Nonprofit news roundup, 04.10.15

Family Services gets $2.2 million

Family Services in Winston-Salem has been awarded $2.2 million in federal funding to bring the Early Head Start program to Forsyth County in September 2015.

Early Head Start will operate year-round and provide education and development services to low-income families with 120 children from birth to age three.

Health screenings, nutrition, social and emotional health, social services, and services for children with disabilities are the focus of the full-day program.

Greensboro funder to promote giving among people of color

The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro is getting $306,000 over two years from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to promote philanthropy in communities of color and to engage donors of color around issues that disproportionately affect vulnerable children and families.

Athan Lindsay, former faith outreach coordinator at the Rural Advancement Foundation in Pittsboro, has joined The Community Foundation as the new development officer focused primarily on the new Kellogg initiative.

The Community Foundation is one of just 27 grantees in the U.S., and the only community foundation in the Southeast, selected for the Kellogg initiative.

Assets grow to $1.7  billion at Foundation For The Carolinas

Charitable assets at Foundation For The Carolinas in Charlotte grew $316 million in 2014 to nearly $1.7 billion, while contributions to funds held by the Foundation grew to $627 million, more than twice the total given in 2013.

Public School Forum honors Jim and Carolyn Hunt

Former North Carolina Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. and Former First Lady Carolyn Hunt have been named recipients of the 2015 Jay Robinson Education Leadership Award from the Public School Forum of North Carolina.

The award, established in 2000 to recognize leaders who have advanced public education, will be presented to the Hunts at a gala event on  June 8 at the Raleigh Marriott City Center.

BB&T is presenting sponsor of this year’s event.

Chicago giving outpaces rate in U.S.

Charitable giving in the six-county Chicago region outpaces the national average, a new report says.

Nearly three in four households in the region gave to nonprofits in 2013, compared to nearly six in 10 in the U.S. in 2010, the latest year for which data are available, says Giving in Chicago, a report from The Chicago Community Trust.

Roughly two in three households gave in any given year between 2000 and 2008, says the study, which was conducted by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.

Nearly seven in 10 Chicago-area households reported giving $100 or more to charity in 2013, over half reported giving $500 or more, with donor households on average giving about three percent of their annual income to nonprofits in 2013.

Just over three in four donor households in the region said helping individuals meet basic  needs was their top motivation for giving, while seven in 10 said those who have more should help those who have less, and two in three said their giving was motivated by personal values of beliefs.

Nearly half of households in the region volunteered in 2013, and among those who did, nearly half volunteered once a week or more.

Nearly eight in 10 of charitable dollars donated by households in the region remained in the region in 2013.

In 2012, the report says, corporate foundations in the region made roughly 3,500 grants of $4,000 or more that totaled $158 million, with 44 percent of grants and 51 percent of grant dollars awarded staying in the region.

Sixty-eight companies, or 97 percent of those surveyed, reported making charitable donations to nonprofits in fiscal 2013, and 81 percent of those surveyed gave to nonprofits in the region.

Over 2,000 grantmaking organizations in the region made early 39,000 grants or $4,000 or more in 2012 with an estimated total value of $2.6 billion.

Grant recipients in the region received over 19,000 grants of $4,000 or more from over 1,300 grantmakers in the region, accounting for roughly $1 billion, or 39 percent of total grant dollars that grantmakers in the region made in 2012.

Nonprofit business model for news seen tough to sustain

News organizations that operate with a nonprofit business model are finding it a challenge to sustain themselves financially, a new report says.

While revenue among 20 local, state and regional nonprofit news organizations grew 73 percent, on average, between 2011 and 2013, including average growth of 30 percent in 2012, median revenue in 2011 grew only seven percent, suggesting year-over-year revenue for half the sites was either flat or declining, says Gaining Ground: How Nonprofit News Ventures Seek Sustainability, a report from the Knight Foundation.

Nonprofit news organizations also count heavily on foundation funding, and few seem to be likely soon to find a sustainable business model, the report says.

The organizations generated only 23 percent of revenue through earned income in 2013,  compared to 18 percent in 2011.

Most growth in earned income is generated through sponsorships and in-person events.

And while advertising is the earned-income source for most nonprofit news organizations, ad revenue was flat from 2011 to 2013.

Spending is focused mainly on editorial expenses, although organizations seem to invest more in marketing and technology as they grow.

Web traffic grew 75 percent on average from 2011 to 2013, and the share of mobile traffic and traffic referred from social media grew considerably, the report says.

