About the Community Foundation of NC East

We're a community foundation, a tax-exempt public charity that enables people like you to establish charitable funds that have a direct impact throughout eastern North Carolina. Your donations and contributions will be commingled with our other funds and managed professionally and its assets will grow over time. You and your family and colleagues are encouraged to continue giving to the fund to help it grow even more. Grants can be awarded from your fund to support your local nonprofit organizations, in accordance with your interests.

Like all community foundations, we are overseen by a volunteer board of leading citizens and run by professionals with expertise in knowing our community's needs. We go beyond simply making grants that advance charitable activities; we also identify current and emerging issues, stimulate resources to address those needs and help the communities we serve prepare for the future.

It's for these reasons that community foundations represent one of the fastest growing areas of philanthropy and are the top vehicle for charitable giving in the United States. When charitable-minded people like you seek valuable and suitable ways to give, we can help you make a real difference in eastern North Carolina.

How does it work?

The community foundation idea is simple: Anyone may use it to give something back to the community. Assets that you donate to the foundation create one of several types of funds to support your charitable goals. We offer a full menu of planned giving options to tailor your gift. You can create a fund in honor of someone you love or celebrate a special event. You can direct your gift broadly or narrowly to issues you care about or to wherever the needs are greatest. However you give, your gift can change lives - today and in the future.

We use professionals to invest and manage our assets. Our board is made up of local citizens who know the community. And our staff can help create the gift that makes the difference you want.

We offer you power and flexibility in charitable giving without the legal paperwork, time and expenses associated with running your own private foundation. We can help you set up a fund that will maximize both your impact in the community - for good, forever.

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Our History

In 1975, what began as a vision by a local private practice physician, Dr. Herbert Hadley, a unique organization was formed and named the City of Greenville Foundation (Trust). Dr. Hadley’s intent was to create a body, corporate and politic, for the purpose of promoting the religious, educational and charitable needs of the city of Greenville.

It was decided that Planters Bank & Trust and Wachovia Bank & Trust would serve as Trustees. Original bylaws are still contained with all the records and files beginning in 1977 and remained in effect through 1999, until the establishment of the Greater Greenville Community Foundation in 2000.

The Founding Board of Directors were: Dr. Herbert Hadley, Chairman, Mr. Marvin Blount, Sr. representing the City of Greenville, Mr. Louis Gaylord, Jr., representing Wachovia, Mr. Max Joyner Sr., representing Planters Bank, Mr. W. W. Speight, representing the City, Mr. Fred Webb, representing NCNB, Dr. John Wooten, representing the City, and Richard Cox, representing the City Council.

Board Members were appointed for a seven year term.

In April of 1977, the Declaration of Trust was established and signed by legal counsel, Phillip Dixon.

The Book of Memory was established in 1978.

From 1978 until the late 80’s, the organization continued to exist and maintained its presence in the community, although it was not widely publicized and there was never any type of permanent facility or staff hired. Due to the nature of the Declaration of Trust that was established in 1977, the local banks along with the city, continued to appoint designated members of their organizations to serve on the board. There was a few small projects throughout the years that they were able to raise a small amount of funds to assist mostly need based when a special need in the community was announced. One of which was the original restoration of the historic Humber House.

Once Dr. Hadley retired and eventually was no longer in the capacity to oversee the Trust, it continued to exist but mostly only in namesake as no large amount of monies were raised.

In early 1998, the board was contacted by Wachovia Bank & Trust to advise them that the Greenville Trust had been named recipient of the William H. Hooker and Barbara P. Hooker Trust, which was being held and managed by Wachovia Bank. The Hooker Family, being from the town of Hookerton and having many charitable giving wishes to various organizations both locally and out of state, had chosen the Greenville Trust to oversee the distribution of those funds for perpetuity which also names the Greenville Trust as a beneficiary to receive an annual distribution totaling 32 percent of the net income annually.

Once this significant gift was received, the board then was faced with major decisions about the life of the organization and what type of direction is should take at that point. Tommy Stroud, who at that time was with Wachovia, was contacted and asked if he would consider serving on the Greenville Trust Board and helping oversee this large charitable distribution while as a Board they would begin work on reforming as a new Foundation. At that time, Jerry Brett was serving as the current President of the Board.

The Greater Greenville Community Foundation Era

At that point, in 1999-2000, under new leadership and with a new purpose, the Board decided to restructure and convert from the Greenville Trust to The Greater Greenville Foundation and this was led by the legal counsel of Walt Kitchin and the firm of Colombo, Kitchin & Ball. Tommy Stroud began his term as President and the Board spent about 12 months going through the transition process and the GGCF was formed as a pubic charity 501 C 3 organization and at that time began to seek part time help for a Director Position. John Minges joined the organization and together with Tommy Stroud helped organize the 20 years worth of files, archives, and legal documents. About one full year was spent getting the bylaws, articles of incorporation and other legal filings in place. John Minges served for one year, and in October of 2001 it was voted on by the Board that they would seek a full time Executive Director.

After the interview process was completed, Melissa Spain was hired by Tommy Stroud and the Board of Directors to serve as the first, full time Executive Director. At the very beginning of the formation of the Greater Greenville Foundation, the organization held two funds, Hooker & Barnhill Funds which were both valued at approximately 2 million dollars. The only cash in hand the Foundation had at the time of hiring the Director was a $50,000 CD.

Since 2001, the Greater Greenville Community Foundation has become the largest charitable/philanthropic community foundation east of Raleigh. In sixteen years, the Foundation has grown to over 100 funds, with over 25 million dollars in assets, both under current management and by way of future bequests. The enormous growth the Foundation has experienced as a result of tireless work and efforts on behalf of the CEO and Board of Trustees, has resulted in over 100 funds including Donor Advised, Designated Funds, Field of Interest Funds and Scholarships as well as Pass Through Charitable Gift Funds. The GGCF now distributes nearly a million dollars annually in grants to more than 75 charities and over a quarter of a million dollars annually in scholarships to colleges and universities throughout North Carolina and the US. The GGCF has two full time staff including the CEO and the Accounting and Donor Services Manager, and is governed by a Board of Directors of 17 Members. In addition, the GGCF Investment Committee is appointed to oversee the fiduciary responsibility of all of the endowed assets of the GGCF. The GGCF is also proud to have the expertise of our Leadership Council which serves as Advisors to the GGCF and the Board and is comprised of local and state leaders.

The Community Foundation of NC East - Serving ALL of Eastern NC

Now being nearly at the end of our second decade, the GGCF is preparing to lead our Donors as well as our region of eastern North Carolina into the most prosperous future possible! As a result of such significant growth and successes, the Foundation recently made the prudent decision of making a name change to better represent who we have become as a Foundation.

The Foundation is extremely proud to officially announce our new name which is The Community Foundation of NC East! Our leadership indeed feels that this new name best represents who we are and who we serve. Our Donor base is represented in various cities and counties throughout the entire eastern region of North Carolina. While we are changing by way of name, we are not changing in terms of who we are, meaning that we remain one hundred percent committed to continuing with the highest level of service that we provide our Donor Family and the nonprofits throughout eastern North Carolina that we partner with.

We pride ourselves on the high satisfaction rate that we experience with all of our Donors and Families, as well as our community partnerships. That is what our success has been built upon and that is the level of excellence that we will continue to provide while still being able to broaden our scope of Donor relationships while strengthening communities throughout the east by connecting needs and opportunities through our philanthropic resources.