Nonprofit news roundup, 12.13.13

Lorillard to match 10% of total raised by Greensboro United Way

Lorillard, a tobacco company that for the past two years has accounted for 10 percent of the dollars raised in the annual fundraising campaign at United Way of Greater Greensboro, has agreed to contribute 10 percent of the total United Way raises in this year’s campaign.

United Way last year raised a total of $10.2 million, including the match from Lorillard. It did not set a goal for this year’s campaign.

Lorillard already has raised over $1 million in its United Way workplace campaign this year. Since 2001, it has contributed over $10 million to United Way.

Greensboro United Way invests $8.3 million

United Way of Greater Greensboro invested over $8.3 million in the community in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.

And through its own programs and initiatives and those of its partners, it served over 101,000 families and individuals, United Way says in its annual report.

United Way raised over $10.2 million in its 2012-13 annual campaign.

With those dollars, it invested nearly $6.2 million in community programs and gave another $1 million to causes, other than those of its community partners, that were designated by donors.

It also gave over $870,000 to initiatives it operates, such as the 2-1-1 information and referral line, or to special community initiative run by Partners Ending Homelessness and the Volunteer Center of Greensboro.

And it gave over $276,000 to agencies through two grants programs supported by the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation of Greater Greensboro.

United Way spent 16.1 percent of every dollar it raised on overhead, including administration and fund development, according to the Form 990 report for the fiscal year that it filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

Administrative expenses totaled nearly $1.1 million, up slightly from the previous year, while the cost of fund development totaled $790,000, up from nearly $717,000, its annual report says.

Pope Foundation gives $800,000

The John William Pope Foundation in Raleigh has awarded a total of $802,500 in grants to 35 community charities, schools, churches, and the arts.

Those grants, ranging from $2,500 for Neuse Christian Academy to $225,000 for The Asheville School, bring to over $1 million the Foundation’s total giving to humanitarian and arts organizations in 2013.

The new grants are in addition to $200,000 in direct support the Foundation has made since July to soup kitchens, homeless shelters, medical missions, and other organizations.

Of those grants since July, $185,000 were intended to ease the effects of the shutdown of the federal government in the first half of October.

Biogen Idec Foundation awards $49,000 in grants

The Biogen Idec Foundation awarded 36 grants totaling $49,536 to Triangle-area schools and nonprofits as part of the Micro-Grants in Science Education program.

The program, administered by Triangle Community Foundation, provides small, one-time grants ranging from $250 to $2,500 to schools and nonprofits to support science education initiatives.

Triangle Community Foundation received 47 applications from schools and nonprofits for the funding cycle.

Red Kettle campaign running short

The Red Kettle Campaign at Salvation Army of Winston-Salem’s is falling short of its goal of $400,000 for the holiday season, with donations down $58,000 compared to the same time last year.

This year, because of a late Thanksgiving date, the kettle season is shorter by five days, equating to roughly $20 million less in donations to The Salvation Army throughout the U.S., the organization says.

State Farm gives safe-driving grants to high schools

Five North Carolina high schools received grants of $25,000 each from State Farm for collecting commitments from students to be safe drivers.

The grant recipients are among 100 high schools from the U.S. and Canada that received grants.

As part of the competition, over 6 million safe-driving commitments were made at over 3,500 schools, and State Farm agents held over 1,250 teen driving safety events in October.

North Carolina schools that received grants are Avery County High School in Newland; David W. Butler High School in Matthews; Page High School in Greensboro; Wakefield High School in Raleigh; and William A. Hough High School in Cornelius.

Discovery Place names CEO

Catherine Wilson Horne, CEO of EdVenture, a children’s museum in Columbia, S.C., has been named president & CEO of Discovery Place in Charlotte.

Horne, who begins her new job in late January 2014, will succeed John L. Mackay Jr., who will retire at the end of December after heading the science center for 13 years.

Whisnant named executive director at Ciener Botanical Garden

John Whisnant, former development officer of the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, has been named executive director of the Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden in Kernersville.

