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2021 Impact Report Strengthening Our

Our connections have been challenged in new ways.

We learned what we needed to do to stay connected during tough times in 2020. But after the initial shock of the pandemic diminished, 2021 provided new challenges as the need for community support intensified across our state.

We still were not able to be together in person, but we stayed connected with you in ways we never could have imagined pre-pandemic. We grew our support in the directions you needed us to, whether it was ensuring our fundholders’ philanthropic efforts came to fruition, enabling our affiliate foundations to support their local communities through grantmaking, or providing needed support to our nonprofit partners serving marginalized communities during the pandemic.

During 2021, we strengthened our support for our fundholders by connecting them with information about needs in their communities. We developed virtual orientations and learning sessions for our affiliate board members. And we distributed $4.25 million in grants from the North Carolina Healing Communities Fund to provide critical resources for nonprofits impacted by COVID-related revenue loss and increased demand for services.

North Carolinians continued their history of generosity during tough times. In 2021, NCCF distributed $26.6 million in charitable dollars through grants and scholarships, fulfilling our fundholders’ philanthropic intentions. Forty-five new funds were opened in 2021, supporting a wide variety of local and statewide philanthropic goals.

Through it all, we remained focused on serving as good stewards of our fundholders’ investments. We continue to grow and maintain a solid financial footing. We are proud to report that, as of 2021’s year end we held more than $460 million in assets and have awarded more than $239 million in grants and scholarships since our founding in 1988.

2021 also came with loss for many, including us. We were saddened by the deaths of two long-time board members: Kel Landis and Rodney (Rod) Earl Martin. Kel, who had served on our board since 2012, passed away in January, and Rod died just as his term as board chair was winding down in March. Both of these great leaders believed in the power of connection and philanthropy to change the world.

In that spirit, we grew our connections with our community leaders throughout the state, building relationships and providing new opportunities to grow and learn from each other in support of our communities, even as we stayed virtual.

Steve Wangerin began his term as Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Cherry Ballard, NCCF’s first employee and longest-serving staff member at 33 years, retired. We also added three new members to our statewide board who bring a wealth of expertise and leadership experience to their roles.

We are so pleased to provide a snapshot of our impact in North Carolina to help people make lasting and meaningful contributions to their communities. As the pandemic appears to be subsiding, we look forward to what’s next and reconnecting with you in person soon.


Steve Wangerin, Chairman of the Board
Jennifer Tolle Whiteside, President & CEO

2021 By the Numbers

1,219 Total charitable funds

45 New funds

$25.5M Grants made to community organizations

$1.1M Scholarships

$56.5M Total contributions

4,198 Donors who made gifts

North Carolina Healing Communities Fund

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NCCF launched the North Carolina Healing Communities Fund to help provide critical resources for nonprofits impacted by revenue loss and increased demand for services.

The fund supports long-term, unmet needs for organizations embedded in and serving marginalized communities that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. This includes communities of color, of lower wealth, communities in mostly rural areas, and communities where English may not be the primary language.

Directed by an advisory committee, NCCF distributed a total of 115 grants in 2021, ranging from $25,000 to $55,000. The committee also referred some grantees to receive capacity building services to support the long-term sustainability and leadership development of these nonprofits, which so many in our communities rely on for healthy living and well-being.

Partners in Ministry in East Laurinburg provided masks to the community.


115 Grants

$4.25M Amount

$36,957 Average grant amount

16 Grantees that received capacity building services

Of the organizations that received grants, all reported COVID-19 impacts of revenue loss and/or increased demand for services, and all primarily serve marginalized communities. In addition, 88% have annual operating budgets below $1 million.

"NCCF had the foresight to understand the importance of infrastructure and capacity building to ensure longevity and system change. It is typical for those with privilege to share resources with marginalized communities to do good work. It is impressive when those resources are shared in a way that closes a gap to help them sustain their own work."

J Hackett, Executive Director of Jordan Peer Recovery in Buncombe County

The fund also helped more evenly distribute COVID-19 relief philanthropic funding in North Carolina. A map developed by NCCF in conjunction with the Gillings School of Public Health at UNC-Chapel Hill showed an increase in philanthropic dollars in unserved or underserved areas of the state after the grants were made.

The NC Healing Communities Fund represents the collective contributions of corporations and foundations, including the State Employees' Credit Union Foundation, 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.

"Without these funds many within our community would have suffered immeasurably. While we still have a long road ahead of us, the healing process has begun thanks to this amazing gift from the North Carolina Community Foundation. We are extremely grateful to have been entrusted with these funds to care for our fellow Carolinians."

