Regional Endowments

Support Community Endowments – The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina

The Community Foundation created endowments to build resources to address regional needs as they change over time.  These permanent funds are administered for the perpetual betterment of Western North Carolina.  You can make a donation online or by check to any of these funds. Contributions are tax-deductible; grants from these funds are awarded through competitive process.

  • Fund for Western North Carolina addresses broad needs in our 18-county service area.  Grants from the Fund have supported many projects including WNC Girls on the Run and the YWCA childcare partnership with A-B Tech.  
  • Fund for People in Need supports programs for our region's most vulnerable populations.   CFWNC recently supported a proactive investment in matched savings accounts with support from the Fund (see sidebar).  
  • Fund for Animal Welfare supports programs that address animal welfare across the region.
  • Fund for the Arts supports the visual and performing arts and expands and improves cultural offerings in our region. View a video about a grant to the Cowee Pottery School.
  • Fund for the Environment supports preservation and protection for our natural resources and scenic beauty.  
  • Fund for Education improves educational opportunities in the public schools.  View a sample grant.
  • Fund for Health improves access to quality health care. View a sample grant.
  • Fund for Strong Communities improves the civic and economic vitality of our region.
  • The Women’s Fund addresses the unmet needs of women and girls.  Spendable income is granted through the Women for Women grant program.
  • Fund for Scholarships supports scholarship awards for deserving students across Western North Carolina.  Scholarship stories.

Proactive Investment in Matched Savings

The CFWNC board approved grants totaling nearly $114,000 for matched savings programs across Western North Carolina designed to keep low-income people from falling into poverty.  Similar to Individual Development Accounts, matched-savings programs provide participants with a monetary incentive to save in tandem with budgeting and financial education.

Implementing partners are Blue Ridge Community Action, Mountain Projects and OnTrack Financial Education and Counseling are implementing partners.  

Asheville-based OnTrack used the money to start its SECURE program, Savings for Emergencies and Credit to Unlock Resilience and Empowerment. Participants can build up to $720 in emergency savings while they learn about budgeting, debt and credit; after six months, they are eligible for a match.

“A lack of emergency savings is a significant factor in trapping low-income people in a cycle of high cost borrowing, poverty and dangerous debt,” said OnTrack's Director Celeste Collins. “We are energized by this bold investment in the SECURE pilot program, which has created fertile ground for innovation and boots-on-the-ground discovery. We have read the research and now SECURE lets us test the outcomes here in our community.”  

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