Wake Hospice names hospice director

Hospice of Wake County has promoted Deborah Norcross, hospice clinical manager, to director of hospice. Norcross, who will be responsible for managing the organization’s hospice and grief programs, and assuring compliance with regulatory requirements and accepted standards of practice, succeeds Mari Pitcher, who is moving out of state.

Triangle United Way names director for managing community projects

Krista Ragan, former research director for the N.C. Child Fatality Prevention Team at the state Department of Health and Human Services, has been named director of community impact project management at United Way of the Greater Triangle.

She will handle project management and evaluation for community impact initiatives, as well as oversight of data collection, analysis and presentation for United Way’s community engagement work.

Sherwood to chair Guilford Heart and Stroke Walk

Bob Sherwood, senior vice president and general manager of the Ecolab’s Global Quick Service Restaurants division, formerly known as Kay Chemical Company, has been named chairman for the 2014 Greater Guilford Heart and Stroke Walk, which benefits the American Heart Association and will be held May 17, 2014 at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Winston-Salem Food Bank launches collaborative school pantry

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina in Winston-Salem has launched a collaborative, hunger-relief initiative in Forsyth County.

The first site for the new School Pantry Program pairs Moore Magnet Elementary School with collaborating partners Highland Presbyterian Church and Temple Emanuel and initially will serve 25 Moore Magnet families.

Located at Highland Presbyterian Church, a few blocks from the school, the pantry will be twice a month during times that coincide with dropping off and picking up students.

Funding for the pilot effort has been provided by program partners and a $12,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation.

Safe Haven for Cats gets anonymous matching pledge

Safe Haven for Cats, an animal rescue shelter in Raleigh, has received a pledge from an anonymous donors to match up to $125,000 it raises through the end of the year.

Junior Achievement receives national award

Junior Achievement of Eastern North Carolina has received Bronze Summit Award from Junior Achievement USA. The award recognizes outstanding success in financial health, program quality, management effectiveness, and program growth at local Junior Achievement offices.

Over the past four years, programs at Junior Achievement of Eastern North Carolina, which serves an 18 county-area, have grown 35 percent.

Film festival teams with spa to serve parents of kids at hospital

Joedance Film Festival, a year-round series of events that raises money for rare pediatric cancers research for Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, is partnering with Modern Salon & Spa to bring salon services for the mothers and fathers of hematology/oncology patients at the hospital.

Modern Salon & Spa offers free hair, manicure, chair massages and makeup services in the hospital on a designated day every other month for parent while visiting their children.

Onslow County foundation to hold golf tournament

Onslow Caring Communities Foundation will holds its 12th annual New Year’s Day golf tournament at the Jacksonville Country Club.

The annual tournament is the main fundraising event for the Onslow foundation, an affiliate of the North Carolina Community Foundation that has made over $173,000 in grants to local nonprofits.

Formed in 1999 by local citizens, Onslow Caring Communities Foundation is home to over $4.5 million in philanthropic assets and 21 charitable endowed funds.

SECU Family House gets $25,000

SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill received a $25,000 grant from the John William Pope Foundation in Raleigh. The grant will benefit 110 families with an adult patient receiving treatment for a serious illness at UNC Hospitals.

Foundation sponsors shopping trip for kids

Scott Hannon Memorial Foundation sponsored a Christmas shopping trip for 68 children and teens in care with Methodist Home for Children. Donors shopped with the children for $8,200 worth of gifts, and Target at North Hills shopping center in Raleigh picked up the sales tax.

Can you tell your nonprofit’s story in 30 seconds?

Time is precious. So in telling your nonprofit’s story, be brief.

Imagine you are in a checkout line at the store, or in the stands at a game, or in an elevator. Someone, a potential donor, asks about your nonprofit.

You need an “elevator speech” that distills your message and captures the attention of whoever you are talking to.

In crafting your talk, first ask yourself why anyone should care about your nonprofit.

What is the community need you address? What are the values and goals of the person you’re talking to? What difference does your nonprofit make to people you serve? How do you improve your community?

Community needs are complex, and your nonprofit has many moving parts. Your job is to make it easy for people to understand those needs, your role and your impact.

