Based in New Bern, North Carolina, the CarolinaEast Foundation is one of the many health legacy funders in the Southeast. This particular foundation serves Craven, Jones, Pamlico, Carteret and Onslow Counties and is solely focused on the health of the region. The grants it awards are largely funded by community businesses and individual donors. In fact, the foundation’s director noted that 1,000 employees of the affiliated hospital system donated to the foundation to make recent grantmaking possible. Foundation-named funds and community events, like breakfast with Santa and the nursing appreciation dinner, help raise funds too.
But unlike many community foundation funds in the region that are earmarked for specific groups, most of the donor dollars at CarolinaEast go into an unrestricted fund. The foundation board determines where the greatest local needs are. CarolinaEast recently awarded grants to 14 organizations totaling $134,700. These groups, including Backpack Blessings, the Coastal Women’s Shelter, and Catholic Charities, received between $1,000 and $15,000 each.
Here are some of the issues and types of programs that CarolinaEast has been supporting lately:
- High school nutrition
- Camps for kids with cancer
- Basic needs services for domestic violence victims
- Pharmacy needs of seniors
- Substance abuse prevention and treatment
- Dental services for the uninsured
- Affordable housing for medial patients
In this most recent round of giving, the foundation gave the largest grants to the North Carolina Dental Health Fund and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Big themes in this funder’s giving lately is nutrition for kids and helping local families cope with childhood disease, especially cancer.
Earlier in 2017, this foundation gave $89,500 to ten other organizations. So, this new commitment brings the year’s giving total to $224,200 so far. This certainly isn’t one of the larger health funders in North Carolina, but with a three-county focus and two grant cycles per year, this is one worth knowing for local groups. The CarolinaEast Foundation also has a patient assistance program to help local patients with healthcare expenses that aren’t covered by insurance. This program has been growing by several thousand dollars every year.
Annual grantmaking has been steadier with less growth in recent years, but it has become more targeted, largely due to the health needs assessments that the health system puts out on a regular basis. According to the most recent assessment, obesity, substance abuse and behavioral health are of particular interest in the region right now. So look for more funding on these topics in the next grantmaking cycle or two.