Ashton Smith

Watch this interview with Ashton Smith, a member of Citrix’s Sponsorship and Brand Engagement team. She shares advice on how you can co-exist and work with other nonprofit organizations to help expand your impact on the Triangle community.

Jesma Reynolds
Walter Magazine

Walter Magazine’s former Creative Director, Jesma Reynolds, shares insight into how nonprofit organizations can measure the pulse of their impact and pivot if needed to respond to the top priorities in the community. Watch the interview now to learn more about how to assess the current needs of your community and maximize the impact of your existence.

Lori O’Keefe
Triangle Community Foundation

Triangle Community Foundation’s President and CEO, Lori O’Keefe, talks about understanding the community landscape and looking for where you can add value without having to be a separate nonprofit. Watch the interview to learn more about what she’s talking about.

Daniel Alexander
Mission Triangle

Mission Triangle’s Area Director, Daniel Alexander, speaks to why it’s important for your leadership team to call a “timeout” and dive into the hard questions that will help determine your nonprofit’s next move.

Should You Exist?

Do you remember why your nonprofit got started? Most nonprofits are founded because there’s a need in the community or someone had a personal experience. Now matter how you started, you still need to answer this one important question… “Should you exist?” Hear answers to this question and many more as we dive into the second topic of People Matter 2019.


Daniel Alexander
Mission Triangle

Jesma Reynolds
Walter Magazine

Ashton Smith

Is Your Board Any Good?

Kristine Sloan

Tasked with leading a community of over 3,000 international Fellows, CEO Kristine Sloan knows how important a highly-qualified, invested and engaged board of directors is to the success of an organization.

Susan Ross

With 35 years of experience serving on nonprofit boards and a decade spent investing in over 171 nonprofit organizations across the Triangle, Susan reframes our question to, “Is my board as good as it needs to be?” Hear from her how a board should manage itself, engage in the community and advocate for its organization’s mission. Hint: it all starts with a strategic plan.

Chuck Recorr
The Harvard 100

Through Chuck’s decades of dedication to the Triangle nonprofit community, he’s seen the good and the bad of how a nonprofit board can function. Hear his take on the qualities of an effective board.

Lee Whitman
SAFEchild (’03-’09)
Band Together (’12-’18)

Hear Lee’s story of board service — starting as a volunteer and working his way up to chairman through passion and commitment to the missions of the nonprofits he’s served.

What should the relationship between a board chair and an executive director look like? What are the warning signs of a bad board? How can you tell if your board is truly engaged with the organization’s mission? If a board doesn’t reflect the people its organization serves, is it a good board? Hear answers to these questions and many more as we dive into the first topic of People Matter 2019.


Kristine Sloan

Chuck Recorr
The Harvard 100 Group

Susan Ross

Tough Talks.
Questions the nonprofit community needs to be asking.

This year, we’re asking tough questions of those who champion the nonprofit community — either as a day job, a donor, board member, or philanthropist. They believe people matter. And so do we.

People Matter 2019 will be a conversation only the truly invested and passionate are willing to have. These are not easy conversations but are worth engaging in for those who deeply care about the potential of the nonprofit sector — and its impact on the people of our community. Will you join us?

People Matter 2018

Thank you for joining us!

We’re incredibly grateful for the voices and stories we were allowed to capture and share this year. These are our community’s heroes, and their causes are why we get out of bed every morning.

Stay tuned for what People Matter 2019 will highlight.

Mental Illness

Mental illness is a nationwide issue that remains in the shadows. It’s hard to identify and even harder to explain. And it comes with a cost to our community, our families and our neighbors. 200,000 people in Wake County alone struggle with mental illness, and nonprofits are doing everything they can to make sure this problem is brought to light through research, education and treatment. Hear from two women on the front lines in the Triangle making sure mental health is in our future.

