Nonprofit news roundup, 03.17.17

Nonprofits overlook mid-level donors, study says

Many nonprofits are not paying enough attention to mid-level donors, who fall into a communications “black hole” and are “forgotten by the organizations they faithfully support,” a new study says.

For the study, online-fundraising consultant NextAfter made donations ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 to 37 organizations, then tracked emails, direct mail and phone calls it received from those organizations for 90 days.

Only eight percent of the groups phoned to say thank you. One-third never referred to their donors by name. Only 31 percent of communications came from a real person. And 49 percent of organizations never asked for a second gift.

In contrast, NextAfter says, most nonprofits have standard procedures for responding to smaller gifts — usually email or direct mail — and to larger gifts.

Major donors, it says, typically receive a phone call from a representative of the organization. And previous research, it says, indicates that a donor’s second gift may be up to 40 percent more if he or she received a thank-you call for the first gift.

Among organizations in the most recent study, 40 percent stopped communicating after one month, and nine percent did not communicate at all — providing no gift receipt, appeal for more donations, or new information about the organization.

“In other words, they provided no incentive to give again,” NextAfter says.

Scholarship fund created for ex-convicts

The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation has established a $100,000 fund at The Winston-Salem Foundation named for Darryl Hunt to provide scholarships to individuals in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County who have been convicted of a criminal offense, have served a jail or prison sentence, and are seeking higher education.

Starting Jan. 1, 2018, applicants may apply for a $1,000 scholarship that is renewable for up to three more consecutive years and will be applied to the cost of tuition and fees for students attending an accredited vocational or technical school, community college, or college or university for a certificate, diploma or degree.

Hunt was wrongfully convicted of rape and murder in 1984 at age 19 and served two decades in prison before being exonerated.

Food Bank launching teaching kitchen

The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina is partnering with Allscripts Healthcare Solutions to launch the Allscripts Teaching Kitchen – a new space to be used to teach cooking skills, share healthy recipes, and offer nutrition education to organizations serving families and individuals facing hunger.

The Teaching Kitchen will operate under the Food Bank’s recently launched Community Health & Engagement department. The partnership aims to boost the continued development of a nutrition education program for the on-site teaching kitchen, as well as collaboration with other nonprofits to bring nutrition education and resources to people who are at-risk of hunger.

Thompson names new CEO

Will Jones, former chief operating officer at Eckerd Youth Alternatives in Clearwater, Fla., and more recently senior child well-being industry consultant in Charlotte for SAS, leading efforts to build a national child well-being practice for the Cary-based company, has been named president and CEO of Thompson, a Charlotte-based provider of clinical and prevention services for vulnerable children and families in Mecklenburg County.

Stowe Botanical Garden gets new executive director

Patrick S. Larkin, senior vice president of gardens at Cheekwood in Nashville, Tenn., has been named executive director of Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Belmont, N.C., effective May 15.

Tomorrow Fund launching final campaign

The Tomorrow Fund for Hispanic students will launch its final fundraising campaign on March 31, aiming to raise $135,000 to support students completion of their degrees over the next three years.

Over eight years, the Fund has provided nearly $1 million in scholarship funding across North Carolina.
Sisters of Mercy Foundation awards $1 million

Sisters of Mercy of North Carolina Foundation awarded grants totaling over $1 million to 22 nonprofits in Buncombe, Catawba, Gaston, Mecklenburg and Union counties.

ALS research to benefit from new marathon

Event organizers FS Series, Team Drea Foundation and The Streets at Southpoint have organized the inaugural Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Marathon and Half Marathon, which will be held November 12, start and finish at The Streets at Southpoint shopping mall in Durham, and raise funds to find a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Boys & Girls Clubs get $2,000

Boys & Girls Clubs of Wake County received $2,000 from Delta Dental Foundation for an oral health education program at Washington Elementary Boys & Girls Club.

Event raises $2,810 for Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation

A Boston Butt Cook-off contest at Ray Price Harley-Davidson in Raleigh attracted over 500 people and raised $2,810 for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

Arts Council gives $6,000

The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County awarded 12 grants totaling $6,000 through its Wells Fargo Community Enrichment Mini-Grant program to community groups and individuals.

