Nonprofit news roundup, 05.26.17

Level of human need holds steady, index says

The level of human need stayed relatively flat in 2016, according to an indicator developed by The Salvation Army and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.

The Human Needs Index, a joint project of the two groups, tracked the level of American need in 2016 at 1.239, compared with 1.245 in 2015.

In the past decade, the Index hit its highest level in 2012 at 1.331, and several states continue to struggle at levels of need above the national average.

Based on data from The Salvation Army, the Index tracks seven types of services that aim to address basic human needs, including meals provided; groceries; clothing; housing; furniture; medical assistance; and help with energy bills.

Zero on the Index’ scale indicates the lowest recorded level of need.

In 2016, states with the highest Index values were Nevada, 4.409; Wyoming; 4.026; Pennsylvania, 3.234; Alaska; 2.195; and Arkansas, 2.194.

From 2015 to 2016, Wyoming, Minnesota and South Dakota showed the most dramatic increases in need.

Over the past three years, Nevada, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Kansas remained among the 10 states with the highest level of need.

From 2015 to 2016, the Index shows double-digit-percentage increases in requests for medical assistance — payments for prescription medicine — in 18 places, including Tennessee, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Ohio, Hawaii, Maine, Florida, Mississippi, Maryland, Alaska, Missouri, New Hampshire, Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, South Dakota, Oregon and Washington, D.C.

Environmental leadership ‘overwhelmingly white,’ report says

Staff, leadership and boards among the top 40 environmental nonprofits are overwhelmingly white, says a new report from Green 2.0 an advocacy campaign to increase diversity among environmental groups.

People of color represent 27 percent of staff, 15 percent of leadership, and 22 percent of board positions at those organizations in 2017, says Transparency Card, the report.

Two leading environmental groups — Oceana and Pew Charitable Trusts — refused to participate in the survey and submit data, Green 2.0 says.

Greensboro United Way raises $10.1. million

United Way of Greater Greensboro raised $10.1 million in its 2016 campaign.

Chaired by Gregg Strader, executive vice president and chief banking officer at American National Bank and Trust Company, the campaign received a total of $9.62 million from over 17,000 individuals, plus $480,000 through grants.

Cumberland funder awards $179,000 in scholarships

Cumberland Community Foundation in Fayetteville awarded 93 scholarships totaling $179,400, and ranging from $500 to $10,000 per student.

Boys & Girls Clubs raise $25,000

Boys & Girls Clubs of Durham and Orange Counties netted $25,000 from The Bull City Golf Classic Fore Kids.

Job searching focus of nonprofit business network

Providing support for job-seekers is the focus of sessions hosted each week by the nonprofit Triad Job Search Network.

Sessions scheduled for June 6, 13, 20 and  27 at Covenant Methodist Church in High Point will focus, respectively, on answering difficult questions; setting a salary range; local networking associations; and dressing for networking and interviews.

Each session features a guest speaker, is free and held on the second floor of the education wing at the church.

For information on the Job Search Network, which meets weekly from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesdays at the church, at 1526 Skeet Club Road, contact Glenn Wise at 336.298.1152.

Carolina Center for Cognitive Rehabilitation opens tech lab

The Carolina Center for Cognitive Rehabilitation on May 16 dedicated The Sheets Smith Wealth Management Technology Laboratory, which was funded with a $16,000 grant from Sheets Smith Wealth Management and honors William “Bill” G. Smith, co-founder of the company and an aphasia advocate, stroke survivor and member of the Center’s board of directors.

Eastern Music Festival gets $12,500

Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro received a $12,500 grant funding from the Cemala Foundation in Greensboro to support its 2017 programming initiatives.

School gets bike gear, gift cards

Academy Sports + Outdoors donated 25 bikes and helmets to students at Guilford Elementary School in Greensboro; 25 gift cards of $20 each for teachers to buy physical-education equipment; and 10 additional bikes for the school to give out throughout the school year.

Pre-K students get free book

Sixty pre-K students at Hampton Elementary and Guilford Child Development, both in Greensboro, each received free copies of the book from UnitedHealthCare Children’s Foundation, which since 2013 has awarded over 280 grants totaling over $637,000 to families in North Carolina.

