Nonprofit news roundup, 10.30.15

Underserved communities focus of new partnership

The North Carolina Community Development Initiative and North Carolina Housing Coalition have formed a strategic partnership to boost economic opportunity and affordable housing in the state’s hardest-hit and underserved communities.

Through an interlocking board, not a merger, the Development Initiative will function as a holding company for Initiative Capital, its lending arm, and for the Housing Coalition.

Tara Kenchen, president and CEO of the Development Initiative and of Initiative Capital, serves as CEO of the holding company, while Satana Deberry serves as executive director of the Housing Coalition.

Both organizations now are located at the Initiative’s headquarters at 5800 Faringdon Place in Raleigh.

The combined organization will focus on nurturing community-based leadership and stimulating social innovation; advocating for local and state community economic development and housing policies; and providing access to capital to finance community development.

Donated pies to help boost services for people in need

Alliance Medical Ministry and StepUp Ministry in Raleigh have launched a campaign to sell donated pies for Thanksgiving to support their collaborative work to provide affordable health care to working people who are uninsured, and job and life skills to people looking for work.

Through the campaign, known as Share the Pie, the two nonprofits are recruiting professional bakers from restaurants, caterers and bakers in Raleigh and Cary to donate pumpkin, pecan and chocolate pies they will sell through their websites.

Serving as pick-up locations for customers on November 24 and 25 will be Edenton Street Methodist Church, Hudson Memorial Presbyterian Church, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church and White Memorial Presbyterian Church, all in Raleigh, and Cary First United Methodist Church.

Share the Pie is modeled on Pie in the Sky, an event in Boston for over 20 years.

Report maps characteristics of foundation boards

Relatives of the original donors to private foundations serve on half their boards, 95 percent of board members have specific knowledge about their foundations’ programs, and 46 percent of foundations compensate all board members.

Those are among the findings of a new report, Benchmarking Foundation Governance, from The Center for Effective Philanthropy. The report is based on survey responses from CEOs at 64 private, U.S.-based foundations giving at least $10 million a year.

Thirty-nine percent of foundation boards have discretionary funds that board members can use to make grants with little or no staff involvement, the report says.

The median annual discretionary grant budget for board members is $50,000, while the discretionary budget for 25 percent of boards is $100,000 or more.

“There is no single right way for a foundation board to organize itself,” says Ellie Buteau, vice president for research at The Center for Effective Philanthropy and co-author of the report. “Form needs to follow function.”

The report is part of a larger benchmarking study funded by the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation. Survey questions related to governance were designed in partnership with BoardSource.

Arts Council awards $1.8 million

The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County awarded 109 grants totaling $1.8 million to 38 organizations, including some that received multiple grants, and 16 individuals.

The Council awarded 14 grants totaling nearly $1.4 million for organizational support; 14 grants totaling $112,000 for annual events and series; 11 Duke Energy grants totaling $15,000 for regional artist projects; 13 grants totaling $49,000 for innovative projects; seven mini-grants totaling $15,000 for community enrichment; and 10 grants totaling $107,600 for advertising assistance.

Autism Society raises $330,000

The Autism Society of North Carolina raised over $330,000 at events in Greensboro, Asheville, and Raleigh this fall.

It will use the funds to support individuals and families throughout the state living with autism.

SECU Family House honored, launches campaign

SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals received first-place awards for its annual report and website from the Healthcare Hospitality Network, marking the second straight year its annual report has won the award.

SECU Family House also launched a campaign to raise $40,000 in 40 days in response to a challenge by a group of donors who agreed to match the total if the organization can raise it by December 1.

Tompkins leaves N.C. Center for Nonprofits for McGladrey

Tim Tompkins, who joined the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits in March 2014 as chief sustainability officer, has left the membership organization to become a director at McGladrey, the audit, tax and consulting firm.

Tompkins previously was director of business development at Hughes Pittman & Gupton, and at Grant Thornton.