Wheels4Hope placing cars with vets

Wheels4Hope, a car-donation nonprofit, will place cars with veterans who need them at the 2nd annual Memorial Day Bike Ride, which will be held on May 25 at Westminster Presbyterian Church at 4747 Lake Brandt Road in Greensboro.

Harley riders bring Easter to kids

Over 100 riders from Raleigh Harley Owners Group and Ray Price Harley-Davidson delivered Easter baskets to youngsters at The Masonic Home for Children at Oxford, along with a $1,200 donation, during the annual Ray Price “Easter Basket Ride.”.

TROSA to hold fundraising sale

Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abuses, or TROSA, will hold a fundraising sale from April 15 through April 18 at Oxford Commons at 3500 N. Roxboro St. in Durham.

The sale, to be held in a 40,000-square-foot tend, will feature furniture, appliances, clothing and used vehicles.

Event aims to raise $110,000 to help end arthritis

The 2015 Triangle Walk to Cure Arthritis, to be held May 2 at the Imperial Center in Durham and sponsored by the Arthritis Foundation, aims to raise $110,000 to help end arthritis.

Winston-Salem Foundation gives $291,600

The Winston-Salem Foundation awarded 16 community grants totaling $219,600 in the areas of animal welfare, arts and culture, education, health, human services, public interest, and recreation.

EnergyUnited, electric coops to give $600,000 to teachers

EnergyUnited in Statesville and North Carolina’s electric cooperatives have pledged nearly $600,000 to the state’s teachers for the 2015-16 school year.

Grants of up to $2,000 will be awarded directly to local educators in EnergyUnited’s service territory for hands-on classroom projects that would not otherwise be funded by traditional school budgets.

EnergyUnited serves over 120,000 electricity members in 19 North Carolina counties, includes suburbs near Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Greensboro.

Davidson County Hospice to mark 30 years

Hospice of Davidson County will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a tribute dinner on April 28 starting at 6 p.m. at the Mary E. Rittling Conference Center at Davidson County Community College.

American Cancer Society hires Durham e-learning firm

Weejee Learning, a Durham-based provider of e-learning solutions, has been chosen by the American Cancer Society to create an interactive program for volunteers for its Relay for Life fundraising event, a community walk that has raised nearly $5 billion and involved over 4 million people in over 20 countries a year since it was launched 30 years ago.

May 1 deadline for seeking arts mini-grants

May 1 is the deadline for submitting applications to The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County for mini-grants of up to $500 for projects that promote creativity and use art as a means to bring people together. 

Anti-rape campaigns at N.C. State and Duke

Fraternities4Family, which last year raised over $27,000 for local domestic-violence agencies, is launching campaigns at North Carolina State University and at Duke University to raise money and to awareness to reduce rapes on campus.

High Point funder awards grants

The High Point Community Foundation awarded grants from the Principals’ Fund for Student Needs to Montlieu Academy of Technology, Oak View Elementary School

and Penn-Griffin School for the Arts.

Make your pitches sing

If a prospective donor or funder invites you to make your case for support, make the best of the opportunity.

The prospect’s time is precious. So make your pitch short and stick to the point.

Start with the community need you address. Who is affected, and how? Paint a quick picture that shows the impact on people. If you have a statistic that drives that impact home, use it. But do not flood your prospect with data.

Then explain, in just a sentence or two, what is causing the problem. Chances are likely  the cause is complicated, so make it easy to understand.

You already should know the causes the donor or funder cares about. So show the connection between your prospect’s values and the community need you address.

Then explain your solution. How will it work? How will you measure success?

Details matter, so use facts and give a specific example of an individual or group of people whose lives have or will improve through your program.

And remember who you are talking to. How will your work advance the values and interests of the donor or prospect? What will be the return on their investment?

Avoid hype but share your passion for your cause. Your conviction and commitment can help seal the deal.

And make sure you have a short brochure or one-page summary you can leave with your prospect that explains, simply and clearly, the community need you address, its cause, your solution, why it works, how you will measure success, and the difference you will make in the lives of the people you serve.

Your pitch should be a story that makes the donor or funder want to get involved. So make it sing.

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

Girls on the Run running faster

By Todd Cohen

DURHAM, N.C. — Juliellen Simpson-Vos did not start running until after college, and while she is not fast, she “can put in the miles, go the distance,” she says, and has learned through training for several marathons that “you have to have multiple strategies to approach the challenge, but can be successful, which isn’t measured by winning but by how you approach it.”