College students volunteer for Habitat

Students from colleges and universities in New York and Pennsylvania are spending a week in Greensboro this month working with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Greensboro on new construction, home renovations or at the Habitat ReStore in Gate City Boulevard.

The students attend Eastern University in Wayne, Pa.; Widener University in Chester, Pa.; University of Rochester in New York; Kutztown University of Pennsylvania; and Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y.

Fraternity raises money for wounded veteran (photo)

Veteran Patrick J. Glavey is getting a Track Chair — an all-terrain wheelchair — thanks to fundraising efforts by the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity at High Point University in partnership with The Independence Fund and the Heal Team 6 organization.

Schools get $19,450

The Principals’ Fund at the High Point Community Foundation awarded a total of $19,450 to eight local schools.

Event raises $15,000 for Mustard Seed

Nonprofit news roundup on March 3 incorrectly reported the amount of money Mustard Seed Community Health in Greensboro received from the inaugural Scrubs vs. Suits MD/JD Challenge basketball game. Mustard Seed received $15,000.

Volunteers, donations drive Durham Bike Co-Op

By Todd Cohen

DURHAM, N.C. — When Nayeli Garci-Crespo moved to Durham from Mexico City two years ago to become media and marketing manager at Sound Pure, a shop that sells high-end instruments and audio gear, she could not afford a car so she bought a used bicycle.

But the bike’s chain soon fell off its sprockets and got jammed between the gears, so she wheeled the bike across the street from where she works to Durham Bicycle Cooperative, which then was located on Washington Street.

At the Co-op, she was a told she either could buy or volunteer for a membership, and then be assigned to a volunteer mechanic, who would work with her to repair her bike.

“So I was able to get home that night, still using the same bike,” says Garci-Crespo, who now serves as volunteer communications coordinator for the Co-Op.

The all-volunteer nonprofit, which opened in 2007, works to make affordable bikes more accessible, reduce traffic and protect the environment by teaching its members to  repair bikes, including their own bikes or those they find and refurbish at the Co-op.

It offers to the public to repair many of its donated bikes, and recycles unusable bike parts, distributes bike helmets, offers a special program for refugees, and is developing a community garden and beehive.

Operating with an annual budget of about $56,000, the Co-op in 2016 received over 100 donated bicycles, including about 40 from Duke University that had been abandoned on campus.

To become a member, an individual may volunteer at the Co-op’s shop for three hours or pay $30. After becoming a member, an individual has several options for getting a bike.

All members must pay a $10 co-pay for a bike. A member then either can volunteer another two hours or pay $30 to get a bike from the Co-op’s inventory, or may volunteer additional hours or pay additional dollars to get a nicer bike. And once members have selected bikes, they work alongside volunteer mechanics to fix them.

More than 450 people, including 274 volunteers, attended Co-op training and repair sessions in 2016, and over 150 people took home refurbished bicycles.

The Co-op also worked with 86 refugees to earn memberships, and worked with 42 adult refugees and 24 refugee children to earn bikes, through a partnership with CWS Durham.

It distributed 270 free youth helmets through a partnership with Safe Kids Durham and a donation of helmets from the state Department of Transportation.

And it recycled nearly three tons of scrap metal.

The Co-op operates an “open shop” on Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for members, and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for new volunteers, as well as a “repair shop” on Sundays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. for members.

And on Monday evenings, its volunteer mechanics can work on their own bikes.

Last year, the Co-op moved to a building adjacent to Duke Park on Acadia Street that the Durham Parks and Recreation Department has leased to it nearly for free for 10 years.

First-time visitors are assigned to a coordinator, who pairs them with volunteer mechanics, who teach and assign them tasks like stripping donated bikes, classifying parts, determining which parts can be used, and separating the rest for recycling.

On a typical Sunday, dozens of people may visit the Co-op, with lines sometimes snaking outside.

At four workstations, each with two bike stands, members and volunteer mechanics work side by side, handling tasks ranging from adjusting gears, changing seats and adding lights to replacing tires, fixing flats and truing wheels to keep them from wobbling.

The Co-op counts on partnerships and events to help raise money and awareness about bicycling.

In 2016, it partnered with New Belgium Brewing for the sixth year as a nonprofit beneficiary of proceeds from its Tour de Fat as the bike festival visited Durham.

It also received a share of profits from the Moogfest festival, which Asheville-based Moog held in Durham.

