Join us for the 2018 Annual Meeting and Conference: One North Carolina. The planning committee has been hard at work designing a fun, interactive two-day experience – created by grantmakers for grantmakers. Below you will find session descriptions - to register, click here. We look forward to seeing you in Winston-Salem on Feb. 28 and March 1.

View the Schedule at a Glance

Wednesday, February 28


Wednesday Workshops - DAy one  9:00 am - 11:30 am

Community Foundations - Brian Clontz, Charitable Solutions, LLC
Join your community foundation colleagues from across the state for this fun Wednesday Workshop. We’ll start with some networking and time to share with one another, and then will be joined by Bryan Clontz of Charitable Solutions, LLC. After working with or for more than 250 community foundations over the last 20 years, Bryan has developed a not-so-short list of things that drive him nuts. This fun, but intentionally provocative, talk will answer questions like: Who cares if you are the best kept secret in town? If you have Board deadwood, don’t you think it is your fault? Why do you keep trying to gather acorns when mature oaks already exist? And there are 24 more fun-filled questions! Start the day off right and bring a sense of humor, thick skin, some tissues for tears and a notepad.

Education Funders - Gather together with your education funder colleagues to continue exploring the education continuum in North Carolina – from early childhood through post-secondary and beyond. You’ll have a chance to check in with one another on who is doing what and how, we’ll hear about efforts afoot at the state level to better align the full “P-16” continuum, and more.

Health Funders Roundtable - This Wednesday Workshop is back by popular demand! Join your colleagues in the NCNG Health Funding Learning Community for time to share, reflect, and discuss issues that are affecting the health of individuals and communities across our state. Come prepared to share what’s new, challenging, or exciting in your work.


Opening Lunch and Plenary - day one  12:00 Noon - 1:45 PM

Passing Gear Philanthropy: Accelerating Progress Toward One North Carolina - David Dodson, MDC, Inc.
North Carolina is home to a broad and diverse family of foundations working on behalf of the people and places of our state. It is also home to entrenched issues that constrain the progress of those people and places. And while we’re well capitalized compared to our neighbors in the southeast, philanthropic peaks, valleys and deserts mean that not all communities are equally equipped to address the challenges they face. In this keynote address, David Dodson will walk us through MDC’s new report: “Philanthropy as the South’s Passing Gear: Fulfilling the Promise,” with a focus on the unique challenges and opportunities facing North Carolina.


Afternoon Concurrent Sessions - Day One  2:00 pm - 3:15 pm

Fortify Your Donor Relations - Brian Clontz, Charitable Solutions, LLC
Keeping a donor happy is not enough…period. What do you want donors to actually do to achieve your mission? Community foundation expert Bryan Clontz is back for this no-holds-barred session that deconstructs donor relations and then provides best practices and new metrics. Attendees will learn why activity-based metrics are not very valuable, how to recognize planning opportunities before it’s too late, how to build annual goals that make sense and allow donor relations officers to express their own creativity, and much more. This session is for community foundation staff and boards.

Legal Update: What's Next in Washington and Raleigh for Grantmakers - Dianne Chipps Bailey, Robinson Bradshaw
Join Dianne Chipps Bailey of Robinson Bradshaw for a discussion of how legislative and regulatory changes may impact the nonprofit sector, including private foundations, donor-advised funds and public charity grantmakers. Gain a deeper understanding of both proposed and enacted legislation and how to best prepare your organization for success in light of new state and federal rules. The presentation will cover federal tax reform, state real property tax exemptions, assumed names, regulatory moratoria, the Johnson amendment, and much more. The conversation promises to be lively and, as always, your questions and comments are welcome.

Philanthropy at the Intersection of LGBTQ+ Issues - Matt Blinstrubas, Elton John AIDS Foundation; Sarah Belk Gambrell, Gambrell Foundation; Judith Montenegro, Latino Commission on AIDS; Lee Storrow, Strowd Roses, Inc.
Issues affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community have been at the forefront of public dialogue in North Carolina and across the country in recent years. Increased visibility has spurred progress forward, while also highlighting significant disparity. Philanthropic institutions are partnering in new and creative ways to combat various challenges impacting this diverse community. From investing in youth services to combatting the HIV epidemic across the south, from supporting intersectional organizing in communities of color to addressing stigma, philanthropy is having a tremendous impact on LGBTQ+ issues. Join this panel conversation with regional and statewide leaders to discuss new and emerging strategies to improve outcomes for the LGBTQ+ community, learn what work is on the horizon, and how philanthropy can be at the forefront of progress for the LGBTQ+ community.

Thank you for Being a Friend: Fostering Grantee Inclusion - Meghan Duffy, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Authentic relationships with grantees are challenging. Learn how to address some of the most important barriers in this session with our partners at Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO). They will introduce tools, resources and frameworks to foster grantee inclusion, help you identify new approaches to engaging grantee partners, and assist participants – no matter their role within the organization – in mapping out potential internal changes that foster grantee inclusion.

