Nonprofit news roundup, 10.14.16

Fundraising veterans form consulting firm

Three veteran fundraising professionals in the Triad have formed Stepstone Strategic, a consulting firm that will work with nonprofit presidents, CEOs and board leaders on fundraising strategy, leadership development and communications.

Forming the new firm are Sandra Boyette, retired senior advisor to the president at Wake Forest University and its former vice president for university advancement; Bill Porter, retired vice president for fund development at Cone Health and former vice chancellor for development and public relations at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts; and J.D. Wilson,  co-founder, chairman, CEO and retired president of Excalibur Direct Marketing.

Offices for the new firm will be at Innovation Quarter in Winston-Salem.

Tomorrow Fund to shut down

The Tomorrow Fund for Hispanic Students this fall will launch a final fundraising campaign, aiming to raise $147,000, and then make its final scholarship awards in 2017 before shutting down.

The Tomorrow Fund, which is housed at Triangle Community Foundation, is shutting down in the wake of changes made last year at the Foundation, where it cannot remain and continue fundraising, Diane Evia-Lanevi, founder and board chair of the Tomorrow Fund and a former member of the board of directors of the Foundation, says in an email distributed to supporters.

Since 2009, the Fund has awarded scholarships totaling $824,584 in scholarships, including $153,400 it awarded in June to 23 Hispanic and Latino students in financial need.

Religion’s economic impact valued at $1.2 trillion

Religion in the U.S. contributes $1.2 trillion a year to the economy, a new study says.

That contribution includes $438.4 billion from businesses, $418 billion from congregations, and $302.9 billion from institutions, including those in the fields of health care, higher education, and charity, says the study, “The Socio-economic Contribution of Religion to American Society: An Empirical Analysis.”

Over 150 million Americans, or about half the U.S. population, belong to over 344,000 congregations, says the study, which was prepared by researchers at Georgetown University and Newseum Institute, published in Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion, and sponsored by Faith Counts.

Despite declining religious affiliation in the U.S. population, the study says, religious organizations in the last 15 years have tripled — to $9 billion — their spending on social programs.

Congregations coordinate 7.5 million volunteers to help run 1.5 million social programs each year, the study says, and 40 percent of the top 50 charities in the U.S. are faith-based, with combined operating revenues of $45.3 billion.

The economic impact of religion, the study says, exceeds the combined annual revenues of the top 10 tech companies, including Apple, Amazon, and Google.

Nearly 120,000 congregations report attracting visitors for their art or architecture each year, nearly four times the number of American museums visited during the same period.

Defined as gross domestic product, the study says, the economic impact of U.S. religion would make it the 15th largest national economy in the world.

Volunteers collect food for Greensboro Urban Ministry

Volunteers from 39 congregations and civic groups worked for two days during hurricane-related rain and collected nearly 50,000 pounds of non-perishable items to help restock the Food Pantry at Greensboro Urban Ministry.

East Durham Children’s Initiative names chief operating officer

Nicky Charles, former executive director and deputy chief of staff for the School District of Philadelphia, had joined East Durham Children’s Initiative as chief operating officer.

Cumberland funder announces hurricane relief fund

Cumberland Community Foundation announced a $50,000 match for gifts to its Giving Together Hurricane Matthew Relief Fund to support disaster relief and long-term recovery in Cumberland County in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.

Distributions will be awarded in collaboration with Cumberland Disaster Recovery Coalition. United Way of Cumberland County is acting as fiscal agent for the fund.

Rotary volunteers repair homes

Volunteers from eight area Rotary clubs provided home repairs for four low-income residents in a four-day blitz starting October 7 through the 10th annual Project Rebuild for Community Housing Solutions.

High Point University gets $1.7 million

The School of Education at High Point University received a state grant, managed by the North Carolina Alliance for School Leadership Development, of $833,000 for 2016-17 and $893,000 for 2017-18 to begin the High Point Leadership Academy in January 2017.

The grant provides funding for the preparation and support of school principals in North Carolina.

Nominations open for awards for business support of arts

November 28 is the deadline for submitting nominations to United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County for awards for business support of the arts.

The awards, co-sponsored by The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, will be presented January 10, 2017, at the 6th Annual State of Arts and Culture in Wake County event.

Winston-Salem Foundation gives $339,000

The Winston-Salem Foundation Foundation awarded 15 community grants totaling $339,338.

Free ‘Ask-A-Lawyer’ event

The Pro Bono Board at the School of Law at Elon University and the Alamance County Bar Association will co-sponsor a free “Ask-A-Lawyer” event on October 22 at Ebenezer Center at 734 Apple St. in Burlington from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

At the event, anyone with legal questions will have an opportunity to consult with lawayers at no cost.

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