Museum of Art concludes $50 million campaign

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — Based on a pilot program in a handful of counties, nearly 300 seventh-graders at 46 middle schools in 24 counties throughout the state now are learning about history, English language arts, science and math by studying digitized versions of art from the North Carolina Museum of Art, with the help of a curriculum and training the Museum developed with and for teachers.

Supporting the “Art of Collaboration” initiative are funds the Museum raised in a just-concluded capital campaign that generated a record-high $50.6 million, exceeding its goal by $600,000.

Roughly half the total raised help boost the Museum’s endowment, which had plunged in value during the recession to $14 million in 2006 and now totals $31 million.

The endowment, which remains smaller than those of peer institutions such as the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Fla., and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Va., supports operations, education programs, exhibitions, art purchases, lectures and symposiums.

Chaired by Ken O’Herron, president of O’Herron and Co., the campaign generated $15.7 million in deferred gifts through bequests and annuities from 28 individuals, including $14.5 million to the endowment, three-fourths of which is restricted by donors to specific uses.

Kathryn Yandell, senior director of major gifts at the Museum, says key goals of the campaign were to secure deferred gifts and strengthen its efforts to develop major gifts and planned gifts.

The campaign also generated $8.85 million to support landscaping around the $73.3 million West Building the Museum opened in April 2010 with public funds, and to sustain and maintain the Museum’s grounds and park.  Funding for the West Building included $15 million from Raleigh and Wake County and the remainder from state appropriations.

The campaign also generated $7.6 million to support the Museum’s $18 million in general operations. Operating with a staff of 150 people, the museum receives 30 percent of its operating funds from the state and 70 percent from private support.

The biggest gifts to the campaign, which enlisted nearly 300 donors, included $9.5 million from an individual who asked to remain anonymous; $2.5 million each from Wells Fargo and the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust; $2 million from the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation; and $1.45 million from the Andrew Mellon Foundation.

With just over 18,000 members, the Museum generates $4 million to $6 million a year in annual revenue, including membership revenue that is main source of its unrestricted funding each year.

The campaign eclipsed the $26 million the Museum raised in the early 2000s in a comprehensive campaign that, unlike the just-ended campaign, included annual fundraising.

While the campaign has ended, the Museum now is trying to raise $400,000 to supplement $1.6 million it received through a state allocation to improve storage space and technology for its collection, which is housed in its East Building that opened in 1983, says Ellen Stone, director of development.

The museum also is looking at possible improvements to its park that might include such amenities as benches, water fountains and a visitor center. The park already is attracting 100,000 visitors a year, while the museum typically attracts 300,000 visitors a year, a number that can grow by 100,000 in years it stages blockbuster exhibitions.

Nonprofit news roundup, 09.12.14

Housing for New Home names executive director

Gretchen Senez, deputy to the CEO at Unity House in Troy, N.Y. , an agency that works to connect the chronically homeless with support services and long-term housing solutions, has been named executive director of Housing for New Hope in Durham, effective October 1.

Senez succeeds Terry Allebaugh, the agency’s founder and executive director, who stepped down on May 31.

Eric Breit, a former development director at Housing for New Hope for five years, returned in June to serve as interim executive director.

High Point United Way sets $4.91 million goal

United Way of Greater High Point has set a goal of raising $4.91 million in its annual campaign that kicked off September 9, up from its $4.75 million goal last year, when it raised $4.86 million.

The one percent increase in the goal “doesn’t reflect the true need in the community, but rather is a reflection of the economic uncertainty and corporate downsizing and changes in local ownership among some of our largest donor entities,” Bobby Smith, United Way president, says in a statement.

Guilford partnership on homelessness serving 28 households

Partners Ending Homelessness, a partner agency of United Way of Greater Greensboro, says the “Housing First” initiative it launched in February is providing access to stable housing to 28 formerly homeless households.

The initiative by the agency, a collaborative effort that includes 80 community partners, was funded in 2013 with a $1 million grant from the Phillips Foundation to address the needs of the chronically homeless.

The agency says it needs to secure roughly $2.5 million over the next four years from public and private sources to expand the program.

Junior Achievement in Greensboro ranks in top 5 in U.S.

Junior Achievement of Central North Carolina ranks in the top five among Junior Achievement chapters throughout the U.S. in every performance category tracked by Junior Achievement USA.

