Companies tie giving abroad to bottom line, local needs

Local needs and corporate financial performance in countries in which they do business are the main factors that drive U.S. companies to make social invests abroad, a new study says.

Eighty-six percent of companies that gave internationally say they plan to increase or maintain the size of their foreign giving budget, says the study, commissioned by Global Impact and prepared by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.

In creating their giving programs, the study says, companies typically align their business goals and the “charitable priorities of their stakeholders.”

They also look for nonprofit partners that match their own philanthropic goals in the areas of mission, geographic service area, and focus area.

A “demonstrated record of producing effective and efficient results” is the top attribute companies look for when selecting a nonprofit partner, the study says.

Companies also consider a nonprofit’s accountability, reputation, as well as its size and capacity, the study says.

Resources that companies said they need to expand or strengthen their international philanthropic commitments include assistance with screening potential nonprofit partners, and with developing strategies to engage employees in global partnerships.

The study also found that 20 percent of 27 companies that donated internationally gave only in developing countries; Asia and the Pacific Rim drew the most attention from companies that donated internationally, with a majority giving in the region; and companies with a larger share of their sales revenue coming from overseas made even more international gifts and gave more money internationally at the level of $1 million or more between 2000 and 2010, compared to companies with over 90 percent of sales revenue from the U.S.

The research was based on secondary research on Fortune 100 companies; an online survey of 59 Fortune 500 companies; and in-depth interviewed with four major U.S.-based companies.

Todd Cohen

First Tee works to help kids build character

By Todd Cohen

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Last May, at the close of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, Scott Langley was one of four golfers on the PGA tour who volunteered to read to kids who are enrolled in The First Tee of Charlotte, the local chapter of a national organization that uses golf  to teach character development to children.

Langley, a Texas native who in 2010 as an amateur made the cut for the U.S. Open and then turned professional in 2011, also is the first graduate of The First Tee to play on the PGA tour.

“We use the game of golf, but we teach character issues,” says Ike Grainger, a former vice president of business development for Charlotte-based commercial construction company Shelco who joined First Tee in November as executive director after serving five months on an interim basis.

Founded 10 years ago, First Tee of Charlotte is one of 188 chapters in 50 states of First Tee, a national nonprofit based on St. Augustine, Fla., that has introduced golf and its values to over five million participants who otherwise might not have had an opportunity to play.

The local chapter serves roughly 800 kids a year ages five to 18 through an after-school program in the spring and fall, and one-week camps in the summer.

It also offers a program created by its national office that provides equipment and a curriculum, as well as training for physical education teachers, to teach basic life skills at elementary schools in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

First Tee is working to expand all those programs.

Operating with an annual budget of $500,000, First Tee generates roughly 40 percent of its funds through partnerships with Wells Fargo and Bank of America.

First Tee offers its after-school programming Mondays through Fridays from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., with each child participating once a week for either five weeks or 10 weeks.

Sessions are held at First Tee’s offices in the former pro shop at Revolution Golf Course, a nine-hole course off I-77 South that is owned by Mecklenburg County.

With 150 active volunteers assisting in the programs, kids get lessons in life skills and golf.

Lessons on putting, for example, include lessons on courtesy and sportsmanship. Last summer, First Tee offered it summer camps at Charles T. Myer Golf Course in northeast Mecklenburg County and at Rocky River Golf Course in Cabarrus County.

In partnership with Ballantyne Country Club, First Tee each May sponsors the annual Rudolph-Dadey Memorial Golf Tournament, which has generated a total of $18,000 since 2010 to support college scholarships for First Tee graduates.

First Tee also is offering the National School Program in 81 elementary schools, supported with $100,000 grants from Wells Fargo each of the past two years, and a $50,000 matching grant from Howard Levine, CEO of Family Dollar Stores, that First Tee matched, dollar for dollar.

First Tee plans to expand the schools program in 2014 to Cabarrus and Catawba counties.

It also sends some of its kids to leadership academies throughout the U.S. that are sponsored by its national organization.

“Our goal,” Grainger says, “is to give kids character.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 10.25.13

Cone Health Foundation awards $4.4 million

Cone Health Foundation in Greensboro awarded nearly $4.45 million in grants to 43 Greensboro-area nonprofits.

