Duke Endowment awards $110 million

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Duke Endowment has awarded more than $110 million in grants to strengthen communities across North and South Carolina.

“These grants will open food pantries, help children in foster care, provide medical equipment and support scholars,” says Russell M. Robinson II, chairman of the endowment’s board. “They touch lives in cities and rural areas, in the mountains, the Piedmont and the coast.”

Based in Charlotte and established in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, the endowment is the largest private foundation in the Carolinas

Its more than 200 new grants from the first half of 2008 include:

* $16 millionto foster excellence through education.

* $23 million to improve health and wellness.

* $13 million to safeguard children and help them develop.

* $8 million to fortify the leadership of faith communities and to reward retired United Methodist ministers and their families for service.

The total also includes a $50 million grant, announced in April, to Duke University School of Medicine to help build a medical education facility and create a “hospital within a hospital” for pediatric patients.

Gene Cochrane, the endowment’s president, says the grants will help organizations in the Carolinas use their resources and reach their potential.

“The grants showcase innovative ways for churches to serve their neighbors and for health care providers to care for patients,” Cochrane says. “They include long-term
initiatives that address widespread challenges – and promising new approaches to persistent problems.”

All grantmaking at the endowment is guided by an indenture of trust, in which James B. Duke set forth specific funding guidelines that focused on children, rural churches, health care and higher education in the Carolinas.

The endowment’s trustees have full discretion over year-to-year disbursements.

Grants went to the four educational institutions named in Duke’s trust: Davidson College, Johnson C. Smith University and Duke University in North Carolina, and Furman University in South Carolina.

Those funds will support general university operations, capital projects and special programs that expand educational opportunities. The grants included $500,000 to
help the schools in efforts to become environmentally sustainable campuses.

With its health-care grants, the endowment works through hospitals and health-care providers to expand preventive and early intervention programs, to improve the
quality and safety of services, and to increase access to care.

A grant of nearly $900,000, for example, went to support the South Carolina Public Health Institute and to expand a perinatal outreach program for Latino families.

Through its child-care grants, the endowment focuses on vulnerable children, helping them reach developmental milestones and prepare for adulthood.

Grants included $451,000 to the N.C. Division of Social Services and $275,000 to Children’s Home Society of North Carolina to implement Family Finding, a new way to connect relatives to children in foster care.

By supporting rural United Methodist churches and their leaders in North Carolina, the endowment helps expand church outreach across the region.

A $135,000 grant, for example, went to Clifton United Methodist Church in Warrensville, N.C., to support Farm to Table, a project that helps farmers provide produce for local food pantries.

With assets of over $3 billion, the Duke Endowment has awarded more than $2.4 billion in grants since its inception in 1924.

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