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

Nonprofit news roundup, 02.17.17

Community information gaps focus of new effort

Looking for ways to identify “information gaps” in local communities, and to work with residents to find ways to close those gaps over the long-term will be the focus of 18 months of training that will be available to four community and “place-based” foundations from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The training effort is based on a pilot that Knight conducted with four other foundations in which it now will invest a total of $1 million in matching grants to help them put into place plans they already have developed with local residents to close local information gaps.

The four foundations in the pilot that now will get a total of $1 million more are Chicago Community Trust; Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; Incourage Community Foundation; and Silicon Balley Community Foundation.

March 24 is the deadline for other community and place-based foundations to submit applications to participate in the 18-month training program, known as the Knight Community Information Lab.

Methodist Home raises $315,000

Methodist Home for Children in Raleigh raised $315,000 and attracted 585 guests on February 4 at its 20th annual gala, A Winter’s Tale.

$310,000 awarded for environmental projects

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina awarded a total of $309,645 to 11 environmental projects from its Pigeon River Fund, bringing to nearly $6.2 million the total grants it has awarded since 1996.

These grants support projects — that focus on improving surface water quality, and fish and wildlife management habitats; expanding public use and access to waterways; and increasing awareness to help protect resources — in Buncombe, Haywood and Madison counties.

Heritage Home Group sponsoring United Way dinner

Heritage Home Group in High Point has donated $10,000 and will be the inaugural community sponsor for The Darrell & Stella Harris Champion of Hope benefit dinner that United Way of Greater High Point will host May 16 at the High Point Country Club.

Dodgeball event to benefit Rescue Mission

Community Matters in Charlotte will host its Sixth Annual Dodgeball Tournament, which will be held March 24 from 11 a.m .to 3 p.m. at Sports Connection at 10930 Granite St. Proceeds from the event will benefit Charlotte Rescue Mission.

Event to benefit Cancer Fund

Kay Yow Cancer Fund will hold its inaugural Celebration Run/Walk on February 18 at 11 a.m. Talley Student Center/Stafford Commons on the campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

Transitions GuidingLights to host event

Transitions GuidingLights Caregiver Support Center in Raleigh will host its seventh annual Share to Care fundraiser on February 18 at Governor W. Kerr Scott Building at 1025 Blue Ridge Road from 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

IFB Solutions gets $47,000

IFB Solutions Foundation received a $47,000 grant from Reynolds American Foundation for specially-trained teaching instructors for its year-round Student Enrichment Experience Afterschool Program that works with students from kindergarten through 12th grade who are blind or visually impaired.

Chipper Jones to speak at Bookmarks event

Bookmark will present “Chipper Jones: Behind the Plate” with longtime Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones on April 6 at 6 p.m. at BB&T Ballpark in Winston-Salem.

Presenting sponsors for the event are Blue Door Group and Wilkinson ERA Real Estate.

SECCA curator leaving

Cora Fisher, curator of contemporary art at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, will step down on March 1 after three-and-a-half years in the job.

Williams promoted at Armstrong McGuire

Shannon Williams, a senior adviser at philanthropy consulting firm Armstrong McGuire & Associates in Raleigh, has been promoted to director of client engagement.

Byers joins Daniel Center board

Scott A. Byers, president and CEO of EDM Americas, has joined the board of directors of The Daniel Center for Math and Science in Raleigh.

Habitat gets $10,000

Habitat for Humanity of Pitt County has been awarded a $10,290 grant from Pitt County Community Foundation, a local affiliate of North Carolina Community Foundation, for vouchers to replace household items as part of relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.

Boosting kids’ reading is focus of new effort

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — Early in 2016, a coalition of 31 groups in Wake County staged its third annual book drive and collected 115,000 books.

Known as WAKE Up and Read, the coalition last spring hosted literacy nights for children and parents at 10 elementary schools with the highest percentage of low-income students receiving lunch for free or at a discounted price, and at 20 nearby child-care centers whose children go on to those schools, as well as nine community centers.

The focus of the literacy nights was the importance of helping kids continue to learn during the summer to improve their reading over the summer and avoid an erosion of academic progress they make during the previous school year.

