After two years of meeting with our affiliate board members, fundholders and partners virtually, we began meeting in person again in mid-2022. Our team was reenergized by connecting again in person and strengthening our ties to the communities we serve.
2022 Impact Report
Growing Our Roots
North Carolina is a state of generosity.
Our work at the North Carolina Community Foundation epitomizes how generous people working together can bolster a community.
Together we’ve established a powerful root system of support across the state. We are so pleased to bring you this snapshot of our impact across the state in 2022.
Hope has been defined as “an optimistic state of mind that’s based on the expectation of positive outcomes.”
During the pandemic, we never stopped being hopeful, and we never stopped the work of awarding grants and scholarships to cultivate a strong root structure in our communities.
Looking back at 2022, it felt like a time when hope resurfaced – as did our in-person gatherings. What a joy it was to reconnect with the communities we serve – in person! – as we finally turned the corner on the pandemic.
Hope is what we do at NCCF. Through more than 1,200 funds, we have a strong network of roots that provide hope.
We work with donors and our network of affiliate foundations in 60 counties to make a difference in communities by providing grants and scholarships. Grants provide nonprofits with support and hope for the people they serve. Scholarships spread hope to students working hard to achieve their academic goals.
Our board and staff were focused in 2022 on keeping that hope going, ensuring that we continue to grow our roots so we can always be here to serve North Carolina. We look forward to continuing our work together – providing hope to our communities.
Steve Wangerin, Chairman of the Board, 2021-22
Jennifer Tolle Whiteside, President & CEO
2022 By the Numbers
Reconnecting to Communities
Enhancing Community Leadership
As excited as we were for in-person meetings, the pandemic demonstrated the need to continue our support of hybrid capacity for our affiliate and state boards to allow as many members to participate as possible.
In our communities, our 53 affiliate boards welcomed 100 new advisory board members. The pandemic forced us to rethink how we support these new board members and we offered a new, comprehensive, year-long orientation program focused on how they can best support their communities and NCCF’s mission to inspire philanthropy in rural communities.
Ensuring that our advisory boards are inclusive and reflect their communities is part of the Criteria for Success for our statewide network of local affiliate foundations. We also believe that to partner effectively with our communities in making lasting and effective changes, we must start from within.
For the second year, we engaged the nationally recognized Racial Equity Institute (REI) to provide an educational session for our staff, statewide board of directors and our affiliate leaders who had not attended the training previously. REI uses stories and data to present a perspective that racism is fundamentally structural.
“With the guidance and help of this webinar, we were able to strengthen our board with much needed diversity.”
In April, all board members were also offered the opportunity to participate in discussions on topics that are critical to affiliate foundation success – leadership and membership recruitment, local community needs, and philanthropy’s role in the American Rescue Plan Act.
Throughout 2022, we also facilitated idea sharing among our affiliate advisory board leadership with discussions on topics such as board recruitment, leadership succession and how to maximize impact from the Chairman’s Challenge campaign. In 2022, that campaign raised $593,000 for community grantmaking funds across the state.
Back in Community
Being able to meet in person again meant being able to celebrate the work that we do together! We reopened the conference rooms in our Raleigh office for community use by charitable organizations, a valuable resource for hosting events.
Our affiliates celebrated supporting nonprofits in their communities with receptions and other events.
for Greater Rocky Mount
Supporting Community Needs
In 2022, together with our fundholders and affiliate foundations, NCCF distributed 2,800 grants totaling $27.4 million to a wide variety of programs, organizations and initiatives.
NC Healing Communities Fund
We completed grantmaking from our COVID-19 relief fund, the North Carolina Healing Communities Fund. In 2022, another $1.25 million was distributed from the fund, which was established in 2020 to assist charitable organizations impacted by revenue loss and increased demand for services because of the pandemic.
By the Numbers
Launched by NCCF in 2020, the fund supported long-term, unmet needs for charitable organizations embedded in or serving marginalized communities in North Carolina that were disproportionately affected by the pandemic. This includes communities of color, communities of lower wealth, communities in mostly rural areas, and communities where English is not the primary language.
Twenty nonprofit organizations also received capacity building support from Rural Forward NC to grow their long-term sustainability. Knowing the burden nonprofits faced during the pandemic, we also offered a variety of grant reporting options so nonprofits could choose which best fit them.
