Nonprofit news roundup, 07.17.15

ArtsGreensboro exceeds $1.2 million goal

ArtsGreensboro raised over $1.2 million in its 2015 ArtsFund drive, exceeding its goal by $16,000 and the total it raised last year by $13,000.

Co-chaired by ArtsGreensboro Board members Denny Kelly and Josephus Thompson III, the drive attracted nearly 1,300 individual, corporate and foundation donors, up seven percent from last year.

With funds it raises in the drive, ArtsGreensboro provides grants and other support annually to over 60 arts organizations, arts projects, teachers, and artists.

This year’s total includes $70,000 from Lincoln Financial Foundation, which will give another $70,000 to each of the next two annual ArtsFund drives.

Lincoln Financial Foundation also will give $10,000 a year for three years to the National Folk Festival, which will be in Greensboro for a three-year residency, starting this September 11-13.

Co-producing the Festival will be ArtsGreensboro and the National Council for the Traditional Arts.

This year, the Lincoln Financial also will provide the Festival with the use of its Market Street parking lot for a stage.

The Festival also announced that Natty Greene’s Brewing Co. and Foothills Brewing Company will serve as its craft beer sponsors this year, and that Triad McDonald’s Restaurants will sponsor the Family Stage.

Charlotte event to link nonprofits, young professionals

RAIN Young Affiliates and The Fillmore Charlotte will host the third annual Young Professionals Multi-Group Mixer on July 22 to connect professionals ages 21 to 40 with 21 local nonprofits.

Groups participating in the event, to be held from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m at The Fillmore Charlotte at 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd., include Opera Carolina, Isabella Santos Foundation, RAIN, Project One Scholarship Fund, Ronald McDonald House, Safe Alliance and #WTFwevote, among others.

Study ties poverty to low academic performance

Poverty and low academic performance in North Carolina are closely connected, with counties that are home to few jobs and little economic development typically experiencing poor outcomes in health and wellness, and low educational attainment, a new white paper says.

Released by MetaMetrics and based on an analysis of the Roadmap of Need, a report from the Center for After School Programs at the Public School Forum of North Carolina, the white paper says poor counties offer little economic opportunity and generally score poorly on the variables in the Roadmap of Need.

The Roadmap tracks a broad range of socioeconomic, educational, and health and wellness metrics that affect young people.

The white paper also says that over the past two years, when North Carolina substantially raised academic standards, declines in the share of third graders who performed well on end-of-grade assessments reflect elevated academic standards and not a drop in students’ actual reading abilities.

Duke gets $20 million from Gates Foundation

Duke Global Health Institute has been awarded a $20 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help educate a new generation of leaders and experts, and build research capacity to address global health challenges, including Ebola and MERS.

The grant includes $10 million in endowment support for the Institute, and $10 million to support a challenge that will match one dollar for every dollar given — making the total impact of the grant $30 million.

Sisters of Mercy Foundation gives $1.85 million

Sisters of Mercy of North Carolina Foundation awarded 17 grants totaling over $1.85 million to 37 nonprofits.

The grants included 18 totaling $821,504 for education; 11 totaling $616,960 for social services; and eight totaling $415,595 for health care.

Grants were awarded to organizations in Buncombe, Cabarrus, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Guilford, Jackson, Lincolnton, Macon, Madison, Mecklenburg, Mitchell, Rowan, and Rutherford in North Carolina, and York in South Carolina.

John Rex Endowment awards $803,000

John Rex Endowment in Raleigh awarded a four-year grant of $769,271 to support new programs to increase the capacity of WakeMed Physician Practices – Pediatrics to promote the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive health of children, and $34,055 to Triangle Family Services to build its organizational capacity.

Teach for America gets $50,000

Duke Energy Foundation is giving $50,000 to Teach for America to help it expand access to science, technology, engineering and math teaching in local schools in North Carolina, particularly in rural communities.

Comedy event to benefit Different Roads Home

Different Roads Home in Charlotte will benefit from “A Sordid Affair,” a comedy event September 26 the McGlohon Theater in Charlotte.