So get to the point quickly. Use a fact or anecdote to put a human face on a community need. Say what you do and how you benefit people.

Be respectful of your listener’s time, and make every word count.

Want help?

Philanthropy North Carolina is a consulting practice that provides writing and strategic communications support for nonprofits, foundations, colleges and universities, and others working for social good.

To find out more about hiring Philanthropy North Carolina to work with your organization to improve your communications, contact Todd Cohen at 919.272.2051 or

Most U.S. giving tied to religion

Religion drives charitable giving by U.S. households, with religious groups getting most of the money, and religious motivation stimulating most of the giving, a new report says.

Seventy-three percent of household giving goes to religious groups, including 41 percent to congregations and 32 percent to religious charities, says Connected to Give: Faith Communities, a report from Jumpstart and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.

In comparison, 27 percent goes to charities that are not identified as religious.

The report, conducted with GBA Strategies and based on a survey of 4,862 American households of various religious traditions, also finds that Americans with religious or spiritual orientations give at higher rates than those without those orientations.

Americans affiliated with different religious traditions give at similar rates to one another, and over half of Americans who give say their commitment to religion is a key motivation for their charitable giving.

“The implications are clear for all types of charitable organizations, whether or not they have religious ties,” Mark Ottoni-Wilhelm, professor of economic and philanthropic studies at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, says in a statement. “They should pay attention to the religious orientations of their donors.”

Religious charities also should consider finding “ways to connect with non-religious donors who share an interest in their charitable purpose,” he says. “And organizations that think of themselves as non-sectarian may find that many of their donors have strong faith-based motivations to support their work.”

Who gives

Donors who give to congregations allocate 80 percent of their overall charitable dollars to groups with religious ties, including 48 percent to congregations and 32 percent to religious charities.

Among donors who make gifts for non-religious purposes, 69 percent of their charitable dollars support organizations with religious ties, including 39 percent for congregations and 30 percent for religious charities.

Non-religious charities

Although nearly three-fourths of charitable dollars given by households goes to religious groups, a larger number of Americans give to groups that are not identified as religious than to congregations or religious charities, the report says, with 53 percent giving to non-religious charities, and 44 percent each giving to congregations and to religious charities.

In 2012, 63 percent of all Americans gave to congregations or religious charities, with a median gift amount of $660, including a median gift of $375 to congregations and $150 to religious charities.

Among those giving to non-religious charities, the median gift was $250.


The report says non-religious charities might consider how to “diversify and segment their stakeholder base, explicitly making room for those with religious motivations alongside people who do not consider themselves religious.”

It also says that religious charities seeking support from non-religious donors might consider “benchmarking their outcomes,” compared to non-religious charities in the same field, rather than within religious communities.

Religious charities also might consider “how they communicate with people who are not traditionally or conventionally religious,” the report says.

It also says the U.S. nonprofit and philanthropic sector “would benefit from greater attention and sensitivity to the connections between religious identity and charitable giving, especially in professional education and training.”

Mixed giving

For most charitable purposes, donors give both to religious charities and non-religious charities rather than only to one type or the other, the report says.

Across all charitable purposes, 39 percent of Americans give both to religious and non-religious charities, while 5 percent give only to religious charities and 15 percent give only to non-religious charities.

Religious orientation

Americans with religious or spiritual orientations give at higher rates mainly because they give more to religious charities, the report says.

Among the 80 percent of Americans who formally identify with a religious tradition, 65 percent give to congregations or charities, compared to 56 percent of Americans who do not formally identify with a religion.

Americans affiliated with a religion give to congregations at three times the rate of those not affiliated with a religion.


Sixty percent of Americans think of themselves as religious and 18 percent think of themselves as spiritual but not religious, while 22 percent think of themselves as neither religious or spiritual, the report says.

Giving rates to congregations, religious charities and non-religious charities are highest among those who see themselves as religious, followed by those who see themselves as spiritual but not religious, and then those who see themselves as neither religious or spiritual.

