Catawba Lands Conservancy focuses on growth

By Todd Cohen

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In 1976, fewer than 90,000 acres in the 15-county region that includes Charlotte had been developed.

By 2006, developed land in the region had grown to nearly 1 million acres, a total that is expected to nearly double by 2030.

Working to try to balance that development with conservation is the Charlotte-based Catawba Lands Conservancy, or CLC, a land trust formed in 1991 to protect land that affects the quality of drinking water in a six-county region.

“Our goal is not to impede development but to be part of the growth,” says Tom Okel, executive director.

A key goal for CLC as the region keeps growing is to help it continue to “value conservation so that this area remains such a special place to work and live,” says Okel who joined the organization in October 2011 after a 20-year career in investment banking, most recently as global head of syndicated capital markets for Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Operating with an annual budget of roughly $750,000, CLC has protected nearly 13,000 acres through conservation easements and land purchases.

CLC also serves as lead agency for a regional effort known as Carolina Thread Trail, named to reflect the region’s textile heritage, that aims to develop a connected trail that ultimately would stretch over 1,400 miles through 15 counties in the Carolinas.

Launched in 2007 with $17 million from corporations, foundations and individuals to help counties plan and begin building their segments of the Thread, the effort has helped 14 of the 15 counties develop and adopt master plans.

The Thread project, including 113 miles already available for public use, is helping to drive conservation work at CLC, which aims to have protected a total of 50,000 acres in 20 years, Okel says.

Water quality continues to represent a core focus of CLC, which has protected thousands of acres along the Catawba River, the main source of drinking water for the region, and and along the river’s South Fork and numerous lakes in the river system.

CLC over the years also has expanded its work to include preserving farms and wildlife habitat, and connecting people to nature.

Through TreesCharlotte, a public-private partnership that aims to plant 25,000 trees a year to increase the city’s “tree canopy” to 50 percent of the city by 2050 from 46 percent today, currently the highest in the U.S., CLC in the most recent year managed the NeighborWoods initiative that planted over 1,000 trees, mainly in low-income neighborhoods.

And in 2011, CLC handled 10 conservation projects, including six that will include segments of the Thread Trail.

Completing the Thread, which initially was projected to total 500 miles and cost $140 million, likely will cost much more because communities have identified much more trail that needs to be built, Okel says.

CLC, which raises money both for the trail and for its own work, last year posted a 30 percent increase in its development revenue.

And for the second straight year, Duke Energy has agreed to give $50,000 to match other donations.

A key goal of the Thread project is to “tie together counties and towns on a common project,” Okel says, “and to leave a lasting asset to define the communities.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 04.12.13

Seattle ranks as most generous online city

For the second straight year, Seattle has been ranked as the most generous online city in the U.S. by Blackbaud, based on online giving per 1,000 residents.

The analysis ranks 265 cities with a total population of over 100,000 based on per capita online giving, with over $509 million donated online by donors in the 265 cities, up 15 percent from 2011.

Per capita online giving in Seattle totaled $38,297.

Other cities that ranked among the 10 most generous online cities, including their rank and per capita giving, were:

* Alexandria, Va., 2, $33,106.

* Washington, D.C., 3, $23,995.

* Arlington, Va., 4, $23.759.

* Ann Arbor, Mich., 5, $21,499.

* Cambridge, Mass., 6, $20,202.

* Berkeley, Calif., 7, $17,800.

* San Francisco, 8, $17,384.

* St. Louis, 9 $16,631.

* Minneapolis, 10 $17,721.

Cities in North Carolina that were ranked, along with their national rank and per capita online giving, included:

* Cary, 18, $13,616.

* Raleigh, 21, $12,843.

* Durham, 28, $10,087.

* Charlotte, 29, $9,190.

* Wilmington, 47, $7,660.

* Greensboro, 70, $6,364.

* Winston-Salem, 111, $4,667.

* High Point, 173, $3,241.

* Fayetteville, 186, $2,742.