Sponsored by Rosedale Infectious Diseases, the event will feature writer and producer Del Shores, actress Caroline Rhea and actor Leslie Jordan.

Dental-education grants available

The Delta Dental Foundation through its Smiles for Kids grants program will award a total of up to $35,000 in grants of up to $5,000 each to nonprofits to support dental education initiatives and programs designed to promote children’s oral health, especially to those in underserved areas.

The deadline for submitting grant applications is September 30.

Event to support mammograms at Women’s Hospital

The 23rd Women’s Only 5K Walk & Run will be held October 3 at the Women’s Hospital in Greensboro, with proceeds used to be used to provide screening mammograms through the Mammography Scholarship Fund to women who otherwise might not be able to afford them.

The event, one of the largest races of its type in the Southeast, last year attracted over 2,500 women raised $110,316.

Bailey joins United Arts Council board

Kay Bailey, manager and regional human resource consultant for First Citizens Bank, has joined the board of directors of United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County.

Foundation hosts summer camp

The David Amerson Defending Hands Foundation held its second annual football camp on July 11 at Dudley High School in Greensboro for over 100 young men.

On behalf of the foundation, David Amerson’s family awarded 15 scholarships to the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of High Point for members to attend the camp at no charge.

Fidelity Charitable makes nearly $1.5 billion in grants

Fidelity Charitable made over 310,000 donor-recommended grants totaling nearly $1.5 billion in the first six months of 2015, up 33 percent from the same period last year. Those grants supported 69,000 charities.

Schwab Charitable awards $1 billion in grants

Schwab Charitable awarded $1.06 billion in grants for its donors in fiscal 2015, up 30 percent from the previous fiscal year. Those grants supported over 42,000 charities.

Appreciated investments or assets represented 69 percent of contributions to donor-advised-fund accounts at Schwab Charitable.

Make the most of your nonprofit’s stories

The stories your charity tells can be a powerful way to raise awareness about community needs and to enlist the supporters and other partners you need to address those needs.

So make the most of your stories.

If you write a basic narrative about your charity — who you are, the need you address, the people you serve, what you do, the difference you make — you can use it in many ways.

Post it on your website on your main page and in your “About us” section. Include it or a shorter version of it in your newsletter, annual report, marketing materials and case for support. Use it to develop talking points your staff and board can use in speaking to donors. Boil it down to a short paragraph you can use to describe your nonprofit at the end of your news releases.

Take the same approach when you write stories about gifts, grants, new programs, new partnerships, new staff and board members, awards you receive, and other news.

Post those items on your website and distribute them through your social media channels, and then publish or summarize them in your newsletter and possibly in your annual report.

Your stories are your lifeline to your donors, constituents and other partners. So use all your media channels to distribute your stories and keep your supporters and constituents informed about your work and your impact.

Want professional 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

Banding together to make a difference

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — When five Raleigh friends got together on Sept. 11, 2001, to watch the news about the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., they decided to try to do something to support survivors’ families.

Their solution was Band Together for Our Heroes, a live concert in downtown Raleigh two months later that featured four bands, included two firefighters from New York City, attracted 1,300 guests and raised $56,000 for the Survivors Fund.

A year later, the friends formed Band Together, a nonprofit that would use live music to raise money, particularly from the business community, to support disaster relief and local nonprofits.

Typically partnering with a single nonprofit each year, Band Together has donated nearly $5.5 million to local nonprofits and become the largest charitable music event in the Southeast.

In 2005, it raised $175,000 for Raleigh-based Stop Hunger Now to provide relief for victims of the tsunami in South Asia, and $47,000 for the Raleigh-based Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina to provide relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

In recent years, it has developed a strategy it calls “partnership philanthropy,” working closely with an annual partner to raise money together and strengthen their respective organizations.

“We invest ourselves into that organization, and they invest themselves into ours, working for a year in a major campaign that ends in a massive concert,” says Danny Rosin, a co-founder of Band Together and owner of Brand Fuel, a promotional advertising firm in Research Triangle Park.

