Group works to protect animals, raise awareness

By Todd Cohen

DURHAM, N.C. — On a typical day, the Durham County Animal Shelter is home to up to 300 dogs, cats and other animals.

“Six thousand pass through the shelter every year or that we serve through a safety-net program for people who cannot afford to keep animals in their home,” says Shafonda Davis, executive director of the Animal Protection Society of Durham, which has a contract to manage the county-owned facility.

The number of animals the shelter handles each year actually is down from nearly 9,000 in 2008 as a result of efforts by the Society to raise awareness of the need to adopt, spay and neuter cats and dogs, although the need for better care of animals remains “huge,” Davis says.

Founded in 1970, the Society operates with an annual budget of $1.5 million, a staff of 23 full-time employees and 370 active volunteers.

Its generates about half its funds from earned income, including nearly $619,000 from the county, plus fees for adoption, flea-and-tick prevention, microchips implanted in animals to keep track of them, and cat carriers.

It generates the remaining half of its funds from contributions, mainly from individuals and events that include a walk in May, a gala in November and an annual fund that raise a total of about $750,000.

Under the Society’s contract with the county, the Shelter is an “open-admission” facility that accepts every animal.

Animals remain the shelter until they find a home or are severely injured or ill. It provides spaying and neutering, medical care and adoption services and euthanasia.

In 2016, the Society euthanized nearly 2,400 animals, mainly for medical reasons and serious aggression.

“We offer euthanasia as a free service because we don’t believe any animal should suffer and die in pain,” Davis says. “A lot of people can’t afford that,”

The Society also handled the adoption of nearly 1,900 animals and returned nearly 700 lost animals to their homes.

For lost animals returned to their homes, the Society provides free microchips and name tags so they can be tracked and identified, and offers free or discounted spaying or neutering.

To raise awareness about animal protection, the Society holds about 20 community events throughout the year, as well as tours of the facility that attract a total of about 200 visitors.

Once a month, it takes adoptable dogs from the shelter to meet patrons at Beer Durham, a local brewery. One Sunday a month, it takes animals to Oliver’s Collar, a dog-treat bakery and boutique. Every Monday, Macy’s at Southpoint Mall hosts animals from the shelter. And once a month the Society brings cats from the shelter to The Regulator bookstore.

The Society also participates in events like Festival of the Eno. And Davis talks about animals to students in schools and university settings, including the College of Veterinary Medicine at N.C. State University.

Raising awareness about animal protection is critical, says Davis, a Durham native who says she knew at age four she wanted “to spend every waking hour” with animals.”We try to incorporate education with everything we do,” she says.

Nonprofit news roundup, 02.24.17

Shelter lands $100,000 grant

Wesley Shelter, a nonprofit in Wilson that serves domestic-violence survivors and homeless women and children has been awarded the 2017 Joy W. Pope Memorial Grant in Human Services, including a $100,000 grant, from the John William Pope Foundation.

Wesley Shelter, among over 40 groups throughout the state that submitted applications for the one-time prize, will use the funds for to expand and improve handicap accessibility to its facility, allowing it to accommodate additional clients and relocate existing office space to create more efficient shelter space.

Prevention Partners suspends operations

Prevention Partners, a Chapel Hill nonprofit that worked to build healthier communities through products designed to guide schools, workplaces, hospitals and clinics to address the leading causes of preventable disease, suspended operations on February 17 after 18 years in the face of financial challenges, Whitney Davis, its chief mission officer, said in an email announcement.

Reynolds joins Our Towns Habitat

Patrice Reynolds, former executive director for Friends of the Animals in Mooresville, has been named director of development of Our Towns Habitat for Humanity in Cornelius.

Bailey’s gives over $70,000

Bailey’s Fine Jewelry donated over $61,000 to local charities in 2016 through a program that provides customers with a complimentary watch-battery replacement and in exchange requests they make to a charity it designates each month.

Since it launched the effort in 2008, Bailey’s has donated over $355,000 to nonprofits in the Raleigh, Rocky Mount and Greenville.

