Haven House Services is this Year's Large Grant Winner!

Last week, because of YOU and our generous community, The Beehive Collective was able to give away our largest grant yet - $60,000 to help fund a project in Health and Health care in Raleigh!

And...our membership chose to fund ... drum roll, please ... Haven House Services!

Haven House
offers services for youth and young adults who are homeless, in crisis, or having difficulty at home, school or in the community. They currently run 11 programs that reach more than 1,300 struggling youth and their families each year in Raleigh.

Haven House will use Beehive funding to develop a streamlined process that will screen youth for mental health and substance abuse needs, as well as for trauma indicators, utilizing evidence-based screening tools. This is a big deal, because prior to taking steps to change this intake process, Haven House clinicians have had to refer their young clients to other organizations to provide mental health screening - creating a variety of barriers to clients actually getting the critical mental health support they needed.

Thank you all for making this a special year for the Beehive Collective - raising more money than ever to put back into our community!

Final Grant Report: 2015 Large Grant to Code the Dream, a program of Uniting NC

What is Code the Dream?

Code the Dream recognizes that young people from minority and immigrant backgrounds have great ideas and will play a huge part in our 21st century economy. Already immigrants are more than twice as likely to start their own business, and those businesses create over 25% of new jobs.

Code the Dream seeks to answer the question – What if people with that drive knew how to code? Through an innovative program in Raleigh, Code the Dream teaches immigrants how to code and provides them with mentoring, support, and real-world opportunities to use their new skills to help their community, move on to higher education, and find new career paths.


In 2015, at the time Uniting NC applied for the Beehive Collective Large Grant to fund Code the Dream, the program had been operating for less than a year. Code the Dream was run by two staff and usually served a total of 12 students at any one time. While they saw promising results initially, it was on a small scale.

The Impact of Beehive Funds

A year later, thanks in large part to the Beehive funding, Code the Dream has almost doubled in size and more than doubled in impact – with a 75% larger budget, a staff of four, and an average of 40 students active in the program at any one time.

Throughout 2016, they were able to dramatically increase the opportunities for students to gain real-world experiences. – which in turn had a positive effect on the community. The Code the Dream team started up a software development shop – Code the Dream Labs, which is open to all advanced students.  CTD Labs has formalized an opportunity for students to get real-world experience by creating space for them to get paid for working on projects for local nonprofits and small businesses. They are able to support themselves while continuing to gain invaluable experience. Apps created by CTD students include a ride-sharing app for recently homeless parents who need to get to doctor’s appointments or job interviews (basically free Uber for those who need it most); an app to assist low income students learning music; and an app to help migrant farmworkers find health and education services.

Since the program received Beehive funding, they have also tripled the number of students getting their first employment as software developers, a very meaningful step considering the median wage for Code the Dream students prior to joining the program was $8 / hour. Additionally, 7 students total have received scholarships for higher education in part through assistance received through the program.


The 9th Annual Bee Ball exceeded our wildest dreams! Thanks to the incredible support of our sponsors, attendees, and Royalty court we raised over $35,000!

We thank all of the Royalty Court for their time and innovative fundraising efforts! Liz Hester, Amanda Finch, Camille Wigely, Regina Twine, Brad Johnson, JoJo Polk, Joseph Giampino, and Napoleon Wright II—you are all awesome!

A special thank you to our fundraising leaders, Liz Hester and Amanda Finch, who individually raised more than many previous Bee Balls totaled.

Due to this tremendous success, we will be able to award a record $60,000 grant to an area nonprofit working in Health and Health Care in 2017.

We invite you to join us for a community conversation about Health and Health Care on June 6, 2017 at Google Fiber to learn more about the theme and The Beehive Collective.

2017 Large Grant Theme: Health and Health Care

Every spring the Beehive holds an open meeting to democratically select the annual large grant giving theme. Through this process we are able to be responsive to the current needs of our community, truly providing community sourced giving to Raleigh.

The selected theme for 2017 is Health and Health Care, as defined through the following:

Every person, regardless of where they live, how much money they make, or whether or not they have health insurance, should have access to basic health care. Communities of low income, with mental health challenges, and of color have historically faced systemic barriers in accessing quality healthcare for themselves and their families.

With the Affordable Care Act under attack, NC health initiatives already underfunded, and the uncertainty of programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, vulnerable populations will be at continued and increased risk. North Carolina is in a particularly interesting but unpredictable political situation as a non-expansion state.

Projects could focus on providing funding to keep basic programs afloat (perhaps related to community outreach/knowledge, and/or advocacy), or focus around specialized projects that could get lost in the shuffle as advocates hone in on saving the most basic programs (i.e. programs around maternal or family health awareness, nutrition, teen health/decision making, etc.).

The Beehive Collective is particularly interested in projects that provide or work toward a more fair, equitable, and just healthcare system by examining and addressing health care systems/issues through an intersectional lens (i.e. projects that address how and why various communities are impacted differently or more significantly.)

Remarkably, within 12 hours of selecting this theme President Trump presented the first attempt at a new health care plan, causing a flurry of concerns regarding health care coverage and treatments for most Americans, including our community in Raleigh.

Health care changes are certain in the coming years, and while the details of the changes remain unknown, we are very excited to support a local nonprofit that demonstrates a direct impact in Raleigh within the definition of this theme.

How much money will the 2017 large grant be? Well, that depends on your support! Come to our fundraising events or become a member today!