Importance of religion

Forty-one percent of Americans say religion is very important to them, and 74 percent of them give to congregations or charities, while 25 percent say religion is somewhat important, and 60 percent of them give to congregations or charities.

Among Americans for whom religion is not important, 52 percent give.

Attendance at religious services

Among the 36 percent of Americans who attend religious services at least once a month, 79 percent give to congregations or charities, compared to 55 percent who give among those who attend religious services less frequently or not at all.

Different religious traditions

The report finds no significant differences overall in giving rates to congregations and charities among the give biggest religious groups the report analyzes — Black Protestants, Evangelical Protestants, Jews, Mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics — except that Jews give at lower rates to congregations.

And Americans across all different religious traditions give similarly across all charitable purposes, with a small number of exceptions where affiliates of certain religious traditions give at higher rates compared to those who are not affiliated.

Income level

The report finds no clear pattern of relationships between, on the one hand, religious identity and giving, and on the other, demographic categories such as income and age.

As household income rises, for example, the biggest increases in giving raters are to non-religious charities.

Lower-income Americans give to congregations, religious charities and non-religious charities at relatively consistent rates.

Giving rates to congregations and religious charities are similar among Americans with household incomes of $50,000 to $100,000 and those with household incomes of $100,000 or more.

Both those groups are more likely to give to congregations and religious charities than are Americans with household incomes below $50,000.

Those with household incomes above $100,000 are more likely to give to non-religious charities than those with lower household incomes.

Age and giving

Among people under age 40, higher incomes are associated with higher giving rates to congregations and non-religious charities, while giving rates to congregations increase with age among households with lower incomes, the report says.

Giving rates to religious charities are similar across age groups, although giving to congregations and non-religious charities increases with age.

Americans age 65 and older are more likely to give to congregations and non-religious charities than are those age 64 and younger.

Americans of all age groups, especially those age 65 and older, give at higher rates to congregations than to basic needs charities and “combined-purpose” religious charities — the two categories most popular among all Americans.

Age and religious affiliation 

Americans under age 64 who are affiliated with a religious tradition are less likely than those over 64 to give to congregations and religious charities, the report says.

And while non-affiliated Americans under 64 also are less likely than those over 64 to give to non-religious charities, they are more than twice as likely to give to congregations and religious charities.

Thirty-four percent of non-affiliated Americans under age 40 gave to a religious charity in 2012, compared with 15 percent of those age 65 and older.

Non-affiliated Americans under age 65 give to combined-purpose religious charities at more than twice the rate of those 65 and older.

Non-affiliated Americans age 65 and older give to basic-needs non-religious charities at higher rates than those under age 40 or age 40 to 64.

Religious motivation for giving

More than half of Americans who give say their commitment to religion is an important or very important motivation for their charitable giving, the report says.

Fifty-five percent of Americans who give say they are motivated to give by their commitment to their religious affiliation, 55 percent say they are motivated because they feel they should help others who have less, and 57 percent say they are motivated because they can make change and impact through their giving.

Far fewer are motivated to give as a result of expectations at work, because they were asked by a friend or associate, or because it is an expectation of their social network.

Todd Cohen

Pax Backpacks aims to make money to give back

By Todd Cohen

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Three years ago, during his freshman year at Davidson College, Joe Morrison volunteered as a tutor for third graders in a local elementary school.

This year, as a senior, through Boston-based Citizen Schools, which has a local office, he is volunteering on a team at Martin Luther King Middle School in Charlotte that is teaching a class on how to start a business.

And he is about to contribute $1,000, part of it to buy materials for the class, the remainder to go to Citizen Schools, that he generated from Pax Backpacks, a social business he developed that was inspired by his freshman volunteer experience.

“One of the kids was a smart kid but was going through a lot outside of school,” says Morrison, a Chapel Hill native who is majoring in religion. “The process of working with him to pass third grade opened my eyes to the challenges students face, especially students from lower-income communities.”

His sophomore year, Morrison began looking into the concept of social enterprise and companies like Tom’s Shoes and Warby Parker, which match every every pair of shoes or glasses they sell, respectively, by giving a pair of shoes to a child in need or a pair of glasses to a person in need.