The grants support agencies working in the Foundation’s four focus areas of grantmaking, including access to health care; adolescent pregnancy prevention; HIV/AIDS; and mental health and substance abuse.

Some of the grants fall outside those focus areas and support community collaborations. The Foundation’s single largest grant, $458,662, will go to Triad Adult and Pediatric Medicine, which provides access to care for chronically ill indigent patients seeking primary care and pharmaceutical services.

The Foundation received 53 applications requesting $6.25 million.

Lowes Food drive to benefit food banks

Lowes Foods will hold its annual food drive November 1 through December 31, collecting food donations at all of its stores in the Carolinas and Virginia for delivery to local food banks.

Lowes Foods, which has collected over 18 million pounds of food since 1995 and has a goal of raising one million pounds in 2013, has raised over 345,000 pounds so far with vendor and customer support.

Peace University buys shopping center

William Peace University in Raleigh completed its purchase of the Seaboard Station retail center and nearby land for $21 million, spending nearly a third of its $33 million endowment, with the remainder from a $10 million bank loan, Insider Higher Ed reports.

Debra Townsley, president of Peace, says in a statement that the school has contracted with Trademark Properties to manage Seaboard, and has secured a $10 million loan from Capital Bank on the shopping center.

She says Peace is investing $6.6 million in the center and another $4.15 million in additional Seaboard property to support the retail center and the “continuing growth” of the school.

Inside Higher Ed reports the loan is structured so only the new property and no existing university assets will be “on the line” in the event of a default.

Billie Redmond, CEO of Trademark Properties, which brokered the deal, says most of the center is leased and generates steady income, Inside Higher Ed reports.

Anna Spangler Nelson named board chair at Fidelity Charitable

Anna Spangler Nelson of Charlotte, chairman of Spangler Companies, a private investment firm, has been elected chair of the board of trustees of Fidelity Charitable, a national donor advised fund.

Fidelity Charitable, which plans to move its headquarters to North Carolina from Boston next year, says it made over 308,000 grants to nonprofits totaling nearly $1.3 billion in the first nine months of 2013, up 20 percent and 33 percent, respectively, from the same period last year.

Incoming contributions also totaled nearly $1.3 billion, up 5 percent from the same period in 2012.

Fidelity says outgoing grants and incoming contributions it posted for the period both represented its best results ever.

Triangle Land Conservancy creates fund at Triangle Community Foundation

Triangle Land Conservancy in Durham has opened a $1.1 million agency fund at Triangle Community Foundation, the largest agency fund ever at the Durham-based Foundation.

The Land Conservancy now has five funds at the Foundation that support the stewardship of over 16,000 acres of protected landscapes and working lands throughout the Triangle.

Both organizations are celebrating their 30th anniversaries.

Winston-Salem Foundation awards $675,000

The Winston-Salem Foundation awarded 27 Community Grants totaling nearly $675,000 to organizations serving people in Forsyth County in the areas of arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, and public interest.

Pope Foundation gives $185,000 in wake of federal shutdown

The John William Pope Foundation in Raleigh has awarded $185,000 in grants to North Carolina nonprofits to help ease the impact of the recent shutdown of the federal government.

Headed by Art Pope, a Raleigh businessman who serves as state budget director for Gov. Pat McCrory and as president and chairman of his family philanthropy, the foundation made grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 to 13 nonprofits that provide food, shelter, clothing and medical care.

Verizon gives $100,000 for domestic violence prevention

Verizon made over $100,000 in grants to domestic violence prevention efforts throughout North Carolina. Recipients include the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Cleveland County Abuse Prevention Council in Shelby; Domestic Violence Shelter and Services in Wilmington; InterAct in Raleigh; Safe Alliance in Charlotte; and The Wellness Center at UNC-Greensboro.

Bar Association focusing on education

The North Carolina Bar Association is working with local bar associations to support efforts to improve literacy and graduation rates of students.

Lawyers 4 Literacy, which the state bar association launched last year in New Hanover County, also is operating in Durham County in partnership with the School of Law at N.C. Central University and with local legal professionals who are working with W. G. Pearson Elementary and soon will be working with Eastway Elementary School.

In Charlotte, with assistance from the Charlotte School of Law and local legal professionals, the bar association is working with Winterfield Elementary School and Hidden Valley Elementary School and soon will be adding a third school.

