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

Dispute Settlement Center works to help resolve differences

By Todd Cohen

CARRBORO, N.C. — The Dispute Settlement Center in Carrboro was providing mediation services for 400 to 500 people a year who were referred by criminal district court when state lawmakers in 2011 eliminated $1.2 million in funding for roughly 20 mediation centers throughout the state.

Lawmakers left it to people in criminal court who opt to resolve their disputes through mediation to pay for those services themselves, a move that mainly affected people with limited resources and created a bottleneck in the courts, says Frances Henderson, executive director of the Center.

“The burden on district court already was immense,” she says.

But after a year with no local criminal court mediation, the Orange County Board of Commissioners agreed to revive the program, providing the Center with $60,000 in funding, effective July 1, 2012, and renewed the funding this year.

Founded in 1978 by citizens concerned about court crowding, and about how disputes were resolved in court, the Center was the state’s first community mediation program.

It operates with a staff of six people and an annual budget of $425,000, and counts on fees for 47 percent of its funds, government for 29 percent, and private support for 24 percent.

The Center serves about 3,000 people a year, providing roughly 800 mediations.

In addition to handling mediations for people referred by criminal court, the Center  handles disputes referred by the state Office of Administrative Hearings over the denial of requested Medicaid services, or referred by the state Department of Public Instruction when parents have a problem with the individual education plan prepared by schools for children in special education programs.

The Center also handles mediations and conflicts between spouses and domestic partners; parents and children; neighbors; and neighborhoods and local government on issues such as planning and the environment.

And it provides training on conflict resolution and mediation for employers and organizations, as well as for individuals, including those looking for professional development opportunities.

Henderson, a lawyer who has served as executive director for 21 years after working in the Winston-Salem office of Womble Carlyle as a product-liability defense litigator, says that while more people today than in the past understand what mediation is, they still can be reluctant to use it to settle disputes.

“It can be tough to get people to the mediation table,” she says. “We’ve talked to countless people who want mediation but we can’t get the other party to the table.”

Compounding that reluctance is “pent-up demand,” she says.

“People during the downturn worked so hard, maybe worked a job-and-a-half, and a lot of conflict was created,” she says. “So now as the economy is getting a little better, people are saying, ‘Let’s deal with the conflict we’ve got.”

The graying of the population also is creating a lot of potential for conflict within families about aging parents, particularly those living with their children, with issues ranging from the need to write wills and estate plans to whether the parents should be living in retirement homes.

“People know those issues are coming, but families don’t tend to have the conversations they need to have in planning,” Henderson says. “It’s also emotionally charged. And it’s better to have the conversations sooner to preserve the relationships.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 10.11.13

Child Care Services marks 40 years

Child Care Services Association, a Chapel Hill nonprofit that has helped over 100,000 children in the Triangle find child care that fits their parents’ needs to attend school or go to work, celebrates its 40th anniversary today with a reception and dinner at the Friday Center.

Formed through the merger of the Durham Day Care Council and Day Care Services Association in Chapel Hill, the organization provides direct services, research and advocacy.

It provides a nutrition program for children in child care settings; free referral services to families seeking child care; and quality improvement assistance to child care businesses.

It also provides educational scholarships to early childhood educators in every North Carolina county, and is licensed in 21 other states and the District of Columbia.

It recently received a $1 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to expand the scholarship program into additional states.

And it provides salary supplements to child care providers throughout the state and is licensed in three other states.

Urban Ministries kicks off campaign

Urban Ministries of Wake County launched a fall campaign to raise $300,000 for programs that serve the poor in  Wake County.  The campaign will culminate with Urban Ministries’ annual Stone Soup Supper on November 20.

Horizons gets $50,000 from Cannon Foundation

Horizons Residential Care Center, a 40-year-old Forsyth County agency that has provided care to medically fragile children and adults with severe disabilities, has received a $50,000 grant from the Cannon Foundation grant to support the agency’s $1 million capital campaign. Funds from the grant will support the replacement of a wastewater treatment plant on the Horizons campus.

