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Donations Double For Foundation While Other Groups Struggle

Foundation for the Carolinas did what has proved hard for many non-profits lately. It raised $212 million last year. But how is that possible when many other groups are struggling to meet annual giving goals? Two hundred and twelve million dollars is a lot of money, but when you consider the foundation brought in half that amount last year, it seems an even bigger feat. "Oh man wouldn't that be great if we were able to do an iota of that, a teeny little piece of that pie," says Kate Meier with the Charlotte chapter of the American Red Cross The Red Cross is trying to raise $2.7 million this year and it's not having an easy time. This week the group got a $250,000 challenge grant from a wealthy individual, but that's unusual. United Way of the Central Carolinas is also having a rough go of it. The group is $2.6 million short of its $25.2 million goal. This week the non-profit extended its annual campaign for another three months. Bill Norton with United Way says the economy hasn't improved to the point where enough people feel comfortable giving. "When you look at the people who give to, for example, a United Way campaign it's the CEOs down to the receptionist and the receptionist might still have had his or her job knocked down to part time," says Norton. But The Foundation for the Carolinas manages and distributes money primarily for wealthy donors. The group's CEO, Michael Marsicano says much of the foundation's giving is tied to how well the stock market performs and things are looking up. "We're actually a bellwether for what I think is coming in terms of charitable donations," says Marsicano. "Many donors will place funds in their accounts they hold with us often when the market is up, often when they haven't yet decided where they want to place those charitable dollars." Last year, the foundation gave $139 million to Charlotte area non-profits. That's up $40 million from 2009. Marsicano expects last year's good fortune to pay off handsomely in grants to many of those groups this year.