Performance, education focus at Raleigh Little Theatre

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — This summer, hundreds of Wake County children age four and older each is spending a week or two at day camp, learning about topics ranging from playwriting and comedy to Shakespeare.

And when the school year begins, hundreds more will attend theater classes after school or on Saturdays, while guest artists during weeklong residencies focusing on theater and literacy at 10 to 20 elementary schools will work with students on drama, and with teachers on how to teach drama.

Providing education programs, which reach about 1,000 people, at least two-thirds of them children, is Raleigh Little Theatre.

Formed in 1936, the nonprofit works to use “theater as a tool for education and personal growth and community building,” says Charles Phaneuf, a Raleigh native who has served as its executive director since January 2012.

The group operates with an annual budget of $1.2 million, a full-time staff of 11 people, another 40 to 50 teachers and people working under contract, and 1,000 active volunteers.

The community theater produces 11 plays a year, including five for children, with a total of at least 150 performances, and attracts a total audience of about 40,000 ticket-buyers.

In addition to its summer and school-year programs for children, it offers volunteering and other programs designed to meet growing demand from adults to learn about and be involved in theater.

In June, Raleigh Little Theatre concluded a major-gifts initiative that raised over $740,000 it will use to improve accessibility and technology throughout its campus, which includes a proscenium theater and amphitheater built in the 1930s with funding from the federal Public Works Administration, a rose garden added in the 1940s, and a black-box theater built in the 1980s.

The fundraising effort received contributions from 39 individuals and eight institutions, including $275,000 from the City of Raleigh and $50,000 from First Citizens Bank. A larger fundraising effort by Raleigh Little Theatre also received $50,000 for work on its amphitheater from Triangle Community Foundation through its community fund for  Capitol Broadcasting Company and WRAL.

The nonprofit is using the funds to make its bathrooms accessible by the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act; to add glass doors that open to the balcony overlooking the Raleigh Rose Garden; to install a wireless assisted-listening system in its Sutton Theater that broadcasts directly into theater-goers’ hearing aids or cochlear implants; and to replace some of its stage lighting with self-dimming lights.

It also is in the early stages of planning for a possible capital campaign and undertaking a master plan for its campus.

Raleigh Little Theatre generates just over 60 percent of its income from ticket sales; tuition for camps and classes; and concessions and merchandise. The remainder is contributed, with the City of Raleigh accounting for just under 10 percent of its overall budget. Its annual fund raised $435,000 in the fiscal year ended June 30.

“Theater is important because it’s an opportunity to see the world through different peoples’ eyes,” says Phaneuf. “It’s especially important at times when we’re divided, and I truly believe that theater is a place that people from lots of ideological backgrounds can come together and have a shared experience.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 07.28.17

Forsyth United Way raises $15.1 million

United Way of Forsyth County raised $15.1 million in its 2016 annual fundraising campaign as part of its total revenue of $18.2 million.

Chairing the campaign, which generated support from over 19,530 donors, was John C. Fox, chairman of the Mid-Atlantic Region for First Tennessee Bank.

ArtsGreensboro raises $1 million

ArtsGreensboro exceeded the $1 million target for its 2017 annual fundraising campaign by nearly $12,000.

The total raised in the campaign, which ended June 30, was up 8.5 percent from the previous year, and included contributions from individuals, foundations, local and state government, and businesses and corporations.

Funds raised in the campaign support arts organizations, initiatives and infrastructure.

Giving grows among smaller foundations

Grants by foundations with assets under $50 million grew three percent, on average, in 2016, compared to 2015, a new report says.

Among 883 client foundations surveyed, foundations of all sizes gave more than the required minimum distribution of five percent of assets, says the 2017 Report on Grantmaking from Foundation Source, with the smallest foundations exceeding the minimum distribution by a larger percentage than did larger foundations.

Foundations with assets under $1 million size foundations distributed 13.2 percent of their assets.

Foundations with assets under $50 million account for 98 percent of all private foundations in the U.S., Foundation Source says.

United Arts Council gives $274,000

United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County awarded 51 grants totaling $274,480 to 48 organizations, schools and municipalities in Wake County to support arts programming.

