Nonprofit news roundup, 02.28.14

Life and Science Museum launches $3.9 million campaign

The Museum of Life and Science in Durham has launched a $3.9 million campaign to build two new outdoor learning environments on its 84-acre campus.

The project will include “Hideaway Woods,” a two-acre, nature-based “playscape,” and “Earth Moves,” an interactive approach to Earth sciences.

Co-chaired by civic leaders Larry Crane, Liz Goodmon and Kenneth W. Lewis, the campaign has generated a lead gift of $500,000 from Durham County Board of Commissioners, and a pledge of 10 percent of the total goal from members of the Museum’s board of directors, including several gifts of $100,000 or more.

Black Philanthropy Initiative creates endowment fund

The Black Philanthropy Initiative has established a $25,000 endowment fund at The Winston-Salem Foundation to encourage long-term funding for programs supporting the African-American community.

Income from The Black Philanthropy Initiative Endowment will supplement funds that are raised annually to provide grantmaking in the community, and the Initiative aims to raise additional endowment funding in the future.

The Initiative also awarded four grants totaling $9,700 to four previous grantees, each providing recurring support for programs that are improving the lives of African Americans in the areas of education and financial literacy.

Grantees include Experiment in Self-Reliance, Forsyth Technical Community College, Kimberly Park Elementary School, and Winston-Salem State University.

Urban Ministries of Durham to hold ‘Empty Bowls’ fundraiser

Urban Ministries of Durham will hold its eighth annual Empty Bowls event on March 6 to raise funds to help serve over 225,000 meals a year to those in need. The annual competition for the “Best Soup in Durham,” presented by Olive & Olive, will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 pm at the Durham Convention Center.

Liberty Hardware gives $25,000

Liberty Hardware Manufacturing Corporation in Winston-Salem made a $25,000 grant to Homes For Our Troops, a nonprofit that assists severely injured military service members and their immediate families by coordinating the process of building new homes or adapting existing homes to accommodate physical limitations. The grant includes an additional $25,000 worth of product donations. Liberty Hardware is a subsidiary of Masco Corporation.

CPA firm DMJ raises $13,000 for Special Olympics

Greensboro CPA firm Davenport, Marvin, Joyce & Co., one of dozens of community groups that participated in the 14th annual Polar Plunge for Special Olympics North Carolina on February 22, raised over $13,000.

DMJ was awarded “Most Money Earned,” as top fundraiser, and also was recognized for its decades-long participation that has accounted for over $100,000 in polar plunge contributions to Special Olympics.

Ellis joins North Carolina Community Foundation

Megan Lynch Ellis, major gifts and special events coordinator for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, has joined the North Carolina Community Foundation as a regional development officer.

Based in Boone and working from the Foundation’s Hickory office, she is responsible for development in the 18 counties in the Foundation’s western and northwestern regions.

Musante joins Johnson C. Smith University

Kelly Musante, former development director at NC MedAssist, has been named director of foundation relations at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte.

NewBridge Bank raises $1,060

The opportunity for employees of NewBridge Bank in Greensboro to wear jeans to work in exchange for a $5 donation has raised $1,060 for Community Care Center, which was established by a group of retired physicians to provide free medical and dental services to low-income uninsured people.

NewBridge Bank also has been recognized as a 2013-14 American Heart Association “Fit-Friendly Company” for supporting employees’ health.

Triad real estate group honored

NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, honored NAIOP Piedmont Triad with its Community Service Award, recognizing excellence in philanthropic and community engagement activities benefitting local nonprofits or charities.

In partnership with other local real estate groups, NAIOP Piedmont Triad held a Casino Night-themed fundraiser, raising over $6,000 that benefited the Wounded Warrior Project.

Hispanic League to hold fundraising event

Hispanic League will host its 4th annual event on March 7 from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Village Event Center in Clemmons to raise money for the “Zumbathon Scholarship.”

Since 2000, the Hispanic League has supported college education, awarding 214 scholarships worth over $400,000 in the form of $2,000 annual scholarships to outstanding Hispanic and Latino students who are current or former Forsyth County ESL students and may fall under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program.

