businesses that want to build volunteer programs, with larger companies serving as mentors for the smaller businesses on volunteer issues, and with all the companies volunteering as a group on community projects.

The Volunteer Center, which is housed in the offices of United Way, will be working with United Way to strengthen the partnership between the two agencies and boost volunteerism in the community, says Swaim, a former leadership giving manager for United Way.

On Oct. 30, the Center held its annual dinner to recognize volunteer service, an event that attracted 150 people and raised $5,000 through a silent auction.

Swaim says the Center will be working to develop a brand it can use to market itself so people turn to it as a one-stop shop for volunteerism in the community.

“We want to strengthen our recognition,” she says.

Nonprofit news roundup, 01.25.13

Triad Golfers Against Cancer award $250,000

Triad Golfers Against Cancer, an all-volunteer organization, has awarded $250,000 in seven cancer research grants ranging from $15,000 to $50,000 each to cancer research centers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Wake Forest University, East Carolina University and Duke University.

Golfers Against Cancer was founded in 2005 as a local unit of a national charity started eight years earlier in Houston, Texas, by golfers who were committed to raising money for cancer research across the U.S. Since its formation, Golfers Against Cancer has raised and donated nearly $2 million for cancer research at North Carolina cancer centers.

That total has been expanded to over $8 million in additional funding from other sources benefiting North Carolina medical research facilities.

Nationally, over $20 million has been raised by golfers groups since 1997.

Junior League of Greensboro names president

Julie Malloy Copeland, vice president of Talent Management & Development, has been named president of the Junior League of Greensboro for a one-year term starting June 1, 2013. Beginning in June, the Junior League will focus on providing support to Title I elementary education through Cone Elementary School.

Firehouse Subs gives equipment to fire departments

Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation awarded over $22,000 in equipment to Ararat Volunteer Fire Department and over $7,400 in equipment to East Bend Volunteer Fire Department. Through its Foundation, created in 2005, Firehouse Subs has given $5.7 million to “hometown heroes” in 36 states and Puerto Rico, including over $436,700 in North Carolina.

Charlotte Symphony benefit

The 2nd annual Classical Idol, a benefit produced by the Symphony Guild of Charlotte to support the Charlotte Symphony and youth music education programs, will be held April 12 at Spirit Square’s McGlohon Theater, showcasing how music transforms lives and helps foster social, cultural and economic change.

Brady Associates

Brady Associates associates at the company’s nine locations raised nearly $1,900 and over 300 cans of food for donation to local food banks.

Thompson Child & Family Focus

Antinette Blocker, a Family Partners staff member with Thompson Child & Family Focus in Charlotte, has been named one of five winners of the annual Casey Excellence for Children Awards by Casey Family Programs, a national operating foundation committed to improving the lives of children and families in communities across America.

At 30, Planned Parenthood affiliate going strong

By Todd Cohen

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — When it opened its first health center in 1983 in Hillsborough, Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina was greeted with “open arms” by many people in the community “who really saw the need for our services,” says Janet Colm, the agency’s founding CEO.

But that event also attracted picketers opposed to the family planning services the agency offers.

That mixed response has followed Planned Parenthood ever since and continues to represent a challenge as the agency prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

In fact, the local affiliate has selected “The enraged but not yet engaged” as its theme for 2013, which also will mark the 40th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that found the constitutional right to privacy extended to a woman’s decision to have an abortion.

Starting with a breakfast January 16 at the Eno River Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship in Durham that commemorated the Roe v. Wade anniversary, and concluding with an event in October to mark the anniversary of opening the Hillsborough health center, Planned Parenthood is working to recruit new patients, supporters and donors, says Laurie Scott, vice president for development.

Operating with an annual budget of nearly $5 million and a staff of 66 employees, the agency served 10,000 male and female patients at its health centers in Durham, Fayetteville and Chapel Hill in the fiscal year ended June 30, and attracted 94,000 visitors to its website.

Serving 25 counties, the Planned Parenthood affiliate provides services ranging from cancer screening, treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and abortion services to breast health, pregnancy testing and education.

It also provides training each year for nearly 100 young women and men on topics that include sex and sexuality, life skills, and substance abuse so they can educate their peers on those topics.

And Planned Parenthood is actively engaged in advocacy and public policy work, sharing with Raleigh-based Planned Parenthood Health Systems a database with over 114,000 “advocates” for an email alert system.