And three Triangle employees of IBM made two short videos for the Co-op that it will use to promote and market its cause, and post on its website.

To help pay for equipping its new quarters, the Co-op has raised a total of $61,000 over   three years in a capital campaign, including $10,600 in 2016.

And it always is looking for donated bikes and volunteer mechanics while trying to spread the word about bicycles.

“It’s an inexpensive mode of transportation that doesn’t pollute the environment,” Garci-Crespo says. “And it also reduces traffic.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 03.10.17

High Point United Way raises $5 million

United Way of Greater High Point raised $5.06 million, exceeding its goal by nearly $40,000 and the total it raised last year by $50,000, and marking the sixth straight year it raised a record-high total.

According to results reported to United Way of North Carolina, the campaign for the ninth time in the past 11 years posted the biggest percentage change among the state’s major metro regions — including Charlotte, the Triangle, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Asheville and Wilmington — High Point United Way says.

And it says that, according to United Way of America, the campaign in High Point is the only campaign in a major metro area in the state that is growing and at its all-time high.

In comparison, it says, giving to nearly 60 local United Ways in the state has declined over 30 percent since 2007, while giving to United Ways throughout the U.S. fell five percent in 2015 and was expected to fall by a similar percentage for the most recent campaigns.

Chaired by Ken Smith of Smith Leonard, the local campaign benefits 28 local agencies that serve over 80,000 clients a year.

Old Dominion Freight Line again was the biggest contributor to the campaign, followed by Thomas Built Bus; City of High Point; High Point University; Bank of North Carolina; Cross Company; Marsh Furniture; High Point Regional Health; Mickey Truck Bodies; and Guilford County Schools.

High Point Fire Chief Tommy Reid will chair the 2017 campaign.

Early Childhood Foundation gets $245,000

The North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation has been awarded grants totaling $245,000 from The Belk Foundation, Goodnight Educational Foundation, Skeebo Foundation, and Z Smith Reynolds Foundation.

The grants include a two-year, $60,000 grant from The Belk Foundation; a gift of $25,000 from the Goodnight Educational Fund; a three-year, $75,000 grant from the Skeebo Foundation; and a one-year, $85,000 grant from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.

Wine-tasting event raises $138,000

Corks for Kids Path on March 3 at The Empire Room in Greensboro netted over $138,000 for Kids Path at Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro, bringing to over $700,000 the net total the annual wine-tasting event has raised in 10 years.

Lead partner for the event was Zeto Wine and Cheese Shop, and its owners, Su Peterson and Penny Demetriades, were honorary co-chairs, with law firm Crumley Roberts serving as the presenting sponsor.

Museum of Arts gets $149,500

he North Carolina Museum of Art received a $149,500 matching grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to complete a multidisciplinary, 10-phase conservation project on Statue of Bacchu, a composite marble work of art that has been in the Museum’s collection for nearly six decades.

The project, which includes a de-restoration of the sculpture and research on its history, will culminate in a special exhibition and public programming.

Volunteers pack 52,000 meals

Over 52,000 fortified mac-and-cheese meals were packed by 110 volunteers on March 4  at the Out of The Garden Project warehouse in Greensboro, thanks to the support of Rotary District 7690, Summit Rotary, Thrivent Financial and Syngenta Corporation.

Focusing on Rotary youth groups, nine local Rotary clubs hosted nine high school Interact Clubs and six college Rotaract Clubs for the two-and-a-half-hour packing.

Meals of Hope in and Rotary District 7690 have packed over 400,000 meals in the last five years for food-insecure people in the Out of the Garden network.

Junior Achievement honored for performance

The staff and board of directors of Junior Achievement of the Triad received the 2015-16 Peak Performance Team Award from Junior Achievement USA.

The award recognizes the highest combined level of student growth, increased market share and total revenue growth for a local Junior Achievement office during the past fiscal year.

During the 2015-16 school year, Junior Achievement of the Triad reached 16,234 students in six counties, representing overall student growth of 48 percent and a 2.4 percent increase in market share.

Allen joins Fayetteville YMCA

Brian Allen, former director for eastern North Carolina of the American Heart Association, has joined the Fayetteville branch of YMCA of the Sandhills as executive director.