Money management focus of program for students

About 300 seventh-graders and eighth-graders at Philo-Hill Magnet Academy in Winston-Salem participated in a program on budgeting and personal finance management coordinated  by the Woman’s Leadership Council, an affinity group of United Way of Forsyth County.

Arts Greensboro to hold annual meeting

ArtsGreensboro will hold its annual meeting June 21 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Van Dyke Performance Space in the Greensboro Cultural Center at 200 North Davie St. in Greensboro.

Blake to co-chair UNCF event

Tina Blake, a strategy and development consultant vitalink in Raleigh will serve as co-chair for the Raleigh-Durham UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball in 2018.

Community School of the Arts gets $20,000

Community School of the Arts in Charlotte received a $20,000 grant from The Mockingbird Foundation to buy instruments to establish a brass and at a west Charlotte community center that serves at-risk students.

Nonprofit champions Southern documentaries

By Todd Cohen

DURHAM, N.C. — Making documentary movies in and about the South can be a struggle. Compared to cultural and business capitals like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, the region is short on the professional networks of investors, distributors and other key players that the documentary industry depends on, says Naomi Walker, executive director of the Southern Documentary Fund, or SDF.

Founded in 2002, the Durham-based nonprofit works to cultivate documentaries about the region and to plug regional documentary-makers into the national networks critical to their success. A key role has been to serve as a fiscal sponsor for documentaries, including 150 that have been completed and another 73 still in progress.

SDF acts as a matchmaker and consultant for documentary-makers, providing connections, feedback and mentoring designed to improve their work, help get it financed and distributed, and increase its social impact.

And since 2014, SDF itself has made four grants a year, of $2,500 to $7,000 each, as seed money for documentaries, thanks to a five-year, $100,000 grant from The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation in Durham.

The funding for that “re-granting” has raised SDF’s profile with national funders, Walker says.

SDF is seeking additional funding it would use to make more grants to more documentary-makers, match them with mentors, and generate feedback for works in progress. It also would create a “civic-media incubator,” starting in the Triangle, featuring a public event at which anyone could pitch ideas to documentary-film students. Veteran moviemakers would mentor students making short documentaries.

A first grant, however small, can mean a lot to a documentary-maker, and can be a critical catalyst for more funding, Walker says.

“Grants beget grants,” she says. “It gives them cache and leverage they need to get more funds. It puts them on the radar of bigger funding.”

A documentary can cost $100,000 to millions of dollars to make, Walker says.

“Documentary filmmakers typically have to do a lot of other work to support themselves, so it can take years,” she says. “It’s more of an avocation than a career.”

And while documentary-makers, like many artists, often do much of their creative work alone, they also want to be part of a community to share skills and ideas, and talk about problems they face in their work, she says.

To foster Southern documentary-makers and documentaries about the South, SDF aims to “create the community they need,” Walker says.

The South, for example, is short on executive producers, she says, referring to people who work to help documentary-makers secure investment and distribution deals needed to make movies and get them shown.

So, next spring, SDF initially plans to match a handful of moviemakers, one each, with a handful of prospective funders. Each funder will take the respective moviemaker to dinner once a quarter for a year. If a pair hits it off, the prospective funder would host a fundraising house party, using a guide SDF will create. SDF than would host roundtable events for the new funders to talk with veteran executive producers.

“Most documentary filmmakers have to leave the South and move to New York or Los Angeles or San Francisco to have access to industry connections and to get the work that supports their field,” Walker says. “We want makers to be able to stay here and flourish.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 05.19.17

Tax-change plans seen reducing giving by up to $13.1 billion

Proposals in Congress and from the Trump administration to lower the top marginal tax rate and raise the standard deduction could result in up to $13.1 billion less in charitable giving, a new report says.

That drop in giving — equal to 3.5 percent of total donations in 2015 — would be the combined impact of lowering the top tax rate to 35 percent from 39.6 percent, and roughly doubling the standard deduction — currently $6,300 for individuals and $12,600 for joint filers — according to the report, from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, and commissioned by Independent Sector.

The report, Tax Policy and Charitable Giving Results, also projects that extending the charitable deduction to non-itemizing taxpayers — by itself and without other changes — could generate up to $12.2 billion in additional giving.