Bill Blake, Executive Director of the Albemarle Area United Way

Supporting Community Needs

Our generous fundholders continued an upward trend in grantmaking. In 2021, together with our fundholders and affiliate foundations, NCCF distributed 2,500 grants totaling $25.5 million to a wide variety of programs, organizations and initiatives.

Many grants 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:

Bridging the behavioral health gap at East Carolina State University

Purchasing books for libraries in Johnston County

Conserving and protecting the Eno River in Durham County

Purchasing a new cooler/freezer for a food pantry in the Catawba Valley

Buying white boards for the Burke County Literacy Council

Buying supplies for a new forensics class at a Montgomery County high school

Making over rooms for caregivers and their children with special needs in New Hanover County

Supporting a farmworker health program in Macon County

Granting wishes for children with critical medical conditions in Carteret County

Supporting Eastern North Carolina, Women and Youth

In its fourth year, the Louise Oriole Burevitch Endowment provided $500,000 to nonprofits serving education, health and human services in eastern North Carolina through a competitive grant program. The endowment also provided additional funding for other organizations that aligned with her philanthropic vision of supporting the welfare of people and animals.

“Mrs. B,” as Burevitch was known to her friends, was a Wilmington native whose generosity was well known in southeastern North Carolina and beyond. The NCCF endowment has been granting to Burevitch’s named nonprofits since 2015 and applications have been accepted for grants since 2018.

“It would please Mrs. Burevitch to no end to see that her generosity is unfolding just as she hoped and dreamed. Her kind spirit of giving is continuing to touch lives across the generations and to make a difference to the causes that touched her heart.”

Beth Boney Jenkins, NCCF development officer for eastern nc

Growth in Women’s Giving

In 2021, the Women’s Fund of North Carolina, a program of NCCF that supports nonprofits and programs serving women and girls across the state, focused their grantmaking on programs that were women-led or supporting women’s leadership. The fund experienced substantial growth in applications. Over $17,500 in grants were handed out, but the impact of the Women’s Fund did not stop there.

Because the number of applications received tripled, the Burevitch endowment matched the Women’s Fund, making an additional $17,500 in grants.

“During a tough time for our state, this fund made an impact by supporting programs that advance women and their leadership,” said Jennifer Tolle Whiteside, NCCF President & CEO. “The needs were so great. It was clear there was more to do and the Burevitch endowment helped to fill that need.”

2021 also saw NCCF’s inaugural year of grantmaking for the Women for Women of Pitt County Endowment. Founded in 2005, the endowment supports nonprofits that create hope, change and a brighter future for women and girls locally and has a deep history of grantmaking and community impact in Pitt County.

In 2020 Women for Women of Pitt County met its goal of being able to provide grants in perpetuity without additional fundraising. However, this highlighted the need for streamlining processes and additional oversight. Now endowed with NCCF, the endowment in 2021 granted $75,000 to food and meals programs, leadership programs and counseling and emergency victim assistance, bringing the endowment's total to $825,000 in local grants.

“Our Board of Directors felt very confident that NCCF was the right philanthropic partner. We trust the NCCF team to critically assess the needs of our grant applicants and competently manage our endowment to continue to support programs for the women and girls of our community.”

Allyson Daugherty, former board chair of Women for Women of Pitt County

The Need for Accurate Reporting in Our Communities

With the addition of new funding partners, the North Carolina Local News Lab Fund at NCCF awarded its largest round of grant funding to date.

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.

The 2021 round of grants reinforced the capacity of trusted organizations to reach and inform communities about the pandemic, vaccines and civic life, focusing on those serving and led by Black, Hispanic/Latino/Latinx, rural, poor and disconnected people.

“Our growth in grant funding allowed us to better support organizations that are trusted voices filling in information and reporting gaps in many of our marginalized communities.”

Lizzy Hazeltine, Fund Director for the NC Local News Lab Fund

Scholarship Impacts

NCCF issued $1.14 million in scholarships to North Carolina students in 2021, on par with the previous year.

The impact of scholarships can be felt throughout the state. Scholarship recipients hailed from 126 North Carolina cities and towns. More than 90% of the scholarship dollars were for students attending NC colleges and universities.

Much of the scholarship dollars distributed stayed in North Carolina, 2021 NCCF scholars attended a total of 40 North Carolina public and private colleges and universities, including 16 community colleges. That equated to more than $985,000 in scholarship funds going to North Carolina institutions of higher education.

