Students find hope at the WELL

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — On a Wednesday afternoon in mid-May, at the Wade Edwards Learning Lab in Raleigh, the families and friends of 19 Wake County high-school seniors attended a “Senior Signing Day” to celebrate the students’ hopes for the future.

Unlike signing events at which professional sports teams announce their “picks” of top college athletes, the WELL event underscored the high-school students’ academic achievement: All will graduate this year, with 17 going to college — roughly half will be the first in their families to move on to post-secondary education — and two entering military service.

Over the past four years, all 19 students participated in programs at the WELL, a nonprofit that provides after-school and summer support in academics and youth development to students facing challenges in school and life.

“Schools cannot do this all by themselves,” says Betsey McFarland, executive director of the WELL. “There are not enough teachers, not enough hours, not enough money. They need community programs like ours.”

Formed in 1996 by the late Elizabeth Edwards, who was married to former U.S. Sen. John Edwards, the WELL is named for their son, Wade Edwards, who was killed in an automobile accident in April 1996 at age 16 while a student at Broughton High School.

At first, the WELL provided only a computer lab, tutoring and career workshops, and only for Broughton students.

But in the five years McFarland has headed the organization, it has added programs and expanded beyond Broughton.

In the school year that ended a year ago, the WELL served over 900 students — triple the number five years ago — from 22 high schools, mostly in Wake County.

Operating with an annual budget of $345,000, a staff of three full-time employees, and 13 volunteer tutors, the WELL gets 40 percent of its operating funds from the Lucius Wade Edwards Foundation, a charitable foundation that had $1.87 million in assets in 2015, according to its 990 annual return on file with the IRS.

Catharine “Cate” Edwards, the daughter of John and Elizabeth Edwards, serves on the boards of the Foundation and the WELL.

Located across St. Mary’s Street from Broughton, the WELL houses a 21-desktop computer lab, open weekdays from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., that typically attracts 20 to 25 Broughton students at any given time.

Over the past school year, by appointment, about 120 students from throughout Wake County also worked with volunteer tutors from the WELL.

About 150 Wake students enrolled in a one-day prep course the WELL offers one or two Saturdays a month throughout the school year on the SAT and ACT exams many colleges require for admission.

Another 50 to 60 students participated in Hi-Tech Teens, a workshop the WELL offers one or two Saturdays a month that focuses on computers and computer programming.

To boost youth development, the WELL also offers a weekly program on life skills such as professional etiquette, and a weekly discussion session on social and emotional issues.

It also connects students to community service projects, and assigns them to host is own events and lead tours of its computer lab.

Now, aiming to make its programming more accessible, the WELL hopes to raise $20,000 to $30,000 for a vehicle to pick up students throughout the county and bring them to its offices, or $35,000 to $40,000 to offer its programs in partnership with another organization that serves teens but does not focus on academic support.

To help raise those funds, particularly from individual donors and corporations, it has created a strategic fundraising committee, chaired by its board chair, Jaime Kulow, a vice president at Bank of North Carolina.

“The goal is to encourage more individual donors and more corporate participation around our mission,” MacFarland says.

And with the challenges growing both for schools and at-risk students, advancing that mission is critical, she says.

While the graduation rate in Wake County totals 87 percent, for example, only 65.8 percent of students who graduate enroll in college, she says.

“There’s so much focus on early childhood education and third-grade reading, which is absolutely important,” McFarland says. “But if our students continue to live in poverty, continue to be subject to crises in their life, continue to be in schools that can’t serve some of their greater needs, they can pass all the third-grade reading tests they want, but they’re still going to get to high school and they’re still going to be behind.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 06.16.17

Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation setting new course

The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in Winston-Salem has announced an “emerging direction” rooted in three strategies, respectively, that focus on the state, communities and new ideas, and that aim “to improve the quality of life for all North Carolinians, now and for generations to come.”

The board of trustees of the Foundation also have made a commitment to find ways to increase its participation in “the life of its hometown” of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, the Foundation says in a statement.

Based on year-long effort it launched in 2016, the Foundation says, it will take another 12 to 18 months to full develop and put into place its new strategies.

