Durham, North Carolina

Durham, NC

Durham was once best known for its textile mills and its tobacco factories, including the “Bull Durham Tobacco and Company” and “Duke & Sons.” However, in the late 1980s Durham hit hard times, marked by the closure of Erwin Mills (Burlington Industries) in 1986 and, just one year later, of the American Tobacco factory.

Located in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill “Research Triangle” region of North Carolina—anchored by Duke University, the University of North Carolina, North Carolina Central University, and North Carolina State University in Raleigh, Durham has sought in recent years to reinvent itself as the “Medicine City. Today, the city houses roughly 300 medical and health-related companies and medical practices with a combined payroll that exceeds $1.5 billion annually.

The Research Triangle region is home to over 1.5 million. The city of Durham, like the rest of its surrounding region, has grown rapidly in recent years. The Census Bureau estimates that the city of Durham's population as of 2010 was just greater than 228,000 — nearly 20,000 above the level of just five years before and more than 40 percent greater than in 1990. About 42 percent of the population is white, another 40 percent African American, and the remainder are Asian or indigenous. Just over 14 percent of Durham's population identifies as hispanic or latino.

Despite its relatively small size, the city of Durham is home to a wide range of community wealth building institutions, which have played a leadership role, both locally and nationally, in community wealth building efforts.

An overview of community wealth building efforts follows:

 

Anchor Institutions

Triangle Community Foundation

Established in 1983, the Triangle Community Foundation stewards 850 philanthropic funds totaling over $209 million in assets.  In 2016, the foundation awarded more than $21 million in grants and individual scholarships to nonprofit organizations and individuals in the Triangle region (Durham, Chatham, Orange, and Wake counties).  Through the foundation’s Community Development program, the Durham-based nonprofit supports multi-faceted approaches helping families and communities overcome persistent poverty.

Community Development Corporations (CDCs)

United Durham Inc. Community Development Corporation

Founded in 1974, United Durham Inc. Community Development Corporation (UDI/CDC) aims to raise the economic welfare and education of low-income Durham residents.  UDI’s development projects include a 91-acre industrial park that employs 300 people, a retail shopping center anchored by a Food Lion in a neighborhood previously lacking a major grocer, a 3.5 acre urban farm, and 82 units of affordable housing.  The nonprofit also has a revolving loan fund credited with providing over $1 million in loans to small businesses.

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)

Latino Community Credit Union

Founded in 2000 as a grassroots response to a wave of robberies and muggings targeting Durham’s Latino immigrants, Latino Community Credit Union (LCCU) aims to serve as a safe place for Latinos to save money, access credit, and build wealth.  The credit union has 75,000 members, 65 percent of whom were previously unbanked, and has $277 million in assets.  To enable deposits to serve as community assets, LCCU offers CDs that provide members with a way to earn interest while providing capital that can be used to help area residents purchase a first home or afford higher education.  The credit union also partners with the Latino Community Development Center to provide free financial literacy workshops in branches across North Carolina.

Self-Help

Founded in Durham, Self-Help has grown into a CDFI comprising an advocacy group, a loan fund, and two credit unions serving over 145,000 members across North Carolina, California, Florida, and the greater Chicago region.  Since its establishment in 1980, Self-Help has made 146,000 loans to families, individuals, and organizations, and has provided $7.1 billion in financing to projects credited with creating or maintaining 45,000 jobs.

Community Land Trusts (CLTs)

Durham Community Land Trustees

Catalyzed in 1987 by residents concerned with rising home prices, absentee landlords, and housing disrepair, Durham Community Land Trustees (DCLT) builds, manages, and advocates for permanently affordable housing.  The land trust now owns and manages 282 units, which provides rental and homeownership opportunities to 325 low-income people.  Committed to supporting local businesses, DCLT procured over $300,000 in services from small, local subcontractors in 2017.

Impact Investing

SJF Ventures

Guided by a mission to catalyze the development of highly successful businesses driving lasting, positive changes, SJF Ventures (originally known as the “Sustainable Job Fund”) invests in high-growth companies creating a healthier, smarter, and cleaner future. Since its launch in 1999, SJF has invested in more than 50 ventures, creating over 8,300 jobs.  To further its impact, SJF also advocates for policies that foster a more sustainable, just economy.

Local Food Systems

South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces (SEEDS), Inc.

