Championing entrepreneurship in North Carolina

By Todd Cohen

DURHAM, N.C. — In 2006, Durham transit-technology maker TransLoc was in the first group of startups to receive seed funding of up to $50,000 each from the NC IDEA Foundation, created in 2005 by MCNC, which endowed the new organization with nearly $40 million the communications network had generated in income from its investment in other companies.

In January, TransLoc was acquired by a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ford as part of its push to develop self-driving vehicles.

“The nation’s greatest untapped resource is the entrepreneurial potential of the masses,” says Thom Ruhe, CEO and president of Durham-based NC IDEA. Yet, despite “so many ideas of high potential, full promise is never seen by humanity because they don’t get a critical infusion of capital and assistance to prove the potential of the idea.”

NC IDEA, which began as a program of MCNC and in 2015 became an independent private foundation, works to unleash entrepreneurial potential throughout North Carolina by providing direct support to entrepreneurs and to local organizations that focus on supporting them. Unlike most if not all other similar groups in the U.S., NC IDEA charges no fees and takes no equity stake in the companies it supports.

NC IDEA operates with a staff of five full-time employees and an annual budget of $2.5 million through income generated from its endowment from MCNC that now has grown to roughly $50 million.

Since it began providing seed funding, NC IDEA has awarded a total of $5.8 million to 126 companies that have created 1,100 jobs and raised over $160 million in private investment and $58 million in government grants.

It also offers an “accelerator” program that has provided a 10-week curriculum to 130 startup companies that have created 650 jobs and raised over $20 million in private investment and $5 million in government grants.

And it offers a program that has provided mentoring to 17 female entrepreneurs whose companies have created 65 jobs and raised $12 million in private investment and $2 million in government grants.

NC IDEA also provides a six-week curriculum, followed by 12 months of mentoring, for  entrepreneurs looking to grow companies that have been in business for five to seven years but have become stalled and may not yet be profitable.

And it coordinates a network of organizations in communities throughout the state that focus on supporting local entrepreneurs, and coordinates peer-to-peer assistance and the sharing of best practices among those support groups.

For individual entrepreneurs it supports, and for local groups that support them, NC IDEA has developed a separate network of investors and veteran entrepreneurs that provide financial capital and entrepreneurial expertise.

Those partners understand the type of support entrepreneurs need based on the phase their organizations have reached in their “life cycle,” says Ruhe, who spent 20 years as an entrepreneur and another seven years at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, including two years as vice president for entrepreneurship.

In addition to the challenges all entrepreneurs face, research shows that female entrepreneurs are significantly underrepresented in venture capital, and also that they face biases in private equity, says Ruhe, who joined NC IDEA two years ago.

So one of NC IDEA’s programs works to “help women overcome that bias, mainly through intensive mentoring by people who have been successful in private equity and who are aware of and vigilant of the pitfalls that women face,” he says.

Overall, NC IDEA recognizes that all entrepreneurs in the state face challenges that are greater “than we currently have the capacity to serve,” and so the Foundation is developing a 10-year plan to “help more people of greater need,” he says.

“There are a large group of significantly underserved individuals with high entrepreneurial potential, notably in our rural communities,” he says. “There are 80 rural counties in the state of North Carolina where there’s very little programming available” for entrepreneurs. “But great ideas are not geographically bound, or ethnically bound or gender-bound. They can come from anyone, anywhere.”

As a nonprofit, Ruhe says, NC IDEA is perfectly positioned to take the risks that are essential for entrepreneurs to succeed.

“Nonprofits should be risk-takers, but there are a far too many foundations that are comfortable and put money only into things that are very familiar, very predictable,” he says. “We have the luxury of taking chances and failing from time to time.”

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Nonprofit news roundup, 02.23.18

Diversity linked to more engaged nonprofit boards

Members of nonprofit boards with a bigger share of women tend to participate more in fundraising and advocacy, and to be more involved in the board’s work, a new study says.

Boards with a bigger share of members age 39 and younger are more committd and involved, and engage more in oversight and governance, says the study, The Impact of Diversity: Understanding How Nonprofit Board Diversity Affects Philanthropy, Leadership and Board Engagement.

The study, conducted by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University in partnership with Johnson, Grossnickle and Associates, and BoardSource, also finds that:

* Boards of nonprofits founded before 1900 are less diverse than those of newer, smaller organizations.

* A significantly higher share of members of boards of older organizations meet with potential donors, ask  others for money, and contribute financial gifts.

