Category: In The News

December 23, 2014

Pope Foundation Giving Featured in N&O Column

Categories: Humanitarian, In The News

In a December 23 News & Observer column, Barry Saunders writes about Art Pope and the John William Pope Foundation's diverse giving. We are always honored to support so many valuable organizations.  To learn more about our humanitarian giving, visit the "Our Grants" section of our website here: The N&O story appears below and can be read online at: SAUNDERS: THE GIVING SIDE OF ART POPE BY BARRY SAUNDERS Ah, man. It would be the social event of the season – nay, of the millennium – but alas, it’ll never happen, cap’n. They wouldn’t even have to pay me to cover a wang dang doodle attended by people from all of the groups that get money from the J.W. Pope Foundation: just being there and seeing those in tuxes and tatters mingling would be payment a’plenty. Since 1986, the beau monde and thedemimonde – that’s the high-class swells who dine at white-linen establishments and the struggling soup-kitchen mavens who do what they have to to survive – have benefited from the altruistic contributions of the organization headed by Art Pope. Yes, that Art Pope. Pope, the current chairman and president of the Pope Foundation and Variety Wholesalers Inc., is the most polarizing person in state politics – and he’s not even in politics. Depending upon on which side of the aisle one stands, Pope is a selfless patriot or a reactionary zealot who at best is indifferent to the poor. While serving as Gov. Pat McCrory’s budget director, Pope was thought by many to be the state’s real chief executive, earning the sobriquet “Pope Art” and “knight of the right.” I always doubted that Pope was controlling state government, because much of it has been so dysfunctional that it would be hard to find Pope’s imprint on it. It’s not hard to find it on Step Up Ministry, though. Steve Swayne, CEO of the nonprofit jobs and life skills training program, said the $25,000 his organization received from the Pope Foundation “will help us place 30 people in jobs. ... Many of these people have been in the criminal justice system, over half of them have been homeless.” It has placed 554 in jobs this year. Whenever I’ve sought comments from Pope in the past, it was about some political move that had infuriated half of the populace and delighted others. That’s why when I called and left a message last week, I hurried up and let his office know that I come in peace, in recognition of the Christmas season. Philanthropic father When I reached him by phone, he explained that his father, John W. Pope, had long been philanthropic. “My parents gave directly ... and the company gave to local charities in the areas where we had employees. ... When I joined the family business in 1986, he wanted to channel the family and company charitable giving through a foundation. One of the first tasks he assigned to me was to form this Pope Foundation.” Pope said the group’s local humanitarian giving is centered in Wake, Vance and Harnett counties. “That’s where our family is from, where the company is from, where most of our employees are. Mainly, it’s a geographic criteria. ... We have a board of directors – originally, it was just me sitting down with my father reviewing the grant requests. In the last six or seven years, we’ve gotten more professional, a staff with grant officers – not many: we only have two people on the payroll. I’m not on the payroll, by the way. “They review and recommend the grantees, and we present it to the board of directors and the board approves it,” he said. Just reading the list of the groups that received almost $2 million in December is enough to set the mind a-racing at the thought of seeing them all coming together. In addition to Step Up Ministry, groups as disparate as the N.C. Symphony, N.C. Museum of Art, Helping Horse Therapeutic Riding Program, Carolina Ballet, Shepherd’s Table Soup Kitchen, Safe Haven for Cats, and the Food Banks of Central and Eastern North Carolina all received grants from the foundation. Pope, in a news release, said, “The old ‘give a man a fish’ parable is that if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but that if you teach a man how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime. We believe in doing both.” That’s cool, but too many people don’t consider that, for a man to fish, he at least needs a pole. And a lake.

