By AMBLE SMOKER
ONE FEATHER STAFF
The North Carolina Network of Grantmakers’ annual Foundation Fair was held at the Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort in the Council Fire Ballrooms on Thursday, Sept. 24. The NCNG is a network of foundations from across North Carolina who award charitable grant donations to non-profit organizations. Fourteen foundations were present with some foundations that serve statewide, such as Charlotte and the Triad region, but were present to make connections with nonprofit organizations in the western North Carolina. There were between 200 to 230 individuals representing non-profit organizations from the region who were able to network with grant-awarding foundations that shared similar missions and values.
“We have invited nonprofits from the western part of the state to come and meet these funders to see if there might be grant opportunities for these funders to help these nonprofits,” related Ret Boney, NCNG executive director. “In addition to the statewide funders, we’ve got several regional funders like the Cherokee Preservation Foundation, which helped us organize this.”
“We’re coming here to visit the grant sources,” said EBCI Grants and Contracts Analyst Howard Wahnetah. “We’re trying to learn what type of grants (are available) and what it takes to qualify and apply for these grants. Then we’ll take the information back to the different agencies that we represent.”
President of the Golden Leaf Foundation Dan Gerlach, related, “The reason we’re excited to be at the Foundation Fair is because our job is to help transform economies of rural, tobacco dependent, economically distressed areas of the state. It’s important to give non-profits, governmental entities, and others interested in economic advancement the chance to talk to funders. It’s good for the funders ourselves to get together and see what each other are doing and how we can collaborate more effectively.”
The participating foundations and exhibitors included: Appalachian Regional Commission, Bob Barker Company Foundation, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, The Cannon Foundation, Cherokee Preservation Foundation, Community Foundation of Western NC, The Duke Endowment, Golden LEAF Foundation, Great Smokies Health Foundation, Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, NC Community Foundation, Sisters of Mercy of North Carolina Foundation, Western North Carolina Nonprofit Pathways, and Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. The NCNG connects more than 100 North Carolina foundations and corporate giving programs to a network of knowledge, resources, and sector colleagues that help them meet their mission, serve the community and operate more efficiently and effectively.