About the Foundation

We inspire philanthropy and mobilize resources to enrich lives and communities in Western North Carolina.

Facilitating Philanthropy for WNC

The Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1978 to build a permanent pool of charitable capital for the 18 counties of Western North Carolina including the Qualla Boundary. We work with individuals, families and corporations to create and manage charitable funds and make grants to nonprofits or public agencies in our region. Watch a short video about CFWNC.

In partnership with fundholders, the Foundation has awarded more than $362 million in scholarships to students and grants to nonprofit organizations and public institutions across our 18-county region and beyond. We manage $435 million (March 2024) in assets with a long-term investment strategy that permanently protects and grows these funds.

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The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina inspires philanthropy and mobilizes resources to enrich lives and communities throughout the region.


Our vision is a vibrant and equitable Western North Carolina where all people can find opportunity and enjoy the region's many resources.

Our actions reflect our values:

• We listen, cultivate relationships and build collective support to address community needs.

• We commit resources to these needs and inspire others to join us.

• We draw on our regional knowledge and partnerships to guide this work.

• We make giving easy, effective and enduring.

A community foundation has three functions: making grants, serving as a vehicle for philanthropy and providing leadership in the region it serves.

What we do:

  • Work with donors to create charitable funds according to their specific interests and needs
  • Inform donors about critical issues and match them with giving opportunities, if requested
  • Responsibly manage the charitable assets in our care
  • Make grants and provide support to nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations and public agencies
  • Encourage and participate in community initiatives and partnerships
  • Build awareness of the importance of philanthropy

Quick Facts

  • Distributed $34 million in Fiscal Year 2023 to hundreds of nonprofit organizations in the region and beyond.
  • Granted more than $362 million since inception.
  • Manage more than 1,200 philanthropic funds with a total of $435 million (March 2024) in assets.
  • Founded in 1978 and governed by a volunteer board of trustees.
  • CFWNC is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization; contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

CFWNC is pleased to partner with Candid to advance transparency in philanthropy. View our profile.

CFWNC's strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned us a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator.

The National Standards Seal indicates official confirmation from the Council on Foundations that we have met the most rigorous standards in philanthropy.

Meet The Community Foundation Staff