Funding for the NC Healing Communities Fund was provided through the collective contributions of corporations and foundations, including the State Employees' Credit Union Foundation, The Duke Endowment, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, First Citizens Bank, Anonymous Trust, Jonas Foundation, Barnhill Family Foundation, Novartis Foundation, Fidelity Bank and the North Carolina Community Foundation.
"We would not have made it through the pandemic without the NC Healing Communities Fund. With this funding, we have been able to serve over 146 homeless people, hire staff after initially going to 100% volunteer-based and keep boots on the ground during a time where we needed it the most."
Investing in Leaders of Color
In addition to providing capacity-building support in marginalized communities, we also were proud to support the Investing in Leaders of Color Fellowship. This initiative supports the work of nonprofit leaders of color to build a broader ecosystem of support for leaders who have experienced systemic disadvantages in their work within the philanthropic and nonprofit fields.
Fellows in the first cohort currently lead nonprofits in North or South Carolina that have years of service and deep connections with their communities.
Our affiliate foundations awarded $1.3 million in grants in 2022, providing direct local resource allocation and community assistance. NCCF’s affiliate foundations and giving circles collectively garnered over 1,100 grant applications, and our affiliate foundations made nearly 600 grants.
Many of the $27.4 million in grants made by affiliates and fundholders contribute to the general operating support of organizations. However, they also provided direct support to big and small initiatives alike. Just a small example of projects that grants supported:
Boat and field expenses for bottlenose dolphin research in Currituck and Dare counties
North Carolina Symphony programs
Haywood County students attending educational competitions
Arts programs in Surry County
Upkeep and maintenance of the Bellamy Mansion in Wilmington
Boy Scouts in Montgomery County
Clothing and emergency housing for Pender County children and their families
The 211 information and referral service in Lee County
A church food pantry in Moore County
Instrument repair and purchase, band uniforms, sheet music and other items for the Swain County High School Band Department
After-school mentors in the Catawba Valley
A community diaper bank in Carteret County
Anonymous Donor Transforms Grantmaking in Columbus County
In 2021, the Columbus County Community Foundation made grants totaling $7,870. In 2022, the amount was nearly 10 times that, thanks to an anonymous donor who established a fund focusing on literacy, reducing food insecurity, human services, and the alleviation of poverty in Columbus County. CCCF will oversee grantmaking from the fund.
CCCF’s largest 2022 grant of $15,000 was to a grassroots disaster relief and resiliency organization, Community Connecting People and Resources (Community CPR). Community CPR was established in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, which had devastating impacts in Columbus County.
Two local food pantries will also benefit from CCCF’s expanded impact. The Lake Waccamaw Food Ministry and Grace Church Little Food Pantry both were able to significantly expand their programs to serve the growing need for food in the community.
With the poverty rate in Columbus County at 22%, CCCF will carefully steward this transformational gift. It will provide significant support for Columbus County nonprofits and the community. Read more about the impact.
Funds with Roots Make an Impact
A Life Rooted in Generosity Plants a Legacy for Eastern NC
The Louise Oriole Burevitch Endowment became NCCF’s largest estate gift and a permanent asset for eastern North Carolina when it was established in 2015.
Grants are made annually to Burevitch’s designated nonprofits, and a competitive grants program began in 2018 in an effort to improve the communities of eastern NC and the lives of their residents. To date, approximately $6.8 million has been granted from the fund to benefit charitable organizations in eastern North Carolina supporting education, health and human services, including $1.18 million in 2022.
The Burevitch Endowment shows the power of NCCF’s collaboration with professional advisors to help people realize their legacies through planned giving. Learn more about the life and legacy of Louise Oriole Burevitch, known to many friends as “Mrs. B.”
“While most people don’t have millions to support their charitable interests after they’re gone, Mrs. B’s story is a dramatic example of the value of learning how to preserve and direct your wealth, at any level, so it can fuel your philanthropic passions for generations to come.”
Growing the News Landscape for Marginalized Communities
The year 2022 was pivotal for the North Carolina Local News Lab Fund at NCCF. This pooled fund supports racial and class equity by working to ensure North Carolina’s marginalized communities can find, trust, and use the news and information they need.
In 2022, the fund received a $1 million gift from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, the single largest gift in the fund’s history, and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund joined as a funding partner.
The fund’s 31 grant partners serve people in 59 counties, powered by nearly $1.5 million in grants that help them expand the reach of useful news and information across geographic barriers and other obstacles.
Generosity in Action
Intentional Granting Makes International Impact
Established in 2009 at NCCF, the Wilmington East Rotary Club endowment fund offers a meaningful way for members to live out the mission of Rotary International. Each year, members select up to 12 grant recipients based on the values of Rotary.