Programs are also being developed in in Pitt and Cumberland counties.

Greensboro Habitat, Builders Association to build houses

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Greensboro and 20 members of the Greensboro Builders Association are teaming up to build seven new houses, from foundation to dedication, in five days starting November 4.

HandyCapable’s HandyTechs receives statewide volunteer award

HandyTechs at HandyCapable, a Greensboro nonprofit that refurbishes computers to provide computer training for people with developmental disabilities, received the Governor’s Award for the Volunteer Program of the Year at an awards dinner October 24 in Greensboro.

Last year, the agency’s HandyTechs, each of whom has developmental disabilities, won the local award for volunteer program.

Robeson County Community Foundation hosting phantom ball

The board of directors of the Robeson County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the North Carolina Community Foundation, is hosting its fourth annual Phantom Ball fundraiser. The board sent over 350 invitations to past supporters and other area residents asking them not to attend the non-event but to make a donation to the Robeson County Unrestricted Endowment Fund.

Lincoln Financial partners with Junior Achievement

Nineteen employees at Lincoln Financial Group, in partnership with Junior Achievement of Central North Carolina, volunteered on October 22 at Brooks Global Studies Extended-Year Magnet School in Greensboro, working with students to complete the Junior Achievement program appropriate for their grade level.

Band Together names advisory board member

Will Eglin, chief financial officer at consulting firm IEM, joined the advisory board of Band Together NC, a Triangle-based organization that uses live music as a platform for social change.

Rebuilding Together gets $10,000 from Lowe’s

Rebuilding Together of Greater Charlotte received a $10,000 grant from Lowe’s to complete repairs and weatherization and energy-efficiency upgrades for local homeowners. The agency will work with over 40 volunteers to target simple fall prevention, fire and personal safety, energy efficiency improvements, and water management tasks.

Haven House Services to hold benefit

Haven House Services in Raleigh will host its fourth annual Monday Night Knockout benefit on November 4 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Cameron Bar & Grill in Cameron Village. The agency, celebrating its 40th year, offers a continuum of programs to serve struggling young people and their families develop positive and successful relationships at home, at school and in the community.

Housing for New Hope schedules fundraiser

Housing for New Hope, a Durham nonprofit that works to prevent and end homelessness, will hold a fundraiser November 23 at 7 p.m. at The Cookery at 1101 West Chapel Hill St.

Professional advisers seen as key planned giving partners

Nonprofits have a great opportunity to generate more planned gifts by working more closely with professional advisers, a new report says.

Most advisers say fewer than 25 percent of their clients have a planned gift in place, and roughly two in three advisers say they would be “very or fairly interested” in working with planned giving professionals to increase estate planning and planned giving, says Metrics That Matter: The Link Between Advisors, Donors and Nonprofits, a report from The Stelter Company, which provides marketing services to nonprofits.

Only 7 percent of advisers say planned gifts are only for the very wealthy, says the report, which is based on an online survey conducted by Selzer & Co. that generated 293 responses from accredited estate planners.

And nonprofit supporters as young as age 40 “can make excellent planned giving prospects,” the report says, citing research by Stelter.

Advisers and planning giving

Most advisers says they are the ones who raise the topic of planned gifts at least half the time, and nearly half say they themselves have a planned gift in place in their own estate, with another 23 percent saying they will definitely or probably put a planned gift in place at some point.

Advisers also say professional colleagues are the most important source of information on planning giving, and they see a possible business advantage from having one-on-one meetings with planned giving professionals.

The report recommends that nonprofits build relationships with advisers who are “particularly planned giving friendly,” and that nonprofits “be more of a philanthropic expert than a technical one.”

Building relationships

In developing relationships with advisers, relationships that could lead to increased revenue, the report says, nonprofits should “emphasize quality of relationships over quantity.”

To help do that, it says, nonprofits should consider sending personal letters to advisers who are big producers or “have demonstrated an affiliation for your mission,” and should set up a LinkedIn network of professional advisers.

In working with advisers, nonprofits should “focus on your shared interests of educating the public about estate planning,” the report says. “This may drive more people to seek the services of professional advisers who, in turn, will likely raise the topic of planned giving.”

Nonprofits also should help foster relationships between key advisers in their networks and their planned giving prospects, it says.

