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Charlotte Berry – 80 Years of Giving is the Secret to Living – Jimmy LaRose

Charlotte Berry with mother Elizabeth Marshall Jackson

Pictured above is Charlotte Berry with mother Elizabeth Marshall Jackson. Charlotte Berry was introduced to the world of philanthropy by her mother and father James & Elizabeth at a very early age. Always sensitive to the needs of their community James & Elizabeth inspired their 10 year old daughter to raise money for the “Milk Fund” by performing the play “Cinderella” with her elementary school friends in their family’s backyard. Charlotte charged .15 cents a ticket and was overjoyed when the local paper declared their performance a “Triumph!” She raised $13 dollars and bought 92 quarts of milk for impoverished African-American. That was only the beginning. At age 12, Charlotte organized her fellow middle-schoolers to collect dimes for the Memphis Chapter of the American Red Cross. Charlotte led the charge and inspired her friends to join her “fundraising campaign” propelling her into a life-time of national and international work that continues to this day.

Charlotte Berry is first and foremost a pioneer. Her early career began at Mary Baldwin College where she achieved her psychology degree performing social work throughout the United States before. In the sixties and seventies Charlotte served as the first female board member of Wachovia Bank, the first female chairman of the Asheville Chapter of the American Red Cross, and the first female Chairman of the United Way of Asheville. Charlotte was a founding member of the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, Vanderbilt Hospital Woman’s Auxiliary and the Pack Place Development Project at Pack Square.

In 1980, Charlotte was named National Chairman of Volunteers of the American Red Cross for whom she traveled throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Her responsibility to promote various Red Cross services inspired over 1 million volunteers to contribute their time and finances to the Red Cross. Her success was followed by a national appointment to the United of America’s Board of Directors.

In 1990, Charlotte moved from Asheville to Columbia, SC. Her historic service to the citizens of Columbia remains unparalleled serving as board member, chairperson and philanthropist for hundreds of higher education, human welfare, health, environmental and arts causes across South Carolina.

Charlotte will be the first to share that one of her most rewarding experiences is inspiring other people to get involved in philanthropy for the first time. She finds joy in helping others find the right fit for what they have to offer, from volunteer work, to a new job with a nonprofit organization or a board position they hadn’t previously considered. She strongly believes that everyone should experience what it feels like to give back.

Now in her 87th year of Charlotte has been a first person witness to modern philanthropy and is known around the world as “America’s Volunteer” having raised and given millions of philanthropic dollars. She’s received countless awards for her service including the American Red Cross’ Harriman Award, United Way’s Humanitarian of the Year, a Doctorate of Humane Letters from Mary Baldwin College and the prestigious Order of the Palmetto from the State of South Carolina to name only a few.

Simply put, Charlotte has lived generously. She finds a need and meets it. She makes a promise and keeps it. She’s spent her life in service to others ensuring that they, like her, experience a life worth living.

Charlotte Berry, with her co-chair Dr. Kathleen Robinson, is overseeing National Association of Nonprofit Organizations & Executives 2018 Board of Governors Nominations. Charlotte will also be hosting NANOE’s 2019 Convention & Expo in Charleston, SC in March of next year. This article was written by NANOE Co-Founder Jimmy LaRose.

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Jimmy LaRose
Jimmy LaRose
Jimmy LaRose’s passion for “people who give” has inspired philanthropists around the world to change the way they invest in nonprofits. His belief that donors are uniquely positioned to give charities what they truly need – leadership rather than money – is the basis for his work with individuals, governments, corporations and foundations, in the U.S., Europe, Asia & Middle East. Jimmy, in his role as author, speaker, corporate CEO & nonprofit CEO champions all of civil society’s vital causes by facilitating acts of benevolence that bring healing to humanity and advance our common good. He and his beautiful wife Kristi are citizens of the Palmetto State where they make their home in Lexington, South Carolina.


  1. Chip Lunsford says:

    Charlotte is an inspiration like no other. She is a shining example of how to live and serve. Her vitality has been outstanding and awe inspiring at every age. Her example helps me find a path of purpose. When I get tangled up in life, and frustrated, and confused, her life reminds me that service to others is the way you make dreams come true. We all dream of a happy, contented, fulfilled existence as a natural part this grand life in which we have a part. Service to others provides us that power to make the positive changes that we dream of, and we are rewarded with such amazing feelings of purpose and empowerment. It feels good as we fulfill the immediate condition of the present and know that we are in fact supporting the universal arc of evolution that love inspires and intends. Charlotte embodies this, and I am the most fortunate guy around that I also call her mom.

  2. Jennifer Savitz says:

    Charlotte, I have a friend that is interested in a product to assist diabetic dogs. She would like to talk with you. Her name is Rebecca Siveston. You can talk with her at 803 4472037. This is Jennifer Savitz and I am trying to help her.

  3. The poor editing and puctuation make this article an awkward read and detract from it’s impact.
    Other than that the information was useful

    Thank you

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