Cumberland Community Foundation celebrates record year of giving, honors Linda Devore

Cumberland Community Foundation celebrates record year of giving, honors Linda Devore


Gifts to foundation exceeded $13.1 million, with grants and scholarships topping $9.55 million.

The Cumberland Community Foundation celebrated a historic year of giving and grantmaking and honored Mary Lynn McCree Bryan Leadership Award winner Linda Devore at its annual gathering of supporters and volunteers Thursday. 

Gifts to the foundation during the fiscal year that ended June 30 totaled more than $13.1 million. And the foundation awarded nearly $9.55 million in grants and scholarships in that time, the highest amount in any single year since its establishment in 1980.

“I am convinced that this is the most generous community in North Carolina,” foundation President and CEO Mary Holmes told more than 200 attendees Thursday evening at Cape Fear Botanical Garden. “The 5,330 gifts received last year ranged from $5 to $3 million. We are proud that people of any ability to give are engaging with the community foundation to make life better for all.”

Community foundations are grantmaking public charities that are dedicated to improving the lives of people in a defined local geographic area, Holmes reminded supporters. They bring together the financial resources of individuals, families, and businesses to support effective nonprofit organizations in their communities.

Community foundations vary widely in asset size, ranging from less than $100,000 to more than $3 billion, according to the Council on Foundations. More than 900 community foundations operate in the U.S.
Holmes, who has led the foundation since 1997, attributed Cumberland Community Foundation's success to a few key services it provides:

Building endowments for local charities
Since 2010, Cumberland Community Foundation has focused on growing support for local charities through designated endowments (created by individuals) and agency endowments (created by nonprofit organizations).
“These endowments received $5,379,830.19 in donations in fiscal year 2023,” Holmes said. “People who support the same beloved nonprofits every year are creating endowments to continue that support forever.”

Creating family legacies
A worry-free alternative to private foundations, donor advised funds received $5,563,937.87 in donations last fiscal year, Holmes said.
“The larger gifts came from philanthropic individuals who had sold a business or real estate and needed a large tax deduction in the same year,” she said.
In future years, Holmes said, donors will distribute gifts to their favorite charities and involve involving future generations in managing their advised funds. The growth in donor advised funds follows a national trend.

Supporting essential nonprofit services
For the third year in a row, the Community Foundation’s "GivingTuesday" campaign raised a record number of gifts — almost 3,000 alone during last November’s 10-day campaign.
“This represented $1,817,353.25 in donations,” Holmes said. “Combined with the matching funds offered, Cumberland Community Foundation distributed $2.4 million to the 76 local charities that participated in the campaign.”

Linda Devore’s ‘heart for seniors’
Bruce Dantzler, CFC’s immediate past board chairman, announced Devore as the recipient of the Mary Lynn McCree Bryan Leadership Award.
The award was created in honor of Mary Lynn Bryan for her outstanding leadership and sound governance as chairwoman of CFC board. The award, he said, highlights the importance of the board member role and celebrates exemplary nonprofit leadership.

Devore’s nomination — submitted by the Council on Older Adults — said she possesses a “heart for seniors.” Devore has served on the board of Council on Older Adults for five years, serving as treasurer and then as board chairwoman. During that time, she reinstated regular strategic planning meetings, worked diligently to shift the fundraising strategy to focus on donors versus events, embraced the GivingTuesday campaign opportunity, guided the hiring and evaluation of an executive director, and updated the compensation package to attract and retain a skilled staff. Dantzler thanked DeVore for improving the quality of life for seniors in Cumberland County.

Established in 1980, Cumberland Community Foundation is a nonprofit charitable foundation that accepts donations and administers endowments for the benefit of the community.  The foundation manages more than 600 individual charitable funds totaling over $124 million in assets.

The community foundation awards grants to nonprofit, charitable organizations to improve the quality of life in Cumberland County.

For more information, go to or call 910-483-4449. For more information about community foundations, go to the Council on Foundations.