Fundraisers forming network

By Todd Cohen

PINEHURST, N.C. — Strengthening and promoting Sandhills philanthropy is the focus of a new group that local fundraisers are creating to provide professional support, share information and publish a calendar of fundraising campaigns and events.

The new Sandhills Development Council aims to “promote collegiality rather than competition,” says Terry Mohr, vice president of foundations at First Health of the Carolinas in Pinehurst.

Roughly a dozen fundraising professionals met twice this spring to organize the group, which initially will target Southern Moore County.

The group will encourage full-time development officials to support and learn from one another, and will provide advice and technical support for charities lacking fundraising staff.

The group wants to work together to promote individual charitable campaigns, champion philanthropy overall and identify ethical standards and common interpretations of tax laws affecting donations.

“We share the philosophy that you give where you live, and that a rising tide raises all ships,” Mohr says.

Working with the United Way of Moore County, the group will survey charities to identify needs for technical support and map fundraising expertise.

The Sandhills Community College Foundation is studying whether to create for council members an online calendar of local fundraising campaigns and events.

Walker Morris, president of Muirfield Broadcasting in Southern Pines, says the group grew out of support that fundraising professionals have provided to charities like the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sandhills.

“We are fortunate enough to have a population that has resources to help organizations grow and be healthy,” says Morris, board chairman of the Boys & Girls Clubs, which are about to hire their first part-time fundraiser.

“There are some proper ways to do development,” he says, “and it’s better for the community at large that people in development are handling their own campaigns in a professional way.”

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