Nonprofit news roundup, 01.29.16

Higher-ed fundraising grows, endowment returns drop

Charitable contributions to U.S. colleges and universities grew 7.6 percent to $40.3 billion in 2015, the highest total in nearly 50 years, while returns on schools’ endowments fell 2.4 percent, net of fees, after growing 15.5 percent in fiscal 2014,  two new report say.


Gifts from alumni grew 10.2 percent to $10.85 billion, or 26.9 percent of the total raised, although alumni participation — the number of donors divided by the number of “donors of record” that schools know how to reach — fell in the face of a 3.4 percent increase in the number of donors of record, says the Voluntary Support of Education survey from the Council for  Aid Education.

The number of alumni donors grew 0.7 percent.

Gifts from non-alumni grew 23.1 percent, while gifts from foundations, including family foundations, grew 3.6 percent, corporate giving was flat, and gifts from other types of organizations fell 1.2 percent.

Contributions for current operations grew 13.1 percent, while those for capital purposes — endowment, property, buildings, equipment and loan funds — were flat.

Gifts to restricted endowments, which account for the biggest share of gifts for capital purposes, had grown 23.3 percent in 2014.

College endowments grew three percent in 2015, down from 15 percent in 2014.

Eight gifts of $100 million or more totaling $1.44 billion went to four institutions, all among the 20 that raised the most, compared to five gifts at that level in 2014 that totaled $698.55 million.

The combined value of those eight gifts equaled the total raised by the 490 schools that raised the least, or nearly half the schools surveyed.

The top 20 fundraising schools together raised $11.56 billion, or 28.7 percent of the total raised in 2015 by schools surveyed.

Stanford University raised the most, $1.63 billion, the biggest total for any school the survey has reported since it began in 1957, followed by Harvard University, which raised $1.05 billion.

Duke University, which raised $472 million, ranks 12th among all schools surveyed and is the only North Carolina school among the top 20.

Endowment returns

Returns on college and university endowments fell to their lowest level in fiscal 2015 since a loss of 0.3 percent was reported for fiscal 2012, and contributed to a decline to 6.3 percent from 7.1 percent in 2014 in 10-year average returns, says the 2015 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments.

The 10-year average in 2015 was well below the median 7.5 percent that most endowments say they need to earn to maintain their purchasing power after spending, inflation and investment management costs, says the study, which was based on data from 812 institutions representing $529 billion in endowment assets.

While the average endowment totaled abut $651 million, endowments at over half the schools surveyed were below $115 million.

Despite the drop in investment gains, 78 percent of schools surveyed said they spent more in dollars from their endowments in 2015 than in 2014, and the median increase in endowment spending among those schools was 8.8 percent, well above inflation, the study says.

Among investment categories, returns totaled 6.4 percent for domestic equities, net of fees, down from 22.8 percent in 2014; 1.1 percent for alternative strategies, down from 12.7 percent; 0.2 percent for fixed income, including domestic and foreign bonds, down  from 5.1 percent; a loss of 2.1 percent for international equities, down from a gain of 19.2 percent; and a flat return for short-term securities, cash and other investments, down from a gain of 1.9 percent.

Duke gets $23 million for challenge fund

Duke University has received $23 million to establish a challenge fund for undergraduate financial aid.

Th challenge was launched with a $10 million gift from alumni Barbara and Fred Sutherland, $10 million from The Duke Endowment, and $3 million from other donors. The challenge will provide a dollar-for-dollar match for every qualifying gift to financial aid.

Nearly half of Duke’s undergraduates receive need-based financial aid.

Rex Endowment gives $824,000, names board member

The John Rex Endowment in Raleigh approved five grants totaling $824,106 to support the physical, mental and emotional well-being of children.

Recipients are the Natural Learning Initiative of the College of Design at North Carolina State University; Salvation Army of Wake County; Program on Integrative Medicine at the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Advocates for Health in Action; and PLM Families Together.

