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Funder seeks partners

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By Todd Cohen

GREENSBORO, N.C. — To celebrate its 20 anniversary next year, the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro is kicking off new “Partners in Philanthropy” initiative to include more people in philanthropy and better connect them to one another.

The idea is to make philanthropy more approachable and give people new ways of thinking about contributing to the community, says Melissa Staples, the foundation’s vice president for marketing and communications.

Rather than holding only an annual dinner, the foundation will hold a series of events for donors who have agree to be partners in spreading the word about philanthropy.

“We’re asking them to help us in outreach over a year to reach out into the community to bring new people into understanding what community is and how they can be involved, expanding the base of philanthropy beyond its traditional audience,” Staples says.

The initiative will be the focus of a community luncheon in February featuring Johnnetta Cole, president of Bennett College, as its keynote speaker.

Local donors contributed nearly $10 million to funds at the foundation in the fiscal year ended June 30.

Grants from those funds grew 32 percent to roughly $9.9 million, outpacing 18 percent average growth in community foundation grantmaking nationally.

Formed in 1983, the foundation has $60.6 million in assets – down from $65 million a year ago — and has awarded $51 million in grants.

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