Event to benefit PLS Farm Ministry

PLS Farm Ministry will host its annual 5K trail run and walk on May 13 at 9 a.m. at 250 Herman Road in Reidsville to benefit its scholarship fun for its residential and leadership development programs for teen boys.

College students help build Habitat home

A dozen students from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science spent their spring break this week building a home in Statesville for Our Towns Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat gets Wyndham house

A showcase housed designed for the Wyndham Championship PGA Tour event by Wyndham Worldwide, title sponsor of the event, now is a home of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Greensboro in a local neighborhood.

After last year’s event, the house was disassembled, loaded onto trucks and delivered to its current Habitat site in Northeast Greensboro.

Golf event to benefit Wounded Warrior Leave Fund

The Triad Association of Health Underwriters  will hold its Charity Golf Tournament on May 17 at Greensboro National Golf Club in Summerfield to benefit NC Military Order of the Purple Heart Wounded Warrior Leave Fund.

Health Underwriters to host symposium

The North Carolina Association of Health Underwriters will host its 28th Annual Symposium and Exhibition on April 2-4 at Benton Convention Center in Winston Salem.

Golf event raises $12,000

The Polar Bear Open Golf Tournament on March 4 at Bryan Park Champions and Players Course in Greensboro raised over $12,000 to benefit Reelin’ for Research and UNC Children’s Hospital.

Komen getting $4,000

Susan G. Komen Northwest North Carolina is getting a donation of $4,029 from Allegacy Federal Credit Union, which is donating all the funds it raised in partnership with the Greensboro Swarm from the team’s first-ever theme jersey auction on March 4.

Free workshop for Duplin County grantseekers

A free grantseekers workshop for Duplin County nonproifts seeking grants from the Duplin County Community Foundation will be held April 6, at 10 a.m. at James Sprunt Community College.

Arts grants available

April 3 at 5 p.m. is the deadline for arts organizations and individual artists to submit applications to ArtsGreensboro for projects to increase community access to the arts, boost the region’s economy through innovative programs, or support educational experiences.

Nonprofit news roundup, 03.03.17

High Point Regional raises $26 million

High Point Regional has kicked off the public phase of a capital campaign to address $55 million in needs, and already has raised $26 million, including a $10 million lead gift from The Earl & Kathryn Congdon Family Foundation, the biggest gift ever to the hospital.

High Point Regional will rename its Heart Center in honor of the Congdon Family.

The campaign, High Point Region’s biggest ever, including expansion and renovation of the third floor of the hospital, consolidating all of cardiology services, cardiac cath labs, electro physiology labs and diagnostic testing into its Heart Center.

All our operating rooms will be renovated, modernized, and enlarged to accommodate the latest surgical equipment in the region.

In its Hayworth Cancer Center, it also developing a new urgent care clinic for cancer patients, and acquiring new technology for radiation therapy treatments.

Co-chairing the campaign, which was launched in early 2016,  are Ned and Katherine Covington, and Paul and Barbara Coughlin. Honorary co-chair is Molly Young.

Other major donors include David Hayworth; Ronnie and Mollie Young; The McMichael Family Foundation; The Foundation for a Healthy High Point; Fred and Barbara Wilson; and the Ann and Vann York Family.

In 2007, the hospital raised $11 million in a capital campaign to improve its clinical technology needs.

JDRF raises over $1.2 million

The Piedmont Triad Chapter of JDRF raised over $1.2 million at its 17th annual Hope Gala on February 25 to cure, prevent, and treat type 1 diabetes, marking the sixth time since 2011 that the Gala has raised at least $1 million.

Alternating between Winston-Salem and Greensboro and held this year at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem, the Gala this year was chaired by Wendy and Brad Calloway and attracted nearly 1,000 people

Carl Amato, president and CEO of Novant Health, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 18 months old, was honored at the Gala, receiving a medal in recognition of living with the disease for over 50 years.

Mike  Conrad, who retired in October 16 as the chapter’s executive director, received the Beverly Berry Living and Giving Award, the chapter’s highest award, which is named for the late Beverly Berry, who had type 1 diabetes and co-founded The Fresh Market with her husband Ray.

Prevention Partners looking for buyers of web tools 

While 18-year-old Prevention Partners suspended operations on February 17 in the face of financial challenges, its board has not decided whether to close permanently, and the Chapel Hill nonprofit is looking for buyers for seven web applications it built for workplaces, schools and clinics to use in setting up preventive policies and environments, says Meg Molloy, its president and CEO.

