Our 2022-2023 Annual Report To The Community

Letter From the President & Board Chair

The past year has been all about progress as the Foundation, our fundholders and our community demonstrated unprecedented generosity and commitment to creating a more vibrant region.

That’s why, in this annual report to our community, we are reflecting on the trends we’re seeing among our fundholders, donors and partners – giving in new and innovative ways, focusing on emerging areas of community need, and placing a lens on equity in the initiatives, nonprofits and programs in which they invest.

The Foundation ended the year with an all-time high in total assets, owned and represented of nearly $4 billion, remaining the fifth-largest community foundation out of 800 across the U.S. This was thanks to our generous family, corporate and nonprofit fundholders who gave more than ever last year, with record gifts ($961 million), record grantmaking ($464 million) and a deep commitment to their local community foundation.

It makes sense. A global health crisis tends to remind one of the importance of nonprofits, the value of community, the unexpectedness of life and the value of working today while preparing for tomorrow.

The uncertainty of the pandemic is one of the many reasons our pipeline of promised estate gifts now stands at nearly $1 billion in future bequests, reflecting the increase we saw in donors considering their charitable legacies during the pandemic. However, only a small portion of these gifts are unrestricted, a designation that gives FFTC the ability to use gifted funds to address unexpected future community needs.

Another lesson that was reinforced in recent years: The flexibility of unrestricted funds is crucial for the Foundation to respond to our region’s ever-evolving challenges. This is why you will be hearing more about opportunities to build our unrestricted funds in the future.

Inspiring philanthropy through service to these generous fundholders is one pillar of our mission. Creating a better community through civic leadership is our second pillar – and we saw several civic initiatives that were launched recently report meaningful results:

  • The Mayor’s Racial Equity Initiative – a $250 million public/private partnership dedicated to making Charlotte a more equitable community for all – reported results for its priority focus areas. In trying to erase the digital divide, the initiative supported the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s distribution of more than 20,000 laptops to neighbors without digital access; $1 million was committed to buy two hotels that will provide much-needed affordable housing in the City of Charlotte’sCorridors of Opportunity; and Johnson C. Smith launched a series of comprehensive recruitment and retention initiatives that aim to drive a 400-student freshman class for the upcoming academic year, to name a few achievements.
  • Beyond Open CLT – a grant program that builds economic mobility within the Corridors of Opportunity – has distributed more than $5.9 million to 178 diverse-owned small businesses, to date – with more upcoming rounds of grants. Of the businesses that received funding in the first round, 90% were owned by a person of color, 61% were owned by females and 13% of owners identified as LGBTQ+.
  • Leading on Opportunity, which addresses economic mobility, launched the Opportunity Compass – an equity dashboard that measures Charlotte’s progress on the subject. This innovation will help nonprofits, corporations and government agencies make strategic investments and decisions to foster mobility, using more precise

Bringing people together to share diverse viewpoints is at the heart of our civic mission. Earlier this year, we dedicated our

headquarters’ newest convening space to a community treasure, trailblazing physician, philanthropic leader and equity advocate. The Dr. Ophelia Garmon-Brown Board Room was made possible thanks to Novant Health Foundation, and will soon be available to local nonprofits for complimentary usage during business hours.

Finally in this year of progress, we announced that local civic leader, longtime Bank of America executive and former FFTC governing board chair, Cathy Bessant, will join the team as our next president and CEO in January 2024, following the retirement of Michael Marsicano earlier this year. We thank Michael for 23 extraordinary years of service to our Foundation and community, and we can’t wait to see where Cathy and our talented team take us next.

As always, thank you to our generous fundholders, civic leaders and partners for making the last 65 years (and the next 65) possible!

Arrington Mixon, FFTC Governing Board Chair

Laura Smith Interim, President and CEO











To continue reading our 2022-2023 annual report, visit: here.