Through its endowed fund, Wilmington East Rotary has been able to annually support Homes of Hope India, which aids orphaned girls in India with housing and education. Since 2011, the club has contributed nearly $17,000 to the organization. Locally, the club supports NourishNC, whose backpack program feeds more than 1,300 New Hanover County children each weekend.
The club has used its endowment at NCCF to distribute $140,000 to various nonprofits since 2009, including $12,000 in 2022.
The Next Act for the Carolina Youth Theatre
In 2022, the Carolina Youth Theatre in Johnston County closed, and we were proud to be part of its next act.
CYT previously received grant funding from NCCF’s Johnston County affiliate. When CYT founders Nikki and Wes Dyke dissolved the organization, they reached out to NCCF and the Johnston County Community Foundation about options to continue supporting youth arts education in the community with the theater’s assets.
By establishing an endowment, CYT’s legacy will continue through annual grants to Johnston County charitable organizations whose work focuses on youth arts education. The JCCF will recommend grants from the fund, and the first grants will be awarded in 2023.
“Working with NCCF was easy and fun, and we have full confidence that CYT’s resources will be stewarded well. We are thrilled that the Johnston County affiliate will prioritize the needs in our community and see that the funds are put to good use. It’s a happy ending for CYT!”
Strengthening Community Resilience in Haywood County
Enduring two floods, the Great Recession and a global pandemic in the past two decades, along with the impending closure of a paper mill in Canton, would test any community. But eastern Haywood County continues to demonstrate its resilience, thanks in part to the Cruso Endowment.
The endowment, a donor-advised fund at NCCF, was established by residents David and Irene Smathers. It supports charitable priorities in eastern Haywood County: programs and organizations serving the economically disadvantaged, church building projects, beautification and appearance projects in the town of Canton and projects for recreation needs of Canton.
The fund has granted out more than $660,000 since its inception in 1996. In 2022 alone, it supported dozens of projects.
“During COVID and Tropical Storm Fred, the Cruso Endowment funded major and impactful projects when we could not justify utilizing taxpayer dollars.”
The Community Foundation Difference
At NCCF, we help donors achieve their philanthropic goals through a community-based approach.
Our network of affiliate foundations serves as our root system in the community. Our affiliate advisory boards know their communities and make grants through their endowments. They also serve as a resource for our fundholders to make a powerful impact.
This infrastructure uniquely positions NCCF to provide fundholders with an on-the-ground look at community needs so they can make lasting and meaningful contributions in rural North Carolina communities.
Growing New Funds
Creating Lasting Legacies
Endowment Celebrates an Educator’s Life of Service
When Sandra Miller passed away in 2021 following a battle with cancer, her husband of more than 40 years, Chip Miller, knew he wanted to celebrate her life of service.
After canceling yet another memorial event in the fall of 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chip and his sons realized an endowment would be the perfect way to honor her legacy.
Sandra taught special education in Montgomery County, was the first woman elected to the Mt. Gilead Town Board, and served on the Montgomery County Board of Education. She had a passion for children and teachers.
“Establishing an endowment that will be perpetual in nature and help children beyond us would have meant more to her than having a one-time event,” said Chip. “I could see her smiling over that and felt at ease with that decision.”
Montgomery County Schools helped Chip identify an unmet need: aiding students in crisis stay in school with funds for clothing, food, school supplies, literacy support and other needs.
A board member of our Montgomery County affiliate referred Chip to NCCF so that the Sandra Miller Endowment for Children could be managed perpetually. Now, teachers, counselors and staff can request grants from the fund to support students in crisis and literacy needs.
“NCCF was exactly what I was looking for. I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel. NCCF was already doing what we needed, and with a great track record.”
Support for the Long-term
Long-term stability is important to any organization, which is why The Harrelson Center in downtown Wilmington exists and why an endowment supporting its work was created.
The Harrelson Center is a campus of humanitarian nonprofits that share space and administrative resources so those organizations can enjoy operational stability, efficiency and savings. By sharing common ground, nonprofits can capitalize on each other’s strengths, expand their professional networks, share best practices and broaden each other’s perspectives.
The Harrelson Center Endowment is an agency fund that was established at NCCF by supporters of the center to provide a permanent source of support.
“This endowment helps assure us that this campus, this unique asset, will continue to be a part of our community—for those at every level and in every place in their lives.”
