One of the oldest sayings about charity captures the guiding philosophy of the John William Pope Foundation in our humanitarian work: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Nearly 10 percent of residents in Wake County, the seat for the state capital of Raleigh, remain below the poverty level. In North Carolina as a whole, that figure jumps to over 15 percent. The Pope Foundation believes that individual initiative — not government intervention or welfare — is the key to reducing poverty and bringing prosperity to all North Carolinians.

But charity should be more than addressing an immediate need. When the disadvantaged learn virtues and skills that allow them to transition out of poverty and dependence, all of society benefits. As citizens’ economic security improves, they are more likely to take an active role in bettering themselves and their families, augmenting their community.

The Foundation’s support for humanitarian causes is borne out of our belief that, given the right tools, the disadvantaged can achieve economic and personal stability. Toward that end, the Foundation has donated millions to humanitarian causes since our founding in 1986, primarily in Wake County and adjacent regions.

Principles

Four key principles guide the Foundation in our humanitarian work:

  • Private institutions, not the government, should be the first responders in creating an economic and cultural safety net to meet individuals’ needs.
  • Improving the civic and economic welfare of individuals is the obligation and privilege of other individuals operating in a free society.
  • Families, churches, and neighborhoods are the pillars of our democracy. Supporting these institutions strengthens the ties that bind these United States.
  • A strong work ethic, sense of personal responsibility, and emphasis on virtue are indispensable underpinnings of the American experiment.

The organizations that receive grants from the Pope Foundation in the humanitarian area must reflect these core values.

Investments

The Foundation invests in dozens of organizations and ministries that help people become self-sustaining, self-reliant individuals. Gifts to humanitarian and ministry causes have totaled over $8 million during the last 25 years. Examples of the organizations that we support include:

How to Apply

Click here for information on the application process.

Check out our grantee Spotlights

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Alliance Medical Ministry

One of the most controversial political issues in modern America is health care. Alliance Medical Ministry, a faith-led nonprofit in Wake County, North Carolina, is providing solutions to the health care crisis without the intervention of the federal government.

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Dr. Charles Mann Helps Build a Life for the Uninsured

Walk into Dr. Charles Mann’s office and your attention is immediately drawn to the walls, covered with memorabilia from Bolivia.

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Grantee Profile: UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center

In the battle against cancer, few research institutions in the United States can match UNC Lineberger’s track record of excellence. Located on UNC’s medical campus, the cancer center brings together exceptional physicians and scientists from across the country to investigate and improve the prevention, early detection and treatment of cancer.

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Habitat for Humanity Fulfills a Dream for Barbara Gotay

Barbara Gotay’s face lights up when you ask her about homeownership. “That was my biggest dream, to have a home,” she said.

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Habitat for Humanity of Wake County

Crime in the Long Acres neighborhood was bad, and getting worse by the day. Drug dealers walked the streets, abandoned houses abounded, and decay was setting in.

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Helping Horse Therapeutic Riding Program

For many developmentally challenged youngsters, a miracle is waiting on a 13-acre farm north of Raleigh: a horse. Time on horseback can be life changing for special-needs children. Some children speak their first words while riding.

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Hospice of Wake County

Similar to most Western nations, the United States is expected to see a significant increase in its older adult population in the coming decades. With that fact of life comes a bevy of needed services. One of those is compassionate end-of-life care.

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Jim Anthony Puts Faith Into Practice Through Giving

For Jim Anthony, it all began in 1983. An MBA graduate from Duke University, Jim had spent the last four years working as a brokerage professional in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles when he decided to move his family.

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Juan Nelson Comes Full Circle to Help Others Find Jobs

It took five businessmen at a church in Charlotte, North Carolina, to set Juan Nelson on the path to new life. That was no easy task.

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Pope Family Eagle Scout Scholarship

The Pope Eagle Scout Scholarship paves the way for today’s promising youngsters to become the leaders of tomorrow.

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Raleigh Rescue Mission

Robert came to the Raleigh Rescue Mission with a long list of medical problems: prostate cancer, lupus, a knee injury, and a hernia. At the time, he had been living on the streets of downtown Raleigh for five years, destitute and alone.

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SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals

Cancer. It’s a word that strikes fear into thousands of hearts each day in the United States. For many families, this dreadful illness arrives with little warning, cutting short the lives of their loved ones.

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StepUp Ministry

StepUp Ministry is breaking the poverty cycle in North Carolina through a hand up, not a handout.

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