Public schools focus of foundation

By Todd Cohen

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Each August, at a “Teacher Store” in partnership with the East Chapel Hill Rotary Club, new teachers, school social workers and roughly half the other teachers in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools can pick up classroom supplies using a $75 voucher.

Teachers also are eligible to receive $1,000 a year for two to three years from 10 endowed chairs, and for recognitions and awards; scholarships to help cover the cost of applying for national certification; and professional-development grants. And first-year teachers receive $100 grants for classroom purposes.

Helping to provide all that support, as well as funding for schools and students, is the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public School Foundation, which hosts the Teacher Store in partnership with East Chapel Hill Rotary Club

Launched in 1984, the Foundation has raised and provided over $5.4 million for local public schools, including funds for 328 teachers who have received money from the endowed chairs, and received awards and also scholarships for certification through the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.

It also has provided nearly $532,000 for students and schools for college scholarships, summer enrichment and tutoring; over $230,000 in supplies and materials for classroom teachers; and nearly $850,000 for projects at schools.

In the face of declining teacher morale as a result of cuts or threatened cuts in state funding for schools and teacher salaries, the Foundation works to “make sure the teachers feel valued and they know they’re making a difference in children’s lives,” says Lynn Lehmann, the Foundation’s executive director.

The Foundation also focuses on “students with the most need, both financially and academically, to make sure every student is able to be on grade level,” she says.

Operating with an annual budget of $325,000, and a staff of one full-time employee and three part-time employees, the Foundation counts on 45 active volunteers, including the 27 members of its board of directors, plus other volunteers who support three major fundraising events.

Board members, for example, review grant requests and recommend funding; chair events; work with the Foundation’s auditor; prepare financial statements; create communications; and set up focus groups with teachers and principals to identify their needs.

“They work like this is their job,” says Lehmann, a former PTA president who served on the Foundation’s board for 10 years, including a term as president, before joining the staff in 2014 as program manager.

She became executive director last October, succeeding Kim Hoke, who co-founded the Foundation when she was assistant to the superintendent of the city schools.

Each year, the Foundation hosts three big fundraising events, including its Walk for Education, which last fall raised $185,000, including corporate sponsorships, with 85 percent of the funds going back to schools for projects.

It also hosts a 5K for Education each spring that generates about $10,000 and includes six weeks of fitness training for teachers for $25 each provided by Fleet Feet Sports. And it hosts a Teachers First Breakfast and Roses, which receives donated food from the Chapel Hill Restaurant Group — Spanky’s, 411 West, Mez, Page Road Grill and Squid’s — and discounted roses from Whole Foods, and last year raised $95,000, most of it for programs that support teachers.

The Foundation supports each of the school system’s 11 elementary schools, four middle schools and four high schools — plus the school at UNC Hospitals for young people being  treated there — in raising money for the Walk to fund a project each school chooses.

It also provides grants for out-of-school learning and enrichment for low-income or low-achieving students  and student scholarships for higher education.

The Foundation also receives support from individuals, including one who last year donated $55,000, and from the Stroud Roses Foundation and other philanthropies.

But generating funds through its annual appeal remains a challenge, Lehmann says, and the Foundation has hired Executive Service Corps of the Triangle to help it develop a strategic plan that could set the stage for fundraising or campaign to build its operating endowment, which now totals $108,000.  The Foundation also operates 32 endowments totaling $1.5 million that support endowed chairs and other programs.

“Teacher value and student success are the challenges of the district,” Lehmann says, “and the things we try to address with our enrichment grants.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 02.26.16

Foundations’ openness about effectiveness seen lagging

Foundations are most open about their grantmaking processes, and their goals and strategies, but they share little if any information on their successes and failures, a new report says.

Foundations see grantees and potential grantees as the main audiences of their efforts to be transparent, says “Sharing What Matters: Foundation Transparency” from the Center for Effective Philanthropy.