Nonprofits can help do that, it says, by partnering with key advisers to provide information sessions on estate and financial planning, and by providing donors with a list of nonprofits’ adviser networks.

Philanthropic expertise

Nonprofits can expect that advisers in their communities are “reasonably knowledgeable” about planning giving, the report says.

And if they need more technical information, it says, advisers “value the advice of a professional colleague among all other resources.”

Still, it says, a gap exists in advisers’ understanding of the “emotional motivators behind why people give — reasons beyond the obvious or practical.”

Advisers also may not be aware of “generational differences in planned giving receptivity,” the report says.

So nonprofits should share research on consumer attitudes and motivations related to planned giving, information the report says can be helpful to advisers in raising the topic with clients.

“Mission awareness” also can be a “supporting driver in building influential relationships with advisers,” it says.

So nonprofits should “help your key adviser network understand and relate to the good that you do,” it says.

But nonprofits should not “waste time peppering your adviser network with technical information,” it says, because they seem to have other useful resources for that information,

Wealth levels and age

Nonprofits also should work to connect with supporters at all levels of wealth and of all ages, the report says.

“People at all levels of wealth are interested and participating in planned giving,” it says.

And “to the extent that resources allow, cultivating younger donors makes financial sense,” it says. “Few people make changes to charitable gifts within their estate plans (i.e. Once you’re in, you’re in) and planned givers make excellent prospects for future outright or life-income gifts.”

Todd Cohen

Youth literacy emerges as critical issue

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — One in three North Carolina third-graders, and four in 10 from low-income households, do not read at grade level.

Typically because their brains get too little stimulation in their earliest months and years, experts say, many children are not ready for school, struggle in the classroom and drop out, with only 80 percent of students in the state graduating from high school after four years.

Those same kids are more likely to end up jobless, homeless, in jail or an emergency room, and on public assistance, experts say.

The Institute for a Competitive Workforce at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates 80 million to 90 million adults, or roughly half the workforce, lack the basic education and communications skills needed to get jobs and advance in them, says Susan Perry-Manning, executive director of the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation.

Awareness of the importance of youth literacy, along with efforts to improve it, are growing throughout the U.S.

Poor academic performance often is rooted in the lack of support for learning that kids get at home, particularly in the first 12 months of their lives, when their brains reach their peak potential for developing cognitive skills as well as the social and emotional skills critical to succeed in school and life, experts say.

“The parent is the child’s first teacher,” says Tracey Greggs, early literacy project coordinator for the Wake Education Partnership. “Research shows the first and best indicator of whether or not a child will be successful in school is the amount of time the parent has with that child.”

By age 3, for example, the vocabularies of children of college-educated parents are two to three times larger than those of children whose parents have not completed high school, a gap that puts kids with smaller vocabularies at a huge disadvantage, Perry-Manning says.

Starting this year, because of a new state law in North Carolina, third graders who cannot read at grade level at the end of the school year will not advance to fourth grade. Kids who fail the test will be able to attend summer sessions to improve their reading and then take the test again.

Also this year, the Wake Education Partnership launched an early childhood initiative to help make sure kids are ready for kindergarten and reading at grade level by the end of third grade.

The Partnership has held early childhood literacy summits at four schools in Zebulon, Knightdale, Wendell and Rolesville to let parents know about organizations and resources they can use to help their kids learn.

Funded by PNC Bank and AT&T, the initiative next year will host a “family literacy night” at each of the four schools, with parents getting a kit they can take home that will include books they can read with their kids.

The kit also will include materials for activities parents can do with their children before and after they read the books together, as well as a journal parents can keep and submit to teachers, and in return receive gift cards from local merchants based on the number of activities they complete.

Triangle Community Foundation this fall launched a new initiative to strengthen nonprofits in the region that have shown success in helping to improve children’s reading by third grade, particularly nonprofits that work in collaboration.

And the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation, formed this summer, initially will work to raise awareness about early childhood development through its First 2000 Days initiative — signifying the time from birth to entering kindergarten — and through public opinion polling, social media, briefings for businesses, and engaging “non-traditional stakeholders” such as law enforcement officials in writing opinion columns for newspapers and speaking out on the issue, Perry-Manning says.

The Foundation will be working in future years to collect and make sense of data on the most effective strategies for improving child development.