Beehive members voted for the NC Housing Coalition at the Dec. 6th membership meeting after reviewing comprehensive information from the top grant requests. Founded in 1988, the Coalition is a non-profit membership organization working for affordable housing that promotes stable communities for low- and moderate-income North Carolinians.

Each year, Beehive members choose a theme to focus on within our community and this year focuses on housing and community development. Affordable housing is especially in the spotlight right now as Raleigh sees its population rising and neighborhoods changing. The Coalition’s land bank project will allow local, non-profit affordable housing providers to compete for land in high opportunity areas and transit corridors in an effort to produce and preserve affordable housing. With land becoming more expensive than ever, the project will be crucial to the future of affordable housing in our community. 

The Coalition has more than 60 organizational and individual members in Wake County; a priority area for their local advocacy work. Beehive funds will be used for staff time to organize and convene local affordable housing providers to discuss the creation and governance of the land bank.

You can read more about the NC Housing Coalition and past grantees, including this year’s small grant winner, Girls on the Run of the Triangle, here


The fourth annual Kick Ass Ladies Club, once at again at our favorite spot, King’s Baracade, was an amazing night! Our success was  due our MC, Pam Saulsby, and our totally kick ass panelists! Saulsby’s magnetic personality kicked off the show and immediately warmed up the crowd.  We quickly saw her unique gift for connecting with people as the audience cheered and laughed along with her opening. Saulsby shared her own kick ass motto, “If all you do, is all you’ve ever done, then all you’ll get, is all you ever got,” before introducing our panelists.

It was a special opportunity to showcase the talents and hard work of these women. And while we heard about their impressive backgrounds in the introduction, our first question asked them to tell us about their most spectacular failure. It is, after all, often our failures which make us stronger, smarter and more compassionate. Sticking to the theme of the night, Saulsby asked them to also explain how this failure made them even more kick-ass. Here are some highlights from the night’s discussion.

Devin Lentz (Chair of the LGBT Center of Raleigh’s Transgender Initiative program and self-described nerd):  “My voice…Learning how to cope with being unintentionally offended and learning how to cope with that in a way that doesn’t leave me bitter and angry all the time has been an education.”

One wish for Raleigh and the Triangle: “Redistribution of social, political and economic power so it is not quite so concentrated in the hands of cisgender white men.”

Laila Bell (Director of Research and Data at NC Child and member of the over-achievers club): “My spectacular failure was trying to do too much and trying to do it exceptionally well…I didn’t say I needed help with enough authority or conviction…The lesson I got was to ‘sing out Louise!’, don’t be afraid to ask for help and do not be afraid to say no.” 

One wish for Raleigh and the Triangle: “My one wish for North Carolina, for Raleigh, is that we once again become a state and a community that looks challenges in the face and says we will solve them together.”

Jessica Holmes (Education law attorney, Wake County Commissioner): “My most spectacular failure was staying in a particular relationship for too long.”. Jessica’s significant other responded to her many opportunities with a “no, that’s not what I see my woman doing, my woman’s place is in the house.”. “I had to realize that I was enough and that I was capable of doing things that my man at the time told me I couldn’t…and because [my friends] told me I could, because of women in positions of power, I was able to become elected as the first and youngest person ever elected in Wake County’s history - woman, man, blue, black, whatever!”

One wish for Raleigh and the Triangle: “Upward mobility for everyone!”

Chanda Branch (Arts Educator and award winning performer): Chanda shared a story about failing an early audition, causing her to “dissolve into a puddle of tears…I let myself get ahead of myself and I messed myself up.” “It took that moment of me falling from grace and splatting flat on my face before I could realize that just because you kick ass, doesn’t mean that you don’t have to kick your own ass sometimes and get up and do the work.” Chanda’s moral: Bounce back!

One wish for Raleigh and the Triangle: “When this foolishness is all said and done, let’s all sit down, have a coke and a smile and R-E-L-A-X.”

Kellie Burris (LGBT Center of Raleigh, Women's Initiative): “When I first took over [my current position]…my goal was to revive this program and many times at the beginning I missed the mark.” After these early failures of trying to engage younger members of the queer community with her group, Kellie thought about her own interests and started to find success by rethinking her approach. “I was able to reach out to this network of 200 women that we’ve created and we have been able to nail something down.” Kellie’s takeaway: Listen to your community because at the end of the day it is about serving them.

One wish for Raleigh and the Triangle: More empathy!

Melony Allen (Director of Conservation and Diversity at the Conservation Trust for North Carolina): After the diagnosis of a chronic illness at an early age, Melony was driven to become an advocate for health care issues. “I started to work with the Children’s Defense Fund…from about 2003-2005, I ate, slept, breathed this legislation…and it didn’t happen and I was devastated.” In 2008, while working on the Obama campaign, Melony found additional opportunities to work for what she was passionate about – connecting with people, with communities, organizing and, of course, healthcare. “While it is really easy to give up, in the end, we keep going and persevering and we can see the change that we want.”

One wish for Raleigh and the Triangle: “I want Raleigh and the Triangle to be as wonderful, as awe-inspiring and as much of a launching pad for the people who have been here for a long time as well as for those people who are coming.”

