Greetings Foundation Friends!
My name is Katie Crumpler, and I am the new regional associate for the Northern Piedmont. I started in June of this year and am thankful to be learning about all the great work that the Foundation does.
My husband and I recently had the amazing opportunity to travel to Ireland and Scotland. It was quite a trip -- my first overseas adventure. It was certainly a celebratory trip -- our honeymoon, second anniversary and thirtieth birthdays rolled into one. We started planning a year ago, and now that the trip is complete (with me trying to put a scrapbook together), I can reflect on how the trip mirrors my thoughts on starting this new job at the Foundation.
Needless to say, the planning that went to this two-week venture was extensive. How do you cram an entire country's worth of sites into a week-long stretch? With their rich history and as incredibly beautiful as both countries are, there's a lot to see and take in. In a similar vein, the NC Community Foundation has afforded me the opportunity to take a lot in -- I have the pleasure of working with six diverse affiliates and their boards, three women's giving circles and a large number of rewarding scholarship and endowment funds. With so many people and organizations to work with, it requires quite a bit of planning in order to accomplish the goals set out by affiliate boards and fundholders.
During our trip we got to experience Ireland and Scotland's famous hospitality, through our B&B hosts, bartenders and taxi drivers. Our favorite was a lovely couple who owned a B&B in Kinsale, Ireland. Mr. and Mrs. Quigley (although Mrs. Quigley could easily be mistaken for Robin Williams' Mrs. Doubtfire) were some of the nicest people we've ever met, going above and beyond the call of B&B hosts. Speaking of above and beyond, I can safely say that the entire Foundation family has gone out of their way to make me feel welcome. Not just the staff here, who are all wonderful, but my affiliate board members, giving circle members and fundholders have all been incredible with their offer of assistance as I have settled in.
With driving on the opposite side of the road (on the opposite side of the car), converting dollars to euros and British pounds, deciphering thick accents and pulling over for passing sheep and cows, finding our way from one end of each country to the other was an adventure. Coming to the Foundation has certainly been an adventure as well. Learning about endowment funds, community grantmaking, local philanthropy and collective giving has been both challenging and enjoyable.
I'm excited about combining this new career adventure with the great team I have to work with and some good old-fashioned planning. It makes the Foundation a great destination!
There is so much we are grateful for here @ NCCF. During this our 25th year we have had some lovely opportunities to express our gratitude to our founders, to our donors, affiliate leaders, fundholders, grantees and board members. Grateful seems to be a real theme around here.
There are a group of folks that I am incredibly grateful for, and do not get the recognition they deserve. Our staff at NCCF is truly hands down the best. This group of enormously talented, passionate, committed, and hardworking men and women are truly the strongest team I have ever worked with. Each one of them could work in the private sector and command higher salaries, but they each have made a decision to work here. They are here because they embrace our mission, are passionate about inspiring philanthropy and are dedicated to making it easy and fun for our donors. I think it shows.
I am thankful for Melinda and Lori, D’Wayne and Lisa, Brittaney and Sally, Leslie Ann and Mary Anne, Katie and Noel, Mary and Cherry, John F, John H, and John B, and Sue and Beth, Kelly and Patricia, Sandi and Kim and our two newest team members Natalie and Megan!
Fall continues to be a whirlwind of activity. It is a busy time for most of the 67 counties under the NCCF umbrella. I know it is for the Sandhills region, where I am so fortunate to call my work “home.” There is a wealth of generosity and thoughtfulness from so many in this region. A few examples include:
Harnett County’s Citizen of the Year and 2013 grant awards ceremony in mid-October marked the many accomplishments of former Senator Robert Morgan and paid tribute to his love of Harnett County. He was instrumental in working behind the scenes to establish one of our largest scholarships for students entering the medical field who are from Harnett County.
In Hoke County the local affiliate has been involved in serving as a catalyst for civic engagement over the last two years by convening the medical community with the intention of better serving patients in Hoke suffering the effects of diabetes and obesity. There is an unusually high incidence of diabetes in this county. Doctors and other medical personnel have a monthly roundtable to share resources and technologies that will help them provide greater support to their patients struggling with these chronic health problems.
