The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina’s latest grants total more than $20 million

Press release from The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina:

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC) announced that grant distributions during its last fiscal year, which ended June 30, reached an all-time high of more than $20 million bringing total grantmaking to more than $254 million since its founding in 1978.

Included in that figure are five focus area grants totaling $233,912 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 and deeply in specified areas.  Grants are made through significant staff collaboration with regional nonprofits to identify funding opportunities. The following grants were approved by the Foundation’s Board at its May board meeting.

Early Childhood Development – $30,000

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

Reach Out and Read Carolinas was awarded $30,000 for its WNC Initiative that gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into primary care and encouraging families to read aloud together. The intervention is evidence-based and makes early literacy and healthy brain development a standard part of primary care with a focus on children who grow up in low-income communities. The John and Janet Garrett Charitable Fund, Dogwood Charitable Endowment Fund, WNC Resolve Fund and Matthew Terrence Lee One Love Fund partnered with CFWNC to fund this grant.

Food and Farming – $145,000

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.

Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project was awarded $120,000 over three years to increase direct famer sales in Western North Carolina by connecting farmers markets to consumer demand for healthy eating. Food is a key way people strive to bring healthy practices into their daily lives and create lifestyles that support their overall well-being. The activities of this project will focus on developing this potential through a combination of activities and outreach. The Dogwood Charitable Endowment Fund partnered with CFWNC to fund this grant.

Organic Growers School was awarded $25,000 to continue to support beginning farmers with programming that provides individualized support, advanced education and mentoring services that enhance success and sustainability.  Funds would support staff time and program costs, such as farmer-teacher and farmer-mentor stipends. The WNC Resolve Fund partnered with CFWNC to fund this grant.

Natural and Cultural Resources – $58,912

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.

Conserving Carolina was awarded $25,000 to acquire the Continental Divide property, 314 acres, that will be transferred to DuPont State Recreational Forest. The Conservancy has already acquired 402 acres, which it transferred to DuPont in February 2019. The project will protect water quality and biodiversity, provide additional recreational opportunities and enhance the quality of life in Western North Carolina communities. The Dogwood Charitable Endowment Fund partnered with CFWNC to fund this grant.

Penland School of Craft was awarded $33,912 to purchase a Computer Numerical Control system (CNC) for its wood studio and to train staff.  This project represents the launch of a five-year technology plan to bring Penland’s studios up-to-date. The studios are well equipped, but from a technology perspective, Penland needs to upgrade its equipment to current standards. The Dogwood Charitable Endowment Fund and an anonymous fund partnered with CFWNC to fund this grant.

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC) 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 1,100 funds and facilitated $20 million in grants last year bringing total giving to more than $254 million since its founding in 1978. Learn more at

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