Molly McKinley (Grassroots Organizer for NC Conservation Network, Oaks and Spokes): After a long period of job searching, student loans coming due and guilt from not wearing her retainer, Molly shared, “these insecurities were exploding, I don’t know where they’ve been but I hope they never come out again!” In May, Molly started her new position with the NC Conservation. “I love this job. Here I am, kicking ass and I’m so humbled to be here with these women that I admire, with all of you, who kick so much ass. You can be here too! You’re going to be kicking ass before too long.”

One wish for Raleigh and the Triangle: “I wish that every single person who wants to make change will have a community that will lift them up and cheer them on, like this.”

For the second year, the Kick Ass Ladies Club was followed by the Eyes up Here Comedy Showcase, hosted by one of Raleigh’s Kick Ass Ladies, Erin Terry.  We were thrilled to have so many attendees stay and enjoy this all-women comedy showcase.

Special thanks to all the local food vendors that donated food for the Kick Ass Ladies Club: Fiction Kitchen, Buku, Capital Club 16, A Pig’s Ear Donuts. 

Kicking Ass at Dinnertime

The second round of the Beehive’s Kick Ass Dinner series was a great success!  Each of the five dinners connected a Kick Ass Host with a diverse group of women to share knowledge, expertise and passion. These dinners offer an intimate opportunity for attendees to share unique and common experiences as well as desires for opportunity and growth.

Hosts and topics included:

Learning how to help abuse victims with Judge Bousman.

Learning how to help abuse victims with Judge Bousman.

Judge Monica Bousman has served as a Wake County District Court Judge for 15 years. Wake County District Court judges are elected every four years, and Judge Bousman is running for re-election in November 2016. During the dinner she shared her experience as the primary judge overseeing domestic violence cases in Wake County for 13 years. Becoming a leader in such an emotional and often tragic area has taught her resilience and that there are two sides to every story.  Staying in the position for 13 years has given her the opportunity to see the long term success of her cases, especially for the most vulnerable affected, the children of domestic violence. Attendees asked questions about her tenure as a judge, but moreover how to be advocates within our community for those who experience abuse.

Pamela Santos has more than 15 years of experience as a strategist in Social Entrepreneurship.  She also teaches Social Ventures at UNC-Chapel Hill. Over dinner Pamela defined the landscape for social entrepreneurship, noting specifically that social entrepreneurship can still be profit driven. She provided several real-world examples of programs. Attendees left inspired to think outside the box and work with local communities to determine needs to create positive social change.

Finding the humor in life with Erin Terry.

Finding the humor in life with Erin Terry.

Erin Terry is a local stand-up comedian and host of Eyes Up Here Comedy Showcase, featuring local kick ass lady comedians. Over dinner, Erin shared the story of her journey to comedy, owning her body image, and celebrating other independent women in our community. Needless to say there was lots of laughter over dinner! The ladies left feeling kick ass as well as empowered to own and tell their personal stories with confidence and maybe even try a little comedy. 

Carole Marcotte is a local business owner, with years of experience in owning her own unique businesses. The evening’s focus was “Why not?” and evolved around starting a second career as an entrepreneur. Many of the attendees had started their own businesses after years of working for someone else, and shared their stories about the risks and rewards of becoming your own boss. The take-away of the night was that it's never too late to start your own thing!

Molly McKinley is an organizer for the NC Conservation Network, currently working on a hot local topic, alternative forms of transportation in Wake County. Molly asked attendees to map out their transportation options in Wake County, including public transit and biking. She educated members on their opportunity to vote for a county-wide sales tax to fund enhanced public transit. Attendees left knowing a lot more about transportation choices and how they benefit their quality of life.

The Kick Ass Dinner series is an inspired continuation of The Beehive Collective’s annual Kick Ass Ladies Club. Women who have attended the Kick Ass Ladies Club event asked to create a broader community and more opportunities to connect with women in Raleigh. As we approach the fourth year of the Kick Ass Ladies Club we’re thrilled to see its growth into the dinner series! 

Molly facilititates a conversation about transit (and bikes)!

Molly facilititates a conversation about transit (and bikes)!

Beehive and Community Leaders Discuss Housing and Community Development

Nearly 70 people gathered at HQ Raleigh on June 29, 2016, for a conversation about the Beehive Collective’s giving theme Housing and Community Development. Led by Beehive board Co-chair Tappan Vickery, the panel featured a broad range of community leaders to talk about this many-sided issue.

Housing is a critical need in Raleigh as many people struggle to find affordable space in an area with a 90% occupancy rate and rising population. Affordable housing is typically defined as total cost of rent/mortgage and utilities coming to less than 30% of total household income. As the average median income and housing values rise in the area, many are struggling to keep up.

While there are many challenges and diverse needs in the community, government agencies, nonprofits, developers and citizens need to work together to on shaping the future. Attending local Citizens Advisory Councils is a good way to learn about an area’s issues and what develop is going on.

“Developing affordable housing starts in the community; it starts in the CACS meetings,” said Raleigh City Councilman Corey Branch. “The council will listen.”

Branch pointed out that while there are programs and incentives in place for those looking to develop affordable housing, many people don’t know about the programs and they’re being underutilized.

And that’s just one prong of the education that needs to take place on such a wide-ranging issue. Creighton Blackwell, Vice President for Corporate Affairs at Coastal Federal Credit Union, said that understanding credit and financial literacy are also key ways to help get people into affordable homes.

“A lot of programs are playing catch up and not looking at the underlying problems,” Blackwell said. “It means nothing unless you create financially healthy people.”

