Written by Jennifer Fitzgerald | Individual photos by Anthony Harden
Some of the area’s top nonprofits sat down with Capital at Play to discuss how their work is real business.
With the nonprofit sector once again a key focus in North Carolina during November—the 2018 Conference for North Carolina’s Nonprofits will be held November 27-28 in Research Triangle Park and is the largest annual gathering of nonprofit heads in our state—we once again turn our own attention to the topic. To date we have published three annual reports: “Nonprofit North Carolina: Metrics and Accountability in Philanthropy” (2015), “Nonprofits & Revenue Streams” (2016), and “Nonprofits in Western North Carolina” (2017), additionally expanding last year’s coverage to include mini-profiles of ten area nonprofits heads in order to put a human, relatable face on what some readers might have previously considered to be a huge web of myriad administrative bureaucracies.
See, these are organizations operated by people and for people. As one of our respondents astutely notes, “Staff in nonprofit settings are usually motivated by passion rather than a paycheck.”
Some nonprofits may operate in the social welfare area, bringing crucial services to families and individuals at risk or in need; others may focus on externalities such as the environment and regional ecology; and still others engage with the arts and our culture at large. But the commonality is, as always, trying to effect change and bring about something positive to the larger community.
This year we have expanded our number of profiles in order to further represent the depth and breadth of what nonprofits cover. Please consider these individuals’ stories—what motivated them in the first place, and what keeps them engaged; their greatest challenges and greatest rewards over the years; who they try to serve through their ideals and actions—and if you find yourself nodding in agreement at their comments, consider supporting their organizations in some way and perhaps even getting involved yourself.
With its multiplicity of organizations, the nonprofit sector is a major economic driver in Western North Carolina. As we noted last year in this space, there is no reason to think that trend will be slowing in the future, so it is important for all citizens to recognize its importance to them and to their lives.
A personal note from the Editor: When I came on board here at Capital at Play in late 2015, the November issue had been published just a couple of weeks earlier, and I remember being moderately surprised that one of the main features was a report on Western North Carolina nonprofits. The magazine I had interviewed for was, after all, a business publication specifically covering the private, for-profit sector. Still, it was a fascinating, revealing story—it was also the first time this publication had dove deeply into the nonprofit arena—and its underlying message was clear: As noted above nonprofits are indeed a significant economic driver in this region, wielding a major impact upon a considerable number of people, from the organizations’ staff members and ancillary employees to members of the general public directly affected by or benefiting from the activities of those organizations. And this year our coverage, as it turns out, has a notable flip-the-script element at play: Out of the dozen individuals we are profiling fully, nine of them are women (last year seven out of our ten profiles were male executives). In one sense, this is entirely coincidental; when selecting the nonprofits we wanted to include in the feature, we typically did not know yet who their heads were.
In the larger sense, though, and within the cultural context of 2018, it certainly seems serendipitous—kismet, even, should you be of a more cosmic inclination and prone to waiting for the stars to align at the right moments. Here at the magazine we steadfastly steer clear of politics, understanding that the demographic makeup of our readership is necessarily broad and our goal as a member of the media is to be as inclusive as possible in order to start conversations that everyone feels comfortable joining, not just members of a particular tribe or social group.
Just the same, I will have to admit I was pleasantly surprised when I got all the names of the people we would be featuring for our profiles this time around, and, more than just a little bit proud. I hope you will be, too. —Fred Mills
THANK YOU to the nonprofits for working with us on these profiles. Scroll to the bottom of this page to access the complete magazine in PDF form.
Four Seasons Compassion For Life
Dr. Millicent Burke-Sinclair
Girls on the Run of Western North Carolina
Green Built Alliance
Haywood Street Congregation
Heart of Horse Sense
Angelica Reza Wind
Southern Highlands Reserve
Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center
Anne Chesky Smith
Throwing Bones for a Cure, Inc.
Western Women’s Business Center
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