The Endowment also named Pablo Escobar, director of the Open Door Clinic at Urban Ministries of Wake County, to its board of directors.

Vasto, Greene join Land Trust

Alicia Vasto, a former graduate student intern at The Land Trust for Central North Carolina in Salisbury and later its Americorps outreach and stewardship coordinator, has been named operations and communications director.

Ethan Greene, a 2013 graduate of North Carolina State University, has been named the Land Trust’s first stewardship director.

Crumpler joining Communities in Schools

Jennifer Crumpler, director of development at Easter Seals UCP of North Carolina and Virginia, has been named the first associate vice president of development at Communities in Schools of North Carolina.

Arts Council names campaign co-chairs, trustees

Marybeth Wallace, special assistant to the president at Wake Forest University, and Leslie Hayes, executive vice president and business banking division manager for the Carolinas at Wells Fargo & Company, have been named co-chairs of the 2016 annual campaign of the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.

The Council also named eight members to its board of trustees, including Carl Forsman, dean of the School of Drama at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts; Adriana Granados, founder of Design Edge and PixGift; Dana Caudill Jones, president of Caudill’s Communication and Electric Co.; Cheryl Lindsay, director of human resources and inclusion/diversity at Hanesbrands; community volunteer Melinda McConnell; Michael Moore, chief marketing officer at Lowes Foods; Silvia Rodriguez, certified public accountant; and Corey Walker, dean of the College and professor of humanities at Winston-Salem State University.

Guilford Heart Ball rescheduled for February 12

The Guilford Heart Ball to benefit the American Heart Association has been rescheduled for February 12 as a result of the winter storm the weekend of January 23, when the ball had been scheduled.

Junior Achievement to honor couple who care

By Todd Cohen

GREENSBORO, N.C. — In 1985, as secretary and treasurer of Mechanical Systems Inc. in Greensboro,  Jim Geiger was invited to contribute $400 to support a new program Junior Achievement of Central North Carolina was launching to place business executives in public-school classrooms — and to volunteer as a “classroom consultant” for the program in a ninth-grade class at Northeast Guilford High School.

“That first experience was so enlightening and positive for me,” says Geiger, who volunteered for Junior Achievement throughout the Guilford County schools for the next 20 years and served on the Junior Achievement board for 25 years, including two years as chair.

In 1986, Jeanne Geiger moved to Greensboro from Harnett County, where she had taught high-school English, and was looking for a teaching job when the executive director of Junior Achievement approached her about managing the new classroom-consultant program and training the volunteers.

She took the job. In 1988, she was named executive director, a position she held until 1999. During her tenure, Junior Achievement expanded beyond Greensboro to all of Guilford County and Rockingham, Alamance and Randolph counties, and also landed a gift of an historic home and land that now serve as its headquarters.

“Thousands and thousands of students have benefited from participating in Junior Achievement as a result of their collective efforts,” says Jaqueline McCracken Wall, president and CEO of the Central North Carolina chapter.

On January 26, at its Business Leaders Hall of Fame and 50th Anniversary Celebration, to be held at Grandover Resort and Conference Center in Greensboro, Junior Achievement will honor the Geigers — who met in 1985, were in 1990, and moved to Wilmington in 1998 — with its Lifetime of Service Award.

The year Jeanne Geiger joined the chapter to head its new classroom-consultants program, corporate volunteers from Junior Achievement served in about 50 classrooms in Greensboro.

In the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2015, volunteers contributed over 58,000 hours of classroom time, serving nearly 11,000 students in six counties who completed 516 Junior Achievement programs.

Junior Achievement works to help students learn how the economy works by connecting them with business executives who can talk about their actual experience in the marketplace, the Geigers say.

“Jim always called it ‘seat-of-the-pants economics,'” Jeanne Geiger says. “It was the real stuff that experienced business people would bring and share with the kids. It’s this business experience you can’t put a price on that our business people in the community brought into the classroom and used to equip these students with life skills.”

