In March of 2020 we saw nonprofits in the community spring into action under circumstances most if not all of us could have never imagined. A global pandemic ground life as we knew it to a halt, and yet nonprofit organizations somehow found a way to continue providing for the community.
Triangle Community Foundation’s Board recognized that the Foundation has a responsibility to share the financial wealth our investments have made, and authorized a special distribution of $750,000 from the organization’s operating reserves to support some of the many nonprofits in our community exhibiting exceptional resiliency in transforming the Triangle for the better, every day.
Fifteen awards of $50,000 in unrestricted funding have been made to nonprofits who have received a grant through one of the four impact area programs or the Responsive Grantmaking program since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. The fifteen organizations are:
Arts Access Inc. – Arts Access’s mission is to enable children and adults with disabilities to have full access to and participate in the arts and cultural life of our community. Their vision is that arts organizations will operate with inclusion as a core value, provide programs and events that are barrier free and provide equal access to people with disabilities. With this grant, Arts Access plans to relocate their office to increase space for expanding services and programming.
BUMP: The Triangle – BUMP’s mission is to foster excellence and agency in youth through the cultural assets of African diasporic visual and performance arts. BUMP offers youth African-diasporic cultural enrichment, visual and performance arts programming that build artistic proficiency, cultural knowledge, heritage knowledge, and resilience. With this grant, BUMP has plans to enhance their 2022-2023 Music Enrichment and Ensembles program.
Diamante Arts & Cultural Center – Diamante Arts & Cultural Center is dedicated to the preservation, development, and promotion of the culture, heritage, and artistic expressions of the diverse Latino/Hispanic community of North Carolina. Each year, they reach more than 16,000 people through programs and activities. This grant will allow their organization to increase capacity and grow their cultural and arts programming.
Durham Success Summit, Inc. – Durham Success Summit is a nonprofit organization with a mission to increase access to business education, mentorship, and professional networking opportunities for young Black men between 16 and 24 years old in Durham. They envision a world in which every young Black man has access to career pathways that lead to personal growth and economic mobility. This unrestricted grant will help to stabilize operations, build fundraising capacity, and scale their impact.
Haw River Assembly, Inc. – The mission at Haw River Assembly is to promote environmental awareness, conservation, and pollution prevention, to speak as a voice for the river in the public arena, and to put the tools and knowledge into the peoples’ hands so they can be effective guardians of the river. The organization was founded in 1982. Haw River Assembly plans to increase their organizational capacity, specifically in creating a communications department to amplify their stories to the community and beyond.
Hispanic Liaison of Chatham County/El Vinculo Hispano (EVH) – Founded in 1995, The Hispanic Liaison of Chatham County has a mission to foster intercultural understanding and to empower Latinxs to overcome the challenges they face and make their voices heard in the community. They envision their organization as strong and community-centered, grounded in Hispanic culture. With this unrestricted grant, EVH plans to begin planning for a permanent office space and hire an Associate Director of Strategy and Advancement.
Kiran, Inc. – Kiran’s mission is to end the cycle of abuse and to serve and empower South Asian victims of domestic violence in North Carolina by providing culturally specific services and comprehensive economic, social and community resources. With this grant, Kiran plans to ensure full staff capacity to continue providing uninterrupted, quality services to their clients.
NC Congress of Latino Organizations (NCCLO) – NCCLO is a statewide membership led organization that builds power among Latino institutions and their leaders to advance social, racial, and economic justice. NCCLO plans to invest in strategic planning, relationship building with allies, community leader development, and hiring a fundraising/communications staff member with this grant.
Partners for Environmental Justice (PEJ) - PEJ is a community-based, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization advocating for the fair and equitable treatment of both human and natural communities in Southeast Raleigh. PEJ was formed in the mid-1990s and underscores equity, environmental justice and resilience in their programming and are striving to build strong partnerships with residents and community stakeholders who share their values. PEJ will benefit from this grant by continuing to build organizational capacity through board workshops, retreats, staff training, and more.