Moore County honored Pidgie Chapman and Ted Tawes as the 2013 Man and Woman of the Year in mid-October. It was such a heartfelt evening filled with admiration and love for their generosity and gifts of time to Moore County. This area is also excited about Moore Women – A Giving Circle, a new group that that will support the needs of women and children living in their county.
Lee, Montgomery, Randolph and Rockingham have also had meetings and events to support local nonprofits and students through scholarships. Rockingham County is excited about hosting an event in spring 2014 to honor four local high school juniors, one from each of the four local high schools. These students will be recognized for their volunteer time and talents to their community and awarded a gift to the local nonprofit organization of their choice in Rockingham County.
In November we celebrate nonprofits, foundations and philanthropy. “National Philanthropy Day” is set aside to celebrate many in our world who work to make a better quality of life for us all. Wikipedia provides the description of philanthropy as “private initiatives, for public good focusing on quality of life.”
That just about sums up each day at the North Carolina Community Foundation. We work with individual donors, our boards of advisors, members of the nonprofit community and a host of others who give their talents, time and/ or their resources to enhance their communities.
As we approach this holiday season, it is truly a gift to work with so many individuals and organizations making a difference in their communities. Let the celebration continue!
I usually am pretty forward thinking, but I cannot stop reflecting on our 25th anniversary event that we held two weeks ago. What a great day we had with our NCCF family! It was a wonderful way to celebrate the impact that each one of you has had – not only on our Foundation – but also on philanthropy in general. Your inspiration has helped us to grow philanthropy across North Carolina.
Two things have stayed on my mind: the compelling talk that Dr. Jim Johnson, UNC Kenan Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, provided our audience on what is ahead for our state. He presented information about the significant challenges we face, particularly in some of our rural communities where the death rate now exceeds the birth rate. His remarks provide some context and the facts and figures we need to help develop some of our strategies for the future and also highlight the need to act now. His remarks will stay on the forefront of our board members minds as we move forward. (His slides are available on our website here.)
The other thought that has remained in my mind is how much we missed Elizabeth Fentress, our founding CEO, who was unable to be with us on the 25th due to her travel schedule. We owe her so very much: her vision, leadership and dedication combined to help make NCCF what it is today. I know many were disappointed not to be able to see her that day.
Our days went quickly, but the deep appreciation for our founders and also for the challenges ahead continue to play in our minds…
We all know the feeling … the one you have after a big celebration. A part of you takes a deep breath and sighs, “Whew… now I can relax…” But then there’s the other part of you that feels sad and a bit down. All of the months and weeks of preparation, the day comes and in what seems like a flash, it’s gone. You regret that you didn’t have time for all of the conversations you’d hoped to have.
This mix of emotions describes how I’m feeling about NCCF’s Affiliate Forum and 25th Anniversary Celebration last Friday, Oct. 25. Close to 60 affiliate board members representing 38 of our affiliates from as far east as Elizabeth City to as far west as Franklin attended. Add to this more than 100 NCCF board leaders, donors and guests who were at the luncheon and you get the picture.
So, if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to savor last Friday with you. I’m closing my eyes and savoring the incredible energy from the conversations and images from the day… visualizing our volunteer affiliate leaders in lively conversations about how their local foundations can have the greatest impact in their communities….
…Convening nonprofits in their local communities to foster deeper support and collaboration with them. And, what better time to think creatively about this than now as our state gets ready to celebrate November as Nonprofit Awareness Month.
…Hosting receptions where the NCCF donors in that county can come together and raise their visibility so more people will be inspired to give and start new funds
…Growing scholarship funds so that students who might otherwise not be able to afford college have that opportunity
…Being the “local ambassadors” in their communities for inspiring local philanthropy and making it accessible to all who live there
I have another visual, and although not exactly from last Friday, it’s prominent. It’s one I imagine from 25 years ago when Mr. Lewis Holding, our founder, created NCCF and our unique statewide affiliate model. I didn’t have the honor of meeting and knowing him, but my visual is that he was in lots of conversations and they, too, were filled with energy emanating from his vision of what could and would be.
Six years ago my husband and I bought a house in Wilmington, North Carolina, and this year we decided to paint it. The coastal weather can be particularly hard on wooden houses, and the white paint was not only cracked and peeling, but my husband had deemed the color “boring.”
