Triangle Community Foundation posts growth

By Todd Cohen

[Note: I am working with Triangle Community Foundation as senior communications adviser.]

DURHAM, N.C. — Triangle Community Foundation posted growth in new funds, total gifts, grants and scholarships, and endowment and assets over the past year.

“We’re happy to see so many of our donors and community partners continuing to engage in and support important causes in our community, and honored to play a role in this work,” says Lori O’Keefe, president of the Foundation.

New funds expand

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 46 new funds were created at the Foundation, up from 33 the previous year, and they ranged in size from $10,000, the minimum allowed, to an estate gift totaling $2.5 million.

New funds totaled $6.5 million, up from $6 million a year earlier, and total gifts, including new funds, totaled $16.8 million up from $16.3 million a year earlier.

“The market has a lot to do with it,” says Jessica Banks Gilmour Aylor, director of development and community partnerships at the Foundation. “Any time we have donors with appreciated assets is the time they will give to charitable organizations.”

Endowment assets grow

As of June 30, endowment assets at the Foundation consisted of over 300 funds totaling $94 million, or nearly 60 percent of all assets, up from $86 million in total endowment assets a year earlier.

Overall assets — including fixed-income and equity investments, as well as pass-through funds that are not invested — grew to $160 million in the year ended June 30 from $145 million a year earlier.

Scholarships increase

For the 2012-13 school year, the Foundation awarded scholarships totaling $654,000 from 49 different scholarship funds to 145 students, with the largest totaling $60,000 over three years and the average award totaling $4,500.

For the 2013-14 school year, the Foundation already has awarded scholarships totaling $628,000 from 51 different scholarship funds to 115 students, and expects the total to be roughly $670,000. The largest scholarship so far totals $60,000 over three years, and the average award so far totals $5,500.

Grants and gifts grow

The Foundation made $13.8 million in grants in the fiscal year ended June 30, up from $13.2 million a year earlier. Of the total grants, $11.6 million came from donor advised funds, up from $10.7 million a year earlier.

Roughly 70 percent of grants from donor advised funds in the most recent fiscal year stayed in the Triangle.

Gifts to the foundation in the most recent fiscal year totaled $16.9 million, up from $16.3 million a year earlier. Of the total gifts, $12.7 million were given to donor advised funds, up from $8.5 million a year earlier.

Family philanthropy

During the year, the foundation launched a series of five education sessions to talk to fundholders about family philanthropy.

The sessions focused on topics such as how to involve family members in the family’s philanthropy, how to get the family’s next generation involved in philanthropy, how to think about creating a family’s philanthropic legacy, and the range of charitable giving options through estate planning.

The Foundation plans to offer more education sessions this year, probably two this fall and two next spring.

Donor education

The Foundation sponsored or co-sponsored four sessions for the Triangle Donors Forum. The sessions focused on the impact of funding cuts on nonprofits; capacity-building for nonprofits; homelessness; and collaboration.

The Foundation plans to sponsor four more sessions this year, some of which likely will be tied to new community programs we are developing.

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