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Southeast Raleigh Innovation Challenge Bringing Ideas and Funding to Address Community Needs

More than 40 participants pitched ideas to bring resources and jobs to their community

Morrisville, NC (July 22, 2017) – United Way of the Greater Triangle, Wake County, the City of Raleigh, and Southeast Raleigh Promise – in partnership with a Co-Design Team of community leaders – successfully launched the first Southeast Raleigh Social Innovation Challenge with a $120,000 prize pool.

The Challenge is designed to connect with community residents, small businesses, nonprofits, faith-based groups, youth (16-25) and other organizations to identify solutions that are innovative yet practical.

“What is sustainable is when the community itself comes together and presents ideas because the community knows best what they need,” said Kirby Jones, Executive Director of Daniels Center for Math and Science in Southeast Raleigh and member of the Co-Design Team.

Ideas pitched on Saturday, July 22 ranged from entrepreneurial mentorship and conflict resolution to opportunities for youth and people formally incarcerated. The Kickoff included opportunities for presenters to gain feedback on their ideas from audience members which included local entrepreneurs and business people.

The audience voted on a People’s Choice Award. Garner Road Community Center whose idea to train and certify community members in the culinary arts won the honor.
“We had tons of community members come out to share their ideas of how to innovate and bring about change for the growth of Southeast Raleigh. I was so happy to part of this program and am really looking forward to the future of what we are getting ready to do,” said Quintin Murphy of Southeast Raleigh Assembly, Co-Design Team member and host.

Residents and businesses with verifiable zip codes of 27601, 27603, and 27610 have an opportunity to apply innovateunited.org/seraleigh. Applications are due July 28.

A six-week Accelerator program, managed through Carolina Small Business Development Fund, will help semi-finalists prepare for their final pitch in the fall. All participants will be invited to a training session to connect them with local resources to help move their idea to reality.

Raleigh—continuously cited as one of the best places to live in America—is ranked #88 out of 100 largest cities nationwide in distressed communities. The zone of deepest need sits squarely in Southeast Raleigh with nearly 10,000 people facing low educational attainment, high unemployment, and staggering poverty levels. Nationwide, there is a recognition that the people best suited to create solutions to address these issues are those who live and work there. The Southeast Raleigh Challenge is designed to encourage community-level solutions.

The Challenge is an investment in Southeast Raleigh’s future, with a vision to complement other initiatives currently underway in order to build thriving neighborhoods and improve social mobility.

1Source: Economic Innovation Group, February 2016; Data: EIG analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data

Photos (attached):

All Presenters and host, Quintin Murphy – Includes all community members who pitched an idea

 

People’s Choice Winners – Garner Road Community Center, Team members include: Jessica Buckram, Sarah Young, Kayla Melvin, Saylah Rogers, Alfredo Bornornio, & Viviana Mateo

 

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About United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT)
United Way actively mobilizes the caring power of communities to build resources, focus investments, and foster partnerships to improve lives and inspire generations of achievement in four North Carolina counties: Durham, Johnston, Orange, and Wake. A focus on children and their families in low-income households uses a collaborative, two-generational approach to dramatically change the course of their futures. Learn more at unitedwaytriangle.org  

2400 Perimeter Park Drive, Suite 150 | Morrisville, North Carolina 27560

Media Contact:
Stacy Shelp, VP of Marketing & Communications
sshelp@unitedwaytriangle.org
Office:  919-463-5013


Day of Action: Volunteers Assemble Weekend Meal Kits to Feed 1,500 Kids over the Summer

MEDIA ADVISORY

When: Wednesday, June 21, 2017 from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Where: Durham Central Park, Farmer’s Market Pavilion – 501 Foster Street, Durham
Who: United Way of the Greater Triangle, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, 115 Community Volunteers
Photo Opps: Best time to take photos is between 9:45 and 10:30 a.m.

Details: United Way of the Greater Triangle is bringing together volunteers from around the Triangle to create 1,500 weekend meal and reading kits for Durham area students. Each kit will contain enough food for seven meals for four weeks and books to help prevent summer slide. The kits will be distributed through the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and to five local summer camps.

There will be opportunity for action photos of volunteers (ages 5 and older) assembling the meal kits. On-site interview opportunities will also be available with United Way of the Greater Triangle staff, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle staff, and community volunteers.

