For nearly 80 years, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation has been a positive catalyst for change, working to improve the quality of life for all North Carolinians. Today, with ZSR’s new executive director, Maurice “Mo” Green at the helm, Foundation Trustees and staff are dedicated to continuing a tradition of bold, forward-thinking vision and action that will make our state an even greater place to live and work.
While grantmaking strategies and approaches have evolved over the years, the Foundation has always strived to remain true to the values of its founding family members, which includes a commitment of creating a greater North Carolina where every person has the opportunity to move forward.
The Foundation has a deep and rich history of investing in nonprofit organizations across North Carolina. Today, it focuses on supporting organizations that are working to support public education, preserve the environment, promote economic opportunity for people of diverse backgrounds, engage more individuals in the democratic process, and elevate the dignity of all. In short, the Foundation is working to educate, preserve, enhance, engage, and elevate.
However, we recognize that the context in which the Foundation is operating is changing rapidly and in fundamental ways. Technology is transforming our personal and professional lives. The demographic makeup of our communities is shifting. Our cities are expanding quickly, while small towns and rural areas are often left behind. And in order for the Foundation to remain attuned to these changes – and others – we need to understand how these changes are affecting communities across North Carolina.
On May 19, 2016, the Foundation launched Mo Wants to Know – a several month listening and learning tour during which ZSR’s executive director, Mo Green, Trustees and staff will make their way across the state, hearing directly from community members, nonprofits, university leaders, local elected officials, business leaders, and many others about what is happening in their communities. The Foundation wants to hear about the trends and challenges these communities are facing, but also about the successes, opportunities and ideas they have for partnering together to make North Carolina an even greater state.
So tell us. What are your game changing ideas and innovative solutions that the Foundation can explore in order to make North Carolina a better place?
Your recommendations and ideas, along with the conversations we plan to have during this tour, will help the Foundation determine how it can best respond to the changing needs of the state.
You can submit ideas and share thoughts, suggestions, and recommendations with the Foundation through our website homepage; by going directly to www.zsr.org/MoWantsToKnow; or visiting the Foundation’s Facebook and/or Twitter page, and using the hashtags #MoWantsToKnow and/or #EnvisionNC. The Foundation cannot promise it will take action on every idea that is shared, but we promise that if you tell us, we will listen.
Solutions that worked a dozen years ago won’t necessarily work today. Therefore, we are open to all new ideas and eager to hear about strategies that are proven and already working in your communities. ZSR looks forward to working with you to envision a North Carolina that is more vibrant, more equitable and more sustainable, where we can provide greater opportunities for all and where everyone can truly thrive.
Let’s create a vision for a better North Carolina together and turn that vision into a reality.