* The diversity of a nonprofit’s board is related to the subsector in which the nonprofit operates. Boards of nonprofits that focus on education, for example, tend to higher shares of African-American members.

* Boards of nonprofits with annual revenues of $5 million ore more are more likely to participate in advocacy.

Saffer new executive director at Executive Service Corps

Anne Saffer, director of consultant development for Executive Service Corps of the Triangle, has been named executive director, succeeding Trudy Smith, who served for nearly 12 years.

Schline to head Carolinas Credit Union League

Dan Schline, senior vice president of the Carolinas Credit Union League, has been named  president and CEO, effective July 1, on the retirement of John Radebaugh, who has held the position since 2003.

School of the Arts gets $3 million from estate

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem has received a gift of $3 million from the estate of an anonymous donor to support merit-based scholarships in the School of Music.

Kidznotes raises $117,000

Kidznotes in Durham raises over $110,000 for young musicians at an event February 17 at The Umstead.

JDRF to honor Mary Gay and Don Brady

The Piedmont Triad Chapter of JDRF will honor Mary Gay and Don Brady, founder and chairman of Brady Services, at the 2018 Hope Gala on February 24 at Koury Convention Center in Greensboro.

A live auction at the event will include bidding on an “Ultimate Kitchen Makeover” with an estimated value of $50,000.

Now in its 18th year and alternating between Greensboro and Winston-Salem, the event  in its first 17 years raised roughly $14.5 million to fund type 1 diabetes research, including at least $1 million in six of the last seven years.

Partnership focuses on minority middle-school males

Two Saturdays of every month, about 110 middle-school boys participate at a program at N.C. A&T State University offered through a partnership between the school and the Verizon Foundation through the foundation’s national program that focuses on providing tech education and skill-building skills to minority, middle-school male students in partnership Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions On February 10, A&T and Verizon partnered with science, technology, engineering and mathematics professionals to provide real-world career experiences during the “Preparing Tomorrow’s Innovators Today” conference on the university’s campus.

Winston-Salem State raises $21,000 in state employee campaign

Faculty, staff and administration at Winston-Salem State University donating $20,743 during the annual State Employees Combined Campaign, with 18 percent of full-time employees participating.

Eastern Music Festival gets $20,000

Eastern Music Festival received $20,000 in scholarship funding from the Louis DeJoy and Aldona Z. Wos Family Foundation to provide scholarship assistance for up to 12North Carolina musicians ages 14 to 23 studying at Eastern Music Festival this summer.

Salvation Army gets $10,000, food to fight hunger

The Salvation Army of High Point has received a $10,000 donation from the Rotary Club of High Point through its 2nd annual “Designs to Fight Hunger” campaign to support the Salvation Army’s food pantry, plus 1,550 donated food items the Club purchased for $2,100.

Athenian House set to open

Athenian Press & Workshops, a Wilmington nonprofit that works to provide a safe space for women and femme-identified writers, artists and creators, has established its official location, known at Athenian House, at 2231 Wrightsville Ave.

Athenian will celebrate its grand opening on March 25.

When fully operational, the main floor of Athenian House will serve as a bookstore and lounge.

All books, artwork and literary merchandise it sells or features will be created and authored by women and femme-identifying artists.

Academic resources such as computers and books will be available for clients seeking free resources.

Public art light installation in Winston-Salem

The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County is partnering with the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center and Clean Air Carolina to sponsor a multi-story public art light installation in downtown Winston-Salem through March 24.

Best viewing of the display, “Particle Falls,”  which will use the west wall of the Stevens Center as a projection screen, is in the evening from the corner of West 4th Street and Spruce Street.

Family Service to host oyster roast

Family Service of the Piedmont in James town will host its 24th annual High Point Oyster Roast on March 2 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Presented by the Lenny Peters Foundation and Bethany Medical Center, and co-chaired by Frosty Culp and Caren York, the event will be held at a private home. To purchase tickets, visit http://www.OysterRoast.info.

The 2017 Oyster Roast attracted 550 people generated $202,000 in net proceeds to support High Point programs of Family Service of the Piedmont.

NCCJ accepting nominations for award

March 12 at 5 p.m. is the deadline for submitting nominations to the National Conference for Community and Justice of the Piedmont Triad in Greensboro for its 2018 Brotherhood/Sisterhood Citation Award.

NCCJ will present the award at its 52nd Annual Brotherhood/Sisterhood Citation Award Dinner on November 7 at the Koury Convention Center.