The proposals in Congress and from the Trump administration would reduce giving to religious congregations by up to 4.7 percent, and to other charities by up to 4.4 percent, the report says.

Each of those proposals on its own — to lower the top tax rate, and to raise the standard deduction — also would reduce charitable giving, the report says.

It says that adding a deduction for non-itemizers, while lowering the top tax rate to 35 percent and raising the standard deduction, likely would more than offset the amount of charitable giving that otherwise would be lost under those two proposed changes.

As a result, the report says, giving overall would grow $4.8 billion — beyond the revenue a non-itemizer deduction would generate to offset the projected decline in giving from the two tax-change proposals.

Davidson Hospice launches $2.3 million campaign

Hospice of Davidson County has launched the public phase of a campaign to raise $2.3 million.

The campaign already has raised $1.2 million, including a lead gift of $750,000 from Ian and Talmadge Silversides of Lexington.

Hospice will use funds from the campaign to improve patient care through changes to its Hinkle Hospice House and through technology upgrades; by expanding services to provide pediatric hospice care and adding a “serenity” garden for reflection; and by adding $1 million to its $1.25 million reserve fund while beginning to build its endowment through planned gifts.

Gifts to the campaign include a total of $40,000 from The Brown F. Finch Foundation, Doak Finch Foundation and Thomas Austin Finch Foundation; a total of $87,000 from Lauren’s Ladder, Tom and Sandra Smith, Larry Swing, Witherspooon Rose Culture, and Gordon and Nancy Wright; and a total of $354,000 from anonymous donors.

Hospice also presented its Founders Award to Bill and Sara DeLapp for over 20 years of support, and its Community Partner Award to Parrott Insurance and Benefits for making significant contributions.

In 2016, Hospice served over 4,700 individuals in the Triad. Those services included $246,000 in charity care for patients needing end-of-life care.

Hospice also completed retirement of a $2.1 million commercial mortgage for new facilities for its administrative and home-care staff on its new campus, which opened in 2009 with funding from a capital campaign that raised $3.2 million.

Komen gives $350,000 for breast health

Susan G. Komen North Carolina Triangle to the Coast awarded nine grants totaling $350,000 to local nonprofits to support breast health services and education projects for underserved, underinsured and uninsured populations in 29 counties.

CASA raises $93,000 at luncheon

CASA in Raleigh raised over $93,000 at its 25th anniversary luncheon on May 4 at the Sheraton Raleigh.

CASA, which develops and manages affordable rental housing, has expanded to include workforce and veterans housing and now serves Wake, Durham and Orange counties.

Barnabas Network gets $14,000

The Barnabas Network in Greensboro has received a $14,000 grant from the Lincoln Financial Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Lincoln Financial Group, to support a program that focuses on providing beds, mattresses, dressers and other furniture for individuals, families and children who are working toward self-sufficiency after experiencing a crisis such as homelessness, job loss, substance abuse, domestic violence, divorce, natural disaster or refugee resettlement.

Cricket event raises $8,000

The Capital Cricket Classic on May 6 raised over $8,000 and gave $4,000 each to SAFEChild and Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, both in Raleigh.

Co-sponsored by Morrisville Mayor Mark Stohlman and the Triangle Cricket League, and held at Halifax Mall behind the Legislative Building, the event featuring eight local cricket teams consisting of youth and adult players, as well as elected officials from Wake County and the state legislature.

Dining event benefits Crisis Control Ministry

The 27th annual “Hope du Jour” that Crisis Control Ministry in Winston-Salem hosted on May 2 attracted a record-high 140 restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops and other establishments in Winston-Salem, Kernersville, Lewisville and Clemmons that will donate 10 percent of their proceeds for entire day to the agency.

Crisis Control Ministry does not yet have tallies from the participating businesses of how much they will donate from the event, which in past years netted $50,000 to $60,000 for the nonprofit.

Rescue Ranch names new executive director

Rick Collord, former executive director at Cheyenne Animal Shelter in Wyoming, has been named executive director of Rescue Ranch in Statesville.

Hospital employees assemble first-aid kits

To mark the 100 anniversary of Wesley Long Hospital in Greensboro, hospital employees assembled 200 first-aid kits for United Way of Greater Greensboro.