Bailey’s also donated $9,500 in 2016 to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina through a program in which it donates funds to buy 360 meals to feed a family in return for every ring purchased from its special collection of engagement and wedding jewelry.

Hurricane relief effort gets $10,000

The North Carolina FFA Association received a $10,000 donation form the Crop Science division of Bayer to help fund up to 20 community enhancement projects over the next several months to help strengthen and rebuild communities affected by Hurricane Matthew.

United Way honors Triad campaigns

Seven organizations in the High Point area and five in the Greensboro area received Spirit of North Carolina Awards for Campaign Excellence from United Way of North Carolina.

Winners in High Point, which received nearly one-fourth of the 29 Spirit awards given to organizations throughout the state, included Cross Company; High Point University; Mickey Truck Bodies; Smith Leonard; Thomas Built Buses; Guilford County Schools; and City/County Government of Guilford County.

Winners in Greensboro included City of Greensboro and Guilford County; Guilford County Schools; SunTrust Bank; E.P. Pearce Elementary School; and Northwest Middle School.

Habitat Greensboro honors volunteers

Arnold Jeffries received the 2016 Joe White Volunteer of the Year Award from Habitat for Humanity of Greater Greensboro, and Geneva Metzger and Joseph Stiefel received the 2016 Gerard Davidson Lifetime Achievement Award.

Hispanic League scholarships total $700,000

The Hispanic League has awarded 328 scholarships since 2000 worth a total $700,000 to Hispanic/Latino students who are current or former Forsyth County English Language Learner students.

On February 24, the Hispanic League and the American Heart Association were scheduled to team  up to bring the Hispanic League Beating Hearts Zumbathon to Winston-Salem at the Village Inn Event Center in Clemmons.

Volunteers pitch in at child center

Seven employees of Tar Heel Basement Systems volunteered at ABC of NC Child Development Center in Winston-Salem, setting up activity stations and connecting with individual children.

The nonprofit serves children and families with autism.

Event to raise scholarships funds

The Project One Scholarship Fund will host its sixth annual “Power of One” fundraiser on March 28 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Byron’s South End at 101 W. Worthington Ave. in Charlotte.

The event, which is free but requires registration in advance, last year raised $70,000 for college scholarships for students in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

Habitat Greensboro building house to mark 30 years

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Greensboro has begun building a house over the course of 30 days to mark its 30th anniversary.

Habitat construction employees are working with volunteers representing sponsors Brady Services; Christ United Methodist Church; Columbia Forest Products; Cone Health; First Presbyterian Church; Hillcrest Partners/Windsor Homes; Volvo Financial Services; Wells Fargo, and Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Volunteers work on playground

El Buen Pastor Latino Community Services in Winston-Salem is getting a new playground that will serve over 250 children and will be built by the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and KaBoom!.

United Way gets $56,000

Publix Super Markets donated over $56,000 to the capital campaign of United Way of Forsyth County in the chain’s first nine months of business in the region.

Adequacy of school financing still ‘a problem’

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina’s system for financing schools is “relatively equitable, stable and flexible,” but its adequacy “most likely remains a problem” for its public schools, a new report says.

Enrollment has grown steadily to about 1.5 million students, including nearly 90,000 at 167 charter schools, while spending per pupil overall, as well as personnel per student in traditional schools, both have declined, says Financing Education in North Carolina, a report from the North Carolina Justice Center.

Per-pupil spending

In fiscal 2016, the state ranked 44th in the U.S. on spending per pupil, down one spot from before fiscal 2009, when budget cuts were made in the face of the recession, the report says.

Per-pupil spending has grown just over two percent since fiscal 2009, but has declined over eight percent when adjusted for inflation, the report says.

In fiscal 2016, per-pupil spending in North Carolina was $3,182 below the national average of about $12,000, the report says.

In fiscal 2009, it says, per-pupil spending in North Carolina had been $1,552 below the national average of over $10,000.

