The Season Of Giving: Charlotte Philanthropy Efforts

Charlotte Philanthropy
Charlotte Philanthropy

There are so many important causes to support in our city and so many hard working people making valuable progress in a plethora of areas of need. This fact alone made narrowing down a list of philanthropists we wanted to promote one of the most difficult things we’ve had to do. But, with that said, here are fifteen of the most demanding and motivated charities and philanthropists in our area. In this season of giving please take the time to learn about these organizations and if you can open your heart during the holidays and donate time, knowledge, effort, and of course money to the cause you can make a huge difference to those in need.

Hands On Charlotte


David Sheffer knows the meaning of giving back. He is an active member of the Young Adult Division of the Jewish Federation and on the board of Hands on Charlotte. The Jewish Federation offers the Jewish community a variety of community, education, and volunteering opportunities. Hands on Charlotte is a subsection of Hands-on Network that is in an international organization that works through an alliance of volunteers to build community. From feeding the hungry, helping homeless families, tutoring disadvantaged children, and much more, this remarkable organization knows the meaning of giving back.

The Cannon Foundation

Founded in 1943, Charles A. Cannon established the Cannon Foundation to give grants to people in need in rural areas. The grants range from health care and education all the way to social service programs. Because of their philanthropic work, the Cannon family is well appreciated in the Cabarrus community.

Valaida Fullwood

Valaida Fullwood is a remarkable woman and writer of the book Giving Back. The book is about celebrating the philanthropic traditions among Americans of African descent. The book is wonderful because it inspires people to give back to the community and the proceeds of the book go towards the philanthropic causes of the New Generation of African American Philanthropists.

Marc Gustafson

Serving as an Operating Grant Panelist, a 2008 graduate of Cultural Leadership Training, the founding chairperson of the Young Donors Society, and a member of the Diversity Inclusion Task Force, his name is well known around the Charlotte philanthropic community. Marc also founded the Charlotte Museum Mile  (a one-mile race on Tryon Street that benefits the Arts & Science Council.)

William H Williamson

William received an outstanding philanthropist award that was nominated by The Greater Charlotte Trust and Vanever Batten for his philanthropic work with the Susan G. Komen For the Cure- Charlotte, a huge and well respected organization dedicated to raising money to find a cure for cancer.

The Levine Foundation

The Levine family of Charlotte is a well-recognized name because of their outstanding philanthropies. The Levine family has given away millions of dollars to donate to hospitals, schools, non-profits, and museums. They have donated substantial amounts to the American Red Cross and have given generously to CPCC. This family has drastically helped the Charlotte community and the city, in return, is grateful.

Neya Warren

Neya Warren is dedicated to an important and often overlooked cause. As director of the Charlotte Chapter of the Coalition to Unchain Dogs, she spends most of her time knocking on doors in neighborhoods throughout Charlotte, teaching people about the importance of neutering and spaying pets as well as the correct treatment of pets. She is a huge advocates for dogs throughout the city and dedicates her life speaking for those who cant.

Mary Sherrill

Mary Sherrill’s passion is education. She is a very active member of the KIPP Board and helped launched the KIPP Girls Leadership Program, a program that helps teach girls about bullying, health, their wellness, and working together.

Whitni Wilson Wertz


Whitni is the president of the Junior League of Charlotte. She devotes her time into creating programs and teams to help better Charlotte. She recently gave back by launching the Junior League of Charlotte Family Resource Center at Levine Children’s Hospital. This resource center is dedicated to educating families and patients about recent diagnoses they received and help them get the resources to find a cure or find treatment.

Samantha Busch

Samantha Busch, is not only the wife of Nascar driver Kyle Busch, she is a very active member in the community and the Kyle Busch Foundation since 2006. Recently, they held a fundraising event called Project Pink which benefitted the Pretty in Pink Foundation that helps raise money for uninsured or under-insured women and men battling breast cancer.  In addition to the Pretty in Pink Foundation, she is involved in the Girl Talk Foundation based here in Charlotte.  She loves interacting with the people her foundation helps, and loves to see their faces light up after they received a much-needed donation. According to Samantha the feeling of giving is indescribable. As a person who has been very blessed, Samantha believes everyone deserves to have an equal opportunity to experience life’s many blessings.

Dovy Klarburg

Dovy Klarburg of Diamonds Direct is involved with several charities throughout the Charlotte region.  Through the Diamonds Direct Foundation he is able to support many women’s and children’s organizations, local art and cultural foundations, and animal charities. For Dovy, it is fulfilling to attend an event and meet the people who truly benefit from the charities. Being able to see the direct impact a donation has made on someone is the most rewarding part. He also feels that the Charlotte community has supported him and Diamonds Direct for so many years that being able to give back is simply a way of saying thank you.  Some of the charities that Dovy and the Diamonds Direct Foundation support include the Speedway Children’s Charities, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Patriot Charities and Allegro Foundation,  just to name a few.

Headbands For Hope

For Jessica  Ekstrom, it all started the first day of her internship for the Make A Wish Foundation.  As she pulled her hair back into a ponytail, she thought about all the little girls around the world that were going through chemotherapy. Many young girls struggle with self-esteem already and losing their hair as a result of a life-threatening illness is very  traumatic. Not only do they have to face the possibility of losing their lives, but many also lose a part of their feminine identity. ?So, she started Headbands for Hope. For every headband purchased, one is given to a girl with cancer and $1 is donated to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to fund life-saving childhood cancer research. For Jessica, nothing compares to the smile on those girls’ faces when they receive their headbands.