Nearly three-fourths of 145 foundation CEOs surveyed say they believe being transparent about the foundation’s goals could significantly increase the foundation’s ability to be effective, and 89 percent of foundation websites publish their programmatic goals, says the report, which also is based on surveys of over 15,000 grantees and a review of over 70 foundation websites.

Foundations are less transparent about performance assessment and lessons learned, even though they believe transparency would be beneficial, the report says.

Sixty-nine percent of foundation CEOs say being transparent about what has worked could mean a significant increase in their work, yet only 46 percent say their foundations are very or extremely transparent about their effectiveness.

Grantees rate foundations’ level of transparency lowest on sharing information about what has now worked in their grantmaking.

Donor demand for data on impact hurts fundraising, survey finds

Nonprofits are finding it tough to raise money in the face of growing expectations by donors for data showing the social return on their investments, a new survey says

Forty-seven percent of 114 leaders and executives of nonprofits with annual budgets between $10 million and $200 million surveyed by accounting firm Marks Paneth for its Nonprofit Pulse national survey say it is challenging or extremely challenging to raise funds in a marketplace with higher expectations from donors that they measure their impact.

And 68 percent say their organizations over the next three years will change their approach to measuring their social impact to meet donors’ expectations.

Fifty-three percent of leasers say it is possible to report definitive results of social return on investment within a year of a donor’s investment, and only four percent says it is unreasonable to report and show impact.

Nineteen percent say their donor base allows a portion of their gifts to be used to cover the cost of measuring outcomes.

Latinos in North Carolina face housing hurdles, study says

Latinos are the fastest-growing part of North Carolina’s population and a big potential market for housing, but they face obstacles in renting and owning apartments and homes, a new study says.

Fifty-seven percent of Latinos rent, compared to 33 percent of all North Carolina household, while half of all Latino renters and 37 percent of Latino homeowners spend over 30 percent of their income on housing, says “The State of Latino Housing in 2015” from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

With half the Latino population younger than age 25, compared to the state’s aging native-born population, younger Latino’s increasingly will play a major social and economic role in the state, says the study, which was commissioned by the Latino Community Credit Union and the Latino Community Development Center.

“It is clear from this study that all of us working in the housing sector need to find ways to expand affordable housing options, both single-family homes and rentals, do a better job of educating and connecting Latinos with information and resources, and train industry players how they can better tap and serve this market,” Luis Pastor, CEO of the Latino Community Credit Union, says in a statement.

Rents and security deposits are especially high for larger Latino families that need larger units, the study says.

And in a recession, it says, Latinos’ mortgage applications decline more sharply, and the rate at which their requests for home loans are denied are greater, compared to North Carolina households overall.

Latino applications for site-built homes fell 68 percent in 2011-13, compared to 52 percent for all households, while denial rates for Latino home loan applications were 19 percent, compared to 14 percent for North Carolina households overall, the study says.

Latinos households also rely more on subprime, Federal Housing Administration and Veterans Administration loans than the market overall, it says.

Latinos lack knowledge about their rights to home-buying, ways to build and repair credit, and ways to acquire a mortgage loan, the study says.

It recommends that housing and community advocates work together to provide better information to Latinos, correct misperceptions, and address barriers.

Policy changes, such as expanding the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit and fully funding the National Housing Trust Fund, could increase the supply of affordable housing, while more funding for the Housing Voucher Choice Program would enable more Latinos to afford quality rental housing, the study says.

Industries for the Blind gets $150,000, buys two buses for kids

Miracles In Sight, an eye bank in Winston-Salem, has given $150,000 to Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind, which used the funding to buy two buses to transport nearly 100 children in kindergarten through 12 grade to Tracy’s Little Red Schoolhouse, an after-school and summer-camp program it opened in 2012

Bailey’s Fine Jewelry donates $62,700

Bailey’s Fine Jewelry in Raleigh donated over $62,700 to local charities in 2015 through raising the most funds since the Bailey family create its A Time to Give program in 2008 and bringing to over $294,000 that total donated through the program.