Jim Geiger says that “nuts-and-bolts” perspective is indispensable to help students meet the challenges of a rapidly evolving world.

“If we do not address the educational needs of our young people, our future is in jeopardy,” he says. “Junior Achievement is unique in accomplishing this — taking people who have been there and putting them directly in the classroom as role models and as a resource and as examples for young people. If we don’t do it, this country is in trouble.”

On meeting him, students initially would “test me to see if I was sincere, and they were real good at that,” he says. “Then they started picking your brain for how could I make life better for them. It’s not just the nuts and bolts of economics but also a broader approach to how we treat and address the needs of our young people.”

Jeanne Geiger says the classroom-consultants program also helps students see “the importance of serving one’s community, and work, business and life ethics — a wonderful realm of experience that Junior Achievement is sharing with these kids.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 01.21.16

Giving expected to grow in 2016, 2017

Charitable giving in the U.S. is expected to grow 4.1 percent in 2016 and 4.3 percent in 2017, a new report says.

Giving by foundations is expected to grow the most, followed by growth in giving by estates and corporations, with individuals and households giving more in 2016 and 2017, compared to previous one-year periods, says The Philanthropy Outlook 2016 and 2017,  which was researched and written by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University an

Changes in total giving in 2016 and 2017 are expected to exceed the five-year, 10-year and 25-year annualized average rates of growth in total giving, and will fall just slightly short of the 40-year average growth rate of 4.4 percent, says the study, which was presented by Marts & Lundy, a fundraising and philanthropy consulting firm.

Giving to education, which historically has represented about one-sixth of all U.S. giving, is expected to grow by 6.3 percent in 2016 and by 6.1 percent in 2017.

Those growth rates slightly exceed the 40-year annualized average rate of growth for giving to education and are roughly equal with the 25-year average and higher than the 10-year average, the report says.

Factors expected to have the biggest positive impact on U.S. charitable giving in 2016 and 2017 include, among other factors, projected growth in the S&P 500, personal income and the net worth of households and nonprofits, the report says.

But changes in tax policy or significant changes in the global or U.S. economy could affect the predictions, it says.

Older donors most likely to give online, study says

Donors ages 40 to 59 years are now the most likely to give online, countering the conventional wisdom that younger donors are more likely to give online, a new study says

The share of donors ages 40 to 59 giving online grew to 67 percent in 2015 from 47 percent in 2010, says a survey commissioned by Dunham+Company and conducted by Campbell Brinker of 400 U.S. adult donors who had given at least $20 in the previous year.

In comparison, 54 percent of donors age 60 and older say they have given online, making this demographic just as likely to give online as those under 40.

Twenty-six percent of donors surveyed, up from 20 percent a year ago, say they have given on a charity’s website as a result of being asked to do so by another individual through social media.

Thirty-four percent of surveyed donors under age 40, and of those who are single, say they respond to a solicitation through social media, as do 40 percent of people who occasionally attend religious services and 30 percent those who and make $25,000 to $75,000 a  year.

Twenty percent of surveyed donors say they have given online as a result of an email from a charity, up from six percent in 2010.

Eleven percent of donors say they have made a gift through an organization’s website as a result of receiving an appeal letter through the mail from the charity.

Nineteen percent of donors age 66 or older say they given that way in response to direct mail, compared to eight percent of donors under 40

Fifty-one percent of donors who receive a letter in the mail asking for support say they go online to make their contribution, while 36 percent say they send their donation through the mail, and 18 percent say will make that donation using a mobile device.

Swayne stepping down as CEO of StepUp North Carolina

Steve Swayne will step down this spring as CEO of StepUp North Carolina and will join the Raleigh-based nonprofit’s board of directors.

Founder leaving Benevolence Farm

Tanya Jisa has resigned as executive director of Benevolence Farm, a nonprofit she founded in 2007 that in Alamance County that provides jobs and a place to live for women returning from prison.

Benevolence Farm is  conducting a search for a new executive director.