The goals each year for both partners are “not only to raise funds and awareness, but also to learn better nonprofit skills,” says Rosin, a self-described “uber fan of live music,” who served until four years ago as Band Together’s volunteer director and until a year ago as its board president. He now heads its advisory board, which raises over 60 percent of its funds.

This past year, Band Together’s partnership with StepUp Ministry in Raleigh — the two groups also partnered in 2010 — raised $2 million.

Band Together raised $500,000 of the total through a series of fundraising activities, including a live concert on June 27 at the Red Hat Amphitheater in downtown Raleigh, and StepUp raised $1.5 million. Each had challenged the other to raise those totals.

StepUp, an interfaith nonprofit founded in 1988 that works to equip low-income and homeless people with skills to live independently, plans to use the funds to open a Durham operation in August, to create StepUp North Carolina to oversee the startup of new StepUps throughout the state, and to support the original StepUp in Raleigh.

The partnership with Band Together helped boost awareness of StepUp throughout the Triangle and helped it raise money by treating the partnership like a capital campaign with a specific focus, in this case expanding to Durham and eventually other communities, says Linda Nunnallee, executive director of StepUp Raleigh.

Band Together, which counts on volunteers to handle most of its fundraising and concert planning and logistics, is an “open-source” nonprofit, Rosin says, sharing donor information with its annual partner, visiting prospective donors together, and co-branding marketing materials.

Rosin, for example, brought Nunnallee on a fundraising visit to Cargill, a Band Together funder, which agreed to give $10,000. Band Together gets 15 percent of the net proceeds of funds the partnership raises to support its operations, and StepUp receives the remainder.

“Together we’re better,” Rosin says.

Band Together picks its annual partner based on an intensive vetting process, operates rent-free in its partner’s offices, and works with its partner to strengthen the leadership of their respective organizations.

“We want to leave our partners better than we found them,” says Matt Strickland, who became Band Together’s first executive director and paid employee in 2011.

Now, Band Together aims to increase the value of its annual concert for donors and sponsors, such as improving VIP networking opportunities for their clients, employees and vendors.

And it is looking for ways to provide smaller nonprofits with some of the funds its annual partnerships raises, and possibly help build those smaller groups’ organizational “capacity,” Rosin says.

“There are smaller agencies doing great work that we want to support,” he says.

Nonprofit news roundup, 07.10.15

N.C. Central raises $7.4 million

North Carolina Central University in Durham received over $7.4 million in gifts in the fiscal year ended June 30, up from $5.42 million a year earlier.

Alumni giving totaled $2.1 million, with alumni participation totaling 15 percent, up 3 percentage points from the previous fiscal year.

Individuals contributed over 71 percent of the gifts in the fiscal year just ended.

High Point Regional employee drive raises $150,000

Over 660 staff members at High Point Regional Health contributed over $150,000 during a four-week GiveStrong! Employee Giving Campaign that has generated over $585,000 in the past five years.

Employee donations will support five areas at the hospital, including Area of Greatest Need, Diabetes Patient Scholarship Fund, Inpatient Pediatrics Fund, Patient Special Needs and Project Care.

Employees were given the option of designating where they would like their contribution to go.

Family Promise suspends operations

Family Promise of Guilford County has suspended its operations as a family emergency shelter.

Citing its “financial situation,” the agency said in an email message to friends that it had placed its four families in an extended-stay hotel where they will stay until mid-July, when YWCA Greensboro will open its family shelter and provide emergency shelter for the families.

Family Promise recently announced that Michele Cheek, its case manager, had been named program director YWCA’s family shelter.

Forsyth United Way gets $200,000

United Way of Forsyth County has received a $200,000 grant to help low- and moderate-income residents get financial coaching and improve their financial skills.

The grant is part of the Financial Capability Network, a partnership between United Way and Wells Fargo.

Established in 2012 with a five-year, $5 million Wells Fargo grant, the network aims to strengthen the financial stability of individuals and families in Forsyth County and seven other communities throughout the U.S.