The program provides customers with a complimentary watch battery replacement and in exchange requests a donation be made to that month’s designated charity. Each month Bailey’s selects a different nonprofit in Raleigh, Rocky Mount and Greenville — where its stores are located — to receive the donations

Atkins Community Development Corp. gets $30,000

S.G. Atkins Community Development Corporation has been awarded a $30,000 grant by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation to support its work boostings communities near Winston-Salem State University.

The group focuses mainly on housing; community-based initiatives such as a community garden; and The Enterprise Center, a business incubator and community education center.

It has invested $5 million in a 40,000 square-foot building to serve as a hub of community activity; provided $200,000 in micro-loans to businesses owned by minorities and women; and harvested over 3,000 pounds of organic fruits and vegetables from its community garden.

Beginning Teacher Network launched in Charlotte

The Public School Forum of North Carolina has kicked off its Beginning Teacher Network in Mecklenburg County with a $25,000 grant from The Belk Foundation in Charlotte, expanding the program in Wake, Mecklenburg and Union counties.

Masquerade ball to benefit Sanctuary House

A masquerade ball to benefit Sanctuary House in Greensboro will be held March 19 at Greensboro County Club.

Emcee for the event will be Julie Luck of WFMY News 2.

Red Kettle luncheon to benefit Salvation Army

The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary will host the Red Kettle Luncheon on March 15 at the High Point Country Club at Emerywood.

At the luncheon, The Salvation Army will present the inaugural Darrell and Stella Harris Champion of Hope award to a local organization.

Care Ring to benefit from golf event

Care Ring in Charlotte will benefit from Golfing Fore a Healthy Charlotte on March 28 at Providence Country Club.

United Way, BB&T offer tax prep

United Way of Greater Greensboro has teamed up with BB&T Bank to host its third annual Family Economic Success Day on March 11, offering free income-tax preparation and filing by IRS-certified volunteer income tax preparers, as well as information and education on financial topics.

BB&T will provide free credit reports to those who qualify for tax preparation, and Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Greensboro will give free individual review sessions to discuss those credit reports.

Free tax preparation is available to those whose households earned $54,000 or less in 2015.

The BB&T Bus will be parked at United Way at 1500 Yanceyville St., and will serve as a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site for the day.

Appointments are preferred. Call 336.333.6981.

Women’s Impact Network to support environmental group

The Women’s Impact Network, a Wilmington women’s philanthropy group, will award its 2016 annual grant, totaling about $30,000, to a New Hanover County environmental nonprofit.

Over the last four years, the Network has awarded over $100,000 to nonprofits in New Hanover County in the areas of education and the arts.

The group’s grants committee will mail letters of intent to interested nonprofits in mid-March, with responses due April 30. Grant applications will be available to semi-finalists July 1, with applications will be due July 30.

The Network is part of the North Carolina Community Foundation.

Scholarships available

Cumberland Community Foundation has budgeted $658,000 for college scholarships in the 2016-17 college year . April 5 is the deadline for submitting applications for most of the scholarships, which will range from $500 to $10,000.

SAVE to hold Summit in Raleigh

The National Association of Students Against Violence Everywhere will hold its Summit on March 12 in Raleigh.

North Carolina MG Walk set for April 30

The  5th annual North Carolina MG Walk will be held April 30 at Lake Lynn Park in Raleigh.

Myasthenia gravis is a chronic autoimmune disease in which antibodies attack and destroy neuromuscular connections, causing muscle weakness. Some treatments are available but there is currently is no cure for MG.

Nonprofit news roundup, 02.19.16

Methodist Home gala raises $310,000

The Methodist Home for Children in Raleigh raised a record-high $310,000 at its 19th annual winter gala January 30.

At the event, which attracted over 550 guests, the Methodist Home inducted Easter Maynard and John Parker of Raleigh, Sandy and Tim Safley of Cary, and Mutual of America into its Guardian Angel Society for their commitment to children and families.