Carolina for Kibera names new executive director

Julian Rowa, who recently helped launch an Equity Bank in in Rwanda that has helped create access to capital for millions of Africans, has been named executive director of Carolina for Kibera, a Chapel Hill-based nonprofit that focuses on the Nairobi slum of Kibera.

A former boxer in a low-income community in Nairobi, Kenya, Rowa will be based in Kenya.

He succeeds Leann Bankoski, who is joining an advisory firm in Kenya that works to identify, measure, and scale best practices in global development.

Play puts spotlight on homelessness

First Baptist Church Greensboro in February will host the premiere of “Un/Sheltered Lives,” a play that focuses on local individuals struggling with homelessness, and ways to support and and connect with them.

To be performed February 26 and 27 at 7 p.m. and February 28 at 1 p.m., the play was written by Debra LeWinter, a local playwright, and will be performed by Scripture and Stage, a drama group from the church.

It is based on interviews with people living in poverty and conducted at the Interactive Resource Center by Greensboro Day School students.

First Baptist Church commissioned the script to deepen the conversation about those living in poverty in our community and how to best reach out to them.

STARworks renovating historic building

STARworks, a project in Star, N.C., of Central Park North Carolina, has begun a project to restore and renovate the historic building that houses the STARworks Center for Creative Enterprise.

The building, including the original building built around 1900, was donated to Central Park in 2005.

Once the renovation is complete, STARworks plans to have a large retail store that will sell products made in-house, as well as work made by other artists and craftspeople working in North Carolina.

Architect Frank Harmon designed the new look for STARworks.

Harvard Business School Club of Charlotte gives $63,000

Harvard Business School Club of Charlotte gave $63,000 to local nonprofits last year, its biggest annual total, brining to nearly $500,000 the total it has donated in 13 years.

Free tech support available

Inmar will host its second Community Tech Night in Winston-Salem on January 28 in partnership with Winston-Net. The event will be held at the Fourteenth Street Community Center at 2020 N.E. 14th St.

A team staffing a “Help Desk” at the event will provide free, one-on-one assistance to anyone with questions or needing help on problems involving a personal computer, mobile device or use of technology.

Arts Greensboro gives $18,000 to artists

ArtsGreensboro awarded a total of $18,000 to 15 artists from among 41 who submitted applications — the most ever — requesting a total of over $78,000 for projects this year.

Two join Band Together advisory board

Stephanie Sanders of Poyner Spruill and Jason Brodmerkel of Elliott Davis Decosimo will join the advisory board of Band Together NC, a Triangle-based organization that uses live music as a platform for social change.

Goetz Foundation to make larger grants

Noah Z.M. Goetz Foundation in Durham has increased to $2,500 from $1,000 the size of its grants to help recipients offset costs associated with the process of adoption.

The Foundation, which will offer two grant cycles in 2016, has awarded 13 grants since 2011.

Boys & Girls Clubs to get donated supplies

The Ken Carlson Boys & Girls Club at 2100 Reynolds Park Rd. and International Boys & Girls Clubs at 850 New Walkertown Rd., both part of  the Salvation Army of Greater Winston-Salem, are among Boys & Girls Clubs in 12 communities in the Carolinas, Delaware, Virginia and Washington, D.C., that will received supplies such as storage containers, light bulbs, cleaning supplies and trash bags donated by the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association and Lowe’s.

Each Boys & Girls club also will receive a $150 Lowe’s gift card.

Four join board of Barnabas Network

Four new members have joined the board of The Barnabas Network, a nonprofit furniture bank in Greensboro that provides household furnishings to local families in need.

Joining the board are Lindsay Burkart, owner of FEMCO Construction; Ruth Edwards, former executive director of The Arc; Henry May, owner and president of Peaches ‘N Cream Children’s Wear; and Chuck Wallington, vice president of marketing at Moses Cone Health System.

Willie Gary to speak to black law students

Attorney Willie Gary, a partner at Gary, Williams, Parenti and Watson, will be the keynote speaker at the 31st Annual Scholarship Banquet to be hosted by the Wake Forest Black Law Students Association on  February 12 at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts in Winston-Salem.

