Close this search box.


Dogwood looks forward to focusing on the following priorities in 2024. The majority of our grant investments will be made through our Strategic Priority Grant Opportunity in the first half of the year. The Strategic Priority Grant applications will open on November 13, 2023.



Maintain momentum and investments in opportunities that prioritize leverage, partnership and collaboration for:

  • Community revitalization.
  • Supportive housing.
  • Senior housing.
  • Deeply affordable housing.
  • Workforce housing (through impact investments).
  • Housing needs assessments, by continuing to fund counties/municipalities.

Invest in learning opportunities to:

  • Better understand how to effectively and respectfully invest in affordable housing in rural areas.
  • Explore strategies to create, with other partners, large-scale pools of financial resources for affordable housing.
  • Gain further clarity on equity in housing, how to remove barriers and how to focus more on people rather than “units.”



Early Childhood

  • Continue to support two ECE Workforce cohorts.
  • Make exploratory/learning investments into family-centered early childhood education in homes and community spaces.


  • Continue to support the existing WNC After 3pm cohort.
  • Deepen out-of-school time investments in rural counties.
  • Invest in programs that focus on adolescents (grades 6-12) and linguistically, ethnically and economically diverse student populations.


  • Explore innovative efforts and promising practices that produce gains in retaining first-generation and underserved learners.


Economic Opportunity

Workforce Development

  • Continue to support existing collaborations.
  • Expand support to collaborative partnerships aimed at reducing barriers to credential attainment, including (but not limited to) Success Coach programs at community colleges.


  • Continue support for the “Access to Capital” cohorts.
  • Increase focus on organizations that provide critical support to small businesses to help them become loan- and investment-ready.

Economic Ecosystems

  • Continue to support economic ecosystem partners.
  • Expand support to initiatives aimed at creating thriving local economic ecosystems that benefit all western North Carolina residents, especially in rural communities.

Broadband (second half of 2024)

  • In partnership with all of Dogwood’s strategic priority teams, develop and launch an investment initiative focused on equitable access and adoption of broadband – ensuring that all residents of Western North Carolina have a broadband connection, have devices on which to access it, know how to use it, can afford it and understand its relevance to their daily lives.


Health & Wellness

Substance Use Disorder

  • In partnership with Dogwood’s Education team, identify opportunities for collaborations with both school systems and out-of-school time providers to create an ecosystem of support and substance use prevention.
  • Continue to support counties and municipalities in their planning and preparation for the receipt of opioid settlement dollars.
  • In collaboration with all Dogwood strategic priority teams, invest in long-term supports for recovery, such as recovery-friendly workplaces, housing, workforce training, etc.

Accessible Health Ecosystems

  • Invest in learning and mapping the existing landscape of health services and systems in Western North Carolina, identifying gaps and developing multi-year strategies to bridge those gaps.
  • Expand support to safety net providers and organizations serving in the child welfare space (e.g., FQHCs/FQHC look-alikes, public health departments, departments of social services and child advocacy centers).

Equity in the Essentials

  • Build on the support of food banks and pantries to engage with new partners and build more sustainable food systems throughout the region, from farm production to distribution.
  • Pursue additional partnerships with organizations that provide direct assistance to families and individuals for essential needs (such as transportation, diapers, household items and clothing).

Health Workforce

  • In cooperation with Dogwood’s Education and Economic Opportunity teams, explore investments to ensure Western North Carolina has an adequate, available and appreciated healthcare workforce – from physicians and nurses to critical clinical staff such as med techs, CNAs, laboratory staff and others.

Investments in Community Equity, Sustainable Organizations/Leverage Fund and Public Policy/Advocacy will be available on a continual basis throughout the year.

During the second half of the year, we will be launching a new Broadband initiative (see above), as well as offering some flexible funding for collaboration, planning and exploration and capacity building for promising ideas or partners. We’ll have more information about these opportunities in the spring of 2024.

Translate »

Join our mailing list to receive updates on our latest news, funding opportunities, and more.

Health & Wellness | Goal 4

Increase Access to Behavioral Health and Substance Use Prevention and Treatment

Support programs and networks that reduce deaths, treat addiction, and prevent first use

Objective 4.1: Reduce opioid overdose mortality throughout the region

Objective 4.2: Reduce untreated behavioral health and substance use disorder in disproportionately affected communities

Objective 4.3: Prevent and reduce behavioral health issues and substance use (tobacco, alcohol, illicit and prescription drugs) in youth

Health & Wellness | Goal 3

Address Health Disparities

Help reduce disparities based on race, location, education and income factors

Objective 3.1: Improve health outcomes for women and infants in rural and low-income communities and communities of color

Objective 3.2: Reduce the prevalence of common chronic health diseases in disproportionately affected communities

Objective 3.3: Increase effectiveness of health care through delivery of culturally aligned services