Its grant cycle this fall will mark the start of its transition and the last grant cycle based on the current focus areas for its grantmaking, and will be closed and by invitation only.

The Foundation says it will not have a traditional grant cycle in spring 2018 so it can focus on designing and putting its new strategies into place.

Giving in U.S. grows 2.7% to $390 billion

Charitable giving in the U.S. grew 2.7 percent to $390.05 billion in 2016, or 1.4 percent adjusted for inflation, a new report says.

Giving by individuals grew 3.9 percent and accounted for 72 percent of overall giving, while giving by foundations grew 3.5 percent and accounted for 15 percent of overall giving, says Giving USA 2017, published by Giving USA Foundation, and researched and written by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University

Giving by bequest fell nine percent and accounted for eight percent of overall giving, while giving by corporations grew 3.5 percent and accounted for five percent of overall giving.

Giving to religion accounted for 32 percent of overall giving, followed by giving to education, which accounted for 15 percent; to human resources, 12 percent; to foundations, 10 percent; to health, eight percent; to public-and-society-benefit groups, eight percent; to arts, culture and humanities, five percent; to international affairs, six percent; to environmental and animal groups, three percent; and to individuals, two percent.

Duke Energy Foundation gives $2.7 million

The Duke Energy is giving $2.7 million to over 70 initiatives throughout North Carolina that focus on science, technology, engineering and math; childhood reading proficiency; and workforce development.

Elon receives $400,000 estate gift

Elon University has received a $400,000 gift from the estate of the late Mattie Pickett Edwards and John Lee Edwards to endow a music scholarship.

Both were graduates of the school. Mattie Pickett worked as secretary for former Elon President Leon Edgar Smith, and John Lee Edwards was a retired Air Force major.

SAFEchild gets $100,000 from Junior League

The Junior League of Raleigh awarded $100,000 in proceeds from the 2017 North Carolina Governor’s Inaugural Ball to SAFEchild in Raleigh to help end child abuse in Wake County.

SAFEchild, which was founded by the Junior League nearly 25 years ago using proceeds from the the 1993 North Carolina Governor’s Inaugural Ball, will use the funds to expand the number of children it serves at its Advocacy Center.

Baseball event raises $29,000 for kids with cancer

The 4th Annual North Wake Vs. Cancer Benefit Tournament on May 20-21 at the Factory Baseball Complex in Wake Forest raised $28,650 to help children with pediatric cancer.  The tournament, sponsored by DICKS Sporting Goods, has raised over $80,00- for the Vs. Cancer Foundation since it began in 2014.

Event raises $80,000 for veterans

HAECO Americas helped raise over $80,000 at its third annual Purple Heart Homes Charity Gold Fundraiser on May 22 in Greensboro for the Piedmont chapter of Purple Heart Homes, which works to help veterans find homes for disabled veterans.

Proceeds, up $20,000 from last year, will contribute to the work of the chapter, and to renovating the current homes of disabled veterans so they can live independently.

The funds also support stays by homeless Purple Heart veterans at The Servant Center and the Arthur Cassell House, two transitional homes in the Piedmont.

Gift to support annual mammograms

The Becky Baker Foundation donated $10,000 to Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center Foundation in Winston-Salem to raise awareness of and encourage women to get annual mammograms.

The gift will be used to cover the cost of mammograms for women who are uninsured or are unable to pay for the breast cancer screening. Forsyth Medical Center’s breast center will provide the mammography screenings.

The Becky Baker Foundation honors Becky Baker, a resident of Clemmons who died in April after a long battle with breast cancer.

Make-A-Wish gets $44,000 from golf event

The 2017 Golf Classic hosted by Balfour Beatty Construction on April 3 at MacGregor Downs Country Club in Cary raised $44,000 to benefit Make-A-Wish Eastern North Carolina.

Proceeds from the 140-player tournament will help grant wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Goodwill receives United Way award

Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina is the recipient of the Joel A. and Claudette B. Weston Award, a bi-annual honor that recognizes excellence in nonprofit management at a local health or human-service organization.

Goodwill will receive $15,000 to support its mission. United Way of Forsyth County managed the application review process.

