About the Foundation

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

CFWNC marked 40 years of service in 2018. CFWNC is a community of givers. Over our history, many people have dedicated their time and selves to our growth and sustainability. Photo by Lynne Harty.

More than 40 Years of Giving

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. 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.

We manage $324 million (March 2019) in assets with a long-term investment strategy that permanently protects and grows these funds. In partnership with fundholders, the Foundation has awarded more than $234 million in scholarships to students and grants to nonprofit organizations and public institutions across our 18-county region and beyond.

Our vision is a vibrant 18-county region where all people can find opportunity and enjoy the region's many resources.

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
  • 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

  • Manage more than 1,100 philanthropic funds with a total of $324 million (March 2019) in assets.
  • Distributed $18.1 million in Fiscal Year 2018 to hundreds of nonprofit organizations in the region and beyond.
  • Granted more than $234 million since inception.
  • 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's strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned us a 2018 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