The Community Foundation awards over $300K in focus area grants

Blue Ridge Partnership for Children
Photo courtesy of the Blue Ridge Partnership for Children

Press release from The Community Foundation:

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC) approved eight focus area grants totaling $307,120 to support regional projects in Early Childhood Development, Food and Farming and Natural and Cultural Resources.

The Foundation’s focus areas were identified to benefit the region and enable the Foundation to work strategically in specified areas of need.  Grants are made through significant staff collaboration with regional nonprofits to identify funding opportunities. The following grants were approved by the Foundation’s Board on Aug. 22.

Early Childhood Development – $167,120

Through grants for evidence-informed programs, community awareness and advocacy in Early Childhood Development, the Foundation seeks to help young children reach their full potential.

Blue Ridge Partnership for Children was awarded $70,000 over two years to advance the initial accomplishments of the Yancey Alliance for Young Children, a collective impact initiative. The Crutchfield Charitable Fund and an anonymous fund partnered with CFWNC to fund this grant.

United Way of Transylvania County was awarded $47,120 for the Community Playgroups Mobile Resource Unit project, which will benefit underserved children ages 0-5. The Gretchen Batra Fund partnered with CFWNC to fund this grant.

YWCA of Asheville and WNC was awarded $50,000 to renovate a kitchen and upgrade a playground to serve 42 additional children in its Early Learning Program and to increase the number of people served at its monthly Community Dinners.

Food and Farming – $85,000

Grants increase opportunities for local farmers and food entrepreneurs that support the sustainability and profitability of WNC farms and address regional food insecurity and nutrition.

Macon County Public Health (as the fiscal sponsor for MountainWise) was awarded $35,000 to expand the Double Up Food Bucks program in Buncombe, Haywood, Jackson, Transylvania, Swain, Graham, Clay, Macon and Cherokee counties.  The Wasson – Stowe Charitable Fund and the Biltmore Estate Charitable Fund partnered with CFWNC to fund this grant.

Toe River Aggregation Center Organization Regional Inc. (TRACTOR) was awarded $50,000 to increase direct-to-consumer sales channels, as well as expand the types of food-related business and overall number of farmers that TRACTOR serves. The Crutchfield Charitable Fund partnered with CFWNC to fund this grant.

Natural and Cultural Resources – $55,000

Grants and capacity building in Natural and Cultural Resources aim to protect and enhance the health of the region’s natural systems and support and develop the region’s arts-based economy.

The American Chestnut Foundation was awarded $10,000 to further a proactive gene conservation project in which seeds are collected from remnant, wild American chestnuts across the species range and transplanted to orchards, where they will be used for future breeding. The Dahlia Fund partnered with CFWNC to fund this grant.

Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center received $10,000 to implement community programming related to the exhibition Between Form and Content: Perspectives on Jacob Lawrence and Black Mountain College, the first to open in its new location at 120 College Street. The Walnut Fund and the Wasson – Stowe Charitable Fund partnered with CFWNC to fund this grant.

Cowee Pottery School was awarded $35,000 over two years to purchase two new kilns and hire a part-time director.  The Dahlia Fund partnered with CFWNC to fund this grant.

CFWNC marks its 40th anniversary in 2018.  The Foundation works with families, businesses and nonprofits to strengthen communities through the creation of charitable funds and strategic grantmaking. A permanent charitable resource, the Foundation manages over 1,060 funds and has facilitated more than $234 million in philanthropy since its founding in 1978.  CFWNC continues to evolve to help donors and nonprofits meet their charitable goals and to serve the ever-changing needs of Western North Carolina and beyond.  Learn more at

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