Winston-Salem Foundation gives $231,000

The Winston-Salem Foundation awarded nine grants totaling $230,700 to organizations serving Forsyth County that support arts and culture; community and economic development; education; health, human services and public interest.

Trauma’s impact on learning focus of new effort

NC Resilience and Learning Project, a new initiative of The Public School Forum of North Carolina, aims to address the impacts of traumatic childhood experiences on student learning.

Founding partners ChildTrust Foundation, The John M. Belk Endowment and The Belk Foundation each invested $100,000 each to help launch the initiative.

The Public School Forum, Massachusetts Trauma & Learning Policy Initiative at Harvard Law School, and Duke Center for Child & Family Policy, plus other nonprofits and academic institutions, will partner with several North Carolina school districts to use an inquiry-based process to create trauma-sensitive whole-school learning environments that aim to improve students’ academic outcomes and social-emotional wellbeing.

Casey gets new role at Transitions LifeCare

Christine Casey, senior philanthropy officer at Transitions LifeCare in Raleigh, has been named director of annual giving and stewardship.

Blake joins Masonic Foundation

Dee Blake, director of development at Duke HomeCare & Hospice, has been named Western Region director of Development at North Carolina Masonic Foundation.

Allen joins Albermarle Alliance

Brian Allen, executive director and vice president at YMCA of Fayetteville, has been named director of development and community relations at Albermarle Alliance for Children and Families.

Simmons new CFO at North Carolina Community Foundation

Wilson Simmons, former vice president of finance at United Way of the Greater Triangle, has been named chief financial officer for the North Carolina Community Foundation, succeeding David Ryan, who retired in early 2017.

Public School Forum names directors, members

Tom Williams, president of Strategic Educational Alliances, has been elected as chair-elect of the  board of directors of the Public School Forum of North Carolina.

The board selected new members, including Damon Circosta, executive director, AJ Fletcher Foundation; Courtney Crowder, president, Crowder Consulting; Charles Francis, managing partner, The Francis Law Firm; Cyndi Soter O’Neil, senior policy advisor, ChildTrust Foundation-Investors Management Corporation; Mark Sorrells, senior vice president, Golden LEAF Foundation; Steve Stephenson, partner, Ward and Smith; Sandra Wilcox Conway, president, Conway & Associates; and Saundra Wall Williams, president and CEO, Vision Building Institute for Women.

New at-large members of the Forum include Sue Burgess, retired superintendent, Dare County Schools; Scott Penland, retired superintendent, Clay County Schools; Philip Price, retired chief financial officer, N.C. Department of Public Instruction; Patti Gillenwater, president and CEO, Elinvar; Dick Daugherty, retired senior executive, IBM; Blount Williams, chairman and CEO, Alfred Williams & Co.; Alisa Chapman, visiting fellow in Public Policy and the Global Research Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Jim Phillips, partner at Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard; Chris Bell, region president, SunTrust Bank; Van Isley, chairman and CEO, Professional Builders Supply; Jessica Holmes, Wake County Board of Commissioners; and Norris Tolson, president and CEO, Carolinas Gateway Partnership.

Local funders award grants

The Cary Women’s Giving Network, a program of the Raleigh-based North Carolina Community Foundation, awarded $14,000 in local grants, and the Franklin County Community Foundation and Johnston County Community Foundation, affiliates of the statewide Foundation, awarded $1,350 and $42,050, respectively in local grants.

Support for service dogs focus of event

The Inaugural maCares Tribute 5K Run/2.5K Walk will be held September 9 at Country Park/Jaycee Park in Greensboro to honor service members and first responders, with all proceeds going to support the maCares & faith Cares Service Dog Support Program.

The program aims to ease the financial burden of caring for a service dog for a veteran, child, or adult. It covers initial and re-certification training expenses, plus daily care expenses such as food, supplies, veterinary, medications, and grooming.

Veterans also have sponsored access to a licensed therapist.

Marathon to support ALS research

Durham Sports Commission will serve as title sponsor of the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Marathon and Half Marathon on November 12 at The Streets at Southpoint in Durham to support ALS research, while other sponsors will include Fleet Feet Sports, Sprouts Farmers Market, Lululemon, S&A Communications, Raleigh Brewing Company, and Bull Durham Beer Co.