HBCUGrow names advisory board

HBCUGrow, a consortium that works to help historically black colleges and universities   grow enrollment and alumni giving, address marketing challenges, has formed an advisory board of representatives from nine schools and the group’s founding members of the group.

The next HBCUgrow conference will be held April 8 at Bennett College in Greensboro.

The advisory board, which will work to improve the group’s semi-annual conferences, includes State Alexander of Livingstone College; Cymone Baker of vitalink  and a student and intern; Joscelyne Brazile of the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Anthony Brooks of Shaw University; Andrea Ferguson of AndiSites; Audrey Franklin of Bennett College; Jeanne Frazer of vitalink; Jermiel Hargrove of Vance Granville Community College; David W. Hoard of DHT & Associates; Kim Cliett Long of Wiley College; Bob Moura of Universal Printing; Kyle Brazile of the School of Law at North Carolina Central University; Michael J. Sorrell of Paul Quinn College; and Jason Warner of Johnson C. Smith University.

Forsyth groups land most United Way awards in state

For the third straight year, Forsyth County had the most recipients in the state of Spirit of North Carolina Awards from United Way of North Carolina.

Forsyth County winners, and the categories in which they won, include:

*BB&T — financial and banking institutions 1,501 to 2,500 employees.

* Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton — business campaign, 51 to 100 employees.

* Winston‐Salem Transit Authority — cities and counties, 101 to 200 employees.

* First Tennessee Bank — financial and banking institutions, 50 employees or less.

* Wake Forest University — higher education, 1,501 to 2,500 employees.

* Reynolds American — manufacturing, 1,501 to 2,500 employees.

* HanesBrands — retail, 2,501 to 5,000 employees.

BB&T also received the 2015 Excellence in Community Spirit Award.

High Point groups honored by United Way

Six High Point organizations received Spirit of North Carolina Awards from United Way of North Carolina.

Winner include High Point Regional Health System, High Point University, Housing Authority of the City of High Point, Old Dominion Freight Line, Smith Leonard, and Guilford County Schools.

Event to benefit Community Workforce Solutions

Community Workforce Solutions, a Raleigh nonprofit that provides job training, placement, and community integration opportunities for adults with disabilities or other barriers to employment, will hold a Casino Night fundraiser on February 27.

Proceeds from the event, to be held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Marbles Kids Museum, will support the organization’s effort to raise $50,000 to buy equipment for a planned commercial‐grade kitchen for a food-service training program it aims to launch.

Williams top fundraiser for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society event

Gregory S. Williams, a lawyer at Carruthers & Roth, was recently recognized as the top fundraiser for the 2015 “Light The Night Triad Executive Challenge” for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, raising nearly $16,000 to benefit blood cancer research.

Williams ranked third in the state among the 29 North Carolina executives who participated in the challenge and together raised over $180,000.

Anthony new board chair for United Way of North Carolina

John Anthony, retail banking executive for the Mid-Atlantic Region for First Tennessee Bank, has been elected as chairman of the board of directors of United Way of North Carolina.

Four directors join Forsyth United Way board

United Way of Forsyth County has elected four new members of its board of directors.

They include Chris Fox, vice president, corporate social responsibility, and  Hanesbrands Melissa Martin, marketing assistant, at Hanesbrands; Stephen J. Motew, senior vice president at Novant Medical Center; and Elwood L. Robinson, chancellor of Winston‐Salem State University.

Stroke Association luncheon raises $22,000

The Winston Salem-based North Carolina Stroke Association raised $22,000 at its annual luncheon on Feb. 10 that attracted nearly 200 guests.

The event, held at Old Town Club, honored Liz and John Brady.

Liz Brady suffered a major stroke in 2012. Her husband John was recognized for his devotion as her caregiver.

Early Childhood Foundation gets $110,000

The North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation has received $85,000 from ChildTrust and $25,000 from The Belk Foundation for early literacy.