Wesley Mancini Foundation closing

The Wesley Mancini Foundation, which has funded projects to foster the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT,  individuals as full participants in the Charlotte community, or to seek to end censorship and work to promote and support freedom of expression, or both, has awarded its final grant and will close on June 30.

The Foundation has awarded $30,000 to endow residencies for LGBT artists-in-residence at McColl Center for Visual Art.

The purpose of the Foundation has been accomplished, says Wesley Mancini, who says in a statement he created the Foundation in response to the 1999 controversy over the play, “Angels in America,” and a decision by the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners to withhold arts funding of LGBT-related causes.

In 2000, he says, the Foundation was the sole local funding resource, other than individual donors, for LGBT nonprofits.

That is no longer the case, he says.

Me Fine Foundation names executive director

Joey Powell, a former account executive at Sports Radio for Capitol Broadcasting Co. in Raleigh, has been named executive director of the Me Fine Foundation in Princeton, N.C., which helps to provide resources and financial assistance to parents and caregivers with children facing life-threatening illnesses at Duke Children’s Hospital and Health Center in Durham and North Carolina Children’s Hospital in Chapel Hill.

Farmer Foodshare hosting benefit concert

Farmer Foodshare will celebrate its 4th birthday at a free concert on May 5 in the Cat’s Cradle parking lot in Carrboro featuring Lost in the Trees, The Love Language, and Loamlands, and selling  a limited edition Lost in the Trees t-shirt, with all proceeds supporting its mission of connecting people at risk of hunger and malnutrition with fresh produce from local farms.

High Point Museum staffers honored

Marian Inabinett, curator of collections at the High Point Museum, received the Professional Service Award from the North Carolina Museum Council, and Kimberly Mozingo, park interpreter at the Museum, received the Student Memorial Award.

Homeless services in spotlight

The 2013 Project Homeless Connect/VA Stand Down was held at the LJVM Coliseum Annex in Winston-Salem, on April 10. A goal of the one-day, one-stop shop was to bring together individuals experiencing a housing crisis and veterans who are homeless or experiencing a housing crisis with volunteers and service providers on site to establish the necessary connections to end their housing crisis. Sponsors included Mayor Joines, City of Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, United Way of Forsyth County, Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, American Express, U.S. Department of Labor, Northwest Piedmont Workforce Development Board Mobile JobLink Unit, and Salvation Army.

The John Crosland School names head of school

Sean Preston, former head of school at Cypress Heights Academy, a K-8 private school with 300 students in Baton Rouge, La., has joined The John Crosland School in Charlotte as head of school. Maria Leahy, the associate head of school who led the school on an interim basis, will report to Preston and continue to manage day-to-day academics.

HandyCapable to celebrate 5000th recycled computer

HandyCapable Network in Greensboro will celebrate recycling its 5,000th computer at an event at Earth Fare Market in Greensboro on April 20 from 11 p.. to 3 p.m. Guests are invited to bring and donate old computers, monitors, printers and cell phones.

Easter Seals drive

Customers who visit any A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts store through April 27 can donate $1 to Easter Seals’ Act for Autism campaign at checkout.

Catholic Charities to hold benefit

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Raleigh will hold its Third Annual Celebrate God’s Gifts Gala, hosted by the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, on April 27 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Raleigh Marriott City Center, with Chris Hohmann, ABC11 meteorologist, serving as emcee. At the event, the 2013 Bishop F. Joseph Gossman Community Service Award will be presented to Ron and Jeannette Doggett, who are long-time benefactors of a range of charitable causes, including Catholic Parish Outreach, Habitat for Humanity of Wake County, and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

Guilford Go Red for Women

Red Mango stores in Greensboro and High Point are major sponsors of the American Heart Association’s Guilford Go Red For Women campaign. Red Mango is sponsoring the “Red Hot Purse-a-nality” Silent Auction at the Guilford Go Red For Women Educational Expo and Luncheon on May 6 at the Koury Convention Center, and from April 12 through April 16 is hosting an exhibit at the Palladium Center of Go Red-themed artwork created by every student at High Point Friends Middle School.