By the Numbers

$1.14M Amount

325 Number of scholarships

289 Number of students receiving scholarships

83 First-generation college students

Abdur-Raqib Gant

Recipient of the Mary Ferebee Howard Scholarship Fund


Plans to major in mechanical engineering at NC A&T State University

in their words

“Paying for college was one of my biggest worries, and that soon became something that I did not have to stress so much about. Thank you for the support.”

Lennon O’Hagan

Recipient of the Gary "GJ" Johnston Leadership Scholarship


To study in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies program at UNC-Asheville, pursue a doctoral degree, and work with queer teenagers in the Appalachian region.

in their words

“I love my home and my identity as a queer person, and I should not have to choose between the two. Queer youth like myself are an integral part of Appalachia's culture and I want the region to recognize and celebrate that.”

Savannah Anderson

Recipient of the Joseph H. Tallman Scholarship in Mechanical/Electrical Engineering


To major in mechanical engineering at Auburn University with a focus on robotics and to work for the Walt Disney Imagineering Company.

in their words

“The best thing I can do is to believe in myself just like the Foundation believed in me and work tirelessly until I reach the goals I have for myself as well as the goals they have for me.”

Leaving a Lasting Legacy Through Scholarships

Scholarships continue to be an important part of preserving legacies as well as directly supporting students in our rural communities. This year saw the establishment of the Tommy Woods Memorial Scholarship Fund, memorializing a Morehead High School student who suffered a broken neck and paralysis after being injured during a football game.

With his dream of playing major league baseball over, Tommy believed that “God had other plans.” He lived a full life for another 44 years, inspiring those around him and being a role model through his work, church and community. Bringing the fund to NCCF will allow the scholarship to live on in perpetuity, ensuring Tommy will always be remembered.

Tommy Woods’ jersey retirement celebration

“We have done other things to teach students about Tommy and what he meant to all of us who knew him, but our becoming a part of NCCF allows us to expand our base of support for the scholarship in ways that weren’t possible before. I can't thank you enough for allowing us this opportunity to continue that effort for many years to come.”

Pete Cunningham, Longtime friend of tommy woods

Connecting to Community

Our affiliate boards helped to keep us connected to the communities we serve during a time when it was easy to feel disconnected.

The Power of Local

Our affiliate foundations awarded over $1.1 million in grants in 2021, providing direct local resource allocation and community assistance. NCCF’s affiliate foundations collectively garner over 1,200 grant applications and our affiliate foundations made nearly 500 grants.

NCCF for the first time provided our donor advised fundholders a summary of the grant applications submitted to the affiliate foundation in their county. Donors were able to review the grant applications made to their local county affiliate to determine if there is a community need that they would like to support.

With the strength of its affiliate network, NCCF is uniquely positioned to provide fundholders with an on-the-ground look at community needs from local nonprofits, said Meredith Bell, NCCF donor engagement officer for the Central region.

Sam Willis, whose family has an endowment with NCCF, used the information provided by NCCF to make grants at the end of 2021 to Children’s Cancer Partners of the Carolinas, Montgomery Central High School, Montgomery County 4-H Program, Mount Gilead Food Pantry, Town of Troy and Trinity Music Academy.

“Having this resource helped me to understand where I could fill in some gaps in funding to support the nonprofits in Montgomery County. Without this information from NCCF, I would have never known this need existed.”

Sam Willis, NCCF fundholder

Staying Connected

We welcomed 100 new board members through a series of virtual orientation sessions, grounding all of us in shared goals and creating common and clear expectations so that we can ensure all our communities benefit from local philanthropy.

As part of making those connections, we continued our Virtually Together series, bringing together affiliate board members from all over North Carolina to discuss topics critical to affiliate foundation success.

We also launched our Presidents Exchange forum, providing an opportunity for idea-sharing and network development for our affiliate leaders across the state.

Racial Equity

At NCCF we believe everyone should have a community where they can learn, grow and thrive.

We also know that historically, opportunity in America has depended on who you are and where you come from. Policies, practices and beliefs rooted in this history still affect people today.

Ensuring our boards are inclusive and reflect our communities is part of our Blueprint for Success for our statewide network of local affiliate foundations. As leaders in philanthropy and in our communities, we also believe there are critical steps we need to take together to address equity and inclusion. We have a role in opening dialogue, building connections, and creating opportunity for insights and changes.

We also believe that in order to partner effectively with our communities in making lasting and effective changes, we first must start from within. In 2021, 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. REI uses stories and data to present a perspective that racism is fundamentally structural in nature.