Fund Creates Opportunities for Young Artists
When some people retire, they get a gold watch or a dinner. When Kathryn Greathouse retired as head of the United Arts Council of Catawba County in 2022, she was presented with the Kathryn Greathouse Legacy Scholarship Fund.
The new fund at NCCF honors her by supporting the United Arts Council in providing scholarship and scholarship-related expenses. Greathouse has strong connections to NCCF. She is a former Catawba Valley Community Foundation board member and a founding member of our Unifour Foundation Endowment.
The United Arts Council of Catawba County works to improve the cultural life of the local community through grants, marketing, fundraising, advocacy and education. The organization promotes local cultural activities, as well as grant and contribution opportunities.
"As executive director of the United Arts Council of Catawba County, I met many young people with the talent, drive and ambition to pursue a career in the arts. I hope the Kathryn Greathouse Legacy Scholarship might offer encouragement to promising young artists.”
NCCF awarded more than $1.1 million in direct scholarships to 265 students from across North Carolina in 2022.
The impact of scholarships can be felt throughout the state. Scholarship recipients have roots in 116 North Carolina cities and towns and are now studying at 66 schools in 15 states across the country.
Many of the distributed scholarship dollars stayed in North Carolina. NCCF scholars attended 41 North Carolina public and private colleges and universities, including 14 community colleges. That equated to more than $980,000 in scholarship funds going to North Carolina institutions of higher education.
By the Numbers
Yu Qi Lin
Since she was 11, Lin has helped at her family’s restaurant. Her parents emphasized higher education, and today Lin participates in the Accelerated Research Program and the Honors Carolina Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is interested in artificial intelligence and its interconnection with technology and health care. One day she hopes to establish her own scholarship for deserving students.
“It is important to show gratitude by maximizing my college academic experience and sharing the skills and knowledge that I have learned with others.”
Recipient of the Ernestine J. Williams Scholarship
Growing up, Davis found it challenging to fit in. After being diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome, he realized that following a process and using repetition were helpful. As a result, he found a passion for marching band, an interest he pursues at Campbell University, where is a member of the school's marching band. Davis is also majoring in cybersecurity and aspires to open a business that provides cybersecurity services.
“The granting of this scholarship to me has decreased the financial burden on my parents and myself. This scholarship will provide further security in attending college, allowing me to be able to simply focus on my education.”
Planting Seeds through New Scholarships
Lee County Community Remembers Hall of Fame Coach
Sanford Central High School (now Lee County High School) won 177 games – including three consecutive Eastern Regional titles and the 1973 state championship – during beloved Coach Paul B. Gay's 24-year career.
When the longtime Sanford resident passed away at age 90, Lee County High School Athletic Booster Club member Betsie Wilkinson led a fundraising campaign to establish the Paul B. Gay Student Athlete Endowed Scholarship at NCCF to support graduating Lee County High School athletes. The Booster Club raised $15,000 from former players and community members.
“This is something that will keep his memory alive," said Wilkinson.
Scholarship Plants Opportunities for Migrant Farmworker Families
As a public health nurse serving migrant farmworkers, Joan McGuire saw firsthand the need for nurses to have a strong understanding of the needs of migrant workers who travel to do seasonal farmwork.
Prompted by the pandemic, McGuire began to seriously consider estate and legacy planning. In 2022, she established the Migrant Farmworker Nursing Scholarship Endowment to provide renewable scholarships for children and grandchildren of migrant farmworkers statewide to attend nursing school.
With this scholarship, McGuire hopes to provide farmworkers’ children and grandchildren the opportunity to become nurses while staying connected to their communities. In turn, this will benefit the migrant worker community with greater diversity among public health nurses who can provide more culturally competent care.
Rooted in a Legacy Gift, Scholarship Supports Yadkin County Students
Shirley Ray Moore Bolick taught for 30 years in Roanoke Rapids, Mount Airy and West Yadkin schools before retiring. Her parents were educators, and her family had deep roots in the Yadkin Valley region and other parts of North Carolina.
Bolick passed away in 2021 at the age of 87 and left a generous gift through her estate to establish the Shirley Moore Bolick Scholarship for Yadkin County at NCCF. She was committed to inspiring students to pursue their dreams through education, responsible citizenship and community service, a dream that will be further realized through the scholarship fund.
The first scholarship from the fund is expected to be awarded in 2023 with $23,000 annually going to one or more students.
Investing in Education
The Kiwanis Club of Southport-Oak Island has a history of providing educational programs and scholarships to benefit youth in Brunswick County. Through the club’s foundation and a new scholarship fund at NCCF, local youth will have access to more support.
