Frequently Asked Questions

What is the mission of Foundation For The Carolinas?

We inspire philanthropy and empower individuals to create a better community.

What is a community foundation?

A community foundation is a grantmaking public charity dedicated to improving the lives of people in its geographic area. Community foundations bring together the financial resources of individuals, families and businesses to support the nonprofits they value. They vary widely in asset size, ranging from less than $100,000 to more than $8 billion.

What does FFTC do?

Operating under the governance of a board of directors and administrative staff, Foundation For The Carolinas manages charitable funds and serves as a philanthropic partner for its individual, nonprofit and corporate clients. 

We also invest in transformative community initiatives that address pressing issues such as improving public education, increasing economic opportunity, supporting veterans and providing affordable housing. 

What area do you serve?

We serve a 13-county region across the Carolinas:

North Carolina – Cabarrus County, Cleveland County, Davidson County, Iredell County, Lincoln County, Mecklenburg County, Richmond County, Rowan County, Stanly County and Union County

South Carolina – Cherokee County, Lancaster County, York County

When and why was FFTC created?

We were founded in 1958 with a $3,000 grant from the United Way. Today, FFTC is one of the largest community foundations in the United States. We serve as a catalyst for charitable good, connecting individuals, companies and organizations to community needs and philanthropic opportunities.

How does FFTC award grants? How do I apply?

The vast majority of grants are donor-recommended, meaning grants are awarded to qualified 501(c)3 nonprofits by our individual, nonprofit and corporate clients from their FFTC-held funds. A much smaller portion of our grant awards are discretionary, meaning FFTC proactively chooses to fund programs supporting areas of community need.

Some grants are offered through competitive grantmaking programs we administer. Nonprofits may apply for these grants. Grant programs, eligibility criteria, deadlines and information about applying can be found in our Online Grants Center.

For more information about grants, visit our Grants FAQs.

Can I apply for a grant from any of your donors' funds?

Grants from FFTC's donor advised funds are recommended directly by our donors. FFTC does not provide contact information or information about donors' interests or grant distribution histories.

For more answers about grants, visit our Grants FAQs.

What kinds of organizations are eligible to receive grants and funds?

Qualified 501(c)3 nonprofits, houses of worship and government entities in the United States may receive grants from FFTC and our fundholders. FFTC does not promote, favor or refuse funding to any organization based on social or political preference or agenda.

What scholarship programs do you offer? How do I apply?

FFTC manages a number of scholarship programs with various eligibility requirements. Visit our scholarships page to learn more.

How can I hold an event or meeting in your building?

We host corporate events, nonprofit fundraisers and weddings each year. Revenue generated from these events allows us to share our building with the community. For more information, visit 220 North Tryon.

We also offer complimentary meeting space to nonprofits within our 13-county region during weekday business hours.

What is featured in your gallery’s art collection?

Our Sonia and Isaac Luski Gallery features contemporary glass artists such as Lino Tagliapietra, Jon Kuhn and Dale Chihuly, as well as painters such as Chuck Close and Herb Jackson. It is located on the first floor of our headquarters facility in the Luski-Gorelick Center for Philanthropy.

The gallery is free and open to the public during normal business hours. The collection’s primary holdings were donated or loaned by the family of Sonia and Isaac Luski, helping to bring to life the Luskis’ philanthropic vision to share exquisite art with our community.

What is the Carolina Theatre project?

We are currently renovating the Carolina Theatre, located adjacent to our headquarters in Uptown Charlotte. FFTC is now working to restore the long-vacant Carolina Theatre, which was built in 1927, to its original grandeur and to create a vital civic engagement space. Construction is currently underway.

A 20-story Intercontinental-branded hotel is planned above the theatre. FFTC has leased the air rights for the hotel to an outside developer, which will offset the cost of operating the theatre. FFTC is not financially invested in the hotel project.

The Carolina Theatre, Intercontinental Hotel, our current headquarters (the Luski Gorelick Center for Philanthropy) and other amenities will be conjoined to create a collection of civic venues, named Belk Place.