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.

Working to help teachers help teachers

By Todd Cohen

CARRBORO, N.C. — High-need public schools — those with a large percentage of students living in poverty — typically lose at least half their teachers every year, compared to a loss of 15 percent of teachers at the average U.S. public school.

To help reduce teacher turnover, the Center for Teaching Quality in Carrboro has begun working on a pilot project with 12 high-need public schools in South Carolina to make it easier for excellent teachers to share their teaching strategies with colleagues.

“Not just in the U.S., but in the best-performing systems of education around the world, you will find very sophisticated systems of teacher development,” says Barnett Berry, founder and CEO of the Center for Teaching Quality. “We know that the systems that work the best create opportunities for teachers to develop and use their knowledge of children to solve their problems of practice.”

Founded in 1998 as the Southeast Center for Teaching Quality, at the time an arm of General Administration of the University of North Carolina System, the Center in 2005 became a separate nonprofit and got its current name.

It operates with an annual budget of $3 million and a staff of 15 employees, and is shifting its business strategy to at least double, from 15 percent now, the share of revenue it generates from fees for services, and to reduce, from 85 percent now, the share it gets from foundation grants.

The Center works with state education agencies, schools districts, other nonprofits, businesses, and networks of schools to find ways to help good teachers become leaders in efforts to improve public schools.

The Center supports professional development of teachers that helps them measure their impact and share their knowledge with other teachers and administrators in “virtual communities of practice” and through systems of “collective leadership,” Berry says.

“Most teachers are very much siloed from each other, with very few opportunities for even our our best teachers to share their expertise with their colleagues,” he says. “We have excellent teachers and excellent teaching going on, but it doesn’t spread from classroom to classroom.”

Realigning education resources to support more professional development also is  critical, Berry says.

In Singapore, with a school system that ranks among the best in the world, teachers have 15 hours a week to plan with their colleagues, Berry says. In the U.S., most teachers get less than two hours a week for planning.

And for every 100 educators in the Singapore schools, 75 are teachers, compared to 45 to 50 in the U.S., he says.

In Jefferson County, Ky., the Center has worked with 30 effective teachers to create online study groups to share their teaching expertise with 1,500 other teachers in the school district, which includes 180 schools, 6,000 teachers and 100,000 students.

And two years ago, the Center worked with teachers in 15 schools in the Daytona school system in Volusia County, Fla., to improve their own teaching practices and those of their colleagues. In just one year, Berry says, student achievement in those schools improved 10 percentage points.

But metrics alone will not be enough to persuade elected officials, educators or the public about the value of shifting resources — such as reorganizing the school day and making more time for teachers to lead — to enable good teachers to teach another, Berry says. Also critical, he says, is finding ways to help good teachers use technology and social media to raise awareness about their work and its impact on students.

“We’re certainly cognizant of the mountain we’re trying to climb,’ Berry says. “We cannot do this alone.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 01.26.18

Autism Society gets $2.5 million

The Autism Society of North Carolina is getting a donation of $2.5 million from the Evernham Family-Racing for a Reason Foundation to support IGNITE, a peer-to-peer program in Davidson for young adults with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome.

The Foundation generated the funds through the sale at auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., of a 2017 Ford GT donated to it by businessman Ron Pratte.

With the donation, the Autism Society will open a new location of IGNITE.

North Carolina Bar Foundation getting final bequest gift

The North Carolina Bar Foundation is getting the final of three gift payments totaling nearly $1 million from the estate of the late Charles D. Dixon, and has designated the funds to the NCBF Endowment’s Legal Aid of North Carolina Fund, which Dixon helped launch in 2007 with a lead gift of $100,000.

Proceeds from the endowed gift will underwrite a dedicated position in the Morganton office of Legal Aid of North Carolina. The office serves Alexander, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, McDowell, Mitchell, Watauga and Yancey counties in northwest North Carolina

The Foundation already has received gifts of $132,218 and $750,000 from Dixon’s estate, and expects a final gift of about $100,000.

Dixon, a Hickory attorney who practiced for over 60 years with Patrick, Harper & Dixon, died in 2016.

College students, faculty volunteer for community projects

Students and faculty from High Point University joined community members on Martin Luther King Jr.s’ birthday on January 15 in 33 service projects throughout the city, contributing over 1,500 hours on projects ranging from community gardens, painting, and cleaning community centers, to clothing drives and preparing and packaging meals.

Puritz to chair investment committee for N.C. Outward Bound School

Scott Puritz, managing director and co-founder of Rebalance IRA in Palo Alto, Calif., and Bethesda, Md., has been named Chair of the North Carolina Outward Bound School’s Investment Committee.

N.C. Legislative Black Caucus Foundation gets sponsor

Greg Lindberg, founder of Durham investment company Eli Global will serve as a Signature Sponsor of the North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus Foundation for the next five years.

Duplin County groups get disaster funds

Duplin County Community Foundation received $2,500 from the North Carolina Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund and will give $1,250 to Duplin Christian Outreach Ministries and $1,250 to East Duplin Christian Outreach.