Event organizer FS Series is teaming with Team Drea Foundation, Team Chris Combs, and Jason Capel to donate proceeds from the event to help fund research to find a cure for ALS.

Animal Shelter gets donations

Tar Heel Basement Systems donated over 75 items to Stokes County Animal Shelter in Germanton, including over 500 pounds of dog food; over 10 dog beds; over 15 food and water bowls; and treats, kitty litter, blankets, cleaning supplies, toys and treats.

Nonprofit news roundup, 06.12.17

Global-health work adds $2.7 billion to state economy

North Carolina is home to over 220 global-health organizations that contributed $2.7 billion to the state’s gross domestic product in 2015, a new report says.

Those organizations — universities; nonprofits; faith-based groups; government agencies; and biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical-technology companies — work in over 185 countries, attract over $1.2 billion to the state for health-research from sources other than state government, and support over 2000 jobs in the state that generated over $1.6 billion in annual wages, salaries and benefits, or an average of about $62,000 per job, says The Global Health Sector’s Contributions to the Economy of North Carolina, from the Triangle Global Health Consortium.

The economic activity tied to the global-health sector generated $182 million in state tax revenue and $433 million in federal tax revenue.

High Point United Way expanding summer lunch program

United Way of Greater High Point, through its BackPack Program, aims this summer to provide food to 715 students while they are not in school, an increase of 420 students from last summer.

During the just-ending school year, the program provided weekend food to 985 students, an increase of 395 students from the previous year.

This summer, the program will provide breakfast at summer care sites, as well as weekend food.

Partner sites for the summer program include Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater High Point; Carl Chavis Memorial Branch YMCA; Community Outreach of Archdale-Trinity; The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club; D-Up Program; Operation Xcel; Triad Food pantry; Helping Hands Ministries; Macedonia Family Resource Center; West End Ministries; and Housing Authority of the City of High Point.

Rex Hospital Open raises $350,000 to $400,000

The REX Hospital Open this year raised $350,000 to $400,000 to support cardiovascular disease prevention and education at the new North Carolina Heart & Vascular Hospital that opened in March on UNC REX’s main Raleigh campus.

Not including those funds, the event has raised $8 million over the past 30 years.

Poteat-Spicer to head The Forsyth Promise

Wendy Poteat-Spicer, former director of government affairs for the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce  has been named director of The Forsyth Promise, an initiative supported by United Way of Forsyth County that works to improve educational outcomes for Forsyth County students.

JDRF chapter honors volunteers

Anne Hummel of Greensboro, who co-founded the Piedmont Triad chapter of JDRF in 1994, and Ken Cochran of Jamestown, received the Volunteer of the Year award from the chapter at its annual meeting on May 25 at Proximity Hotel in Greensboro.

BB&T partners with Heart Association

In partnership with the 2018 Winston-Salem Heart Ball of the American Heart Association, BB&T will be sharing life-saving CPR kits with 75 community organizations and companies throughout Forsyth County to train employees, families and community members.

For 2017, BB&T has created 1,300 Emergency Response Plans; begun training BB&T associates in CPR; and approved plans to place 300 Automated External Defibrillators  throughout the company.

BB&T is investing $1 million in funds and resources to help its associates learn how to save lives with CPR and AED training.

Marsha Alford, Community Bank training manager at BB&T University, is co-chair of the 2018 Winston-Salem Heart Ball.

Community grants available

June 30 is the deadline for nonprofits in communities Truliant Federal Credit Union services to submit to the organization grants up to $1,000 that focus on address needs in the areas of arts and culture; employment and income generation; financial education; and food insecurity.

Kids raise $3,500

Students at Summit School in Winston-Salem raised over $3,500 to help H.O.P.E. of Winston-Salem provide meals to local children who are at-risk for hunger.

Throughout the school year, students grew herbs and vegetables; baked food for H.O.P.E. lunches collected coats, socks and art supplies; and delivered meals.

H.O.P.E. provides 1,200 meals every weekend.

Kids getting free meals

Arby’s Foundation throughout the summer is providing Greensboro children who rely on meal assistance during the school year with meal cards to redeem 10 free Arby’s kids meals.