Greensboro-based Junior Achievement, which has expanded throughout Forsyth, Alamance, Rockingham, Randolph, Guilford and Montgomery counties, ranked third in class growth, second in student growth, and fourth in volunteer hours served.

BJH Foundation gives $230,000

BJH Foundation for Senior Services in Greensboro has awarded 24 grants in the Carolinas totaling over $230,000 to help fund programs such as elder day care, congregational nursing and social worker programs, home and community services, guardianship and care management for Jewish older adults.

Funding for the projects supports program expenses for food, mailings, supplies, educational materials, salaries for social workers and nursing staff.

Fund created at Winston-Salem Arts Council

The Endowment Fund of The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County is establishing the James H. and Barbara C. Corrigan Fund in memory of Jim Corrigan, an ardent local arts supporter who died this year and left a bequest to the Endowment Fund.

Corrigan was president of RJR Archer, RJR Foods and Mebane Packaging Company, and was a founder and director of what is now NewBridge Bank.

The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, the first locally established arts council in the United States, awarded $1.9 million in grants in 2013, including $1.68 million in organizational support grants to 19 funded partners.

Arts and community groups get $125,000

Seventeen local arts organizations and community organizations have been awarded project support grants totaling $125,325 from ArtsGreensboro for the 2014-15 year.

Leadership North Carolina selects 55 leaders for new class

Leadership North Carolina, a statewide leadership engagement program, has accepted 55 civic and community leaders for its 2014-15 class.

Class members will participate in six two-and-a-half-day sessions that will feature discussions with top officials and professionals, field trips, and experiential learning activities.

The sessions will focus on economic development, education, environment, government, and health and human services.

Volunteer Center to honor volunteerism

The Volunteer Center of Greensboro will present its 2014 Volunteer Award to six individuals, groups and companies at a luncheon on October 8.

Keynote speaker at the event, to be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30pm at the Elm Street Center, will be the Rev. Odell Cleveland, chief administrative officer of Mount Zion Baptist Church and former president, CEO and co-founder of the Welfare Reform Liaison Project.

Awards to be presented, and the recipients, are:

* Lifetime of Service — Martha Kaley, Junior League of Greensboro.

* Outstanding Volunteer — Jim Blalock, Greensboro Science Center.

* Outstanding Volunteer — Pete Callahan, United Way of Greater Greensboro.

* Corporate — Lincoln Financial Group.

* Outstanding Volunteer Program — Serve the City, Win the City at Mount Zion Baptist Church.

* Emerging Volunteer — Sarah Smoot, Greensboro Urban Ministry.

Event to benefit Communities in Schools

Wine, Women & Shoes will be held at Talley Student Union at N.C. State University on October 9 from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. to benefit Communities in Schools of North Carolina. The fundraising event will be presented by Verizon Wireless.

Race to benefit patients at High Point Regional

High Point Regional Health Foundation will present the 28th Annual Warren Rives Race on September 20 to raise funds for scholarships for patients at Heart Strides, a program at High Point Regional Health that serves over 300 patients a year.

Presenting sponsor is High Point Bank.

March Forth with Hope Foundation to hold golf event

The March Forth with Hope Foundation will host the 12th Annual Hope Stout Golf Classic at the Golf Club at Ballantyne on October 13 to benefit families battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Pennington honored by Health Underwriters Association

Carol Pennington of Kernersville, media relations chairperson for the Triad Association of Health Underwriters, has received the Media Relations Award from the National Association of Health Underwriters. The award honors local association chapters for outstanding achievements in using the media to reach out to their members, the industry and the public.

TOURtech donating WIFI and networking for Farm Aid concert

TOURtech, a managed information-technology services company for events, will provide $19,000 in WIFI and networking for the Farm Aid 2014 benefit concert at Walnut Creek Amphitheatre September 13.

Corporate volunteers assemble emergency preparedness kits

HandsOn Northwest North Carolina worked with United Way of Forsyth County to engage a team of 40 corporate volunteers from Bank of America and The Winston-Salem Journal in a local service project on the national 9/11 Day of Service Remembrance.

The team assembled roughly 400 home emergency preparedness kits that will be distributed to low-income elementary school students and their families after they learn about what they can do at home to be prepared in case of an emergency or disaster.

Festival set for Center City Park in Greensboro

Friends of Center City Park will host the inaugural Fall Festival on October 3 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Center City Park at 200 North Davie St. in Greensboro. Proceeds from the free event, including live entertainment, children’s activities, food trucks, local beer and a Pumpkin Patch photo booth, will benefit free community programming in Center City Park.