Representatives from over 50% of NCCF affiliates participated in the fall sessions. Affiliate board members who participated found it was relevant to their work serving on their local affiliate foundation boards.

“Prior to the webinar I thought I was aware of most of the issues involving racial inequality. There was so much I learned.”

Betsy Whittington, board member of the Johnston County Community Foundation

Growth in Giving Creates Lasting Legacies

New donors continued to look to us to facilitate their philanthropic efforts. New funds supported a wide range of programs and services throughout all regions of the state, particularly our rural communities where we have thriving community leadership. Despite continued tough times in 2021, generosity remained high.

Honoring the Legacy Builders

Two graduates of North Edgecombe High School, Jamaal D. Pittman and Linwood E. Hinton, came together to honor their aunts this year with an endowment to provide scholarships to NEHS graduates headed to college.

Annie and Sallie Ann Wheeler were two African American sisters who lived in a small house where they raised three generations of children who attended NEHS.

Annie was a sharecropper who worked the tobacco fields. Sallie Ann, despite being struck with polio at an early age, was a domestic worker for decades, cleaning houses and helping raise other people’s children. They were always willing to give, whether it was food, shelter, emotional support or prayers of comfort.

They both valued education and devoted their lives to ensuring the children in their family had access to education and opportunities. They also imparted their wisdom regarding the importance of hard work, compassion, and living one’s life with integrity, says Pittman.

Annie passed away in 1998, and Sallie Ann passed away in 2010. With the establishment of the Annie and Sallie Ann Wheeler Memorial Scholarship Endowment, their legacy will live on.

Annie and Sallie Ann Wheeler

“Legacy is about so much more than the people we leave behind. It’s also about shining a light onto those who came before us, those unsung heroes who bravely pushed open the doors that have allowed us the space to move forward. With the annual nature of this honor, these two incredible women will never be forgotten.”

Jamaal D. Pittman, nephew of Annie and Sallie Ann wheeler

Endowment Grows Family’s Support for Library

Creating a legacy that lives on continued to be of great importance to our fundholders. In western North Carolina, Frieda Speer’s work to build and grow a local community library will live on through a designated endowment established in 2021 by her family. Speer helped take the library from idea to reality, including donating the land the library now sits on. The endowment will provide ongoing support to the Boonville Community Public Library.

“The endowment is going to be a godsend down through the decades,” said Ellen Reece, former head of the Friends of the Library. “And we hope to eventually have enough for an expansion.”

Frieda Speer

Program Can Now Lean on Long-term Support

Another new fund embraced providing sustainability to an organization that is close to the heart. Kelly and Paul Holder established an endowment in 2021 to support the HYPE Leadership Institute, a nonprofit organization run by Willie Joyner, A Greenville educator and principal. HYPE teaches students – many of whom might be considered at-risk - step dance while also emphasizing the values of service, leadership and the importance of setting high academic standards.

Some students have said the program changed their life, and HYPE has won numerous step competition awards, even appearing on “America’s Got Talent” and performing at – and winning – competitions at Walt Disney World. The Holders’ son, Emmaus, participated in HYPE and found camaraderie. The Holders wanted to provide ongoing financial support that Joyner could use as needed and others could contribute to.

Emmaus Holder, Willie Joyner, Paul Holder and Dr. Kelly Holder

“Mr. Joyner finds a way to celebrate his kids and others all the time. To have an endowment to celebrate him and back him up is powerful.”

Paul Holder, co-founder of the Hype Leadership Institute Endowment

Providing Nonprofits with Sustainability

More than 300 North Carolina nonprofit organizations now have agency endowments at NCCF, including eight that were started in 2021. Through agency endowments, North Carolina charitable organizations can create funds that support their operations and programs in perpetuity. The North Carolina Center for Nonprofits, which has a mission of advocating, educating, and connecting the state’s nonprofit organizations, chose NCCF as its endowment partner in 2021.

The Center has seen its endowment grow in a short time and encourages other nonprofits to consider an agency endowment to sustain a nonprofit for the long term.

“It’s critical for nonprofits to have sustainability, reserves and financial strength, and we want to model the importance of having a good financial portfolio. When I began in nonprofits, having an agency endowment was looked upon as frivolous. Now it is seen as an opportunity to build sustainability.”

Jeanne Tedrow, president and CEO of the Center for nonprofits

Impact Report - New Funds

NCCF welcomed 45 new funds across the state in 2021. Explore funds in a community close to your heart on our interactive map.

explore new funds