The Duke Endowment in 2008 awarded $204.5 million in grants to enrich lives and strengthen communities across North Carolina and South Carolina.
Based in Charlotte, N.C., and established in 1924 by N.C. industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, The Duke Endowment is the largest private foundation in the Carolinas. Its grants include:
- $47 million to foster excellence through education.
- $55 million to improve health and wellness.
- $26 million to safeguard children and help them develop.
- $16 million to fortify the leadership of faith communities and to reward retired United Methodist ministers and their families for service.
All grantmaking at The Duke Endowment is guided by an Indenture of Trust, in which Mr. Duke set forth specific funding guidelines that focused on children, rural United Methodist churches, health care and higher education in the Carolinas. The Endowment’s trustees, however, have full discretion over year-to-year disbursements.
Russell M. Robinson II, chairman of the Endowment’s board, said the grants will support organizations across the Carolinas as they address widespread challenges during troubling times.
"Mr. Duke cared deeply about the Carolinas and he wanted his legacy to impact people and communities in a positive way,” Robinson said. "Through these grants, the Endowment hopes to help organizations continue their work in this difficult economy and find creative ways to look ahead.”
The nearly 400 grants reach across both states and touch many lives.
"They’ll assist a mentoring program in Charlotte, a dental program in Spartanburg, and a United Methodist church in Maggie Valley,” said Gene Cochrane, the Endowment’s president. "They’ll provide training to staff at children’s homes, and help patients in hospice care. They’ll supply community dinners for people in need, and support scholars at local colleges and universities.”
In 2008, the Endowment:
- awarded grants to the four educational institutions named in Mr. Duke’s trust: Davidson College, Johnson C. Smith University and Duke University in North Carolina and Furman University in South Carolina. The Duke Endowment works through the four schools to advance the pursuit of educational excellence, make education more affordable for qualified students, and develop initiatives and programs to benefit local communities. Grants included $14 million to Furman to create a major scholarship program.
- worked through hospitals and health care providers to expand preventive and early intervention programs, to improve the quality and safety of services and to increase access to care. A $460,700 grant, for example, will establish a new model for a clinical nurse leader program through a partnership between Carolinas Medical Center and Queens University of Charlotte.
- served vulnerable children, helping them reach developmental milestones and prepare for adulthood. Grants included $1.9 million to help expand multisystemic therapy — an intensive, family-focused treatment for young people with serious behavioral problems — in North Carolina.
- supported rural United Methodist churches and their leaders in North Carolina to help expand church outreach across the region. A $220,000 grant, for instance, will train pastors and lay people in the New Bern area to help soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The year-end total also includes collaborative and special opportunity grants, such as $8.4 million to support the Nurse-Family Partnership program in North Carolina and South Carolina, and $50 million to Duke University School of Medicine. Nurse-Family Partnership is a nationally recognized home visitation program that helps first-time, low-income parents and their children. The Duke University School of Medicine grant, announced in April 2008, will help build a medical education facility and create a "hospital within a hospital” for pediatric patients.
The Duke Endowment, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., seeks to fulfill the legacy of James B. Duke by enriching lives and communities in the Carolinas through higher education, health care, rural churches and children’s services. Since its inception in 1924, the Endowment has awarded more than $2.6 billion in grants.