Founded in 1994, South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces (SEEDS) nurtures youths’ capacity to respect life, the earth, and each other through growing, cooking, and sharing.  To do so, the nonprofit has a two-acre urban garden and kitchen classroom from which it operates a range of youth-focused programs including a summer camp and a free after-school farm club.  The nonprofit also helped launch the Durham Farmers Market in 1998, a venue from which it sells produce.

Social Enterprise

Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers

Founded in 1994, Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers (TROSA) is a substance abuse, residential treatment facility that supports more than 500 recovering individuals on a daily basis.  A core part of TROSA’s program is its social enterprises, which provide work-based vocational training to its residents while generating about 70 percent of the nonprofit’s total revenues.  TROSA’s social enterprises include a moving company (which has grown into the largest independent mover in the Triangle region), a lawn care maintenance enterprise, a thrift store, and a Christmas tree business.

State Asset Building Initiatives

Center for Responsible Lending

Based in Durham, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) aims to ensure that the financial marketplace is fair and inclusive for all responsible borrowers regardless of their income.  To do so, the nonprofit conducts research on the extent and impact of predatory lending and develops and promotes policy solutions designed to reform lending practices at the state and federal level.  Launched in Durham in 1999, the nonprofit now works with state coalitions across the country and has offices in Washington, D.C. and Oakland, California.

Land Loss Prevention Project

Established in 1982 by the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers to help curb the epidemic losses of black-owned land in the state, the Land Loss Prevention Project (LPP) now provides legal support and assistance to all of North Carolina’s financially distressed and limited resourced farmers and landowners.  Through LPP’s SmartGrowth Business Center, the nonprofit also offers consultation and legal assistance to help farmers meet their business goals and area residents who are considering agricultural entrepreneurship.

Reinvestment Partners

Established in 1986 as a project of North Carolina Legal Services, Reinvestment Partners (formerly named the Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina) works to promote economic justice and opportunity.  To do so, the nonprofit has three core focuses:  1) Local services, through which it provides housing counseling and free tax preparation services to thousands of families on an annual basis; 2) Community development, a program credited with financing North Carolina’s first manufactured housing community land trust; and 3) Policy advocacy and research.

The Institute

The Institute (formerly named the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development) aims to strengthen the asset base of diverse populations through policy, education, and opportunity.  The nonprofit’s four core programs include:  1) Women Business Development, which helps women launch, operate, and grow successful enterprises; 2) Construction Business Diversity, which includes matchmaking and other services to diversify the construction industry; 3) Transportation Business Diversity, which boosts the capacity of small and disadvantaged businesses interested in bidding on federally funded transportation projects; and 4) Public Allies, which offers young adults paid apprenticeships designed to help them grow into community leaders. Since its formation in 1986, the nonprofit is credited with serving over 10,000 clients and helping people access financial and contract awards totaling $700 million.

State Asset Building Initiatives

Center for Responsible Lending

Based in Durham, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) aims to ensure that the financial marketplace is fair and inclusive for all responsible borrowers regardless of their income.  To do so, the nonprofit conducts research on the extent and impact of predatory lending and develops and promotes policy solutions designed to reform lending practices at the state and federal level.  Launched in Durham in 1999, the nonprofit now works with state coalitions across the country and has offices in Washington, D.C. and Oakland, California.

Land Loss Prevention Project

Established in 1982 by the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers to help curb the epidemic losses of black-owned land in the state, the Land Loss Prevention Project (LPP) now provides legal support and assistance to all of North Carolina’s financially distressed and limited resourced farmers and landowners.  Through LPP’s SmartGrowth Business Center, the nonprofit also offers consultation and legal assistance to help farmers meet their business goals and area residents who are considering agricultural entrepreneurship.

Reinvestment Partners

Established in 1986 as a project of North Carolina Legal Services, Reinvestment Partners (formerly named the Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina) works to promote economic justice and opportunity.  To do so, the nonprofit has three core focuses:  1) Local services, through which it provides housing counseling and free tax preparation services to thousands of families on an annual basis; 2) Community development, a program credited with financing North Carolina’s first manufactured housing community land trust; and 3) Policy advocacy and research.