The color selection process is rarely easy, and in our case we had to deal with a few extra layers of complexity. Our house, you see, is not just old – it is 150 years old. And it isn’t in just any neighborhood – it is in the downtown historic district. And we are just not the owners of an old, historic home – we are the stewards of its legacy.
Our house is known as the Sampson-Johnson house. It was built in 1860 by James D. Sampson, a free black carpenter. According to the Negro History Bulletin, January, 1940, James Drawborn Sampson was the son and slave of a rich planter in Sampson County. “In 1819, when James was about 18, his father carried him to Wilmington, North Carolina, found a suitable location, set him up as a carpenter (James had been well-trained in in this work) and liberated him.” The account further describes Mr. Sampson as training other slaves to be carpenters, while secretly teaching them to read and write, a “hazardous undertaking [that] had to be done in secret, for a person found thus guilty was sentenced to outward disgrace and a thorough lashing.”
Mr. Sampson died at the onset of the Civil War, and his home and much of his property were confiscated. Fannie A. Johnson purchased the house in 1872, and it remained in the Johnson family until 1943, when Dr. Daniel C. Roane, an African-American physician from Connecticut, bought it. The house then served as both a residence and doctor’s office for more than 30 years.
All this history was merely theoretical until we met one of Dr. Roane’s grandsons, who just happened to be walking by the day we moved in to the house. We were once again reminded of our home’s legacy a few months later when we met one of James Sampson’s direct descendants who knew our house and its connection to her family.
So, keeping in mind the house’s history and the restrictions of the city’s historic district zoning , what color do you select?
Here at the North Carolina Community Foundation, we are the stewards of endowment funds that donors have established over the years to support their specific charitable interests. We constantly strive to honor “donor intent,” as these endowments serve as the fundholder’s enduring legacy, so I took these lessons from the Foundation and applied them – with some modification – to my own situation.
There was no way we could really know what color Mr. Sampson had originally chosen for the house – it had been scraped and repainted too many times over its lifetime - so we opted for a collaborative approach that involved a palette of colors appropriate to the age and style of the house, a lively back porch party during which neighbors voted on their favorite paint chip and the application of four different colors on the back wall for comparison purposes. A local code enforcement officer provided the due diligence and final approval. Let me know what you think
I recently upgraded my i-phone to ios 7, and I then received a message on my mail icon indicating that I had 8,742 unread emails. Oh my.
Yes, I do need to clean out emails. But these were all on my personal email account, so were mostly advertisements. Even realizing that, every time I looked at my phone the sheer number seemed to literally scream at me.
Suddenly my phone felt pounds heavier. I felt somewhat overwhelmed with clutter. My family knows I am a “bit” obsessed with organization, and this message seemed to say I was unorganized and a mess! I could barely stand it until I found an hour later that night to devote to deleting all emails. I am now down to 1,607 and feel better, but every time I look at my phone I feel unproductive. I cannot wait to devote time this weekend to get the count down to zero.
It used to be that a messy desk or overflowing files were indications of disorganization. But electronic communications have introduced all sorts of other issues.
Here at the Foundation, we face managing a mountain of information regularly. Retaining records, figuring out what to keep, organizing the incredible amount of information gathered over the past 25 years are an important challenge. And when you work at an organization like NCCF that maintains charitable endowments in perpetuity, there are some real storage issues to consider.
Nearly all of our records have been converted to digital storage. Our aim is to go as paperless as possible. We have a strong records retention policy in place that we actively follow. We have a “Green Team” of staff members who have volunteered to find ways to reduce our carbon footprint.
Now if I can just get rid of these emails . . .
My pinecone emblazoned business card defines me as the “Philanthropy Counsel” for the North Carolina Community Foundation (NCCF) where I have worked for more than seven years now. I love my job as Philanthropy Counsel; it has to be the best lawyer job in the world! What? You’ve never heard of a Philanthropy Counsel before? Well, that might be because, as far as we know, we invented the job title right here at NCCF headquarters in Raleigh!
When people ask, and they inevitably do, what a Philanthropy Counsel does, I like to explain my role this way: I serve as the in-house counsel for legal issues directly related to our charitable purpose of “charitable giving and granting” -- in other words, all of the feel-good legal issues. (By my own definition, “feel-good legal issues” naturally exclude lease law, employment law, copyright/trademark law and most definitely, securities law.) I have the opportunity to work on a wide array of interesting and challenging legal issues that at the end of the day are all somehow related to philanthropy or the charitable good. Not many lawyers are as lucky!
