Helping nonprofit partners build a better world.

Our EmpoWWer program allows us to use our gifts for good.

EmpoWWer is our service-grant program, created to support 501(c)(3) community initiatives and continue our tradition of giving back. Framed by three pillars — creativity, shelter and advancement — EmpoWWer provides deserving organizations with an opportunity to apply for resources of time and talent. EmpoWWer also gives all of our employees a chance to get involved in supporting important causes and formalizes a commitment to social responsibility Wray Ward has embraced since we opened our doors in 1977.

2021 EmpoWWer Grantees

The following organizations have been selected for EmpoWWer service grants for 2021: Charlotte Bilingual Preschool, Girls Rock Charlotte and Hospitality House of Charlotte. We look forward to beginning our work with these outstanding organizations very soon and will share updates on their projects throughout the year.

Our dedicated pillars reflect our personal passions and industry expertise to direct our community support initiatives.

Working with community partners to build something special.

Foundation For The Carolinas

FFTC serves as a catalyst for philanthropic activity, is a driver for major civic efforts and offers innovative solutions helping individuals, nonprofits and companies realize their charitable visions.

Charlotte Executive Leadership Council

The CELC is a group of locally based CEOs focused on improving economic mobility in Charlotte through education, workforce development, affordable housing and community engagement solutions.

Charlotte faces a housing crisis. CELC, FFTC and several leading organizations and nonprofits in Charlotte formed an eviction prevention working group to provide tenant education via a seven-part podcast series, which FFTC asked Wray Ward to help launch to the community. Wray Ward started by naming the podcast series “The Tenants Toolkit.” We also developed a community partner distribution plan that included grassroots outreach, PR, social and digital recommendations along with a toolkit of promotional assets including a logo, flyer/ad, YouTube cover art and social media posts.

"The Charlotte Executive Leadership Council was recently selected for an EmpoWWer grant for an eviction prevention podcast that aims to educate at-risk tenants in our community. The Wray Ward team provided invaluable guidance on the end-to-end marketing and branding strategy – driving understanding of our core customer, developing our brand voice and language, bringing the series to life through graphics and naming, and helping us articulate a media and partnerships strategy. Their creativity and ability to turn ideas into useable assets has been instrumental to the success of this new endeavor."
Hillary Crittendon, Director, Charlotte Executive Leadership Council


The ROC educates and mentors high school students for technical education and career opportunities in the construction industry. Their programs include classroom and on-site training with an accredited program — Career & College Promise Pathway — for dual high school and college credits.

Recruiting and retention are the lifeblood of The ROC. Wray Ward worked with the organization to develop a social media strategy comprised of organic and paid opportunities to help improve recruitment and focus on the retention of new students. Recommendations included Facebook and Instagram best practices as well as photography and design tool training to help enhance posts. Wray Ward also recommended and trained The ROC to use GroupMe, a group messaging tool that allows team members to send photos, videos and direct messages when needed.

"Many of our high school students have been fed a false narrative that a four-year university is the only path to success. Wray Ward has been an amazing partner to help The ROC change this narrative with helping develop a new web-based recruiting platform for future students considering a construction technology pathway."
Darren Ash, Executive Director, The ROC

QC Family Tree

QC Family Tree, located in Charlotte’s Enderly Park neighborhood, focuses on affordable housing, youth leadership activities and educational opportunities that teach people how to become effective agents of change in their communities. The group also provides some affordable housing units and drives initiatives including the founding of the West Side Community Land Trust.

Wray Ward worked with QC Family Tree for a complete marketing rebrand, including a distinct new logo, which weaves together faith and culture, and materials including a postcard mailer, flyer and newsletter template. Wray Ward team members also provided guidance on how to implement the new brand on the website along with social media best practices and paid social media campaign training.

The Wray Ward team was thorough and helpful. They asked for input along the way and gave us several options on how to communicate best via email, phone calls and Zoom. They kept us informed of their progress and met our expectations in the timeframe we had hoped for.

We are grateful for the service Wray Ward provided to us. Even though there were many variables up in the air such as COVID-19 and Wray Ward's office construction and move, the team stayed connected and interested in the project with us. Thank you, Wray Ward.”
- Helms Jarrell, Co-Founder, QC Family Tree

Teaching Fellows Institute

Teachers have one of the hardest jobs around. They not only ensure children gain the knowledge and skills needed to succeed, but they are also often surrogate parents, counselors and role models. The Teaching Fellows Institute (TFI) was founded to recognize and honor outstanding teachers in the Charlotte area with professional development opportunities, support and training while also celebrating teachers’ talents and accomplishments. TFI applied for an EmpoWWer grant to create videos to highlight some of the 400-plus teachers who have participated in the TFI summer institute. The goal was twofold: spur donations from individuals and foundations and increase awareness among teachers to boost applications to the annual summer symposium.

Wray Ward’s Motion and Connections teams identified two teachers and an elementary school principal for video profiles. Our Motion team chose animation as the creative execution to tell each educator’s story. The technique makes a natural connection to the chalk, dry-erase and smart boards teachers use in their classrooms. In addition, animated line drawings and text visually amplify key messages in each video. Long-form video profiles take the viewer inside each educator’s journey while also highlighting TFI’s influence. We also created shorter versions of each profile video for use on TFI’s social media channels. The videos will be part of the organization’s ongoing fundraising efforts and marketing efforts.

High-quality video by creative professionals is out of TFI’s budget, and knowing the old adage that a picture tells a thousand words, I felt such videos would have the most impact for TFI,” said Barbara Caldwell, executive director of TFI. “Knowing Wray Ward’s reputation and quality of professionals, I knew their work product would be exceptional! Many, many thanks for choosing TFI!”