Please check-in at the registration tent when you arrive.

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About United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT)
United Way actively mobilizes the caring power of communities to build resources, focus investments, and foster partnerships to improve lives and inspire generations of achievement in four North Carolina counties: Durham, Johnston, Orange, and Wake. A focus on children and their families in low-income households uses a collaborative, two-generational approach to dramatically change the course of their futures. Learn more at unitedwaytriangle.org

2400 Perimeter Park Drive, Suite 150 | Morrisville, North Carolina 27560

Media Contact:
Stacy Shelp, VP of Marketing & Communications
sshelp@unitedwaytriangle.org
Office:  919-463-5013

 


Stacy Shelp joins United Way of the Greater Triangle as Vice President of Marketing and Communications

Stacy Shelp, VP of Marketing & CommunicationsMorrisville, NC (May 22, 2017) – United Way of the Greater Triangle is pleased to announce that Stacy Shelp joined our team as the new Vice President of Marketing and Communications on May 1, 2017.

Shelp brings more than 20 years of experience to the role; her strong skill set includes public relations, online content management, social media, project management, and public speaking. She has been an active member of United Way’s Community Engagement Committee for the last eighteen months and, in her role as Communications Manager and Public Information Officer for the Orange County Health Department, Shelp worked closely with the United Way team as one of our funded collaborative partners, the Family Success Alliance.

Stacy is smart, creative, and disciplined in her approach to communications,” said Melanie Davis-Jones, Chief Strategy Officer and Senior Vice President of Marketing and Community Engagement. “She will help us raise awareness of the work we’re doing with our partners to improve the lives of vulnerable children and their families.”

In her role with United Way, Shelp will serve as the primary media contact and point person for marketing projects from strategic development through implementation.

Shelp resides in Durham, NC with her family.

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About United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT)
United Way actively mobilizes the caring power of communities to build resources, focus investments, and foster partnerships to improve lives and inspire generations of achievement in four North Carolina counties: Durham, Johnston, Orange, and Wake. A focus on children and their families in low-income households uses a collaborative, two-generational approach to dramatically change the course of their futures. Learn more at unitedwaytriangle.org  

2400 Perimeter Park Drive, Suite 150 | Morrisville, North Carolina 27560

Media Contact:
Stacy Shelp, VP of Marketing & Communications
sshelp@unitedwaytriangle.org
Office:  919-463-5013


United Way of the Greater Triangle Announces Retirement of President & CEO, Mack Koonce

Community Leader, Eric Guckian to assume role, July 1st

Morrisville, NC (May 2, 2017) – The Board of Directors of United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT) announced today that its leader, Mack Koonce will retire, effective June 30th. Eric Guckian will join the organization in the role of Chief Philanthropy and Business Development Officer on May 8th and will assume the position of President & Chief Executive Officer on July 1st.

Koonce, whose tenure began in September 2012, was brought into the organization to be a change agent at a time when United Way was facing diminishing presence among corporate partners, low staff morale, and a need to focus its Community Action Plan. Under Koonce’s leadership, UWGT defined its two-generational, collaborative approach to support vulnerable children and their families; completed a bold 2020 Strategic Plan; launched Innovate UnitedTM  to support innovation in the nonprofit sector; and implemented a community investment plan that required collaboration among nonprofit partners. More than 80% of the organization’s funding now supports collaborative partnerships.

“Mack has had an incredible impact on the organization,” said Maureen O’Connor, Board Chair. “His strategic vision and his commitment to all aspects of the work helped to rebuild United Way’s relevance in our community. We are grateful for his service.”

“I am thankful for the support of our partners across the Triangle,” said Koonce. “Their commitment to joining us in a long-term vision for solutions to social issues will create a positive trajectory for children and families in low income households.” Koonce added, “I am particularly proud of the staff that has worked tirelessly to make our United Way among the most innovative in the nation.”

The national search was conducted by moss+ross, headquartered in the Triangle.

Eric Guckian is well known throughout the Triangle. He has 20 years of service in our state with extensive experience in achieving results in the public and private sectors. He has played a leading role in North Carolina’s quality public school efforts and has steadily risen to occupy leadership roles in all sectors of the education space as: a senior advisor to Governor McCrory; Executive Director of Teach for America-North Carolina; and Executive Director of New Leaders in Charlotte. Most recently, Guckian was the Vice President of Alliances for Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE) where he led the organization’s fundraising and communications efforts. He began his professional career as an elementary science teacher and Teach for America corps member in the South Bronx. Guckian earned his B.A. in English at Colgate University and a M.A. in Education from Harvard University. He lives with his wife, Lisa and his daughters, Scarlett and Elsa in Durham, NC.