Ronald McDonald Houses getting $250,000

Ronald McDonald Houses in North Carolina were awarded a grant totaling $250,000 over the five years from Martin Marietta to help provide meals, lodging and additional support for over 35,000 families with children fighting serious illness or injury.

Seven Ronald McDonald Houses in North Carolina — in Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Durham, Greenville, Raleigh and Winston-Salem — collectively serve all 100 North Carolina counties and provide over 50,000 night stays a year.

Food Bank getting $52,000

The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina has been awarded a $51,700 grant from the Walmart Foundation to help fight hunger in central and eastern North Carolina through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Passage Home names Crosslin interim executive director

Lisa Crosslin, chief program officer at Passage Home in Raleigh, has been named interim executive director.

She will take on the responsibilities of Jeanne Tedrow, founder and executive director, who is leaving Passage Home on August 28 to become CEO of the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits.

Nonprofit leadership focus of seminar series

August 18 is the deadline for submitting applications to a seminar series for emerging nonprofit leaders , is now accepting applications thru August 18.

The leadership series, offered by the Education Advancement and Leadership Center at Crumley Roberts, in partnership with the Guilford Non-Profit Consortium, will include eight sessions from September 8 through the end of the year.

Hosted by Hank Heidenreich, chief operating officer and executive director of the Crumley Roberts Education Advancement and Leadership Center, will be held every other week at the Greensboro office of Crumley Roberts on Freeman Mill Road.

Open to executives of nonprofit community agencies in the greater Guilford County region, the series will focus on building leadership skills, identifying needs in the business model of participants’ organizations, and understand the impact of effective leadership on those organizations.

To register, or for information, contact Ruth Heyd, executive director of community engagement and employee wellness, at Crumley Roberts at

Free prescription cards available

United Way of Forsyth County and FamilyWize Community Service Partnership are teaming up to distribute prescription cards to residents of Forsyth County.

The cards can lower the cost of medicine by 42 percent or more, on average and immediately, for people without insurance or who take medications not covered by their insurance plan.

Use of the card requires no personal information from the user or eligibility criteria, and is unlimited for anyone, including people without insurance or with high insurance deductibles.

Consumers may print a card at;  call 800.222.2818 to request a card; or download a free FamilyWize app.

United Way staff members will distribute cards at The Health Fair on August 12 at Wentz Memorial United Church of Christ at 3435 Carver School Rd. in Winston-Salem from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Music event to benefit Mountain Valley Hospice

Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care will hold a benefit “July Jam” on July 29 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at The Farmhouse Siloam at 2738 Siloam Road in Mount Airy.

Seating is limited. For information, contact Brett Willis, director of development at Mountain Valley Hospice, at 336.789.2922.

Nonprofit news roundup, 07.21.17

Wake Forest raises over $112 million

Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem received over $112 million in gifts and commitments in the fiscal year that ended June 30, and bringing to over $700 million the total raised from over 59,000 donors in a campaign it launched its quiet phase in 2010.

Wake Forest in 2016 exceeded, two years ahead of scheduled, its initial goal of $600 million for the campaign, and its board of trustees has set a new goal of raising $1 billion by 2020.

The total raised in the just-ended fiscal year marked the third time the school has raised over $100 million in a single fiscal year since it launched the campaign.

Funds raised in the campaign include over $190 million for scholarships and financial aid, with a particular focus on access for first-generation and middle-class students; over $70 million to recruit and retain faculty, including the appointment of two new endowed “Presidential Chairs;” over $164 million for campus capital improvements; and a record-high $10.6 million in gifts for the University’s annual fund in the just-ended fiscal year.

Forsyth Tech gets $1.5 million

Forsyth Tech in Winston-Salem has been awarded a $1.5 million grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation that it will use to help create a Skilled Trades Building planned for its Stokes County Center in the Meadows community near Walnut Cove.

The building will provide high school students with career training opportunities in welding, plumbing, electrical systems and horticulture.

Winston-Salem Salvation Army shuffles fundraising team

The Salvation Army of Greater Winston-Salem has reorganized its development department, with Lisa Parrish, director of operations, moving to the job of development director.

