Nonprofit news roundup, 08.12.16

Wealthy colleges shortchange low-incomes students, report says

U.S. colleges and universities with the biggest endowments invest relatively little in low-income students, a new report says.

Nearly half the schools with over $500 million in endowment assets rank in the bottom five percent nationally based on enrollment of students getting federal Pell grants for financial need, says the report, “A Glimpse Inside the Coffers: Endowment Spending at Wealthy Colleges and Universities,” from The Education Trust.

At four in five of those schools, the annual net price for low-income students exceeds 60 percent of annual family income.

“This effectively prices out many low-income students, funneling them to institutions that are less selective and have far fewer resources,” the report says.

In 2013, it says, endowment assets at 138 institutions — roughly 3.6 percent of all colleges and universities in the U.S. — exceeded $500 million each.

Those school held 75 percent of all post-secondary endowment wealth.

Their median endowment in 2013 was valued at over $1.05 billion, with a per-student value slightly above $137,000.

By contrast, endowments at 1,525 four-year public and private nonprofit institutions with less than $500 million in endowment assets had a median overall value of roughly $24 million and a median per-student value of roughly $9,600.

Between 2010 and 2013, new contributions to endowments at 67 wealthy institutions the study analyzed added an average of 3.1 percent annually to the size of their endowments.

During the same period, those endowments generated an average annual return on investment of 11.1 percent.

Among those 57 schools, the median spending rate totaled 4.6 percent and 4.9 percent in fiscal 2012 and 2013, respectively.

Individually, those schools spent between $11.5 million and 1.5 billion in 2013, and collectively they spend over $9.3 billion.

While the median endowment spending rate approaches the five percent minimum-spending threshold that private foundations are required to disburse, the study says, the spending rate at roughly two-thirds of the 67 schools was below five percent in 2012,and roughly half the schools had spending rates below five percent in 2013.

Even after accounting for all spending, additional contributions and net investment gains generated an increase in average endowment wealth of about 8.8 percent annually over the four years studied.

At the start of fiscal 2010, the collective wealth of the 67 schools totaled $149.5 billion; four years later, it totaled $202.3 billion.

Winston-Salem State University Foundation gets $125,000

The Winston-Salem State University Foundation has received $125,000 from BB&T for academic scholarships for students.

The gift will be used to create the Cynthia A. Williams Endowed Scholarship for undergraduates who have declared a major in biology, chemistry, computer science, or mathematics.

Cynthia Williams, a member of the Foundation’s board of directors, retired recently as senior vice president and chief corporate communications officer at BB&T and a member of its executive management team.

Staff changes at SECCA

Katherine White Foster, founding executive director of the New Winston Museum, has joined the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem as director of development.

Debbie Foster Fuchs, past president of the ConvergeSouth Conference of the Triad, has joined SECCA as director of marketing and public relations, while Marisa Avila, box office manager of the RiverRun Film Festival, has joined SECCA as volunteer coordinator, a new position.

Ableidinger joins N.C. Early Childhood Foundation

Mandy Ableidinger, an independent consultant and former director of policy and budget analysis at Action for Children NC, now NC Child, has joined the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation as policy and practice leader.

AbolitionNC to provide anti-human-trafficking education

AbolitionNC in Greensboro will help provide anti­-human-trafficking education to every Guilford County high school and every sex-education teacher.

Through the initiative, the result of a 2015 state law, students in eighth through 12th grade will get instruction on the dangers and signs of human trafficking as a part of their reproductive health classes through the use of a DVD.

In July, the health advisory committee to the Guilford County Schools approved the DVD and its curriculum.

Junior Achievement reports banner year

Junior Achievement of Eastern North Carolina posted record highs in number of students served and contact hours during the 2015-16 academic year.

The 41-year-old nonprofit develops partnerships between schools, sponsors and volunteers in 18 counties that focus on financial literacy, workforce development and entrepreneurship for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

In 2015-16, it worked with 650 volunteers, up 11 percent from 2014-15; offered 440 classes, up 11 percent; served 10,970 students, up 10.5 percent; and provided 60,840 instructional contact hours, up 11.5 percent.

Corporate sponsors and their financial support included Wells Fargo, $25,000; John Deere, $20,000; SunTrust Foundation and MetLife, $17,500 each; Duke Energy, $15,000; and Bank of America, Genworth Financial, and John William Pope Foundation, $10,000 each.