RiverRun Film Festival gets $148,400

The RiverRun International Film Festival in Winston-Salem is has received a total of $148,400 in operating and project grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Millennium Fund, James G. Hanes Foundation, City of Winston-Salem, The Winston-Salem Foundation, and Forsyth County Tourism Development Authority.

‘Teacher of Year’ joins Public School Forum

James E. Ford, 2014-15 North Carolina Teacher of the Year and a world history and sociology teacher at Garinger High School in Charlotte, has been named program director at the Public School Forum of North Carolina.

Ford, who will be based in Charlotte, will lead a new statewide program to support and engage beginning teachers, and will play a key role in the Forum’s education policy work, including new efforts to advance educational opportunities for all children in the state.

Methodist Home names eight to board

The Methodist Home for Children elected eight new members to its board of directors, including Albert Blackmon of Clayton, an account executive at SAS; Airen Blaine of Cary, a community volunteer; Chris Brady of Raleigh, pastor of Wilson Temple United Methodist Church; Rick Roeder of Raleigh, manager of the Portfolio Strategist Group at First Citizens Bank; Jane Spicer of Wilmington, a physical therapist and community volunteer; Linda Taylor of Emerald Isle, superintendent of the Sound District for the N.C. Conference of the United Methodist Church; Jessica Vickers of Raleigh, an associate at Manning Fulton; and Richard Woods of Chapel Hill, chief operating officer and co-founder of Hamilton Point Investment Advisors.

Cat shelter gets $2,000

SAFE Haven for Cats in Raleigh received a $2,000 grant from Lil Bub’s Big Fund for the ASPCA to support homeless pets that need special care or extra help getting adopted. The funding will offset costs associated with care and placement of cats that arrive at the shelter with physical deformities, birth defects, or wounds suffered from a disaster, accident or abuse.

McNeill new board chair at Ravenscroft School

Caryn Coppedge McNeill, a partner at law firm Smith Anderson, has been elected chair of the board of trustees of Ravenscroft School in Raleigh.

Rehm joins StepUp Ministry board

Robert Rehm, a partner at law firm Smith Anderson, has been selected to serve on the board of directors of StepUp Ministry in Raleigh.

New marketing and PR director at Salvation Army

Veteran broadcaster Bob Campbell has joined the Winston-Salem Area Command of The Salvation Army as director of marketing and public relations.

Campbell, former on-air radio host at WTHZ/Majic 941 and 600WSJS in the Triad, also worked on air and in radio management in Boston; Detroit; Charleston, W.Va.; Oklahoma City; and Richmond and Norfolk, Va.

Running event raises $5,600 for food bank

Matt’s 10K Run to Fight Hunger, an event on July 4 hosted by Matt and Amy Ketterman, owners of Got You Floored in Greensboro, raised $5,600 for Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina.

Charlotte event to honor Purple Heart recipients

The Greater Charlotte Purple Heart Dinner Committee will honor Charlotte-area Purple Heart recipients and their families at a dinner August 15 at 5 p.m. at the Le Méridien hotel in Charlotte.

The event will be the first of its kind in Charlotte.

The Purple Heart decoration is awarded to those who have been wounded or killed while serving with the U.S. military.

Local firms team with Big Brothers Big Sisters

Tar Heel Basement Systems partnered with Merlot and VanGogh, and Which Wich, on an event on July 9 for kids participating in an eight-week summer reading program provided by Big Brothers Big Sisters Services in Winston-Salem.

Alzheimer’s Association to benefit from ice-cream event

The Alzheimer’s Association will receive all proceeds from an ice-cream event on July 31 to be hosted by Woodland Place Assisted Living from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at 1915 Boulevard St. in Greensboro.

Davidson Hospice to hold volunteer training

Hospice of Davidson County has scheduled a training session for new volunteers on July 28 through July 30 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. each day at the Administrative Building on its campus at 200 Hospice Way in Lexington.