Wake Tech fundraiser honored

Mort Congleton, vice president at Wake Tech and executive director of the Wake Tech Foundation, has received the Distinguished Service Award from the North Carolina Council of Resource Development. The Council consists of resource development officers from community colleges across the state.

Business women create patients’ fund

Joy Poger, CEO and co-founder of Buzzy Multimedia in Greensboro, and business partner June Williams, donated $30,000 to establish the Wesley Long Patients Comfort Fund at Wesley Long Hospital in Greensboro.

Children’s Museum gets $150,000

The Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem has been awarded a federal grant of $150,000 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

This grant, which the Museum must match, will support the development, prototyping, fabrication and installation of a 1,000-square-foot theatre-themed maker space and associated programming, to be known as The Prop Shop.

Guilford coalition focuses on homeless veterans

Since January, a collaborative effort in Guilford County working to end homelessness among veterans by the end of the year, has helped house 113 veterans who had been homeless.

The local effort — part of Zero: 2016, a national movement of 75 communities — is working to find housing for 78 veterans who still are homeless.

The local effort includes Partners Ending Homelessness, lead agency for the Guilford County Continuum of Care, as well as The Community Coalition, a group of partners throughout Guilford County that provides oversight to processes and activities for the Continuum of Care.

Thompson joins Wake Boys & Girls Clubs Hall of Fame

Sammy Thompson, a partner at law firm Smith Anderson and a former president of the board of directors of the Wake County Boys & Girls Clubs has been inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame.

Habitat Matthews opening larger ReStore

Habitat for Humanity of Matthews will open a new ReStore at 2447 E. John St. at 9 a.m. on Nov. 7.

The new store totals 15,000 square feet, nearly three times the size of its former space on East Charles Street.

Duke gets $8.36 million

Duke University received a gift of $8.36 million gift from alumnus Karl von der Heyden, a Duke trustee emeritus and retired vice chairman of PepsiCo, and his wife, Mary Ellen.

The gift will support the arts at Duke and graduate students at the Duke Global Health Institute

Guilford Adult Health gets grant

Guilford Adult Health, which provides medical and dental care to underserved individuals in Greensboro, has been awarded a grant from The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro to provide strategic planning training for its staff and board of directors.

Local foundations award grants

The Warren County Community Foundation awarded grants to The Warren Family Institute, Loaves & Fishes, and Prevent Blindness North Carolina, while the Wilson County Community Foundation awarded a grant to  Hope Station.

Both Foundations are affiliates of the North Carolina Community Foundation.

Tell the story of your collaboration

If your charity teams with other groups to address an urgent need, take the time to help people understand how you work together and the difference your partnership makes for your community.

Many nonprofits talk a lot about the need for collaboration, and many foundations and corporate funders use their funding to encourage groups to form partnerships to make a bigger impact in addressing a problem.

Yet too few nonprofits bother to try to help their supporters understand how collaboration works, including the challenges and benefits of creating and carrying out effective partnership.

So make it easy for the people you count on for support to see the value of investing in joint initiatives.

First, provide some basic background. What is the community need? Who does it affect, and how? What are its causes? What already is being done about it? What is the impact of existing solutions? What are gaps in exising services?

Then, talk about your collaboration. What is its goal, and how does it plan to achieve it? Who are the partners, and what role does each play in the partnership? What led to your working together? What hurdles have you had to deal with in making the collaboration work, and what have you done to overrcome them? Why do you expect the impact of your collective effort will produce better results than the work each partner had been doing on its own? What difference has the effort actually made for the people and community you serve?

Collaboration can be difficult, slow, messy, frustrating work, and simply saying you work in partnership with other groups may sound good but does not help people understand why your collaboration matters and why they should support it.

If you want donors and other partners to join you in working together to take on a pressing community need, tell stories that help them see the return they can expect to get from collaborating with you.

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

AnimalKind focuses on low-income pet owners

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — Each year throughout North Carolina, with animal shelters struggling to handle an escalating population of cats and dogs, 160,000 animals are euthanized, including about 16,000 in Wake, Durham and Orange counties.