The 10 Minute Impact Assessment: A Framework for Discussing Your Philanthropic Impact - Jeanne Metzger, Exponent Philanthropy
We all want to have impact - or, in simpler terms - make a real difference. This desire often leads us to ask questions such as: How do we know we’re making a difference? Could we be making a bigger difference? We want to have a bigger impact, but how do we get there? Join Exponent Philanthropy for this interactive session. Participants will use Exponent’s 10-Minute Impact Assessment tool to identify areas of strength and opportunities for increasing impact, as well as tips and resources for the journey toward greater impact. Get to know your peers while sharing feedback and insights about practical and effective impact strategies.


Late Afternoon Concurrent Sessions - Day One  3:45 pm - 5:00 pm

Board Circle - Bobbi Hapgood, Educational Foundation of America and Prentice Foundation (Moderator)
The roles and responsibilities for foundation trustees are rewarding – and challenging. Join your fellow board members from across the state in this confidential and candid conversation about lessons learned, challenges conquered, and issues on the horizon. Hear from your peers and come prepared to share. This session is for foundation trustees and board members only.

Don’t Let Your Data Get Dusty: Putting What You Learn to Use - Joy Vermillion Heinsohn and Virgil Smith, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation
How foundations prioritize giving largely depends on information they gather about the communities they serve. The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation (ZSR) recently took a step back and collected data in order to determine how it could best serve North Carolina communities moving forward, examining and evaluating its current approach to grantmaking and broader work. As part of its assessment, and in addition to statewide, regional, and community-level research data, the Foundation launched a statewide listening and learning tour. The executive director, trustees, staff, and Community Leadership Council members made their way across the state to hear directly from state leaders, local leaders and community members about trends and challenges, as well as opportunities, successes and ideas for making North Carolina a better place. What the Foundation heard from North Carolinians informed what it is referring to as its “emerging direction,” which will continue to evolve as it further designs and develops each of its components. During this session, ZSR will discuss its process, the lessons learned, how it navigated an internal assessment led by a Trustee-staff team, and share what it heard from North Carolinians. This is intended to be an interactive session, so come prepared to ask questions!   

For Emerging Leaders: What’s Wrong with This Picture? How to Identify and Address Issues of Inequity in Philanthropy - Tamir Novotny, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP)
There is now a fair amount of agreement in mainstream philanthropy about the need to embed equity in our work. In this session, we will examine common foundation practices that undermine equity and identify possible reforms. Then we’ll explore ways to advocate for these changes, regardless of where you may sit in the organizational chart. This session is intended for those newer to the sector, but all are welcome.    

The Opioid Crisis: Examining the Landscape and Addressing the Impact -  Jesse Battle, TROSA; Jeff Pruett, Partnership for Community Care
According to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 12,000 North Carolinians died from opioid-related overdoses from 1999 to 2016. The epidemic is devastating families and communities and overwhelming medical providers and treatment efforts. What do funders – with all types of priorities, from health to education to community development – need to know about how they can help? In this session, we will examine the landscape of the opioid crisis and share what funders can do to address this complex issue.

Symbiosis in Philanthropy: How Private and Community Foundations Can Work Together -  Bryan Clontz, Charitable Solutions LLC
Like the oxpecker and the zebra, private and community foundations have a symbiotic, mutualistic bond in the philanthropic ecosystem. In this session, Bryan Clontz will outline the specific ways these very different types of foundations can work together to advance their work in the community.


Reception - Benton Convention Center  5:00 - 6:30 PM



Thursday, March 1


Morning Plenary Session – Day Two  8:30 am - 9:30 Am

Donuts and Demographics Breakfast Plenary: Urbanization and Migration in North Carolina - Rebecca Tippett, Carolina Demography at the Carolina Population Center at UNC-Chapel Hill
North Carolina is experiencing profound demographic changes: Our growing population is increasingly diverse, we face looming impacts of an aging population, and there are wide and widening disparities between urban and rural counties. Grab a donut and a cup of coffee and join us as Carolina Demography’s Rebecca Tippett provides a big-picture overview of these and other trends, with specific attention to the differential impacts of migration and the implications as grantmakers think about the people and places they serve.   


Morning Concurrent Sessions - Day Two  9:45 am - 11:00 am

As the South Grows: Lessons from NC and the Rural South - Ben Barge, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy
Investing in work for justice and inclusion in the South – particularly in rural areas – can be daunting for philanthropy. Structural inequities along race and class lines obscure the progress and exciting potential of systems-change efforts that can achieve widespread and deep impact. As the South Grows, an initiative by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy and Grantmakers for Southern Progress, is designed to provide national and Southern funders alike with practical tools to partner effectively with communities on the frontlines of change. Join us to explore lessons learned around rural philanthropy from North Carolina and across the South, including new giving data and useful approaches for promoting equity. We’ll dig a little deeper in the follow-up session at 11:15.

Creating Messages that Unite and Don’t Divide - Minda Brooks, Friday Center (moderator); Dr. Laura Gerald, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust; Tara McKenzie Sandercock, Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro; Mebane Rash, Education NC
The current climate around issues that impact people’s day-to-day lives in North Carolina and around the country is often tense and divisive. Yet foundations and nonprofits continue to tackle critical, intertwined issues ranging from poverty to health to economic opportunity. To be successful, organizations must find ways to include diverse perspectives and groups in the conversation and ensure everyone, regardless of background or political affiliation, feels welcome at the table and is part of the solution. This is easier said than done at a time when certain words and topics can cause people to tune out or choose sides. Join us to hear from two foundation leaders and a nonprofit journalist who are using their voices and organizations to bridge divides, encourage civil discourse, and find inclusive solutions to entrenched problems in communities across North Carolina.