It also aims to bring together leaders, experts, educators, parents and others and help foster collaborative statewide and local solutions and investment in helping kids succeed by the end of third grade, says Perry-Manning.

“There is no silver bullet,” she says. “The reason children aren’t successful at the end of third grade is complicated. There are lots of reasons. We know it’s about more than just any one program.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 10.18.13

Greensboro United Way, BB&T team up to boost women’s giving

Aiming to increase the number of women giving $1,000 or more to United Way of Greater Greensboro, BB&T has agreed to match gifts by women over several years until they give $1,000 in the third year.

For women who give $500 this year and agree to give $750 next year and $1,000 in two years, BB&T will making matching gifts of $500 and $250, respectively, this year and next year, up to a total of $100,000 in matching funds over the two-year period.

United Way will recognize women who participate in the step-up program as donors who give $1,000, making them members of United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council, which provides women with opportunities to become philanthropic leaders by learning about and getting involved in the community.

Funders invest in spurring health-insurance enrollment

Three North Carolina foundations and a national foundation are investing over $600,000 to help low-income, Spanish-speaking and rural North Carolinians learn more about new options available to them for affordable health insurance through the state’s new Health Insurance Marketplace.

Many uninsured and underinsured North Carolinians remain unaware of new health care choices available through the Marketplace, which allows consumers in the state to compare private insurance plans, says the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in Winston-Salem, which made a $275,000 grant to Enroll America, a national nonprofit working in the state to enroll uninsured residents in health coverage.

The Cone Health Foundation in Greensboro is supporting the effort with $20,000, and the Reidsville Area Foundation is investing $10,000.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in New Jersey is matching all those funds, dollar for dollar, for a total investment of $610,000.

Triad philanthropists, fundraisers to be honored

The Triad-NC chapter of  the Association of Fundraising Professionals will honor excellence in philanthropy and fundraising on November 25 at its 21st Triad Philanthropy Awards 2013.

Keynote speaker for the event, to be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Grandover Resort Greensboro, will be Nido Qubein, president of High Point University.

Awards and winners include:

* Outstanding Philanthropist — Brad Thompson of Greensboro, nominated by Habitat for Humanity of Greater Greensboro.

* Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser — Leslie Hayes of Winston-Salem, nominated by Wells Fargo Bank; and Jim Upchurch and Candace Cummings of Greensboro, nominated by YMCA of Greensboro.

* Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy — Nick Milligan of Winston-Salem, nominated by Cancer Services.

* Outstanding Fundraising Professional — Richard “Skip” Moore, president of the Weaver Foundation and former vice chancellor for university advancement, at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, nominated by UNC-G.

* Outstanding Business in Philanthropy — BB&T in Winston-Salem, nominated by Capital Development Services and Ronald McDonald House of Winston-Salem.

* Outstanding Philanthropic Organization — Graphic Visual Solutions in Greensboro, nominated by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

* Outstanding Fundraising Professional — Michelle Cook, vice chancellor for University Advancement, Winston-Salem State University, nominated by WSSU.

* Lifetime Achievement in Philanthropy — Lynda and Richard Petty, Randleman, nominated by Victory Junction Gang Camp.

Duke gets $5 million

An undergraduate program at Duke University that focuses on building strong communications skills in traditional and new media will be established by a $5 million gift from the Bacca Foundation.

The gift includes $3.5 million to launch and fund the Language Arts and Media Program, and $1.5 million, matched by funds from Strategic Faculty Initiative at The Duke Endowment, to establish two Bacca Foundation assistant/associate professorships in language arts and media for faculty who will build cross-disciplinary programs and guide undergraduate research and civic engagement projects.

Women’s Fund awards five grants

The statewide Women’s Fund at The North Carolina Community Foundation awarded grants of $2,000 each to Albemarle Hopeline in Pasquotank County; Ashe County Partnership for Children; Catawba County Parenting Network; Church on the Rise Peacemakers Family Center in Rocky Mount; and Guiding Lights Caregiver Support Center in Wake County.

The Women’s Fund focuses on programming that supports women or children, or both, with emphasis on women’s health and leadership issues.

Community Matters picks charity partners

Community Matters: Insurance Partners of Charlotte, an alliance of insurance and risk management professionals working together to advance the cause of selected charitable organizations in the Charlotte region, has selected Crisis Assistance Ministry and Charlotte Family Housing as its charity partners for 2014-15.