Women’s network to become nonprofit

The Women’s Impact Network of New Hanover County, a program of the North Carolina Community Foundation, will become an independent nonprofit, effective November 1.

Montgomery County Fund gives $26,000

Montgomery County Fund, an affiliate of the North Carolina Community Foundation, awarded over $26,000 in local grants.

Kay Yow Cancer Fund plays for life

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — Since 2012, over 22,000 women in 17 North Carolina counties who otherwise would not have the opportunity have been screened for breast cancer, thanks to two mobile mammography units from UNC Rex Healthcare in Raleigh.

Financing the digital-imaging equipment for the units — at a cost of $115,000 each — has been the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.

The Raleigh charity was founded in December 2007 by the late Kay Yow, who was head women’s basketball coach at North Carolina State University and died in 2009 after a 22-year intermittent battle with cancer.

Inspiring her to start the charity was a game, initially known as “Hoops 4 Hope,” that her team at N.C. State played on Feb. 19, 2006, with the University of Maryland.

Since then, mainly through games throughout the U.S. that later were known as “Think Pink,” then “Pink Zone,” and now “Play4Kay,” the Kay Yow Cancer Fund has raised $5.38 million and awarded grants of $1 million each to support research into cancers affecting women at four cancer centers, including UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chapel Hill.

It also has made grants of $100,000 each to cancer centers in nine cities that have hosted the Women’s Final Four basketball tournament. And it works to serve underserved women by funding programs such as the UNC Rex mammography units.

The charity “was born through the sport of basketball,” says Stephanie Glance, the Fund’s executive director and former associate head coach at N.C. State under Yow. “She saw this as a way to unite coaches, players and communities of women’s basketball.”

Operating with an annual budget of about $600,000 and a staff of five full-time employees, the Fund raises $1 million to $1.5 million a year.

That includes $350,000 to $400,000 generated through 200 to 250 basketball games hosted by teams at colleges and schools throughout the U.S.

It also receives royalties from Nike’s retail sale of apparel and shoes branded with the the Kay Yow Fund’s “Y” logo, and generates revenue from a golf tournament, which will be held in September for the third straight year in Pinehurst, that last year netted $200,000.

And it gets revenue from events that third-parties organize, and in February hosted an inaugural run and walk on the N.C. State campus that netted $20,000.

Through a partnership, the scientific advisory committee at the V Foundation — which also raises money for cancer research and is named for Jim Valvano, the late coach of the N.C. State men’s basketball team — reviews and evaluates grant requests to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, then monitors grants the Fund approves.

And through another partnership, the Fund is the “charity of choice” of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, which encourages its members to support the Fund through an annual game on the schedule of each of their teams.

Now, as it prepares to celebrate its 10th anniversary this December with a dinner, the Fund is planning to launch a 10 for 10″ campaign to raise $10,000 each from at least 50 donors. It also plans to create a local golf tournament in Raleigh.

And it aims to generate more revenue from its Play4Kay games, either by increasing the number of games each year to 350 or more, or by increasing the share of revenue it receives from each game.

To help do all that, Glance this spring is visiting nearly 20 Division I conference meetings.

The goal, she says, is to fund more research and provide more underserved women with access to cancer services.

“Every person has  been touched by cancer in some way,” she says. “The Kay Yow Cancer Fund is making a significant impact in the fight against all women’s cancers.”

Nonprofit news roundup, 06.02.17

Reynolds Trust investing $1 million in Forsyth kids

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in Winston-Salem awarded over $1 million in grants to local groups that work to help young children in Forsyth County succeed in school.

Funding from the grants support health clinics that work to connect low-income families to other services, such as home visitations and mental health counseling; collaboration among local agencies that provide health and developmental services; and research on the effectiveness of “universal” pre-kindergarten programs in the county.

JDRF gala raises $950,000

The chapter of JDRF that serves the Triangle and Eastern North Carolina raised $950,000 at its 14th annual Hope Gala on April 29 at North Ridge Country Club in Raleigh to fund type 1 diabetes research.

