Claiming opportunity in the face of change necessitates ongoing learning and a willingness to evolve—for individuals, communities and institutions, including ZSR.
North Carolina is undergoing significant change. Small towns are evolving, cities are expanding, demographics are shifting, and technology is playing a vital role in the way people are learning, interacting, and doing business. And while there are likely many more unknown and unanticipated changes to come, we believe that great opportunity lies ahead.
In May 2016, with a new Executive Director Maurice “Mo” Green at the helm, ZSR embarked on a yearlong strategic assessment and planning process to learn more about the changes and trends happening across our state and to examine and evaluate our current approach to grantmaking and broader work. We set out on an extensive listening and learning tour called Mo Wants To Know.
We met with community leaders, business leaders, nonprofit leaders, government officials, faith leaders, educational leaders, entrepreneurs, members of the military, youth, and more. These diverse and dynamic leaders and residents from rural and urban communities—from the North Carolina coast to the Qualla Boundary—shared with us not only their fears and concerns, but also the passion and vision they had for their communities.
In addition to our Mo Wants To Know tour, we studied the philanthropic landscape of North Carolina, examined how our state has changed in recent years, convened a group of data experts, and engaged our grantees and Community Leadership Council along the way.
Last but not least, we invited all North Carolinians to connect with us online to share their game changing ideas for making our state a better place.