“I have always regarded this United Way as the leading driver of community collaboration and impact. I am honored and humbled to lead our efforts in the Triangle,” said Guckian. “Our community won’t reach its truest potential until every child and every family has equal access to innovation and opportunity.  We cannot rest until we have clear, measurable evidence that children and families have the tools they need to level the playing field today and for generations to come. Then our community will live up to the promise of a better life for all.”

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About United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT)
United Way actively mobilizes the caring power of communities to build resources, focus investments, and foster partnerships to improve lives and inspire generations of achievement in four North Carolina counties: Durham, Johnston, Orange, and Wake. A focus on children and their families in low-income households uses a collaborative, two-generational approach to dramatically change the course of their futures. Learn more unitedwaytriangle.org  

2400 Perimeter Park Drive, Suite 150 | Morrisville, North Carolina 27560

Contact:
Melanie Davis-Jones, SVP of Marketing & Community Engagement
mdavisjones@unitedwaytriangle.org
Office:  919-463-5030


United Way of the Greater Triangle Seeing Early Successes With New Collaborative Funding Model

Morrisville, NC (April 28, 2017) —  United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT) announced today that 17 of the 24 Changing Generations collaborative partnerships funded beginning in September 2015 will receive further investment within the focus areas of early childhood success, youth success and household stability in order to improve social mobility1 in the Triangle. The progress reported thus far by Changing Generations partners includes:

  • A family-centered approach improves coordination and access to critical services for clients.
  • Relationships among nonprofits deepen because they meet together to problem-solve – which is different, and frequently more meaningful, than simple referrals.
  • Shared accountability for outcomes.
  • The ability to leverage the collaborative partnership to tell their collective story and mobilize additional funding.

“To have a success rate close to 70% among our collaborative partnerships is incredibly gratifying,” said Mack Koonce, President & CEO, United Way of the Greater Triangle.  “Our investment in these partnerships will continue at current levels. We’ll also be working with them to develop 3-5 year business plans, beginning with needs assessments for additional funding opportunities going forward.”

Over the last two years, United Way has invested $16.5m in its Community Impact plan, including $12.0m from community impact funds and $4.6m of donor designations. The Board of Directors just approved the next $3m of new investments from community impact funds and UWGT expects to make additional investments on a staggered bases throughout the year. The Board approved this first release of investments to begin July 1st.

United Way’s two-generational approach and three focus areas to address improved social mobility recognize that children growing up in households facing food insecurity, homelessness, and other social issues require stabilizing factors for them including kindergarten readiness and 3rd grade reading as well as job skills and employment for adults. All 24 collaborative partnerships were evaluated based on their fit within the two-generational framework; their performance through three reporting cycles over 18 months; and their potential to deepen their collaboration to deliver more comprehensive services and build a regional plan.

The 17 collaborative partnerships are beginning to shape regional strategies for greater social mobility. For example, there are early childhood partnerships in the four counties United Way serves – Durham, Johnston, Orange and Wake – which are part of the Campaign for Grade Level Reading. Other collaborative partnerships centered around crisis intervention (e.g. food insecurity, homelessness) with a path to household stability and the neighborhood/zone concentrated efforts in Durham and Orange counties both have strategies that could be replicated in other counties.

In the past two years, United Way has shifted focus away from its traditional role of supporting “safety net” services into building a community network. It is anticipated that Basic Needs will be integrated into the collaborative Changing Generations work. Over the years, agencies have been building diverse sources of revenue and have relied less on United Way funding in order to fully support these Basic Needs programs.  Long-term planning by collaborative partnerships will help facilitate the necessary shift of Basic Needs work into Changing Generations strategies. United Way will provide 25% of current funding levels to help with transition.

“To be a catalyst for change, United Way must be focused and responsive to community needs and leverage resources for more effectively,” observed Maureen O’Connor, UWGT Board Chair. “Partnering with nonprofits to invest in a more focused, impactful way, while measuring outcomes, is a win for the community and the people we serve.”