December 10, 2014

Pope Foundation Announces December Grant Recipients

Categories: Announcements, Education, Humanitarian, In The News, Philanthropy Updates, Press Releases, The Arts

John William Pope Foundation Announces December Grant Recipients Nearly $1.7 million given primarily to North Carolina causes RALEIGH — The John William Pope Foundation recently completed its December board meeting, awarding $1,692,500 to schools, churches, arts organizations, and community groups in its winter grant cycle. The winter grants went primarily to organizations serving the Triangle area and Vance County.  With the addition of these new grants, the Pope Foundation’s total giving for 2014 has exceeded $7.69 million. “The old ‘give a man a fish’ parable is that if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but that if you teach a man how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime,” said Art Pope, chairman of the Pope Foundation. “We believe in doing both. Our December grants provide direct humanitarian assistance to those most in need-for food, shelter, and health care. Our December grants also support education, the arts, and religion. These Pope Foundation grants will help enrich all aspects of the lives of the people of North Carolina.” Substantial grants were awarded to White Memorial Presbyterian Church of Raleigh and Transitions LifeCare (formerly Hospice of Wake County) in honor of the late Joyce Wilkins Pope, who passed away in May.  Joyce W. Pope served as the Pope Foundation’s president from its founding in 1986 until 1992, and was the wife of the late John William Pope, founder of the Pope Foundation and longtime president of Variety Wholesalers. Joyce L. Pope is vice president of the foundation and granddaughter of Joyce W. and John William Pope. “My grandparents cared deeply about the well being of people, and in particular my grandmother loved the arts,” she said. “We miss them dearly, but to be able to honor organizations in which they were deeply vested is rewarding. They would be so pleased to know how many more people will benefit from the care and services of these grantees.” A full list of December grant awards can be found below. The Foundation’s philanthropic vision is rooted in meeting real human needs, both in the short-term, through humanitarian aid, and in the long-term, through liberty-oriented organizations that foster a freer, more prosperous society so that individuals have the opportunity to provide for themselves and their loved ones.  For more information about the Pope Foundation and its grants, please visit December 2014 Grantees: Area Christians Together in Service (A.C.T.S.) of Vance County - $5,000 Alliance Medical Ministries - $20,000 The Asheville School - $225,000 Barium Springs Home for Children - $10,000 Blessed Sacrament School - $10,000 Boy Scouts of America (Occoneechee Council) - $50,000 Carolina Ballet - $25,000 Children’s Homes of Iredell County - $5,000 CORRAL Riding Academy - $5,000 Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC - $10,000 Full Gospel Tabernacle of Life Church - $25,000 Godwin Presbyterian Church - $5,000 Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation - $50,000 The Green Chair Project - $10,000 H. Leslie Perry Memorial Library - $15,000 Habitat for Humanity, Wake County - $20,000 Helping Horse Therapeutic Riding Program - $5,000 Henderson YMCA - $5,000 Hope Reins of Raleigh - $10,000 Inter-Faith Food Shuttle - $10,000 Life Line Outreach - $5,000 North Carolina Museum of Art Foundation - $10,000 North Carolina Opera - $15,000 The North Carolina Symphony - $25,000 North Carolina Theatre - $25,000 Neuse Christian Academy  -$2,500 Performance Edge - $5,000 Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina - $25,000 Raleigh Charter High School - $25,000 Raleigh Fine Arts Society - $25,000 Raleigh Little Theatre - $5,000 Raleigh Rescue Mission - $10,000 Ravenscroft School - $25,000 Safe Haven for Cats - $5,000 The Salvation Army of Wake County - $10,000 SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals - $30,000 Shepherd's Table Soup Kitchen - $10,000 StepUp Ministry - $25,000 Thoroughbred Charities of America - $10,000 Thoroughbred Racing Fan Association - $5,000 Transitions LifeCare (Formerly Hospice of Wake County) - $100,000 UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center - $400,000* United Way of Vance County - $15,000 Vance County Historical Society - $5,000 Veterans Leadership Council of North Carolina-CARES - $20,000 Virginia Episcopal School - $25,000 White Memorial Presbyterian Church - $300,000* YMCA of the Triangle - $5,000 Youth Legislative Assembly - $5,000 *As part of a multi-year commitment ###  