Formed in 2011 and consisting of over 60 firms in the insurance industry, Community Matters donated 10,200 volunteer hours and $200,000 in 2012 to Safe Alliance, its first selected charity.

Originally focusing on one charity at a time, Community Matters expanded its approach to include two charities for 2014-15 to have a broader impact on fighting homelessness in Charlotte.

Medical Society launches campaign

The North Carolina Medical Society has completed a $5 million renovation of its headquarters in Raleigh and has launched a $3 million capital campaign to pay for the renovations. Medical Mutual Insurance Company made a leadership gift to help launch the campaign, which already has raised over $1 million.

Robert W. Seligson, executive vice president and CEO of the Medical  Society, is chairing the campaign.

Gala to benefit Earlier.org

Earlier.org a Greensboro-based nonprofit that focuses on funding research to find an earlier biological test for breast cancer will benefit from the Gathering of Friends Gala Dinner October 26 at the Grandover Resort and Conference Center. Supporting sponsors include ma Cares and Market America, Crown Automotive, Aetna, LabCorp and Ralph Lauren.

Raleigh chapter of National Christian Foundation gives $1.25 million

The Raleigh chapter of the National Christian Foundation disbursed $1.25 million in grants to national and international charities in September and expected total giving since its inception in 2005 to exceed $50 million by the end of October.

Junior League of Greensboro gets $32,000 in sponsorships

The Junior League of Greensboro generated over $32,000 in event sponsorships for its Fourth Annual Touch a Truck event. The largest sponsors included Novant Health, Volvo Trucks, Mack Trucks, and The Fresh Market.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Junior League and its partnership with Cone Elementary, a Title I school in northeast Greensboro.

Easters Seals UCP honors six leaders

Easter Seals UCP North Carolina & Virginia presented six Community Impact Awards to leaders for making significant contributions to improving the lives of people living with disabilities. Recipients include:

* Joan Beasley, a licensed mental health counselor and director of the Center for START Services.

* Mary Ann Hooks, of Rocky Mount, who receives support through the Easter Seals UCP residential service program.

* Logan’s Road House restaurant in Garner, a partner of Easter Seals UCP for the past four years that works to create job opportunities for individuals with disabilities

* Page Auto Group in Richmond, Va., a significant corporate partner to Easter Seals UCP for several years.

* Dr. Challie Minton, a family physician in Mt. Airy and partner with the Easter Seals UCP StayWell Integrated Healthcare program.

* Richard Worrell of Charlotte, a long-time volunteer, donor and parent of a child who benefits from Easter Seals UCP services.

Triangle YMCA names board chair, new board members

Mary Nash Rusher, a partner at Hunton & Williams, has been named chair of the board of directors of YMCA of the Triangle Board, becoming the first woman to chair the YMCA’s board.

New board members include:

* Leah Devlin professor at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

* Ben Goldstein, chief operating officer for CAPTRUST Financial Advisors.

* Jack Radford, executive director of the WakeMed Foundation.

* Arthur Rogers, principal of Eno Ventures in Durham.

* Tony Withers, CEO of Withers & Ravenel.

Wake United Arts to recognize business supporters

United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County is seeking nominations for the 2014 Business Support of the Arts Awards, which are presented annually to businesses, organizations, and individuals that promote the arts and humanities in Wake County in a significant way.

The 2014 Business Support of the Arts Awards, co-sponsored by The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, will be presented in January 2014 at the annual “State of Arts and Culture in Wake County” event.

Deadline for submitting nominations is November 22, 2013.

Guilford Nonprofit Consortium to celebrate members

The Guilford Nonprofit Consortium will celebrate its members at an event on November 14 at the Greensboro Country Club.

At the event, which will run from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and is sponsored by NewBridge Bank, the Consortium will present its Consortium Nonprofit of the Year award to a nonprofit that is a member of the Consortium, and its Consortium Service Award for an individual Consortium participant.

Food drive to benefit Winston-Salem food bank

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina in Winston-Salem will benefit from a food drive sponsored by Texas Pete and Walmart, with bins set up inside participating Triad-area Walmart stores to collect non-perishable food items.

