John Rex Endowment Updates Strategic Roadmap – And What It Means For You

Throughout the past five years, we’ve learned so much from you, our grant partners and fellow advocates. We’ve been inspired. And we’ve confronted increased opposition to the racial equity work that is so important to helping kids and families thrive.

Through all of this, we’ve centered one key question. How can we best support nonprofits – the ones helping improve the social emotional health of kids right here in Wake County?

That’s why this year, we’re updating our strategic roadmap to reflect what we’ve learned since we created it in 2018.

Our roadmap is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the plan we use to guide our work, from how we make funding decisions to how we center our mission in everything we do. Today, we are excited to share more about what this updated roadmap means for you and our future work together. Here are the basics. We are:   

  • Continuing the work we are known best for – building capacity and system-level change. This includes supporting current and future grant partners like you to build your capacity and infrastructure, and continue learning with us. We will fund efforts that align with our mission: strengthening organizations that center racial equity and justice to improve the social and emotional health of children living in Wake County. We recognize solving systemic issues isn’t solely the nonprofit sector’s responsibility. Systemic change requires a long-term commitment.

  • Exploring new ways to support organizations doing great work for kids. While we still won’t fund direct services, we ARE exploring new ways to work with organizations. For example, we’re funding research focused on Black and Brown students and their social-emotional learning needs. This critical research will then help organizations across Wake County advocate for what kids need to help them learn – leading to positive change for thousands of students. We’ll share more about new ways we can partner in 2024. 
  • Supporting movement building efforts. Now this – this is a big one for us. In the past several years, we’ve been truly inspired as we’ve learned how philanthropy has historically funded social movements. In the upcoming years, we’re going to partner more with organizations that are focused on movement building. For example, we’re thinking about how we can partner with our peer funders to increase our impact. We’re also exploring ways to support the phenomenal community leaders and advocates who are on the ground every day, doing the good work that helps our communities thrive. We’ll share more about this work next year, too. 
  • Sharing our funding strategy. Later this year, we will share our funding strategy for 2024! You’ll learn about opportunities available such as new grants and leadership support. Stay tuned! 

We’re a grant-making organization – but we’re also so much more than that. We’re a partner. We’re advocates. We’re life-long learners. 

Through our strategic roadmap planning process, we developed a clear vision for the next 20 years. In those 20 years, we will have a resilient, equity-centered ecosystem that is better equipped to improve the social emotional health of children. 

We are so excited and hopeful about the upcoming year and how we can work together in new ways to help children learn, grow and succeed.

See our Current Funding Opportunities as we explore the social and environmental challenges of our communities.