Pee Wee Homes - The mission of Pee Wee Homes is to create dignified, affordable, tiny homes in a caring community for, and with, people transitioning out of homelessness. Their vision is a community with extremely affordable housing that supports independence within the context of community and is inclusive of individuals with fixed income, older residents, and individuals earning minimum wage. This unrestricted grant will allow Pee Wee Homes to support the expansion of their services and allow strategic planning to begin to deepen and broaden their impact.
Pupusas for Education – Pupusas for Education is a nonprofit organization with a mission to close the opportunity gap in access and affordability to higher education opportunities for undocumented and DACAmented students in Orange, Durham, and Wake counties in North Carolina. Their vision is to be a starting resource for undocumented and DACAmented high school students interested in learning more about and pursuing higher education, as well as providing funding and connections that help them reach their post-high school graduation goals. This grant will allow organizational capacity to be achieved, including staff and board expansion.
Raleigh Immigrant Community Inc. (RIC) - RIC’s mission is to support and catalyze the integration process of refugees and immigrants in the Triangle. We step in to provide culturally appropriate refugee integration services in employment, education, and wrap-around services to recently resettled refugees and immigrants. We strive to improve the quality of life of immigrants and refugees. Our vision is to see them become fully integrated in North Carolina as US Citizens with an abundance of resources and opportunities for a meaningful life. This grant can allow RIC to take a closer step towards opening a Durham-based office, increasing their impact in the Triangle.
The Marian Cheek Jackson Center for Saving and Making History – The goal of the Jackson Center is to honor, renew, and build diverse, intergenerational, and sustainable communities within the historically Black neighborhoods of Chapel Hill. This unrestricted grant will allow the Jackson Center to grow their programs and amplify their story more broadly to the community.
TheGifted Arts, Inc. - TheGifted Arts is a youth elevation and performing arts organization that uplifts and artistically trains young people, within a culture that values identity, purpose, leadership and embodies confidence and excellence. Their vision is to inspire all youth to transcend and embrace their purpose. This grant will allow TheGifted Arts to support the organizational advancements made so far and propel their mission into the next phase of development.
Urban Community Agrinomics Catawba Trail Farm (UCAN) - UCAN is a nonprofit organization with the mission to improve the health and well-being of the community. Their purpose is to provide education and training on healthy lifestyles, seed-to-table food preparation and preservation, hands on STEAM and agriculture. UCAN will use this unrestricted grant to complete several in-progress projects, including millhouse renovations and increasing staff capacity.
Learn More About Award Finalists
We know that there are thousands of nonprofits doing important work across the Triangle and many more than the 15 awardees were worthy of this award. Congratulations to the other finalist organizations that were considered:
- Art Therapy Institute
- Charles Hamilton Houston Foundation, Inc.
- Chatham Arts Council
- Community Music School
- Community Success Initiative, Inc.
- HEARTS (Helping Each Adolescent Mother Reach Their Spark)
- Hidden Voices
- Jubilee Home
- LIFE Skills Foundation
- Raleigh-Wake County Dental Society
- Community Dental Health Program, Inc. (Wake Smiles)
- StrongHER TogetHER
- Triangle Bikeworks
- Wake Forest Community Youth Orchestra
- White Oak Foundation, Inc.
- Youth Education for Savings Consortium
The Foundation values participatory grantmaking and involved 18 members of the community with lived and professional experience with the nonprofit sector in the Triangle in the decision-making process. In total, 72 applications were received, reviewed, and discussed by several committees, with Foundation staff serving as facilitators and advisors. In addition to following the evaluation rubric, published as part of the call for proposals, committee members also considered several criteria including geographic location and service area, budget size, and leadership identities. Ultimately, the committee tended toward smaller organizations with a more local footprint, versus organizations with a larger service area. They also leaned toward smaller organizations with budgets of less than $250,000 in annual revenues, where $50,000 could make a sizable difference in their ability to make an impact, and particularly those that are filling a needed gap in services or provide a unique impact in the Triangle. The vast majority of the awardee organizations have at least one dimension of BIPOC leadership – an Executive Director, 50 percent or more of senior staff, or 50 percent or more of Board members identifying as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color.