Community Foundation Announces $500,000 Grant Investment

by | Mar 14, 2014 | News

Leaders of Cumberland Community Foundation announced a major gift to the proposed North Carolina Civil War History Center. Plans call for the education center to be built on the grounds of the existing State-supported Museum of the Cape Fear, directly adjacent to the remains of the historic Fayetteville Arsenal. The $500,000 grant is the largest in the foundation’s history and will be paid over five years once the State awards the contract for construction of the center. Funding will come from three of the foundation’s largest endowments. The Dr. William C. Powell Charitable Endowment was created by the estate of Dr. Powell, a long-time supporter of the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex Foundation and other historical preservation organizations. The Dr. Lucile Hutaff Community Advancement Fund was created by an anonymous donor who directed that the fund be used for innovative programs that advance the quality of life in Cumberland County, NC. The Innovative Program for Community Progress created by a related anonymous donor was established to aid charitable, scientific, education or literacy organizations in Cumberland County, NC and specifically not for direct aid and human services. Elizabeth “Beth” Keeney is chairman of the foundation’s Community Impact Committee that oversees its grantmaking from unrestricted endowments. “The NC Civil War History Center gives the foundation an excellent opportunity to fulfill these donors’ wishes to support unique community infrastructure. Frankly, we deserve excellent things in this community as much as any other community. The community foundation board was very impressed with the extensive planning and excellence that this project represents. We feel like this education center will be a game-changing project for Fayetteville.” Erica Gordon, Grants & Initiative Manager, said: “The board was very excited about this project because of its far reaching impact in four of the foundation’s six priority areas – economic development, education, quality of life, and community engagement. Early estimates show over 100,000 visitors annually which will have a powerful impact on our economy. The new museum will be part of the state museum system and will bring several museum jobs and over 100 tourism related permanent jobs to the Fayetteville MSA. That kind of economic impact is very exciting.” The grant will be paid over five years and only once several conditions are met. The State of NC must award the contract for construction and the center must become part of the State museum system. Keeney provided additional details of the project. “The plan will transform the existing Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex into the North Carolina Civil War History Center. It will be the first state museum in the nation that interprets the Civil War and its aftermath from the perspective of a single state. The extent of the planning for this project is impressive. They have engaged top level historians from UNC-CH, Fayetteville State University, Wake Forest University, UNC-Charlotte and UNC-Wilmington. They have taken community leaders to see the Holocaust museum in Washington, DC and other similar tourist / education facilities including Gettysburg, The Newseum, and The Mariners Museum in Newport News, Va. More than 100 historians, community and business leaders have been actively involved in the planning process.” The initial conceptual planning began in 2008 and was followed by an intensive 30-month comprehensive process that included 5 professional consulting teams. Dr. James Leutze, noted historian and chancellor-emeritus of UNC-Wilmington, leads the statewide Advisory Board. The Advisory Board held its first meeting in Raleigh on March 8, 2014. The NC Civil War History Center Foundation is the center’s private fund raising arm and is comprised of a diverse 15 member board including civic, business, religious, political and cultural leaders. Local businessman Mac Healy leads the board. Keeney explained that the board of the community foundation hopes an early commitment of support will spark giving from the local community. “We have thoroughly reviewed this opportunity and feel that it is an excellent match for the three endowment funds involved. This is a “tipping point” project, a game changer for our community. We are proud to be involved early and help move it forward.” About CCF: Founded in 1980, Cumberland Community Foundation is a public charity with the mission of helping generous people create endowments that will improve the quality of life in the community. The foundation has $71.5 million in assets, the sum of 432 different charitable funds it holds. For more information, visit Contact:

Erica Gordon, Cumberland Community Foundation, Grants & Initiatives Manager (910)483-4449
David Winslow, Nonprofit Consultant, The Winslow Group, (336)416-4530

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