Evergreen Foundation

OVERVIEW: This is a mental health funder that supports the seven western counties of North Carolina. Residents with intellectual or developmental disabilities, behavioral health issues, or substance abuse problems are top priority areas.

FUNDING AREAS: Mental health, intellectual and developmental disabilities, behavioral health, substance abuse needs

IP TAKE: This funder takes a broad approach to mental health needs in western North Carolina. Nearly any aspect of mental health support could be considered here, with the right approach.

PROFILE: The Evergreen Foundation is based in Waynesville, North Carolina, and assists nonprofits that help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, behavioral health problems, and substance abuse issues. This foundation was established in 1977 by the Board of Smoky Mountain Mental Health as a not-for-profit company.

Within the realm of mental health, this foundation places grantmaking priority on infrastructure for the private provider service network, start-up and service provision grants, and scholarships to build the provider network. It also often funds public awareness and education campaigns, as well as advocacy efforts on behalf of consumers and the provider network. In the past, it has put a special priority on evidence-based programs for suicide prevention and prescription drug overdose prevention.

The geographic focus of this funder is Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties in North Carolina. These are the seven western counties of the state, and they've always been in focus for Evergreen. In a recent year, the foundation had nearly $20 million in assets.

The Evergreen foundation considers new grant applications four times per year, at the end of each quarter in June, September, December, and March. It typically gives out 25 to 30 grants per year, ranging in size from $5,000 to $30,000. However, some larger grants are awarded occasionally as well. Past grantees include Meridian Behavioral Health Services, Jackson County Psychological Services, The ARC of Haywood County, Appalachian Community Services, Webster Enterprises, and Southwestern Child Development.

The grant application can be downloaded on the funder’s website and submitted by email or mail. Completed applications should be emailed to the administrator, Denise Coleman, at dcoleman@evergreennc.org. All applicants receive a letter from the foundation about its funding decision.

In the past, this funder has hosted grant information workshops in the various counties it serves. Events are typically posted on a calendar on the funder’s website. You can learn more about the issues that this funder cares about by browsing the articles posted on its site. Past topics of interest have included youth shelters, depression, forensic interview training, and autism.

There are only two staff members at Evergreen, an administrator and an accounting professional. At the time this profile was written, the foundation had 11 board members. General questions can be directed to the staff at 828-456-8005 or via email at contactus@EvergreenFoundationNC.org. But Denise Coleman is your best point of contact for all questions about funding opportunities and the grant application process.