The Ryan Scholarship Fund of the Kiwanis Club of Southport-Oak Island Foundation was created to serve as a permanent source of support for the scholarship programs of the Kiwanis Club of Southport-Oak Island and its foundation and to be an avenue for future gifts from members, including potential planned gifts.
“We wanted to set up something — an endowment — that would allow us to pull earnings over time,” said Peggy McDonald, who serves as treasurer and is on the board of directors of the Kiwanis Club. “As that endowment grows, the earnings that we could pull out will help fund additional scholarships or increase amounts for current scholarships that we give out.”
Established Scholarships Show Strong Roots
Scholarship Marks 25 Years in Awards to Nursing Students
The Judy Moore Memorial Scholarship was established in 1997 by Moore’s fellow nurses, patients and community leaders after she died unexpectedly at the age of 57. Moore’s life demonstrated her twin priorities of pursuing an education and caring for people and this scholarship allows that legacy to continue.
In 2022, the scholarship marked 25 years and more than $25,000 awarded to students through NCCF, leaving a legacy of supporting nursing in the Macon County community.
“I am proud to have served nursing students over the years in memory of Judy through this scholarship. Receiving this award helped me so much with the financial burden of attending classes, driving to clinical and purchasing all the required books."
After Seeds Planted in 2021, Scholarship Makes First Award
Annie and Sallie Ann Wheeler inspired countless members of their Edgecombe County community. Though the sisters never received the formal education they deserved, they devoted their lives to ensuring generations of children in their family had access to it.
Through an endowment established by two of their nephews, Jamaal D. Pittman and Linwood E. Hinton, the sisters' legacy lives on as a scholarship for North Edgecombe High School students who demonstrate a passion for learning and helping others.
The Annie and Sallie Ann Wheeler Memorial Scholarship made its inaugural award in 2022 to QuaNasia Bryant. Bryant is studying nursing at NC A&T State University and hopes to become a labor and delivery nurse.
NCCF brings generous people together, combining resources to make an exponential, permanent impact in North Carolina communities.
Our Investment Strategy
Prudent investment stewardship is essential to our mission of building long-term charitable assets for the benefit of our communities and is at our roots.
Our investment strategy, steered by our team of outside professional asset managers, is disciplined, balanced and driven by the long-term returns necessary for achieving our collective philanthropic goals. While 2022 was a challenging year, our investment pools’ returns continue to be in line with benchmarks and allow our endowments to keep granting out to charitable organizations. This consistency allows us to continue supporting our communities, regardless of changes in economic and market conditions.
Making a positive impact through investments is important to our donors. We expanded our offering in responsible investing, providing our fundholders with additional opportunities to align their investments and philanthropic values. Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion pool and Environmental, Social and Governance pool have the same investment objective as other pools at NCCF, with additional DEI and ESG filters incorporated into investment analysis and portfolio construction.
Meeting the Highest Standard for Community Foundations
NCCF consistently meets rigorous, objective standards for operational and investment quality, integrity and accountability.
In 2022, we again received accreditation with National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations, meeting the highest standards for philanthropic excellence among community foundations.
Accreditation represents a community foundation’s commitment to going above and beyond to demonstrate accountability and excellence to communities, policymakers, and the public. Community foundations voluntarily reconfirm their accreditation every three years. NCCF has met the national standards since 2007, signaling to donors and their professional advisers that NCCF is a sound place to give and make a difference.
Looking Toward the Future
A community foundation epitomizes how generous people working together can bolster a community.
As we approached our 35th anniversary in 2023, a committee of current and past members of our state board and staff leadership came together to ensure we continue to operate with a strong business model to achieve our philanthropic mission of supporting rural North Carolina communities in an effective and sustainable way.
In its review, the committee sought to identify opportunities for continued growth and review our planned and future use of our operating endowment.
We’ve grown a lot in nearly 35 years. NCCF sustains over 1,200 funds and partners with a network of affiliates to award grants and scholarships statewide. We’ve administered over $243 million in grants and scholarships since 1988.
The committee recommended that NCCF remain focused on growth and continued support of our affiliates, fundholders and prospective fundholders. As approved by our state board, this will come through additional investments in community grantmaking, staff, technology, and marketing.
Together, we’ll work to continue to grow our roots even deeper to ensure we are a leader in statewide philanthropic initiatives and bring hope to North Carolina communities today and into the future.