High Point United Way awards $31,000

United Way of Greater High Point will award a total of $31,045 in venture grants to nine local agencies, including some that are not traditional United Way partner agencies, bringing to over $350,000 that total it has awarded over eight of the last 10 years for new initiatives and one-time capital items.

United Way this year received 35 applications for venture grants — small, one-time grants — requesting a total of over $225,000 from groups in Guilford and Randolph Counties to address emerging or unmet needs.

Grant recipients, and the amount they were awarded, include Family Service of the Piedmont, $2,250; High Point Jail Ministry, $1,000; High Point Leap Program, $5,155; Mt. Zion Baptist Church, $3,500; Operation Xcel, $4,100; Open Door Ministries, $2,000; Piedmont Health Services, $3,940; Senior Resources of Guilford, $5,000; YWCA of High Point, $5,000.

Volunteers pack 190,000 meals

Over 1,000 corporate volunteers teamed up to sort and package over 190,000 meals for local families facing hunger in the sixth annual Sort-A-Rama on May 25 organized by the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina in Raleigh in collaboration with Triangle companies.

Starting in 2012, volunteers for the event have sorted over 750,000 meals for distribution to individuals, families, and seniors in need through the Food Bank’s partner agencies in 34 counties.

Presenting partners for the 2017 event were BASF, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Cisco, Food Lion, and RTI International.

Other sponsors included Dude Solutions, NetApp, Bank of America, PPD, Crown Lift Trucks, Duke Energy, Nationwide Insurance, and UNC Rex Healthcare.

Drive collects 79,000 pounds of food

The 2017 Postal Food Drive in the High Point area collected 78,783.6 pounds of food, up from 75,300 in 2016.

Food collected in the drive, which United Way of Greater High Point coordinates and promotes through the donation of its time, will support 15 local food pantries.

Transitions LifeCare gets $125,000

Transitions LifeCare in Raleigh has received a $125,000 grant from The Duke Endowment in Charlotte to establish a pediatric telehealth program.

Historical Society honors volunteers, supporters

Rebecca Gurkin, who contributed over 50 hours of service over the past year to The High Point Historical Society, and a total of nearly 345 hours since March 2009, received the group’s Walsh Award at its 51st annual meeting on May 23 at Rickety Bridge Winery. Bill Phillips received the Mary Lib Joyce Award for distinct service and dedication, while Van Voorhees Trivette received special recognition for her help with fundraising for the Little Red Schoolhouse.

Yvonne Bostic-Short was elected president of the Society’s board of trustees, and Nicholas Ruden was elected president-elect.

Alamance Achieves names executive director

Tyronna Hooker, a former North Carolina Teacher of the Year, has been named executive director of Alamance Achieves in Burlington.

For the last four years, Hooker has worked for Teach For America to assist systems in 16 school districts recruit, hire and train new teachers.

North Carolina Community Foundation names regional officers

Megan Ellis, regional development officer at the North Carolina Community Foundation, has been named its regional director of development for the northwestern and western regions.

Anne Sorhagen, interim CEO at Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina, has joined the Foundation as regional director for the southeastern region.

Durham nonprofit focuses on Nicaragua

Durham-based Sister Communities of San-Ramon, Nicaragua, this year completed its third school construction project in a rural community in San Ramon, a county in Nicaragua.

The nonprofit now has built a pre-school classroom; school kitchen; electrical system for the entire school, which includes two other classrooms; and a water system.

Humanities Council accepting grant requests

June 30 is the deadline to submit proposals to the North Carolina Humanities Council in Charlotte for grants up to $25,000 for public humanities projects that focus on the state’s diversity, traditions and cultures.

College students get scholarships

Louis DeJoy, president of LDJ Global Strategies in Greensboro, and his wife, Aldona Wos, are providing over $50,000 in scholarship funding for college students in North Carolina to attend summer academic internship programs organized by The Fund for American Studies and held in Washington, D.C.

The students will work as interns with government agencies, media outlets, businesses and nonprofits, while attending classes accredited by George Mason University.

Eastern Music Festival getting pianos

Mitchell’s Piano Gallery and Yamaha will provide 28 pianos for rehearsal facilities, teaching studios and concert halls during the 2017 season of Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro.

