GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro announced that 2011 proved to be an auspicious year in both fundraising and giving. In addition, the Foundation unveiled an aggressive five-year Strategic Plan – all geared toward helping facilitate the betterment of Greensboro.

As of Dec. 31, 2011, The Community Foundation’s assets totaled $120 million and encompassed more than 600 charitable funds. In other end-of-year financial performance highlights, the Foundation:

  • Received nearly $17 million in contributions, the highest since 2007;
  • Doubled its contributions to endowed funds – such as the Foundation’s Women to Women, Future Fund and Public Art initiatives – to $850,000;
  • Distributed more than $11 million in grants to worthy nonprofits, the vast majority of which are in our community; and
  • Received contributions to its Community Leadership Investment Fund (CLIF), which supports the organization’s work to tackle significant community issues, totaling $83,000 – a significant increase over 2010’s total of $5,000. An example of the Foundation’s CLIF-related work includes the summer 2011 effort to coordinate and financially support the publication of a 72-page special section in US Airways magazine devoted to Greensboro’s cultural offerings. The Foundation, along with the Greensboro CVB and the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation, provided grants to area nonprofit cultural organizations so that they could be featured in the national publication.

Near the end of 2011, the Foundation’s board of directors adopted an enterprising five-year Strategic Plan that focuses on the Foundation’s role as a convener and growing more regionally. As part of the plan, the Foundation will enhance its development and fundraising efforts. By significantly increasing its asset base, the Foundation will be able to leverage even greater impact on the issues and needs Greensboro is facing.

Additional strategic goals will involve the creation of a set of task forces:

  • Workforce Development and Financial Stability Task Force – Co-chaired by Dr. H. Nolo Martinez, a cross cultural consultant and the founder of Nolo Consulting, and Ted W. Turner, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships & Alliances, at United Guaranty Corp., this group will focus on developing strategies to strengthen our local workforce and connect disparate efforts, as well as advise on what can be done differently to prepare people for jobs and reduce unemployment. This group also is partnered with the United Way of Greater Greensboro in order to incorporate its efforts to focus on financial stability and economic vitality.
  • Business Growth and Job Creation Initiative Task Force – This group, chaired by Abby Donnelly, a partner and executive coach with Training & Development Solutions, is charged with planning and executing meetings of area CEOs to gain their valuable input.
  • Community Leadership and Civic Engagement Task Force – This task force, chaired by Lawrence McSwain, a retired Guilford County District Court judge, will develop strategies for strengthening civic leadership to effectively address community needs and opportunities.

In addition, at the invitation of the Greensboro City Council – and as another example of CLIF-inspired work – the Foundation has convened a fourth, community-wide task force charged with exploring the benefits of constructing a new state-of-the-art performing arts center downtown. The Foundation responded by quickly assembling a broad, representative group of 55 members to examine the economic impact and long-range prospects of such a project. The Greensboro Performing Arts Center Task Force, headed by former Foundation board chairs Louise Brady and the Hon. Henry Frye, will submit its findings to the council by June 19.

 “We are at an important point in not only the Foundation’s evolution, but that of our community, as well,” said Walker Sanders, Foundation president. “Our focus will be on engaging people around critical efforts, focusing our grantmaking around leadership, economic and community development and positioning the Foundation for significant asset growth. We believe that we have a unique opportunity to move some major efforts forward if we can simply come together as a community and a region.”

Finally, the Foundation announced the new members of its Board of Directors. John Bakane succeeds Louise Brady as board chair, and Suresh Chandra, Florence Gatten, Wallace “Buster” Johnson, Nolo Martinez and Lawrence McSwain join the board.