“We are now focusing on trying to continue our legacy by finding organizations that want to continue to build healthy places where we work, learn and receive care,” she said by phone.

The web applications support functions — such as assessing policies and environments — related to tobacco-free environments; healthy food policies; healthy nutrition, including food-procurement strategies; “mothers rooms” dedicated to lactation by women who have returned to work after giving birth; policies that enable employees and students to be physically active; and a culture of wellness.

Today at 10:30 a.m., Prevention Partners will host a free webinar that demonstrates how all the apps work. A recording of the webinar will be available.

Groups interested in the web tool or webinar can contact Molloy at meg@forprevention.org.

Jenna Bush Hager to speak at Salvation Army event

Jenna Bush Hager, contributing correspondent for NBC’s Today, an editor-at-large for Southern Living Magazine, and daughter of former President George W. Bush and former First  Lady Laura Bush, will be keynote speaker on May 16 at the inaugural Darrell and Stella Harris Champion of Hope dinner benefiting The Salvation Army of High Point.

The event will be held at The High Point Country Club at Emerywood starting at 6 p.m.

Asheville funder gives $460,450

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina in Asheville approved 13grants totaling $460,450 to support regional projects that focus on early childhood development, food and farming; natural and cultural resources; and people in need.

United Way gets $240,000 from High Point University

Donors at High Point University raised $240,580 in 2016 for United Way of Greater High Point and its partner agencies, up 532 percent from 2005.

In addition to the annual United Way campaign, students, faculty and staff at the school donate 100,000 hours of service each year to the United Way and other agencies.

United Way values those volunteer hours at $2.3 million.

Volunteer Center event to benefit nonprofits

The Volunteer Center of Greensboro will host its annual Human Race, a 5K walk/run to benefit local nonprofits, on April 1 at Greensboro Coliseum.

Event to benefit Carying Place

The Carying Place in Cary will host its 16th Annual Benefit Auction on April 28 at 6 p.m. at Prestonwood Country Club.

Premier Property Solutions sponsoring Joedance Film Festival

Premier Property Solutions at Keller Williams has become a major sponsor for Joedance Film Festival, which raises money for local rare pediatric cancer research and clinical trials at Carolina Healthcare System’s Levine Children’s Hospital.

‘Scrubs’ beat ‘Suits’ in benefit for Mustard Seed

Mustard Seed Community Health in Greensboro received over $1,500 from the inaugural Scrubs vs. Suits MD/JD Challenge basketball game on Feb 26.

The Scrubs, represented the Greater Greensboro Society of Medicine, won the game 68 to 57  over the Suits team, fielded by the Young Lawyers Section of the Greensboro Bar Association.

Two senior staff join Transitions LifeCare

Jackie Ring has joined Transitions LifeCare in Raleigh as vice president of clinical services and chief innovation officer, and Melissa Short has joined the nonprofit as vice president of human resources.

Five join board of Institute for Emerging Issues

Five new members have joined the national advisory board of the Institute for Emerging Issues at North Carolina State University, including Robin Gary Cummings, chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke; James “Jay” Dixon, senior vice president for global quality and compliance at Pharmaceutical Product Development; Maureen Grasso, dean of the Graduate School at N.C. State; Margaret Spellings, president of the UNC System; and James “Jimmie” Williamson, president of the North Carolina Community College System.

Nonprofit leadership focus of event

Developing the next generation of nonprofit leaders will be the focus of  the third annual #NonprofitSTRONG Summit, to be held April 28 at the Durham Convention Center.  Keynote speaker at the event, organized by the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of the Triangle and presented by Triangle Community Foundation, will be Tashni-Ann Dubroy, president of Shaw University in Raleigh.

Drawing for car at Heart Association event

Carolina Kia Hyundai of High Point is donating a new car for a drawing at the Greater Guilford Heart & Stroke Walk on May 20 at Kaplan Commons at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to benefit the American Heart Association.

NFL player hosting event to benefit family foundation

Native North Carolinian Shaun Draughn of the San Fransisco 49ers will host his first-ever Celebrity Bowling Event to raise funds for the Draughn Family Foundation on March 31 at 6:30 p.m. at Frank Theatre’s Parkside CineBowl & Grille at 1140 Parkside Main St., in Cary.

