From The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, released March 5:
Capacity building for regional nonprofits is an increasingly necessary tool for organizations facing unprecedented demands for services and cuts in funding sources. The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina launched a one-time grant program in the fall that awarded more than $200,000 to 17 organizations serving Western North Carolina’s most vulnerable populations.
“These grants were designed to help organizations that wanted to change the way they operate to make themselves more sustainable,” explained CFWNC President Elizabeth Brazas. “This is a challenging economy for funders and nonprofits alike, and we supported collaborative efforts, mergers, fund development and other activities that create stronger organizations.”
While the Foundation supports capacity building through its ongoing partnership with WNC Nonprofit Pathways and the Melvin R. Lane grant program, the fall grant program was targeted and by invitation only. Those invited to apply collectively serve all eighteen counties in the foundation’s service area; grant awards ranged from $5,000 to $20,000.
Grants were awarded to:
All Souls Counseling Center – $10,536 to support their Development Director to enable the organization to diversify and increase fundraising capacity
Asheville City Schools Foundation – $12,000 to expand the staff of the “In Real Life” after school program for middle school students
Asheville Design Center – $12,000 to expand its earned income potential and create an individual donor base
Buncombe County Partnership for Children – $12,000 for facilitation to assess merger possibilities with other WNC Smart Start Programs
Burke United Christian Ministries – $12,000 to upgrade outdated client assistance software to provide accurate and accountable data
Children First/Communities in Schools – $12,000 to hire a part-time grantwriter to secure funding for full-time staff positions to provide increased organizational and programmatic capacity
Helpmate – $12,000 to complete a feasibility study to determine the viability of creating a Re-Sale store to provide unrestricted income for the domestic violence shelter
Homeward Bound – $12,000 to support their recently hired development director with the goal to continue to diversify and increase fundraising capacity
MANNA FoodBank – $5,250 to take advantage of developing a new food source for WNC through the donation of an apple orchard
The Mediation Center – $20,000 for telephone and computer upgrades and marketing, branding and messaging in support of the recent merger of three mediation programs in Buncombe, Henderson and Transylvania counties
Mountain BizWorks – $12,000 to continue to diversify and assess the potential fee for service funding streams used to sustain their Latino services
OnTrack Financial Counseling and Education – $12,000 to support a new combined marketing and development position
Pisgah Legal Services – $12,000 to support collaborative grant writing with rural nonprofits that lack capacity to research and submit collaborative grants
Watauga, Avery, Mitchell and Yancey Community Action Agency – $12,000 to implement a fundraising plan to reduce dependence on federal and state funding and develop a fundraising plan
Western Carolina Community Action, Inc. – $11,788 to support expansion and diversification of fundraising and the transfer of data to a new donor and volunteer database software
WCCJ/Women at Risk – $12,000 to support a part-time development position to diversify and increase WCCJ’s fundraising capacity
WNC Alliance – $12,000 to support a part-time communications position to further implement their fund development strategy
“It was important for the Foundation to step in and help these organizations move forward with their plans for stabilization, fundraising, technology upgrades and more,” said Brazas. “These activities were identified as necessary and important for growth and maintaining services.”
In 2011, The Community Foundation adopted a new strategic plan that focuses discretionary resources on People in Need, Early Childhood Development, Food and Farming and Preserving Natural and Cultural Resources. The Community Foundation is a nonprofit serving eighteen counties in Western North Carolina. The Foundation is a permanent regional resource that facilitates more than $8 million in charitable giving annually. CFWNC inspires philanthropy and mobilizes resources to enrich lives and communities in Western North Carolina.
For more information, contact The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina at (828) 254-4960 or visit www.cfwnc.org.