Robin Stone, who has been director of development, now will serves as resource development director, while Adriene Smith, volunteer and resource coordinator, will serve as community outreach liaison.

Bob Campbell will continue to serve as director of marketing and public relations.

And Steve Waiksnoris, former director of development for Salvation Army of Greensboro, has joined Winston-Salem Salvation Army as development assistant.

Each member of the development department will report to Stan and Deborah Colbert, commanders majors at Salvation Army for the Greater Winston-Salem Area.

High Point Regional employees, staff raise $224,000

Nine hundred four employees and medical staff from High Point Regional this summer together raised $223,806 for the 2017 GiveStrong! Fundraising Campaign, the most every for the annual campaign and bringing to over $1 million the total raised since the campaign began in 2010.

Employees designated their contributions to support the area of greatest need, including High Point Regional’s Capital Campaign Fund for a major renovation and modernization project to advance clinical technology and facility improvements for the cardiology, oncology and surgical patient care programs.

Contributions were also designated for the Patient Special Needs Fund for individuals identified by hospital social workers to be in a crisis situation and have an immediate need for support.

N.C. Housing Coalition gets over $1.1 million

The North Carolina Housing Coalition has been awarded over $1.1 million to support homelessness-prevention work, and to expand access to housing counseling services in throughout North Carolina.

Funds awarded included $284,607 through Project Reinvest, an initiative sponsored by NeighborWorks America, to expand housing counseling to help clients stabilize their finances, rebuild their credit, and establish savings

The Coalition also received $676,208 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, $100,000 more than it received last year, which it will use to expand counseling services to homeowners and renters throughout the state.

And it will get $74,901 each in fiscal 2017-18 and 2018-19 from the N.C. Department of Health ad Human Services to supports a new conference it will hold each year for homeless service providers.

Sisters of Mercy Foundation gives $1 million

Sisters of Mercy of North Carolina Foundation in Belmont awarded grants totaling just over $1 million to 24 nonprofits in Buncombe, Caldwell, Catawba, Gaston, Mecklenburg, Rutherford, Transylvania and Union counties in North Carolina, and York County in South Carolina.

Of the 24 grants, nine totaling $372,800 focus on education; nine totaling $364,400 focus on social services; and six totaling $272,000 focus on health care.

Peglow new executive director at North Carolina Parent Teacher Congress

Catherine T. Peglow, former director of  continuing legal education for the North Carolina Bar Association Foundation, has joined the North Carolina Parent Teacher Congress as executive director and general counsel.

Malory joins Durham Chamber

Tiffany Malory, community outreach and special projects manager at the Durham Performing Arts Center, has been named  director of member relations of the Durham Chamber.

Dance event for kits set for August 5

Business and community leaders, law-enforcement officers, and over 40 children from the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Greensboro will gather August 5 at 2 p.m. for the Fifth Annual Greensboro Dance Day at the Boys & Girls Club at 1001 Freeman Mill Road.

Organized by Woodruff Family Law Group, and Fred Astaire Studios Greensboro, the free summer dance camp began in 2012 with about 35 boys and girls. This year, all of 40 children, ages eight and nine, who have signed up will be learning choreography from international dancer Oleg Gorianskiy, and Catherine Cameron of Greensboro.

The event now has reached over 60 active participants, with the three organizers covering all costs of dance rehearsals, including professional dance instruction, healthy lifestyle suggestions, and healthy snacks after each rehearsal.

Greensboro Housing Coalition gets $7,000

Greensboro Housing Coalition has been awarded a grant of $7065  from the Tannenbaum-Sternberger Foundation it will use to expand into Guilford County and the City of High Point with its Healthy Homes Team services that aim to assist members of the community with housing problems as a result of inadequate living conditions such as needed repairs, mold and pest infestation.

Caswell Family Medical Center getting $28,000

Caswell Family Medical Center in Yanceyville has been awarded a grant award of $28,000 from the Office of Rural Health in the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, and will use the funds to hire a medication assistance coordinator who will work to assist patients in getting the prescription medications they need.

The grant program, which the Department of Health and Human Services began in 2003, now supports over 55 full-time employees working in organizations across the state who have helped over 36,000 patients get access to over 168,000 prescription medications valued at over $147 million.