Discovery Place Education Studio gets $50,000

Discovery Place Education Studio, which provides ongoing professional development for educators in science, technology, engineering and math from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, is getting $50,000  from I-77 Mobility Partners.

Second Harvest getting $42,000

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina in Winston-Salem is getting $42,000 from the 2017 North Carolina Sporting Clays Tournament hosted by Vulcan Materials Company at the Hunting Creek Preserves in Harmony.

For every dollar donated, Second Harvest will be able to distribute seven meals to people in need, or a total of over 294,000 meals across the 18 counties it serves.

Nonprofit news roundup, 05.26.17

Level of human need holds steady, index says

The level of human need stayed relatively flat in 2016, according to an indicator developed by The Salvation Army and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.

The Human Needs Index, a joint project of the two groups, tracked the level of American need in 2016 at 1.239, compared with 1.245 in 2015.

In the past decade, the Index hit its highest level in 2012 at 1.331, and several states continue to struggle at levels of need above the national average.

Based on data from The Salvation Army, the Index tracks seven types of services that aim to address basic human needs, including meals provided; groceries; clothing; housing; furniture; medical assistance; and help with energy bills.

Zero on the Index’ scale indicates the lowest recorded level of need.

In 2016, states with the highest Index values were Nevada, 4.409; Wyoming; 4.026; Pennsylvania, 3.234; Alaska; 2.195; and Arkansas, 2.194.

From 2015 to 2016, Wyoming, Minnesota and South Dakota showed the most dramatic increases in need.

Over the past three years, Nevada, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Kansas remained among the 10 states with the highest level of need.

From 2015 to 2016, the Index shows double-digit-percentage increases in requests for medical assistance — payments for prescription medicine — in 18 places, including Tennessee, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Ohio, Hawaii, Maine, Florida, Mississippi, Maryland, Alaska, Missouri, New Hampshire, Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, South Dakota, Oregon and Washington, D.C.

Environmental leadership ‘overwhelmingly white,’ report says

Staff, leadership and boards among the top 40 environmental nonprofits are overwhelmingly white, says a new report from Green 2.0 an advocacy campaign to increase diversity among environmental groups.

People of color represent 27 percent of staff, 15 percent of leadership, and 22 percent of board positions at those organizations in 2017, says Transparency Card, the report.

Two leading environmental groups — Oceana and Pew Charitable Trusts — refused to participate in the survey and submit data, Green 2.0 says.

Greensboro United Way raises $10.1. million

United Way of Greater Greensboro raised $10.1 million in its 2016 campaign.

Chaired by Gregg Strader, executive vice president and chief banking officer at American National Bank and Trust Company, the campaign received a total of $9.62 million from over 17,000 individuals, plus $480,000 through grants.

Cumberland funder awards $179,000 in scholarships

Cumberland Community Foundation in Fayetteville awarded 93 scholarships totaling $179,400, and ranging from $500 to $10,000 per student.

Boys & Girls Clubs raise $25,000

Boys & Girls Clubs of Durham and Orange Counties netted $25,000 from The Bull City Golf Classic Fore Kids.

Job searching focus of nonprofit business network

Providing support for job-seekers is the focus of sessions hosted each week by the nonprofit Triad Job Search Network.

Sessions scheduled for June 6, 13, 20 and  27 at Covenant Methodist Church in High Point will focus, respectively, on answering difficult questions; setting a salary range; local networking associations; and dressing for networking and interviews.

Each session features a guest speaker, is free and held on the second floor of the education wing at the church.

For information on the Job Search Network, which meets weekly from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesdays at the church, at 1526 Skeet Club Road, contact Glenn Wise at 336.298.1152.

Carolina Center for Cognitive Rehabilitation opens tech lab

The Carolina Center for Cognitive Rehabilitation on May 16 dedicated The Sheets Smith Wealth Management Technology Laboratory, which was funded with a $16,000 grant from Sheets Smith Wealth Management and honors William “Bill” G. Smith, co-founder of the company and an aphasia advocate, stroke survivor and member of the Center’s board of directors.