Concord Hospitality staff assemble hygiene kits

Over 300 associates of Raleigh-based Concord Hospitality assembled 8,000 hygiene kits valued at a total of $40,000 that will be distributed throughout North America in June.

Health Underwriters Association honored

The North Carolina Association of Health Underwriters is getting a Silver Certification recognizing excellence in chapter development from the National Association of Health Underwriters.

The North Carolina Association has six local chapters — Charlotte, Coastal, Triad, Triangle, Western North Carolina, and Western Piedmont — serving health insurance professionals throughout the state.

The state association and its chapters are members of the National Association, which represents over 100,000 licensed health insurance agents, brokers, consultants, and benefit professionals who provide insurance for millions of Americans.

Drug affordability focus of JDRF talk

Efforts to to make Type 1 Diabetes drugs and treatments more affordable for families and individuals will be the focus of a talk on May 25 at the annual meeting of the Piedmont Triad Chapter of JDRF.

Keynote speaker at the meeting, to be held at 7 p.m at Proximity Hotel at 704 Green Valley Road in Greensboro, will be Jesse Bushman, senior director of health policy for JDRF in Washington, D.C.

Nonprofit news roundup, 05.12.17

Women’s giving changing, study says

Millennial women give to charity more from their heart and through their social networks, and are using news ways give such as crowdfunding and giving circles, while Boomer women are more strategic in their giving, and happier with it, a new study says.

Overall, women are more spontaneous and empathetic in their giving than men, and more likely to give to more types of causes, says Women and Giving, a study by Fidelity Charitable.

Women also prefer to use experts to inform their giving, and are more confident than men picking charities to support, while men are more confident in making financial decisions about their giving, such as which tax strategies to use, says the study.

It is based on a survey of 3,200 donors, including Millennial women born from 1980 to 2000, and Baby Boomer women born from 1946 to 1964.

Among the findings:

* Seventy-five percent of Millennial women follow their heart when giving, compared to 64 percent of women overall and 53 percent of men.

* Fifty-five percent of Millennial women support a wide variety of causes, compared to 33 percent of Boomer women.

* Fifty-one percent of Millennial women encourage others to donate to the same causes, compared to 30 percent of Boomer women

* Seventy-two percent of Boomer women are satisfied with their giving, compared to 55 percent of Millennial women.

* Sixty-three percent of Millennial women are torn between wanting to make a charitable donation and the need to hold onto money for personal needs, compared to 41 percent of Boomer women.

* Fifty-one percent of women often are moved to give in the moment, rather than being strategic about their giving, compared to 40 percent of men.

* Seventy-three percent of women are confident about which charities to support, while only 40 percent are confident about which tax strategies or methods to use for giving.

* Sixty-two percent of men are confident about which charities to support, while 52 percent are confident about which tax strategies or methods to use for giving.

Winston-Salem Foundation honors leaders

The Winston-Salem Foundation awarded its 2017 Winston-Salem Foundation Award to Jeff Bacon, who was instrumental in creation of Triad Community Kitchen and the opening of Providence Restaurant.

The award included a $10,000 Foundation grant that Bacon designated go to TCK Providence and Hope Community Church.

At its Community Luncheon on May 3, which attracted 1,250 guests, the Foundation also presented its 2017 ECHO Awards to Jahmila Best, a junior at Parkland IB Magnet School; Mary Jac Brennan of Cooperative Extension; Kelly Carpenter, pastor of Green Street United Methodist Church; Joy Prom, a ministry of Love Out Loud; and Mary’s Mavens.

JDRF chapter raises $215,000

The Piedmont Triad Chapter of JDRF’s raised over $215,000 at its High Point One Walk on April 29 to support efforts to cure, prevent and treat type 1 diabetes.

Dean Sink, president and CEO of Mickey Truck Bodies, served as corporate chair for the event, a 5K walk that attracted nearly 900 people.

Biogen Foundation gives $125,000

The Biogen Foundation awarded 39 grants totaling over $125,000 to education programs and projects in science, technology, engineering and math serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade across North Carolina

Bethesda Center raises $100,000

Bethesda Center for the Homeless in Winston-Salem marked its 30th anniversary by raising over $100,000 at its annual dancing fundraiser on April 27.

