Foundation for the Carolinas Raises $1 Billion in Two Years

Foundation for the Carolinas in Charlotte, North Carolina, received $452 million in contributions in 2015,  boosting its total revenue since 2014 to more than $1.08 billion, the Charlotte Observer reports.

Over the past five years, the foundation has doubled its assets, which now total $1.78 billion. It also hosts 2,492 charitable funds, an all-time high, and awarded 14,532 grants in 2015, an increase of 2,263 over the previous year. FFTC president Michael Marsicano told the Observer he had expected to see a drop in contributions in 2015, in part because the record $627 million the foundation raised in 2014 was inflated by "extraordinary" one-time events like the transfer of more than $45 million in Family Dollar stock contributed by former Family Dollar CEO Howard Levine. According to Marsicano, the $452 million in contributions it received last year can be attributed to a combination of factors, including bigger-than-expected gifts and the creation of new donor-advised funds.

Ranked among the top ten community foundations in the U.S. in both total giving and total value of assets held, FFTC also is getting attention for its embrace of "non-traditional" fundraising such as accepting donations of real estate, ownership stakes in businesses, and foreign currency, the Observer reports. It also has a growing reputation for innovative community leadership.

"If you interview the top one hundred foundations in the country, they’ll say Foundation for the Carolinas is among the most progressive in the United States," said John Davies, president and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. "It has a reputation of not shying away from the thorniest issues you have in Charlotte. And it is not just compiling studies. It wants to see the needle move, so it will convene people, build consensus, and find solutions."

Mark Price. "Foundation for the Carolinas Raises $1 Billion in Past Two Years." Charlotte Observer 03/23/2016.