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.

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