Smart Start honors Punger

Douglas Punger, a member of the boards of directors for Smart Start of Forsyth County and for the North Carolina Partnership for Children, and former chief counsel to the Forsyth County Board of Education, has been awarded the Karen W. Ponder Leadership Award at the 2017 National Smart Start Conference.

The award, named for Smart Start’s former president, recognizes outstanding service to young children and families in North Carolina.

A $1,000 cash award will be made to Smart Start of Forsyth County in his name.

Ipas, DKT International team up

Ipas in Chapel Hill and DKT International have formed a partnership in which the Ipas Manual Vacuum Aspiration technology will be licensed to DKT for global distribution, supporting their joint mission of providing family planning and abortion care for the estimated 56 million women throughout the world who choose to have an abortion each year.

Previously, WomanCare Global oversaw distribution of the Ipas technology.

Credit United gives $20,000

Carolinas Credit Union Foundation donated $20,000 to the Disaster Relief Fund at North Carolina Community Foundation.

N.C. A&T gets donated furniture

Rooms To Go donated over $12,000 worth of sofas, chairs and tables to the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro to establish a Student Collaborative Research Area to benefit students.

Stroke Association getting $10,000

The North Carolina Stroke Association in Winston-Salem was awarded $10,000 from The Allergan Foundation for its “Time is Brain, Time for Change” initiative that aims to ensure that every North Carolinian has access to timely, state-of-the-art stroke care, no matter where they happen to be across the state, when a stroke happens.

Food drive gets 7,000 pounds of food

Students, faculty and staff at High Point University donated nearly 7,000 pounds of nonperishable food to the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive to support efforts by United Way of Greater High Point and the U.S. Postal Service to stock local food pantry shelves through the summer.

Food Alliance gets $15,000

The Student Government Association at High Point University donated $15,000 to the Greater High Point Food Alliance to support a Youth Food Summit that will bring together children and teens affected by food insecurity to develop ways to address the issue.

Rocky Mount funder raises $32,000

The Futrell-Mauldin Community Foundation for Greater Rocky Mount raised over $32,000 for the Futrell-Mauldin Community Grantmaking Fund at the Tar River Food & Wine Festival it hosted April 27 at Rose Hill Plantation in Nashville.

SFW employees biking to Raleigh to promote biking

Eleven employees of marketing agency SFW are scheduled on May 19 to bike 80 miles from the agency’s Greensboro office to its Raleigh office on Centennial Campus of North Carolina State University, and to be met about halfway through the 80-mile ride by seven more employees who would join them for the remainder of the ride.

Throughout the day, SFW will be raising money for Bicycling in Greensboro.

Pregnancy and postpartum mental health focus of event

Climb Out of the Darkness, an event to raise awareness of pregnancy and postpartum mental health disorders, will hold a regional Climb in High Point on June 24 sponsored by Mended Hearts Counseling.

Funds raised at the event, to be held at Piedmont Environmental Center in High Point at 10 a.m., will support Postpartum Support International.

Nonprofit uses dance to help kids cope

By Todd Cohen

DURHAM, N.C. — Fourth grade can be challenging for young people, a confusing time between early-childhood and adolescence when they begin to encounter new experiences they are not always prepared to handle.

For students in families facing economic distress, fourth grade can be even more difficult.

Since 2005, Durham-based nonprofit North Carolina Arts in Action has used dance to help fourth-graders in need navigate the challenges and changes they are facing and to equip them to succeed in school and life.

Inspired by a teaching methodology developed by Jacques d’Amboise, founder of the National Dance Institute and a former principal dancer at the New York City Ballet, N.C. Arts in Action aims to “bring out the best in every child, regardless of background or experience in  dance, and regardless of talent and abilities, including special needs,” says Marlon Torres, its executive director.

Operating with an annual budget of about $356,000, the nonprofit this year serves over 1,000 students in 10 schools, including seven in Wake County and one each in Chatham, Durham and Orange counties.

That’s 200 more students than it served last year and 600 more than five years ago, when it served students in four schools in two counties.

