Trump says he will ‘destroy’ law barring politicking by churches
President Trump says he will “totally destroy” a 1954 law that prohibits churches from endorsing or opposing political candidates, The New York Times reported.
Under the law, known as the “Johnson Amendment,” churches can lose their tax-exempt status if they engage in political speech.
“Freedom of religion is a sacred right, but it is also a right under threat all around us,” Trump said at the National Prayer Breakfast. “That is why I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution.”
Repeal of the law requires approval by Congress.
Arts Council sets $2.81 million campaign goal
The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County aims to raise $2.81 million in its annual campaign for the fiscal year that ends September 30, including $525,000 for targeted priorities.
Last year, the campaign exceeded its $2.5 million goal by $300,000 and used the additional funds for those targeted priorities, which were developed through community listening sessions two years ago.
Last year’s effort generated 27 percent of its funds from 80 workplace campaigns; 20 percent from individuals; 35 percent from corporate gifts; 14 percent from state, county and city funding; and four percent from foundations.
The Arts Council has allocated $1.66 million raised last year to support 29 arts organizations, 18 projects for artists going into Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools; and 12 individual artists through the Duke Energy Regional Artists Projects Grant.
The Council also manages the Arts Council Theatre on Coliseum and the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts on Spruce Street.
Target priorities to be supported by the campaign include “youth arts enrichment” outside the classroom for after-school and early-childhood programs; “creative ventures,” or new models of sustainability for the arts for emerging organizations; “art in unexpected places,” or nontraditional venues, such as public art or public places not usually reserved for arts; and “arts and healing,” using arts to improve health and well-being.
“We hope people make a base unrestricted general fund gift and on top of that designate a smaller amount for one or more of the targeted initiatives,” says Devon MacKAY, director of the annual fund for the Arts Council.
Co-chairing the campaign are Anna Marie Smith, who recently joined Forsyth Technical Community College as chief human resources officer, and Joe Logan, founding and former executive director of the International Casual Furnishings Association, the trade association for the outdoor furnishings industry.
Piedmont Opera gets $100,000
Piedmont Opera has is getting $100,000 from an anonymous donor.
The gift is restricted to replace the Norman and Matilda Anne Nickel Johnson Trust, which was bequeathed to the opera in 2005 and has helped support operations each year.
The anonymous donation will be used to extend the life of the trust.
Healthy relationships focus of new initiative
Promoting happy, healthy and safe relationships and improving quality of life across Guilford County is the focus of a new partnership between the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Phillips Foundation.
Known as Guilford County Healthy Relationships Initiative, the effort aims to use community mobilization, social marketing and educational programming to help improve public health.
It will kick off with a month-long series of events, including a community date night, educational workshops and a family day at local YMCA branches.
Guiding the effort, which offers free and online toolkits, as well as training for Guilford County professionals, is a steering committee that represents 21 community groups.
Greensboro Area Ministry get food donations
Projected a 20 percent increase in demand for food from hungry people, Greensboro Urban Ministry on January 23, a Monday, issued a public plea for food donations.
By the following Friday morning, it has received cash and food donations totaling the equivalent of over 41,000 pounds of food.
In addition, 25 businesses, congregations, schools and civic groups had scheduled food drives.
Based on its rate of distribution, the agency expected the 41,000 pounds of newly donated food to last 11 days.
In 2016, distributed over one million pounds of food through its food pantry and Potter’s House Community Kitchen, which serves lunch daily to anyone in the community who is hungry.
Of that total, it distributed nearly 760,000 pounds through the food pantry to men, women and families with children needing food assistance.
Overall last year, it nearly 38,500 individuals and nearly 21,000 households with food assistance in 2016.
Through its Emergency Assistance Program, Greensboro Urban Ministry assists 100 or more households with groceries every day.
To meet the increased demand, its pantry is distributing about 3,600 pounds of food a day.
With a drop in food donations in last fall and this winter, combined with a spike in requests for food assistance, the flow of food out of the pantry was outpacing donations.
The agency says its budget provides funds each year to buy food when its inventory gets low, but that it has spent those funds by the end of December.