Mustard Seed gets $35,000

Mustard Seed Community Health, a Greensboro nonprofit that offers medical care to residents of the Cottage Grove neighborhood, has received a $35,000 grant from CVS Health Foundation in partnership with the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics to track a group of 100 patients in east Greensboro and address lifestyle and environmental issues that contribute to significant diseases.

Arts Council awards mini-grants

The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County has awarded 10 mini-grants of $500 each to community groups and individuals to spread the arts into the community, promote creativity, provide greater access to the arts and bring people together.

Wells Fargo, which already funds The Arts Council’s $100,000 Arts-in-Education award program, is increasing its giving this year to sponsor the “community enrichment” mini-grants program.

The deadline for submitting applications for the next round of mini-grants is April 25 for projects taking place June 1 to September 30.

Health Underwriters to hold annual event

The North Carolina Association of Health Underwriters will hold its 27th Symposium and Exhibition April 3-5 at Benton Convention Center in Winston Salem.

Leach elected board chair for Passage Home, joins Kidzu board

Alfred Leach, president and chief strategy officer at MMI, has been elected chairman of the board of directors for Passage Home in Raleigh, and elected to the board of directors for Kidzu Children’s Museum in Chapel Hill.

Nonprofit news roundup, 02.12.16

Winston-Salem State gets $205,000 for scholarships

Winston-Salem State University received a $205,000 grant from the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation to fund scholarships for full-time female students for the 2016-17 academic year.

The grant is expected to support about 150 scholarships with an average value of $1,400.

Nearly 90 percent of students at the university receive need-based financial aid, 33 percent are the first in their families to attend college, and 60 percent have no family assistance in paying college expenses.

In 2015, the university distributed over $900,000 in scholarships, up 49 percent from the previous year.

Event raises $120,000 for Family Service

The Big Hair Ball, a  masquerade ball on January 31 presented by The Guild and Junior Guild of Family Service of Greensboro Foundation, attracted more than 550 people and raised over $120,000 for Family Service of the Piedmont.

Association Management Group in Greensboro and Winston-Salem was a sponsor of the event.

Joedance gives $20,000 to Levine Children’s Hospital

Joedance Film Festival in Charlotte donated $20,000 in 2015 to Levine Children Hospital Carolinas HealthCare System for rare pediatric cancer clinical trials and research.

Since it began six years ago, Joedance now has raised nearly $100,000 for Levine Children’s Hospital.

Winston-Salem Foundation gives $564,000

The Winston-Salem Foundation awarded 21 community grants in January totaling $564,235.

Band Together partnering with YMCA

Band Together NC in Raleigh has selected the Southeast Raleigh project of YMCA of the Triangle as its 2017 nonprofit partner.

The YMCA has purchased land in Southeast Raleigh to serve as a community hub that will include a YMCA facility, affordable housing, a school, health-care options and access to healthy food.

In 2015, the partnership between Band Together and StepUp Ministry generated $2 million in net proceeds.

Morehead to head land trust

Travis Morehead, former operations director for the Carolina Thread Trail project in the Carolinas, will join The Land Trust for Central North Carolina in Salisbury as executive director on February 15.

Morehead, who grew up in Stanly County, previously served in the U.S. Army in Iraq, as senior and principal planner for the Town of Cary, and as community coordinator for the Catawba Lands Conservancy.

The Land Trust serves Anson, Cabarrus, Davidson, Davie, Iredell, Montgomery, Randolph, Richmond, Rowan and Stanly counties.

Davidson Hospice names business developer, engagement director

Kara Thompson, assessment team leader at Hospice of  Davidson County, has been been named director of business development, and Jan Knox, director of family engagement and philanthropy at High Point University, has joined Hospice as director of engagement.

Poindexter, Triad nonprofit leader, dies at 75

Bonnie Poindexter, who led the Triad Chapter of the March of Dimes and the Piedmont Opera, died February 4 at age 75, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.

Poindexter serve as interim executive director of several arts organizations, including the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, Sawtooth School of Visual Art and, twice, Piedmont Opera, the newspaper said.