Charlotte commercial real estate goes pink

During the first week of October, 166 Charlotte businesses turned their commercial real estate properties pink for Queen City in Pink, the Fifth Annual breast cancer awareness campaign by CREW Charlotte, a chapter of CREW Network, whose mission is to influence the success of the commercial real estate industry by advancing the achievements of women.

The initiative asked owners and tenants of Charlotte properties to illuminate their buildings with pink lighting, temporary pink fountain dye or other displays of pink to show support for the community’s survivors of breast cancer and honor those who have been affected by or lost their lives to the disease.

The number of participants grew to 166 in 2013 from 80 participants in 2011.

SAS Tournament benefits Triangle YMCA program

Over a dozen students in the Y Learning tutorial program of YMCA of the Triangle connect their work in the classroom with potential careers thanks to the SAS Championship.

The students, from Reedy Creek Middle School, visited Prestonwood Country Club in Cary to focus on three career tracks in the areas of the science of golf, hospitality management and golf tournament media.

Proceeds from the 2013 SAS Championship will benefit Y Learning, a standardized after school tutorial program.

Arc of Wake County launches drive

The Arc of Wake County launched its fall campaign to raise funds for programs supporting families and individuals with developmental disabilities.

PLM Families Together to hold fundraising event

PLM Families Together, an agency in Raleigh that helps families move out of homelessness, will hold its 6th annual fundraising event October 24 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Raleigh-Brownstone-University at 1707 Hillsborough St.

Event raises $33,000 for Heart Strides

The 2013 Warren Rives 5K Walk/Run and Fun Run attracted over 500 participants and raised over $33,000 for Heart Strides, the cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation program at High Point Regional.  Since its inception 27 years ago, the event has raised over $1 million.

Dillard’s supports Ronald McDonald House

For the sixth time, proceeds from the sale of a special custom edition of the Southern Living Christmas Cookbook at Dillard’s stores will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities, which Dillard’s has supported with an annual holiday fundraiser since 1994.

Triad-area Dillard’s have contributed $128,074 to Ronald McDonald House of Winston-Salem.

Health needs in High Point identified

Mental health care, healthy pregnancy and chronic disease management prevention are top issues that need to be addressed in High Point, according to a community health needs assessment conducted by High Point Regional Health in collaboration Guilford County Health Department; The Center for Social, Community and Health Research and Evaluation at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; and Cone Health.

High Point Regional plans to conduct a community health needs assessment every three years.

Community Matters to hold announce charity partner

Community Matters in Charlotte will hold its Second Annual Celebration Dinner at The Club at Longview at 8801 Longview Club Drive in Weddington on November 4. At the dinner, Community Matters will celebrate its two-year partnership with Safe Alliance, announce its fundraising total for the year, and unveil the name of its charity partner for coming year.

Volunteer Center of Greensboro honors volunteer efforts

The Volunteer Center of Greensboro will honor individuals, groups and companies for their volunteer efforts at The Volunteer Recognition Event on October 24 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.  at The Regency Room at the Elm Street Center in downtown Greensboro.

Recipients of the 2013 NC Governor’s  Volunteer  Service Award include:

* Jessie Howard, Pleasant Grove Church — lifetime achievement.

* Candice Lemon, Reading Connections — senior.

* Kelly Langston, Guilford County Schools PTA — individual.

* Lucy Kluttz, United Way of Greater Greensboro — individual.

* Handy Tech Volunteers, HandyCapable Network — group.

Recipients of the 2013 Volunteer Center Award include:

* Dale Metz, Hospice of the Piedmont –lifetime of service.

* Paul Brackbill, Cone Health — outstanding volunteer.

* Robin Hager, NewBridge Bank — outstanding volunteer.

* Deluxe Corporation — corporate.

* The Junior League of Greensboro — outstanding volunteer program.

* Tyler Hardin, Guilford County Schools — emerging volunteer.

High Point Boys & Girls Clubs honored

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater High Point was recognized for outstanding achievement at the 2013 North Carolina Area Council Meeting of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America that was held in Raleigh on October 4 and 5.