Morrison decided to make and market backpacks to college students online and contribute 22 percent of his gross profit to charity.

So he developed a business plan with the help of business mentors, including John Bradberry, a Davidson alumnus and president and founding partner of Ready Founder Services, a Charlotte consultant to entrepreneurs, and Allison Dulin, special assistant to the president at Davidson who directed the school’s Venture Lab.

He presented the plan at business plan competitions sponsored by Davidson, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, N.C. State University and the Ashoka Foundation, generating $8,000 in prize money.

And late last summer, he ran a crowdfunding campaign using Indiegogo, a San Francisco-based digital “crowdfunding” platform — co-founded by a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill — and selling 70 backpacks, plus some stickers and t-shirts, and raising $7,000. He recently finished filling orders taken during the campaign.

The backpacks are manufactured at Parrott Canvas Company in Greenville, a firm he found through a trade association for luggage manufacturers.

The backpacks sell for $85, come in four colors, use a basic design from Parrott with some tweaks by Morrison, and are made with Cordura nylon, lined inside with Oxford cloth, and finished with Japanese-made solid brass zippers.

“The bags are meant to last a long time,” Morrison says.

Operating as a limited liability partnership with no paid staff, Morrison markets the backpacks on a website he designed hosted on that provides e-commerce options like inventory tracking, promotional code offers and promotional product images.

His next step is to build on online presence through search engine optimization and social media advertising, targeting advertising on Facebook to people ages 18 to 25 who “like” Tom’s Shoes and Warby Parker.

He also is assessing the price for the backpacks, looking at customer response and the long-term sustainability of his profit margin.

After graduating next spring, Morrison would like to work for a startup firm, aiming to learn as much as he can from a larger venture, and then “plow that into my own venture.”

“The charitable goal,” he says, “is to work with Citizen Schools to support their programming, specifically in North Carolina’s low-income schools.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 12.06.13

Job-seeker program merging with StepUp Ministry

Career Transition Support Group, or CTSG, a job-seeker program established in November 2008 by White Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, will become part of the StepUp Ministry, a Raleigh nonprofit that provides jobs training and life-skills training, effective Jan. 1, 2014.

CTSG, which has over 1,000 registered participants, serves people of all faiths from across the Triangle and provides tools, resources and encouragement for people who are unemployed, underemployed or changing careers.

Over 500 participants have become employed in the past three years.

In addition to its regular weekly meetings featuring talks by volunteer leaders or outside experts, CTSG also offers resume workshops, interview workshops, an online communications network, announcements of job listings, and a job skills inventory of participants provided to companies and staffing firms, plus individual interview preparation.

StepUp, which also operates a program in Greensboro and is planning to expand to Durham, placed 378 individuals in the Raleigh area with 236 employers in 2012.

Nine Triangle nonprofits receive $40,000 each from GSK

Nine nonprofits in the Triangle have received the GSK Impact Award and $40,000 each from health care company Glaxo Smith Kline.

Recipients of the awards, presented in partnership with Triangle Community Foundation, include Association for the Preservation of the Eno River Valley, KidZNotes, and Student U, all in Durham; Farmer Foodshare in Chapel Hill; The Center for Volunteer Caregiving in Cary; and Communities In Schools of Wake County, Haven House, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, and PLM Families Together, all in Raleigh.

Since launching the awards 17 years ago to nonprofit programs that improve access to health in and around its corporate campuses in Durham and Philadelphia, GSK has given $6.9 million to 173 nonprofits.

That includes $1.5 million that GSK has awarded over the past five years to 37 local nonprofits in the Triangle.

Girl Scouts donate goods to Goodwill Industries

Nearly 300 troops consisting of 2,220 Girl Scouts from central and western North Carolina donated 6,437 bags of goods to Goodwill Industries, up 26 percent from last year.

Local Girl Scouts who are members of Colfax-based Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont collected gently used clothing, toys, books and household goods to benefit Goodwill Industries of Central North Carolina in Greensboro, Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina in Winston-Salem, and Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont in Charlotte.