Health & Wellness | Goal 2

Increase Access to Whole-Person Health Care

Invest in integrated heath care with seamless connections to supportive services

Objective 2.1: Increase the number of people with affordable health insurance coverage

Objective 2.2: Increase the available workforce for primary and allied health care services

Objective 2.3: Increase access to comprehensive and integrated care

Objective 2.4: Increase access to community-based services in low-income, elderly and rural communities

Health & Wellness | Goal 1

Support and Build Healthy Communities

Support communities that promote healthy living and resiliency and help mitigate the impact of trauma, isolation and stress on individuals and families, especially those experiencing poverty

Objective 1.1: Decrease adverse experiences (ACEs and traumatic violence) and improve individual and family resiliency

Objective 1.2: Increase access to community environments that promote healthy living and social connectedness across the age continuum

Economic Opportunity | Goal 4

Foster Entrepreneurship

Support a well-funded, sustainable, competitive entrepreneur and small business ecosystem throughout the region

Objective 4.1: Increase the number of Person of Color (POC)-led small businesses throughout the region

Objective 4.2: Increase the number of rural small businesses throughout the region

Economic Opportunity | Goal 3

Build Economic Ecosystems

Help build a regional economic ecosystem that supports increased creation/retention of jobs and business ownership

Objective 3.1: Improve access to higher-paying jobs throughout the region, targeting the lowest income populations

Objective 3.2: Increase and retain quality jobs

Objective 3.3: Stimulate economic growth, catalyzing businesses and revenue

Economic Opportunity | Goal 2

Promote Work Readiness

Help build a skilled workforce with the knowledge and technical abilities to excel in a wide range of industry employment opportunities that provide a competitive, sustainable wage

Objective 2.1: Close the educational attainment gap in WNC, staying on pace with regional and county-specific projections (myFutureNC 2030).

Economic Opportunity | Goal 1

Develop a Comprehensive Data Resource

Source, analyze and share a comprehensive, county-by-county data set that paints a full picture of work readiness, economic development and entrepreneurial needs and opportunities specific to Western North Carolina

Education | Goal 3

Support Higher Education Career Readiness

Work in tandem with Economic Opportunity Strategic Priority to invest in career readiness at the community college and university levels

Objective 4.1: Close the educational attainment gap in WNC, staying on pace with regional and county-specific projections (myFutureNC 2030).

Education | Goal 2

Improve K-12 Education

Support K-12 learning experiences with the resources and sustainability to provide an excellent academic and social-emotional education, so that all students graduate ready for college or career

Objective 2.1: Address teacher workforce challenges

Objective 2.2: Equip families of students to support academic growth and social-emotional health

Objective 2.3: Increase capacity of partners to provide supports and services, particularly for children facing challenges related to poverty, systemic racism, being differently abled or English language learners

Education | Goal 1

Improve Early Childhood Education Ecosystem

Invest in an improved early childhood education ecosystem with the resources and sustainability to provide developmentally appropriate, affordable and accessible education and care to support ages birth to five, so that all children in WNC enter kindergarten ready to learn

Objective: Address early childhood educator workforce challenges

Education | Goal 4

Develop a Comprehensive Landscape Study

Source, analyze and share a comprehensive set of publicly available data that provides a regularly updated, county-by-county picture of access, workforce and student outcomes in early childhood education and K-12 education specific to Western North Carolina

Housing | Goal 5

Use Impact Investments to Create Affordable and Workforce Housing

Loans, guarantees, and other financial tools to leverage funding opportunities

Housing | Goal 4

Create and Preserve Housing Units for Persons Below 50% of the Median Income

Increase affordable housing for lowest-income individuals and families

Objective 4.1: Create rental units for households below 50% of the median income

Objective 4.2: Help families pay no more than 30% of their income on housing

Objective 4.3: Create and preserve communities in a way that is representative of the WNC natural landscape

Housing | Goal 3

Create and Preserve Senior Housing

Support age-appropriate resources in affordable and workforce units, rental and owned

Objective 3.1: Create needed rental and homeownership opportunities for seniors

Objective 3.2: Incorporate supportive services in rental housing developments

Objective 3.3: Increase use of universal design in development

Housing | Goal 2

Create and Preserve Supportive Housing Rental Units

Invest in housing with sustainable supports for physical and mental health and wellbeing

Objective 2.1: Create new supportive housing

Objective 2.2: Preserve existing supportive housing

Objective 2.3: Leverage state and federal funds

Single story home in the midst of being build with 3 volunteers helping.

Housing | Goal 1

Support Healthy and Safe Revitalization Opportunities

Support healthy and safe revitalizations that work against displacement and gentrification, preserve home ownership and create generational wealth.

Objective 1.1: Revitalize Neighborhoods

Objective 1.2: Repurpose existing structures to minimize environmental impact

Objective 1.3: Support home ownership