Olive Joyner, Executive Director at Durham’s Housing for New Hope, pointed out that many people live in a cashless economy, without enough money for essentials making this education even more vitally important.

But beyond helping people understand the programs and services available, the city needs to work to rebuild relationships, particularly in areas where affordable housing is being replaced or neighborhoods that are gentrifying quickly.

Branch suggested that meeting people where they are and finding out what they need is a good first step to rebuilding some of these neighborhoods. Programs to help fix homes in disrepair as well as working with community groups to keep the fabric of the neighborhoods together will also be essential.

A best practice for providing affordable housing is a policy called scattered site, or spreading the creation of units across various neighborhoods so they’re not concentrated in one area. But locations should also include access to transportation, employment centers and other services.

“It’s hard for a city like Raleigh to keep up with growth,” said Elizabeth Alley, AICP. “It’s doing a good job in a tough situation.”

While Raleigh has some catching up to do in terms of building more affordable housing and protecting some of its neighborhoods, having conversations about this topic and understanding many different perspectives will help shape a productive dialogue.

The Beehive request for proposals is expected to be released at the end of July. Sign up for our email list to receive notifications.

Meet the Bees: Sarah Ferguson

The Beehive Collective 2015 Board of Directors are working hard to continue our mission to pollinate community giving in Raleigh. You may have met these ladies at one of our many events throughout the year, and now, we’re giving you a closer look. Find out why they became a Bee and why they are dedicated to making Raleigh a better place. Meet the Bees!

Next up is Sarah Ferguson, one of our lovely Co-Chairs on the Membership Committee and board member.

What made you want to join The Beehive Collective? What is your favorite part about being a Bee?
I got initiated into the Cult of Beehive when I attended my first Bee Ball in 2010. The Bee Ball has been the highlight of my year ever since, including the year I won Bee Ball Queen, and the year I got engaged on the night of the Bee Ball.  Becoming a dues-paying member seemed like the honest thing to do, what with all the almost-free fun I was getting to take part in.

Why is The Beehive Collective important to you? To community giving in Raleigh?
For me, the Beehive Collective’s model of giving creates a direct link between philanthropy and activism. I know where my money is going, I know that only a tiny percentage goes towards organizational expenses, and I get to make an informed choice with fellow members about what causes and project to fund. The Beehive Collective provides a means of engaged philanthropy that is hard to find elsewhere.

What inspires you about being a part of a giving circle?
The other members of the Beehive are my inspiration. I have met dozens of intelligent, engaged, critical, and caring women through this organization. The collective wealth of knowledge, connections, dedication and support among the Beehive continually amazes me.

Which grant recipient or project have you been most proud of?
I think that all the grants we have awarded have gone to incredible projects. I am most proud, actually, of the breadth of applications we receive for each grant, and the quality of the organizations we attract. I am proud of how incredibly hard it is to pick just one recipient for each grant we provide!

Why should others consider joining The Beehive Collective?
Beehive membership has perks, such as notoriety. We DO throw the best party of the year…
I think the best thing about Beehive membership is that you can be as involved (or not) as you like. If you want to dive in and co-chair a committee, you can do that. If you want to pay your pledge and be left alone, that’s fine too. If you want to switch back and forth every year, cheers to you! Our motto, “Philanthropy within everyone’s reach,” applies to your donations of time & effort, as well as money.

Why do you think the Bee Ball is the best party in Raleigh?
Climbing the walls in the graffitied back hallway of the Berkeley Cafe, cramming as many people into one photo as possible. I mean LITERALLY climbing the walls. “Hallway photos” became a tradition for three years running. I look forward to finding a confined space somewhere in Southland Ballroom to take up the practice again.

Join Sarah and become a Bee! Clicking here to make your 2015 pledge today!

Meet the Bees: Katy Dunne

The Beehive Collective 2015 Board of Directors are working hard to continue our mission to pollinate community giving in Raleigh. You may have met these ladies at one of our many events throughout the year, and now, we’re giving you a closer look. Find out why they became a Bee and why they are dedicated to making Raleigh a better place. Meet the Bees!

Next up is the lovely Katy Dunne, who serves as our Fundraising Committee Co-Chair.

Name: Katy Dunne
Occupation: Sales Engineer at ChannelAdvisor
Background: Class of ‘99 in Durham, college in Chapel Hill, proud Raleighite since 2008

What made you want to join The Beehive Collective? What is your favorite part about being a Bee?
I learned about The Beehive Collective through some friends from high school who are members and spent a few years attending Bee Balls and supporting from afar. Finally I realized that I was a true Raleigh resident and it was my job to help make my city a better place.

My favorite part about being a Bee is meeting all the amazing people who are doing lots of good things in Raleigh. There are so many inspirational women (and men) who work in nonprofits or build amazing businesses or incite political change, and I get to call them my friends and fellow Bees.

Why is The Beehive Collective important to you? To community giving in Raleigh?
In a nutshell, The Beehive allows me to have a career I love and still sleep at night feeling like a good citizen. What I  mean is, having a corporate job, I spent some years struggling with the idea that I wasn’t giving back enough. Being part of The Beehive allows me to find deeper meaning through philanthropy and engaging with my community. We’re all a part of where we live, and I believe we’re obligated to be good neighbors. The Beehive makes me a better, more involved neighbor.