That growth reflects a five-year effort to strengthen its staff and board, improve its fundraising, and better integrate dance into the classroom curriculum for more fourth-grade students in more low-income public schools.

Funded with a total of $60,000 in grants over five years from The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation Durham to build its organizational “capacity,” N.C. Arts in Action has expanded and trained its board of directors to play a more active role in planning and fundraising.

It has hired an artistic director and part-time office assistant, added more teaching artists and teaching assistants, and provided training on its teaching methodology to them and to classroom teachers in the schools it serves.

It has more than doubled its annual support from foundations to $220,000, and from individuals to $50,000.

And it has developed a new partnership with the Wake County Public  School System, which now provides 40 percent of the the funding N.C. Arts in Action needs to serve seven Wake schools.

Once a week for 18 to 25 weeks in each of the 10 participating schools, the entire fourth grade devotes 50 minutes to 60 minutes to dance instruction that also is designed to reinforce lessons the students are learning in academic subjects, such as storytelling, social studies and science.

Teaching the classes are a lead teacher and choreographer, an assistant teacher, and a musician, with live music included in every class.

The classes culminate in two large-scale productions for the entire school and the community.

On a Wednesday in late March, Torres led 60 fourth-graders through a rehearsal for a performance, including a piece called “Electromagnetism,” that underscores this year’s academic theme of technology.

Fourth-graders, he says, are at an age when they are “ready physically for the rigorous demand of the program, which uses dance as a tool for teaching important life skills, and when students begin to take ownership of their own learning.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 05.05.17

CEO change at Triangle United Way

Mack Koonce is retiring as president and CEO of United Way of the Greater Triangle, effective June 30, and will be succeeded by Eric Guckian, former senior adviser on education to former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory.

Guckian will join United Way on May 8 as chief philanthropy and business development officer, and then become president and CEO on July 1.

Koonce started working at United Way as president and CEO in September 2012.

Guckian joins United Way in the wake of a five-year shift in its focus and its spending in the community, with 80 percent of its funding now supporting collaborative partnerships rooted in a “two-generational” approach to try to break the cycle of poverty for vulnerable children and their families.

In a statement announcing the CEO change, United Way says it hired Koonce five years ago to begin to strengthen the organization and its impact in the face of its own “diminishing presence” among corporate partners, and low morale among its staff.

Guckian most recently served as vice president of alliances for Washington, D.C.-based Leadership for Educational Equity.

Before working for McCrory, he was founding executive director of New Leaders in Charlotte after serving as executive director of Teach for America-North Carolina.

As chief philanthropy and business development officer, Guckian will work for two months with United Way’s development staff and community partners, and will design a plan “for what the staff should look like,” says Kevin Trapani, immediate past chair of United Way’s board of directors and now chair of its governance and board development committee, and a member of the board’s executive committee.

Then, as CEO, Guckian might look for a new chief philanthropy and business development officer or possibly restructure the position, Trapani says.

Last fall, Koonce began talking with Trapani and Maureen O’Connor, who at the time was vice chair of the board and now is its chair, about the “natural end of his tenure,” which was “linked to us finding a natural and appropriate successor to him,” Trapani says.

Then, in February, saying it aimed to raise $20 million a year within five to eight years, up from its current level of $12 million, United Way began looking for its third fundraising chief in less than three years.

United Way said at the time it would place greater focus on soliciting “major” gifts of $25,000 or more, and on “principal” gifts of $100,000 or more.

Triggering that search for a chief philanthropy and business development officer was the departure of Allison Warren-Barbour, 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 partnerships to become senior vice president and Triangle market manager at Bank of America.

“We were looking for a pretty senior philanthropy person,” Trapani says of the search that began in February for a new fundraising chief. “In the context of Mack’s plans, we wanted to hire someone who could relatively quickly be in a good position to succeed Mack.”

Donations up, donor retention dips, report says

Overall donations to U.S. nonprofits grew three percent in 2016 from 2015, while the retention rate of donors — the share of donors who gave in 2015 and again in 2016 — slipped half-a-percentage point to 45 percent, a new report says.

Gift revenue to nonprofits with under $100,000 in contributed income fell 10.4 percent in 2016 from 2015, while gift revenue to nonprofits with over $500,000 in contributions grew 8.6 percent, says the 2017 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report from the Fundraising Effectiveness Project.