Widening wealth gap a wakeup call for nonprofits

The gulf is growing between the rich and everyone else, both among Americans overall and among charities, making it clear that most charities need to do a much better job talking about the needs they address and the difference they make.

Two reports this week underscore the widening wealth gap and the challenge it represents for charities.

A new survey by the Federal Reserve says that only the wealthiest Americans have seen income gains during the economic recovery, while incomes have fallen for “very large groups of Americans,” The New York Times reports.

And a review of over 200 private universities rated by Moody’s Investors Service over 10 years shows that schools with over $1 billion in total cash and investments received two-thirds of total gift dollars in 2013, up from just over three-fifths in 2003, while those with less than $100 million received a declining share, or less than 3 percent of total gift dollars, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Implicit in the two seemingly unrelated reports are the high hurdles that charities must clear to survive.

Most of the roughly 1.5 million charities in the U.S. are small, and many face rising demand for services from Americans who have not benefited from the recovery and often live in crisis, cannot afford food, shelter or health care for their families, or day care or after-school activities for their kids. Those Americans also often lack the skills and resources they need find and keep jobs that pay a living wage.

The charities that serve those people are the same charities that often get the short end of contributions, compared to big charities with large endowments, sophisticated fundraising programs, and loyal, wealthy donors.

The silver lining in the face of all the seemingly grim news about the widening wealth gap is that the role charities play is more important than ever, and that the wealthiest Americans have even more to give.

Historically, in tough times, Americans with few resources have dug the deepest to increase their giving to help those with even less to fall back on.

The challenge for charities is to dig deeper, too, and invest more to make sure they are telling the clearest and most compelling story they can about the needs they address, the work they do, and the difference they make in the lives of the people they serve.

Charities also need to make sure they are reaching the audiences they need to reach through the channels those audiences prefer, whether social media, email, the web, direct mail, personal appeals in writing, phone calls or personal visits.

Charities have a critically important story to tell about the indispensable role they play in making our communities better places to live, work and play. Their immediate task is to make sure they tell it well so they can get the resources they need to serve people in need.

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

High Point United Way faces rising demand for services

By Todd Cohen

HIGH POINT, N.C. — For each of the past four years, United Way of Greater High Point has posted record-high results for its annual fundraising campaign. For six of the past seven years, its fundraising has grown faster than United Ways in North Carolina’s other major metro areas. And its $60 per-capita giving eclipses that of every United Way in the state except Forsyth County’s.

But sustaining its fundraising growth will be tough this year as changes in corporate ownership drive a continuing exodus of local jobs and a shift to corporate offices outside the state for decision-making about local corporate giving.

All those corporate changes could result in $250,000 in lost contributions, says Bobby Smith, United Way president.

“I would anticipate our goal being at best flat from what was raised last year,” when United Way raised $4.86 million, he says.

Critical to offsetting that lost revenue, he says, will be developing new relationships with employers, and with individuals, retirees and “Tocqueville Society” donors, or those who give $10,000 or more.

Chaired by Owen Bertschi, owner of Crescent Ford, this year’s campaign will kick off September 9 with United Way’s fifth annual “canpaign,” a one-day food drive at over 30 corporations.

Cumulative donations over the five years from the event, which last year collected an estimated 100,000 pounds of food picked up from the collection sites by a volunteer driver from Old Dominion Freight Line in Thomasville, this year is expected to exceed 500,000 pounds with an estimated value of $750,000.

Unlike many food drives that are held in cold-weather months, the United Way event aims to help keep local food pantries stocked until late fall, Smith says.

The Tocqueville effort, which this year is chaired by community activist Chris Greene, will need to raise $100,000 more than the $700,000 it raised last year from 63 donors, Smith says.

And several individuals have made anonymous pledges to supplement contributions from Tocqueville donors who agree to increase their annual gift to $10,000 over three years.

In addition to enlisting new Tocqueville donors, United Way also will be working to encourage existing Tocqueville donors to increasing their giving, Smith says.

For the overall campaign, United Way already has enlisted four companies with a total of over 1,000 employees to hold workplace drives for the first time. Those companies, including WGHP-TV; Whitewood Furniture Industries, Jasper Engineers and NCO, could generate a total of $50,000 for the campaign, Smith says.

The campaign is critical, he says, because demand continues to grow for health and human services from the 73 programs at the 28 partner agencies that United Way supports.