Enrollment and personnel

Enrollment in the state’s public schools has grown 18.6 percent over the past 15 years, driven in recent years by the number of students enrolled in charter schools, the report says.

Yet the number of personnel per student in the state’s traditional public schools has fallen 10.4 percent since fiscal 2009, including six percent fewer teachers and 31 percent fewer teacher assistants, the report says.

Urban school districts continue to attract students, while most rural districts are losing students, with only 28 districts growing in fiscal 2017, and 87 districts losing students.

Diverse districts

North Carolina is home to 115 school districts, including 89 that share their borders with counties, and multiple school districts in 11 counties.

The state is home to nearly 2,600 schools, including charter schools, and they represent diverse populations and student demographics.

The school districts in Wake County and Charlotte-Mecklenburg, for example, are among the 20 largest school districts in the U.S., with each enrolling about 150,000 students, while 40 districts in the state enroll fewer than 4,000 students.

The number of students in Wake, the biggest district in the state, is about the same as the combined total of the state’s 54 smallest districts.

Nearly 18 percent of students in Asheboro City Schools speak English as a second language, compared to fewer than one percent of students in Weldon City Schools.

And 28 percent of students in Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools qualify for lunch that is free or at a reduced price, compared to 88 percent of students in Lexington City Schools.

And 19 percent of students in Stokes County have an identified disability, compared to seven percent in Clinton City Schools.

Funding sources

State law requires that the state pay for instructional expenses for current operations of public schools, and that counties pay for public-education facilities.

In North Carolina, the state historically has accounted for about 65 percent of school district funding.

Local funding —  including appropriations from county governments, as well as private donations — accounts for about 25 percent, and federal funding accounts for about 10 percent.

In fiscal 2014, throughout the U.S., states on average accounted for 46 percent of public school revenue, while local funding accounted for 45 percent and the federal government accounted for nine percent.

State funding

In North Carolina, most state funding for public schools — a total $9.4 billion in fiscal 2017 — is based on student “headcount,” which is measured by the number of students enrolled each day divided by the number of days in the month.

The 10 largest funding categories — such as classroom teachers; children with special needs; transportation; and teacher assistants — represent 90 percent of all state funding distributed to the schools.

Federal funding

In fiscal 2016, child nutrition accounted for 37 percent of federal funds North Carolina received for public schools, while funding to help children from low-income families account for 31 percent and funds for services for students with disabilities accounted for 22 percent.

Local funding

Local spending on schools varies dramatically among school districts, both in amount and share of funds, the report says.

In the fiscal 2016, local spending per pupil in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro City Schools totaled $5,710, for example, compared to $415 in Swain County.

And local sources accounted for half of total spending by the Chapel Hill/Carrboro Schools, compared to only eight percent for Robeson County.

North Carolina is one of 18 states with a funding system that, on average, directs more resources to poor districts than wealthy districts, yet local wealth allows some individual school districts to supplement funding for schools to levels most districts cannot afford, the report says.


Revenue from the North Carolina Lottery allocated to support education — less than 35 percent of total Lottery revenue since fiscal 2008 — has grown to $592 million from $325 million 10 years ago, yet accounts for only five percent of total state support for public schools, the report says

Much of the funding from the Lottery, it says, now supports programs previously supported by spending from the  state’s General Fund, allowing state lawmakers to “shift” General Fund spending to programs outside the education budget.

The state is not responsible for capital spending but sometimes issues bonds support school construction, while the Lottery, currently $100 million, supports construction projects.

School districts in the state project their facility needs will total $8.1 billion over the next five years.

Charter schools and vouchers

State funding for charter schools — public schools given additional operating flexibility and overseen by independent nonprofit boards of directors rather than locally-elected school boards — exceeded $461 million in fiscal 2017.

Two voucher programs — which provide state funding to families of students who attend a private schools — provided scholarships for over 5,000 students in low-income families in fiscal 2017, and grants for over 800 students with disabilities.