The agency received the 2013 Board Team of the Year Award because it received three gold awards in the area of marketing for, among other accomplishments, having added five new members to its board, attended national and local trainings, and created two college scholarship funds. The organization was among 45 Boys & Girls Clubs across the state that were eligible for the award.

Thompson Child & Family Focus opening new center

Thompson Child & Family Focus, a nonprofit provider of treatment, care and education for at-risk children and families, will open its new Thompson Family Services Center on October 12 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at 769 N. Wendover Rd. in Charlotte.

Foundation giving posts modest growth

Giving by U.S. foundations grew to $50.9 million in 2012 from $49 million a year earlier and is expected to grow modestly in 2013, a new report says.

Giving by community foundations grew 9 percent in 2012 to $4.7 billion, compared to growth of 4 percent in giving by independent and by operating foundations, which gave $35.2 billion and $5.9 billion, respectively, says Key Facts on U.S. Foundations, a report from the Foundation Center.

Giving by corporate foundations fell 1 percent to $5.1 billion.

Foundation giving, which in 2011 represented 16 percent of the total $303.1 billion in private giving in the U.S., has grown over 60 percent since 2001, the report says.

“It may not be the boom years of the late 1990s or mid-2000s, but the good news is that it looks like U.S. foundations will continue to provide a stable  sources of support for new ideas and ongoing programs that improve lives around the world,” Steven Lawrence, director of research at the Foundation Center and author of the report.

The report also says that:

* In 2011, the 81,777 foundations in the U.S. held $622 billion in assets, with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation alone holding $34.6 billion

* Among the 1,122 biggest foundations, which hold 56 percent of all foundation assets, and award 56 percent of all foundation grants, support for health and education accounted for nearly half of all grant dollars, with the Gates Foundation alone giving $3.2 billion. The biggest foundations include the top 15 in each state.

* The Gates Foundation’s investment of $967 million over five years in the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization represented the single biggest grant made by any U.S. foundation.

* Among all grant dollars awarded by the biggest foundations, 35 percent were specifically intended to benefit economically disadvantaged people.

* The top 1 percent of recipients of grants from the biggest foundations received half of those foundations’ grant dollars, with their median grant totaling $28,462.

* Operating and corporate foundations established by pharmaceutical companies give over $5 billion a year, nearly all of its in the form of donated medicines.

Todd Cohen

Safe Alliance serves people in crisis

By Todd Cohen

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department receives 35,000 calls a year reporting domestic violence, which likely is much more pervasive in the community: The Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates only one in 10 victims of domestic violence actually reports the incident.

And perpetrators cannot be characterized by race, ethnicity or level of income or education.

“Domestic violence cuts across all levels and areas of our community,” says Phil Kline, president and CEO of Safe Alliance, a Charlotte nonprofit that provides shelter, advocacy and counseling to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse.

In addition to the toll on women and families, and to the cost to taxpayers of the legally-mandated response by police to calls, domestic violence is expensive to business.

An estimated 20 percent of all adult women will be victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives, and experts believe that intimate partner violence costs U.S. businesses up to $5 billion a year.

Research by the Centers for Disease Control in 2003 found that roughly eight million paid workdays a year were lost as a result of intimate partner violence.

Domestic violence in the workplace will be the focus of a summit on October 11 hosted by Safe Alliance and ENOUGH, a public awareness campaign about domestic violence.

The event will focus on helping employers measure the impact that domestic violence could be taking on their bottom line, and provide them with tools to address the issue and encourage victim employees and bystanders to come forward.

Domestic violence also will be the focus of Safe Alliance’s inaugural annual luncheon, to be held October 16 at the Hilton Charlotte Center City, featuring keynote speakers Ron Kimble, Charlotte deputy city manager, and his wife, Jan, whose daughter Jamie Kimble was murdered just over a year ago at age 31 by her former boyfriend.

Operating with an annual budget of $5.6 million and a staff of 62 people working full-time and 25 working part-time, Safe Alliance served 22,000 people in the fiscal year ended June 30.

In January, it opened the Clyde and Ethel Dickson Domestic Violence Shelter, which can house as many as 120 women and children at once, up from 29 at the shelter it replaced.