The Project, a collaborative effort of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Urban Institute, is based on data from over 10,800 U.S. nonprofits with 8.9 million donors and over $9.1 billion in contributions.

In 2016, the report says, the average gift totaled $419, up from $400 in 2015.

Smaller share of nonprofits see fundraising growth

Sixty-one percent of nearly 700 U.S. nonprofits surveyed posted higher charitable receipts in 2016, compared to 65 percent that reported higher receipts in 2015, marking the first time since 2013 that a lower share of survey participants reported fundraising growth, a new report says.

Still, says the Winter 2017 Nonprofit Fundraising Study from the Nonprofit Research Collaborative, receipts grew in six types of giving for over half of survey recipients, including 55 percent that reported greater receipts from major gifts; 50 percent reporting more from direct mail; 57 percent more from online giving; 54 percent from special events; 53 percent from foundation grants; and 58 percent from received and new planned gifts.

The median total amount received by bequest ranged from $100,000 to $249,999, while the average median bequest ranged from $25,000 to $100,000.

About one in three organizations says the 2016 campaign and election cycle affected its fundraising, with nearly one in four reporting fewer charitable receipts, and about one in 10 reporting more.

Two in three organizations expect fundraising receipts will grow in 2017, and 46 percent worry that economic and political change might affect charitable giving.

Thirty-four percent worry that organizational activity such as leadership, marketing and staffing might affect giving, and 20 percent see challenges in  fundraising processes, such as building major-gifts capacity, acquiring new doors, or using online technologies effectively

Gap in funding to address needs of rural seniors

Older people in the rural U.S. face big challenges, yet philanthropic support for rural projects is disproportionately low, a new report says.

Rural America generally is poorer than urban America and is aging faster, yet many rural communities lack the financial resources to help, and private philanthropy “has generally not taken a concerted interest in rural America or its older residents,” says the report, “New Frontiers for Funding: An Introduction to Grantmaking in Rural Aging,” from Grantmakers in Aging.

Challenges that older people in rural places face, making them increasingly vulnerable, range from mobility and economic security to housing and health care, the report says.

Rural seniors also may lack the technology skills or digital access, or both, that could keep them connected to people and services critical to their well-being.

While the challenges facing older people in rural and urban places throughout the U.S. are similar, the report says, “the physical and social isolation that can occur in a rural setting compounds problems and makes it even more difficult to age in place, safely and well,.”

Roughly 20 percent of Americans, or over 60 million people, lived in a rural place in 2010, down from 60 percent in 1900.

About 10 million people age 65 and older live in rural America, and one of four older Americans lives in a small town or other rural area, the report says.

“During times of migration and change, older people often are the ones who stay behind, which is one reason that rural America is aging more quickly than the rest of the country,” it says.

Yet research shows that grantmaking to rural projects has declined for years and is “disproportionately low,” it says, with only 6.3 percent of large foundation grants benefitting rural communities, and possibly even a smaller share of overall philanthropic investment.

Rural data focus of digital dashboard

Economic, workforce, education and demographic data for Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover and Pender counties in mostly rural southeastern North Carolina, and Horry County in South Carolina, soon will be available on a new digital dashboard.

Aiming to be a “one-stop, interactive, online portal,” the dashboard was developed with funding from the Brunswick County Chamber Business Development Committee, formerly the Committee of 100, a nonprofit administered by the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce in Shallotte.

The dashboard features data for Brunswick County, and for the five-county region that includes Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover and Pender counties in North Carolina and Horry County in South Carolina.

Powering the dashboard will be Headlight Data, the data-visualization service of Avalanche Consulting.

Fishing event reels in $517,000

The ninth annual Reelin’ for Research offshore fishing tournament in Morehead City, an event launched in 2009, raised a record-high $517,000 on April 28 to benefit the Tony Montana Fellowship Fund at UNC Children’s Hospital in Chapel Hill.

Since the event was launched in 2009 by a group of friends in Greensboro celebrating the life of fisherman Tony Montana after he died from cancer in 2005, the event has raised $2.4 million, including $1.4 million raised in the last three years alone.