Salaries and benefits

Ninety-four percent of state spending for public schools, and 84 percent of total spending for schools, supports salaries and benefits of state employees, the report says.

Over time, it says, common measures of inflation, such as the Consumer Price Index, “underestimate the actual budget pressures faced by public schools.”

That’s because schools spend most of their money on college-educated professionals, such as teachers and principals, the report says, and wages and benefits for college-educated workers tend to rise faster than the cost of goods, which often can become less expensive as a result of technological advances.

So public schools “face cost pressures above those reflected by traditional inflation measures,” the report says.

— Todd Cohen

Nonprofit news roundup, 02.17.17

Community information gaps focus of new effort

Looking for ways to identify “information gaps” in local communities, and to work with residents to find ways to close those gaps over the long-term will be the focus of 18 months of training that will be available to four community and “place-based” foundations from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The training effort is based on a pilot that Knight conducted with four other foundations in which it now will invest a total of $1 million in matching grants to help them put into place plans they already have developed with local residents to close local information gaps.

The four foundations in the pilot that now will get a total of $1 million more are Chicago Community Trust; Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; Incourage Community Foundation; and Silicon Balley Community Foundation.

March 24 is the deadline for other community and place-based foundations to submit applications to participate in the 18-month training program, known as the Knight Community Information Lab.

Methodist Home raises $315,000

Methodist Home for Children in Raleigh raised $315,000 and attracted 585 guests on February 4 at its 20th annual gala, A Winter’s Tale.

$310,000 awarded for environmental projects

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina awarded a total of $309,645 to 11 environmental projects from its Pigeon River Fund, bringing to nearly $6.2 million the total grants it has awarded since 1996.

These grants support projects — that focus on improving surface water quality, and fish and wildlife management habitats; expanding public use and access to waterways; and increasing awareness to help protect resources — in Buncombe, Haywood and Madison counties.

Heritage Home Group sponsoring United Way dinner

Heritage Home Group in High Point has donated $10,000 and will be the inaugural community sponsor for The Darrell & Stella Harris Champion of Hope benefit dinner that United Way of Greater High Point will host May 16 at the High Point Country Club.

Dodgeball event to benefit Rescue Mission

Community Matters in Charlotte will host its Sixth Annual Dodgeball Tournament, which will be held March 24 from 11 a.m .to 3 p.m. at Sports Connection at 10930 Granite St. Proceeds from the event will benefit Charlotte Rescue Mission.

Event to benefit Cancer Fund

Kay Yow Cancer Fund will hold its inaugural Celebration Run/Walk on February 18 at 11 a.m. Talley Student Center/Stafford Commons on the campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

Transitions GuidingLights to host event

Transitions GuidingLights Caregiver Support Center in Raleigh will host its seventh annual Share to Care fundraiser on February 18 at Governor W. Kerr Scott Building at 1025 Blue Ridge Road from 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

IFB Solutions gets $47,000

IFB Solutions Foundation received a $47,000 grant from Reynolds American Foundation for specially-trained teaching instructors for its year-round Student Enrichment Experience Afterschool Program that works with students from kindergarten through 12th grade who are blind or visually impaired.

Chipper Jones to speak at Bookmarks event

Bookmark will present “Chipper Jones: Behind the Plate” with longtime Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones on April 6 at 6 p.m. at BB&T Ballpark in Winston-Salem.

Presenting sponsors for the event are Blue Door Group and Wilkinson ERA Real Estate.

SECCA curator leaving

Cora Fisher, curator of contemporary art at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, will step down on March 1 after three-and-a-half years in the job.

Williams promoted at Armstrong McGuire

Shannon Williams, a senior adviser at philanthropy consulting firm Armstrong McGuire & Associates in Raleigh, has been promoted to director of client engagement.

Byers joins Daniel Center board

Scott A. Byers, president and CEO of EDM Americas, has joined the board of directors of The Daniel Center for Math and Science in Raleigh.

Habitat gets $10,000

Habitat for Humanity of Pitt County has been awarded a $10,290 grant from Pitt County Community Foundation, a local affiliate of North Carolina Community Foundation, for vouchers to replace household items as part of relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.

