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

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,

Youth Organizing Institute: Bryan Perlmutter, 704-770-6418,

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,

For more information on either organization, visit their websites: