Pope Foundation ‘steps up’ to help jobless

Philanthropy Journal marks the John William Pope Foundation’s 25th anniversary with this story on the Foundation’s public policy and humanitarian work.

The article focuses on StepUp Ministry, the beneficiary of the Pope Foundation’s anniversary dinner at the North Ridge Country Club in Raleigh:

The choice of StepUP, which hopes to get as much as $300,000 from the event, reflects the mission and philosophy of the foundation and its founder and namesake, says Art Pope, the foundation’s chairman and president.

 StepUP “focuses on taking those individuals that don’t have the job skills or training, or already are in poverty, and providing them with these skills they need to get their first job, get that first step up on that first wrung of the ladder, to provide for themselves, and to escape poverty,” says Pope, whose father, John W. Pope, founded Variety Wholesalers, the discount retailer that is the main source of the foundation’s assets.

 The foundation, which had nearly $136.8 million in assets and made just over $9 million in grants in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2010, has made grants totaling $89 million since it opened in 1986.

Art also told Philanthropy Journal that the Foundation’s goal is to alleviate poverty, both through pro-market public policies and direct humanitarian aid.