Two join Nussbaum Center board

Deven Griffin, an industrial asset recovery specialist for D.H. Griffin Companies, and Leigh Ann Klee, chief financial officer and chief operating officer at Pace Communications, have joined the board of directors of the Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship in Greensboro.

Greensboro Hospice recognized for focus on veterans

Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro has been recognized as a Level Four Partner in We Honor Veterans, a campaign developed by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Hospice received the recognition for increasing its capacity to sever veterans and their families; developed and strengthened partnerships with hospices, VA, veterans organizations and other health care organizations; promoted hospice and palliative care for veterans; and shown the impact of its programs that focus on veterans.

Greensboro United Way partners honored

Five of 14 statewide recipients of the Spirit of North Carolina awards from United Way of North Carolina are partners of United Way of Greater Greensboro.

They include Guilford County Schools in the category of school campaigns with more than 5,000 employees; Morrisette Paper Co., manufacturing campaign with 51 to 100 Employees; Kayser-Roth Corp., manufacturing with 101 to 200 employees; E.P. Pearce Elementary School, school campaign with 51 to 100 employees; and city of Greensboro and Guilford County, city or county with more than 5,000 employees.

Free promotional video for nonprofits

Raleigh video production company Blueforest Studios has invited Triangle nonprofits that focus on the community, environment, or economics to apply for production of a free promotional video valued at $5,000 to $10,000 that can be posted online, and to participate in seminars, newsletters and other offerings for nonprofits.

National Philanthropic Trust gives $643.7 million

National Philanthropic Trust made more than 25,000 donor-recommended grants totaling over $643.7 million to nearly 13,600 charities in 2015, a 23.7 percent increase in funding dollars from 2014.

The average grant size was $26,750.

Since it was founded in 1996, the Trust has raised over $5.9 billion and made over 136,000 grants totaling over $3.2 billion.

Black Philanthropy Initiatives gives $17,400

The Black Philanthropy Initiative awarded a total of $17,433 in grants from the Black Philanthropy Fund to Authoring Action, Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte, Hanes Magnet School, and Winston-Salem Delta Fine Arts.

The Black Philanthropy Initiative Endowment, which was stablished in 2014 with $25,000 and supplements funds the Initiative raises each year, now totals $90,885.

The Endowment received matching grants of $10,000 each in 2014 and 2015 from First Tennessee Bank under a three-year challenge grant of $10,000 a year to match contributions of donors to the Endowment.

Sole Dimensions donates shoes

Sole Dimensions in Wake Forest donated 195 brand new pairs of shoes to Note in the Pocket, a Raleigh nonprofit that provides clothing to homeless and impoverished school-aged children.

After-school club at Dudley High gets $10,000

The Enrichment Fund for Guilford County Schools has given $10,000 to the Advanced Technology Team, an after-school club at Dudley High School in Greensboro.

The funds were from a $20,000 contribution last year from Dun & Bradstreet, which has contributed a total of $50,000 to the Enrichment Fund since 2013.

Individuals with disabilities focus of partnerships

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — Five days a week this school year, seven young people from all seven public high schools in Durham who have completed their high school course work are interning at Duke Regional Hospital, rotating through departments to develop skills to prepare them for local jobs.

The students all have intellectual and developmental disabilities and spent most of their school career separated from most other students, learning in classrooms for those with “individual education plans.”

They are are among 70 who are interning at nine sites, primarily hospitals, throughout North Carolina through Project SEARCH, a model launched in 1996 at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Funding several of the North Carolina programs has been the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities.

The Council, a stand-alone state agency that reports to the state secretary of health and human services and is mandated and funded by the federal government, works to give people with disabilities and their families access to — and a voice in shaping — services and supports they need.

Employment is critical for individuals with disabilities, says Chris Egan, the Council’s executive director.

“It means you’re working, and work is a huge outcome for most everyone in our society — to work, earn, contribute and get paid,” he says. “It leads not only to doing the job but to asset development, and engagement with people who become friends. And for people with disabilities, it demonstrates their contribution and potential, and their individuality.”

