February 14, 2011; Source: Citizen Times | When the Janirve Foundation shuts its doors as planned next year, it won't mean that grant support for some of the smallest nonprofits in the Asheville, N.C. area will cease. Instead the foundation is working with the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina to establish a $10 million fund that will continue making grants over the next 25 years.

Although the terms of the original trust stipulated that the foundation, one of the region's largest, be terminated on October, 12 trustees decided to set up the Janirve Legacy Fund so organizations that have depended on it won't be cut off precipitously from ongoing support. “Many of these organizations are small, doing great work, providing great service, but they are hurting,” said E. Charles Dyson, the foundation's chairman. “Without some financial support, they just won't survive. And if they don't survive, who will be left to help these organizations?”

Founded by Irving Reuter, a General Motors senior executive, and his wife, Jeannett, the foundation has distributed more than $100 million in grants since 1984. The new fund will focus on helping families in crisis in Western North Carolina, mostly through support of food pantries, rescue missions and child and domestic abuse programs.

While calling it a "huge gift," Elizabeth Brazas, president of the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, which serves nonprofits in 18 counties, also points out that "it's not going to solve everything, and it's not going to be available for every nonprofit.”—Bruce Trachtenberg