That philosophy helps drive Girls on the Run of the Triangle, a Durham nonprofit Simpson-Vos heads that uses physical activity and running as tools to help girls throughout the region build character and courage.

“Our society is constantly hurling new facts, new ideas, new concepts, new challenges, and our girls need to be able to have a resource and a core they can go back to so they have an approach to handling it and feel confident in addressing it, with support systems, and understand why they approach it the way they do,” she says.

Founded in 2000, the nonprofit is an independent council of Girls on the Run International, which grew out of a nonprofit formed in Charlotte in 1996.

Counting on over 55,000 volunteers, Girls on the Run programs now serve over 130,000 girls in more than 200 cities in North America each year.

Girls on the Run of the Triangle operates with an annual budget of $450,000, a staff of three full-time and three part-time employees, and roughly 600 volunteers, and will serve 1,600 girls in grades three through five this year, three times the total it served four years ago.

Two-thirds of the girls are from Wake County and the others are split roughly evenly between Durham and Orange counties.

Girls participate in a 24-course program offered over 12 weeks in the fall and again in the spring, and hosted at public and private schools, after-school youth programs, and churches. Each program culminates with a 5K event.

While girls train for the 5K, they also learn about and practice strategies and skills such as goal-setting, communication and teamwork to build their confidence and self-esteem and address problems such as conflicts, bullying and peer pressure.

A group of four girls might be given a scenario, for example, in which a boy seated behind them in class is copying their work. Each girl then would be asked, while running a lap, to compose a phrase to respond to the boy. On completing the lap, the girls would share their responses, and then would be given a new scenario for their next lap.

“They’re thinking and doing something while running,” Simpson-Vos says.

Girls on the Run generates 65 percent of its revenue through fees and the rest through contributions. Participation in the 12-week program costs $200, and one-third of the girls receive a scholarship. Top sponsors include Quintiles and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.

The nonprofit aims to be serving nearly 2,200 girls a year in 2017, and to expand the program to include older girls and women, beginning with a pilot this fall that will add one middle school each in Wake, Durham and Orange counties, and adding another 10 to 12 middle schools the following spring.

Eventually, Girls on the Run will expand to include high-school girls as “junior coaches,” more college girls as coaches, as well as mothers who serve as coaches or encourage their daughters to participate.’

“The idea is to provide programming that serves the entire life cycle of a girl and a continuum of these ideas and values,” Simpson-Vos says.

“The thing we’re doing is building strong, courageous girls,” she says. “Having the ability to understand who you are and what you’re made of and what your values are is the foundation for courage.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 04.03.15

Ronald McDonald House to open at WakeMed

Ronald McDonald House of Durham is set to open a new program at WakeMed Children’s Hospital in Raleigh.

The new Ronald McDonald House, which will begin operations on April 15, will be located at WakeMed’s Heart Center Inn on the third floor of WakeMed Heart Center.

It will include five bedrooms to support the families of pediatric and neonatal intensive care patients, and will be the second house program operated by Ronald McDonald House of Durham.

Since the 2010 opening of WakeMed Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House of Durham has operated a family room program at the hospital.

The expanded program will offer families of pediatric patients access to sleeping rooms, meals and activities that provide emotional support while keeping them close to their hospitalized infants and children.

Nonprofits see fundraising grow

Sixty-three percent of nonprofits in the U.S. and Canada responding to a survey by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative say fundraising receipts grew in 2014, while 73 percent of U.S. nonprofits and 66 percent of Canadian nonprofits say they met their fundraising goal.

The share of nonprofits that saw an increase — the largest share since 2007, before the economy crashed — is up from 62 percent in 2013, 58 percent in 2012, 53 percent in 2011, and 43 percent in 2010, says the Winter 2015 Nonprofit Fundraising Survey, which is based on responses from over 1,200 nonprofits.

The share of U.S. nonprofits that met their fundraising goal is up from 59 percent in 2013 and 63 percent in 2012, while the share of Canadian nonprofits that met their goal is up from  52 percent in 2013.

Seventy percent of arts nonprofits saw an increase in fundraising, the biggest share in any field of interest and up from 52 percent in 2013.

Charitable receipts grew at 56 percent of health nonprofits, the lowest share in any field of interest and down from 65 percent in 2013.

Big foundations spend little on leadership development

From 2003 to 2012, the top U.S. foundations dedicated only 0.9 percent of total grant dollars and only 0.8 percent of total grants to nonprofit leadership development, says Cultivating Nonprofit Leadership, a report from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.