In the Triangle, the annual cost to taxpayers to run animal shelters is $5 million.

And low-income communities generate an estimated 85 percent to 90 percent of the pet population.

“Less fortunate communities don’t have the information or financial resources, and live in ‘pet-care deserts,'” says Martin Banning, executive director of AnimalKind.

AnimalKind, a Raleigh nonprofit, aims to end the unnecessary euthanasia of adoptable cats and dogs in North Carolina shelters by targeting its work low-income communities.

In 2014, through a voucher program that charges a $20 co-pay for spaying or neutering that typically costs $100 to $150, AnimalKind contracted with local veterinarians and clinics that performed 938 surgeries in Cary and in Caswell, Durham, Orange and Person counties.

In September, it expanded the program to Alamance County. And if it can secure funding, it wants to expand to Chatham, Harnett and Johnston counties.

Helping to reimburse the cost of the surgeries is the Spay/Neuter Program of the Animal Welfare Section of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, using revenue from the sale by the state Division of Motor Vehicles of the “I Care” license plate.

Last year, the state sold nearly 8,000 of those license plates, generating over $159,000, says Penny Page, spay/neuter coordinator for the Animal Welfare Section. The plates cost $30 more than standard license plates, with $20 from each plate going to the Spay/Neuter Program.

Founded in 1998 and operating with an annual budget of $500,000 and a staff of four people working full-time and eight working part-time, AnimalKind in September launched a pilot program in Alamance County to provide free spay and neutering surgeries. It targets high-poverty, low-income zip-code areas.

Through the program, AnimalKind connects pet owners with free pet food, vaccines and animal-welfare services.

AnimalKind raised $55,000 to launch the pilot, and aims to raise $75,000 each to expand it to Wake and Orange counties.

AnimalKind also operates the SpayNC Helpline at 1-888-NC-FIX-EM that connects callers with reduced-cost clinics, vets and-pet-care resources. The helpline fields about 100 calls a month and is tied to an online map used by 1,300 to 1,500 visitors a month.

In Caswell and Person counties, through a partnership with Planned Pethood, a Greensboro clinic, AnimalKind also pays for to transport pets to be spayed or neutered.

AnimalKind generates about 60 percent of its budget through a retail thrift shop it operates at 2120 Spring Forest Road, and is hiring its first development director, who will work to diversify its funding base.

“Until we get into the neighborhoods and spay and neuter the pets that can be spayed and neutered,” Banning says, “we’re going to have the rescues and shelters overwhelmed.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 10.23.15

Fayetteville women’s giving group wins national award

The Women’s Giving Circle of Cumberland County received a Spotlight Award from The Women’s Collective Giving Grantmakers Network for the greatest contributions to community impact.

The award was announced in Charlotte on October 16 during the national forum of the Network, which consists of 46 community organizations and 10,000 women from throughout the U.S. who collectively have given over $70 million in grants to local nonprofits..

The Fayetteville group was recognized for identifying the homelessness of women and children as an emerging and unmet issue in Cumberland County and bringing community leaders, nonprofits and philanthropists together to create a new nonprofit to address it.

Founded 2008 and operating as a program of the Cumberland Community Foundation; the Women’s Giving Circle of Cumberland County focuses on women and children, with each member giving $550 a year, including $400 to the grant pool.

StepUp expands to Durham

Raleigh-based StepUp Ministry, which has placed over 3,500 people in jobs over the past 26 years, has opened StepUp Durham.

The new nonprofit, which expects to place 150 people in jobs in its first year, will offer its first week-long job-training class on October 26.

In addition to employment services, StepUp Durham also will provide free pre-employment screening, training, referral and support services to employers that hire StepUp participants.

And after its first year, it will offer a year-long personal and career development class to employed individuals.

StepUp Durham employs four people working full-time and three working part-time.

Its executive director is Syretta Hill, former director of neighborhood relations for Habitat for Humanity of Wake County.

