Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

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Z.Smith Reynolds Foundation
Founder Mary Reynolds Babcock
Focus Social Justice & Equity, Environment, Education, Community and Economic Development, Democracy
Origins Reynolds family tobacco fortune
Area served
Piedmont Triad, North Carolina
Method Grants, Funding
Key people
Leslie Winner, executive director
Endowment peak of $470 million[1]
Slogan Improving the quality of life for all North Carolinians
Website www.zsr.org

The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation was formed by R. J. Reynolds' daughter, Mary Reynolds Babcock, and her siblings to honor their brother, Zachary Smith Reynolds, who was murdered at the age of 20 at the Reynolds family home, Reynolda House.[2] The foundation to this day gives away millions of dollars annually in the state of North Carolina. In 2008, the fund gave away $18 million in grants, including $2 million to Wake Forest University.[1]

During the 2008 economic crisis, the value of the foundation's trust declined 30% from its high of $470 million in November 2007.[1] The foundation subsequently announced plans to revise the way it processes grants.[1] The foundation, which has focused on affordable housing, immigration, education and the environment, will focus its environmental grants on water, energy and growth.[1] The foundation's grants will be slightly less (at $16 million) than the $18 million given in 2008, but cuts will be steeper in 2010 and 2011.[3]

In the past, the foundation has paid for a study about North Carolina's Work First welfare reform program, conducted by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e Cohen, Todd (2009-01-14). "Z. Smith Reynolds focusing on change". The Philanthropy Journal. 
  2. ^ Roberts, Dave (July 1970). "M O N U M E N T S of Brick and Learning". Wake Forest University Magazine. 
  3. ^ Boney, Ret (2009-04-13). "Reynolds Foundation holding steady in '09". The Philanthropy Journal. 
  4. ^ Kelleher, Christine (2002). "Meeting Challenges: North Carolina Responds to Welfare Reform, 1996–2001" (.doc). UNC-Chapel Hill Odum Research Institute. 

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