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Past Initiatives

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Immediate Opportunities & Needs Grant

Sometimes unexpected challenges arise for nonprofits. In December 2019, Dogwood began its grantmaking with  Immediate Opportunities and Needs (ION) grants of $500- $25,000 to support one-time, immediate needs or opportunities for 501(c)(3) organizations and government or tribal entities. 

Dogwood’s Program and Grants committee awarded more than $3.7 million to a diverse range of 259 nonprofit and government agencies from every county and the Qualla Boundary. Of those funded, 34% of requests advanced equity or reduce disparities.

Although this initiative is now closed, this first round of funding helped us build initial relationships throughout our region. Now, we’re using what we learned to inform the design of our strategic initiatives to move the needle on key issues and make lasting change.

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Dogwood Health Trust Awarded More Than $3.7 Million in Immediate Opportunities and Needs (ION) Grants to 259 WNC Organizations in 2020.

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ION grants are supporting affordable housing development, dependable cars for working families, a day center expansion at a rescue mission, cybersecurity improvements, roof repairs and a portable X-ray device, just to name a few.

Map of WNC divided by counties and Qualla boundary

2020 Census

The 2020 Census count is officially ended, and WNC outperformed the rest of the state when it came to beating the 2010 response rate! Despite underfunding, a global pandemic, a growing social movement and an election cycle, our county leaders and nonprofit partners stepped up in a big way!

  • Our region outperformed the state and the nation in terms of increases over the 2010 response rates. The U.S. Census response increased .5% from 2010; the state decreased 1.4% from 2010. Western North Carolina increased its average response rate by 2.2% from 2010 to 2020.
  • 10 of our 18 counties and the EBCI exceeded their 2010 response rates. That’s 58% of our area, compared to only 32% of counties across the state as a whole.
  • Our nonprofit partners counted more than 34,000 people (and the numbers are still coming in).
  • As a whole, our entire region increased the count from 47.7% in 2010 to 49.95% in 2020, resulting in approximately $18 billion in forecasted funding flowing into WNC over the next decade.
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Collage of people from all walks of life