Public School Forum to host TV show

The Public School Forum of North Carolina is launching a new weekly television program starting October 2 on WRAL-TV, the NBC affiliate in the Raleigh-Durham and Fayetteville market.

Hosting the program, Education Matters, which will focus on public education in the state, will be Keith Poston, president and executive director of the Forum.

The first show will air at 11:30 a.m., then move to its permanent time slot on Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. starting November 26.

Out of Garden Project gets $40,000

Out of the Garden Project in Greensboro received a gift of $40,000 from the Lillian Steele Bequest Community Hunger Grant through Starmount Presbyterian Church and will hold its annual celebration and fundraiser on September 24 at CS Greensboro.

United Arts Council gets $10,000

United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County received $10,000 from Bank of America to support arts programming for Wake County schools.

Poe Center to benefit from young professionals event

Poe Young Professionals will host a CycleBar Brier Creek Fundraiser Ride benefiting the Poe Center in Raleigh on August 21 at 5:15 p.m. at 8741 Brier Creek Parkway, No. 100.

Christian Foundation to host Raleigh conference

The Raleigh office of the National Christian Foundation will hold its Third Annual Plan to Give Conference on September 20 from 7:30 a.m. to noon at Brier Creek Country Club at  9400 Club Hills Drive.

Family Services to host event

Family Services in Winston-Salem aims to raise $30,000 at  Wake-Up Walk, an event that will be held October 22 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Bailey Park.

Worthy to attend Financial Pathways fundraisers

Former NBA and UNC-Chapel Hill basketball standout James Worthy will the featured guest at two fundraising events for Financial Pathways of the Piedmont in Winston-Salem — a VIP reception September 13 at 5:30 p.m. at Divine Llama Vineyards in East Bend, and a luncheon September 14 at 11:30 a.m. at Benton Convention Center.

School supplies, health screening provided at event

Community Connections and UnitedHealthcare hosted an event in Greensboro on August 6 that provided back-to-school supplies and health screenings for low-income children. At the event, attended by about 800 people, registered nurses conducted blood pressure and glucose screenings to detect health issues and prevent further problems.

Forsyth Family Services to receive school supplies

Tar Heel Basement Systems has selected Forsyth Family Services to receive donations of school supplies.

Nonprofits seen hurting donations

Many nonprofits hurt donations and relationships with donors because they do not clearly define their “value proposition” in interactions with potential donors, a new study says.

The study by NextAfter looks into how well nonprofits and charities can make a case for donation ­ across all platforms and through every channel of the organization.

In the study, sponsored by Douglas Shaw & Associates, over than 125 nonprofits were contacted by “mystery” donors through a variety of channels, including website inquiries, phone, email and social outreach..

About one in three nonprofits never responded to a potential donor’s email, only one in four answered email within 48 hours, and 27 percent had disabled direct messaging on Facebook, thus limiting their interaction with donors.

Duke researchers get $1 million

Two brain researchers at Duke University studying human consciousness have been awarded a $1 million grant by the W.M. Keck Foundation.

Their study, “Unraveling the Neural Gate to Consciousness,” will pair the neurobiology labs of associate professor Fan Wang and assistant professor Kafui Dzirasa in their efforts to find the specific circuits in the brain that govern the conscious and unconscious states.

Arts mini-grants available

September 1 is the deadline for submitting applications to the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County for community enrichment mini-grants of up to $500.

Wells Fargo is sponsoring the grants to community groups and individuals for small-projects that promote creativity and use art as a means to bring people together.

FIRST North Carolina receives award

FIRST North Carolina in Greensboro was one of two winners of the “Excellence in Volunteer Experience” award at the second annual US2020 STEM Mentoring Awards.

FIRST North Carolina, uses robotics to motivate youth to pursue careers in science and technology and engages STEM professionals.

It estimates it has over 1,500 mentors and volunteers who donate a total of over 150,000 hours a year.

Sheetz to host charity event

Sheetz will host its 2nd Annual Double Elimination Cornhole Tournament on August 20 at Greensboro Coliseum, West Wing, with all proceeds to go directly to Sheetz For the Kidz to buy new toys, clothes and other basic needs for children in communities in which Sheetz operates.

The year’s goal is to double the nearly $25,000 raised at last year’s inaugural event that supported over 190 children in North Carolina.

Artist grants available

September 23 at 5 p.m. is the deadline for submitting applications to the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County for Duke Energy Regional Artist Project Grants that support professional development by artists in Forsyth, Davie, Davidson, Stokes, Surry, and Yadkin counties.

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