SEEDS expanding facility

SEEDS, an educational community garden in Durham, has broken ground on a project to expand its facility. The building renovation, designed by MHAworks and constructed by CT Wilson, will expand the size of its  current structure to roughly 5,000 square feet from 3,200 square feet. The main entrance to the building will be relocated to the sest side of the structure, making the garden the focal point of all activity.  Working and learning space will be expanded, and a teaching kitchen will be added.

Benefit for Urban Ministries of Wake County

Tour D’ Coop, an annual tour of homes, gardens and backyard chicken coops in the Raleigh and Cary areas, will hold its third annual COCK-Tail Party, a preview event of the one-day tour to help raise funds for Urban Ministries of Wake County. The preview event will be held April 21 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the North Hills home of Anna Baird and Hunt Choi. The 2013 Tour D’ Coop will take place on May 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Greensboro Symphony to hold fundraiser

The Greensboro Symphony will hold its annual “Name That Tune” fundraiser on May 17 at the penthouse of Vanessa and Roy Carroll, in Center City downtown Greensboro.

Social business, Part 3: Philanthropy adds value for companies

By Todd Cohen

DonorsChoose.org, which operates a website that lets public school teachers post their needs for supplies and educational experiences, and lets donors make contributions to buy those resources, asked Crate and Barrel if it would distribute a philanthropic gift card to its customers, who could redeem it by buying supplies for teachers.

The Chicago-based retailer agreed to distribute $25 DonorsChoose cards to 18,000 of its best customers in Chicago and New York.

A study by Rabin Research that the company commissioned found that a control group of Crate and Barrel customers who redeemed the cards spent 16 percent more at the retailer over the next six months than customers who did not receive the cards, and customers who received the cards but did not redeem them spent 5 percent more than customers who did not receive the cards.

While DonorsChoose.org paid for the initial batch of cards, Crate and Barrel went on to distribute over 1.1 million cards and has dedicated 4 percent of its corporate advertising budget to the program, while DonorsChoose.org has expanded the program to hundreds of corporate partners, said Janelle Lin, vice president for partnerships and business development for the New York City-based nonprofit.

DonorsChoose.org has set itself the goal of enlisting 1 million people to support $100 million in classroom projects at 100 percent of high-need public schools in the U.S.

“With this huge goal, the only way we can reach as many people or fundraise that much money to go to classroom projects is through our corporate partners,” Lin explained.

Institutional partners drive nearly two-thirds of fundraising at the nonprofit, which raised $40 million in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012, she said.

And the cause marketing partnerships deliver value that corporations are looking for, she said, including heightened brand and customer loyalty, increased visibility through the nonprofit’s website, and engagement of their employees.

“Big Four” firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, for example, distributes the card to all of its 37,000 employees, Lin said.

“A lot of times, nonprofits feel they’re asking for a handout and the company is doing a charitable favor by giving them money,” she said. “If nonprofits can identify the ways they can help a company, it’s a two-way street.”

In recruiting on college campuses, companies want to appeal to the “millennial generation that wants the social mission,” said Lin, a graduate of Harvard Business School who enrolled there intending to pursue nonprofit work.

“The millennial generation is looking for it all,” she explained. “They want a job where they can be paid well, have a lot of flexibility, and feel like they’re doing social good. That’s a new component that did not exist even when I was in grad school eight years ago.”

Shannon Schuyler, corporate responsibility leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers, said the professional services firm, which employs roughly 37,000 people in the U.S. and hires about 5,000 college graduates a year, distributes roughly 102,000 DonorsChoose gift cards a year to its employers, partners, new hires and others, including 65,000 to students it talks to on recruiting visits to campuses.

In a competitive marketplace, college grads “look for what really differentiates an organization,” she explained.

PricewaterhouseCoopers has a corporate culture that encourages employees to give their time, money and expertise, a factor that can be considered in the evaluation of employee performance, she said.

That culture of giving, she said, “engages people to be part of something bigger than themselves, and that engagement helps to drive their satisfaction, which helps to increase their quality of work and ultimately is able to position the firm as something greater than all the 37,000 different individuals,” whose average age is 27.

