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leverage fund

Let’s bring more funding to WNC.

Every year, federal and state agencies distribute billions of dollars to nonprofit organizations and local governments to support or expand their work. Millions more are available from national charitable foundations. But Western North Carolina doesn’t often take advantage of these funds, and most nonprofits in our area may not realize the wealth of opportunity that lies outside our borders. As a result, millions of dollars are left on the table that could be supporting the critical work of organizations right here at home.

The Leverage Fund gives WNC nonprofits and government agencies a leg up in the application process for federal and state funders and national foundations. Through the Leverage Fund, Dogwood Health Trust underwrites the services of professional, experienced grant writers to help individual organizations or collaboratives pursue funding from national and state sources.

The Leverage Fund helps match nonprofits with the right grant writer, and supports other costs associated with preparing a grant application, such as travel stipends or meeting costs. We encourage individual nonprofits, government agencies and collaboratives to work with the Leverage Fund. To get started, simply contact us and have a conversation. We’ll discuss the funding you wish to apply for, and the best grant writer match for you.

Once your grant writer is assigned, Dogwood will take a step back and let you get to work. Our only expectation is that you’ll let us know if your grant request was successful and how much you received, and that you will note support from the Leverage Fund at Dogwood Health Trust in any press your award receives. We also hope you’ll share your stories about the application process and the results of your additional funding with us.

Grant Sites to Explore

Almost every federal and state agency, along with most national foundations, posts grant opportunities online. While Dogwood Health Trust does maintain and update a list of some funding opportunities, it is by no means exhaustive. We strongly recommend you conduct an internet search based on your organization’s focus areas and programs. Some potential sites to explore might include:

how to apply

Want to discuss your ideas? Engage With Us to start the process.

Accessing the leverage fund is easy.

Step 1

Identify a funding source you’d like to pursue. Do some exploring to find likely sources.

Step 2

Talk to us about what you’d like to do. If we agree that your plan fits our strategic priorities and is a match for the requirements of the grant you want to pursue, we’ll find a grant writer to work with you.

Step 3

Work with your grant writer to submit your request to a state or national funder.

Step 4

Let us know what happens. 

It’s that simple, and the possibilities couldn’t be greater. To learn more, simply send us an email at [email protected].

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partner outcomes

partner profile

Unidxs WNC

As a small, new nonprofit working to address social, economic, educational and cultural inequities in Jackson and Graham Counties, Unidxs WNC actively engages and supports the Hispanic and Latino community – but faced a challenge in engaging the support of foundation funders.

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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