Raleigh ranks 95th among 100 metros nationwide in social mobility according to MDC’s 2016 State of the South report.

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About United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT)
United Way actively mobilizes the caring power of communities to build resources, focus investments, and foster partnerships to improve lives and inspire generations of achievement in four North Carolina counties: Durham, Johnston, Orange, and Wake. A focus on children and their families in low-income households uses a collaborative, two-generational approach to dramatically change the course of their futures. Learn more unitedwaytriangle.org  

2400 Perimeter Park Drive, Suite 150 | Morrisville, North Carolina 27560

Contact:
Melanie Davis-Jones, SVP of Marketing & Community Engagement
mdavisjones@unitedwaytriangle.org
Office:  919-463-5030


United Way of the Greater Triangle in Partnership with The Institute Invest in Young Innovators at Idea Generation Next-College Edition

IGN-CE Finalists and Judges

CONTACT:

Irene Godínez

VP of Marketing & Communications

igodinez@unitedwaytriangle.org

Cell: (919) 627-7511

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                              

February 24, 2017

United Way of the Greater Triangle in Partnership with The Institute Invest in Young Innovators at Idea Generation Next-College Edition

$30K in awards go to three Triangle students for their innovative solutions addressing: GED completion, school-to-prison pipeline, and short-term employment opportunities for skilled workers.

Morrisville, NC– On the last day of National Entrepreneur Week, United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT) announced today that a panel of judges comprised of community and business leaders selected Destiny Alexander, a recent graduate of North Carolina Central University, as the first place winner for her idea of “The Tassel is Worth the Hassle” at the first Idea Generation Next—College Edition pitch competition. Alexander’s $15K winning concept is to address the obstacles single mothers living in poverty face when completing their education by bringing GED preparation courses directly to the families. Tyler Ford of Shaw University tied for second place with  Marjorie Segule of North Carolina State University. They will each receive a $7,500 financial award. Ford’s idea is a mobile application to connect skilled workers with employers on a short-term basis, and Segule’s idea is to address the school-to-prison pipeline by creating outlets of expression to address chronic misbehavior and utilizing technology to help students keep up with schoolwork while on suspension.  The financial awards will go towards the implementation of these winning ideas.

Idea Generation Next launched in 2016 as a platform to support innovators from traditionally underrepresented groups in the entrepreneurial sector, women and people of color, gain access to resources through this unique pitch competition. This year, United Way has partnered with The Institute to kick off Idea Generation Next—College Edition which is designed to encourage and promote new ideas from current and recent college students committed to addressing social issues facing our communities. The Institute will coach and continue to mentor Alexander, Ford, and Segule to bring to life their winning ideas. IGN-CE is part of United Way’s social innovation initiative to connect, engage, and collaborate with innovators, intrapraneurs, entrepreneurs, and individuals to improve the lives of families and children in low-income households in Durham, Johnston, Orange, and Wake counties.

“We live in a region where our best resource is our people. What’s more, we are in close proximity to the incubator of bright and creative minds with our local colleges and universities, so it only made sense to partner with United Way as we, together, invest in the creation of a pipeline of young innovators through IGN-CE,” said Farad Ali, President of The Institute NC.

The finalists made their initial pitches on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, and have since been through an accelerator process with mentors from the Triangle business and entrepreneurial community to refine their ideas to create change, building their skills and networks. Earlier today, the five finalists pitched their ideas once more to an engaged audience at the PNC arena in Raleigh. Other finalists ideas included: Nefertiti Peoples from Wake Technical Community College: Peoples’ Prep and Progress, and Jay-Len Roberts of William Peace University: BOWLS for SOULS

“We want to change the way people think—and who they think of—when they hear terms like “innovator” and “entrepreneur,” expressed Mack Koonce, President and CEO of United Way of the Greater Triangle. “This is one reason we intentionally invested in underrepresented innovators who have thoughtful and creative solutions to some of our region’s most pressing challenges. This is an accessible platform to be heard. The expertise is right here in our community and we are looking forward to seeing Destiny, Tyler, and Marjorie’s ideas take shape in the near future.”

Universities taking part in the challenge include North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University, Shaw University, Saint Augustine’s University, Wake Technical Community College, and William Peace University.

