People in Need

CFWNC has invested in the growth of WNC Girls on the Run through People in Need grants and affiliate funding.  This year, 10,000 girls are participating in the program.  Watch the video. 

Vision: All people in Western North Carolina have opportunities to access the resources and services that meet their basic needs.

Goal: In partnership with donors and affiliates, work to address critical needs facing our region's most marginalized populations.


CFWNC supports people in need through an annual grant cycle funded by the Janirve Legacy Fund, our affiliates, fundholders and discretionary dollars. In November 2016, CFWNC awarded $1,146,583 through 70 grants [PDF] to nonprofits in all 18 counties we serve.  The next grant cycle begins in August 2017.

Janirve Sudden and Urgent Need Grants

CFWNC offers Janirve SUN grants of up to $10,000 to assist human service nonprofit organizations experiencing an unforeseen crisis that negatively impacts their ability to continue to provide critical services. With a relatively small amount of funding, SUN grants help organizations address one-time, unbudgeted and time-sensitive emergencies that will enhance or preserve the ability of the organizations to meet their missions.

2015-16 Janirve Sudden and Urgent Need Grants were awarded to 11 nonprofits totaling $89,943.  A recent $8,000 grant to Steps to Hope, a Polk County program addressing domestic violence and sexual assault, allowed the organization to quickly return to full functionality after a mold problem was identified.

"It gives me great hope for the future to know that your organization is out there working side by side with us to improve the lives of those in such desperate need. No one should have to live with daily fear and hopelessness because they have no place to go. It is our aim to increase awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault and continue to provide safe haven to victims for as long as we are needed."

Melita Lindsay, Executive Director, Steps to Hope

Grant Programs

In addition to the People in Need and SUN grant programs, the Foundation manages several other grant programs that support people. Learn more about these grant programs below:

To learn more about our People in Need focus area, please contact:

Virginia Dollar

Virginia Dollar
Senior Program Officer

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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