Golf event to benefit Boys & Girls Clubs

The Bull City Golf Classic Fore Kids to benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of Durham and Orange Counties will be held May 22 at Hope Valley Country Club. Sponsors include MIX 101.5 WRAL, Square 1 Bank, Storm the Stage Music Publishing, and M&F Bank.

Group works to protect animals, raise awareness

By Todd Cohen

DURHAM, N.C. — On a typical day, the Durham County Animal Shelter is home to up to 300 dogs, cats and other animals.

“Six thousand pass through the shelter every year or that we serve through a safety-net program for people who cannot afford to keep animals in their home,” says Shafonda Davis, executive director of the Animal Protection Society of Durham, which has a contract to manage the county-owned facility.

The number of animals the shelter handles each year actually is down from nearly 9,000 in 2008 as a result of efforts by the Society to raise awareness of the need to adopt, spay and neuter cats and dogs, although the need for better care of animals remains “huge,” Davis says.

Founded in 1970, the Society operates with an annual budget of $1.5 million, a staff of 23 full-time employees and 370 active volunteers.

Its generates about half its funds from earned income, including nearly $619,000 from the county, plus fees for adoption, flea-and-tick prevention, microchips implanted in animals to keep track of them, and cat carriers.

It generates the remaining half of its funds from contributions, mainly from individuals and events that include a walk in May, a gala in November and an annual fund that raise a total of about $750,000.

Under the Society’s contract with the county, the Shelter is an “open-admission” facility that accepts every animal.

Animals remain the shelter until they find a home or are severely injured or ill. It provides spaying and neutering, medical care and adoption services and euthanasia.

In 2016, the Society euthanized nearly 2,400 animals, mainly for medical reasons and serious aggression.

“We offer euthanasia as a free service because we don’t believe any animal should suffer and die in pain,” Davis says. “A lot of people can’t afford that,”

The Society also handled the adoption of nearly 1,900 animals and returned nearly 700 lost animals to their homes.

For lost animals returned to their homes, the Society provides free microchips and name tags so they can be tracked and identified, and offers free or discounted spaying or neutering.

To raise awareness about animal protection, the Society holds about 20 community events throughout the year, as well as tours of the facility that attract a total of about 200 visitors.

Once a month, it takes adoptable dogs from the shelter to meet patrons at Beer Durham, a local brewery. One Sunday a month, it takes animals to Oliver’s Collar, a dog-treat bakery and boutique. Every Monday, Macy’s at Southpoint Mall hosts animals from the shelter. And once a month the Society brings cats from the shelter to The Regulator bookstore.

The Society also participates in events like Festival of the Eno. And Davis talks about animals to students in schools and university settings, including the College of Veterinary Medicine at N.C. State University.

Raising awareness about animal protection is critical, says Davis, a Durham native who says she knew at age four she wanted “to spend every waking hour” with animals.”We try to incorporate education with everything we do,” she says.

Nonprofit news roundup, 02.24.17

Shelter lands $100,000 grant

Wesley Shelter, a nonprofit in Wilson that serves domestic-violence survivors and homeless women and children has been awarded the 2017 Joy W. Pope Memorial Grant in Human Services, including a $100,000 grant, from the John William Pope Foundation.

Wesley Shelter, among over 40 groups throughout the state that submitted applications for the one-time prize, will use the funds for to expand and improve handicap accessibility to its facility, allowing it to accommodate additional clients and relocate existing office space to create more efficient shelter space.

Prevention Partners suspends operations

Prevention Partners, a Chapel Hill nonprofit that worked to build healthier communities through products designed to guide schools, workplaces, hospitals and clinics to address the leading causes of preventable disease, suspended operations on February 17 after 18 years in the face of financial challenges, Whitney Davis, its chief mission officer, said in an email announcement.

Reynolds joins Our Towns Habitat

Patrice Reynolds, former executive director for Friends of the Animals in Mooresville, has been named director of development of Our Towns Habitat for Humanity in Cornelius.

Bailey’s gives over $70,000

Bailey’s Fine Jewelry donated over $61,000 to local charities in 2016 through a program that provides customers with a complimentary watch-battery replacement and in exchange requests they make to a charity it designates each month.