With funds from last fall’s campaign, United Way is investing over $4.1 million in those programs in the fiscal year that began July 1.

Funding requests from partner agencies exceeded by $60,000 the total United Way allocated, Smith says.

United Way also awarded eight venture grants totaling $43,458 to local nonprofits to help meet emerging or unmet needs. Requests for venture funding totaled nearly $300,000.

United Way also continues to look for new collaborations to help support partner agencies, Smith says.

In July, it partnered with Belk, which collected gently-used denim in return for discounted coupons, with Belk then donating the denim to United Way, which in turn gave it to partner agencies to give to kids.

Over two weekends in July and August, United Way teamed with local Walmart stores to collect donated supplies for local schools.

And it was one of four nonprofits that divided $50,000 contributed by the 2014 Wyndham Championship, a PGA Tour event held in August at Sedgefield Country Club in Jamestown. At the event, United Way also received funds from people attending who pledged to make contributions for every birdie scored a particular player. And visitors to United Way’s tent at the tournament helped pack food for 500 backpacks for children in need.

“We’re partnering with other groups, engaging with them, addressing needs outside our partner agencies, and leveraging additional resources, besides just being a fundraiser,” Smith says “If we see a need, a void, and if nobody else is willing to fill it, we’ll fill it.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 09.05.14

With merger, Industries for the Blind largest in U.S.

Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind has acquired Arkansas Lighthouse for the Blind, forming what the two groups say will be the largest agency for blind in the U.S.

Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind, founded in 1936, provides employment, training and services for people who are blind or visually impaired. It operates manufacturing facilities in Winston-Salem and Asheville, plus over 40 office-supply stories and optical centers across the U.S.

It also provides outreach through A Brighter Path Foundation, which operates Community Low Vision Centers across North Carolina and Tracy’s Little Red School House in Winston-Salem.

Arkansas Lighthouse for the Blind, founded in 1940, manufactures products ranging from textiles to office paper products for clients such as the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army and private industry, and houses a customer-service center for government, nonprofit and private agencies that are its clients.

Blackbaud to buy MicroEdge for $160 million

Blackbaud, a provider of software and services for nonprofits, says it has signed a $160 million deal to buy MicroEdge, a provider of software for philanthropic grantmaking, corporate social responsibility and foundation management.

The deal, in which Blackbaud will acquire all outstanding equity interests of MicroEdge, is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Blackbaud, based in Charleston, S.C., works with over 30,000 customers in over 60 countries. Using its technology, those customers raised over $100 billion a year.

MicroEdge, based in New York, is a portfolio company of Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm with offices in Austin, Chicago and San Francisco and $13 billion in cumulative capital commitments, and Bregal Sagemount, a private equity fund with $500 million in committed capital.

National Philanthropic Trust gives $2 billion

The National Philanthropic Trust, the largest independent donor advised fund organization in the U.S., says it now has made over 100,000 grants totaling over $2 billion to over 10,000 charities in 300 countries since its founding in 1996.

The Trust manages over $2.1 billion in charitable assets in 3,500 donor accounts.

Greggs joins Public School Forum

Tracy Greggs, project coordinator for early childhood literacy at the Wake Education Partnership, has been named program coordinator at the Public School Forum of North Carolina.

Heart Association names fundraising leaders

Cara Townsend, co-founder of the CareAdvocacy Institute, has been named director of the Go Red For Women and the Heart Ball  for Greater Guilford County by the American Heart Association.

And James Hoekstra, chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, and Chadwick Miller, executive vice chair of its Department of Emergency Medicine, are co-chairing the 2014 Tanglewood Heart and Stroke Walk for the Heart Association.

The Guilford Heart Ball is scheduled for January 24 at The Elm Street Center in Greensboro, and the Greater Guilford Go Red For Women Educational Expo and Luncheon is scheduled for May 4 at Koury Convention Center.

The Heart and Stroke Walk, which is scheduled for October 18 at Tanglewood Park, aims to raise $550,000. Funds raised at all three events will support heart disease and stroke research and prevention education.

Heart disease and stroke, respectively, are the first and fourth leading causes of death in the U.S.

Charitable giving grows overall, online

Overall charitable giving to nonprofits grew 3.1 percent and online giving grew 8 percent for the three months ended July 2014, compared with the same period in 2013, the Blackbaud Index says.