March 07, 2014

N&O editorial: Art Pope raised ‘proper questions’ about UNC’s budget request

Categories: Education, In The News

The editorial page of the Raleigh News & Observer writes that Deputy Budget Director Art Pope, who also serves as President and Chairman of the John William Pope Foundation, raised "proper questions" about the University of North Carolina system's proposed $2.8 billion budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year: A stern cautionary note from state budget director Art Pope to the University of North Carolina system comes down to this: This is my second memo about the state budget. You guys must not have gotten the first one. Pope has sent UNC system officials back to the budget drawing board, and because he is viewed as the top adviser to Gov. Pat McCrory and the most influential person in the executive branch, the message will be received. Pope told university officials in a Feb. 28 memo that they’re asking for too much money. He noted that to satisfy the university system’s request for a budget increase of $288 million, or 11.3 percent, the state would have to make “major reductions” in other agencies, including the court system and public schools. He noted the state also has a major obligation with Medicaid, the health care system for the poor and disabled. The university system is seeking the money as the legislature readies to convene this spring to adjust the second year of its two-year budget. .... [It's] fair and appropriate for Pope to question the UNC system’s budget request. Peter Hans, chairman of the UNC system’s Board of Governors, gave exactly the right response in saying he and the board “welcome tough questions about how the university proposes to spend public dollars.” He said Pope was “doing what taxpayers should expect him to do."  

January 08, 2014

Moyers’ falsehoods get national attention

Categories: Humanitarian, In The News, Philanthropy Updates, Public Policy

Two national articles have brought attention to the falsehoods in Bill Moyers' PBS documentary attacking the John William Pope Foundation. In the first, Paul Chesser writes in The American Spectator that Moyers failed to give a complete picture of foundation giving in North Carolina: ... while [Art] Pope’s giving has been significant, the notion that he has “bought” a state that was “for sale” is absurd. Had Moyers or Jane Mayer [author of a hit piece on Pope in 2011 in The New Yorker) ...  sought to paint an accurate picture of North Carolina’s political scene, they would have reported that left-of-center foundations and donors fund their policy groups and candidates to a much greater extent than has Pope. Instead they excluded that information — intentionally. When Mayer pieced together her New Yorker report in 2011, she contacted John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation (and my employer until 2007). As Hood explained, Democrat legislative candidates in 2010 enjoyed a $2 million advantage in funding over their Republican counterparts — roughly $16 million to $14 million. Hood also said he informed Mayer that the largest grantmaker to NC public policy nonprofits is the Winston-Salem-based Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, which the previous year gave $6.7 million to liberal groups, compared to the Pope Foundation’s $5.7 million to the Locke Foundation, Civitas Institute, and other conservative nonprofits. And as the Pope Foundation pointed out in its rebuttal to the Moyers program, in 2011 alone Z. Smith Reynolds and other foundations gave between $10 million and $11 million to such groups, while the Pope Foundation — virtually alone in conservative grantmaking in the Tar Heel state — gave $5 million. “I provided Mayer with a list of the grant recipients and encouraged her to give her readers an accurate picture,” Hood wrote in October 2011. “She chose not to report any of these details… that speaks volumes.” In a second article, Jason Stverak of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity highlights the humanitarian charitable work of the Pope Foundation — charitable work entirely ignored by Moyers: Yet Pope’s work hardly stops at promoting free-market policy. Unlike many other policy-focused foundations, the John William Pope Foundation has been extraordinarily generous in helping the least fortunate among us. Under Art’s guidance, the Pope Foundation has spent more than $9 million in grants to soup kitchens, homeless shelters, food banks and other charities aimed at giving the poor a hand up. Evident as the breadth and depth of Pope’s generosity may be, Moyers and his allies have done their best to muddle this picture and paint him as the big, bad wolf of North Carolina, accusing him of “buying” the state government through his foundation’s grants to free-market nonprofits. This claim is not only offensive ― as it implies that North Carolina’s voters blindly follow the work of political nonprofits without ever thinking over the issues themselves ― but entirely misleading, as the Pope Foundation spends considerably less in North Carolina than comparable left-leaning foundations. In fact, the state’s largest liberal foundation spent nearly twice as much as the Pope Foundation in 2011. It’s no surprise that Moyers conveniently excludes this tidbit, which alone debunks the idea that Pope has “bought” anything in the Tar Heel State.