And because there is more room, women and children now typically stay for 90 days, up from 35 at the old shelter, giving the agency time to provide a range of services to help women become self-sufficient.

Safe Alliance, which has raised $9.4 million for the new shelter and still is seeking contributions to support it, also fields staff attorneys and victims assistance staff to help  women obtain protective orders and navigate legal processes at the Mecklenburg County courts.

Victim advocates at the agency’s offices in Charlotte, Cornelius, Monroe and Concord assist victims of sexual assault, and the agency also operates a rape crisis hotline for Mecklenburg, Union and Cabarrus counties, and provides mental health services.

And it operates a child advocacy center in Union County, and partners with similar centers in Charlotte and Concord, that work in partnership with law enforcement officials and medical professionals to assess and interview children who have been physically or sexually abused.

Safe Alliance also is working to build long-term relationships with donors by engaging them in its work and raising awareness about the needs it addresses.

“That’s what we have to develop here to accomplish our long-term goals,” Kline says.

Nonprofit news roundup, 10.04.13

N.C. State gets $50 million gift

North Carolina State University in Raleigh has received a $50 million gift from the Park Foundation.

The gift, the single biggest contribution in the school’s 126-year history, will be used to help permanently fund N.C. State’s Park Scholarships program that was established in 1996.

The program selects roughly 45 scholars each year from throughout North Carolina and the U.S. who receive a four-year scholarship, computer stipend, enrichment grants, faculty mentoring, and experiential learning opportunities.

They also participate in extracurricular activities and get opportunities to provide service on campus, in the community, and throughout the state and abroad.

With additional donor support, N.C. State says, the gift will enable an endowment to provide income in perpetuity.

The gift honors the late Roy H. Park, an N.C. State alumnus who headed Park Communications and created the Park Foundation, a philanthropy in Ithaca, N.Y., that is dedicated to supporting causes related to education, media and the environment.

Wake Tech gets $4.4 million in grants

Wake Tech Community College was awarded over $4.4 million in grant funds in 2012-13, up 22 percent from the previous year and a record high for the school.

Grants included $2.95 million from the U.S. Department of Labor for creation of a two-year degree program in business analytics, the first in the U.S; $821,292 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help increase completion and graduation rates among low-income students; $50,000 from the Gates Foundation for creation of a Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC, in developmental mathematics, a national first for a community college; and $58,081 from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center to enhance student learning in microbiology courses with improved curriculum and laboratory modules.

Community Link launching program for homeless veterans

Community Link in Charlotte has received a $1.14 million grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and plans to launch an initiative to get homeless veterans into housing quickly and to prevent veterans from becoming homeless.

The agency aims to assist 200 households over the next year, providing services that include financial subsidies for rent, child care, transportation, moving expenses and other costs needed for stable housing. It also will partner with other agencies that provide support service for veterans and their families.

Simpson leaves UNC School of Government, to be consultant

Ann Simpson has stepped down as associate dean for development at the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and will be working with nonprofits providing development consulting and writing.

Simpson, who joined the School of Government in 1997, previously was major gifts manager for the UNC Center for Public Television. Before that, she spent 16 years working with environmental protection organizations, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, The Nature Conservancy, the North Carolina Environmental Defense Fund, and the Wetlands America program of Ducks Unlimited.

Dubose joins Armstrong McGuire & Associates

Derwin Dubose, former assistant policy director for the state, who provided strategic counsel to the lieutenant governor and state treasurer, has joined Armstrong McGuire & Associates, a consulting firm in Raleigh that works with nonprofits.

Dubose managed digital strategy and voter mobilization for Democrat Walter Dalton during the 2012 gubernatorial campaign, and previously served as annual fund director for Ronald McDonald House of Durham and handled communications for Habitat for Humanity of Durham.

Giving grows overall and online

Overall giving grew 3.3 percent and online giving grew 12 percent in the three months ended in August, compared with the same period a year earlier, The Blackbaud Index says. The Index is based on giving statistics from the databases of thousands of groups based in the U.S. that use a variety of fundraising systems to determine how much revenue they raised in the previous month.

