The Winston-Salem Foundation (WSF) has made seven grants totaling $189,000 for creative solutions to transportation challenges in Forsyth County. This grant round was initiated to address transportation issues that exist in many of our neighborhoods, preventing individuals and families from receiving vital access to healthcare, education, jobs, and healthy and affordable food – and all contributing to systemic poverty.

New Participatory Grantmaking Model

While the Foundation’s board and staff historically have made most grantmaking decisions, this grant round used a participatory grantmaking model: decisions were made by a Community Committee, the majority of whom have recently experienced transportation challenges in Forsyth County. Other Committee members included those who work locally in the transportation field. The Committee created grant application guidelines, interviewed grant applicants, and selected grant recipients. 

Committee member and Boston-Thurmond resident Renai Wisely says, “The Foundation recognized that shared leadership is the answer to solving that which concerns us all. By using a participatory grantmaking model, the Foundation lifted up members of the community to use our voices and have a seat at the table.” 

WSF Program Officer Amanda Bennett adds, “This grantmaking process is an example of the Foundation’s evolution: we’re listening, learning, and engaging those with lived experience to help us address a variety of community issues.  We are grateful to the Committee members for sharing their time and passion to improve Forsyth County.”

Transportation Round Grantees

  • Forsyth Jail & Prison Ministries – $24,000 to provide transportation for men recently released from prison to obtain employment
  • Forsyth Technical Community College – $25,000 to identify how the misalignment of transit and school schedules creates barriers for low-income students
  • Island CultureZ – $36,000 to provide transportation for youth to work at urban and rural farms
  • The Salvation Army – $28,000 for transportation assistance for Center of Hope clients and participants of The Boys & Girls Club as well as deferred maintenance for 25 vehicles,
  • The Shepherd’s Center of Kernersville – $13,000 to provide transportation for seniors who are wheelchair bound
  • The Shepherd’s Center of Greater Winston-Salem – $28,000 to expand transportation services for seniors in Forsyth County
  • Winston-Salem Urban League – $35,000 to purchase a mini-bus to transport those who work outside of WSTA bus routes

Committee member Latonya Wright, says,” I’m excited that this funding will allow Forsyth County residents from all walks of life more options for overcoming these transportation challenges locally, and I look forward to increased opportunities for connecting communities through the work these organizations are doing!”

Community Investment Focus Areas

In the fall of 2017, the Foundation announced two new broad focus areas for community investments—Building an Inclusive Economy and Advancing Equity in Education. After listening sessions in 2018, the Foundation identified six priority areas in which to begin programmatic work. The Spring 2019 grant round focused on access to efficient and affordable transportation, while the Fall 2019 grant round will address a reduction in the racial wealth gap. In all community investments, the Foundation is committed to an explicit focus on racial equity to create positive change in our community. Learn more about our focus areas at focus.wsfoundation.org


The Winston-Salem Foundation is a community foundation that supports charitable programs in the greater Forsyth County area. Founded in 1919 with a $1,000 gift, it now administers more than 1,500 funds and had total custodial assets of more than $565 million at the end of 2018. In 2018, the Foundation granted $58.6 million to charitable causes, $1.9 million of which was through its Community Grants program. Learn more at www.wsfoundation.org.    

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