The Golden LEAF Foundation was established in 1999 to administer a portion of the tobacco settlement agreement monies back into North Carolina’s rural and economically distressed communities. For almost 20 years, the nonprofit has partnered with state and local governments and other foundations to build economic opportunity across North Carolina through leadership in grantmaking, collaboration, innovation, and stewardship as an independent and perpetual foundation.
The Foundation, governed by a board of directors appointed by leaders of NC’s legislative and executive branches, has focused on critical issues facing rural communities including bringing jobs and building industry by providing resources to communities, awarding scholarships to local students and administering the state’s relief efforts following natural disasters.
The Foundation has provided lasting impact to tobacco-dependent, economically distressed and rural areas of the state by helping create 65,318 jobs; $695 million in new payrolls and more than 85,000 workers trained or retrained for higher wages. Golden LEAF has awarded 1,915 grants worth over $1 billion since its inception.