YWCA Central Carolinas to honor champions of social justice

YWCA Central Carolinas in Charlotte will honor three women who have demonstrated leadership by promoting social justice.

The women the YWCA will recognize at its 2013 Women of Achievement event on October 24 include:

* Sarah Bryant, the Pioneer winner, who founded Planned Parenthood in Charlotte and served on the YWCA board of directors in the 1960s when YWCA integrated the racially segregated branches into one YWCA.

* Mary Nell McPherson, the Community Champion winner, who is executive director of Freedom School Partners and has worked with Habitat for Humanity and Crisis Assistance Ministry, and founded Seigle Avenue Partners.

* Carrie Cook, the Emerging Leader winner, Charlotte region liaison for U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan and founder of EmpowHERment, a group that is working to build network of girls and women to be leaders in their community through mentorship, talent development and advocacy.

Junior Achievement honors Honda Aircraft chief

Michimasa Fujino, founding president and CEO of Honda Aircraft Company, was inducted inductee the Business Hall of Fame at Junior Achievement of Central North Carolina.  The company has invested over $140 million in its world headquarters at Piedmont Triad International Airport and employs over 800 people at its HondaJet program.

WDAV begins fall fund drive

WDAV Classical Public Radio in Davidson and Charlotte kicked off its annual fall membership campaign this week, aiming to raise $225,000.

Eighty percent of WDAV’s $1.7 million annual operating budget comes from annual membership gifts from individuals and underwriting by area businesses.

The campaign runs ends October 10.

Social Venture Partners kicks off innovation competition

Social Venture Partners in Charlotte has launched SEED20, its third annual competition to promote and support 20 innovative ideas for building social value in the region.

Individuals and nonprofits in Mecklenburg and adjacent counties may submit applications, available at, until November 1, and may attend an informational webinar October 15th at 8 p.m.

In early December, SVP will announce 20 participants, who starting in January will receive seven weeks of training, coaching, feedback, and mentoring on how to tell their story.

The competition culminates in SEED20 OnStage! on March 11, when up to 10 participants will compete for cash awards by making three-minute “pitches” to a panel of judges and an audience of business and nonprofit leaders, foundation executives, and other community members.

Apparo launches tech competition

Apparo in Charlotte launched the 2014 Technology Innovation Award program sponsored by Accenture, a competition that carries an award of a $10,000 grant and is designed to “help nonprofits gauge what motivates constituents, and drive them to action through engagement with measurable results.” The deadline for submitting interest forms is October 4.

Band Together in NC names seven board members

Band Together NC in Raleigh named seven new members to its board of directors, including Sarah Crawford, director of development and public relations, Tammy Lynn Center for Developmental Disabilities; Brendan Morrissey, CEO, Netsertive; Stephen Porterfield, president, Capital Associates; Bob Ramseur, partner, Ragsdale Liggett; Bert Smith, chief financial officer, North America, The Body Shop; Brent Sprinkle, CEO, True North Business Navigation; and Karen Zelden, director, major gifts and planned giving director, WakeMed Foundation.

Goetz Foundation to hold fundraising benefit

Noah Z.M. Goetz Foundation will host its 3rd Annual VIP Reception & Benefit on November 7 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Brier Creek Country Club in Raleigh. Last year, the Foundation awarded grants to five North Carolina couples to help them complete their domestic adoptions and provided education about how to successfully navigate the domestic adoption process to another 12 couples. It also established clinical partnerships with Atlantic Reproductive Medicine Specialists and Carolina Conceptions, both in Raleigh, training their medical staff about how to answer their patients’ questions about domestic adoption.

MS Society chapter raises $800,000

The Central NC Chapter of the National MS Society attracted over 2,000 cyclists and volunteers and raised over $800,000 at its 28th Annual Bike MS: VF Corporation & Wrangler Tour to Tanglewood on September 28 and 29 in Clemmons.

NCCU chancellor joins Triangle United Way board

Debra Saunders-White, chancellor at North Carolina Central University in Durham, has been named to the board of directors of Morrisville-based United Way of the Greater Triangle.