Concert to benefit cancer research foundation

A free concert featuring the music of Mozart, Mendelssohn and Monk and benefiting the McCay Foundation for Cancer Research will be held February 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Christ United Methodist Church at 40 North Holden Rd. in Greensboro.

Winston-Salem State gets $50,000 for internships

Winston-Salem State University has received a $50,000 gift from DataMax Foundation to create paid internships at businesses located in Forsyth County.

The funds will provide 16 Winston-Salem State students with paid internships in 2016.

Volunteer center recruiting companies

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Volunteer Center in Greensboro aimed to build on a surge it has seen in corporate volunteerism and enlist more companies to participate in its annual Martin Luther King Day of Service event today.

Visitors at the event, being held at Four Seasons Town Centre, can participate in on-site service projects, learn about local nonprofits at a Nonprofit Fair, and take part in the Volunteer Center’s Community Art Project.

The Center began in 1963 as the Greensboro Volunteer Bureau, a department of the Greensboro Community Council, which now is United Way of Greater Greensboro.

In 2014, the Center mobilized 102,000 volunteers who contributed 239,000 service hours, or the equivalent of $5.38 million in local economic impact, based on estimates by Independent Sector that one volunteer hour of service is worth $22.55.

The Center also worked in partnership with 135 schools, 112 faith-based groups, 10 government agencies, 225 nonprofits, 85 civic groups, and 200 corporations and businesses.

Each summer, at a Corporate Volunteer Council Open House the Center hosts, company representatives can meet with nonprofits.

The Center also provides a referral list of nonprofit service projects for corporate volunteers, offers a service that matches companies with small, short-term projects, and lets companies select larger assembly-line service projects it manages.

In 2015, the Center connected 10 companies with a total of 317 employees who contributed 634 volunteer hours to smaller projects, and it managed larger projects for five companies with 228 employees who contributed 688 hours, assembling over 3,000 trail-mix snack bags and over 400 toiletry kits.

In 2014, in comparison, the Center connected seven companies for smaller projects and managed only one larger project for a corporation.

The Center has a pledge card that Guilford County residents can turn in by the end of the month that lets them make a commitment to volunteer whatever number of hours they like.

Operating with an annual budget that ranges from $235,000 to $250,000 and a staff of three full-time employees, the Center is set to launch a new volunteer database this month, a new website in February, new membership options for nonprofit partners, and a new cross-membership partnership with the Guilford Nonprofit Consortium.

Nonprofit news roundup, 01.15.16

Special Olympics to benefit from extreme-sports event

More than 300 people rappelled Hyatt House Center City in Charlotte in November and and Wells Fargo’s Capitol Center in Raleigh in October and raised $177,000 for Special Olympics North Carolina through its Over the Edge event.

The next Over the Edge event will be held in Raleigh only on September 30 and October 1.

And in April, North Carolina Highway Patrol Smokey Bears will defend their overall championship title at the 16th annual Plane Pull for Special Olympics.

In 2015, 70 teams of five people each collected a total of over $90,000 to support Special Olympics athletes.

Each team competed for the fastest time pulling a 130,000-pound jet 25 feet on the UPS tarmac at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Ammons Foundation awards $232,000

The Jandy Ammons Foundation in Raleigh is giving $232,000 to eight North Carolina nonprofits to help fund capital projects that focus on the arts, wildlife conservation, education and Christian mission.

In its first three years, the foundation has awarded nearly $554,000 in grants.

The foundation was formed by Heritage developer Andy Ammons and his family.

Fayetteville Symphony awarded $100,000

The Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra has been awarded $100,000 from the John William Pope Foundation for a youth orchestra instrument lending library.

The orchestra received the grant through the Foundation’s first statewide grants competition, the Joy Pope Memorial Grant in the Arts, which generated 28 applications.