Challenge Sponsors: PNC, American Tobacco, Duke Energy, Apple, Minority Business Development Agency, BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina, GSK, IBM, North Carolina Central University, Shaw University

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About United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT)
United Way of the Greater Triangle invests predominantly in collaboration among nonprofits and works as a funder and a partner toward long-term, sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing social issues in four North Carolina counties—Durham, Johnston, Orange, and Wake. A two-generational approach to support vulnerable children and their families puts them at the center of services to dramatically change the course of their futures. UWGT actively mobilizes the caring power of communities to build resources, focus investments, encourage community engagement, and foster cross-sector partnerships to improve lives and inspire generations of achievement. Learn more at unitedwaytriangle.org 

About The Institute NC

The Institute is a nonprofit management consulting and services firm focused on business diversity.  We are trusted advisors to businesses large and small, government agencies, policymakers and organizations that understand the key role diversity plays in ensuring business and economic success. Our client services include customized one-on-one assistance, training, knowledge, networks and solutions that create diverse, globally competitive companies. We are a leading voice and constant advocate for public policies and business practices that promote marketplace diversity. Learn more at http://www.theinstitutenc.org


Meet the New Innovators

IGN-CE presenters at the first pitch on January 16, 2017.

In our prosperous community, many families are at risk. Vulnerable families face a range of challenges: lack of job skills and unemployment for adults create families that struggle with chronic hunger, poor health and the risk of homelessness. This year we have launched Idea Generation/Next: College Edition (IGN-CE), a pitch competition designed to encourage and promote new ideas from college students committed to addressing social issues facing our communities. It’s part of United Way’s social innovation initiative to activate students across disciplines to think about ways to improve the lives of families and children in low-income households in the counties we serve: Wake, Durham, Johnston, and Orange.

On February 24th the young innovators will make their final pitches after having worked with mentors to refine their ideas and business models. As we consider how far they’ve come in such a short period of time, we want to share how their journey began.

At the kickoff event on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, there were familiar things one would expect from an entrepreneurship environment–jargon on venture capital, business models and talk of sustainability–but the unexpected twist was the added dose of inspiration both from the keynote speaker and the innovators themselves.

Reverend Sterling E. Freeman addressed the college-aged innovators and his charge resonated profoundly with the audience who had just finished marching in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Combining the conviction of a preacher with the gravitas of an academic, he reminded us that like social entrepreneurs, our responsibility is not to have more materialistic success, but to make a difference in the lives of people in our communities. Correlating social entrepreneurship with African cosmology, the phrase “I am because we are” reflects that idea that a moral market equates to healthy communities. It is essential that innovators “take the idea of entrepreneurship and saturate it with moral compass,” – and that’s exactly what students embodied throughout the program.

Speaking to a sizeable crowd at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, twenty-two students from North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University, Saint Augustine’s University, Shaw University, Wake Technical Community College, and William Peace University advocated for a diverse number of ways to address the poverty paradox in the Triangle region.

“We should teach art, mental health, business skills and self-care,” said LaCrisha Holcomb, a student from NCCU who believes providing access to fundamental health and emotional intelligence information can change the trajectory of an individual’s life. Other students pitched ideas that included everything from financial literacy to addressing food insecurity by providing cereal to underserved communities.

The audience was very interactive, responding audibly with passion to ideas that resonated with them.  Through a text-to-vote poll, NCCU student Tyler Walker won the “People’s Choice Award” for his idea to enhance the education-to-occupation pipeline as a means of alleviating poverty – sending the crowd into cheer and applause.

The event left attendees feeling inspired and hopeful that the future of our communities is in good hands with generations already taking the reigns. Come support these young innovators at their final pitch on February 24th.


Equipping the Future, Now

Wake County Public Schools Family Academy Participants with La Familia Technology Awareness Team

On a chilly Thursday evening in January, thirty Wake county children and their parents streamed into AB Combs Elementary School for a life-changing lesson. Wake County school principals and counselors reached out to their school system weeks earlier, seeking affordable laptops for families with limited income. With schools becoming more and more digitized, there is renewed urgency in bridging the technology divide so that children in low-wealth families are not left behind, due to lack of access to the necessary tools to produce their school assignments. This is where United Way of the Greater Triangle’s La Familia Technology Awareness Program comes in.

