Tag: Case Story

Case Stories

Young and Dangerous

As Pastor Joseph Frierson, Jr., head of the young adult ministry at Mount Zion Baptist Church, says, “The story of the Young and Dangerous Giving Circle is filled with so much inspiration.”

First, there was the inspiration to start the giving circle, which came from discussions around philanthropy that the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro’s Expanding Community Giving initiative hosted at the church. Expanding Community Giving encourages and supports philanthropy in communities of color through training, collaboration, and matching donations.

Frierson says he wanted young adults to be engaged in the process of researching and creating this giving circle. By putting his young adult and young professional parishioners in the middle of conversations about money and investing, investing locally, and the history and impact of community giving, it turned young professionals into young philanthropists.

Then came another stroke of inspiration. Once the Young and Dangerous (YAD) Giving Circle raised the $5,000 required to create the fund, another entirely separate organization felt called to come alongside them and match their $5,000, setting them up for even greater success.

Two years on, the YAD Giving Circle remains true to its mission of providing grants to African American youth or young professionals, with emphases on social justice and entrepreneurship. Grants have gone to support scholarships, to provide after-school STEM programming in East Greensboro, and, most recently, to send two young professionals from Greensboro on a guided civil rights journey through the Deep South with stops in Atlanta, Montgomery, and Selma.

“This grantmaking ability enables us to put young people in situations where they are face-to-face with civic leaders and mayors of major cities,” Frierson says, adding, “These young people realize they have a seat at the table now.”

The giving circle is structured in a way that allows it to remain nimble, awarding grants quickly as needs or opportunities arise. The civil rights journey was one such instance, but there are countless others. Such as the time a youth event was scheduled, but a large donor—the one responsible for providing sneakers for all the kids—pulled out at the last minute. The organizing body approached the YAD Giving Circle requesting funds for shoes, and they were able to deliver immediately.

Frierson is quick to point out that it’s not just about the money, though. Whether it’s sending two members on a civil rights journey or sitting united—a dozen or more strong—at a pivotal school board meeting, it’s also about putting young people and young professionals in situations where they are present and involved in the conversations that affect them.

When asked if the giving circle has helped young people become more civically engaged,

Marcus Thomas, YAD Giving Circle Councilmember and Dream Team Director at Mount Zion Baptist Church, says, “Absolutely!”

“Giving circle members are able to see the big picture, to see how grantmaking affects their community, and to see how successful this has been even in such a short time,” he says.

Thomas adds, “Another important point is that we’re creating a legacy for young adults. This giving circle, this ability and the opportunities it provides, it’s going to outlive all of us. It’s going to be here for future generations to come, even as I and as Pastor Joe move on to do different things, it will always be a part of our church and will continue to inspire and impact our community in positive ways.”

To learn how you can make a lasting difference in the community by creating or donating to a giving circle, contact us today.

Blog Case Stories

A Legacy of Exceptional Educators

When John R. Kernodle, Jr., died suddenly in 1995, at the age of 50, the News & Record announced his passing, saying, “Greensboro lost part of its conscience and its soul.”

John was beloved and admired for the many ways he served this community, the most notable of which was his role as chairman of the Guilford County Board of Education. His commitment to developing an outstanding school system for the children of Guilford County is surely one of his most enduring legacies.

A year after John’s death, a group of Guilford County citizens, working through the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, established the John R. Kernodle, Jr. Memorial Scholarship to honor the memory and life’s work of this incredible man.

Each year, one exceptional graduate of Guilford County Schools is the lucky recipient of this scholarship, which provides up to $10,000 each year for four years to cover tuition and fees, on-campus room and meals, and books and supplies as he or she pursues a degree in education.

In return, upon graduation, Kernodle Scholars are required to serve at least three years as a full-time teacher in grades K-12 in North Carolina public schools, preferably in Guilford County.

Every recipient of the John R. Kernodle Memorial Scholarship is special, but they are especially so to Lynn Wright Kernodle, John’s widow. She keeps a small photo album containing each Scholar’s graduation picture, along with their name, high school, graduation year, and where they attended college.

She knows each of their stories and delights in the fact that Kernodle Scholars get together, year after year, welcoming the new Scholars and creating a living legacy of educators.

To learn how you can honor a loved one while also making an impact in our community for years to come, contact us today.

Blog Case Stories

Reading, Writing, and the Royal Game

Tom Sloan is no stranger to philanthropy. He and his wife Linda have generously supported many local causes, including private education, theater, and the arts, with their time, talent, and resources. However, Tom felt his philanthropic interests shift toward wanting to help underprivileged children. After some thought, he realized he could help nurture young minds through one the oldest games around: chess.

A lifelong tournament chess player, Tom reached out to the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro for guidance on how to combine his love of the game with his desire to support education. CFGG connected Tom with our partners at Guilford County Schools to create Chess in the Schools, a program that teaches chess to second graders in five schools across eastern Guilford County.

“Learning chess seems to be easier when you’re young, maybe a little bit like learning a foreign language,” Tom says, adding, “Our goal is not to create tournament chess players, but rather to help kids learn how to think strategically.”

In addition to learning how to think strategically, chess also places an emphasis on human interaction and thought process. It’s not merely an elective, either. Through the connections Tom made at Guilford County Schools, he was able to make chess an official part of the second-grade curriculum in these five schools.

The program has been so successful in its first year that plans are underway to expand Chess in the Schools to at least 20 elementary schools across Guilford County.

To learn how you can turn a lifelong passion or interest into a means of helping people in our community, contact us today.

Blog Case Stories

Ending the Cycle of Poverty Through Micro-Enterprise

In 2015, the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro’s Women to Women endowment fund awarded its first ever, multi-year grant to Passion to Purse. This program, offered through YWCA Greensboro, is aimed at ending the cycle of poverty and homelessness by helping low income and minority women start micro-enterprises.

While the core of the program remains an eight-week course covering business development, market research, pricing, and financial projections, it also offers a safe space for these women.

“It was a like a support group for them,” said Rosalyn Womack, founding director of Passion to Purse. As the women worked on their individual businesses, they were also helping each other through the adversities they faced in their own personal lives.

Now in its fifth year, Passion to Purse has countless success stories of helping women create jobs for themselves. From selling hair products and hand-made soaps to opening bakeries and online consignment stores for designer children’s clothing, the “graduates” of Passion to Purse can be found living and thriving across our community.

The program is also thriving. Since receiving its first grant from Women to Women, Passion to Purse has been able to secure additional funding due in part to the prestige of that first grant.

“It makes other funders very comfortable [to know that] Women to Women found it fundable,” said Lindy Garnette, Chief Executive Officer of YWCA Greensboro.

To learn how you can donate to causes like this and others that are empowering people to create better lives for themselves, contact us today.