Woodruff to speak at women’s luncheon

Lee Woodruff, a best-selling author, network news contributor and philanthropist, will be the headline speaker at the sixth annual Women to Women’s Celebration Luncheon on October 19 at Joseph S. Koury Convention Center.

Woodruff is married to Bob Woodruff, former co-anchor of ABC World News Tonight, who sustained a  traumatic brain injury while reporting from Iraq,

Actress Marlo Thomas, who had been scheduled to be the speaker, has cancelled her appearance, opting instead to appear in a play that will be in production at the time of the event. 

The Women to Women fund is an endowed grantmaking fund at The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro.

Arts Council names communications coordinator

Sydney Leonard, who worked in communications and outreach for the City of Raleigh, has been named communications coordinator for United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County.

Junior Achievement names four to board

Junior Achievement of Eastern North Carolina elected four new members to its board of Directors, including Harninder Bassi, director of operations at Cisco; Steven Ismaili, assistant vice president at MetLife; Carmen Maye Lucas, vice president at Wells Fargo; and Colleen Savarese, manager of human resources at LORD Corp.

Self-Help awards $9,000 in scholarships

Self-Help Credit Union awarded a total of $9,000 in education scholarships for students active in their community, with 18 credit union branches each selecting a $500 winner.

Work for your news coverage

If you want the news media to cover your nonprofit, you need to show them why your work matters and why their audiences should care.

Many nonprofits act as if they are owed coverage simply because their cause is worthy. They distribute news releases that do not focus on why their news justifies attention, and then they seem surprised if news organizations do not report on them.

That’s not the way it works.

Just as a nonprofit would not expect to get a gift without any effort to cultivate the donor and without making a compelling case for why the donor should make a gift, nonprofits need to build relationships with reporters and editors, and to show them the value of their news.

So write news releases that focus on the news, not on the leaders of your nonprofit.

Distribute the news releases to the right person at each of the news organizations you are targeting.

And follow up with a phone call to make sure those individuals received the news release and to make the case that the story is worth covering.

That takes work and does not guarantee coverage, but your focus should be not only on an individual news story but on the larger goal of helping the media better understand your organization and your cause.

So make your news releases clear and make them help news organizations see why the news should matter to their audiences. And make sure you get your news releases to the right people, and that you follow up to make sure they received your release and understand its importance.

If you want news coverage, do not assume you deserve it. You have to work for it.

Want professional 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

Nonprofit news roundup 07.02.15

StepUp partnership with Band Together raises $2 million

A year-long partnership between StepUp Ministry and Band Together has raised over $2 million that StepUp will use to establish StepUp in Durham, to create StepUp North Carolina as an umbrella organization to oversee the creation of new StepUps throughout the state, and to offer support to the original StepUp in Raleigh.

Band Together, a Raleigh nonprofit that uses live music to promote social change, raised $500,000 for StepUp through the partnership over the past year and at a concert on June 27, while StepUp raised $1.5 million.

Band Together has helped raise nearly $5.5 million for Triangle philanthropies since it was formed in 2001 and says it has become the largest charitable music event in the Southeast.

StepUp, an interfaith nonprofit founded in 1988, works to help low-income and homeless people become self-sufficient though life-skills preparation with volunteer partners and job training and placement.

Each year, it works with nearly 600 individuals in Wake County. As a result of its work, it says, over 800 Wake County adults, many of them in crisis or in need, have been placed in jobs over the last five years.

StepUp, which Band Together also selected as its partner in 2010, is the first nonprofit Band Together has partnered with twice.

Glazier to head Justice Center

Rick Glazier, a lawyer and Democratic member of the North Carolina House of Representatives from Fayetteville, has been named executive director of the North Carolina Justice Center in Raleigh.

Glazier plans to resign from the House and begin his new job at the end of the current legislative session.

He will succeed Bill Wilson, deputy director of the Justice Center, who has served as interim executive director since Melinda Lawrence retired as executive director at the end of 2014 after nearly eight years in the job.