Annie Schmidt
NAMI Wake County

Addiction Recovery

The impact of addiction on people’s lives, families and communities is enormous. It’s a huge problem in the Triangle – for all ages and genders. The good news? Treatment is available, and recovery is possible. There are nonprofits in our community who are coming alongside those struggling with addiction – casting a vision for the future, restoring hope and empowering people to reclaim their lives. Hear from them directly as they share with you what’s happening right here in our backyard.

Chris Budnick
Healing Transitions

Wayne Edwards
Converting Hearts

Tracy Freeman
Healing Transitions

Tad Clodfelter
SouthLight Healthcare

Poverty Alleviation

Nearly 90,000 people in Wake County are living in poverty. They are our neighbors, but behind the scenes they may be coming out of crisis situations, earning minimum wage, struggling to provide childcare for their families or barely keeping a roof over their head. Thankfully, nonprofits in Wake County are stepping up to fight for poverty alleviation and create opportunities for our community to succeed and thrive.

Angela Coleman
Step Up Ministry

Lindsey Blankenhorn
Carroll’s Kitchen

Youth Development and Empowerment

Youth homelessness is one of the most invisible issues in our community. And kids aren’t being equipped for success. Hear stories of mentorship, education, development and empowerment from the people investing in the future generation of our city.

Christal Carmichael
Communities In Schools of NC

Patricia Cardoso
Haven House Services

Emmanuel Holder & Denzell Henry
Neighbor to Neighbor

Raleigh is thriving.
But not everything is great.

Many of our neighbors are struggling, invisible in our thriving city. Underdeveloped youth, poverty, unemployment and mental illness are just a few of the issues crippling our otherwise flourishing home.

But there are heroes in our community who dedicate their lives through their nonprofit work to loving our neighbors and championing our causes.

Join us as we highlight these heroes through a 2018 video series. Because they believe people matter. And so do we.

Blogs from the Series

Is Your Nonprofit Adding Unique Value to the Community?

Lori O'Keefe Triangle Community Foundation I'm Lori O'Keefe, and I am the President and CEO of the Triangle Community Foundation. I have been at the Foundation for almost 15 years, and I think there are reasons geographically why so many nonprofits have to exist — access for like transportation and things like that being a…

When Was the Last Time You Called a Timeout?

Daniel Alexander Mission Triangle My name is Daniel Alexander, and I'm the Area Director for Mission Triangle. I've been there for 11 months. Now in my first year on staff with Mission Triangle... there are three nonprofits that I was working with where I said the best course of action for you is to actually…

Should Your Nonprofit Exist?

Daniel Alexander Mission Triangle Lori O’Keefe Triangle Community Foundation Jesma Reynolds Walter Magazine Ashton Smith Citrix I believe that we need to ask ourselves the hard questions, such as the one that we're posing today, which is: “Should nonprofits exist?” or “Should your nonprofit exist?” I would reframe it in such a way that we'd…

People Matter: 4 Key Takeaways from “Is Your Nonprofit Board Any Good?”

People Matter 2019 started off with four interviews all focused around one important question: “Is your board any good?” What should the relationship between a board chair and an executive director look like? What are the warning signs of a bad board? How can you tell if your board is truly engaged with the organization’s…

Is Your Nonprofit’s Board “On Board”?

Kristine Sloan StartingBloc When I first started with StartingBloc, we had a board of directors made up of some StartingBloc Fellows, but a lot of them were advisors or people who have spoken at our institutes previously. We’re in board recruitment right now so this is a fun time to be talking about this. We’re…

Finding Healing in Community

Mental illness was always a reality in my family, but frequently relegated to back-room conversations. Even when close relatives were in treatment, it was never discussed in the open or brought up in gatherings like other medical problems. The stigma was strong enough to where it felt like a social ill—something that defined the character…

From Hurting to Helping

When my dad was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia in 2001, I was a freshman in college. He was only 54, and the idea that anyone so young could have this foreign-sounding disease seemed unfathomable. It was isolating for our family, for my dad and for me. Over the course of almost ten years, we…

