A Letter from the President

January 2024

This time last year, I wrote a letter that would serve as an introduction to Camber Foundation. We were just getting started and seeking your welcome and engagement with us as we took our first steps. So first, thank you. Thank you for walking – sometimes strolling, sometimes running – alongside us through our early days. You will always be a part of our “Remember when…”.

As we begin 2024, it is with great pleasure that I share the highlights and successes of a very formative year for Camber Foundation. We dedicated time to discovery, connecting with the communities of Eastern North Carolina. We heard your ideas about how philanthropy can better support you and where there are opportunities for Camber to share the load in working towards solutions.

Through discussions with nonprofits, partners, fellow foundations, and community members, we deepened our understanding of where we can best add value and bring new resources to the philanthropic landscape of Eastern NC. Based on those learnings, we developed a strategy that begins with the key areas of Health & Wellness, Education, and Economic Development and further refines to add the priorities that you pointed us toward.

With this approach in place, we launched our inaugural grant program, allocating $1.25 million to 31 community-based organizations in Eastern NC. We are still learning from all that you shared with us through that experience. Following the program’s success, an additional $775,000 was granted to 24 more organizations, bringing our 2023 total to $2,025,000 distributed among 55 charitable organizations.

Looking ahead, we are committed to increasing our investment in the region to $3 million in 2024 and seeking larger, longer-term opportunities for Camber’s contributions. We will start by capturing the momentum of 2023 by offering a grant cycle earlier in the year. I encourage you to follow our social media and connect with us to hear upcoming announcements in January.

You told us about the persistent need for nonprofits to have support strengthening capacity, which can mean anything from leadership development to storytelling to collaborative conversation, and how that need shows up uniquely in rural communities. This year, we will invite nonprofit organizations in the region to learn and grow together, to amplify your voices and stories, and to create more dynamic collaborative partnerships.

To accomplish these goals, we are expanding the Camber Foundation team, welcoming new members who live and work in Eastern NC so we can be better informed by our presence within the communities we serve. Having a growing network of new and potential grantees means we will dedicate more time to cultivating relationships with you as our work gains definition and meaning.

Hearing directly from our communities in 2023 gave us the motivation and direction we needed for a successful first year, and yet our greatest enthusiasm is reserved for what we can accomplish together in 2024. At Camber, we often refer to building bridges. It’s in our name. We also are building a team, building a network, and building trust. We hope you will remain by our side – or join us – for what’s ahead.

With sincerity,

Leslie Ann Jackson, President & CEO

cam·ber | \ ˈkam-bər \ A positive, upward curve built into the beam of a bridge intended to distribute the load.