Glazier, an employment and labor-law attorney, is a visiting professor in criminal justice at Fayetteville State University and teaches pre-trial law at Campbell University School of Law in Raleigh.

Sorhagen interim CEO at Prevent Child Abuse

Anne Sorhagen, former vice chair of the board of directors for Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina in Raleigh, has been named interim CEO at the organization.

Sorhagen, who is board treasurer and fundraising co-chair for the Cape Fear Guardian Ad Litem Association in Wilmington, succeeds Bud Lavery, who left Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina in April as president and CEO.

Lavery, former executive director of Communities in Schools of Durham, joined Prevent Child Abuse in July 2013, succeeding Rosie Allen Ryan, who had served as president and CEO since 2008.

PLM Families Together names development director

Jennifer Paul, development director at Thrive DC in Washington, D.C., has been named to the new position of development director at PLM Families Together in Raleigh.

Thrive DC serves meals and provides emergency and support services to 2,000 homeless and low-income individuals a year. PLM Families Together works to help families move from homelessness to independence.

Childers joins Cumberland Community Foundation

Darryl Childers, former director of operations for two charter schools in the Dominican Republic, has joined Cumberland Community Foundation as community relations manager.

Childers, who has master’s degree in public policy from Duke University and was the 2013-14 Shannon St. John Fellow at Triangle Community Foundation in Durham, will be responsible for the Foundation’s community grants programs, community relations, and donor engagement.

North Carolinians’ health coverage upheld by Supreme Court

The nearly half-million North Carolinians receiving health insurance subsidies under the federal Affordable Care Act will continue to receive them as a result of ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, says Legal Aid of North Carolina.

The ruling on June 25 rejected a challenge to the health care law. The challenge sought to end subsidies for residents of North Carolina and other states that had not set up their own state-based online exchanges for insurance plans and instead relied on the federal exchange at, Legal Aid says.

Legal Aid and other groups that are part of the North Carolina Navigator Consortium have received federal funding since 2013 to train and field health-care “navigators” who work one-on-one with consumers to help them understand the financial assistance that is available, and enroll in affordable health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act.

Baseball tournament raises $20,000 fund childhood cancer work

North Wake County Baseball Association raised over $20,000 for the Vs. Cancer Foundation at the Association’s 2nd Annual North Wake Vs. Cancer Benefit Tournament.

Funds raised at the tournament, which attracted 30 North Carolina-based youth teams with over 300 players who competed at the Factory Baseball Complex in Wake Forest,  help local and national pediatric cancer patients.

The Vs. Cancer Foundation half the proceeds go national childhood cancer research and half to the Lineberger Cancer Center and the North Carolina Children’s Hospital.

Charlotte fundraisers announce philanthropy award winners

The Charlotte chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals has announced the winners of its annual philanthropy awards. The winners, to be recognized at the chapter’s  annual National Philanthropy Day awards luncheon on November 18 at the Hilton Charlotte Center City, include:

* Outstanding Philanthropist: Howard Levine.

* Outstanding Professional Fundraiser: Jenni Gaisbauer.

* Outstanding Philanthropic Organization: Bank of America.

* Outstanding Philanthropic Small Business: Two Men and a Truck.

* Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser: Edward O’Keefe.

* Outstanding Emerging Philanthropist: Dale Gillmore.

* Outstanding Student Philanthropist: James McLelland.

* Outstanding Champion of Diversity: Charlie Elberson.

* Outstanding Legacy: Mary Liz Francis.

 N.C. Community Foundation hires communications specialist

Louis Duke, a recent graduate of Campbell University in Buies Creek, has joined the North Carolina Community Foundation in Raleigh as communications specialist.

Red Hat CEO to keynote Poe Center annual meeting

Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat, will be the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of The Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education in Raleigh.

The meeting will held September 24 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Poe Center at 224 Sunnybrook Rd.

Hospitality House to host open house

Hospitality House of Charlotte, which recently turned 30, will host a Birthday Celebration Open House on July 22 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at its facility at 1400 Scott Ave.