Boosting kids’ reading is focus of new effort

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — Early in 2016, a coalition of 31 groups in Wake County staged its third annual book drive and collected 115,000 books.

Known as WAKE Up and Read, the coalition last spring hosted literacy nights for children and parents at 10 elementary schools with the highest percentage of low-income students receiving lunch for free or at a discounted price, and at 20 nearby child-care centers whose children go on to those schools, as well as nine community centers.

The focus of the literacy nights was the importance of helping kids continue to learn during the summer to improve their reading over the summer and avoid an erosion of academic progress they make during the previous school year.

The week after the literacy nights, all the children were able to select 10 books to keep, with their parents reading one book to the children each week over the summer.

“Children who are behind get more behind and so it’s very difficult to catch up,”  says Lisa Finaldi, community engagement leader at the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation.

For the next three years, the Early Childhood Foundation will be working with WAKE Up and Read and separate coalitions in Chatham, Durham, Johnston and Orange counties that aim to help improve reading proficiency among targeted low-income children so they can read at grade level by the end of third grade.

In those five counties, less than 40 percent of economically disadvantaged students were reading at grade level by the end of third grade last year, compared to nearly 58 percent of all student.

The new effort is being funded over three years with an initial investment of $700,000, including $625,000 from Triangle Community Foundation and at least $25,000 from United Way of the Greater Triangle.

Triangle Community Foundation has agreed to give $50,000 a year to each coalition in Wake, Durham, Chatham and Orange counties, and $25,000 the first year to the Early Childhood Foundation.

United Way has pledged $25,000 the first year to the Early Childhood Foundation, and will fund the Johnston County initiative, although the amount has not been determined, Finaldi says.

WAKE Up and Read is the only coalition that already has a plan for using the money.

The coalitions in Durham, Chatham and Orange counties still are developing their plans, and the Johnston County coalition still is taking shape.

In addition to schools and child-care centers, coalition partners can range from pre-kindergarten programs to faith congregations and businesses.

In Wake County, corporate partners include PNC Bank, Fidelity and Eaton Corp., which provides free warehouse space for sorting donated books.

And as part of a local coalition in Dubuque, Iowa, Finaldi says, a barbershop gives free haircuts to kids who read a book while getting the haircut.

The Early Childhood Foundation is lead agency in North Carolina for the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, a national effort to improve reading proficiency among low-income students by the end of third grade.

Research shows that, in addition to summer learning, improving reading proficiency depends on improving attendance at school and making sure children arrive at kindergarten with the social, emotional and developmental skills to learn, Finaldi says.

The two funders of the new Triangle initiative aim to raise more money to invest in local partnerships over the long term, she says.

“You have to have a coalition,” she says. “Schools or parents cannot solve this problem alone.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 02.10.17

Triangle United Way lifting fundraising aim

United Way of the Greater Triangle is looking for its third fundraising chief in less than three years and says it aims to raise $20 million a year within five to eight years, up from its current level of $12 million.

It says it will place greater focus on soliciting “major” gifts of $25,000 or more, and on “principal” gifts of $100,000 or more.

Allison Warren-Barbour has left Triangle United Way after just over a year-and-a-half as senior vice president of resource development and engagement to become president and CEO of United Way of Snohomish County in the state of Washington.

She had succeeded Virginia Parker, who left Triangle United Way after 15 months as senior vice president of resource development and strategic partnership to become senior vice president and Triangle market manager at Bank of America.

Triangle United Way now is looking for a chief philanthropy and business development officer.

SECU Family House gets $2 million challenge

SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill has received a $2 million challenge grant from State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation to spur statewide donations to its $8 million campaign to support its expansion to 75 rooms from 40.

Our Towns Habitat honored

Our Towns Habitat for Humanity in Cornelius has been recognized as an Affiliate of Distinction by Habitat for Humanity International, and also been awarded the Duke Citizenship and Service Award from the Lake Normal Chamber of Commerce for its impact in North Mecklenburg and Iredell Counties.