Children’s Museum hosts fundraising event

The Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem will host its annual Storybook Soiree fundraising event tonight.

Founded in 2004, the museum has hosted a total of over 700,000 visitors.

Easter Seals UCP to benefit from Charlotte event

Easter Seals UCP will benefit from Walk With Me, a 5K family fun walk that will be held October 11 at Freedom Park in Charlotte. Easter Seals UCP provides programs and services for individuals and families living with disabilities and mental health challenges. Family activities begin at 9 a.m., and the walk begins at  10 a.m.

Junior Achievement teams with UPS on student ‘shadow’ program

Junior Achievement of Central North Carolina has received $5,000 from the UPS Foundation to begin a job shadow program for Grimsley Senior High School students in Greensboro.

During the 2014-15 school year, 10 eleventh-grade students at Grimsley will have the opportunity to shadow employees at the UPS Ground hub in Greensboro one day a week for five weeks.

Goetz Foundation to hold gala

The Noah Z.M. Goetz Foundation will host the 4th Annual Family Building Blocks Gala on November 13 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Brier Creek Country Club in Raleigh.

All funds raised at the gala, which is sponsored by Carolina Conceptions, will support domestic adoption education and grant support services to North Carolinians who previously battled infertility.

Honorary chair for the gala is Chris Archer, pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays and 2013 Most Valuable Player finalist for the American League.

The event also will feature the presentation of the inaugural Family Building Blocks Award, which recognizes couples and organizations that support the Foundation.

Commercial realtors support Boys and Girls Club

More than 35 commercial realtors volunteered at a back-to-school event on August 5 for the Raleigh Boys and Girls Club sponsored by the Triangle Commercial Association of  Realtors and Tri-Properties.

Volunteers at the event included 18 associates from Cushman & Wakefield/Thalhimer’s Raleigh office.

Hospitality House to hold annual fall luncheon

Stacy Simms, healthy living reporter for Time Warner Cable News, will be the keynote speaker at the Fourth Annual Fall Luncheon on September 24 for Hospitality in Charlotte. The event will be held at Myers Park County Club from noon to 1 p.m.

United Arts Council gets $5,000

Dude Solutions, a cloud-based software-as-a-service provider of facility management solutions to several industries is donating $5,000 to the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County.

AFP Triangle seeks philanthropy awards nominations

The Triangle chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals is seeking nominations for five awards to celebrate regional philanthropists.

September 20 is the deadline for submitting nominations, which are open to the public, with winners to be recognized at the National Philanthropy Day Luncheon on November 12 at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary.

Awards include Excellence in Philanthropy, Outstanding Philanthropic Organization, Outstanding Fundraising Professional, Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser, and Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy.

Ennis-Flint employees raise $10,500

Employees of Ennis-Flint in Thomasville raised $10,500 for the American Traffic Safety Services Foundation, which provides academic scholarships to school-age children, spouses and legal guardians of roadway workers who have been permanently injured or killed in work zone accidents.

Dollar General awards $8,500 for youth literacy

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation awarded a total of $8,500 to Empowered Girls of North Carolina, James B. Dudley High School, and Sedgefield Elementary School, all in Greensboro, to support youth literacy programs.

Be prepared for news coverage

Whether you seek news coverage or not, your nonprofit always should be ready to handle questions from news outlets.

You need a plan that designates, in advance, who on your staff or board should talk to reporters, and you need to prepare talking points to explain what your nonprofit does, the community need it addresses, the people it serves, and the impact it makes.

If you invite coverage — of a grant, new program, new hire, special event — be ready not only to talk about what you think is the news, but also to answer whatever questions the reporter asks.

And if you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t try to improvise or tell the reporter the question is not important. It’s not your job to tell the reporter how to do his or her job. Instead, say you will try to get an answer, and make sure you find out the reporter’s deadline and get the reporter’s cell phone number.

Let the reporter know you are available if the reporter has more questions later, or wants to check facts and quotes. But do not ask to see the story before it runs, or try to edit it for the reporter.

Most important, recognize that you cannot — and should not try — to control a story, what it will say or how it will portray your organization.

The best you can do is to be open, honest, clear and helpful with reporters, as well as accessible. And if the reporter is hostile or belligerent, try to answer the questions, but do not feel the need to go beyond what was asked, and do not become hostile or belligerent yourself. Stick to the high road.

While you cannot control news coverage, you can do your best to help make sure the story it tells about your organization and your cause is accurate.

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