Foundation for the Carolinas started with $3,000. Here’s how it’s grown in 60 years.

Foundation for the Carolinas set records for assets and grants to nonprofits in 2017, the organization will announce at its annual meeting Thursday, and is developing a lucrative new source of donations.

The foundation, which is marking its 60th anniversary, was founded in 1958 with a $3,000 gift from the United Way. Last year its assets hit a record $2.5 billion, up from $2 billion a year earlier, making it the nation’s sixth-largest community foundation.

Grants to nonprofits reached $420 million, another foundation record. Contributions to charitable funds held by the foundation hit $550 million, the second-highest in its history. The entity once called the Greater Charlotte Foundation now serves a 13-county region of North Carolina and South Carolina...

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