Started in early 2016, La Familia Technology Awareness Program began as a collaboration between United Way of the Greater Triangle and Univision 40, a local affiliate of the nation’s largest Spanish-language broadcast TV network. The program provides refurbished computers directly to families with school-aged children who do not have a home computer and who can benefit from the use of Univision Clave al Éxito portal. This bilingual portal offers resources to help parents track their children’s academic progress, communicate with their teachers, and better prepare for college.

This collaboration aligns with United Way’s two-generational approach toward community impact work. Families who participate in the program not only receive a computer, but they also receive bilingual instruction, as a family, on the computer that they take home at the end of the training. Volunteers, mostly from the professional chapter of NC Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, train families on basic internet skills, word processing, spreadsheets, and the use of the Clave al Éxito portal from Univision. In recent months, the collaboration has grown to include Wake County Public Schools Systems’ Family Digital Academy and it will soon add Durham Parks and Recreation to its list of collaborating partners. MariaRosa Rangel, Senior Administrator at Wake County Public Schools Systems, remarked that “by providing families with a laptop and online educational resources, more and more children in our school system will be better equipped to meet their academic requirements,” Ms. Rangel went on to say “We are proud to work with community partners like the United Way to broach the technology divide.”

In a span of two hours, a previously disconnected family journeys through an accelerated course that’ll not only equip the children and their parents with a baseline understanding of using their computer, but they’ll also have a reminder that their school administrators and community-at-large care and are invested in their success. These children will no longer have to risk missing the school bus while they complete school assignments in the library computer lab. They can now go home and complete their assignments and when internet access is an issue, they can take their laptops to a public library. The collaborative partners are working with internet providers to offer families who complete the training affordable rates on their internet service.

To date, La Familia Technology Awareness Program has conducted trainings in Wake, Durham, and Orange counties, connecting over 450 families with computers. The first training in Johnston county is planned for this upcoming spring. If you’d like to support this program, please consider donating your computer and drop in to help refurbish computers. No experience is necessary to volunteer. To learn more, click here.


Serve Our Community: Join a Nonprofit Board

United Way of the Greater Triangle SPARC NONPROFIT BOARD TRAINING PROGRAM

March 2 @ 8:00 am – April 20 @ 8:00 am (7 Sessions)

What is SPARC (Strong Partnerships Activating Real Change)? Real solutions sparked by a community united for transformative change requires diverse voices, creative thinkers, and dynamic leaders from across the Triangle area. Social issues are complex problems that call for people to get involved by committing to work together toward solutions.  Our SPARC Program is designed to connect with people who care about learning more about the issues and how they can participate in creating powerful, positive changes in our community.

What is SPARC Nonprofit Board Training? United Way’s Nonprofit Board Training is an 8-week training program being offered each fall and spring. Designed to develop and enhance your leadership skills, SPARC Nonprofit Board Training gives you the tools to serve as effective board members of local nonprofit agencies. Workshops include:

  • What is a Nonprofit Board and How Does It Work?
  • Board and Staff Roles and Responsibilities
  • Fundraising
  • Building a Diverse Nonprofit Board: Do You See What I See?
  • Legal Responsibilities and Ethics
  • Strategic Planning
  • Collective Impact

A selection committee reviews applications and selects no more than 40 individuals per class. The selection criteria are designed to recruit a group of demonstrated leaders who are diverse in their ethnicity, profession and community service experience. Upon acceptance into the program, a $25 non-refundable Board Commitment Fee is due prior to the first training session.

For more information, contact sparc@unitedwaytriangle.org


Application Process and Session Dates
The Spring 2017 application process is now OPEN. Click Here to Apply

The application deadline is March 1. Upon acceptance into the program, a $25 non-refundable Board Commitment Fee is due at the first training session.

The session dates are listed below; All sessions are at United Way of the Greater Triangle from 8:00AM-10:00AM. A light breakfast will be provided.

  • Thursday, March 2
  • Thursday, March 9
  • Thursday, March 16
  • Thursday, March 23
  • Thursday, April 6
  • Thursday, April 13
  • Thursday, April 20

Completed applications can be emailed to sparc@unitedwaytriangle.org.

