Partnering with Asheville’s Jewish Community Center

JCC's Ashley Lasher. Photo by Michael Oppenheim.

Asheville’s Jewish Community Center (JCC) has been building community and sharing Jewish traditions, value and culture since 1940. With inclusive programming and spaces, the JCC welcomes people of every background and belief.

In 2006, the JCC opened a CFWNC endowment fund that provides dependable annual income for operations. “With most nonprofits, the reality is that funding shifts regularly,” explained Ashley Lasher, Executive Director. “Steady, unrestricted income through our endowment fund provides a sense of financial security that allows us to devote more time and energy to our mission and programs.”

JCC staff, board and donors have also participated in CFWNC workshops for nonprofits that provide information on investment strategies, other giving instruments and donor development. Lasher says that the JCC is a more sophisticated fundraising organization thanks to the training and finds CFWNC staff highly professional, experienced and committed to providing tools nonprofits need to succeed.

The JCC has also received competitive grant funding including a Janirve Sudden and Urgent Needs (SUN) award to improve security. “It is incredible that SUN grants provide funding for organizations’ nontraditional expenses in their times of heightened and/or unusual need,” said Lasher. Another earlier grant allowed the JCC to create an educational children’s garden that led to the development of a Jewish garden curriculum that has become a model for other JCCs around the country.

“We count ourselves fortunate and grateful to receive funding through our endowment and grants from donor advised funds at CFWNC,” said Lasher. “We also appreciate that a rising tide raises all ships. A strong community foundation with engaged donors helps all organizations within a community. When donors feel supported, educated and stewarded, they are more likely to engage in future philanthropic endeavors, through donor advised funds, leadership voluntarism and otherwise. Our entire community, including the JCC, benefits from our proximity to a thriving community foundation.”