Davidson Community Foundation

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why have you established a new Community Fund at this time?

Organizers Dave Cable and Ellen Donaldson evaluated the potential for a community foundation for several months in late 2019/early 2020. The concept first surfaced near the end of the Town of Davidson comprehensive planning process when plan advisors were asked to recommend a “big idea” that could address key community needs or challenges. The framework for DCF benefited from interviews with more than 50 community residents and leaders.

Davidson Community Foundation (DCF) provides funding to support immediate or emergency needs as well as support longer-term transformative projects. DCF goals are grounded in Davidson residents’ values of racial and socioeconomic diversity, inclusion, affordable housing, neighborhood preservation, and the unique and powerful bond we have with the community. The stage is set for DCF to broadly address the community’s most pressing needs in partnership with local non-profit agencies and houses of worship.

The COVID-19 crisis has devastated many of our community’s most disadvantaged neighbors. The urgent and profound community needs from the COVID-19 crisis prompted the accelerated launch of DCF in mid-April 2020. From April 2020 through mid-January 2021, DCF has raised over $400,000 and distributed nearly $300,000 in grants to local non-profit partners, providing much-needed assistance to 230 families – over 750 individuals – in our community who were experiencing financial crisis due to the impact of COVID-19 on their jobs and lives.

DCF is considering additional Emergency Fundraising in early 2021 as required to help address critical needs for housing, utility, food, and other support for families experiencing continued financial crisis due to the longstanding impact of the pandemic on lives and livelihoods.

2. How is DCF different from existing charitable funds/organizations? Who runs DCF and who’s accountable?

DCF is an all-volunteer effort with no staff, office, overhead, or costs of a non-profit agency. It is a community foundation grounded in a philosophy of abundance. The goal is to grow the philanthropic pie to provide greater funding and capacity for our local non-profits and to focus funding to address key community needs. DCF is powered by Foundation For The Carolinas (FFTC) as a Field of Interest Fund, and 99 cents of every donor dollar (small administrative fee for FFTC) goes directly to the community to meet the most pressing needs, as determined by the Board of Advisors. DCF will leverage critical partnerships – with residents, non-profits, Town of Davidson, Davidson College, local businesses, and FFTC – to create transformative initiatives for the betterment of the community, supporting efforts to address needs such as the current COVID-19 crisis, as well as longer-term issues like affordable housing, and major home repairs and rehabilitations and tax stabilization in historic West Davidson. Donations to DCF are tax deductible.

DCF embraces a culture of and commitment to performance, transparency and accountability for both itself and for all organizations receiving DCF grants.

3. How much are you seeking to raise now? Long term?

DCF partnered with local non-profit agencies and houses of worship to quantify the acute needs of vulnerable families in Davidson. Some needs were identified among families in the broader Lake Norman community served by the Davidson-based non-profits. The Emergency Fund goal is to raise funds to address urgent needs identified by local non-profit partner organizations, expanding their ability to respond to community members in dire need of assistance.

DCF is envisioned to be a permanent foundation that can enhance the lives of Davidson residents, now and for generations. The DCF’s Board of Advisors is committed to carefully and thoughtfully studying the community needs and to galvanizing support to address those needs. Plans include Emergency Fund efforts as well as longer-term campaigns and bequests and planned giving.

4. How much have you raised so far?

DCF was launched on Friday, April 10, 2020 with an initial gift of $15,000. The Board of Advisors set the Emergency Fund goal at $250,000 based on a detailed needs assessment, and in June the Board achieved the goal of raising $250,000 for the Emergency Fund. As of January 2021, the board has raised over $400,000 and has distributed nearly $300,000 to local non-profits to support families in need due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional Emergency Funds will be raised in early 2021 as needed due to the prolonged effects of the COVID-19 crisis on families and jobs.

5. Are you taking money away from existing non-profit organizations by setting up another charity?

DCF’s goal is to grow the philanthropic pie to provide greater funding and capacity for our local non-profit agencies and to focus funding to address key community needs. DCF has conferred with the leadership from the Ada Jenkins Center, Davidson-Cornelius Child Development Center, Davidson Housing Coalition, and Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region to understand how all efforts can be additive and collaborative. DCF is committed to expand the capacity of our local non-profits, grow philanthropy substantially, and effectively address the community’s most pressing needs.

6. Where do you expect funds for DCF to come from?

DCF funding comes from the generosity of our residents, reaching beyond current gifts to non-profit agencies and houses of worship through Emergency Funds and special project fund efforts. DCF will apply for appropriate local, regional and federal grants that would help the foundation advance its mission. And there will be opportunities for individuals to include DCF as a beneficiary in wills, trusts and other estate planning elements.

From the concept stage, DCF believed that it could grow the philanthropy to provide greater funding and capacity to our local non-profits to effectively address the needs of the Davidson community. With the COVID-19 crisis and its unprecedented impact on people across our town, our state and our country, we are even more convinced that philanthropy can be expanded significantly.

