Reynolds Foundation a Steadfast Friend
Is it the end of July already? Wow, this internship has flown by. From working on Jones Island every week, to writing briefs and reports on coastal issues in North Carolina, to meeting with people within the environmental community here in North Carolina, we have been really busy here at the federation. We have had so many interesting meetings with people in the coastal environmental community. Just recently we met with Hawley Truax from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.
Truax is the program officer for environmental and energy issues at the foundation. We took Hawley out to Jones Island to have a casual conversation about what we have been doing at the federation this summer, and he gave us a great insight into how foundations work and specifically what the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation does. One of the most interesting facts about the foundation is that they only work within the boundaries of North Carolina. The foundation was established in 1936 by the heirs of R.J. Reynolds as a memorial to Reynolds’ youngest son, Zachary. In establishing the trust, Reynolds’ siblings mandated that the funds should only go to charitable work in North Carolina.
Zachary Smith Reynolds
Because of this relatively small geographical area the foundation serves, they are able to make a substantial impact to non-profit work in the state. Grants are awarded based on many factors, but mainly the project’s potential to improve the lives of the people of North Carolina. The foundation is particularly interested in community economic development, strengthening democracy, the environment, pre-collegiate education and social justice and equity.
A few of us interns have had previous work experience within the environmental non-profit sector, and we realize how important foundations like Z. Smith Reynolds are to organizations such as the federation. People often forget about where the money comes from while working on issues that have an entire state’s environment at stake. But to executive directors like Todd Miller, that is one of the main components of running a non-profit.
Fundraising is a difficult process especially given the current economic situation. You have to find a foundation, or other entity, that has similar interests to your organization and develop a strong grant application. Fortunately for the federation, one of the main focuses of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation is the environment. Specifically speaking, under the environmental category the foundation focuses on promoting healthy coastal ecosystems within the state. Because of the federation’s dedication to healthy coasts they have been the recipient of recurring grants for many years. This partnership is integral to furthering the missions of both organizations and a great benefit to the people of North Carolina.
With the end of our internship rapidly approaching, we are all looking back on this summer and on all of the knowledge we have gained. This internship has provided both practical on the job training as well as a valuable educational experience, which has made the summer truly enjoyable.
--- Taylor Pool and Courtney Colwell