Focus Areas

Our Next Century of Impact

We are committed to keeping pace with the most pressing challenges and opportunities facing Forsyth County today, and we’re focusing a significant portion of our community investments in two key areas—Building an Inclusive Economy and Advancing Equity in Education. These efforts are crucial to ensuring that Winston-Salem becomes a place where race no longer predicts life outcomes.

Priority areas

We developed the following priorities for investment in 2018 after conducting community listening sessions and reviewing data that revealed significant educational, economic, and residential disparities among communities of color.

Building an Inclusive Economy

building an inclusive economy
  • Inclusive pathways to family-sustaining careers
  • Reduction in the racial wealth gap
  • Access to efficient and affordable transportation

Learn more and get in touch >

Advancing equity in education

Advancing Equity in Education

  • Positive behavior intervention strategies
  • Culturally affirming school environments
  • Equitable access to opportunities and resources

Learn more and get in touch >


We’re adapting and growing how we invest in the community. While grantmaking remains an important tool for our community investment, given these complex challenges we are looking for additional ways to make a difference and advance our mission.

We are utilizing both proactive and responsive grantmaking, and we’re more engaged with our community partners, as these partnerships are vital for propelling our community forward toward positive change.

As we've broadened our relationships and continued to learn, we have become a more strategic and intentional partner. With accountability to our donors and partners, we show up in new ways and leverage our position, tools, and resources to inspire and cultivate community action.

A few of the ways we’re investing:

  • Active Partnerships: We’re developing strategic approaches to large-scale community challenges in partnership with local organizations such as Asset Building Coalition of Forsyth County, Forsyth Futures, Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods, Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools, and many others.
  • Proactive Grantmaking: Through our partnerships, opportunities often arise for the Foundation to make financial investments to help move important work forward.
  • Responsive Grantmaking: Periodically we offer focused grant rounds in specific program areas by issuing specific requests for proposals.
  • Student Aid: Our student aid program is an economic mobility tool that assists local residents pursue higher education.
  • Community Development Corporations (CDCs): CDCs play an important role in building an inclusive economy. These nonprofit, community-based organizations help revitalize underserved neighborhoods, attract new investments, and build community wealth.
  • Impact Investing: Launched in 2020 to support businesses and organizations working for social change in Forsyth County, this program aligns Foundation investments with our mission and focus area work, resulting in both financial and social returns. Learn more

We are committed to advancing racial equity across all our work in Forsyth County because we believe it is unacceptable that today race and zip code can serve as reliable predictors of an individual’s positive or negative educational, health, and economic outcomes. Systems, including institutions, policies, and resource allocation in our community, have played a major role in this outcome, and it’s crucial to focus on these systems to affect real change.


We invite you to join us in this important work by supporting the Next Century Fund to help us succeed in our efforts to create a generous and trusting community where everyone is thriving.


Follow the Foundation on Facebook or Twitter, and sign-up for our e-news.

Sign up for e-news