Erin Roesch and Tim Wollin, former employment recruiters for StepUp Ministry Raleigh, serve, respectively, as director of development and employer recruitment, and as employment manager.

StepUp recently created StepUp North Carolina, a statewide umbrella organization to support local StepUps and expand the StepUp network.

In addition to Durham, local StepUps now operate in Raleigh and Greensboro.

Bell House property gets new tenant, plans

Creative Aging Network-NC, a Greensboro nonprofit that provides creative arts programming, education and training for older people, now is occupying the facility that formerly housed Bell House, a nonprofit that was home 30 years to individuals with physical disabilities before closing last year in the face of changes in state funding and policy.

Local developer Beacon Management has entered into an agreement to buy the site to develop an affordable-housing community for seniors, subject to local and state approvals and support, including the awarding of tax credits through a competitive process administered by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency.

Creative Aging Network-NC, which is occupying the Bell House site during a planning process that could take a year, has offered programs for two years in area retirement communities and in assisted-living, skilled-care and adult day-health facilities.

Individuals who live in or use those facilities now can take field trips to attend workshops at the Bell House location with others in the community.

Military court focus of United American Patriots gala

United American Patriots in Kernersville will host the 2015 Warrior Gala in Greensboro on November 25 to raise awareness about defending the military in military court.

Featured speakers at the event, to be held from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Greensboro – Airport, include Vicki Behenna, a former federal prosecutor and now director in the Oklahoma City office of Crowe & Dunlevy­; Captain Roger Hill, a war-crimes expert; and Sergeant Michael Patton Williams, who was convicted of a war crime, imprisoned and, with the assistance of United American Patriots, released on appeal.

United American Patriots says it has raised about $10 million and given about $6 million to assist soldiers and their families since it was founded in 2005.

Catholic School on move

Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School in High Point has opened a new program in science, technology, mathematics and engineering, or STEM; is set to open three new rooms on the second floor of its educational center; and has received LEED certification for its two-year old building.

The school launched the new Norcross STEM Program and is completing the Norcross Educational Center, thanks in part to a $2 million pledge from Rena and Mark Norcross of High Point. It is largest single donation ever for the Diocese of Charlotte.

The Norcross STEM program at the school will focus on addressing the need for more young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The LEED rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, recognizes buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for a better environment and human health.

Work has begun on the second story of the school’s Educational Center wing. The new area will have a dedicated science lab, which will become the new home for middle school STEM classes at the school.

Greensboro builders team with Habitat

The Greensboro Builders Association is partnering with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Greensboro to build five new houses in five days, starting November 2 in Quail Oaks West subdivision in northeast Greensboro.

The building blitz, which the two organizations launched in 2003, will bring to 55 homes the total they have built.

This year, 17 Association members will participate, with time and materials from the builders and their subcontractors, suppliers and volunteers.

Participants include Disney Construction Company; Don Mills Builders; Ron Foister Custom Homes; Precept Construction; Naylor Custom Homes; Windsor Homes & Gary Jobe Builder; J&B Builders; New Age Builders; John Hodgin Construction Co; Silverstein Construction Corp; SwiftCreek Construction; JLB Remodeling; FM Contracting; DLM Builders; Brickwood Builders; and Keystone Homes.

Reynolds Trust awards $1.4 million on health insurance

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in Winston-Salem awarded over $1.4 million in grants to eight organizations to support efforts to help educate North Carolinians about available health insurance options.

The groups will use the funds to reach out to low-income, Spanish-speaking, and rural North Carolinians.

The funds also will support statewide collaborative efforts among organizations working to maximize the number of people who enroll for health coverage through the Marketplace established by the federal Affordable Care Act.

 The grants bring to $4.4 million the investment the Reynolds Trust has made in helping North Carolinians identify and secure health insurance in the Marketplace.