The goal was to help unemployed and underemployed individuals find jobs and get back on their feet. The service project was designed to help Girl Scouts learn life lessons and address community needs.

The annual partnership event took place in October at local Goodwill retail stores and all Goodwill donation centers.

Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation awards $6.7 million

The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in Winston-Salem awarded 85 grants totaling $6.7 million to organizations in 30 North Carolina counties in its fall grants cycle.

The Foundation, which also award grants in the spring, has 380 active grants.

And as part of its celebration of its 75th anniversary, the Foundation recently concluded a series of community dialogue sessions in Wilmington, Charlotte, Greenville, Boone and Fayetteville.

Conley joining Children’s Law Center as development director

Susan Conley, director of development at Eagle’s Nest Foundation, has been named director of development for the Children’s Law Center of Central North Carolina, both in Winston-Salem. She begins her new job in January.

Wake Forest business school gets $600,000

The Thomas W. Smith Foundation has awarded a $600,000 grant over three years to the BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism at  the School of Business at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem to support learning experiences in investigating the moral foundations of capitalism.

Duplin Foundation gives $29,000 for youth

Duplin Foundation for Youth Advancement awarded over $29,000 in grants to 11 local youth initiatives throughout Duplin County during its 2013 grant cycle.

Administered by the Duplin County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the North Carolina Community Foundation, the grants ranged from $1,500 to $5,000.

In the past three years, the Duplin Foundation for Youth Advancement has distributed over $45,000 in grants to support youth-oriented initiatives in the county through a competitive grant application process.

The 2014 Sheriff’s Ball, which raises money for the program, will be held March 1.

Honda Aircraft shipping care packages to Marines in Afghanistan

Honda Aircraft Company, with world headquarters in Greensboro, is shipping 500 care packages to North Carolina-based Marines on active duty in Afghanistan.

During Honda Aircraft’s Operation Deep Appreciation, now in its fifth year, Honda Aircraft team members fill care packages with items such as sundries, snacks, holiday lights, as well as personalized, handwritten notes from the individuals who packed the boxes.

Community Matters gives $175,000 to Safe Alliance

Community Matters,  an alliance of insurance and risk management professionals who support selected charities in the Charlotte region, gave $175,000 to Safe Alliance, a crisis intervention and counseling agency. Over the past two years, Community Alliance now has contributed $375,000 and 20,000 hours of service to Safe Alliance.

Triangle United Way names marketing and communications VP

Chris Pfitzer, a former communication project manager at the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, has been named  vice president of marketing and communications at United Way of the Greater Triangle.

Pfitzer, who will report to Melanie Davis-Jones, senior vice president for marketing and communications, previously held held marketing and communication positions at North Carolina State University.

Lebo’s donates shoes to charities

Lebo’s, a Charlotte company with stores throughout the Carolinas, is donating Naot Footwear to Greater Providence Baptist Church, Jewish Family Services of Charlotte, and A Child’s Place.

Your brand matters

In a highly competitive charitable marketplace, your nonprofit needs to stand out.

That requires an indelible brand that captures your organization’s focus, vision and impact.

Does your brand, or tagline, tell people, in just a few words, what your organization does, who it serves, and what difference it makes? Does it make people want to get involved?

Your brand should telegraph the bigger story about how you operate, serve clients, work with donors and other partners, and improve the community..

Like your name and reputation, your brand should define you, telling people who you are and what you stand for.

It should not be a laundry list that spells out everything your organization does.

A camel, it has been said, is a horse designed by a committee. Too many nonprofits create a tagline by asking their staff for ideas, and then stringing all the ideas together.

That is not a tagline. Your brand should crystallize your identity and inspire people to want to help you address a need in your community.

Make your brand sparkle.

Want help?

Philanthropy North Carolina is a consulting practice that provides writing and strategic communications support for nonprofits, foundations, colleges and universities, and others working for social good.

To find out more about hiring Philanthropy North Carolina to work with your organization to improve your communications, contact Todd Cohen at 919.272.2051 or