Raffaldini heads Bookmarks board

Barbara Raffaldini, a partner in the law firm of Pachter, Gregory & Raffaldini, has been named president of the board of Bookmarks in Winston-Salem.

Nonprofit news roundup, 02.16.18

Women lead most small-staffed foundations

Two thirds of top administrators at thinly-staffed foundations are women who earn, on average, 84 cents for every dollar paid to men, a new report says.

And 39 percent of leanly-staffed foundations include non-white board members, while 33 percent have non-white staff, says the 2018 Foundation Operations and Management Report from Exponent Philanthropy, a foundation association with nearly 2,000 members.

School of Arts receives $1 million for music school

The School of Music at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem has received a gift of $1 million from the estate of artist and philanthropist Jenny Lillian Semans Koortbojian, daughter of school founders, advocates and benefactors Dr. James H. Semans and Mary D.B.T. Semans, to endow merit-based scholarships.

James Semans was the first chairman of the school’s board of trustees, and Mary Semans mother served on the board for over 20 years. Koortbojian’s nephew, Charles Lucas, also served as trustees chair and recently completed 19 years of service on the board.

High Point University gets $250,000 for Veterans Day celebration

High Point University has received a $250,000 gift from the parents of a student to establish an endowment to support the annual Veterans Day Celebration at the school.

Alan and Karen Sheriff of Newtown, Pa., are the parents of sophomore Daniel J. Sheriff, who serves in the United States Marine Corps.

Winston-Salem State expanding mobile clinic

Winston-Salem State University has received a $170,294 grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust that it will use to expand services and hours of its mobile clinic.

Starting in January, the Rams Know H.O.W. Mobile Clinic, a service of WSSU’s Center of Excellence for the Elimination of Health Disparities, began offering free expanded clinical services, including medical services; school and work physicals; some vaccinations; STD/STI screenings; pregnancy screenings; and behavioral health screening and counseling.

With the grant, the mobile clinic now will offer services four days a week at various locations in East Winston.

The expansion is made possible through a partnership between WSSU, United Health Centers and Southside Discount Pharmacy.

Cooking event generates $70,000 for Lucy Daniels Center

The Lucy Daniels Center in Raleigh is getting $70,000 from its second annual Cooking for a Classic fundraising event, which this year featured a competition among eight local chefs.

Eastern Music Festival to host gala, honor Bryan

Eastern Music Festival will host its 3rd Annual Spring Scholarship Gala, The Magic of the Music, on March 2, to raise scholarship funds for young artists to study at EMF, and will honor Joseph M. Bryan Jr. for his long-time support.

The event will be held at The Cadillac Service Garage in downtown Greensboro.

Bryan joined the Festival’s board of directors in 1979 and has served 35 years as member of the board member and executive, as board chair and, at the board’s request, as volunteer interim executive director. Since 2016, he has served on the board as an honorary member.

Women in Motion partnering with Marsh Furniture

Marsh Furniture has contributing $5,000 to Women in Motion, an initiative of the High Point Community Foundation, and in return Women in Motion will provide or connect female employees at Marsh’s 600-person headquarters and factory with professional development opportunities, including mentoring, training and networking with local businesswomen. About a third of Marsh’s employees are women.

RiverRun gets $10,000 challenge

RiverRun International Film Festival in Winston-Salem has received a $10,000 challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for its year-round RiverRun Retro series.

Crisis Control Ministry to hold cereal drive

Crisis Control Ministry in Winston-Salem will hold its 18th annual “Wee Care! Cereal Drive” from March 1 to 23, with elementary schools, preschools and day-care centers throughout Forsyth County collecting cereal to be distributed through the organization’s Client Choice Food Pantries in Winston-Salem and Kernersville.

In last year’s drive, participating students in 30 schools collected over 1,900 boxes of cereal.

Surry Community College gets $3,000

Surry Community College received a $3,000 grant from the Gene Haas Foundation for its computer-integrated machining program.

John Deere partners with Wake Habitat

For the second straight fiscal year, John Deere has sponsored two homes for Wake Habitat — one built last fall in Fuquay-Varina, another just completed in Holly Springs.

John Deere is only corporate sponsor in Habitat Wake’s 33-year history to sponsor two homes in a year.

Winston-Salem Foundation gives $429,000

The Winston-Salem Foundation has awarded 21 grants totaling $428,876 to programs that serve people living in Forsyth County and focus on arts and culture; community and economic development; health, human services; public interest; and recreation.

