ZSR Awards $1.4 Million to 33 Organizations Working for Local Progress Across NC From food pantries to community theater, the newest grants fall under ZSR’s Community Progress Fund strategy


Photo caption: This map shows the locations of the newest Community Progress Fund grants. There is only one star in locations where multiple grants/organizations are being funded. 


During our May board meeting, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation (ZSR) Board of Trustees awarded 33 grants totaling $1.4 million to organizations working for local progress in communities across North Carolina. The new grants are part of ZSR’s Community Progress Fund strategy.  

The funded projects span the state, from Macon County in the far west to Pamlico County in the east, from Alleghany County on the northern border to Robeson County on the southern border. 

The organizations funded are making progress in their communities in diverse ways. For example: 

  • Macon County Public Health will support 100 families by providing boxes of fresh food sourced from nearby farms, along with cooking equipment and recipes for the food provided. 

  • The Alleghany Partnership for Children will expand a supervised visitation site so that more parents and children can see each other after periods of forced separation. 

  • In Charlotte, Btep will partner with a local micro-transportation business to help people with low incomes get to work, medical appointments and the grocery store when public transportation is not an option. 

  • The Community Theatre of Greensboro will grow their Onstage and Inclusive program, the only theater arts program for people with disabilities in Guilford County.  

  • In Bladen, Hoke and Robeson Counties, the Lumber River United Way will expand a program to help students experiencing homelessness meet their basic needs, including food and clothing.  

These are just five examples of how nonprofits will use new funding to continue or expand their critical work.  

The Community Progress Fund provides an infusion of short-term funding for organizations to test ideas, expand promising efforts and achieve greater impact in their communities. Grants are meant to help groups build on existing momentum to move an issue, organization, idea or project forward. 

ZSR accepts applications annually, and grant amounts range from $20,000-$30,000 per year for one or two years.  

Here is the full list of funded organizations: 

Alleghany Partnership for Children (Alleghany County) 

Almond Connection (Guilford County) 

Bayboro Development Center (Pamlico County) 

Bertie County Hive House (Bertie County) 

Black Child Development Institute of Greensboro (Guilford County) 

Btep (Mecklenburg County) 

Burlington Community Land Trust (Alamance County) 

Cape Fear Community Land Trust (New Hanover County) 

CityGate Dream Center (Alamance County) 

Community Partners of Hope (Vance County) 

Community Theatre of Greensboro (Guilford County) 

Creative Corridors Coalition (Forsyth County) 

Davidson County Local Food Network (Davidson County) 

Diversity Nurtures Achievement (Duplin County) 

Fayetteville Area Operation Inasmuch (Cumberland County) 

Hill Family Farm Education Center (Edgecombe County) 

Hope Center at Pullen (Wake County) 

Insomniacs (Iredell County) 

JMPro Community Media (Buncombe County) 

Lumber River United Way (Robeson County) 

Macon County Public Health (Macon County) 

Marian Cheek Jackson Center (Orange County) 

Olive Hill Community Economic Development Corporation (Burke County) 

PAWSS (Robeson County) 

Rebuilding Broken Places CDC (Wayne County) 

RS and TC Jervay Foundation (New Hanover County) 

Shiloh Community Association (Buncombe County) 

Southern Pines Land & Housing Trust (Moore County) 

Surry-Yadkin Works (Surry County)  

Tranzmission (Buncombe County) 

Union Taylors Community Action Association (Chatham County) 

West Martin Alumni Association (Martin County) 

Wilkes Community Partnership for Children (Wilkes County)