Greensboro Police mobile command center focus of fundraising

Greensboro Police Foundation has launched a campaign to raise $135,000 to help overhaul and modernize the mobile command center that the Greensboro Police Department uses for command and control in critical incidents and to promote community relations.

Equipped with outdated equipment, the mobile command center has not been upgraded since 1998.

In a previous campaign, the Foundation raised $130,000 to buy the first wave of body cameras for police officers.

Salvation Army in Winston-Salem partners with restaurants

The Salvation Army of Greater Winston-Salem is teaming up with local restaurants to serve the evening meal at The Salvation Army Center of Hope.

One day each month a different restaurant will cater dinner for residents of the Center’s Family Emergency Homeless Shelter and the Residential Re-entry Center.

At the dinners, chefs will talk about the meals they are serving, their restaurants, and the benefits of a culinary career.

Camp Corral raising $50,000 to serve military kids

Camp Corral, a free summer camp for children of wounded, disabled or fallen military service members, is kicking off an effort to raise $50,000 to enable more military kids to attend camp next year.

Founded in 2011 by Golden Corral, Camp Corral now includes 21 camps in 19 states and has served over 10,000 children.

Membership in North Carolina YMCAs now reciprocal

Starting January 1, YMCA members can use any of the more than 100 YMCAs in North Carolina, thanks to a reciprocal membership agreement developed by the North Carolina Alliance of YMCAs.

Surry Community College Foundation gets $400,000

Surry Community College Foundation in Dobson has received a gift valued at $400,000 from the late Vannie Allred Rouse to establish the Vannie Allred Rouse Scholarship to support first-year students in the school’s associate degree nursing or practical nursing program students who are graduates of a North Carolina high school and demonstrate financial need.

Joedance Film Festival gives $20,000

Joedance Film Festival, a two-day August event that raises money for rare pediatric cancer clinical trials and research at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, part of Carolinas HealthCare System, donated $20,000 the hospital in December.

Joedance has now raised over $75,000 for the hospital in six year.

Deadline March 31 to submit scholarship applications

March 31 is the deadline for submitting applications for a $2,500 grant to The Rosalyn Saltz and Norman Seymour Pliner Scholarship Fund, which provides financial assistance for post-secondary education to a resident of North Carolina or South Carolina. For contact Betsy Gamburg at Jewish Family Services in Greensboro at 336.852.4829, ext. 225, or

Frazer to co-chair UNCF event

Jeanne Frazer, president of vitalink, a branding and marketing firm based in Raleigh, and a founding partner of HBCUgrow, has been named a co-chair for the Raleigh-Durham 2016 UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball, to be held March 19 at the Raleigh Convention Center.

Partnership for Community Care receives accreditation

Partnership for Community Care, which provides medical care to the Medicaid recipients in in Guilford, Randolph and Rockingham counties, has received a three-year accreditation in intensive case management from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

Heart Association to hold black-tie event

The American Heart Association in Guilford County will hold its black-tie Guilford Heart Ball on January 23 at The Elm Street Center in Greensboro, and will donate to local schools new donated athletic balls it is collecting at designated drop-off locations.

Winston-Salem Foundation accepting awards nominations

The Winston-Salem Foundation is accepting nominations for The Winston-Salem Foundation Award, which is given each year to a local resident for leadership in a community activity or on behalf of a community organization, and for the ECHO Award, which honor people and informal groups who are building connections among people.

The Winston-Salem Foundation Award includes a $10,000 cash grant to a charitable organization selected by the winner, and ECHO Award winners receive $1,000 each to donate to a charitable organization of their choice.

March 4 is the deadline for submitting nominations. The foundation will announce recipients of both award at its Community Luncheon on May 4.

Elon Law creates guardian ad litem clinic

The Elon University School of Law in Greensboro has created a Guardian ad Litem Appellate Advocacy Clinic.

At the clinic, the first of its kind in North Carolina, law students will work under the supervision of a faculty member to represent the interests of abused and neglected children in appeals of juvenile matters in the state Court of Appeals and state Supreme Court.

