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Aiming high – Connecting with donors

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By Todd Cohen

GREENSBORO, N.C. — After a period of rapid growth, the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro is preparing for another big spurt.

Assets of the foundation, which was formed in 1983 to recruit donors and make grants, have grown to $65 million after doubling to $40 million in 1997 from $20 million in 1995.

This year, the foundation’s development committee set a goal of increasing assets to $100 million by June 2002.

Meeting that goal will depend on securing large bequests and on reaching out to donors, prospective donors, nonprofit development officers and professional advisers such as lawyers, accountants and financial consultants, says Patrick Weiner, the foundation’s vice president for donor services and development.

The foundation also aims to help donors better understand the work and needs of local nonprofits, said Weiner, who joined the foundation this year after serving as vice president and legal adviser for Wachovia Charitable Funds Management in Winston-Salem.

The foundation plans to expand its Web site and launch a donor newsletter to focus on local nonprofits.

Weiner also is working with donors, professional advisers and nonprofit development officers to promote the use of planned giving, which involves contributions other than outright gifts of cash through vehicles such as wills, stock, insurance, trusts and real estate.

This spring, for example, the foundation teamed up with the Estate Planning Council of Greensboro and the Jewish Foundation of Greensboro to sponsor an estate-planning seminar for advisers and donors.

The Community Foundation, which also serves as the local Web-site host for the Planned Giving Design Center – featuring resources on planned giving — recently hired Veronica Savage, a graduate student in the master of public administration program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, as its donor services coordinator.

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