Advocacy continues to play an important role for the agency in a field fraught with controversy, particularly over the issues of family planning, contraception and abortion.

In 2011, for example, after state lawmakers passed a bill to cut off all state funding to Planned Parenthood, the agency obtained a court injunction to stop the law from going into effect, and eventually won the case, an effort that preserved roughly $200,000 in funding.

And in 2012, after state lawmakers passed a bill that barred state funds for family planning from going to nonprofits, a move that cost Planned Parenthood $155,000, the affiliate applied directly to the federal government for funds, and secured $426,000 for its Durham health center.

“It was a big win for Planned Parenthood, but a really, really big win for Durham County and the women who rely on us for low-cost family planning services,” Colm says.

The affiliate, which generates 62 percent of its revenue from patient fees and 5 percent from government funds, counts on fundraising for most of the remainder.

It has received fundraising “challenges” from donors who have pledged matching funds to stimulate more gifts of $1,000 and up, and help enlist more “sustaining” donors who give $25 or more a month.

And after Dallas-based Komen for the Cure announced earlier this year it no longer would fund Planned Parenthood, a decision it quickly reversed, the affiliate landed 700 donors without any solicitation, although Colm emphasizes the affiliate “never had a fight with Komen,” which does “good work and important work.”

The problem, she ways, was “the bullies who bullied them into making that decision.”

The funding changes and controversies of recent years underscore the value of Planned Parenthood, Colm says.

“One in five American women has been a Planned Parenthood client,” she says. “We owe it to the public that we’re going to be here no matter what. And we’re going to care for people no matter what.”

Barsuhn quits as CEO of Greensboro United Way

By Todd Cohen

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Keith Barsuhn has resigned as president and CEO of United Way of Greater Greensboro, effective Jan. 31, and Michelle Gethers-Clark, a former American Express executive who the United Way board of directors hired in October as a consultant on an interim basis, has been named interim CEO and president.

Barsuhn, who has served as CEO since July 1, 2008, “told us he wants to pursue other things,” says Sue Cole, chair of United Way’s board and managing partner at Sage Leadership & Strategy.

Barsuhn says he “came here to rebuild this United Way and give it a new direction, and I’ve done that.”

He says he has “some really good opportunities I’m pursuing that I’m expecting to be imminent.”

John Cross, a former chair of United Way’s board and a lawyer at Brooks Pierce, will chair the search for a new CEO.

“We will take our time to find the right person,” Cole says.

Gethers-Clark, who is president of The Center for Service and Leadership and former senior vice president and general manager of card operations at American Express, has agreed to serve as interim president and CEO until a successor is found, Cole says.

Cole said at the time Gethers-Clark was hired as a consultant that changes needed to be made in the organization as a result of a new long-term strategy that involved shifting United Way’s focus to collaborative efforts to help boost academic performance and grade advancement for children, improve health literacy, and strengthen financial stability for individuals and families.

Since then, Cole says, Gethers-Clark has focused on processes inside United Way, while Barsuhn has focused on United Way’s fundraising.

“The best way to accomplish things is to divide and conquer,” Cole says. “We asked Michelle to focus on the people within the organization and the processes within the organization, and making sure we were being efficient and effective with everything we do.”

United Way’s annual fundraising campaign, which raised $10.3 million a year ago and set a goal of $11 million for the campaign that began last fall, is “tracking” last year’s effort, Cole says.

“I’m very optimistic we will meet it,” she says.

The position of vice president for resource development, formerly vice president for donor relations, has been open since last fall, she says.

Emphasizing she believes in “continuous improvement,” Cole says the biggest challenges facing United Way are to carry out its its collaborative community impact strategy, particularly by matching mentors with people they mentor, and training organizations that provide the mentoring; taking care of its volunteers, including leaders and board members; and develop[ing staff and making sure “they have the resources they need to do the jobs that need to be done in the community.”

Gethers-Clark’s focus has been on “processes,” Cole says.

That has included reviewing the process for hiring people and getting them in their jobs; for receiving contributions; for making board meetings and planning more efficient; and for the way staff members work.

Event planning, for example, has been assigned to a single staff member, who is planning events on March 22 and May 14, respectively, for its leadership groups for African-Americans and for women.