Free tax-preparation available

United Way of Greater Greensboro and BB&T Bank will host the fourth annual Family Economic Success Day February 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Guilford Child Development at 1200 Arlington St. in Greensboro.

The event will include free state and federal income tax preparation and filing by IRS-certified volunteers, as well as workshops on financial topics.

BB&T also will provide free credit reports and reviews to those who qualify for tax preparation, which is available to people whose households earned $54,000 or less in 2016.

Appointments are required. Contact Zanda Cuff at United Way at or (336) 378-5029.

Facilitators certified for girls leadership program

The first 18 facilitators have received certification for the Girls Leadership Edge program, a series of learning modules to be delivered to girls age 13 to 15 in Guilford County.

The Women’s Professional Forum Foundation funded the program, which is a partnership with the Center for Creative Leadership and the Guilford Nonprofit Consortium.

Grants awarded for hurricane relief

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Raleigh received $10,920 and the Eastern Baptist Association received $3,750 from the Disaster Relief Fund of the North Carolina Community Foundation for Hurricane Matthew disaster relief, while the Wilson County Community Foundation, a local affiliate of statewide foundation, awarded $1,000 to the Community Soup Kitchen of Wilson County for hurricane relief and recovery.

Winston-Salem Foundation gives $320,000

The Winston-Salem Foundation awarded 16 grants totaling $319,775 to support programs in the areas of animal welfare, arts and culture, community and economic development, environment, health, human services, and public interest for people living in  Forsyth County.

Children’s Dental Health Center gets $1,500

Alamance County Children’s Dental Health Center received $1,500 from Delta Dental Foundation.

Inter-Faith Food Shuttle gets $20,000

Inter-Faith Food Shuttle in Raleigh received $20,000 from First Tennessee Bank to support its BackPack Buddies program that provides weekend meals during the school year to children from homes that need food.

Three join Davidson Hospice board

Debbie Carlton Fanary, Sid Proctor and Nancy Miller Wright have joined the board of directors of Hospice of Davidson County in Lexington.

Greensboro awarded $25,000 challenge grant

ArtsGreensboro and the City of Greensboro have been awarded a $25,000 challenge grant from Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation for the second straight year to support free outdoor concerts this summer at the Jimmie I. Barber Park in East Greensboro.

United Way honors five Forsyth County groups

Aladdin Travel and Meeting Planners, City of Winston-Salem, B/E Aerospace, Reynolds American and HanesBrands, all in Forsyth County, have been named recipients of the Spirit of North Carolina Award from United Way of North Carolina.

The groups will be honored at the statewide annual award luncheon on February 17 at noon at the Sheraton Hotel & Koury Convention Center in Greensboro.

Young leaders pack food for people in need

Members of Young Leaders United, a program of United Way of Greater High Point, packed over 200 bags of food for for local families in need at The Salvation Army of High Point on January 25.

Women’s Council elects officers

Mary Anne Squire Weiss has been elected chairwoman and Mamie Sutphin has been elected vice chairwoman of The Women’s Council, which supports the Novant Health Foundation Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem.

Event to focus on ending discrimination against women

WomenNC, which works to train women’s human-rights advocates and advocates for women’s-rights legislation at the local level, will host “Durham Local to Global Women Forum: Cities for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women” on February 23 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Durham Human Services Building at 414 E. Main St.

Five join Our Towns Habitat board

Matthew Blickley, Dan Dunn, Kay Fisher, Charles Warren and Tim Zarsadia have joined the board of directors of Our Towns Habitat for Humanity, which serve North Mecklenburg and Iredell counties.

Free grantwriting workshop

The African American Community Foundation at Foundation for the Carolinas in Charlotte will host a free grantwriting seminar on March 1 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church at 3400 Beatties Ford Road in Charlotte.
To reserve a space, contact Carla McCrorey at Foundation For The Carolinas by February 21 at or 704.973.4358.