About 80 percent of individuals with developmental disabilities in the U.S. are unemployed, he says. In North Carolina, about 185,000 to 200,000 individuals, or about 1.5 percent to two percent of the population, live with developmental disabilities.

And they face continuing challenges, including low expectations, stereotyping and isolation, Egan says.

“If you have a disability, you’re often not considered capable, and society’s expectations tend to be low,” resulting in “fewer choices and fewer opportunities to contribute to your community, even when you want to and could,” he says.

Historically, he says, stereotyping resulted in the segregation and separation of individuals with disabilities in school, the workplace and the community.

Operating with an annual budget of $1.9 million and a staff of 10 people, the Council invests 70 percent of its funding in about 20 initiatives that focus on improving services and connectedness for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

A new five-year plan the Council is developing focuses on boosting its constituents’ financial security and community living, and their participation in advocacy work.

Project SEARCH, for example, aims to help students with disabilities make the transition from school to work, combining classroom instruction, career exploration and job‐skills training through internships.

The collaboration taps the resources of schools, businesses, community workforce agencies and the state Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

The Council is working with Wake Technical Community College, Community Workforce Solutions, the state Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Alliance Behavioral Health and NC Works to expand the program to young adults with disabilities in Wake County starting in August.

To help improve community living, the Council is working with Easter Seals UCP of North Carolina and Virginia, and with The Arc of North Carolina, to find a way to integrate and better coordinate access to health and wellness services for individuals with developmental disabilities.

For about 20 years, it also has funded Partners in Policymaking, a program that each year provides about 25 individuals with developmental disabilities and family members with a day-and-a-half of training a month to help build their leadership skills so they can be effective advocates for services they need.

And it is working with Benchmarks, a Raleigh-based alliance of agencies that serve children, adults and families, to organize a state chapter of the National Association of Direct Support Professionals.

Direct support professionals provide services that are indispensable in the daily lives of individuals with developmental disabilities, yet they are among the lowest paid in the health-care field, Egan says.

Ultimately, he says, the Council aims to help ensure that individuals with development disabilities lead full and fulfilling lives.

“A disability is a natural part of human condition,” he says, “and a label doesn’t define a person and what they’re capable of.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 02.05.16

Arts’ impact in Wake County eclipses state, U.S. averages

The creative economy is stronger in Wake County, on average, than in the U.S. and in North Carolina, and also stronger than in Wake, Johnston and Franklin counties combined, and in Charlotte, Concord and Gastonia combined, but it trails Durham and Chapel Hill combined, a new study says.

The Creative Vitality Index, an annual measure of the health of the creative economy in a specific area, is based on federal data on employment and other indicators, and includes for-profit and nonprofit arts-related enterprises.

Based on a national “baseline” or average score of 1, the 2014 index value for Wake was 1.02, down from 1.03 in 2013, 1.05 in 2013, and 1.08 in 2011.

Using the state average as the baseline, Wake’s score in 2014 was 1.52.

Earnings for Wake’s creative industry overall totaled $17 billion, up $47.5 million from 2013, and accounted for 18,811 jobs, up 326 from 2013.

Wake gained 771 creative jobs in 2014, and nonprofit arts groups generated $83.5 million in revenue, or $4.2 million more than in 2013.

Wake received $612,000 in state arts agency grants, up $82,000 from 2013.

The creative vitality index was 1.20 for Durham-Chapel Hill; 0.89 for Wake/Johnston/Franklin counties; and 0.82 for Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia.

Transitions LifeCare raises over $5 million

Transitions LifeCare in Raleigh says it has raised over $5 million in a campaign expected to ends this spring with a goal of raising $6 million to expand its 20-room facility with 10 new patient rooms and other spaces to allow it to serve another 500 patients and their families each year.

In the five years since it opened its Hospice Home, Transitions LifeCare has served over 3,000 patients and their families.