Just as there is more to NCCF’s charitable mission than enabling charitable giving and granting, there is more to why I love my job here. NCCF was founded 25 years ago in order to enable all North Carolinians, regardless of income, a means to work together and improve and sustain their own communities through collective generosity. Core to this mission is spreading philanthropy into the state’s rural and under-served counties. You see, NCCF is comprised of 60 local affiliate foundations that serve 67 counties scattered from one end of the state to the other. Though NCCF operates in larger counties such as New Hanover, Wake and those in the Catawba Valley region, 55 of the 67 counties it serves are considered “rural.”
And while all community foundations do good things, I am particularly proud to be part of NCCF because I deeply believe in its unique approach to philanthropy. Maybe it is because I grew up in Harnett County or maybe it is because both of my parents grew up on small North Carolina farms (Harnett County and Sampson County) that I appreciate the fact that NCCF operates in areas other than just big, prospering towns and cities. You see, I know that generosity is not limited by the prosperity of the town or city in which one lives. Nor does generosity emanate only from prosperous people. NCCF affiliates in all areas of the state, both rural and urban, can develop funds and support issues that strengthen their local communities because of the leadership and administrative services, (including legal services!) provided by NCCF.
I am honored to serve as NCCF’s Philanthropy Counsel and available to assist you at any time.
For more information on what I do or to discuss the job title “Philanthropy Counsel,” please email me.
A pretty cool thing happened on Wednesday last week. We received our 100,000th donation! What was special about it was that the gift was made in our 25th year of promoting philanthropy by someone who has been with us every single step of that way.
Mr. Billy Woodard made a donation in support of our upcoming anniversary event October 25th. Mr. Woodard has been involved with NCCF in countless roles: as a generous pioneer, donor, advocate, state board member, visionary and leader since the very beginning of our organization.
We are a statewide community foundation with a large footprint that encompasses 60 local community foundations serving 67 counties. We handle a large number of transactions just by virtue of our size and service area. We process donations, grant requests, grant checks, acknowledgment letters and receipts in record numbers compared with other community foundations across the country. Each of these many steps may be called a “transaction,” but they are not merely “transactions” to us.
We work in relationships, so first we want our transactions to be handled efficiently, correctly and transparently. But what we hope will result from these many transactions is a basis for building a long-term relationship. Our constituents learn over these many transactions that we can be counted on; we are building trust and growth.
We do not often focus on just the numbers, but during our quarter-century anniversary, we are thinking about both our history and our future. And we are thinking (and thanking) the people like Mr. Woodard who helped to make us what we are today: your trusted philanthropic partners.
Whether you are donating $25 or $25 million dollars, you can count on us.
I admit it … I don’t watch football. I know a lot of you will probably stop reading this blog right now.
The country has been buzzing with excitement for the new football season. Mailbox covers and decorative flags adorn houses, people break out entirely new wardrobes in their team colors … the excitement is EVERYWHERE! Social media has exploded with pictures of “game food,” from tailgates and viewing parties.
But the season is grantmaking in the Coastal Plains North region! We have our own parties (complete with bagels and coffee) to check out this year’s players! Applications have increased in our region this year, and the needs are great. Our own super fan base (our grants committees) are meeting to pick out their fantasy leagues: the best of the best nonprofit programs to provide much needed services in our communities.
Our affiliate boards wear the team colors and wave the flags of our local communities each and every day. They spend hours reviewing the many wonderful applications that we receive, and they are the biggest cheerleaders for our nonprofit organizations. That is one of the key strengths of our affiliate structure: our boards have local expertise so know their communities' needs and the organizations that can best serve them.
Coastal Plains North region affiliates will announce their grant recipients in late September. Nearly $100,000 in grants from community grantmaking funds will be awarded. In small towns, these dollars can be transformational for a nonprofit.
Later in the year, we will gather for various awards events for our own “Super Bowl” of grantmaking. That is when we really get to see those grant dollars in action, celebrate the “touchdowns” and share some really good food!
I hope your favorite teams have a great season this year … I know my teams in Eastern NC will!