Barnabas Network elects five board members

The Barnabas Network in Greensboro has elected five board members, including

Robert Green, senior vice president for wealth management at UBS; retired attorney Courtney Murchison; Rick Ramsey, operating partner at New Page Capital and president of Engineered Steel Products; attorney Tom Duncan; and Harriette Knox, communications coordinator at Canterbury School.

Carying Place to host annual benefit auction

The Carying Place in Cary will host its Annual Benefit Auction and Special 25th Anniversary Celebration on April 21 at 6 p.m.

Willingham to chair 2018 REX Hospital Open

Ed Willingham, chief operating officer at First Citizens Bank in Raleigh, will serve as chairman of the 2018 REX Hospital Open, to be held May 31 to June 23 at TPC Wakefield Plantation.

Last year, which marked the 30th year of REX charity golf, the event netted over $470,000 for the REX Healthcare Foundation.

 

Volunteer group champions wetlands

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — In January, in preparing a report to the state on the environmental impact of the proposed expansion in southeast Wake County of the 540 loop around Raleigh, the Southern Environmental Law Center asked the Carolina Wetlands Association to assess the impact of the proposed expansion on roughly 60 acres of wetlands it would affect.

The Association responded that it was concerned that plans for the proposed expansion would not adequately protect amphibians in the wetlands.

And in 2016, Triangle Greenways Council asked the Association to survey land the Council had purchased along the Neuse River in Wake County, identify wetlands in the area, and assess the status of the wetlands and threats to them.

Promoting the understanding, protection, restoration and enjoyment of wetlands and associated ecosystems in the Carolinas through science-based programs, education and advocacy is the mission of the Association, says Rick Savage, its president.

Operating with an annual budget of only $3,000, the all-volunteer organization was formed in 2015 after the administration of former Gov. Pat McCrory returned to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funding from several grants the state had received to support wetlands research in the Division of Water Quality, says Savage, whose job as a senior environmental specialist was eliminated by the decision.

From 2004 to 2009, over 80,000 acres of coastal wetlands, on average, were lost each year in the U.S., up from 60,000 acres a year the previous five years, according to a 2013 report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Atlantic Coast alone lost nearly 112,000 acres of wetlands in the five years ended in 2009, the study said.

With its tiny budget, the Carolina Wetlands Association so far has focused on a “Wetland Treasures” campaign that each May has recognized five wetlands in the Carolinas, conducted tours of the sites and published fact sheets about them on its website.

Seven of the wetlands are in North Carolina, including Robertson Mill Pond in Wake  County, and Mason Farm Wetlands in Orange County.

The biggest threats to wetlands are development and large-scale agriculture, says Savage, who also serves as co-chair of the steering committee for the Wetland Forest Initiative, a two-year old effort that focuses on conserving, restoring and preserving wetland forests in 14 states in the southeastern U.S.

The Southeast is the most diverse ecological region in North America, Savage says.

Wetlands help preserve water quality by filtering nutrients and metals used in agriculture and development. They help limit flooding, and protect against rising sea levels, by absorbing water. They help stabilize shore lines on steams and lakes. And they help protect critical habitats.

Roughly half of endangered species in the U.S. require wetlands, Savage says, and North Carolina is home to more species of salamander than any other state.

Carolina Wetlands Association, which raises money through a year-end appeal to about 400 supporters, now is developing plans to increase its fundraising so it can hire a part-time executive director and part-time business manager and development director.

“Wetlands help make our water cleaner, prevent property damage from flooding, and provide critical habitats to species that live in wetlands,” Savage says.

Nonprofit news roundup, 02.09.18

Employers, workers see value in family-friendly practices, study says

Employers and employees believe family-friendly practices help businesses attract and retain talented workers, and keep companies strong, new research finds.

Ninety-four percent of North Carolina employees believe family-friendly practices help businesses attract and retain talent, and 71 percent of business leaders in the state see just as much benefit for employers from family-friendly practices as for employees, according to research by the NC Early Childhood Foundation.

Based on interviews with over 300 employers in the state, and surveys with 300 employees from small, medium and large businesses, the research also finds that nearly half of employers in the state plan on strengthening family-friendly practices next year.

The research also shows that many employers and employees have a narrow definition of family-friendly practices.

The research is part of a new initiative, Family Forward NC, that aims to improve children’s health and well-being, and keep North Carolina’s businesses competitive.