What inspires you about being a part of a giving circle?
The coolest thing about a giving circle is that we can give grants to different organizations every year. We’re not tied down to one mission or one goal; we can be a part of so many good things going on in Raleigh, and we can adapt to what needs we see around us. We are constantly inspired by the phenomenal organizations around us who are doing great work every day.

Which grant recipient or project have you been most proud of?
It’s almost impossible to pick just one, but I think I’m most proud of the grants we’ve given that are directed at improving the lives of women and girls. Our small grants are specifically targeted toward this, and our 2013 large grant to El Pueblo’s program to provide reproductive health information to Latino youth really struck a nerve with me. It just filled so many gaps around women’s health, youth and sexuality, and educating a subset of our community that is too often overlooked.

Why should others consider joining The Beehive Collective?
Everyone talks about philanthropy and giving back (as I have so far), but truly, join The Beehive because it’s fun! I’ve made so many close friends through this organization, and we really throw the best events. The Bee Ball, the Stewart Cookout, Kick Ass Ladies’ Club – they’re my favorite days of the year!

What’s your craziest Bee Ball memory?
Honestly, I don’t think I can even share my best Bee Ball memories in a public forum. THAT’S how good of a party it is. I will say this: tequila shots.

Join Katy and become a Bee! Clicking here to make your 2015 pledge today!

Meet the Bees: Liz Hester

The Beehive Collective 2015 Board of Directors are working hard to continue our mission to pollinate community giving in Raleigh. You may have met these ladies at one of our many events throughout the year, and now, we’re giving you a closer look. Find out why they became a Bee and why they are dedicated to making Raleigh a better place. Meet the Bees!

Next up is Liz Hester, one of our lovely Board Co-Chairs.

What made you want to join The Beehive Collective? What is your favorite part about being a Bee?
When I first moved back to Raleigh from Brooklyn, I was looking for a community and to volunteer my time to a worthy cause – and for a few new friends. My first month back, I went on a group bike ride sponsored by the Beehive on a recommendation. My initial thought was, “I don’t know anything about bees, but it might be a way to meet people.”

As I’m riding, I started chatting with one of the co-founders. I asked her if they were advocating for backyard beehives (this was totally a thing in Brooklyn). She laughed and told me the details about being a Bee and some of the projects they had funded. I was sold and wrote a check that evening to join.

My favorite part about being a Bee is all the amazing people I’ve met around Raleigh doing incredible things. I love feeling as if I belong to our community and I’m working to make it a better place. Now, most of my friends are involved with the Beehive in some way and it’s having this supportive community that makes living here so special.

Why is The Beehive Collective important to you? To community giving in Raleigh?
Any type of donation – time, treasure or talent — is extremely important, but I love the Beehive’s local focus. Often you write a check for cancer research or to another national organization and while it’s helpful, you don’t have personal connection with those you’re assisting. With the Beehive, we are able to see first-hand how our money is being used, the people we are helping and the way we’re bettering our community.

Raleigh is an incredible place to live, but there are problems we need to work together to solve. The Beehive is addressing needs in a variety of areas. I especially like how we change our theme each year, giving us the opportunity to help more people and learn about a variety of issues. We truly are pollinating community giving.

What inspires you about being a part of a giving circle?
I actually really like the collective wisdom of the group. Each year our giving theme changes, which helps make sure we are assisting a variety of causes that are important to various members. For example, if you’re passionate about children’s rights, odds are we have or will fund a project in that space.

Our members are so plugged into the community and thoughtful about how they give away money. It’s also incredibly gratifying to fund a whole project instead of making a one-off donation. It’s a great way to pool resources and show results quickly.

Which grant recipient or project have you been most proud of?
All of our recipients have been incredible, but I was extremely proud of the grant to Youth Empowered Solutions (YES!) to help them set up a health clinic for high school students in Southeast Raleigh.

As a former journalist, what the Raleigh Public Record was able to do with their grant was simply inspiring. They took our small grant and leveraged it into $57,000 dollars to bring their DocHive software online. The software takes PDF information and converts it to spreadsheet form, making reporting on areas like campaign finance easier. As someone who’s combed through those files at one point, I understand that this is a powerful tool.

Why should others consider joining The Beehive Collective?
Basically if you want to spend time with awesome and inspiring people in Raleigh, you should join. Collectively, we are helping make our community better and we’d love to have you be a part of it.

I’ve learned so much from being involved in the board and our committees. It’s been a huge opportunity for me personally to develop knowledge and different skills. But mostly, it’s about helping others. And we’re super fun.

What’s your craziest Bee Ball memory?
Memory? Who remembers the Bee Ball?

Join Liz and become a Bee! Clicking here to make your 2015 pledge today!

7th Annual Bee Ball Breaks Fundraising Record

Annual Event Raised $17,600 for Immigrant Rights

The best party in Raleigh returned for its seventh year to benefit a nonprofit organization dedicated to making Raleigh a better place. This year, the annual event raised $17,600 to support Immigrant Rights.

Billed as Raleigh’s adult prom, the Bee Ball is the biggest annual fundraiser for The Beehive Collective, a giving circle that raises money for area nonprofits. There was something for everyone at the Bee Ball – music, dancing, photo booths and more!

