In its history, the Foundation, as the beneficiary of the income from the Zachary Smith Reynolds Trust and the W. N. Reynolds Trust, has made grants to organizations in all of North Carolina's 100 counties.
In 1946 the Foundation entered into a contract with Wake Forest University to move the college from the town of Wake Forest in Wake County to Winston-Salem. The Foundation has continued to have a special relationship with Wake Forest University over the years and provides annual support to it.
The Trustees of the Foundation established focus areas for the first time in the early 1980’s, recognizing the need to target the Foundation’s dollars in order to achieve a greater impact. The focus areas have changed through the years and, thus, what may have been a priority in the past may no longer be an emphasis of the Foundation’s funding. We recommend that all applicants review the focus area information listed on this web site in order to determine whether or not their work meets the Foundation’s desired results within the current focus areas, Community Economic Development, Strengthening Democracy, the Environment, Public Education, and Social Justice and Equity.