March Forth With Hope Foundation to hold online campaign

The March Forth With Hope Foundation in Charlotte will hold an online campaign on March 4 to try to raise $23,000 to benefit local families dealing with a health crisis.

Formed in 2005, the Foundation has given a total of $400,000 in financial assistance to families battling cancer or other life-threatening diseases.

Hall & Oates to headline Band Together NC event

Pop duo Daryl Hall & John Oates will headline the main event on May 3 for Band Together NC, a Triangle-based organization that uses live music as a platform for social change. The event, to be held at Walnut Creek Amphitheatre in Raleigh, will benefit Communities of Schools of Wake County, and Communities in Schools of Durham.

Since it began in 2001, Band Together has raised nearly $3 million for local nonprofits through individual and corporate donations.

Forsyth Smart Start gets $18,000

Smart Start of Forsyth County received $18,000 from the North Carolina Partnership for Children to expand early literacy work through the Reach Out and Read program.

Overall, the Partnership awarded a total of $76,500 to local Smart Starts across the state.

Make-A-Wish to hold Wish Ball in May

Make-A-Wish Eastern North Carolina will hold its 2014 Wish Ball on May 17 at the Raleigh Convention Center starting at 6 p.m.

The organization, which serves all medically eligible children in 49 counties, has granted over 2,700 wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions since it was founded in 1986.

Duke gets $2 million from anonymous donor

An alumnus of the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University has made a gift of $2 million gift to provide scholarships for the Duke Kunshan University Undergraduate Global Learning Semester and help establish Duke’s Talent Identification Program (TIP) in China.

The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, is a Chinese citizen and permanent U.S. resident who supports primary and secondary education.

Make your thank-you notes memorable

Thanking a donor for a gift should be the first step in cultivating the next gift.

Yet too many nonprofits treat thank-you notes as the end of cultivation process, not the beginning.

A thank-you note should be personal, written for an individual donor.

Send it quickly, and keep it short. Let the donor know you received the gift, and the difference it will make in someone’s life. And tell the donor, genuinely, how much you appreciate the gift.

When some time has passed, follow up, possibly with a request to visit the donor to say thanks in person and learn more about the causes she or he cares about.

Thanking a donor should be the start of a meaningful relationship.

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

Fundraising, Part 4: Data key for independent schools

By Todd Cohen

[This article was written for Blackbaud.]

Attention to data is driving fundraising at independent schools, which have seen steady growth in fundraising revenue since 2000, says Donna Orem, chief operating officer at the National Association of Independent Schools.

“The best schools have always been doing a lot of prospect research and looking at data and having that guide much of their fundraising,” she says.

Median fundraising revenue grew to nearly $600,000 in the 2012-13 school year, up from about $500,000 in 2000, according to a survey of NAIS member schools that generated responses from 970 institutions.

That growth was consistent for the period, except for a slight blip during the recession, but even then many schools found they could turn to a small number of donors who had the capacity to dig deeper and who “understood the challenges schools were facing,” Orem says.

Schools are using data to better understand donors based on factors such as gender and race, segmenting their base of donors and prospects.

“The fundraiser today in an independent school does his or her homework to really understand those nuances,” Orem says.

And with 10 percent of donors typically accounting for 90 percent of fundraising revenue, she says, schools are focusing most of their efforts in major-gift fundraising.

“Most schools understand they have to have a very effective major-gifts program, have to do research to understand who their best donors are, and have to have effective major-gifts fundraisers who understand how to engage those donors, who need ongoing cultivation,” she says.

And donors increasingly want to “be involved in the life of the school,” she says, and to “understand how their money has been used, and what the outcomes are.”

Schools also are looking for ways to cultivate students and young alumni, and increasingly are focusing on online and social media to connect with then.

And they are investing more in cultivating alumni.

Citing a groundbreaking 1998 study by Stanford University on alumni giving, Orem says alumni who give the most “are those who feel most connected to the school of today.”

