By Todd Cohen
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Spurring progressive policy change and backing innovative, community-based projects in poor and rural regions of the state are the new focus of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in Winston-Salem.
As part of its new thrust, the foundation also is requiring nonprofits to submit grants online and tell it the impact they expect the grants to have on the population they are targeting.
By focusing on efforts to shape public policies, the foundation says, it aims to have a “broader and deeper impact on the lives of the largest number of North Carolinians.”
The Reynolds board in 2004 studied how the foundation might have the biggest impact on North Carolinians, and concluded its role should be “as an investor and partner, not solely a funder, with the many high-performing nonprofit organizations throughout North Carolina.”
The foundation receives 700 to 1,000 grant applications a year and has made $366 million in grants in all 100 counties in the state since it was established in 1936.
It focuses its grants on community economic development; democracy and civic engagement; environment; pre-collegiate education and social justice and equity.
Information about the foundation’s new strategy, including frequently asked questions, is available at its website.
Four versions of the new application are available, with options based on whether a request is for general operations or projects, and for established or relatively new organizations.