By Todd Cohen
DURHAM, N.C. — The Warner Foundation in Durham, which suspended its grantmaking this year so it could assess its first five years of operation, has decided to focus all of its funding on efforts to boost academic achievement for black students in kindergarten through high school.
The foundation, which has focused on improving economic opportunity and race relations and had $7.53 million in assets on March 30, will spend the rest of 2003 studying the educational-achievement gap between black and white students in North Carolina, and developing strategies to find ways to help close that gap.
The foundation will not accept applications for new grants until 2004, although it will continue to play a lead role in the new N.C. Network of Grantmakers and take part in two national funding collaboratives that aim to boost Latino communities and help community groups and lawyers fight racial discrimination.
Created in 1995 by Michael Warner and his wife, Betty Craven, with proceeds from the sale of Warner’s scheduling-software firm Atwork Inc., the foundation has awarded more than $5.3 million to 145 community-based groups throughout the state since it started making grants in 1998.