Schools understand that “if the only time alumni hear from the school is when they need money, they won’t get money,” she says.

So schools are developing programs to engage alumni, such as programs in cities with large concentrations of alumni, and travel, and also are using social media to build alumni communities.

Recognizing that grandparents increasingly are involved in their grandchildren’s education, and often paying for it, schools also are developing programs to engage grandparents in the life of the school.

A big challenge for independent schools, Orem says, is a shortage of experienced development officers.

With more nonprofits looking for development officers, the recession prompting many development officers to stay in their jobs, and older Baby Boomers beginning to retire, schools have found it tougher and more expensive to fill openings.

Ultimately, whether a school is large or small, the key to effective fundraising is to “create a culture of philanthropy, Orem says.

“Just throwing people at the operation tends not to be so successful,” she says.

What works, she says, is helping members of the school community “understand why giving to the school is important to the life of the school, and understanding that most schools don’t charge what it costs to educate a child, and one of the most significant ways to make up those dollars is through giving.”

Next: International affairs groups refine message

The series:

Part 1: Growth tied to capacity, cultivation, communication.

Part 2: Healthcare groups invest in capacity.

Part 3: Higher education cultivates major gifts.

Part 4: Data key for independent schools.

Part 5: International affairs groups refine message.

Part 6: Religion focuses on fundamentals.

Part 7: Arts and culture groups focus on donors.

Part 8: United Way diversifies.

Part 9: Conservation groups connect with donors.

Part 10: Communication, planning key for human services.

Part 11: Peer-to-peer strategy fuels medical research.

Guide aims to help funders be more ‘transparent’

A new guide aims to help foundations be more open about their work in response to growing demand for “transparency” by sharing “in a frank, easily accessible and timely way” what they do, how they do it, and the difference they make.

Transparency includes making available information such as past grants awarded, the process for selecting grantees, performance assessments and strategy documents, says “Opening Up: Demystifying Funder Transparency,” a guide from GrantCraft in collaboration with Glasspockets.

GrantCraft, a joint project of the Foundation Center and the European Foundation Centre, says 75 percent of survey respondents reported seeing increased demand for funder transparency over the past five years.

Transparency “is not a one-size-fits-all process for every foundation,” the guide says, and reflects a “mindset,” with funders believing “they are most effective when they approach all aspects of their work by saying, ‘let’s publicly share this,'” the guide says.

Transparency “can help foundations build and strengthen relationships that can ultimately help them make a bigger and stronger impact,” it says.

Benefits of transparency, it says, include “less time spent explaining goals and strategies to potential grantees; better, more on-target grant proposals; more effective and informed grantmaking based on feedback from grantees and other stakeholders; stronger and more open relationships with grantees and other nonprofit organizations; closer relationships with other foundations, leading to more collaborative grantmaking; and increased public trust.”

Becoming more transparent also involves challenges, the guide says, including limited staff time and “getting over the fear of admitting failure; feeling vulnerable; finding authentic ways to engage in real dialogue with grantees and others; and setting up sustainable systems for sharing information publicly.”

The guide, featuring case studies, includes sections and suggestions for sharing grantee selection process and grantee data; sharing performance assessments; strengthening engagement with grantees and other stakeholders; improving the practice of philanthropy; and connecting using every opportunity.

Todd Cohen

Reynolds Trust counts on partners to boost health, learning

By Todd Cohen

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in Winston-Salem has joined a small but growing number of foundations that are turning to partners from a broad range of disciplines and sectors to give people with little or no income greater opportunities to improve their health and learning.

Nearly two years ago, the Reynolds Trust launched a $100 million, 10-year effort to improve health in 10 to 15 rural North Carolina counties, including some of the poorest in the state.

Known as “Healthy Places NC,” the effort is rooted in the idea that state and national partners and “best practices,” as well as local partners in addition to those in the health field, are critical to creating community-based strategies that are geared to individual communities and more likely to succeed.