St. Andrews, Scotia Village get $2.7 million from estate

St. Andrews University and Scotia Village retirement community, both in Laurinburg, have received gifts totaling over $2.7 million over the past two years from the estate of  John D. Currie Jr., who was a long-time trustee of St. Andrews and was a resident of Scotia Village when he died in 2014.

The gift to St. Andrews University has been used in large part to support academic programs and for capital improvements to the campus. The the balance is being used to establish a named professorship.

The gift directed to Scotia Village will benefit its Caring and Sharing Endowment that provides financial assistance for residents who have outlived their personal financial resources.

Pope Foundation awards $100,000 arts and human-service grants

The John William Pope Foundation in Raleigh awarded grants of $100,000 each to Stokes County Arts Council in Danbury and Haywood Pathways Center in Waynesville.

Stokes Arts will use its 2018 Joy W. Pope Memorial Grant in the Arts to complete phase two construction of The Arts Place of Stokes, a multi-purpose community arts facility that opened in 2017.

Haywood Pathways Center will use the 2018 Joy W. Pope Memorial Grant in Human Services to help fund the construction of an emergency and short-term shelter that will be the only emergency housing in Haywood County for homeless women with children and will be able to accommodate up to 10 families at a time.

Greensboro Community Foundation launches Social Impact pool

The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro has established a sustainable investment pool to hold only investments that meet criteria committed to responsible environmental, social, and corporate governance practices, known as “ESG.”

The new Social Impact pool, which the Foundation has seeded with a $1 million investment, has a long-term focus is available for current and future fundholders.

“We have seen an increasing interest in ESG investing for charitable funds,”

John Englar, chair of the Foundation’s investment committee, says in a statement. “In the past, there has been a perception that socially conscious investors were sacrificing portfolio performance; however, firms that score high on ESG criteria are typically well managed across the board, giving a portfolio of these companies the potential to outperform non-selective investment pools.”

Initial holdings in the Social Impact pool include Vanguard FTSE Social Index, Boston Common International, and the TIAA CREF Social Core Bond funds.

Foundation for a Healthy High Point awards $645,000

Foundation for a Healthy High Point approved $645,399 in grant awards to 12 organizations to support projects that focus on teen pregnancy prevention and early intervention; behavioral health; and other services.

Since the Foundation was established in 2013, it has awarded $7.4 million in grants.

V Foundation gets $110,000 from Pepsi Bottling Venture

Pepsi Bottling Ventures raised $110,741 for cancer research in 2017 through a program launched in 2013 in which customers donate their commission of Jimmy V v ending machines to the V Foundation for Cancer Research in Cry.

The effort has raised a total of $333,772 over five years.

Lindsay, Benton co-chairs for arts campaign

Cheryl Lindsay, director of human resources and inclusion/diversity at Hanesbrands, and Bill Benton, chairman and CEO of Salem Senior Housing, have been named campaign co-chairs of the 2018 Community Fund for the Arts for the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.

Page honored by N.C. A&T

Bob Page, chairman and CEO of Replacements Ltd., the world’s largest retailer of vintage and current china, crystal, silver and collectibles, is the recipient of the 2018 Human Rights Medal from N.C. A&T State University.

Page, a long-time activist and leader for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, received the medal on February 1 during the 58th February One Sit-In Celebration at the Alumni Foundation Event Center.

Walk event raises $57,000 for Mental Health Association

The 3rd Annual Shea’s Chase 5K Run/Walk on Nov. 4 2017, generated a net donation of nearly $57,000 for the Mental Health Association in Greensboro, up from $44,000 in 2015 and $48,000 in 2016.

The 4th annual walk will be held November 10 at 11 a.m.

School of Undergraduate Sciences named for Waneks

High Point University will name its School of Undergraduate Sciences for Todd Wanek, CEO of Ashley Furniture, and Karen Wanek, president of Superior Fresh.

Davidson County Schools getting bleeding-control kits [photo]

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma have donated a total of 91 bleeding-control kits to all 36 schools in the Davidson County School system and all five schools in the Thomasville City School system, along with the necessary training to school nurses and school resource officers.

Wake Forest Baptist already donated 200 kits to the North Carolina Highway Patrol and another 100 to the Winston-Salem Police Department.

Hospitality House aims to raise $85,000

Hospitality House of Charlotte will kick off its 4th Annual “Queen City Corporate Challenge” fundraising campaign on February 15 and has set a goal of raising $85,000. Sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, the campaign will run through March 22. The Leon Levine Foundation will provide a challenge match of $20,000 if Hospitality House meet its campaign goal.