Of the total raised this year, $100,000 will be awarded to a physician specializing in childhood cancer research, and the remainder will go to an endowment, which now will have received a total of $1.3 million the event and is designed to eventually fund the fellowship in perpetuity.

Women’s Impact Fund giving $400,000

Women’s Impact Fund in Charlotte, at its annual meeting on May 9, will award grants totaling over $400,000 to five area nonprofits, bringing to over $5 million the total funding it has awarded since 2003.

The annual meeting will be held at Foundation For The Carolinas at 220 N. Tryon St. Wells Fargo will be presenting sponsor .

Allegacy to donate $250,000

Allegacy Federal Credit Union in Winston-Salem this year will donate over $250,000 in sponsorships to improve the community, and Allegacy employees will exceed the 7,000 hours they volunteered in 2016.

To mark its 50th anniversary, Allegacy is donating $50,000 to Project Impact, a community initiative to provide additional operating funds to the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools to address gaps in student achievement, and to improve third-grade reading and math proficiency scores, by supporting intensive early intervention among at-risk and lower-performing schools.

Heart Association raises $232,000

The American Heart Association raised $232,000 at its Winston-Salem Heart Ball on April 28 to benefit heart disease and stroke research and prevention education.

Mandy, BG, Grant and Keegan Minor were honored as 2017 Faces of Heart, and the Rev. Konnie Robinson was named the 2017 Womble Carlyle Healthy Heart Champion.

Chairing the event was William Whitehurst, Winston-Salem Managing Partner at Womble Carlyle.

Salvation Army raises $140,000

The Salvation Army of Greensboro raised over $140,000 and attracted 500 people at an event on April 20 at Proximity Hotel, exceeding its goals of raising $100,000 and attracting 400 people.

At the event, the organization presented Dennis and Nancy Quaintance of Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants and Hotels with its Signature Advocates award.

Rockingham Community College gets $20,000

Rockingham Community College in Wentworth received a gift of $20,000 from the Gene Haas Foundation for scholarships to be awarded over a two-year period to computer-integrated machining students.

United Way honors Liner, King

Sallye Liner, former president of Forsyth Medical Center, has received the Paul Fulton Tocqueville Leadership Society award from United Way of Forsyth County, and Kelly King, chairman and CEO of BB&T, has been inducted into United Way’s Million Dollar Roundtable.

United Way presents its Leadership Society award each year to a Forsyth County volunteer. The Million Dollar Roundtable, United Way’s highest level of philanthropic giving, includes donors who have invested $1 million or more in the work of United Way over 10 years or less.

Youth grantmakers award $2,460

Youth Grantmakers in Action awarded eight grants totaling $2,460.

Formed in 2005 and a program of The Winston-Salem Foundation, the group of youth ages 15 to 18 from Forsyth County has granted over $21,000 to youth-led community projects since making its first round of grants in 2006.

Scuppernong Books honored for support of arts

Scuppernong Books in downtown’s Greensboro received the 2017 Arts in Business Award presented by ArtsGreensboro in partnership with the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, Greensboro Merchants Association, and North Carolina Entrepreneurship Center at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

The award, presented on May 2 at the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce small business awards luncheon at the Van Dyke Performance Space, each year recognizes a Greensboro small business for leadership and commitment to the arts and its impact on the arts over the past year, as measured by activities, projects, or events in support of any aspect of the arts.

Adults get free dental care

Cary Family Dental, through a team of dentists, staff and volunteers at its Sixth Annual Dentistry from the Heart event, provided roughly $47,000 in free dental care to 165 adults, with eight volunteer dentists performing 76 cleanings, 53 extractions and 36 fillings for adults with valid identification.

Hospice to honor veterans of Korean War

Rowan Hospice & Palliative Care, and Hospice & Palliative CareCenter, which host monthly Veterans Coffee events in 10 central North Carolina cities, will recognize and honor veterans who served and fought in the Korean War at free special event on July 30 at the Embassy Suites in Concord.

Petty fundraiser set for May 10

Richard Petty’s second annual Blue Jeans and Boots fundraising dinner will be held ay 10 at Reverie Place, his home in Randleman, with proceeds to support the mission of the Petty Family Foundation.

Sponsoring the event is Hutchinson Family Office.