“It requires a constellation of partners and evaluation, in state and out of state, to transform community health,” says Allen Smart, director of the Trust’s Health Care Division.

In January, Smart was given the additional job of vice president of programs, overseeing both the Health Care Division, which has a statewide focus, and the Trust’s Poor and Needy Division, which focuses on Forsyth County.

The Health Care Division is responsible for 75 percent of the Trust’s $22 million in annual grantmaking, and the Poor and Needy Division, directed by Joe Crocker, is responsible for the remaining 25 percent.

With $550 million in assets, the Trust is one of the largest philanthropies in the state.

The organizational restructuring is designed to take the strategic approach and lessons from Healthy Places NC and integrate them into the work of the Poor and Needy Division, particularly a new initiative that will focus on preparing children from birth to   age five to enter kindergarten.

Known as “Great Expectations,” the effort aims to enlist partners not just in the field of education but also from throughout the community, including parents, community leaders and those in fields such as health care, social services and child care.

What is needed, Smart says, is “everything that makes a more supportive environment that allows kids to be thriving by the time they go to kindergarten.”

The level of funding both for Healthy Places NC and for Great Expectations will grow for each of the first five years, and then will level off at 50 percent of the annual grantmaking, respectively, for the Health Care and Poor and Needy divisions.

To help integrate into the Poor and Needy Division the strategy of “multi-sectoral stakeholders” that the Health Care Division has developed, the Trust now is looking for a program coordinator to handle a range of key administrative functions for both divisions.

To fill the new position, which replaces a two-year post-graduate fellowship, the Trust is looking for someone with at least 10 years experience.

Critical issues such as health and learning represent complex challenges and require integrated solutions and a broad range of perspectives, Smart says.

For Healthy Places NC, for example, “state and national partners are bringing best-practice work to these communities that either weren’t aware of them or couldn’t afford them,” he says.

The initiative also is “bringing new people into the mix in these partnerships,” he says.

“In health care, we’ve really determined that to improve the health status of a community, institutional stakeholders have to be involved who are not in health care,” he says.

“To improve health care, you can’t just talk about doctors and nurses and the health department and the hospital,” he says. “You also have to talk to the school board and the planning commission, who have a hand in the health of the county.”

Partners from multiple sectors also are important because “your issue is not just owned by the people who work at it every day,” he says. “We’re trying to create community ownership over the larger program.”

Just as many adults are not as healthy as they should be, many children, particularly those who are financially disadvantaged, are not as prepared as they should be to enter kindergarten, Smart says.

The solution is “not just engaging child care, but all sorts of people, such as the housing authority, for example, or the communities those kids are in,” he says. “Multi-sector thinking will definitely be embedded in the Poor and Needy Division as it is in our health care work.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 02.21.14

Hayes to head Guilford Nonprofit Consortium

Steven M. Hayes, community relations officer for the Guilford County Department of Social Services, has been named director of the Guilford Nonprofit Consortium, effective March 17.

Hayes will succeed Donna  Newton, who stepped down to become director of the new Workforce Initiative at The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro.

At the Department Social Services, Hayes previously served as social services division director; human resources manager; and coordinator of Families for Kids, a program that placed children with special needs in adoptive homes, shortened the length of time they were in the foster system, and kept them in stable placements in adoptive home for a longer period. He also worked as a child welfare trainer.

The Consortium, which has over 250 member organizations, grew out of efforts in 2003 by the Community Foundation and Weaver Foundation to establish a collaborative of nonprofits in Guilford County that would foster mutual assistance and support and create a more efficient and effective nonprofit sector.

In addition to the Community Foundation, current funders of the Consortium include the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation, Cemala Foundation, Cone Health Foundation, Hayden-Harman Foundation, Weaver Foundation and American Express.

Heart Association raises $230,000, honors LaBauer family

The American Heart Association attracted 300 community and business leaders and raised over $230,000 for heart disease and stroke research and prevention education programs at the 2014 Guilford Heart Ball on February 1.