Since it launched the effort in 2008, Bailey’s has donated over $355,000 to nonprofits in the Raleigh, Rocky Mount and Greenville.

Bailey’s also donated $9,500 in 2016 to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina through a program in which it donates funds to buy 360 meals to feed a family in return for every ring purchased from its special collection of engagement and wedding jewelry.

Hurricane relief effort gets $10,000

The North Carolina FFA Association received a $10,000 donation form the Crop Science division of Bayer to help fund up to 20 community enhancement projects over the next several months to help strengthen and rebuild communities affected by Hurricane Matthew.

United Way honors Triad campaigns

Seven organizations in the High Point area and five in the Greensboro area received Spirit of North Carolina Awards for Campaign Excellence from United Way of North Carolina.

Winners in High Point, which received nearly one-fourth of the 29 Spirit awards given to organizations throughout the state, included Cross Company; High Point University; Mickey Truck Bodies; Smith Leonard; Thomas Built Buses; Guilford County Schools; and City/County Government of Guilford County.

Winners in Greensboro included City of Greensboro and Guilford County; Guilford County Schools; SunTrust Bank; E.P. Pearce Elementary School; and Northwest Middle School.

Habitat Greensboro honors volunteers

Arnold Jeffries received the 2016 Joe White Volunteer of the Year Award from Habitat for Humanity of Greater Greensboro, and Geneva Metzger and Joseph Stiefel received the 2016 Gerard Davidson Lifetime Achievement Award.

Hispanic League scholarships total $700,000

The Hispanic League has awarded 328 scholarships since 2000 worth a total $700,000 to Hispanic/Latino students who are current or former Forsyth County English Language Learner students.

On February 24, the Hispanic League and the American Heart Association were scheduled to team  up to bring the Hispanic League Beating Hearts Zumbathon to Winston-Salem at the Village Inn Event Center in Clemmons.

Volunteers pitch in at child center

Seven employees of Tar Heel Basement Systems volunteered at ABC of NC Child Development Center in Winston-Salem, setting up activity stations and connecting with individual children.

The nonprofit serves children and families with autism.

Event to raise scholarships funds

The Project One Scholarship Fund will host its sixth annual “Power of One” fundraiser on March 28 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Byron’s South End at 101 W. Worthington Ave. in Charlotte.

The event, which is free but requires registration in advance, last year raised $70,000 for college scholarships for students in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

Habitat Greensboro building house to mark 30 years

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Greensboro has begun building a house over the course of 30 days to mark its 30th anniversary.

Habitat construction employees are working with volunteers representing sponsors Brady Services; Christ United Methodist Church; Columbia Forest Products; Cone Health; First Presbyterian Church; Hillcrest Partners/Windsor Homes; Volvo Financial Services; Wells Fargo, and Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Volunteers work on playground

El Buen Pastor Latino Community Services in Winston-Salem is getting a new playground that will serve over 250 children and will be built by the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and KaBoom!.

United Way gets $56,000

Publix Super Markets donated over $56,000 to the capital campaign of United Way of Forsyth County in the chain’s first nine months of business in the region.

Adequacy of school financing still ‘a problem’

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina’s system for financing schools is “relatively equitable, stable and flexible,” but its adequacy “most likely remains a problem” for its public schools, a new report says.

Enrollment has grown steadily to about 1.5 million students, including nearly 90,000 at 167 charter schools, while spending per pupil overall, as well as personnel per student in traditional schools, both have declined, says Financing Education in North Carolina, a report from the North Carolina Justice Center.

Per-pupil spending

In fiscal 2016, the state ranked 44th in the U.S. on spending per pupil, down one spot from before fiscal 2009, when budget cuts were made in the face of the recession, the report says.

Per-pupil spending has grown just over two percent since fiscal 2009, but has declined over eight percent when adjusted for inflation, the report says.

In fiscal 2016, per-pupil spending in North Carolina was $3,182 below the national average of about $12,000, the report says.

In fiscal 2009, it says, per-pupil spending in North Carolina had been $1,552 below the national average of over $10,000.

Enrollment and personnel

Enrollment in the state’s public schools has grown 18.6 percent over the past 15 years, driven in recent years by the number of students enrolled in charter schools, the report says.