The week after the literacy nights, all the children were able to select 10 books to keep, with their parents reading one book to the children each week over the summer.

“Children who are behind get more behind and so it’s very difficult to catch up,”  says Lisa Finaldi, community engagement leader at the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation.

For the next three years, the Early Childhood Foundation will be working with WAKE Up and Read and separate coalitions in Chatham, Durham, Johnston and Orange counties that aim to help improve reading proficiency among targeted low-income children so they can read at grade level by the end of third grade.

In those five counties, less than 40 percent of economically disadvantaged students were reading at grade level by the end of third grade last year, compared to nearly 58 percent of all student.

The new effort is being funded over three years with an initial investment of $700,000, including $625,000 from Triangle Community Foundation and at least $25,000 from United Way of the Greater Triangle.

Triangle Community Foundation has agreed to give $50,000 a year to each coalition in Wake, Durham, Chatham and Orange counties, and $25,000 the first year to the Early Childhood Foundation.

United Way has pledged $25,000 the first year to the Early Childhood Foundation, and will fund the Johnston County initiative, although the amount has not been determined, Finaldi says.

WAKE Up and Read is the only coalition that already has a plan for using the money.

The coalitions in Durham, Chatham and Orange counties still are developing their plans, and the Johnston County coalition still is taking shape.

In addition to schools and child-care centers, coalition partners can range from pre-kindergarten programs to faith congregations and businesses.

In Wake County, corporate partners include PNC Bank, Fidelity and Eaton Corp., which provides free warehouse space for sorting donated books.

And as part of a local coalition in Dubuque, Iowa, Finaldi says, a barbershop gives free haircuts to kids who read a book while getting the haircut.

The Early Childhood Foundation is lead agency in North Carolina for the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, a national effort to improve reading proficiency among low-income students by the end of third grade.

Research shows that, in addition to summer learning, improving reading proficiency depends on improving attendance at school and making sure children arrive at kindergarten with the social, emotional and developmental skills to learn, Finaldi says.

The two funders of the new Triangle initiative aim to raise more money to invest in local partnerships over the long term, she says.

“You have to have a coalition,” she says. “Schools or parents cannot solve this problem alone.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 02.10.17

Triangle United Way lifting fundraising aim

United Way of the Greater Triangle is looking for its third fundraising chief in less than three years and says it aims to raise $20 million a year within five to eight years, up from its current level of $12 million.

It says it will place greater focus on soliciting “major” gifts of $25,000 or more, and on “principal” gifts of $100,000 or more.

Allison Warren-Barbour has left Triangle United Way after just over a year-and-a-half as senior vice president of resource development and engagement to become president and CEO of United Way of Snohomish County in the state of Washington.

She had succeeded Virginia Parker, who left Triangle United Way after 15 months as senior vice president of resource development and strategic partnership to become senior vice president and Triangle market manager at Bank of America.

Triangle United Way now is looking for a chief philanthropy and business development officer.

SECU Family House gets $2 million challenge

SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill has received a $2 million challenge grant from State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation to spur statewide donations to its $8 million campaign to support its expansion to 75 rooms from 40.

Our Towns Habitat honored

Our Towns Habitat for Humanity in Cornelius has been recognized as an Affiliate of Distinction by Habitat for Humanity International, and also been awarded the Duke Citizenship and Service Award from the Lake Normal Chamber of Commerce for its impact in North Mecklenburg and Iredell Counties.

Free tax-preparation available

United Way of Greater Greensboro and BB&T Bank will host the fourth annual Family Economic Success Day February 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Guilford Child Development at 1200 Arlington St. in Greensboro.

The event will include free state and federal income tax preparation and filing by IRS-certified volunteers, as well as workshops on financial topics.

BB&T also will provide free credit reports and reviews to those who qualify for tax preparation, which is available to people whose households earned $54,000 or less in 2016.

Appointments are required. Contact Zanda Cuff at United Way at zanda.cuff@unitedwaygso.org or (336) 378-5029.

Facilitators certified for girls leadership program

The first 18 facilitators have received certification for the Girls Leadership Edge program, a series of learning modules to be delivered to girls age 13 to 15 in Guilford County.