January 03, 2014

Pope Foundation responds to Bill Moyers’ unfair attack

Categories: Announcements, Humanitarian, In The News, Public Policy

Bill Moyers, through Moyers & Company, recently released a documentary titled “State of Conflict: North Carolina.” Broadcast through the PBS network on Jan. 3, the one-hour program falsely portrayed the charitable work of the John William Pope Foundation and of our Chairman and President, Art Pope. “State of Conflict: North Carolina” repeated the false claim that Art Pope and the Pope Foundation “bought” the state of North Carolina, mostly through giving to public policy nonprofits that advocate for common sense free-market reforms. Mr. Moyers presented nothing new in his documentary — in fact, he’s late to the party. Many left-wing operatives have hurled similar accusations for years. The claims have never stuck because they are entirely false. But Mr. Moyers doesn’t merely repeat a falsehood. Worse, he conceals the fact that the Pope Foundation is not the largest grantor to public policy groups in North Carolina. While the Pope Foundation gives around $5 million to conservative, free-market organizations in North Carolina each year, that number pales in comparison to the $10 million to $11 million given annually by left-wing foundations to progressive groups in the Tar Heel State. In 2011 alone, three progressive foundations gave generously to left-of-center, liberal groups in North Carolina: The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation ($9.2 million in grants), the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation ($614,000 in grants), and the A.J. Fletcher Foundation ($588,000 in grants). If North Carolina can indeed be bought, as Mr. Moyers and his allies claim, then shouldn’t it go to the highest bidder, the side that spent the most money? At the very least, journalistic integrity would require Mr. Moyers to present a complete picture of the philanthropic landscape in North Carolina. The fact that he ignored giving to liberal causes by the Reynolds Foundation and other philanthropies shows his bias and unreliability. Ironically, Mr. Moyers not only conceals spending by progressive foundations in North Carolina, but he also is Chairman Emeritus of the Schumann Media Center, a philanthropy that made almost $2 million in grants to left-of-center nonprofits in 2011. Eighty-five percent of the Schumann Center’s grant making is to groups that promote a liberal agenda. Given those facts, for Mr. Moyers to criticize the Pope Foundation for making grants to free-market groups is the epitome of hypocrisy. Moyers’ double standard is evident by the sponsors of his documentary. Eleven large foundations, with billions in total assets, support Moyers' program and financially back progressive causes. Yet Moyers chose to single out the Pope Foundation, whose $10 million in annual giving is dwarfed by the grant making of these larger foundations. On the topic of the Pope Foundation's giving, Mr. Moyers distorts our philanthropic portfolio. In addition to supporting public policy nonprofits, the Pope Foundation devotes millions to humanitarian causes, including soup kitchens, medical missions, food banks, and homeless shelters. Over its 25-year history, the Pope Foundation has made more than $9 million in grants for direct humanitarian support. While it is absolutely crucial to help people in need and to treat the symptoms of poverty, the best long-term solution is to cure the underlying causes of poverty, and raise people out of poverty permanently. The Pope Foundation does believe that the best way to cure poverty is the creation of jobs and prosperity, through a market economy, subject to the uniform rule of law, that protects the equal rights of all individuals. To accomplish this end, and with the belief that our democracy benefits from a full and open debate on public policy issues, the Pope Foundation also annually funds a large number of public policy organizations. The Pope Foundation is disappointed that Bill Moyers, the Schumann Center, and the 11 philanthropies that support his program would choose to falsely portray the charitable work of the Pope Foundation. David W. Riggs Executive Vice President John William Pope Foundation

