NCCF’s 2023 Affiliate Forum: A day of learning and connection

Last week the North Carolina Community Foundation brought together advisory board members from many of our 53 local affiliate foundations for our 2023 Affiliate Forum: Growing Our Roots.

NCCF’s affiliate foundations serve 60 counties. In 2022 alone, our affiliates awarded 600 grants totaling $1.3 million to charitable organizations. The forum served as an opportunity to strengthen and grow NCCF’s powerful root system of support – which includes our network of affiliate foundations.

The day began with a skit from NCCF’s Community Leadership Officers Colby Martin and Dawn Neighbors that was a creative (and humorous!) take on board development and demonstrated some of the do’s (and don’ts) of recruitment, meetings and community engagement.

Next, NCCF Director of Community Investment Tyran Hill moderated a discussion on trends in philanthropy and nonprofit needs. Speakers were: Jeanne Tedrow, President and CEO, North Carolina Center for Nonprofits; Merald Holloway, Partnership Manager for MDC’s Rural Forward program; and NCCF President and CEO Jennifer Tolle Whiteside. They discussed how funders and philanthropy can best partner with nonprofits to foster growth, sustainability and meet changing community needs.

From left to right: Jennifer Tolle Whiteside, Merald Holloway, Jeanne Tedrow, Tyran Hill

Following lunch, Tyler Harris of the Craven County Community Foundation was presented with the Lewis R. Holding Philanthropic Leadership Award. Read more about Harris, the award and accompanying $10,000 gift to CCCF’s community grantmaking fund.

In the afternoon attendees heard from donors and advisors about why and how they became engaged with their local affiliate and replicable takeaways for all affiliates. Panelists were Dr. Chris Ford (Chowan Community Funds Foundation board member and Ford Family Charitable Fund), David Harman (Watauga County Community Foundation board member and Don and Audrey Bentley Scholarship Fund) and Sue Haberberger, (attorney and shareholder at Young Moore Henderson). Panelists shared why and how they became engaged with their local affiliate with an emphasis on replicable takeaways. 

Deborah Holt Noel, of PBS North Carolina, a veteran news media professional with over 20 years of experience in writing, producing and hosting for radio and television, delivered the keynote address on the hope that binds us to our communities.

Keynote speaker Deborah Holt Noel

Finally, NCCF Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Amy Dominello Braun walked board members through an exercise aimed at assisting them in explaining the work of NCCF and their affiliate. She also shared new and upcoming tools NCCF has launched to aid in affiliate communications.

It was exciting to gather in person after hurricane and pandemic postponed the forum for seven years. Affiliate foundation board members serve as a catalyst for additional philanthropic growth, and the forum served as an opportunity for these leaders to share interests, challenges and opportunities – all with a common goal of strengthening communities through philanthropy.

This year, NCCF marks 35 years and while we will never outpace the needs in our state, we are working to ensure NCCF’s roots remain strong enough to support our mission and sustain our vision.