Horses Providing Healing

“What are you doing here, midget?” The class bully questioned me in 5th grade. “Still haven’t grown?” he asks in 6th grade. “Can you even reach the top shelf?” he continues in 7th grade. Now, I’m in 8th grade. My self-confidence is smaller than my height, and my anxiety is so tall I can’t contain…

Mental Illness at Home and in our Community

Words can’t begin to describe the pain of a mother burying her son due to suicide. Unfortunately, some of us witness it firsthand—I did nine years ago. I watched my mother-in-law grieve deeply for a son who took his life after years of suffering from a brain disease—bipolar disorder. Kenny “seemed to be getting better.”…

A Story of Redemption

When I started using drugs at the age of 11, I had no idea where it would lead. I’d heard the warnings, but I thought I could outsmart the people that end up overdosing, homeless or without family. When I became addicted to hard drugs at age 20 though, all those problems started appearing in…

Welcoming a Stranger to a Home

Addiction is a disease. It’s an epidemic in our communities. So how do we best serve those who are seeking treatment for their disease? Many addicts go to short-term residential centers where they learn about their disease and gain the tools they need for treatment. But what happens to them when they’re released from the…

An Overdue Acknowledgment of Unsung Heroes

WRAL’s 2017 documentary, Searching for a Fix, features the story of Trinlie Yeaman, a mother doing what any parent would do to save their child from opioid addiction. In a space of just over five minutes (6:57 to 12:07) we hear Trinlie’s efforts to help her daughter Zoe, who at age 17 revealed that she was…

People Matter: Addiction Recovery

The impact of addiction on people’s lives, families and communities is enormous. It’s a huge problem in the Triangle – for all ages and genders. The good news? Treatment is available, and recovery is possible. There are nonprofits in our community who are coming alongside those struggling with addiction – casting a vision for the…

A Story of Healing and Transitions

I was 34 years old when I entered the doors of Healing Transitions. I was broken and desperate for a dramatic and much needed change in my life. My childhood dreams of becoming a nurse like my mother and grandmother had vanished due to my addiction. I was incapable of being a mother to my…

Finding Hope in Community

Like many of us, Anissa and her two daughters once lived without fear of where they were going to lay their head each evening. Then a bad break up with her boyfriend caused him to move out, and Anissa, now solely in charge of rent and utilities, found herself unable to pay the bills. Despite…

Collaborating to Fight Unemployment

“I haven’t been able to find a stable job in years and have no idea what else to do. I’m losing hope.” As Deborah* sits across from me, wiping tears from her eyes, she shares how she’s been unable to find stable, full-time employment since being laid off more than three years ago. “I have…

Standing on the Edge of Poverty

Have you ever had to live paycheck to paycheck? Do you know what it’s like to experience what appears to be “small problems of everyday life” but are actually devastating circumstances? Have you had “simple” car problems or medical issues that led you to the edge of a financial crisis? Sadly, and surprisingly, many people…

A Picture into Homelessness

The picture in Kiona’s hand was hard to look at: in the foreground, a pink and green rug and a white dresser with a lamp and pile of toys on top; in the background, a toddler-sized bed with a rumpled pink blanket and stuffed bear. Small sticks and branches littered the floor and the bed.…

Are You Really Too Busy?

Are you a busy person? Let me guess, you are. We’re all SO busy these days, and we wear our busyness like a badge of honor. Our standard response to, “Hey, how are you?” is, “Ugh, I’m SO busy. Let me tell you all the things that are keeping me so busy.” Blah, blah, blah.…

Transforming a Generation

I literally got mad at my microwave this morning. “How long should it take to reheat a cup of coffee?” I grumbled as I hit another 20 seconds on the key pad. Then I stopped, had a moment of clarity, and began to laugh. How absurd was it to get mad at losing 20 seconds…