Started in 1949, the WNC Honors Program is one of our longest running programs, designed to cultivate the vitality and prosperity of our mountain communities through education and collaboration. In the past decade, there have typically been between 60 – 75 participating community clubs across 20 counties, representing over 100,000 households. Learn more about the history of the WNC Honors Program here.

The intent of the program is to help community centers grow their capacity to better serve their residents’ needs. With this in mind, we support community center leaders to strengthen their excellence in governance, leadership, financial, volunteer, and collaboration practices.  We also offer small, annual grants to all active members at our annual WNC Honors Awards, and facilitate peer learning and sharing of best practices among communities to help enhance and expand their program offerings.  We do this through online workshops, virtual Coffee Hours, regional convenings, and training for active members. For communities interested in growing their programs and demonstrating readiness to do grant writing, we also offer strategic planning and coaching on a limited basis. 

To remain active in the program, communities apply to the WNC Honors Program each June.  Applications are due in August and are reviewed by the Honors Committee. Each community is assigned an Honors Level based on their application, and receives recognition and cash awards at the WNC Honors Awards held in November.

To learn whether your community qualifies to join the WNC Honors Program, please reach out to Susan Garrett at susangarrett@wnccommunities.org