Local

Leon Levine offers $100,000 grant challenge to fund library foundation

Leon Levine and his Leon Levine Foundation have offered to match up to $100,000 donated to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library Foundation this year.
Leon Levine and his Leon Levine Foundation have offered to match up to $100,000 donated to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library Foundation this year. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Family Dollar stores founder Leon Levine is trying to rally support for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library Foundation by pledging to match up to $100,000 in donations given to the organization by the community over the next six months.

Tom Lawrence, executive director of The Leon Levine Foundation, said the offer is intended to be a show of support for “an important community asset.”

“Beyond offering free access to information and ideas, the library is committed to...help ensure an increasingly literate, informed and livable society,” Lawrence said.

The challenge is also aimed at recruiting new donors and small donors for the cause. Only donations of $5,000 or less will be matched, and only those from someone has not given to the library foundation in the past two years. (A recent donor who is willing to increase their gift is also eligible.)

Levine’s offer comes two weeks after basketball legend Michael Jordan and his Charlotte Hornets Foundation joined with Bank of America and Lowes to give $100,000 to the foundation for library materials.

The library foundation was launched in 2012 to find new sources of money for the library system. That became a necessity after Mecklenburg County commissioners voted in 2010 to cut the library’s budget by $10 million.

The lost money prompted 180 layoffs, the closing of four locations and the cutting of library hours by half. Hours at six regional branches were restored for fiscal year 2012, thanks to an extra $2 million provided by the county.

How to help

  • Donate now at foundation.cmlibrary.org
  • Share the campaign on social media using hashtag #librarylove and tagging the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation (@cmlibfoundation)
  Comments