November 07, 2013

Remembering Jack Hawke

Categories: In The News, Public Policy

Jack Hawke, a mainstay of Republican Party politics in North Carolina during the past five decades, passed away on Monday at the age of 72. Since he first entered politics in the late 1960s, Hawke played an instrumental role in shifting North Carolina from one-party rule to a competitive, two-party state. In addition to running for Congress, heading up congressional and gubernatorial campaigns for other candidates, and serving as N.C. Republican Party Chairman, Hawke was the first executive director of the John William Pope Civitas Institute. Art Pope, Chairman and President of the John William Pope Foundation, recalled Hawke's optimistic outlook on life, as reported by The News & Observer: Hawke’s style was always the happy warrior. He was a natural extrovert with a ready smile, a sunny disposition and a quip. His trademark expression: “Fan-tastic.” “He was always so positive and enthusiastic, even in the face of adversity, in bad results as well as good results,” Pope said. “He was knowledgeable. He was able to present advice, even when it was not appreciated, in a positive fashion. He can tell the bad news along with the good news.” Even when he delivered bad news, Pope said, Hawke always had a plan of action. Francis De Luca, current President of the Civitas Institute, commemorated Hawke as a cheerful emblem of North Carolina's progress: In many ways Jack was emblematic of the transitions North Carolina has gone through in the past fifty years. He came to North Carolina to attend law school at Duke, and he stayed. Jack was involved in most of the state’s political and policy developments from the Sixties on, and was on the leading edge of the movement to take North Carolina from a stagnant one-party state to today’s robust two-party system. Claude Pope, N.C. Republican Party Chairman, issued the following statement after Hawke's passing: The North Carolina Republican Party extends our deepest condolences to Jack’s family and the many friends he made throughout his life. Jack’s tremendous devotion to North Carolina, his sheer political brilliance, and his legendary sense of humor will be sorely missed. Jack was the longest serving chairman in the NCGOP’s history, and he was instrumental in building the party from the ground up. Without Jack’s enormous contributions to the NCGOP over the last several decades, we would not have a Republican Governor and Republican-controlled General Assembly for the first time in more than 100 years. John Hood, President of the John Locke Foundation, shares several anecdotes from Hawke's political career here. Photo credit: Don Carrington, Carolina Journal.

October 24, 2013

Daily Dispatch: As local nonprofits take a hit, Pope Foundation steps up

Categories: Humanitarian, In The News, Philanthropy Updates

The Daily Dispatch, based out of Henderson, N.C., yesterday reported on the Pope Foundation's $35,000 in grants to food pantries in Vance County. The grants were part of a larger $185,000 given by the Pope Foundation in October to humanitarian charities.  LifeLine Outreach Inc., a nonprofit based in Vance County that alleviates homelessness and assists women and children in crisis. (Photo credit: Daily Dispatch) The Dispatch reported: Local non-profits and faith-based organizations took a hit when the federal government closed for 16 days. The John William Pope Foundation made its yearly donations to Vance County charities a few months early this year to help offset the impact of the shutdown. “We heard on the ground that the federal government shutdown was having an effect on these charities doing this humanitarian work and what we decided to do was to expedite our end of the year funding to cover the shortfall caused by the shutdown,” said David Riggs of the Pope Foundation. The foundation is a private family foundation focused on humanitarian charities in Wake and Vance counties. The foundation donated $5,000 to Area Christians Together in Service, $10,000 to Life Line Outreach Inc. and $20,000 to the United Way of Vance County. Twanna Jones, executive director of ACTS, said her organization has not received a Pope Foundation grant in the past. “They heard about the great work that we were doing in the Vance County community,” Jones said. ACTS provides a daily soup kitchen on weekdays, a food pantry, backpack buddies, and Meals on Wheels for the disabled and elderly. Jones has plans to expand her operation with a mobile feeding program that supplies meals to all areas of need. She said the grant money would help with the expansion as well as day-to-day operations. “My goal is to have a seven-day a week soup kitchen that feeds twice a day,” Jones said. For the first time this year, ACTS will serve lunch on Thanksgiving Day from 10 a.m. to noon. (Note: A subscription is needed to view the entire article, but there is no cost.)