Read Between the Lines: Understanding a Nonprofit's Financial Story - Natasha Davis, Quality Enhancement for Nonprofit Organizations (QENO)
Nonprofit financials like audits, budgets and 990s help foundations understand the stability and fiscal health of their grantee organizations. In this session, you’ll learn which financial information gives the best picture of an organization’s health, understand new rules in place for nonprofit audits, and get an overview of an audit layout with helpful hints about translating the notes. You will also walk out with a helpful tool to use when assessing a nonprofit’s financial health.

“You Have the Right to an Attorney...”: Legal Aid Programs in North Carolina - Anita Brown Graham, UNC School of Government (Moderator); Katie Eyes, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation; Philip Belcher, Community Foundation of Western North Carolina
“You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.” While we hear these words repeated time and again in popular culture, their scope is limited to criminal proceedings. The latest research shows that 71% of low-income households experienced a civil legal problem last year. In civil cases involving fundamental issues – the right to stay in one’s home, access to healthcare, finding safety from domestic violence, caring for children – an attorney is not provided. Civil legal aid helps people and communities in crisis solve problems and address inequities. Vulnerable North Carolinians rely on civil legal aid to meet their basic needs and protect their rights. Whether your foundation seeks to move people out of poverty, improve the health of families or educational outcomes of children, or strengthen the economic stability of communities, civil legal aid is a critical part of the solution. Join this session to better understand how funders across the state are using legal aid to further their missions. 


Mid-Morning Concurrent Sessions - Day Two  11:15 am - 12:30 pm

As the South Grows: Nurturing our Practice - Ben Barge, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy
Many philanthropic practices advance equity – understanding diverse community assets, providing multi-year flexible funding, promoting civic engagement, and so many others – but changing practice is a complicated undertaking with complex challenges and lots of players. In order to help the philanthropic sector grow and change, we need to learn from each other and pave our own paths. Join your peers and Ben Barge from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy to troubleshoot challenges and share successes you’ve encountered while trying to operationalize best practices in equity.

Communicating in the Digital Age - Shannon Ritchie, Digital Communications Strategist; Meg Buckingham, Triangle Community Foundation; Eric Fraizer, The Duke Endowment; Mary Alice Holley, Conservation Trust
Think that digital communications isn’t part of your role? Think again. Foundation communications go beyond the staff member responsible for crafting annual reports and marketing materials. Establishing best practices for all staff with digital communications is a strategy that can help propel you and your organization into the future. In this session you’ll walk out with new tools and ideas to help your digital communications reach new heights.

Evaluation That Supports Learning Together - Tanya Beer, Center for Evaluation Innovation
Strategies for systems change – in the form of advocacy, networks, movements, community change initiatives or collective impact efforts – aim to motivate and align multiple actors around shared goals. Contrary to other philanthropic approaches where the funder functions as the “command center” for planning and strategic decision making, these approaches attempt to distribute decision making among many interdependent actors who together shape problems and solutions. In this context, evaluation and learning designed primarily for foundation use misses the opportunity to help whole systems learn and accelerate results. Using examples from real-life grantmaking initiatives, this session will explore the practical side of which evaluative questions, data and approaches to learning actually help independent organizations learn and adapt together.

From K to Career: Understanding North Carolina's Education Continuum - Rebecca Tippett and Jessica Stanford, Carolina Demography at the Carolina Population Center at UNC-Chapel Hill
Education has been identified as one of the most important factors in economic mobility and security. By 2025, more than 65% of North Carolina jobs will require some postsecondary education, according to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce. Rebecca Tippett and Jessica Stanford from Carolina Demography at UNC-Chapel Hill will explore North Carolina education continuum data, from K-12 to college and career programs. Attendees will hear about research findings on milestones and key performance indicators for student behaviors and achievements that determine progress to the next step in their education. We’ll examine how outcomes vary across geography and demographics, with an eye to where interventions may have the greatest impact in improving outcomes. And we’ll cover next steps to increase postsecondary educational attainment that leads to family supporting employment.


Closing Lunch and Plenary  12:45 PM - 2:00 pm

Foundation Collaboration: The Good, the Bad and the Potential - Meghan Duffy, GEO
Foundations partner for a variety of reasons, including increasing visibility on issues and institutions, achieving greater policy impact, and reducing risks when embarking on a new grantmaking strategy. Grantmakers for Effective Organizations will join us to talk through some of the models of collaboration and ideas for best practices. Then, we’ll hear from your peers in the field about their own collaborative work here in North Carolina and beyond. They’ll share their strategy and models for working together, what was successful, what wasn’t, and what they wish they’d known in the beginning. This will be an interactive session – come with your ideas and suggestions on how to continue to boost collaborative work in the philanthropic sector.

Top