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Funders network to meet

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By Todd Cohen

The impact of North Carolina’s budget crisis on philanthropy will be the focus June 5 of the first statewide meeting of a new network of foundations and corporate giving programs.

In addition to briefing them on the effect of budget cuts on nonprofits, the Greensboro meeting aims to encourage funders to think about teaming up.

“We hope we can be more effective by working together,” says Merrilee Jacobson, contributions specialist for the Progress Energy Foundation in Raleigh and a member of the steering committee of the North Carolina Network of Grantmakers.

The day-long meeting, which is open to grantmakers only and will be held at the Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, will look at the budget cuts and their impact on education, health and human services, and rural poverty and economic development.

Afternoon sessions will focus on how funders might address those issues, strengthen nonprofits’ internal operations, build communities and pool their dollars.

Participants also will be asked to suggest how the network might support collaboration among funders.

The network, an informal group, has hired consultant Heidi Gilmore as part-time project manager to coordinate its work and provide support for possible collaboration.

Gilmore, former associate director for the York Foundation, a community foundation in south-central Pennsylvania near Baltimore, Md., also is a consultant to the Triangle Community Foundation in Research Triangle Park for its Catalyst Project that aims to triple the region’s permanent philanthropic assets to $30 billion in 20 years.

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