The Institute

The Institute (formerly named the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development) aims to strengthen the asset base of diverse populations through policy, education, and opportunity.  The nonprofit’s four core programs include:  1) Women Business Development, which helps women launch, operate, and grow successful enterprises; 2) Construction Business Diversity, which includes matchmaking and other services to diversify the construction industry; 3) Transportation Business Diversity, which boosts the capacity of small and disadvantaged businesses interested in bidding on federally funded transportation projects; and 4) Public Allies, which offers young adults paid apprenticeships designed to help them grow into community leaders. Since its formation in 1986, the nonprofit is credited with serving over 10,000 clients and helping people access financial and contract awards totaling $700 million.

Community Land Trusts (CLTs)

Durham Community Land Trustees

Catalyzed in 1987 by residents concerned with rising home prices, absentee landlords, and housing disrepair, Durham Community Land Trustees (DCLT) builds, manages, and advocates for permanently affordable housing.  The land trust now owns and manages 282 units, which provides rental and homeownership opportunities to 325 low-income people.  Committed to supporting local businesses, DCLT procured over $300,000 in services from small, local subcontractors in 2017.

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)

Latino Community Credit Union

Founded in 2000 as a grassroots response to a wave of robberies and muggings targeting Durham’s Latino immigrants, Latino Community Credit Union (LCCU) aims to serve as a safe place for Latinos to save money, access credit, and build wealth.  The credit union has 75,000 members, 65 percent of whom were previously unbanked, and has $277 million in assets.  To enable deposits to serve as community assets, LCCU offers CDs that provide members with a way to earn interest while providing capital that can be used to help area residents purchase a first home or afford higher education.  The credit union also partners with the Latino Community Development Center to provide free financial literacy workshops in branches across North Carolina.

Self-Help

Founded in Durham, Self-Help has grown into a CDFI comprising an advocacy group, a loan fund, and two credit unions serving over 145,000 members across North Carolina, California, Florida, and the greater Chicago region.  Since its establishment in 1980, Self-Help has made 146,000 loans to families, individuals, and organizations, and has provided $7.1 billion in financing to projects credited with creating or maintaining 45,000 jobs.

Impact Investing

SJF Ventures

Guided by a mission to catalyze the development of highly successful businesses driving lasting, positive changes, SJF Ventures (originally known as the “Sustainable Job Fund”) invests in high-growth companies creating a healthier, smarter, and cleaner future. Since its launch in 1999, SJF has invested in more than 50 ventures, creating over 8,300 jobs.  To further its impact, SJF also advocates for policies that foster a more sustainable, just economy.

Local Food Systems

South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces (SEEDS), Inc.

Founded in 1994, South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces (SEEDS) nurtures youths’ capacity to respect life, the earth, and each other through growing, cooking, and sharing.  To do so, the nonprofit has a two-acre urban garden and kitchen classroom from which it operates a range of youth-focused programs including a summer camp and a free after-school farm club.  The nonprofit also helped launch the Durham Farmers Market in 1998, a venue from which it sells produce.

Anchor Institutions

Triangle Community Foundation

Established in 1983, the Triangle Community Foundation stewards 850 philanthropic funds totaling over $209 million in assets.  In 2016, the foundation awarded more than $21 million in grants and individual scholarships to nonprofit organizations and individuals in the Triangle region (Durham, Chatham, Orange, and Wake counties).  Through the foundation’s Community Development program, the Durham-based nonprofit supports multi-faceted approaches helping families and communities overcome persistent poverty.

Social Enterprise

Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers

Founded in 1994, Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers (TROSA) is a substance abuse, residential treatment facility that supports more than 500 recovering individuals on a daily basis.  A core part of TROSA’s program is its social enterprises, which provide work-based vocational training to its residents while generating about 70 percent of the nonprofit’s total revenues.  TROSA’s social enterprises include a moving company (which has grown into the largest independent mover in the Triangle region), a lawn care maintenance enterprise, a thrift store, and a Christmas tree business.

Community Development Corporations (CDCs)

United Durham Inc. Community Development Corporation

Founded in 1974, United Durham Inc. Community Development Corporation (UDI/CDC) aims to raise the economic welfare and education of low-income Durham residents.  UDI’s development projects include a 91-acre industrial park that employs 300 people, a retail shopping center anchored by a Food Lion in a neighborhood previously lacking a major grocer, a 3.5 acre urban farm, and 82 units of affordable housing.  The nonprofit also has a revolving loan fund credited with providing over $1 million in loans to small businesses.