Concert to benefit Hope for Haiti Foundation, Water for Good

Singer Eddie Money will headline the 8th Annual Rock Your World benefit concert on August 12 at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, with all proceeds going to Hope for Haiti Foundation and Water for Good.

Nonprofit news roundup, 07.14.17

Raleigh Little Theatre raises $740,000

A major-gifts effort at Raleigh Little Theatre to improve accessibility and technology throughout its campus raised over $740,000, including a contribution of $275,000 from the City of Raleigh, which was the largest single funder among 39 individuals and eight institutions that supported the project.

Raleigh Little Theatre and the City of Raleigh will break ground on September 7 on renovations to the Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theatre that were funded through the effort, which exceeded its goal by $15,000.

Raleigh Little Theatre also has named Georgia Donaldson president of its board of directors.

Smart heads national rural-health project

Allen Smart, former senior vice president and interim president of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in Winston-Salem, has been named lead project director for an 18-month national effort to find and support new ways to improve charitable efforts to boost rural health.

Campbell University in Buies Creek, where the project is based, has been awarded a grant of $730,248 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton, N.J., to fund the national effort.

The project aims to conduct local and regional analysis of private and public investments in rural health, as well as rural economic development and education in kindergarten through 12th grade, that “will ultimately generate a series of best practice reports, recommendations and new partnerships for consideration and sue by funders interested in better rural philanthropic practice,” Campbell says in a statement.

Smart, who announced in January he was leaving the Reynolds Trust, served as its interim president from September 2015 to June 2016, then resumed his role as vice president of programs in July 2016, when Laura Gerald, a pediatrician and former market medical director for Evolent Health in Raleigh, became president.

Reynolds Trust names vice president for programs

Tom Brown has joined the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in Winston-Salem as vice president of programs, and Alison Elster has joined the Trust as program coordinator.

Brown will oversee the work of the Trust’s two program areas — Health Improvement in North Carolina, and Local Impact in Forsyth County

He previously was senior corporate grant writer at Novant Health Foundation, and before that was executive director of REAL Entrepreneurship; senior program officer at North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund; and executive director of Faith in Action, a national program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in New Jersey.

Elster serves as the initial contact at the Trust for groups seeking to apply for grants, and  also provides administrative and communications support for the Trust’s program staff and major initiatives.

She previously served as development assistant at Guilford Child Development.

CASA buys 79 apartment units in Durham

CASA, a nonprofit developer and property manager of affordable housing, has purchased two apartment complexes in Durham with a total of 79 one-bedroom units.

The 44-unit Underwood Apartments at 811 Underwood Avenue and the 35-unit Maplewood Apartments, plus an office, at 1407 W. Chapel Hill Road, both in Durham’s West End, bring to 490 the number of units at CASA across Durham, Wake, and Orange counties.

CASA plans exterior improvements at both properties, including landscaping, fencing, parking lot repairs, and rebuilding of the aging staircases and balconies.

Asheville Merchants Fund gives $405,000

The Asheville Merchants Fund of The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina has awarded a total of $405,000 in grants to nine Buncombe County nonprofits for projects designed to strengthen community and stimulate economic growth.

Habitat Forsyth opens 4th ReStore

Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County has opened a new ReStore at 6491 Shallowford Road in Lewisville.

The 8,000-squate-foot store, located in long-vacant space in Lewisville Shopping Center, is Habitat’s fourth ReStore.

Bookmarks opens bookstore, event space

Bookmarks has opened its new home — including a nonprofit independent bookstore, and an event-and-gathering space — at 634 W. Fourth Street #110 in Winston-Salem.

Senior PharmAssist names board president

Tom Bacon, adjunct professor and research fellow at The Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and retired program director of the state’s Area Health Education Centers, has been named president of the board of Senior PharmAssist in Durham.

High Point funder accepting grant applications

High Point Community Foundation is accepting online applications until midnight, August 16, from local public charities seeking grants from a total of $340,000 it will award this fall, up $15,000 from its grant budget a year ago.

The Foundation says it will give preference to projects that focus on issues involving education, “food security” and “community  cohesion.”