The Heart Association also honored the LeBauer family at the Heart Ball with an inaugural 2014 Visionary Award for their dedication and leadership in creating a healthier community through generations of medical contributions.

In 1920, Joe LeBauer moved his silk hosiery operation to Greensboro from New Jersey. His sons Sidney and Maurice, started practicing medicine in the Jefferson Pilot building in downtown Greensboro in 1931.

Sydney LeBauer was chair of the first Heart Ball in Greensboro.

And his sons — Joe, a cardiologist; Sam, a gastroenterologist; and Eugene, a pulmonary and allergy medicine specialist — joined the family practice.

Reynolds American gives $11.6 million

Winston-Salem-based Reynolds American and its affiliates, related private charitable foundations and employees donated roughly $11.6 million to a wide range of nonprofits in 2013.

The Reynolds American Foundation donated $6.1 million in 2013, including employee matching grants.

The Foundation’s largest contributions were to Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem State University and the annual campaign of the United Way of Forsyth County, which also received nearly $1 million from company employees.

Reynolds American and its operating companies, including  R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, contributed a combined $4 million to nonprofits in 2013.

Episcopal Diocese receives $25,000

A Moveable Feast, a program of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, has received a $25,000 from Trinity Wall Street through its Wildcard Awards that provide seed money for innovative organizations that can be agents of positive change.

A Movable Feast aims to serve young adults through a mobile campus ministry serving four schools and offering food and communion service; engaging adults ages 18 to 35 to become pastors of the mobile ministry; and helping local parishes develop sustainable ways of reaching out to the campuses.

Triangle United Way teams with HCL Technologies

United Way of the Greater Triangle has formed a partnership with HCL Technologies, an information-technology services company, to develop a program to help increase graduation rates for girls and young women ages 11 to 19.

Known as GirlSTRIDE, or Girls Striving to Reach Ideals in Education, the 12-month program will include academic instruction, tutoring, community service, mentoring, topical discussions, college tours, computer access for families, and parental engagement.

Student U, a Durham nonprofit, has been selected as the initial community provider to run the program.

Wake Forest students win Ethics Bowl

Wake Forest University and Gardner-Webb University received first and second place, respectively, in the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities 3rd Annual Ethics Bowl.

The theme for the event, held February 7-8 at the Campbell University School of Law in Raleigh, was “Ethics in Health Care.”

Twenty schools participated in the event.

Presenting sponsors were Duke Energy and Wells Fargo, and other sponsors included Ads Infinitum, AT&T, BCWH Architects, Burlington Industries/International Textile Group, Dominion NC Power, Fidelity Investments, George Foundation, Martin Marietta Materials, Piedmont Natural Gas and Theo Davis Printing.

NCICU serves as the statewide office for North Carolina’s 36 private, nonprofit liberal arts, comprehensive and research colleges and universities accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Hospice to name new center for Lusk

Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro will name its new caregiving education and administrative center for the late Dr. John Alexander Lusk III.

Lusk, who died in 2010, was one of the original volunteers to serve on the steering committee that established the nonprofit over 33 years ago.

He is credited with making the first patient referral to Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro, and served for many years as the organization’s medical director, working until days before he died.

Construction workers broke ground for the new center in January.

The project, including the land, will cost between $3.75 million and $4 million.

Teague, Freyaldenhoven & Freyaldenhoven Architects and Planners of Greensboro has designed the 15,000 square-foot center.

Lomax Construction has been awarded the contract for construction work.

Over the past 10 years, the average number of patients Hospice serves on any given day has more than doubled to 350 from 170, requiring a 62.2 percent increase in its staffing.

The Lusk Center will allow Hospice to relocate staff from overcrowded workspaces and bring its long-term care hospice teams, currently in leased space, back to its main campus.

And the educational portion of the building will allow Hospice to resume offering community outreach and professional education.

AT&T gives $300,000 for new evening program for Project L.I.F.T.

AT&T is contributing $300,000 and will be the major underwriter for a new evening program for Project L.I.F.T., a Charlotte initiative that aims improve outcomes and eliminate education disparities for minority and low-income students.