Nonprofit team up for career fair

Four local nonprofits are teaming up for a free career fair on February 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 1830-B Tillery Place in Raleigh.

Partnering with host nonprofit Passage Home to help connect area job-seekers with employment are PartnerNCWorks, Dress for Success and StepUp Ministry.

People looking for a job or thinking about a career change will have the opportunity to speak with representatives of different fields of work, such as nursing, customer service, administrative and warehouse jobs.

Music Academy to hold gala

The Music Academy of North Carolina will present a musical fundraising gala on March 5 that will feature performances by faculty and friends, alumni, and merit-scholarship students, as well as a silent auction.

All proceeds from the event, to be held at Revolution Mill Events Center at 900 Revolution Mill Drive in Greensboro, will support The Music Academy’s general operations and student scholarships.

Duke gets $500,000

Duke University has received a five-year, $500,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to fund two professorships for new female faculty in its computer-science and electrical- and computer-engineering departments.

ArtsGreensboro awards teacher art grants

ArtsGreensboro has awarded Teacher Art Grants ranging from $125 to $1,500 to 15 teachers for arts projects in grades kindergarten through 12th grade in local public and private schools.

The Arc focuses on disabilities

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — Getting through a typical day can be a challenge for individuals with developmental  disabilities — or one in 40 North Carolinians, by rough estimates, and possibly a lot more.

Depending on the nature and extent of their disabilities, they can find it difficult to get out of bed, get dressed, shop for food, get to work and even do their job if they are employed, or make decisions about their health, money and housing.

Working to provide support for people with disabilities is The Arc of North Carolina, an affiliated chapter of The Arc of the United States that also supports 25 local chapters throughout the state.

Local chapters provide services to individuals with disabilities, or serve as advocates, or both, while the statewide group works to support local chapters and does not compete with them, says John Nash, its executive director.

“Where services are not available, we provide some direct service,” he says.

Operating with an annual budget of $16 million and a staff of 700 people, and generating 80 percent of its funds through Medicaid, The Arc serves 3,000 to 4,000 individuals a year and works as an advocate on disabilities issues.

In addition to its Raleigh headquarters, it operates offices in Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro and Wilmington, as well as small satellite offices in Greenville, New Bern and Southern Pines.

It works to connect individuals with disabilities to services that range from finding physicians or housing or, through a separate purchasing agency, with medical equipment such as wheelchairs and hospital beds.

It connects individuals with disabilities with people — either independent contractors or its own employees — who can provide 24-hour support for individuals with disabilities.

Assigned by clerks of court, it serves as a guardian for individuals with disabilities, and works with an agency that provides them with trust and financial services.

It supports employment for people with disabilities, assessing their skills and job goals, helping them prepare for and find jobs, and providing job coaches in the workplace if needed.

And it connects people with housing and owns 485 properties throughout the state that house about 2,400 individuals, contracting with other organizations to manage the properties or provide support services for the tenants.

The Arc also works as a lobbyist in the state General Assembly. In this year’s session, it helped lobby for a law that now allows people with disabilities to use “529” savings accounts to save up to $100,000 without affecting their Social Security, Medicaid and other benefits that support their disabilities services.

And it supports legislation, approved by the N.C. Senate but still pending in the N.C House of Representatives, that would provide insurance coverage of services for people with autism.

In addition to Medicaid funding, The Arc receives funds from the state and revenue from the low-income housing it owns, including rent from tenants and federal and state rent subsidies.

The Arc also is gearing up to generate private support, initially through partnerships with corporations, and within a year aims to launch an effort to raise money from individuals, Nash says.

Lisa Berwyn, former director of membership services and operations for the North Carolina Business Committee for Education in the Office of the Governor, joined The Arc in August as its first director of business development.

“Our goal is to help connect The Arc and people with disabilities across the state with corporations,” says Nash, “helping us move our mission forward in our advocacy efforts.”