Funding for leadership development fell to roughly $160 million in 2012 from a high of nearly $270 million in 2007.

Grantmaking focused on social justice was an exception, the report says, with funding for leadership development accounting for 3.9 percent of grantmaking for social justice, which accounted for 54 percent of dollars for leadership development,

For-profit businesses routinely invest $129 per employee for leadership development every year, compared to only $29 per employee invested for leadership development by the civic sector, the report says.

Band event to benefit StepUP Ministry

Band Together NC, a nonprofit that uses live music as a platform for social change, is holding its fifth-annual “Last Band Standing” event on April 10 at Lincoln Theatre in downtown Raleigh to raise money to support its 2015 nonprofit partner, StepUP Ministry.

Raleigh nonprofits team up on fundraising

Passage Home, a nonprofit that works to fight poverty and homelessness in Wake County, and the J.D. Lewis Multi-Purpose Center, a nonprofit that provides educational opportunities for youth, are working together to raise $250,000 this year to support local families struggling to make ends meet.

The joint fundraising campaign will include a kickoff VIP event on May 2 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and a summer festival on August 1 at Needham B. Broughton High School.

Greensboro Hospice marks 25 years

Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, says it has served over 25,000 patients since it was formed in 1980, as well as thousands more through its bereavement services.

SAFEchild gets $25,000

SAFEchild in Raleigh received a $25,000 grant from the Nationwide Foundation to support its PLUS Program, which works to help at-risk families in Wake County learn to stop child abuse, and encourages readiness and success in school.

Winston-Salem Foundation awards grants to teachers

The Winston-Salem Foundation awarded a total of $80,286 in grants for professional development to 53 teachers from kindergarten through 12th grade in the Winston- Salem/Forsyth County Schools.

Triad Association of Health Underwriters gets award

The Triad Association of Health Underwriters has received the Silver Certification from the National Association of Health Underwriters. The award is given to “Excelling Chapters” throughout the calendar year.

U.S. Green Building Council adds Wilmington branch

The Cape Fear Provisional Branch of the North Carolina Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council has been elevated to a full branch.

The Wilmington-based branch joins existing branches of the chapter in the Triangle, Piedmont-Triad, and Charlotte regions.

High Point Salvation Army to host community event

The Salvation Army of High Point will sponsoring an Easter Eggstravaganza on April 4 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 121 SW Cloverleaf Place.

The day-long event for adults and children will feature a range of free activities.

Davidson County Hospice to hold golf tournament

Hospice of Davidson County will hold its 8th annual Benefit Golf Tournament on April 23 at Sapona Ridge Country Club in Lexington.

AIDS Walk Charlotte set for May 2

The 19th annual AIDS WALK Charlotte, the largest annual fundraiser for the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network, or RAIN, will be held May 2 at Gateway Village Promenade at 800 W. Trade St. 

Duke gets $6 million

Duke University has been awarded a $6 million grant from the Lilly Endowment to support leadership education at Duke Divinity School focused on professional development opportunities for leaders in church and nonprofit ministries.

Showcase your nonprofit’s successes

Good stories can be a great way to engage donors.

So your nonprofit should tell stories about the difference it is making in the lives of the people you serve.

Keep your stories simple, and use details to make them sing. Do not downplay the problems you address, and do not overplay the impact you have. Keep it real.

Talk about the need you address. Explain its causes. They may be complicated, so make them easy for anyone to understand. Avoid jargon and technical explanations. Use every-day words.

Describe how the problem you address affects people. Spare no details, even if they seem unpleasant. Strive to be candid, without either sugarcoating reality or rubbing your readers’ noses in it. Your story lies in the details of real life, told clearly and honestly.

Talk about the services your nonprofit provides.  Explain what you do, why you do it, who you serve, and the difference you make in their lives. Again, details matter. They bring your story to life.

Describe the supporters and partners you count on. You may be part of a complicated collaborative effort. So explain the partners’ roles and responsibilities, and make clear how and why your partnership works.

And use one or two key pieces of data to show your actual impact. Be selective in which data you select. Do not swamp your readers with a lot of numbers.

Donors increasingly want to see a measurable return on their investment, and you can use data to help donors see the impact of contributed dollars.

Post your stories on your website. Feature them in your newsletter. Run short versions in your fundraising materials. Consider turning them into short videos that highlight your work and its impact on the people you serve. And use social media to drive readers to the stories and videos you post.

Donors want to know why they should care, and why they should support you.

Show them by telling stories that are clear, concise, candid and compelling.

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