State-Level Systemic Change

Funding Agency:
Reynolds Foundation, Z. Smith

For decades, ZSR has supported positive changes to state-level systems and structures to ensure that North Carolina is a place where all people can thrive. This commitment is rooted in and driven by our mission and our core values. Over the years, our grantees have made significant gains for all North Carolinians, but we still have much to do together. Therefore, we remain committed to state-level systemic change. We desire for ALL North Carolinians to have access to high-quality public education, to benefit from a healthy and sustainable environment, to enjoy economic opportunity under just and fair rules and to be able to engage fully in civic life.

We recognize that there are systemic and structural barriers in place, particularly regarding race, that disadvantage some North Carolinians from realizing this vision, even as they advantage others. Therefore, the Foundation, consistent with our core values, seeks to partner with others to help change state-level systems in ways that overcome those barriers and thereby help improve the quality of life for all North Carolinians. In particular, we believe that working together across issues, approaches and populations is necessary to create systemic change.

ZSR’s State-Level Systemic Change Strategy supports state, regional and local organizations, coalitions, or collaboratives that are working to achieve systemic change at the state level within and across the following priority areas:  

  • Advancing Public Education 
  • Fostering a Healthy and Sustainable Environment 
  • Promoting Social and Economic Justice 
  • Strengthening Democracy 

ZSR recognizes that each of these four areas intersect in multiple ways and will look for approaches that not only strengthen each, but also work across them.​ 

Deadline: July 27, 2023

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation is restricted to making grants to charitable, tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organizations, colleges/universities, religious entities and government units for programs and projects that serve the people of North Carolina. Out-of-state charitable organizations are eligible to apply for funds to support projects operating in North Carolina.

Funding Type





Community Outreach and Engagement
Environmental & Life Sciences
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational
Social Sciences

External Deadline

July 27, 2023