FFTC Celebrates 60 years of Inspiring, Empowering and Creating
Sixty years of milestones and memories. Sixty years of serving our community. Sixty years of being a part of its fabric. Sixty years of inspiring philanthropy and empowering individuals to create a better community.
In January of 1958, 24 of Charlotte’s distinguished leaders met to create the United Community Foundation. Its mission: to accept and distribute charitable gifts, to make sure donors’ wishes are carried out in perpetuity and to build a permanent “nest egg” for broad community needs. The first gift of $3,000 was given by the local United Way.
Sixty years later, your community foundation – now known as Foundation For The Carolinas – has grown from $3,000 to more than $2 billion in charitable assets, making FFTC one of the largest community foundations in the country.
With that growth has come a myriad of changes, from our service area – which now stretches over 13 counties in North and South Carolina – to the many ways we serve our generous fundholders, to our headquarters facility, which is a vibrant civic hub.
Over the years, thanks to our generous donors and partners, the Foundation has hit many milestones:
- First discretionary endowment from supporter Maybelle Y. McMahon (1965).
- Assets reach $1 million (1976).
- A name change to Foundation For The Carolinas (1984).
- The creation of the African American Community Endowment Fund (1993).
- A bequest of $35 million from the estate of Lucille Giles, an unrestricted gift that reshaped FFTC’s discretionary grantmaking (1995).
- The creation of the Foundation for the Charlotte Jewish Community (1997).
- The hiring of our current president and CEO Michael Marsicano (1999).
- The creation of the Robinson Center for Civic Leadership (2008)
- The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force issued its final report identifying key determinants in improving upward mobility (2017) … and on and on.
And in honor of our anniversary, Gov. Roy Cooper and the state of North Carolina declared Nov. 28, 2018, Foundation For The Carolinas Day. The proclamation reads, in part, in honor of the Foundation being, "a consistent voice in the community for fundraising, philanthropic guidance, charitable vision and social consciousness."
Throughout the next year, FFTC will celebrate our diamond anniversary through a series of stories found throughout our website and social media. Follow us on Facebook for 60 years of reflections through our special 60 for 60 series, which will highlight the people who have made a difference, meaningful dates, transformative grants and other stories of impact on our community and beyond.
Glass art (top): "Diamana Splitare" by Jon Kuhn