stories of impact: donors
Stories of impact: Community Grants
Stories of impact: Students

Focusing on Education

Richard and Becky Davis believe in education.

“To me education is the key to our success,” says Richard, who believes it generates more opportunities for individuals, not only with work, but also with housing, health, longevity and overall quality of life.

The couple’s commitment to education is evident in their community work spanning decades with all sorts of age groups and nonprofits. Becky volunteered at St. Philips Moravian Church Day Care for preschool children.

“They were a lot of fun,” she says, then smiles and adds quietly, “I spoiled a lot of them.”

Throughout Richard’s extensive service, including membership on the boards of The Winston-Salem Foundation, the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, the United Way of Forsyth County and the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, he has seen first-hand how education impacts the community. As board chair for the Chamber, the United Way, and Appalachian State University, he became heavily involved in educational initiatives to positively impact school success and, ultimately, high school graduation rates.

In 2010, the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust established a field of interest fund for education at the Foundation to honor Richard’s board service, and the Davises have continued to add to it. Their fund gives the Foundation flexibility to make timely Community Grants for educational programming.

“The Foundation has the freedom to grant those funds to whatever organization it feels deserves it most or can have the most impact,” Richard says. “They know the needs and they review all the grant applications. They make the decision as to what is a wise investment and who would manage these grants well. They know this because it’s their business to know.”

The Foundation appealed to Richard, who studied accounting at the University of Maryland before working for the Internal Revenue Service and Wachovia Bank.

“Nobody does it better. They give donors total transparency regarding the funds that are invested there, and I do mean invested.

Not only do you see that your funds are doing a whole lot of good, you see how well the funds are managed over the years. That fund will continue to grow and will be able to assist and help more people and more causes.”

Both Becky and Richard learned the importance of giving back to their community when they were children.

“My dad used to say, ‘The more you give, the more you will receive,” Becky says.

Richard’s grandmother taught him to always share.

“If you have something and the next person has nothing, it’s your duty to share with that person,” he recalls. “She told me to always keep in mind you want to leave this earth a better place than you found it. I’ve always been the kind of person that if I see someone in need I try to help them. It’s just part of my life.”

The Richard and Becky Davis Fund for Education, a field of interest fund for education, was established in 2010 in honor of Richard’s service on the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust board. Richard is a past member of The Winston-Salem Foundation Committee as well as a past Advisory Committee chair of the Foundation’s Black Philanthropy Initiative. The Davises are also members of the Foundation’s Legacy Society.