A Place at the Table gets support for meals

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is making a contribution to A Place at the Table in Raleigh to assist with upfront operational expenses to provide 20 meals a day for 365 days to people in need.

Nonprofit news roundup, 02.02.18

High Point University getting $13.5 million from five families

A group of parents and alumni are making five gifts totaling $13.5 million to High Point University to support academic programs, scholarships and facilities.

All the donors wish to remain anonymous.

Two Florida families each contributed $5 million, for a total of $10 million, to assist in constructing a School of Undergraduate Sciences and a hotel on campus.

A third will give $1 million to establish an endowed scholarship fund, a fourth family has will give $1 million to support unrestricted scholarships, and a fifth will give $1.5 million to support residential facilities on campus.

Since 2005, the university has raised over $375 million, expanded its campus and tripled its enrollment.

V Foundation gives $4.5 million for cancer research

The V Foundation for Cancer Research in Cary has provided a $4.5 million match to grants of $1.5 million each from the Gray Foundation and BRCA Foundation to support research on therapies, cures and preventive treatments for people carrying hereditary BRCA gene mutations.

N.C. A&T gets $500,000

The College of Education and the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro have received a grant totaling $500,000 grant from the Cemala Foundation they will use to promote early childhood language and literacy development for ethnically and linguistically diverse youth and families in southeast Greensboro.

Ahearn named CEO of Our Towns Habitat for Humanity

Chris Ahearn, former vice president of public for affairs at Lowe’s Companies has been named CEO of Our Towns Habitat for Humanity in Cornelius.

Jones joins N.C. Arts Council

Cary Jones, director of communications and development for Arts Together in Raleigh, has been named music director for the North Carolina Arts Council.

Stewart awarded 2018 O.Henry Award

Cheryl Stewart, a public art consultant, and volunteer and supporter of arts and culture in Greensboro for over 20 years, has been awarded the 2018 O.Henry Award by ArtsGreensboro and the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce.

Stewart has served as the public art consultant for the Public Art Endowment at the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro since its inception.

As the public art consultant for PTI Airport, she created the airport’s Art Master Plan and coordinates all temporary and permanent installations.

She also was the first public art consultant for the Downtown Greenway and initiated and led the efforts of its Art Selection Panel.

Leadership North Carolina gets $250,000

Leadership North Carolina has been awarded a $250,000 grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina to increase participation from rural communities and underrepresented groups in future classes it selects each year.

SAFEchild gets $50,000

SAFEchild in Raleigh has received a $50,000 grant from The Leon Levine Foundation in Charlotte.

YWCA gets technology lab

YWCA of High Point has a new technology lab that will provide computer literacy skills, thanks to a $14,000 donation that includes computers and other gear and software from IGT, the lottery technology provider to the North Carolina Education Lottery.

North Carolina PTA gives $4,000

North Carolina PTA has awarded eight grants totaling $4,000 to PTAs at schools in Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg, Orange and counties to work to improve health at their schools, mainly by increasing physical activity or improving nutrition.

Greenville Junior League launching social-media effort

The Junior League of Greenville aims to raise $5,000 to help fund local food-insecurity initiatives through its first social-media campaign, The Little Black Dress Initiative, which encourages women to wear one dress every day from February 5 to 9 to represent the lack of resources available to those who are food-insecure.

Alamance United Way moves

United Way of Alamance County has moved to 220 East Front St. in Burlington.

Symphony Guild to hold kitchen tour

The Symphony Guild of Charlotte will hold its “Heart of the Home” Kitchen Tour on March 16 and 17, plus a “Taste of the Tour” cocktail party on March 14.

Honorary chairs for the fundraising event are chefs Leslie and Bruce Schlernitzauer of Porcupine Provisions. Their home is one of the six kitchens on this year’s tour.

Koinonia Foundation to host auction

The Koinonia Foundation will host its 2018 Koinonia Cares Charity Auction at Wake Forest Baptist Church at 107 E. South Avenue in Wake Forest on March 24 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall to raise funds to provide financial support for organizations that address human needs, and periodically for individuals withL a critical need.

Prevent Child Abuse to host 5K

Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina will host its inaugural “5 Factors 5K Walk & Run” at Dorothea Dix Park in Raleigh on April 14 at 8 a.m.

Care Ring to host golf event

Care Ring in Charlotte will host its 3rd annual Golfing Fore a Healthy Charlotte on April 23 at Carolina Golf Club.