7. Who is on the Board of Advisors? How were they selected?

The most important characteristics in the selection of the DCF Board of Advisors are racial, socioeconomic, geographic and work experience diversity, leadership and community trust. Members of the founding board include leaders from the community, local non-profits, and Davidson College:

Chris AhearnFrank Jordan
Jane AvingerJohn Kuykendall
Bill BoehmlerPaul Leonard
Marvin BrandonAnn McCorvey
Dave CableLauren Millovitsch
Ellen DonaldsonCarol Quillen
Jim FoldsBuck Shuford
Ruby Houston


8. How are grants awarded?

For the first, second and third rounds of Emergency Funds, DCF sought proposals from local non-profit agencies and houses of worship for services to meet the needs of and fill gaps in services for people in Davidson and the broader community suffering from the impact of the COVID-19 virus. Grants totaling nearly $300,000 have been awarded to 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations that: 1) are able to meet the basic human needs of our most vulnerable community members suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on health, life, jobs and the economy; 2) have a track record of providing services in Davidson; 3) have a demonstrated ability to deploy resources quickly, effectively, and to scale their efforts; and 4) have the ability to track and report on utilization and outcome data. A Grants Committee subset of the Board of Advisors reviewed proposals and recommended awardees and funding amounts to the full board for approval. The funding will be sent directly from Foundation For The Carolinas (FFTC) to the grant awardee(s). Beyond the DCF Emergency Fund, the Grants Committee will oversee proposal requests and evaluation and make non-profit funding recommendations to the Board.

9. You talk about preserving the West Davidson community. How was that need identified?

DCF’s Board of Advisors will determine the Foundation’s focus areas and projects based on detailed and thoughtful analyses. This summer, the Board plans to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the plethora of community information available, commissioning additional studies as required, to determine its forward focus. Stabilization of the West Davidson community is a clear community need that was identified as part of the Town of Davidson’s 2020 Comprehensive Planning Process, and is among critical needs to be considered.

As part of the 2020 Comprehensive Planning Process, the Town of Davidson received over 13,000 public inputs collected online and in-person, with over 1,300 residents participating in in-depth workshops to shape the plan. As part of the 2020 plan process, engagement reports catalogue the impacts of systematic and institutional inequities in the West Davidson community, with residents pointing to issues of access to services, facilities, or enfranchisement. The 2020 plan was a key source of information on community needs such as: 1) affordable housing across low-to-middle income and workforce residents; 2) preservation of the West Davidson neighborhood, and increasing diversity and inclusion in general in the face of increasing taxes, gentrification and displacement. Additionally, a focus group was held with 7 residents of West Davidson; each shared positive feedback regarding the concept of preservation, home restoration, and tax amelioration efforts for West Davidson residents facing these challenges.

Additional information from West Davidson residents, non-profits, and houses of worship is needed in order to more fully understand needs and gain input on potential solutions. DCF will collaborate with these and additional stakeholders as needed to plan strategies and the Foundation’s possible involvement.

10. How do non-profit organizations apply for Emergency Fund grants?

For the third round of Emergency Funds awarded in January 2021, DCF sent requests for proposals to local non-profit agencies and houses of worship that provide services to vulnerable and underserved community members. The non-profit organizations submitted grant applications for funding, based on detailed needs assessments. DCF will continue to monitor community needs through ongoing discussions with non-profit partners. Questions or future requests for funding should be directed to Chris Ahearn at chrisahearn007@gmail.com.

11. When did you award the first grants? Will there be more grant funding available?

As of January 2021, DCF has awarded three rounds of Emergency Fund grants totaling nearly $300,000. DCF continues to partner with local non-profits to identify and quantify COVID-19 crisis-related needs, which are expected to continue well into 2021. DCF will conduct additional Emergency Fundraising as needed in 2021, based on continued COVID-19 emergency needs. DCF will respond with funding consistent with our capacity to help. The magnitude of the crisis is expected to be severe through at least the first half of 2021, and DCF is striving to be positioned to respond quickly and meaningfully to ongoing or new crisis-related needs.

12. How do people donate to DCF? Are donations tax deductible?

a. To donate online visit www.fftc.org/Davidson
b. To send a check, please make the check payable to:
Foundation For The Carolinas
ATTN: Davidson Community Foundation, Fund #3749
220 North Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
c. For an ACH transfer, send to:
Truist Bank
Account Name: Foundation For The Carolinas
Special Instructions: Davidson Community Foundation, Fund #3749
Bank Routing # (ABA): 021052053
Account #: 48477231
d. For a gift through a Donor Advised Fund (DAF),
Select Foundation for the Carolinas as the beneficiary, and designate Davidson Community Foundation, Fund #3749 in the notes section.
e. To Donate a Gift of Stock:
Please direct your broker to contact our Donor Relations team at 704.973.4529 or donorrelations@fftc.org prior to asset delivery to ensure proper and timely credit of your gift or to coordinate transfer of mutual fund shares. The stock/funds should be credited to Davidson Community Foundation, Fund #3749 with FFTC.
f. All donations to DCF are tax deductible as a Fund of FFTC, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

13. Who should people contact if they have questions or want additional information?

Please contact info@davidsoncommunityfoundation.org for more information about DCF. Information is also available at davidsoncommunityfoundation.org.

Help those in the Davidson community.

Your contribution will help to care for our neighbors right here in the community.