In 2016, the Foundation awarded grants to 19 organizations.

Triangle families host low-income New York City kids

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — On July 12,  a handful of low-income children ages seven to 16 from New York City are scheduled to arrive by bus at the Hilton in Durham.

Greeting the children will be a local volunteer for the New York City-based Fresh Air Fund, and families from Raleigh that each will host one of the children for a week.

Two weeks later, a second handful of New York City children will arrive at the Hilton on a bus for a one-week stay with a second group of local families.

“Families will learn things about themselves and about someone who comes from such a different environment, and they will also see how many similarities they have,” says Brandy Shaw, a commercial real estate paralegal for Moore & Alphin in Raleigh who serves as volunteer chair for the Fresh Air Fund in the Triangle.

Formed in 1877 to provide free summer experiences for children living in low-income communities in New York City, the Fresh Air Fund has served over 1.8 million children in need.

In 2016, nearly 7,000 children visited the homes of volunteer host families on the East Coast of the U.S. and in Southern Canada, or visited one of the Fund’s five camps in upstate New York.

As part of a larger effort to connect New York City kids with host families in more parts of the U.S., the Fund expanded to North Carolina in 2013, initially in the Triad, and then to the Triangle in 2014.

Thirty-six have visited the state since 2013, and another 20 are expected to visit this summer, some in the Triangle and some in the Triad.

Local families that apply to the Fresh Air Fund to host a child for a week typically find out about the organization online or by word-of-mouth, says Shaw.

And based on the relationships that develop, some children may stay with a family for longer than two weeks or continue to return over many summers or other parts of the year.

Before moving to North Carolina in 2007, Shaw served as a volunteer escort for the Fresh Air Fund in upstate New York, where her mother, her mother’s mother, and her mother’s mother’s mother all had volunteered for the organization.

Her role is to visit applicant families, which must fill out a form designed to help the Fresh Air Fund determine whether they will provide a safe environment and engage the children they are hosting in activities such as boating, bicycling, camping, visiting parks and going bowling or to movies.

Based on the forms, the Fresh Air Fund selects host families and matches children with them.

Shaw greets the children when they arrive by bus, plans a picnic or other activity for all the families, and is on hand when the families drop off the children for the bus ride back to New York City.

The Fresh Air Fund, Shaw says, “would like to see more kids coming to North Carolina and other areas and see a different place than they otherwise would not have experienced.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 07.07.17

Kellan Moore to head John Rex Endowment

Kellan Moore, executive director of Care Share Health Alliance, will join the John Rex Endowment in Raleigh in mid-August as president and CEO.

She will succeed Kevin Cain, who in April announced his retirement after 16 years as president and CEO.

Moore previously served as program officer at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, and supervisor of corporate giving at Progress Energy.

Miller, Stradling join Wake Tech Foundation

Roxanne Miller, former development manager for the Poe Center for Health Education in Raleigh, has joined Wake Tech Foundation as director of development, and Meg Stradling, former director of finance at Triangle Family Services, has joined the Foundation as director of finance.

Wake Salvation Army names development director

Tara Shepherd-Bowdel, former regional development officer in the eastern U.S. for Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., has joined Salvation Army of Wake County as director of development and community relations.

Boys & Girls Clubs getting $25,000

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Durham and Orange Counties is getting a $25,000 grant from Duke Energy to support activities involving science, technology, engineering and math at its Durham Club, which serves mainly low-income, at-risk youth.

Forsyth Tech gets $10,000

Forsyth Tech in Winston-Salem has received a $10,000 grant from Bank of America Foundation that it will use to to support its Economic and Workforce Development programs.

Forsyth Promise awarded $1,000

The Forsyth Promise in Winston-Salem has been awarded a $1,000 donation by the Prince Hall-affiliated Order of the Eastern Star.

Salvation Army to hose scavenger event

The Salvation Army of Wake County will host its 6th annual Most Amazing Race Raleigh on August 26 at downtown locations throughout downtown Raleigh.

The scavenger-hunt event last year raised over $30,000.

Fayetteville teacher Virginia Jicha has begun a two-year term as volunteer president of the North Carolina PTA.