Wake Forest law school launching Veterans Legal Clinic

The School of Law at Wake Forest University has launched a Veterans Legal Clinic to provide legal services to veterans who have legal issues stemming from or relating to their military service and who currently are underserved by existing programs.

The clinic aims to serve North Carolina military personnel including active duty service members, reservists, veterans and non-affiliated veterans.

Meredith College receives $1 million

Meredith College in Raleigh received a $1 million gift from alumna Bobbitt Clay Williams of the class of 1957 and her husband, Bill Williams, of Newport Beach, Calif.

Meredith will use the funds to support renovations to Johnson Hall, its main administration building.

A suite of offices in the building will be named the Bobbitt Clay Williams Executive Suite and is expected to open next spring.  

Medical Society gets $440,500

The North Carolina Medical Society Foundation has been awarded a three-year, $440,500 grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust for its Rural Accountable Care Organization Initiative to improve access to health care for people living in rural and underserved areas of the state.

Fresh Market raises $300,000

The Fresh Market raised just over $300,000 at its 178 stores in the Southeast, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions in its third annual Cupcakes for a Cause campaign to benefit No Kid Hungry.

Since it was launched in 2013, the campaign has raised over $1 million to help end childhood hunger in the U.S.

Miracle League raises $250,000

Miracle League of the Triangle, which uses baseball to create positive experiences for children and adults with special needs, and their families, raised over $250,000 at an event October 20 at The Pavilion at the Angus Barn that attracted 400 business owners and leaders, entrepreneurs and politicians.

Women’s Resource Center raises $100,000

The Women’s Resource Center of Greensboro raised over $100,000 at Men Can Cook, the most ever from its signature fundraising event.

The event, which celebrated the Center’s 20th anniversary, featured the support of over 50 community chefs, a silent auction and corporate sponsorships.

Last year, the agency served over 9,000 women.

Public School Forum gets $90,000

The Public School Forum of North Carolina has received a three-year, $90,000 grant from the A.J. Fletcher Foundation in Raleigh to support strategic planning and capacity-building.

Rocky Mount and Edgecombe foundations give $89,590

The Futrell-Mauldin Community Foundation for Greater Rocky Mount and the Edgecombe Charitable Foundation, both affiliates of the North Carolina Community Foundation, have awarded a total of $89,590 in local grants.

Scrap Exchange gets $15,000

The Scrap Exchange in Durham received a $15,000 grant from the Harry L. Rust and Helen M. Rust Charitable Foundation in Kansas City to buy a box truck for the collection of materials.

Established in 1991, The Scrap Exchange diverts over 100 tons of material from landfills each year.

In 2014, the organization served over 250,000 individuals through its retail store, art gallery and design center, as well as its creative arts programming offered across the Southeast.

Volunteers pitch in at elementary school

HandsOn Northwest North Carolina partnered with local employees of WME | IMG to perform service projects on October 15 at Ward Elementary School in Winston-Salem, where over half the 800 students receive lunch that is free or at a reduced price.

High Point Salvation Army to hold sale

The Salvation Army of High Point will hold a sale on October 24 of showroom sample prints, frames, lamps and home décor items.

The sample sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Salvation Army on 301 West Green Drive in High Point.

Horizons names two board members

Taquanica Floyd, an information-technology manager for Inmar, and Carol Kirby, a professional in residence in the department of education and graduate studies at Salem College, have been named to the board of directors of Horizons Residential Care Center, a  facility in Rural Hall for children and adults with severe disabilities.

High Point University fraternities, sororities give $3,500

Fraternities and sororities at High Point University donated over $3,500 to High Point Community Foundation to support Backpack Beginnings and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater High Point.

Me Fine Foundation raises $178,000

The Me Fine Foundation raised over $178,000 at a gala in September at the City Club of Raleigh that attracted 440 guests.

Focus your message on your actual impact

Nonprofits spend too much time talking about their imagined role when they should be working to explain their work and understand and connect with the people and places they serve.

Instead of showing the actual difference they make in their community, many charities simply tout what they would like to do, and gear their stories to what they think their own staff and board should hear.