The Women’s Professional Forum Foundation funded the program, which is a partnership with the Center for Creative Leadership and the Guilford Nonprofit Consortium.

Grants awarded for hurricane relief

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Raleigh received $10,920 and the Eastern Baptist Association received $3,750 from the Disaster Relief Fund of the North Carolina Community Foundation for Hurricane Matthew disaster relief, while the Wilson County Community Foundation, a local affiliate of statewide foundation, awarded $1,000 to the Community Soup Kitchen of Wilson County for hurricane relief and recovery.

Winston-Salem Foundation gives $320,000

The Winston-Salem Foundation awarded 16 grants totaling $319,775 to support programs in the areas of animal welfare, arts and culture, community and economic development, environment, health, human services, and public interest for people living in  Forsyth County.

Children’s Dental Health Center gets $1,500

Alamance County Children’s Dental Health Center received $1,500 from Delta Dental Foundation.

Inter-Faith Food Shuttle gets $20,000

Inter-Faith Food Shuttle in Raleigh received $20,000 from First Tennessee Bank to support its BackPack Buddies program that provides weekend meals during the school year to children from homes that need food.

Three join Davidson Hospice board

Debbie Carlton Fanary, Sid Proctor and Nancy Miller Wright have joined the board of directors of Hospice of Davidson County in Lexington.

Greensboro awarded $25,000 challenge grant

ArtsGreensboro and the City of Greensboro have been awarded a $25,000 challenge grant from Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation for the second straight year to support free outdoor concerts this summer at the Jimmie I. Barber Park in East Greensboro.

United Way honors five Forsyth County groups

Aladdin Travel and Meeting Planners, City of Winston-Salem, B/E Aerospace, Reynolds American and HanesBrands, all in Forsyth County, have been named recipients of the Spirit of North Carolina Award from United Way of North Carolina.

The groups will be honored at the statewide annual award luncheon on February 17 at noon at the Sheraton Hotel & Koury Convention Center in Greensboro.

Young leaders pack food for people in need

Members of Young Leaders United, a program of United Way of Greater High Point, packed over 200 bags of food for for local families in need at The Salvation Army of High Point on January 25.

Women’s Council elects officers

Mary Anne Squire Weiss has been elected chairwoman and Mamie Sutphin has been elected vice chairwoman of The Women’s Council, which supports the Novant Health Foundation Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem.

Event to focus on ending discrimination against women

WomenNC, which works to train women’s human-rights advocates and advocates for women’s-rights legislation at the local level, will host “Durham Local to Global Women Forum: Cities for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women” on February 23 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Durham Human Services Building at 414 E. Main St.

Five join Our Towns Habitat board

Matthew Blickley, Dan Dunn, Kay Fisher, Charles Warren and Tim Zarsadia have joined the board of directors of Our Towns Habitat for Humanity, which serve North Mecklenburg and Iredell counties.

Free grantwriting workshop

The African American Community Foundation at Foundation for the Carolinas in Charlotte will host a free grantwriting seminar on March 1 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church at 3400 Beatties Ford Road in Charlotte.
To reserve a space, contact Carla McCrorey at Foundation For The Carolinas by February 21 at cmccrorey@fftc.org or 704.973.4358.

Nonprofit news roundup, 02.03.17

Trump says he will ‘destroy’ law barring politicking by churches

President Trump says he will “totally destroy” a 1954 law that prohibits churches from endorsing or opposing political candidates, The New York Times reported.

Under the law, known as the “Johnson Amendment,” churches can lose their tax-exempt status if they engage in political speech.

“Freedom of religion is a sacred right, but it is also a right under threat all around us,” Trump said at the National Prayer Breakfast. “That is why I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution.”

Repeal of the law requires approval by Congress.

Arts Council sets $2.81 million campaign goal

The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County aims to raise $2.81 million in its annual campaign for the fiscal year that ends September 30, including $525,000 for targeted priorities.

Last year, the campaign exceeded its $2.5 million goal by $300,000 and used the additional funds for those targeted priorities, which were developed through community listening sessions two years ago.