Next: Nonprofit build corporate partnerships from ground up

The series:

Part 1: Companies team with causes to add value

Part 2: Companies build giving into business strategy

Part 3: Philanthropy adds value for companies

Part 4: Nonprofit builds corporate partnerships from ground up

Part 5: Company works with nonprofit to build markets

Part 6: Companies turn to nonprofits to help develop leaders

Part 7: Nonprofits tap corporate expertise

Part 8: Company teams with nonprofit to solve social problems

Part 9: Nonprofits work with companies to help find business solutions

Terry Foundation gives big below radar

By Todd Cohen

HIGH POINT, N.C. — One of the five largest foundations in the Triad operates quietly, makes big annual contributions to two institutions outside the region, and does not accept unsolicited requests for grants.

“We keep a very low profile,” says Arch K. Schoch IV, president and a member of the board of directors for the R.B. Terry Charitable Foundation in High Point and a partner at law firm Schoch & Schoch.

Created in 1996 by the late Randall B. Terry Jr., who was co-publisher of the High Point Enterprise and died in 2004, the Foundation has roughly $150 million in assets, making it the fifth-largest philanthropic foundation in the Triad, based on assets, according to a survey by The Business Journal in Greensboro.

In 2012, the Foundation made grant totaling $6.5 million.

Terry, a graduate of Woodberry Forest School in Virginia and Duke University in Durham, used his own money to set up the Foundation, which also received funds from his mother’s estate.

His family co-owned the Enterprise with the Rawley family for two generations before the Rawleys sold their share to Kentucky-based Paxton Media, which later purchased the Terry family’s share after Randall Terry’s death.

The bylaws of the Foundation specify that Woodberry Forest School and the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University in Raleigh receive annual contributions that are equal to one another, with each contribution representing at least 40 percent of all annual contributions.

Each institution over the years has received a total of roughly $28 million to $30 million, Schoch says.

Terry’s interest in the Vet School dates from its care of one of his Golden Retrievers when he became ill in 1998 and was referred by his veterinarian to the Internal Medicine Service at the N.C. State Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

The Foundation later pledged $20 million to a campaign to build a 100,000-square-foot hospital at the Vet School,, and then pledged another $5 million to match contributions to the campaign for the hospital, which has been named the Randall B. Terry, Jr. Companion Animal Veterinary Medical Center.

And the Foundation pledged $25 million to help jumpstart a $100 million capital campaign at Woodberry Forest that exceeded its goal, Schoch says. While the Foundation does not accept unsolicited requests for funds, he says, it has made contributions to groups in which Terry expressed an interest.

It has given a total of $470,000, for example, to Montpelier, James Madison’s home in Virginia near Woodberry Forest, mainly to support its Center for the Constitution.

It also has given $200,000 to Youth Unlimited, a home for unwed mothers in High Point; $25,000 to Hospice of the Piedmont in High Point; and $10,000 a year for man years to United Animal Coalition, the organization that manages the Guilford County Animal Shelter.

In addition to Schoch, members of the Foundation’s board include Charles Odom, a certified public accountant in High Point who advised Terry; Oscar Fletcher, a professor of poultry health management and former dean at the Vet School; and Sion Boney III, board chair for Woodberry Forest, who succeeded Walter Craige, a long-time friend and investment adviser to Terry who stepped down from the board last year.

Social business, Part 2: Companies build giving into business strategy

By Todd Cohen

Corporate philanthropy has evolved over the last generation from supporting pet causes the CEO cared about and, later, targeting giving to causes generally in sync with the focus of the company’s business, to making strategic use of its philanthropy and other assets to address social or global problems that represent obstacles to its business.

Helping to drive that change has been a combination of forces, experts said, including the growing importance of intangible corporate assets such as customer perception; declining corporate control over a company’s reputation with the emergence of social media; the growing importance of social and environmental issues that need to be addressed; the emergence of “B corporations” that are required by law both to increase shareholder value and to serve community needs; and a growing body of evidence that good corporate citizenship can help improve business.

