FAQs

What is the mission of Foundation For The Carolinas?

Foundation For The Carolinas inspires philanthropy and strengthens our 13-county region through innovative community initiatives and quality services to donors and constituents.

What is a community foundation?

As defined by the Council on Foundations, a community foundation is a grantmaking public charity that is dedicated to improving the lives of people in a defined local geographic area. A community foundation brings together the financial resources of individuals, families and businesses to support the nonprofits they value. Community foundations vary widely in asset size, ranging from less than $100,000 to more than $8 billion.

When and why was Foundation For The Carolinas created?

We were founded in 1958 with a $3,000 grant from the United Way. Today, Foundation For The Carolinas 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 needs and philanthropic opportunities across the region and beyond.

Since inception, Foundation For The Carolinas has facilitated philanthropic giving totaling $2.4 billion for thousands of individual, nonprofit and corporate donors. Our fundholders – currently totaling nearly 2,500 – reflect a wide variety of values and perspectives.

How does a community foundation operate?

Operating under the governance of a board of directors and administrative staff, Foundation For The Carolinas serves donors by placing charitable dollars with qualified 501(c)3 charities, houses of worship or government entities.

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

What is the difference and advantage between a community foundation and private foundation?

Private foundations are typically established with funds from a single source or specific sources, such as family or corporate money, and are not recognized as publicly-supported charities by the IRS. By contrast, community foundations are supported by a diverse set of individuals, families, corporations and nonprofits. Community foundations are recognized as publicly-supported charities by the IRS.

Does Foundation For The Carolinas fund a specific type of charitable work or agenda?

Foundation For The Carolinas does not promote, favor or refuse funding to any organization based on social or political preference or agenda. We make grants of all sizes and purposes on behalf of donors who wish to place their charitable dollars with qualified 510(c)3 charities, houses of worship or government entities. We do not make grants to organizations that have not been granted 501(c)3 status by the IRS or recognized as fully tax deductible under federal tax laws. Donors may only support charities awarded that designation and that are in good standing with the IRS.

What organizations can receive grants and funds administered by a community foundation?

Only organizations qualified with the IRS under federal tax laws as 501(c)3 charities, houses of worship or government entities are eligible to receive funding from a community foundation.

How does FFTC award grants to nonprofits? Who decides what causes to support?

Grantmaking activities at Foundation For The Carolinas generally fall into two primary categories. The vast majority of grants are donor-recommended, meaning grants are initiated 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.

Only organizations qualified with the IRS under federal tax laws as 501(c)3 charities, houses of worship or government entities are eligible to receive funding from a community foundation.

Visit our online grants center for information about grant opportunities.

Can gifts and grants be made anonymously?

Yes.

Does Foundation For The Carolinas have any political or religious affiliations?

Foundation For The Carolinas does not have any political or religious affiliations. We treat all of our donors equally, respecting the right of donors to support qualified 501(c)3 charities, houses of worship or government entities recognized and sanctioned by the IRS. Grants made through the Foundation reflect the diversity of thought, intent, background and economic status of our fundholders.

Where is Foundation For The Carolinas located?

Foundation For The Carolinas’ headquarters, the Luski-Gorelick Center for Philanthropy, is located in the heart of uptown Charlotte at 220 North Tryon Street. The facility serves as a convening space for our community, and provides free meeting space for our region’s nonprofits.

We also host corporate events, nonprofit fundraisers and weddings. Revenue generated from these events allow us to share our building with the community. We offer conference rooms at no cost to our region’s nonprofits during weekday business hours, and our first-floor art gallery is free and open to the public. The collection’s primary holdings were donated or loaned by the family of Sonia and Isaac Luski.

We are currently renovating the Carolina Theatre, located adjacent to our headquarters, to create a large-scale civic convening space. A 20-story 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 hotel, theatre and our current headquarters will be conjoined to create a collection of civic venues, named Belk Place.

Foundation For
The Carolinas


220 North Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28202

Main phone:

704.973.4500


Toll free:

800.973.7244


Office Hours:

Monday-Friday
8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Gallery Hours:

Open to the public
Monday-Friday
9:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The Sonia and Issac Luski gallery periodically hosts private events. Please call to verify daily hours of operation.

Please note that event space tours are available by appointment only.