“We’ve given away more than $150,000 since 2008 and we’re looking to make this our biggest grant year ever, and the Bee Ball is a big part of making that goal a reality,” said Liz Hester, Beehive co-chair. “Each year, our membership chooses a giving theme to grant our funds, and this year, we’ve chosen immigrant rights. Immigrants make up one of the largest growing demographics in Wake County, and the Beehive would like to support Immigrant Rights through a grant of $22,000 to $27,000 this year.”

The Bee Ball is truly a community-supported event. Along with ticket sales, eight of Raleigh’s finest young leaders were chosen as the Bee Ball Royalty Court. These individuals worked overtime to raise even more money on behalf of the Beehive’s grant recipients. Each member of the court pledged to raise at least $1000 through the event.

2015 Royalty Court members included:

  • Adam Eckhardt, Co-owner and Co-founder, Crank Arm Brewing
  • David Zell, Founder of Oak City Cycling Project
  • Lisa Veronica Wood, Sidecar Social Club
  • Margaret Griffin, SPARKcon Organizer
  • Tappan Vickery, Grants Committee Co-Chair, The Beehive Collective
  • Bridget Whelan, Communications Director, NC Conservation Network
  • Jenny Bonchak, Founder, Slingshot Coffee Co.
  • Tobias Perrino, Founding Member, Stonewall Kickball

2015 marked the second year at Southland Ballroom, and entertainment included performances by Sidecar Social Club & DJ Jenilla Ice. With this amazing group, The Beehive Collective continued the tradition of being the best party in Raleigh.

The Beehive Collective is dedicated to pollinating community giving in Raleigh while inspiring new women leaders. Members of the Beehive Collective work to support the development of women through local activities. By pooling resources and organizing fun events like the Bee Ball, the Bees raise money to fund community projects.

Can’t wait until next May? Revisit all the fun of the 2015 Bee Ball with our event photos courtesy of Abby Nardo and the every popular photo booth courtesy of Erin Debnam.

Meet the Bees: Mary Alice Holley

The Beehive Collective 2015 Board of Directors are working hard to continue our mission to pollinate community giving in Raleigh. You may have met these ladies at one of our many events throughout the year, and now, we’re giving you a closer look. Find out why they became a Bee, and why they are dedicated to making Raleigh a better place. Meet the Bees!

Introducing Mary Alice Holley, member of the Communications Committee and board member since 2015.


Tell us about yourself!
I’m from Chattanooga, TN and I graduated from UT Chattanooga. I currently work as the Content and Media Relations Manager atBC/DC Ideas.

What made you want to join The Beehive Collective? What is your favorite part about being a Bee?
I moved to Raleigh in 2013 and knew maybe three people when I got here. I was looking for a way to meet other young professionals who were active in the community and having a great time doing it. I was introduced to the Bees through the first Kick Ass Ladies Club event and absolutely knew these were my people. When I found out they needed volunteers for the Communications Committee, it was a double bonus! My favorite part about being a Bee is always meeting new people and connecting over our passion for nonprofits and making Raleigh an amazing place to be.

Why is The Beehive Collective important to you? To community giving in Raleigh?
The Beehive Collective establishes a sense of community among young female professionals who are passionate about serving Raleigh in a unique way while having a lot of fun doing it. I work with nonprofits every day but being able to share my passion with a larger group is always exciting. The Beehive Collective is important to community giving because we’ve found a way to engage young people in volunteering and contributing to worthy causes. Getting involved in your own community is so important and joining the Beehive is a great way to see where you fit.

What inspires you about being a part of a giving circle?
By being part of a giving circle, I know my contribution is going to be put to work in a great way. This is my second year and we’ve already distributed three grants to some amazing community projects. It’s exciting to see firsthand where my contribution is going and the accomplishments of the organizations we support.

Which grant recipient or project have you been most proud of?
I am so proud of the work El Pueblo has accomplished with their grassroots peer education program providing comprehensive reproductive health workshops to teenage Latino girls and boys. Often, teens have issues with misinformation and lack of access to reproductive health needs. The need for programs like this one are significant, and I’m glad the membership agrees!

Why should others consider joining The Beehive Collective?
If you are interested in supporting great community organizations, if you want to meet passionate like-minded people working to transform Raleigh, and if you want to have a great time at one of our many events throughout the year, then we want to welcome you to the Bee family!

Why do you think the Bee Ball is the best party in Raleigh?
Why isn’t the Bee Ball the best party in Raleigh? I get to get all dressed up! Anyone who knows me knows I love a good party and I REALLY love an excuse to get dressed up and dance. I’m already counting the days until I get to join my fellow bees and belt out some 90’s classics. #BSB4Ever

Join Mary Alice and become a Bee! Clicking here to make your 2015 pledge today!

Meet the Bees: Brittany Iery

The Beehive Collective 2015 Board of Directors are working hard to continue our mission to pollinate community giving in Raleigh. You may have met these ladies at one of our many events throughout the year, and now, we’re giving you a closer look. Find out why they became a Bee and why they are dedicated to making Raleigh a better place. Meet the Bees!

Kicking things off is Brittany Iery, our Communications Committee Chairperson and board member since 2015.

Tell us about yourself!
I’m from Rocky Mount, NC and I graduated from UNC Wilmington (Go Seahawks!) I have worked at NC Conservation Network as an organizer for 4 and a half years and I co-founded RDU Baton.

What made you want to join The Beehive Collective? What is your favorite part about being a Bee?

I joined The Beehive Collective because I wanted to make a difference in my community. When I moved to Raleigh, I was looking for a way to give back to the community, and The Beehive Collective seemed like the perfect fit!