Their websites and marketing materials inflate their community leadership and role, as if proclaiming your charity is a leader, innovator and risk-taker makes it one.

Their message also seems designed to reassure their own organizations about their aspirations and value.

And while they hype their initiatives as bold, they fail to explain how they work or why they matter.

Donors, volunteers, sponsors and partner agencies do not care what your nonprofit might want to do, or that it sees itself as an indispensable and courageous community asset and partner.

They do of course expect and want your goals to be ambitious in addressing your community’s urgent and diverse needs.

But what they really want to know — and what will help them decide whether to support you — is what you actually do with the resources you have.

What community need do you address? Who do you serve? What do you do to improve their lives, and how do you do it? How does your work make your community better?

Instead of throwing time and resources into self-promotion and self-affirmation, take the time and make the effort to make your cause and work clear.

Make it easy for anyone to see the social return they can expect from investing in helping you try to do better what you already do well.

Carrying out your mission depends on truly connecting with donors and other partners. So help them want to be part of what you do by spelling out exactly what that is.

By telling your story through the details of your work, you not only show donors and partners the need you serve and the difference you make. You also show them the range of opportunities they have to get involved.

And if they get it, you can begin to build a relationship.

So do not misuse your communications to simply boost and cheer for your organization.

Instead, create stories that explain your cause and impact, and can help you engage the supporters and partners you count on to best serve your community.

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

Rural gap found in subsidized health coverage

A smaller share of people in North Carolina’s 80 rural counties who are eligible for subsidized health insurance under the federal Affordable Care Act have enrolled to get that coverage than the share that have enrolled in the state’s six urban counties or 14 suburban counties, a new study says.

Throughout the state, 51 percent of people estimated to be eligible to buy subsidized coverage through a “marketplace exchange” during the first two open-enrollment periods had enrolled by the end of the 2014 open-enrollment period, says the report, “Enrollment Deficits under the Affordable Care Act.”

In rural counties, which are home to over four million people, or 42 percent of the state’s population, the “enrollment deficit” totaled 210,855 people, or 39 percent of the rural population eligible for coverage, says the study, which was prepared by the School at Law at Wake Forest University and supported by the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in Winston-Salem.

The enrollment gap in urban counties, which are home to over 3.1 million people, or 33 percent of the state’s population, totaled 184,880, or 35 percent of those eligible, while the gap in suburban counties, which are home to over 2.4 million, or 25 percent of the state’s population, totaled nearly 137,951 people, or 26 percent of those eligible.

In rural counties, the study says, income and eduction levels are noticeably lower than in urban or suburban counties and might affect enrollment efforts.

“Enrolling in the marketplace is not a simple process to understand or accomplish,” the study says. “Those with lower education may find it more difficult to complete this process.”

Individuals with lower income also “may face more transportation difficulty in meeting with an insurance agent or enrollment assister, especially those living in areas that lack public transportation.”

Language or cultural barriers among foreign-born residents also may pose an enrollment hurdle, the study says.

“Many foreign-born residents are citizens and so are potentially eligible, but so too are noncitizen legal immigrants,” the study says.

On the whole, it says, foreign-born residents account for 4.2 percent of the population of rural counties, 6.7 percent of suburban counties, and 10.8 percent of urban counties.

That overall concentration of foreign-born residents in rural counties ranges from less than one percent in individual rural counties to over 10 percent.

A low concentration of foreign-born residents can present special difficulties where it indicates “the absence of an identified immigrant community with developed resources and institutions that can provide the more specialized enrollment assistance required,” the report says.

While average rural enrollment is within one percentage point of the statewide average, the study says, the enrollment gap ranges from nearly two-thirds of those eligible for marketplace subsidies in some rural counties, to less than one-third in other rural counties.

The report was written by Edwin Shoaf, a research associate, and Mark A. Hall, a professor of law and public health, both at Wake Forest University School of Law.

Todd Cohen