Sponsored by    


Triangle Community Foundation and United Way of the Greater Triangle Spearhead Regional Reading Proficiency Campaign

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 31, 2017

CONTACT: Lisa Finaldi, NCECF, 919.987.1370
Irene Godinez, United Way of the Greater Triangle, 919.463.5013
Meg Buckingham, Triangle Community Foundation, 919.328.4018

Triangle Community Foundation and United Way of the Greater Triangle Spearhead Regional Reading Proficiency Campaign

The North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF) is partnering with the United Way of the Greater Triangle, Triangle Community Foundation and community coalitions in Chatham, Durham, Johnston, Orange and Wake counties to ensure children are on a pathway to gradelevel reading by the end of third grade, giving them the tools to succeed in the 21st century economy.

By 2020, 67% of jobs in North Carolina will need post-secondary education. Proficient reading in the early grades predicts high school and even later success. Simply put, those who can read at grade level or beyond go on to graduate. Those who aren’t proficient in reading by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. The impact is significant for these students, their families, economic growth in our community and social mobility of low income households.

According to the NC Department of Public Instruction in 2016, average grade-level reading proficiency for economically disadvantaged children in these five counties was 40 percent, and for all students it was 58 percent. That’s over half of students in the region that cannot read on grade-level by the end of third grade.

Through this partnership, Triangle Community Foundation and United Way of the Greater Triangle are leveraging resources to make a regional impact on literacy, with a combined initial investment of more than $700,000. Triangle Community Foundation is providing multi-year grants to four community coalitions – Bull City Reads, WAKE Up and Read, Chatham Reads and a new collaborative forming in Orange County. United Way is supporting the collaborative partnerships in Wake, Durham, Orange, and Johnston counties. Both organizations are funding NCECF to further communities’ success across the region. By working together to affect change in literacy for our students, the organizations are also hoping to grow support among other regionally minded funders.

“The partnership with Triangle Community Foundation and NCECF marks an important milestone for our organizations. Our shared vision for a regional initiative allows us to collaboratively support individual community needs, mobilize additional resources, and share best practices across communities,” said Mack Koonce, President and CEO of United Way of the Greater Triangle.

“By working together in our region to fund critical work that will effectively ensure more children have access to the resources they need so that they can become proficient readers, we can change the landscape of future success,” said Lori O’Keefe, President and CEO of Triangle Community Foundation. “Addressing this critical issue collaboratively not only raises awareness of youth literacy, but allows us to make a greater impact for our kids.”

The national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is mobilizing coalitions of nonprofits, parents, business leaders, government agencies, congregations, foundations, and others to remove barriers, expand opportunities, collaborate and align efforts to ensure that children can read on grade-level by the end of third grade. The North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation serves as the state lead for the campaign and supports communities’ success to build capacity to achieve measurable outcomes in school readiness, school attendance, summer learning, and grade-level reading.

Grade-level reading is achievable with policies and practices that reflect reading is a cumulative process that develops from birth and is rooted in early brain development. To be successful readers by third grade, children need:
• Health and Development on Track Beginning at Birth
• Supported and Supportive Families and Communities
• High Quality Birth-to-Eight Learning Environments
• Regular Attendance in Early Learning Programs and Schools

About the Partners

North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation is the state lead for the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, a collaborative effort to ensure that more children in low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career, and active citizenship. More than 300 communities across the country are partners in the campaign. NCECF promotes understanding, spearheads collaboration and advances policies to ensure that each North Carolina child is on track for lifelong success by the end of third grade. More information at: www.buildthefoundation.org and www.gradelevelreading.net

Triangle Community Foundation enhances the lives of all residents of the Triangle now and for future generations. For the past 32 years, the Foundation has been connecting donors with causes they care about, investing in nonprofits and serving as a resource for local issues in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Each year the Foundation grants more than $18 million back into the community, partnering with donors and nonprofits to make a difference, now and for the future. Dedicated to building strong nonprofits, successful community leaders, and a Triangle where everyone can thrive, the Foundation works hard to continue learning and educating in our region, with the continuous support of their generous donors and fundholders. To learn more about how you can get involved, visit http://www.trianglecf.org

United Way of the Greater Triangle predominantly in collaboration among nonprofits and works as a funder and a partner toward long-term, sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing social issues in four North Carolina counties—Durham, Johnston, Orange, and Wake. A two-generational approach to support vulnerable children and their families puts them at the center of services to dramatically change the course of their futures. United Way actively mobilizes the caring power of communities to build resources, focus investments, encourage community engagement, and foster cross-sector partnerships to improve lives and inspire generations of achievement. To find out more, visit http://www.unitedwaytriangle.org