Triangle YMCA buys 32 acres for community hub

YMCA of the Triangle has purchased 32 acres in Southeast Raleigh in the Rock Quarry Road near I-440 to serve as the home of a YMCA facility, affordable housing, a school, health-care options and access to healthy food.

YMCA is seeking partners to deliver those services, and aims to have another organization coordinate community engagement and collaborations.

High Point University raises $230,000 for United Way

High Point University was the third largest contributor to the annual fundraising campaign at United Way of Greater High Point for the third straight year.

The school raised $230,000 for United Way in 2015, up from $38,000 in 2005.

In addition to dollars, students, faculty and staff also donate 100,000 hours of service each year valued at $2.3 million to United Way and other agencies.

Gates Foundation officer to speak in Raleigh

Teresa Rivero, senior program officer for The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will be the keynote speaker at an event on February 18 at Brier Creek Country Club hosted by the Tomorrow Fund for Hispanic Students.

Youth groups get mini-grants

Fifteen youth programs throughout the state received a total of nearly $6,300 in mini-grants from the state Youth Advocacy and Involvement Office.

The winners were among 14 proposals selected by the State Youth Council and Youth Advisory Council, two programs directed by youth that are operated by the Youth Involvement Office, which is directed by the state Department of Administration.

Boys & Girls Clubs members build with blocks

Forty-five members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater High Point took part  last month in the Block Kids Building Program of the National Association of Women in Construction sponsored by its Piedmont Chapter.

Each participant at the event, which was held January 30 and hosted at the Boys & Girls Clubs’ Southside Club, was given legos, tin foil, a rock and string to build a structure.

Judges from the construction management program at N.C. A&T State University in Greensboro, and from the Piedmont Chapter of Women in Construction, selected five winners.

Each winner received a monetary gift and an opportunity to advance to a regional competition.

Big Brothers Big Sisters honors college senior

Jasmine Williams, a senior at High Point University, has been named “Big of the Year” by the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Piedmont.

Williams, a journalism major from Montgomery Village, Md., has volunteered as a mentor and “Big Sister” since 2012, and has held several fundraisers for the organization, including a Bowl-for-Kids-Sake event for which she raised over $1,000 to help match more children in need of mentors.

Summit Rotary awards scholarships

Summit Rotary in Greensboro is awarding 16 McKnight Scholarships of $1,500 each, one for a qualified college‐bound senior from each public high school in Guilford County, bringing to 80 the number of scholarships it has awarded over the last 31 years.

College students donate food

High Point University students who package surplus food from campus dining locations to give to Open Door Ministries three times a week as a part of the Food Recovery Network last semester packaged and donated over 8,000 pounds of food to the organization.

Golf event to benefit Care Ring

Care Ring in Charlotte will benefit from Golfing Fore a Healthy Charlotte on March 28 at Providence Country Club.

Heart Association walk set for Wilson

The American Heart Association will hold its annual Wilson Heart Walk on April 23 at the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf.  Chairing the event, which aims to raise $170,000, is Bill Caldwell, CEO of Wilson Medical Center.

Roger Daltry to host Teen Cancer America event

Roger Daltry, founder of Future Teen Cancer America and singer for The Who, will host an event April 28 at 6 p.m. at the Raleigh Convention Center to benefit future Teen Cancer America units in hospitals throughout North Carolina.

Junior Achievement office gets awards from national organization

Junior Achievement of Eastern North Carolina is among 17 Area offices throughout the U.S. that received a 2014-15 Peak Performance Team Award for superior performance from Junior Achievement USA.

The Eastern North Carolina office also won a 4 Star Award for meeting the national organization’s operational standards for compliance, student impact, operational efficiency, financial stability and sustainability.

High Point Boys & Girls Clubs recognized for safety

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater High Point is one of four Boys & Girls Clubs and 59 youth

camps across the U.S. to receive the Safety First designation for 2015 from financial-services company Markel.

The Safety First program recognizes policyholders for commitment to the safety of their employees and customers.