My favorite part about being a Bee is the chance to vote on who receives our small and large grants. There’s nothing better than being able to give money away to a nonprofit who is working to make Raleigh a better place!

Why is The Beehive Collective important to you? To community giving in Raleigh?
The Beehive Collective is important to me because my community is important to me. I want to make sure the community where I’m putting my roots down is a happy and healthy place for everyone and everything that call it home.

To me, community giving in Raleigh is important because, simply put, it’s the best way to strengthen our community.

What inspires you about being a part of a giving circle?
I love the idea of being part of a giving circle that awards grants to Raleigh nonprofits who are making a difference in the community I call home. It also rocks that we get to decide as a membership which charity or community group we will grant the funds to!

Which grant recipient or project have you been most proud of?
I am particularly proud of the large grant we awarded to Walnut Creek Elementary School last year. It was very gratifying to know that the funds would be used to invest in professional development for teachers, a “leveled” library for all grades, and new books for their classrooms. I was very proud that The Beehive Collective was able to make a difference by providing these basic resources to a local school.

Why should others consider joining The Beehive Collective?
If you want to help make a difference in Raleigh, then you should become a Bee. It’s a great way to get more involved in your community and meet other amazing folks who care about Raleigh as much as you do!

Why do you think the Bee Ball is the best party in Raleigh?
Adult prom! Who doesn’t love the best party in Raleigh?! Some of my favorite memories of the Bee Ball come from the amazing music played. I’m pretty sure there’s video evidence of my good friend and I singing every single word to the Backstreet Boys “I Want It That Way”.

Join Brittany and become a Bee! Clicking here to make your 2015 pledge today!

Our 2015 Giving Theme is…

On March 2nd, the Bee’s met at Person Street Bar to help pick our 2015 giving theme. We had a record turn out this year and we were so excited to see so many familiar and new faces.

This year our membership selected “Immigrant Rights” as our giving theme. Immigrants make up one of the largest growing demographics in Wake County, and the Beehive would like to support Immigrant Rights through a grant of $22,000 to $27,000 this year. Immigration in the United States is a confusing and expensive process. Many immigrants are left in a grey area. This community faces public and private sector challenges based on misinformation, prejudice and exploitation of their status. Basic needs can become constant challenges to immigrants. This theme will focus on eliminating barriers that all immigrants in Raleigh encounter, notably fair housing, health care, employment and education and/or addressing misinformation in our community that creates barriers.

Thanks again to everyone who came out to choose this years theme and thanks to Person Street Bar for hosting us. If you’ve got any suggestions or ideas on what this theme could look like feel free to email us at raleighbeehive@gmail.com.

Finally, if you haven’t made your pledge for 2015, you can do so online by clicking hereThose who have made pledges will be able to vote on who gets our $2,000 Small Grant in late March-early April.

Our 2014 Large Grant Recipient is…

The Beehive Collective is proud of funding another great year of community giving in Raleigh.  We are delighted to announce the recipient of this year’s large grant awarded for Innovation in Education: Supporting our Educators is Walnut Creek Elementary School!

With the $25,000 grant, we are supporting Walnut Creek Elementary teachers by giving them the tools needed to work to improve students’ reading abilities to grade level and above. Walnut Creek will invest in professional development for teachers, a “leveled” library for all grades and new books for each classroom.

“Walnut Creek has an amazing and dedicated staff working in one of the most challenging environments in Raleigh,” said Tappan Vickery, chair of the Beehive Collective grants committee. “The teachers had a simple request—books that meet Wake County’s required curriculum to teach their students to read at grade level. With nearly 800 Raleigh children attending Walnut Creek, there is no question that the Beehive funds will not only support teachers, but also benefit our community as a whole as we provide building blocks for literacy.”

Your pledges, donations, and attendance at this year’s fabulous events all culminated in reaching our goal for the Beehive’s 2014 large grant giving cycle. With your support and participation, we are able to continue to fund projects at local organizations working to make Raleigh a better place.

The Bees are excited to see how this grant will help the teachers and students at Walnut Creek Elementary in the next year. We will keep you updated on their progress!

Thank you to everyone who voted and attended the latest membership meeting at Neptunes. We had great applicants and congratulate them on all the work they do to support our students and teachers.

We’re looking forward to another successful year of fundraising, grantmaking and fun events with you in 2015!

Make sure you are part of this year’s fun and giving back to our community. Click here to make your pledge to The Beehive Collective in 2015.

Our 2014 Large Grant Proposal Is Here!

We are excited to announce that the request for proposal for the 2014 large grant is available. Download the request for proposal: 2014 Beehive Large Grant Proposal.

The Beehive Collective invites your organization to submit a proposal for our 2014 Large Grant Giving Cycle. All area nonprofits and qualifying schools and/or educators that fall into the theme, Innovation in Education: Supporting our Educators, are encouraged to apply.

The deadline for your proposal is Sunday, August 31, 2014 at 5:00 pm.

The Beehive Collective Past Grantee Panel Recap

On July 9, the Beehive Collective hosted our mid-year grantee panel, where attendees received an update from some of our past recipients.  It was a fun evening to share a few beers, hear about how Raleigh nonprofits are putting our money to good use and share the good work of the Beehive. Read below to see how some of our past grantees continue to help our community with their work.