Last year’s effort generated 27 percent of its funds from 80 workplace campaigns; 20 percent from individuals; 35 percent from corporate gifts; 14 percent from state, county and city funding; and four percent from foundations.

The Arts Council has allocated $1.66 million raised last year to support 29 arts organizations, 18 projects for artists going into Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools; and 12 individual artists through the Duke Energy Regional Artists Projects Grant.

The Council also manages the Arts Council Theatre on Coliseum and the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts on Spruce Street.

Target priorities to be supported by the campaign include “youth arts enrichment” outside the classroom for after-school and early-childhood programs; “creative ventures,” or new models of sustainability for the arts for emerging organizations; “art in unexpected places,” or nontraditional venues, such as public art or public places not usually reserved for arts; and “arts and healing,” using arts to improve health and well-being.

“We hope people make a base unrestricted general fund gift and on top of that designate a smaller amount for one or more of the targeted initiatives,” says Devon MacKAY, director of the annual fund for the Arts Council.

Co-chairing the campaign are Anna Marie Smith, who recently joined Forsyth Technical Community College as chief human resources officer, and Joe Logan, founding and former executive director of the International Casual Furnishings Association, the trade association for the outdoor furnishings industry.

Piedmont Opera gets $100,000

Piedmont Opera has is getting $100,000 from an anonymous donor.

The gift is restricted to replace the Norman and Matilda Anne Nickel Johnson Trust, which was bequeathed to the opera in 2005 and has helped support operations each year.

The anonymous donation will be used to extend the life of the trust.

Healthy relationships focus of new initiative

Promoting happy, healthy and safe relationships and improving quality of life across Guilford County is the focus of a new partnership between the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Phillips Foundation.

Known as Guilford County Healthy Relationships Initiative, the effort aims to use community mobilization, social marketing and educational programming to help improve public health.

It will kick off with a month-long series of events, including a community date night, educational workshops and a family day at local YMCA branches.

Guiding the effort, which offers free and online toolkits, as well as training for Guilford County professionals, is a steering committee that represents 21 community groups.

Greensboro Area Ministry get food donations

Projected a 20 percent increase in demand for food from hungry people, Greensboro Urban Ministry on January 23, a Monday, issued a public plea for food donations.

By the following Friday morning, it has received cash and food donations totaling the equivalent of over 41,000 pounds of food.

In addition, 25 businesses, congregations, schools and civic groups had scheduled food drives.

Based on its rate of distribution, the agency expected the 41,000 pounds of newly donated food to last 11 days.

In 2016, distributed over one million pounds of food through its  food pantry and Potter’s House Community Kitchen, which serves lunch daily to anyone in the community who is hungry.

Of that total, it distributed nearly 760,000 pounds through the food pantry to men, women and families with children needing food assistance.

Overall last year, it nearly 38,500 individuals and nearly 21,000 households with food assistance in 2016.

Through its Emergency Assistance Program, Greensboro Urban Ministry assists 100 or more households with groceries every day.

To meet the increased demand, its pantry is distributing about 3,600 pounds of food a day.

With a drop in food donations in last fall and this winter, combined with a spike in requests for food assistance, the flow of food out of the pantry was outpacing donations.

The agency says its budget provides funds each year to buy food when its inventory gets low, but that it has spent those funds by the end of December.

Salvation Army seeks clothing donations

The Salvation Army of High Point, which distributes clothing to 75 to 100 individuals every week but says donations are running low, is looking for donations of gently used clothing articles for men, women, and children.

Clothing items not directly given away to families needing assistance are sold at The Salvation Army of High Point Family Stores to fund local social services programs and ministries.

Population growth outpaces Wake County creative sector 

For-profit and nonprofit art-related enterprises in Wake County generated $1.8 billion in earnings in 2014, up $106 million from a year earlier but trailing growth in the county’s population, a new report says

The Creative Vitality Index, released by United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County and prepared by the Western States Arts Federation, says Wake gained over 2,300 creative jobs in 2016, with revenue for nonprofit arts jobs flat at $83.5 million

Compared to a national “baseline” or average score of 1.00 on the Index, which measures the health of the creative economy in a specific geographic, Wake scored 1.00 on the Index.

Compared to a state average of 1.00, Wake scored 1.47.

Among 59 creative occupations the Index tracks, 437 postsecondary teachers represented the biggest, followed by 207 photographers; 202 graphic designers; 180 singers and musicians; and  193 writers and authors, who last year eclipsed the number of public relations specialists.

Higher-education endowments post 1.9% loss

Endowments at 805 U.S. colleges and universities with a total of $515.1 billion endowment assets posted an average loss of 1.9 percent in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2016, a new report says, dow from a return of 2.4 percent the previous fiscal year, a new report says.

The 2016 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments says the loss contributed to a decline to five percent in 10-year average returns from 6.3 percent a year earlier, and well below the median 7.4 percent return most institutions need to maintain the purchasing power of their endowments after spending, inflation and the cost of investment management.

Still, the report says, 74 percent of institutions reported they increased spending from their endowments in fiscal 2016 to support their mission, with a median increase of 8.1 percent.

The average endowment for schools in the study totaled nearly $640 million, with the endowments for nearly half the schools totaling $100 million or less.

Fidelity Charitable gives $3.5 billion

Fidelity Charitable made a record-high $3.5 billion in grants on behalf of its donors in 2016, up 15 percent from 2015, and bringing to $25 billion its grantmaking over its first 25 years.

In 2016, over 750,000 individual grants supported 110,000 charities.

High Point University names arena, conference center for Qubeins 

High Point University names its new basketball arena and conference center for its president, Nido Qubein, and his wife, Mariana Qubein.

Qubein has donated $10 million the the school, which has raised over $300 million during his tenure.

The new complex will include an arena that seats 4,500 spectators, a conference center will seat up to 2,500 individuals, and a hotel with 30 to 40 residential rooms.

New board officers, members at Financial Pathways

Lori Timm of Allegacy Consulting has been elected chairman of the board of directors of Financial Pathways of the Piedmont in Winston-Salem, and April Broadway of N-Finity Consulting has been elected vice chair.

Elected to the board are Tamika Bowers of Wells Fargo; Kathy Cissna of Reynolds American;  Evan Raleigh of the City of Winston-Salem;  Aimee Smith of Craige Jenkins Liipfert and Walker; and community volunteer Lynn Thrower.

Three join Habitat Greensboro board

Habitat homeowner ChesKesha Cunningham-Dockery of Sheetz Distribution Services, Cyndi Dancy of Dancy Research, and DeJuan Harris of  Calvary Christian Center have joined the board of directors of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Greensboro.

United Way honors City/County fundraising

The annual City/County Employee Campaign, which raises funds for United Way of Greater Greensboro and its agency programs, has received a 2016 Spirit of North Carolina Award for Campaign Excellence from United Way of North Carolina.

It was the fourth straight year the campaign has received the award.

In 2016, the City and Guilford County raised $247,970 for United Way, up 21 percent from a year earlier, bringing to over $5.5 million the total the City and County have raised since 2001.

Junior Achievement honored

Junior Achievement of the Triad received the 4 Star Award from Junior Achievement USA, recognizing area staff and boards that meet Junior Achievement’s national standards in operational efficiency and through strong representation of the organization’s brand, and that must demonstrate growth in student impact and superior fiscal performance.

Capital Area Preservation looks for opportunities

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — In the face of growth in Raleigh and Wake County, a boom in land development is putting historic buildings at risk but also boosting efforts to preserve and restore those properties and integrate them into the region’s life and economy.

“Development creates dangers but it also creates opportunities,” says Gary Roth, president and CEO of Capital Area Preservation in Raleigh.

The nonprofit was founded in 1972 as the Mordecai Square Historical Society by individuals who had worked to save Mordecai House after the death of the last descendent of the Mordecai family to live in the house, which was built in the 1700s.

In partnership with the city of Raleigh, which renovated the building and maintained it and the grounds, the nonprofit initially managed the visitors program and interpretation of the building.

In 1983, starting to look beyond Mordecai House, the nonprofit accepted its first historic preservation easement — a private agreement with a property owner that is attached to the deed, remains with the property permanently, and includes restrictions on any changes to the building or property, or both, unless approved by the party that holds the easement.

In 1985, after accepting four more historic preservation easements, the nonprofit changed its name to Capital Area Preservation.

Operating with an annual budget of $217,000 and a staff of two people, the group works to “incorporate in our growing future the best of the past” by protecting historic properties, and promoting and raising awareness of historic preservation, Roth says.

Capital Area Preservation now holds 30 easements, and often receives a financial gift from the property owner making the easement to support its easement work.

It also serves as staff for the Wake County Historic Preservation Commission, with the number of landmarks approved by municipal and county government since it formed its partnership with Wake in 2003 growing to 75 from 23.

In return for agreeing to allow their property to be designated as an historic landmark, property owners get a 50 percent deferral on their property tax as long as they comply with the landmark agreement, and must seek permission of the Commission to make changes to the building exterior or land.

If property owners want the landmark designation removed, they must pay three years’ deferred taxes.

Capital Area Preservation, which also has contracts with the towns of Apex, Cary and  Morrisville, has developed five historic properties since 2003.

It typically acquires a property through a gift, then stabilizes and sells it with a preservation easement, often generating a donation from the buyer to support its work.

Roth, who holds a master’s degree in museum and historic preservation from Wake Forest University, says the preservation movement for its first 100 years after its genesis in the 1850s generally focused on turning the homes of famous Americans into museums.

But in recent years, the focus has changed “to saving buildings to integrate them into the future life of our communities, not to keep them as museums, but to keep them as functioning businesses and homes” that use the past to inform the future, he says.

“We are a growing county,” Roth says. “We’re changing rapidly. It’s so important to have a part of our history among us. If a society doesn’t have some knowledge or reverence of its history, we march into our future blindly.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 01.27.17

Smart leaving Kate  B. Reynolds Charitable Trust

Allen Smart, vice president of programs at the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and its former interim president, is leaving the philanthropy after 10 years at the end of February to pursue consulting opportunities in philanthropy.

The Trust this week also named Tracey Greene-Washington, program officer for community economic development at the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in Winston-Salem, as director of special initiatives, a new position.

Green-Washington, who will join the Trust in March, will oversee two efforts that Smart was instrumental in developing — Healthy Places, a 10-year, $100 million effort to  improve the health of 10 to 12 rural communities, and Great Expectations, a $30 million effort to invest in the youngest children in Forsyth County and their families.

Smart served as interim president from September 2015 to June 2016, resuming his role as vice president of programs in July 2016 when Laura Gerald, a pediatrician and former market medical director for Evolent Health in Raleigh, became president.

Smart plans to work as a consultant with other foundations, especially those that focus on rural area in the U.S.

York joins Emily K Center

Sandy York, former director of development for Trinity College and The Graduate School at Duke University, has joined the Emily Krzyzewski Center in Durham as chief advancement officer.

Children’s Home Society getting $3.7 million

Children’s Home Society in Greensboro is getting a four-year, $3.7 million grant from The Duke Endowment in Charlotte to expand foster care across the state, as well as early intervention and prevention services for foster children.

Ammons Foundation gives $212,000

The Jandy Ammons Foundation in Raleigh is giving a total of $212,011 to five nonprofits in the state to fund capital projects in the areas of art, wildlife conservation, education and mission.

The grants to ChurchNet Foundation in Wake Forest, Raleigh Little Theatre, Rex Healthcare Foundation in Raleigh, Wake Forest Historical Museum and the North Carolina State Engineering Foundation bring to $765,731 the total funding the Ammons Foundation has provided in its first four years.

Heart Association raises nearly $100,000

The American Heart Association netted nearly $100,000 for heart disease and stroke research and prevention education at its 2017 Guilford Heart Ball on January 21.

At the event, which attracted nearly 200 community and business leaders, Cone Health Heart and Vascular Center and the American Heart Association recognized Dr. Mike Cooper and Dr. Clarence Owen, co-directors of the Structural Heart Program at Cone Health’s Heart and Vascular Center, as winners of the 3rd Annual LeBauer Visionary Award.

Grant to fund work at Mount Gilead archeological site

The state Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is getting a $150,000 grant from the Charles A. Cannon Charitable Trust in Concord to reconstruct a section of the palisade fence surrounding the Town Creek Indian Mound archeological site in Mount Gilead.

This 55-acre site was developed and inhabited by the Pee Dee, a South Appalachian Mississippian culture, from about 1150 to 1400. It is the only ceremonial mound and village center of that culture located in North Carolina and one of only a few mound sites in the Southeast open to the public.

Black Philanthropy Initiative gives $16,350

The Black Philanthropy Initiative of The Winston-Salem Foundation has awarded five grants totaling $16,350 to Crosby Scholars, Habitat for Humanity, R.I.S.E. 4 Girls, Wake Forest University and Wiley Magnet School that serve African Americans in the areas of education and financial literacy.

The Black Philanthropy Initiative Endowment, launched in 2014 with $25,000, has grown to over $116,000.

First Tennessee Bank pledged a three-year $10,000 annual matching challenge grant to support the Endowment, and Initiative received matching grants of $10,000 in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

The Initiative will celebrate the grant recipients at a breakfast on February 21 at Goodwill Industries at 2701 University Parkway starting at 8:30 a.m.

Old Salem restoring Boys’ School

Restoration at Old Salem Museums & Gardens has begun on its Boys’ School, which was built in 1794 and is the world’s oldest Moravian school building still standing and among the earliest existing structures in America built specifically for pre-collegiate education.

Old Salem plans to add educational programming and costumed interpretation to the site, and to use it to build its training programs for North Carolina teachers. Old Salem has selected Frank L. Blum Construction Company as contractor for the restoration work, which is supported by private donations and $1.5 million committed by the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners.

Greensboro Urban Ministry gets $5,000

Greensboro Urban Ministry received $5,000 from the Greensboro Grasshoppers to to buy food.

In 2016, the agency distributed over one million pounds of food to the community through its food pantry and Potter’s House Community Kitchen, assisting nearly over 38,400 individuals and nearly 21,000 households with food assistance.

Stop Hunger Now changes name

Stop Hunger Now, a global relief agency in Raleigh, has changed its name to Rise Against Hunger.

The agency, which operates in 20 U.S. cities and through five international affiliates, coordinates the packaging and distribution of meals to 37 countries.

Bike Co-op gets donated bikes

Employees of architecture firm Perkins+Will on January 19 assembled and donated nine children’s bikes to the Durham Bike Co-op, an all-volunteer nonprofit that provides bicycles and bicycle-repair education to the community at low cost or no cost.

Armato to be honored at gala

Carl Armato, president and CEO of Novant Health, will be honored at the 17th annual JDRF Hope Gala on February 25 at Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem.

The event, chaired by community volunteer Wendy Calloway and by Brad Calloway, vice president for decision support demand at Reynolds American, has raised at least $1 million every year since 2011 to fight type 1 diabetes research.

College scholarships offered

Project One Scholarship Fund in Charlotte aims to fund six scholarships totaling $25,000 to children in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools from low-income, single-parent families who planning to enter college this fall. Applications will be accepted through March 17.

Golf event to benefit Care Ring

Care Ring in Charlotte will benefit from the 2nd Annual Golfing Fore a Healthy Charlotte on March 27 at Carolina Golf Club.

MG Walk set for April 8

The Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America will host North Carolina MG Walk on April 8 at Barber Park in Greensboro.

MG is a a chronic autoimmune disease in which antibodies attack and destroy neuromuscular connections, causing muscle weakness. While some treatments are available, there is currently no cure for MG.

Bookmarks names part-time employees

Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, with funding from The Winston-Salem Foundation, has hired two part-time employees — Rachel Kuhn Stinehelfer as education and program specialist, and Beth Seufer Buss as website and social media specialist.

BJH Foundation taking grant applications

February 28 is the deadline for submitting online applications to the BJH Foundation in Greensboro to support health and wellness programs and socialization programs for the older Jewish adult population.

Schwab Charitable handles $1.5 billion in grants

Schwab Charitable donors made 273,000 grant totaling over $1.5 billion in 2016, up 41 from percent a year earlier, to 61,000 charities.