Eastern Music Festival gets $12,500

Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro received a $12,500 grant funding from the Cemala Foundation in Greensboro to support its 2017 programming initiatives.

School gets bike gear, gift cards

Academy Sports + Outdoors donated 25 bikes and helmets to students at Guilford Elementary School in Greensboro; 25 gift cards of $20 each for teachers to buy physical-education equipment; and 10 additional bikes for the school to give out throughout the school year.

Pre-K students get free book

Sixty pre-K students at Hampton Elementary and Guilford Child Development, both in Greensboro, each received free copies of the book from UnitedHealthCare Children’s Foundation, which since 2013 has awarded over 280 grants totaling over $637,000 to families in North Carolina.

Money management focus of program for students

About 300 seventh-graders and eighth-graders at Philo-Hill Magnet Academy in Winston-Salem participated in a program on budgeting and personal finance management coordinated  by the Woman’s Leadership Council, an affinity group of United Way of Forsyth County.

Arts Greensboro to hold annual meeting

ArtsGreensboro will hold its annual meeting June 21 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Van Dyke Performance Space in the Greensboro Cultural Center at 200 North Davie St. in Greensboro.

Blake to co-chair UNCF event

Tina Blake, a strategy and development consultant vitalink in Raleigh will serve as co-chair for the Raleigh-Durham UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball in 2018.

Community School of the Arts gets $20,000

Community School of the Arts in Charlotte received a $20,000 grant from The Mockingbird Foundation to buy instruments to establish a brass and at a west Charlotte community center that serves at-risk students.

Nonprofit champions Southern documentaries

By Todd Cohen

DURHAM, N.C. — Making documentary movies in and about the South can be a struggle. Compared to cultural and business capitals like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, the region is short on the professional networks of investors, distributors and other key players that the documentary industry depends on, says Naomi Walker, executive director of the Southern Documentary Fund, or SDF.

Founded in 2002, the Durham-based nonprofit works to cultivate documentaries about the region and to plug regional documentary-makers into the national networks critical to their success. A key role has been to serve as a fiscal sponsor for documentaries, including 150 that have been completed and another 73 still in progress.

SDF acts as a matchmaker and consultant for documentary-makers, providing connections, feedback and mentoring designed to improve their work, help get it financed and distributed, and increase its social impact.

And since 2014, SDF itself has made four grants a year, of $2,500 to $7,000 each, as seed money for documentaries, thanks to a five-year, $100,000 grant from The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation in Durham.

The funding for that “re-granting” has raised SDF’s profile with national funders, Walker says.

SDF is seeking additional funding it would use to make more grants to more documentary-makers, match them with mentors, and generate feedback for works in progress. It also would create a “civic-media incubator,” starting in the Triangle, featuring a public event at which anyone could pitch ideas to documentary-film students. Veteran moviemakers would mentor students making short documentaries.

A first grant, however small, can mean a lot to a documentary-maker, and can be a critical catalyst for more funding, Walker says.

“Grants beget grants,” she says. “It gives them cache and leverage they need to get more funds. It puts them on the radar of bigger funding.”

A documentary can cost $100,000 to millions of dollars to make, Walker says.

“Documentary filmmakers typically have to do a lot of other work to support themselves, so it can take years,” she says. “It’s more of an avocation than a career.”

And while documentary-makers, like many artists, often do much of their creative work alone, they also want to be part of a community to share skills and ideas, and talk about problems they face in their work, she says.

To foster Southern documentary-makers and documentaries about the South, SDF aims to “create the community they need,” Walker says.

The South, for example, is short on executive producers, she says, referring to people who work to help documentary-makers secure investment and distribution deals needed to make movies and get them shown.

So, next spring, SDF initially plans to match a handful of moviemakers, one each, with a handful of prospective funders. Each funder will take the respective moviemaker to dinner once a quarter for a year. If a pair hits it off, the prospective funder would host a fundraising house party, using a guide SDF will create. SDF than would host roundtable events for the new funders to talk with veteran executive producers.

“Most documentary filmmakers have to leave the South and move to New York or Los Angeles or San Francisco to have access to industry connections and to get the work that supports their field,” Walker says. “We want makers to be able to stay here and flourish.”