The new evening program aims to provide alternative learning opportunities for students for whom a traditional day program has not been a good fit.

Launched in 2012, Project L.I.F.T. serves 7,500 students at nine schools, including West Charlotte High School, which saw a 15 point percent increase in the graduation rate from 2012 to 2013.

Wake Salvation Army partners to serve homeless children

Since The Salvation Army of Wake County launched it in 2011, Project CATCH, or Community Action Targeting Children who are Homeless, has assisted 950 homeless children in Wake County.

Through the program, The Salvation Army partners with nine shelter programs in Wake County to offer educational and health services and resources to children experiencing homelessness.

Project CATCH also works to enrich children’s lives outside of shelter life and expose them to new opportunities and stimulate their minds.

Four times year, Project CATCH and the Wake County Public School System collaborate with Marbles Kid’s Museum to offer workshops designed to help families learn about issues related to school.  The most recent workshop was held February 28.

Wake County is home to roughly 2,000  children ages five to 18 years old who are homeless, excluding homeless children who are not enrolled or are too young for school.

Bailey’s gives over $42,000

Bailey’s Fine Jewelry in Raleigh donated over $42,000 to local charities in 2013 through its A Time to Give program, raising the most funds since it launched the program in 2008. Since then, Bailey’s has donated over $185,000 through the program to the communities where its stores are located, including Raleigh, Rocky Mount, Greenville and Fayetteville.

Through the program, Bailey’s provides customers with a complimentary watch battery replacement and in exchange asks that a donation be made to that month’s designated charity.

Each month Bailey’s selects a different nonprofit organization to receive the donations.

Two join board at North Carolina Community Foundation

Juan Austin, senior vice president for the Wells Fargo Foundation for North Carolina and South Carolina, and Katharine Harrison Hardin, office administrator for James C. Hardin III, a law firm that specializes in estate planning, have joined the statewide board of directors of the North Carolina Community Foundation.

Easter Seals UCP elects three to board

Easter Seals UCP North Carolina & Virginia named three members to its board of directors, including Tammi Moore, a licensed psychologist and founder and president of Western Wake Counseling and Psychological Services in Cary; Katina Dorton, a partner with CoRise, a financial advisory, consulting and investment firm in Raleigh; and Michael O’Donnell of Raleigh, a strategic advisor to the board of directors and executive leadership for WasteZero, a company specializing in municipal solid waste metering systems and services.

Easter Seals UCP is a Raleigh-based nonprofit that offers local programs that connect children, families and adults managing disabilities and mental health challenges to services and resources.

Junior League of Greensboro honors office manager

The Junior League of Greensboro presented an honorary membership to Carolyn Liu, who has been the organization’s office manager since 1989.

Reynolda House creates digital communications post

Trish Oxford, who in 2012 joined the Reynolda House Museum of American Art as part-time audience engagement and communications specialist, has been named assistant director of marketing and communications.

The new position will focus on digital communications and reaching an online audience.

Applications available for BJH Foundation grants

2014 application forms for grants from BJH Foundation for Senior Services are available on the foundation’s website for nonprofits serving Jewish older adults in the Carolinas.

Last year, the Foundation awarded 21 grants totaling over $203,230 to help fund programs such as elder day care, congregational nurse programs, social worker programs, home and community services, guardianship and care management.

Over the past 7 years, the Foundation has awarded over 130 grants totaling more than $1.4 million.

Thompson Child & Family Focus adds neurofeedback program

Thompson Child & Family Focus in Charlotte is adding neurofeedback – a form of biofeedback – to the therapeutic services it provides to children ages five to 15. Thompson, which will be the first psychiatric residential treatment program in Charlotte to offer neurofeedback services, has contracted with Focus Centers of Asheville to provide those services for its pilot program.

Habitat Greensboro teams with VF Corporation

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Greensboro is beginning the first new house start of 2014 at 1643 Sunrise Valley Drive. VF Corporation is sponsoring the house.