31 Days of Giving mobilizes more than $80,000 in support of WNC health and wellness programs

January 28, 2021

A recent capacity-building and fundraising event hosted by Nantahala Health Foundation resulted in more than $80,000 being generated locally in support of health and wellness initiatives across the Western North Carolina region.

Launched on Giving Tuesday, December 1, 2020, Nantahala Health Foundation organizers billed their 31 Days of Giving event as a “Collaborative Generosity Movement” with a goal to shine a light on nonprofit health and wellness efforts throughout the region. By collaborating with 14 other nonprofits, Nantahala Health Foundation used the event to share the value of the work being done by these organizations, as well as raising much-needed funding at the end of a year dominated by the negative impact of COVID-19 on nonprofit organizations.

“Back in October, when we considered how we might support the important health and wellness work happening throughout WNC at the end of what we all agreed was a very challenging year, we realized that our best chance of making a significant impact was to work collaboratively,” said Nantahala Health Foundation Associate Director Lisa Duff. “Our ability to offer matching grants allowed us to help multiple organizations enhance their fundraising efforts

Ultimately, Nantahala Heath Foundation’s 31 Days of Giving event included partnerships with 14 nonprofit organizations. By working together to raise awareness and funds, efforts from child advocacy to food security to safe housing were elevated during the month of December and beyond, said Duff.

“While the financial results of this effort far exceeded our expectations, an even greater impact was realized in that these deserving organizations were allowed to share their stories and express their needs to those who could help,” she said. “This campaign’s success was felt most in its ability to provide a platform to educate the broader community about the work of NHF and our partners.”

Partnering organizers were both designated 501c3 nonprofits and eligible to solicit funds as determined by the N.C. Secretary of State’s office. They included:

  • AWAKE Child Advocacy Center, which provides a child-friendly environment where children and their families receive services and support. Their motivated, caring staff work vigorously to educate the community to recognize signs of child abuse while also helping them understand the importance of reporting abuse. 
  • Center for Domestic Peace, which provides direct services and supports to victims of interpersonal violence through a variety of services to those experiencing domestic violence in Jackson County.
  • Eliada Homes, which provides a cradle-to-career continuum of services for more than 600 children and youth annually. In partnership with families, they meet basic needs and provide positive child and youth development programming to all ages.
  • Grace Extended Ministries, a faith-based organization bringing greater community awareness to need to put an end to the national drug epidemic by acting locally in Graham County.
  • Grace Place, A Community Table, a faith-based organization working to end food insecurities in Graham County.
  • Hinton Rural Life Center, a faith-based organization that engages individuals, congregations and communities in transformation through retreat ministry and missional outreach.
  • Hospice House Foundation of WNC, on a mission to obtain funds for the construction and endowment of an in-patient facility for our community and to support hospice.
  • Macon Program for Progress, a regional food bank that provides nutrition and household supplies to low-income individuals and families in Macon County.
  • Meridian Behavioral Health Services, which provides evidence-based, best practices in behavioral health care, serving the community through compassion, staff excellence, a focus on the individual’s whole well-being, and community partnerships.
  • Mountain Projects, a community-based nonprofit founded in 1965 as a Community Action Agency provides vital services to the elderly, disadvantaged and general public in Western North Carolina. Since then the agency has grown to an annual budget of $11 million, a staff of 140, and provides broad services to the community in response to changing needs.
  • REACH of Macon County, with a mission to eradicate domestic violence and sexual assault crimes in both Macon and Jackson Counties, through prevention, intervention, and educational services.
  • Robbinsville UMC/Food Distribution, which works fill a need caused by the increased food insecurity in Graham County. In partnership with MANNA Feeding America, they offer their clients help with supplemental nutrition.
  • The Still Place, which aspires to provide recreational and respite retreats to families with seriously ill children living in Western North Carolina.

Together with event sponsor Nantahala Health Foundation, some $50,871 was raised from more than 210 individual donations during the month. With more than $33,000 in matching funds coming from NHF, a total of $84,146 was mobilized in our region during the campaign.

“It was an absolute pleasure working with and getting better acquainted with the leaders of these fine organizations during this event,” said Duff. “By joining together, I truly believe our campaign raised the level of awareness and appreciation for each of our organizations.”