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Endowment Unveils Process For Grants

By Neil Cotiaux, posted Sep 2, 2022
Examples of the main focal points for the New Hanover Community Endowment are (shown clockwise above) education; community development; health and social equity; and community safety. (Illustration by Brianne Wright)
New Hanover Community Endowment’s first grants cycle is now up and running.
 
The independent charitable foundation, created as part of the sale of New Hanover Regional Medical Center to Novant Health, will award its first grants by the end of this year and has begun telling prospective recipients how to apply.
 
The merger, which closed on Feb. 1, 2021, helped launch the endowment with $1.25 billion of sales proceeds.
 
In a late-August working session at The Harrelson Center, endowment leadership laid out grant criteria that must be followed by organizations that share one or more of the endowment’s four areas of focus: community safety; health and social equity; education; and community development.
 
“We want organizations who are doing work in those four areas, but we’re not going to be asking them specifically to do anything that we want to do. We’re looking to have an established relationship with them on the things that they need,” said William Buster, the endowment’s first president and CEO.
 
The goal of the endowment’s Cape Fear Opportunities and Needs Grants is to address “the immediate needs of nonprofits and public entities to strengthen their organizations and allow them to better serve the community.”
 
Proposals may “enhance or scale proven programs, initiate innovative and community-led approaches, or strengthen organizational capacity to improve accountability and effectiveness,” according to an endowment fact sheet.
 
In addition to tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations and public entities, the endowment will support groups that enjoy fiscal sponsorship from a nonprofit with tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status, Buster said. 
 
All applicants must have a physical office in New Hanover County, provide services within the county and have been in operation for at least two years.
 
Removing barriers
 
“We know that all the larger nonprofits are going to come out, those who’ve been doing this work for a while. But our emphasis really wants to be focused on smaller grassroots organizations,” Buster emphasized. “We want those organizations who felt like they may have not gotten support in the past, felt like they weren’t big enough, they didn’t know all the right people, to feel comfortable enough to come out and listen to us and really get the support that they need.
 
Application-assistance workshops are planned for 8 a.m.-noon Sept. 8 at University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. A second workshop will be held there noon-5 p.m. Sept. 22. 
 
One-on-one assistance from an endowment staff member is also available by calling (910) 756-5990.
 
The deadline for submitting grant applications is Sept. 30. All submissions will be reviewed in October and November, and applicants will be notified of the endowment’s decisions Dec. 1.
 
Grant awards will not exceed 25% of an organization’s operating budget or $250,000, whichever is lesser. All grants made during the 2022 cycle will be for one year and are nonrenewable.
 
Applications, along with accompanying documents such as IRS Form 990 and audited financial statements, can be submitted through the endowment’s website: nhcendowment.org/grants
 
Community advisers
 
In the lead-up to its inaugural round of grants, New Hanover Community Endowment unveiled an 18-member Community Advisory Council (CAC) that represents a cross-section of occupations, areas of expertise and demographics in the county. The job of each adviser is to act as a liaison between the endowment and the community.
 
In addition, the CAC will advise Buster, directors and endowment staff on “challenges and opportunities” involving the foundation’s four areas of community focus. 
 
Each adviser will act as a sounding board and as a community convener in their area of expertise, but advisers will not be allowed to advocate for specific organizations at any time during their tenure, Buster said in a recent WilmingtonBiz Magazine article.
 
“So they won’t be seeing [grant] applications, nor will we be talking about organizations,” Buster said, and the advisers’ involvement with this year’s inaugural grant cycle is expected to be limited.
 
Formation of the advisory group was one of several conditions negotiated by N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein with New Hanover County in return for his not objecting to the acquisition of county-owned New Hanover Regional Medical Center at the time.
 
Hormone therapy medical firm changes ownership
 
BioSymmetry, a Wilmington medical firm providing hormone therapy, is changing hands with the retirement of founder Chris Pate from the local office, according to a press release.
 
The firm, renamed BioSymmetry Wilmington, is now owned by Allen Holmes and Deb Read, who serves as the office manager and lead nurse. The office is located at 265 Racine Drive.
 
Pate opened the Wilmington office in 2014 after having success at its first office in Goldsboro. BioSymmetry has been providing bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and weight loss solutions. Pate will continue to run the Goldsboro office and his primary care office, Western Wayne Medical Center, also located in Goldsboro.
 
Holmes is a board-certified emergency medicine physician with over 15 years of experience in patient care. He graduated from Marshall University and completed his residency at East Carolina University. Read is a bioidentical hormone specialist, nurse and weight-loss coach.
 
Novant Health donates to education initiatives
 
Novant Health Community Engagement recently provided philanthropic support to about a dozen nonprofits in Southeastern North Carolina.
 
The gifts were part of nearly $964,000 the health system gave to more than 50 organizations in Charlotte, Winston-Salem and coastal North Carolina.
 
Local groups receiving funding were Autism Society of North Carolina, Cape Fear Literacy Council, Child Development Center, Community Enrichment Initiatives, Communities in Schools of Cape Fear, DREAMS of Wilmington, Kids Making It, NSEA Swim Foundation, StepUp Wilmington, Voyage and YWCA Lower Cape Fear.
 
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