Yet the number of personnel per student in the state’s traditional public schools has fallen 10.4 percent since fiscal 2009, including six percent fewer teachers and 31 percent fewer teacher assistants, the report says.

Urban school districts continue to attract students, while most rural districts are losing students, with only 28 districts growing in fiscal 2017, and 87 districts losing students.

Diverse districts

North Carolina is home to 115 school districts, including 89 that share their borders with counties, and multiple school districts in 11 counties.

The state is home to nearly 2,600 schools, including charter schools, and they represent diverse populations and student demographics.

The school districts in Wake County and Charlotte-Mecklenburg, for example, are among the 20 largest school districts in the U.S., with each enrolling about 150,000 students, while 40 districts in the state enroll fewer than 4,000 students.

The number of students in Wake, the biggest district in the state, is about the same as the combined total of the state’s 54 smallest districts.

Nearly 18 percent of students in Asheboro City Schools speak English as a second language, compared to fewer than one percent of students in Weldon City Schools.

And 28 percent of students in Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools qualify for lunch that is free or at a reduced price, compared to 88 percent of students in Lexington City Schools.

And 19 percent of students in Stokes County have an identified disability, compared to seven percent in Clinton City Schools.

Funding sources

State law requires that the state pay for instructional expenses for current operations of public schools, and that counties pay for public-education facilities.

In North Carolina, the state historically has accounted for about 65 percent of school district funding.

Local funding —  including appropriations from county governments, as well as private donations — accounts for about 25 percent, and federal funding accounts for about 10 percent.

In fiscal 2014, throughout the U.S., states on average accounted for 46 percent of public school revenue, while local funding accounted for 45 percent and the federal government accounted for nine percent.

State funding

In North Carolina, most state funding for public schools — a total $9.4 billion in fiscal 2017 — is based on student “headcount,” which is measured by the number of students enrolled each day divided by the number of days in the month.

The 10 largest funding categories — such as classroom teachers; children with special needs; transportation; and teacher assistants — represent 90 percent of all state funding distributed to the schools.

Federal funding

In fiscal 2016, child nutrition accounted for 37 percent of federal funds North Carolina received for public schools, while funding to help children from low-income families account for 31 percent and funds for services for students with disabilities accounted for 22 percent.

Local funding

Local spending on schools varies dramatically among school districts, both in amount and share of funds, the report says.

In the fiscal 2016, local spending per pupil in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro City Schools totaled $5,710, for example, compared to $415 in Swain County.

And local sources accounted for half of total spending by the Chapel Hill/Carrboro Schools, compared to only eight percent for Robeson County.

North Carolina is one of 18 states with a funding system that, on average, directs more resources to poor districts than wealthy districts, yet local wealth allows some individual school districts to supplement funding for schools to levels most districts cannot afford, the report says.

Lottery

Revenue from the North Carolina Lottery allocated to support education — less than 35 percent of total Lottery revenue since fiscal 2008 — has grown to $592 million from $325 million 10 years ago, yet accounts for only five percent of total state support for public schools, the report says

Much of the funding from the Lottery, it says, now supports programs previously supported by spending from the  state’s General Fund, allowing state lawmakers to “shift” General Fund spending to programs outside the education budget.

The state is not responsible for capital spending but sometimes issues bonds support school construction, while the Lottery, currently $100 million, supports construction projects.

School districts in the state project their facility needs will total $8.1 billion over the next five years.

Charter schools and vouchers

State funding for charter schools — public schools given additional operating flexibility and overseen by independent nonprofit boards of directors rather than locally-elected school boards — exceeded $461 million in fiscal 2017.

Two voucher programs — which provide state funding to families of students who attend a private schools — provided scholarships for over 5,000 students in low-income families in fiscal 2017, and grants for over 800 students with disabilities.

Salaries and benefits

Ninety-four percent of state spending for public schools, and 84 percent of total spending for schools, supports salaries and benefits of state employees, the report says.

Over time, it says, common measures of inflation, such as the Consumer Price Index, “underestimate the actual budget pressures faced by public schools.”

That’s because schools spend most of their money on college-educated professionals, such as teachers and principals, the report says, and wages and benefits for college-educated workers tend to rise faster than the cost of goods, which often can become less expensive as a result of technological advances.

So public schools “face cost pressures above those reflected by traditional inflation measures,” the report says.

— Todd Cohen