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Jul 15, 2015

What Is Your Passion?

Sponsored Content provided by Chris Nelson - President, United Way of the Cape Fear Area

We are privileged to live in the Cape Fear area. Each day we enjoy the beautiful coast and have access to a great university, as well as a plethora of cultural opportunities not far from our doorsteps. In addition, we are very fortunate to have a number of amazing local nonprofit agencies with which to get involved. Some are more traditional and can be found in other communities around the country, while others are somewhat unique to our local Cape Fear area. More often than not, these “specialized” nonprofits were founded with the purpose of creating ways to address specific community issues. Many times, national “best practices” have been applied and shared across communities. Other times, agencies created their own best practices that have proven to be successful and are being replicated across the country today.
All of these nonprofit agencies are deserving of your support. Whatever your philanthropic passion might be, you can find multiple nonprofits providing services that align with your interests. Maybe you enjoy helping preschool-aged children work toward their potential so they can begin to succeed even before entering school. Or your passion may focus on providing food over the weekend for low income children; serving the homeless; teaching teenagers entrepreneur skills; mentoring those who live in high poverty and high crime neighborhoods; working with disabled children and adults; or reading to elementary school children. You name your passion, I guarantee there is a local nonprofit in the Cape Fear area that can use your expertise, skills and volunteer assistance.
United Way of the Cape Fear Area brings many of these local nonprofits together to address our community’s most serious issues. In fact, many nonprofits are now working closely to share services, resources and expertise, and numerous multiagency collaborations have been established in the broad areas of health, education and financial stability. In addition, important collaborations have been established by the nonprofit’s desire to maximize their respective efforts and by funders like United Way who strongly encourage, and in some cases, help to build and nurture these collaborations. With the help of those who direct their gifts specifically to the United Way Community Impact Fund, the effects we are seeing locally have been nothing short of phenomenal. We are pleased to report that local nonprofit program outcomes are dramatically increasing in the Cape Fear area. Unfortunately, this comes at a time when many resources are declining.  
The United Way Community Impact Fund is one of the most efficient options for you to maximize the effect of your charitable giving while investing critical dollars in your local community. This year alone, 32 initiatives and programs in the Cape Fear area have been identified and will directly benefit from this unique giving option.
So, are you not sure what nonprofits fit your passion? We can help! Give us a call and let us assist you in finding a local nonprofit program or area of interest that best suits you. Or stop by and chat with us if you’re interested in getting involved with a nonprofit board or volunteer board training opportunity.

Whatever you choose, you can make an impact and change lives while helping to find long-lasting solutions that will make the Cape Fear area a better place for all. Visit us at to find out more about United Way, the Community Impact Fund and how it works, and board training opportunities through QENO, (Quality Enhancement of Nonprofit Organizations) at UNCW.
So get out there and find your passion! I guarantee you will be well rewarded.
Christopher L. Nelson is president of the United Way of the Cape Fear Area, a local nonprofit organization. Since 1941, the United Way of the Cape Fear Area has worked alongside local agencies in Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover and Pender counties to assist them in providing substantial and sustainable change within the Cape Fear area. To learn more about the United Way of the Cape Fear Region, go to or call (910) 798-3900.

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