Granville County funder awards $18,000

Granville County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the North Carolina Community Foundation, awarded a total of $18,000 from its community grantmaking fund. Nonprofit recipients include Girl Scouts NC Coastal Pines; Granville County Schools; Union Chapel Missionary Baptist Church Outreach Ministry; Converting Hearts; Prevent Blindness NC; Granville County Historical Society Museum; Area Congregations In Ministry; and The Humane Society of Granville County.

Rebuilding Together launches home safety effort

Rebuilding Together of Greater Charlotte is launching a project to provide make homes safer and greener through improvements in the areas of prevention, fire and personal safety, energy efficiency and water management.

On October 19, over 40 volunteers will work on 18 homes in University Park, an historic African American neighborhood in northwest Charlotte.

Granville County funder to host wine tasting

The board of directors of the Granville County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the North Carolina Community Foundation, will host a wine tasting on November 22 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Stovall’s Gifts at 100 Main St. in Oxford.

Proceeds support the Foundation’s unrestricted endowment fund, which supports local nonprofits by awarding annual grants.

Cat rescue group lands reviewers’ praise

Alley Cats and Angles, an all-volunteer nonprofit in Raleigh that rescues and fosters home-based care for stray, abandoned and feral cats in the Triangle, has been named Top Nonprofit of 2013 by Great Nonprofits, a  provider of reviews and ratings of nonprofits throughout the U.S. The agency received the recognition based on reviews submitted by people who have worked with or volunteered for the organization, or serve on its board.

Center for International Understanding names board members

The Center for International Understanding in Raleigh named six new members to its board of directors, including:

* Beth Briggs, president of Creative Philanthropy.

* Chia Chi, market development executive at IBM Corporation.

* Hari Nath, a member of the board of governors of the University of North Carolina system.

* Jennifer Parser, an immigration lawyer at Poyner Spruill.

* Marcus Schaefer, president and CEO of Truliant Federal Credit Union.

* Cosette Serabijt-Singh, a retired biomedical research scientist and pharmaceutical executive.

Private foundation assets surge

Endowments of private foundations generated investment returns of 12 percent in 2012, net of fees, up from a loss of 0.7 percent in 2011, a new study  says.

Among 140 foundations studied, those with assets between $101 million and $500 million posted the highest return, 12.4 percent, compared to returns of 11.9 percent for those with assets over $500 million, and 11.4 percent for those with assets under $101 million, says the 2012 Council on Foundations–Commonfund Study of Investments for Private Foundations.

Three-year returns averaged 7.9 percent in 2012, down from 10.3 percent in 2011, reflecting the fact that strong returns in 2009 no longer are part of the calculation, the study says.

Five-year returns averaged 1.8 percent, up from 1.4 percent a year ago, reflecting the fact that losses in 2008, the year the economy collapsed, still are part of the calculation.

And 10-year returns average 7.9 percent, up from 5.2 percent a year ago.

The effective “spending rate” among participating foundations, or the amount spent on mission divided by the market value at the start of the year, slipped to 5.4 percent in 2012 from 5.5 percent a year earlier.

That is a normal result in a year with strong investment returns, the study says, because many institutions use a “moving-average” formula to calculate market values for the purpose of determining spending, and the results “can lag behind a rapidly rising market.

Foundations with assets over $500 million posted the lowest effective spending rate, 5.2 percent, compared to 5.4 percent for those with assets between $101 million and $500 million, and for those with assets under $101 million

Among all participating foundations, 34 percent reported an increase in their spending rate, 22 percent reported a decrease, 14 percent reported no change, and 30 percent gave no answer or were not certain.

Forty-seven percent of participating foundations reported spending more in dollars, while 32 percent reported spending less, 15 percent reported no change, and 6 percent did not answer or were not certain.

International equities gained 17.5 percent, more than any other asset class, followed by domestic equities, 16.3 percent; fixed income, 7.1 percent; alternative strategies, 7 percent; and short-term securities, cash and “other,” 1 percent.

At Dec. 31, 2012, asset allocations at participating foundations included domestic equities, 26 percent, up from 23 percent a year earlier; fixed income, 11 percent, down from 13 percent; international equities, 16 percent, up from 12 percent; alternative strategies, 42 percent, down from 44 percent; and short-term securities, cash and “other,” 5 percent, down from 8 percent.

Todd Cohen