Salvation Army seeks clothing donations
The Salvation Army of High Point, which distributes clothing to 75 to 100 individuals every week but says donations are running low, is looking for donations of gently used clothing articles for men, women, and children.
Clothing items not directly given away to families needing assistance are sold at The Salvation Army of High Point Family Stores to fund local social services programs and ministries.
Population growth outpaces Wake County creative sector
For-profit and nonprofit art-related enterprises in Wake County generated $1.8 billion in earnings in 2014, up $106 million from a year earlier but trailing growth in the county’s population, a new report says
The Creative Vitality Index, released by United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County and prepared by the Western States Arts Federation, says Wake gained over 2,300 creative jobs in 2016, with revenue for nonprofit arts jobs flat at $83.5 million
Compared to a national “baseline” or average score of 1.00 on the Index, which measures the health of the creative economy in a specific geographic, Wake scored 1.00 on the Index.
Compared to a state average of 1.00, Wake scored 1.47.
Among 59 creative occupations the Index tracks, 437 postsecondary teachers represented the biggest, followed by 207 photographers; 202 graphic designers; 180 singers and musicians; and 193 writers and authors, who last year eclipsed the number of public relations specialists.
Higher-education endowments post 1.9% loss
Endowments at 805 U.S. colleges and universities with a total of $515.1 billion endowment assets posted an average loss of 1.9 percent in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2016, a new report says, dow from a return of 2.4 percent the previous fiscal year, a new report says.
The 2016 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments says the loss contributed to a decline to five percent in 10-year average returns from 6.3 percent a year earlier, and well below the median 7.4 percent return most institutions need to maintain the purchasing power of their endowments after spending, inflation and the cost of investment management.
Still, the report says, 74 percent of institutions reported they increased spending from their endowments in fiscal 2016 to support their mission, with a median increase of 8.1 percent.
The average endowment for schools in the study totaled nearly $640 million, with the endowments for nearly half the schools totaling $100 million or less.
Fidelity Charitable gives $3.5 billion
Fidelity Charitable made a record-high $3.5 billion in grants on behalf of its donors in 2016, up 15 percent from 2015, and bringing to $25 billion its grantmaking over its first 25 years.
In 2016, over 750,000 individual grants supported 110,000 charities.
High Point University names arena, conference center for Qubeins
High Point University names its new basketball arena and conference center for its president, Nido Qubein, and his wife, Mariana Qubein.
Qubein has donated $10 million the the school, which has raised over $300 million during his tenure.
The new complex will include an arena that seats 4,500 spectators, a conference center will seat up to 2,500 individuals, and a hotel with 30 to 40 residential rooms.
New board officers, members at Financial Pathways
Lori Timm of Allegacy Consulting has been elected chairman of the board of directors of Financial Pathways of the Piedmont in Winston-Salem, and April Broadway of N-Finity Consulting has been elected vice chair.
Elected to the board are Tamika Bowers of Wells Fargo; Kathy Cissna of Reynolds American; Evan Raleigh of the City of Winston-Salem; Aimee Smith of Craige Jenkins Liipfert and Walker; and community volunteer Lynn Thrower.
Three join Habitat Greensboro board
Habitat homeowner ChesKesha Cunningham-Dockery of Sheetz Distribution Services, Cyndi Dancy of Dancy Research, and DeJuan Harris of Calvary Christian Center have joined the board of directors of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Greensboro.
United Way honors City/County fundraising
The annual City/County Employee Campaign, which raises funds for United Way of Greater Greensboro and its agency programs, has received a 2016 Spirit of North Carolina Award for Campaign Excellence from United Way of North Carolina.
It was the fourth straight year the campaign has received the award.
In 2016, the City and Guilford County raised $247,970 for United Way, up 21 percent from a year earlier, bringing to over $5.5 million the total the City and County have raised since 2001.
Junior Achievement honored
Junior Achievement of the Triad received the 4 Star Award from Junior Achievement USA, recognizing area staff and boards that meet Junior Achievement’s national standards in operational efficiency and through strong representation of the organization’s brand, and that must demonstrate growth in student impact and superior fiscal performance.