November is a time to celebrate...

During this month every year our world provides a time to pause for the cause. November is Nonprofit Awareness Month in North Carolina. The eleventh month also contains Community Foundation Week every year, thanks to a national proclamation. And many communities celebrate Philanthropy Day, which is generally driven by the esteemed Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), with the exact date varying by locale.

Nonprofits in North Carolina

Why is this important? For a glimpse at the impact of the nonprofit sector on our state, let’s take a look at some of the facts compiled by the NC Center for Nonprofits:

We know that nonprofits are essential to our state’s quality of life and for recruiting and keeping business because they:

  • Deliver needed services
  • Educate us all on vital issues
  • Find solutions
  • Nurture our culture
  • Improve government policies
  • Provide faith-based activities

The list could and does go on. And let’s consider some impressive metrics:

  • Nonprofits provide one out of every nine jobs in North Carolina. That’s about 425,000 jobs – or 11% of the workforce!
  • Nonprofits put about $37 billion back into our state’s economy every year.
  • The sector pays more than $15 billion in wages in North Carolina.
  • This economic impact has more than doubled in just 10 years.

The list of demands and the sector’s capacity to meet those demands is sobering:

  • About 83% of our state’s nonprofits saw demand for services increase in 2013.
  • Only 29% could meet that demand.
  • No secret: nonprofits struggle every year to raise funds.

Community foundations

Community foundations are celebrating 100 years of existence in 2014! Every year during Nov. 12-18, nearly 700 community foundations, including NCCF, celebrate during this week, which was proclaimed in 1989 by George H.W. Bush.

Community foundations are independent, public entities that steward philanthropic resources from individual and institutional donors to local nonprofits. We contribute to the heart and soul of every community.

NCCF celebrated our 25th anniversary last year. This year we will surpass $200 million in assets. We serve 67 North Carolina communities through 60 affiliate foundations. Last year we granted about $15 million to communities throughout our state. We would love to tell you more, so please contact us at one of our regional offices or at our headquarters in Raleigh at 919-828-4387.

Philanthropy Day

Many philanthropic leaders are feted on this day, including our own founder Lewis R. Holding, who was honored posthumously for his vision and generosity at a Triangle Association of Fundraising Professionals event soon after he died in 2009.

Our Watauga County Community Foundation always celebrates a local philanthropist through the annual “Spirit of Philanthropy Award,” which is bestowed at an annual celebration in Boone each November. (More to come on this, so stay tuned!)

What does your community, nonprofit or local AFP do to celebrate Nonprofit Month or Philanthropy Day? Let us know and we will share it here.