“There’s an increased realization by companies of the tremendous opportunities of non-cash giving,” said Margaret Coady, executive director of the New York City-based Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy.

“That can be any asset under the company’s stewardship, whether the power of employee volunteers, or the goods and services that the company manufacturers, or the relationships the firm has, perhaps through their supply chain, or even the physical assets of the business, such as a fleet or trucks, or conference facilities, or an in-house printing press,” she explained.

“It makes sense for a company to choose societal issues and focus its philanthropy on causes that have a linkage to its products, services and expertise,” she said.

Internal and external “stakeholders” now expect companies to have “a deep level of engagement,” she said, and are “looking at larger corporations and asking, ‘What are your values and how are those values demonstrated through your philanthropy?'”

Companies have responded, she explained, by looking for “a tie between a social issue and the future of the company,” and asking what role they can play in helping to solve the social problems “because it will be good for the community and good for me, can I reorient my business around this societal issue, recognizing its relevance to my company’s future?”

Next: Philanthropy adds value for companies

The series:

Part 1: Companies team with causes to add value

Part 2: Companies build giving into business strategy

Part 3: Philanthropy adds value for companies

Part 4: Nonprofit builds corporate partnerships from ground up

Part 5: Company works with nonprofit to build markets

Part 6: Companies turn to nonprofits to help develop leaders

Part 7: Nonprofits tap corporate expertise

Part 8: Company teams with nonprofit to solve social problems

Part 9: Nonprofits work with companies to help find business solutions

Ronald McDonald House expanding as demand rises

By Todd Cohen

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill serves roughly 2,000 families a year whose children are patients at UNC Hospitals, most of them at North Carolina Children’s Hospital.

It also turns away 700 families a year because it does not have enough beds to house them while their children are in the hospital.

“Nothing hurts us more than having to turn people away,” says Shelley Day, executive director.

Opened in 1988 with 19 rooms that each can accommodate a family of three, Ronald McDonald House in 2001 added 10 rooms, including some that can accommodate up to five people.

It has served over 34,000 families from all 100 counties in the state.

To address rising demand for services, Ronald McDonald plans to add 24 more rooms, bringing its total to 53, an effort that it plans to fund with a capital campaign that aims to raise $6.7 million.

The public phase of the campaign, which already has raised $3.8 million in a “silent” phase that began 18 months ago,  likely will begin by the end of the year, when the campaign is expected to reach 80 percent of its goal, the threshold set by Ronald McDonald House Charities in Oakbrook, Ill., for breaking ground on new projects.

Campaign co-chairs are Patrick Hartley, senior vice president in Raleigh for Morgan Stanley at its Graystone Consulting team, and a professor of the practice of finance at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC-Chapel Hill, and his wife, Diane Hartley, principal at Diane Hartley Market Strategies. Honorary co-chairs are broadcaster Woody Durham and his wife, Jean Durham.

Operating with an annual budget of $900,000 a year, a staff of nine people working full-time and five working part-time, and a core of 80 volunteers who each works a three-hour shift between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., the Chapel Hill group is one of five Ronald McDonald Houses in North Carolina.

With its expansion, it will be as large as Ronald McDonald House in Durham, now the largest of the five, including Houses in Charlotte, Greenville and Winston-Salem.

Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill serves all pediatric patients who live more than 35 miles from Chapel Hill.

The agency since 2011 also has operated a Ronald McDonald Family Room at North Carolina Children’s Hospital, which provides the space and housekeeping staff.

Ronald McDonald House provides volunteers and part-time staff for the Family Room, which is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and stocks it with food and supplies, with the UNC Dance Marathon providing the evening meal several times a week.

The expanded facility at Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill is expected to open in late 2014  or early 2015, Day says, and the organization’s budget is expected grow to $1.5 million by 2017.

The expansion will include 20 suites, including eight two-bedroom apartments, for families who would stay for extended periods of time, possibly for as long as a year.

Supporting that long-term program would require the addition of five employees as well as a separate group of volunteers.

“We really feel like this expansion will enable us to serve more families,” Day says.