El Pueblo (2013)

The mission of El Pueblo—to achieve positive social change through building consciousness, capacity and community action—has received great support this year.As the recipient of the large grant of $25,000, El Pueblo has been working to expand their services for Raleigh’s Latino community. Click to see photos from their youth leaders and a community arts project. Tania Duran-Eyre and Alexandra Dest represented El Pueblo on the panel.

Raleigh Public Record (2012)

While reporting stories no longer covered by traditional media, the Raleigh Public Record tests new ways to convey news and helps train a new generation of journalists. The Record was awarded the Beehive’s $1,500 small grant. Founder Charles Duncan participated in the panel discussion to give us an update on the types of stories the Record has covered for the Raleigh Community. Visit the Record’s website for more information.

WakeUP Wake County (2011)

WakeUP is a nonpartisan group of citizens concerned about growth and the future of Wake County, tackling the challenges of growth, education, transportation and more in our region. After becoming the $20,000 large grant recipient, WakeUP Wake County has worked to educate the community and increase access to public transit services. Karen Rindge represented WakeUP on the panel. Click to see what this Raleigh nonprofit has accomplished with their grant.

Thank you to everyone who attended the Beehive Grantee Panel at Neptune’s and for supporting the work we’re doing in our community. Don’t miss the September 28 cookout at the home of Les and Nicole Stewart! We’re also hosting a clothing swap August 17 at King’s with Redress Raleigh.

Did you attend the best party in Raleigh?

The Beehive Collective’s 6th Annual Bee Ball brought another amazing party to Raleigh on Saturday, May 17. There was music by Boneslinger and DJ Jenilla Ice, dancing, the queens were crowned and most importantly, we raised an outstanding $11,600 that will go to help fund our large grant this year!

Recognizing Our Sponsors and Court

With a new, larger venue, the Ball drew close to 300 attendees to Southland Ballroom for a night of fun and raising money for Raleigh’s nonprofit community.


This year was a RECORD of garnering support from our local businesses and the community. The Beehive Collective couldn’t award grants without the help and involvement of everyone and can’t say thank you enough for all your contributions.

How about that Royalty Court? Christopher Tamplin, Kelly Reid, Christopher Grohs, Durell Lefler and David Logan; and our Queens of the Ball Jen Varani and Jessica Winebrenner. These eight individuals are so amazing, and we thank each of the members of the court for devoting their time and fundraising skills to making this year’s Ball a huge success.


What’s Next?

Now in its sixth year, the Bee Ball continues to grow with more attendees and more money raised. The Beehive Collective goes far beyond just one party! This year’s Ball may be over, but we are working year-round to engage young women leaders in community giving.

We are always welcoming new members into our organization. Why not become a Bee and join us for even more fun and philanthropy throughout the year.

Mark your calendars for our next event, September’s Annual Cookout at the Stewart home. Keep your eyes open as more details are soon to buzz in.

It’s Photo Time!

Did you enjoy the photo booth by Erin Debnam Takes Pictures as much as we did? Find your photo here or enjoy everyone else’s poses and props!


2014 Small Grant Press Release

Press Release

Date:             April 23, 2014

Contacts:   Beehive Collective: Liz Hester, 919-673-2828, hester.liz@gmail.com

Youth Organizing Institute: Bryan Perlmutter, 704-770-6418, bryan@empoweryouthnc.org

The Beehive Collective, local giving circle, awards $2,000 grant to Youth Organizing Institute to support their Freedom School.

The Beehive Collective, a giving circle that awards grants to nonprofits working toward making Raleigh a better place, selected Youth Organizing Institute (YOI) to receive a $2,000 grant to sponsor a Raleigh-based young leader’s participation in this summer’s fifth Youth Organizing Institute Freedom School.  This year, the Freedom School honors the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Freedom and its critical role in civil rights organizing.

YOI is a leadership development program centered on empowering the lives and experiences of young people through peer education, leadership cultivation and organizer trainings. Locally, YOI trainings and leaders have been successful organizing around ending racism and the re-segregation of schools, the school-to-prison pipeline and making schools safe for LBGTQ youth.

“The Youth Organizing Institute provides seasonal trainings to develop the political analysis and organizing skills of youth in the Triangle area around the issues they are passionate about, as well as providing support and adult allies to youth organizing efforts throughout the year,” said Qasima Wideman, NC HEAT Youth Organizer.

The Beehive Collective’s annual small grant cycle is intended for Raleigh nonprofit programs that support Women’s Empowerment as defined by the United Nations: (1) women’s sense of self-worth; (2) their right to have and determine choices; (3) their right to have access to opportunities and resources; (4) their right to control their own lives, both within and outside the home; (5) and their ability to influence the direction of social change to create a more just social and economic order.

YOI’s work with area youth provides skills to directly address all of the components of Women’s Empowerment through youth organizing.  YOI has a track record of graduating strong young women that take direct leadership roles organizing in our community.

The two-fold mission of the Beehive Collective is to put philanthropy within everyone’s reach and inspire women leaders in the community.  To raise money for grants, the organization’s 45-person membership donates half of one percent of their income yearly. Additionally, the Beehive Collective hosts fundraising events throughout the year and is supported by hundreds of participating community members. Since 2008, the Beehive Collective has given away more than $125,000 to local nonprofits.

For questions, please contact Liz Hester, hester.liz@gmail.com.

For more information on either organization, visit their websites: