The A.J. Fletcher Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports various colleges and educational charities in North Carolina. The organization also funds certain left-of-center advocacy organizations.
While the A.J. Fletcher Foundation claims to mainly support The Fletcher Academy, a private school in North Carolina, and various charities, the organization gives to left-progressive groups like the Common Cause Education Fund and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. 
The A.J. Fletcher Foundation is led by Damon Circosta, the Democratic chairman of the North Carolina Board of Elections. 
The A.J. Fletcher Foundation, originally titled the A.J. Fletcher Educational and Opera Foundation, was founded by businessman and arts advocate Alfred Johnston (A.J.) Fletcher in 1961. Fletcher, a media magnate, made his fortune in the media industry through his founding of the Capitol Broadcasting Company in 1937. 
Fletcher originally established the Grassroots Opera Company, later the National Opera Company, in 1948 to make opera more accessible to the public and to provide opportunities to young artists.  He later founded the A.J. Fletcher Educational and Opera Foundation to financially support opera companies, symphony orchestras, universities, and scholarship opportunities. In 1986, the foundation’s prosperity grew after the sale of the Southern Life Insurance Company, of which the organization was a major shareholder. In 1988, the foundation was renamed the A.J. Fletcher Foundation and expanded its purview to more broadly fund statewide service, education, and poverty programs. At the same time, the foundation began to offer seed money to new and emerging nonprofits. 
Today, the A.J. Fletcher Foundation provides funding to organizations in North Carolina that support the elderly, infirm, or indigent, and to those that promote education, the arts, or the fostering of religious faith.  In addition to its grantmaking to charities, the foundation also funds The Fletcher Academy, a Raleigh-based private nonprofit school that works with children who have learning disabilities. 
James Goodmon is the chairman of the board of the A.J. Fletcher Foundation.  Goodmon is the grandson of A.J. Fletcher and worked as the president of the Capitol Broadcasting Company from 1979 to 2017.  Goodmon also serves as the chairman of the board of The Fletcher Academy. 
Their son, James Goodmon Jr., is president of the Capitol Broadcasting Company.  Goodmon Jr. is also a member of the board of the A.J. Fletcher Foundation and is secretary of The Fletcher Academy. 
James and Barbara Goodmon’s other son, Michael Goodmon, is senior vice president of the Capitol Broadcasting Company, previously served as director of the A.J. Fletcher Foundation, and is a board member of The Fletcher Academy. 
Daniel McGrath is vice president, secretary, and treasurer of the board of the A.J. Fletcher Foundation.  McGrath is currently vice president and treasurer of the board of directors of the Capitol Broadcasting Company and previously served as the company’s CFO.  McGrath also serves as the vice president, treasurer, and assistant secretary of the board of The Fletcher Academy. 
Damon Circosta is the executive director and vice president of the A.J. Fletcher Foundation.  Circosta, a member of the Democratic Party, was appointed by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (D) in 2019 to serve as the chairman of the State Board of Elections.  Circosta is also an adjunct instructor at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. 
While A.J. Fletcher was conservative and used the Capitol Broadcasting Company to help propel Republican Jesse Helms, a staunch social conservative and anti-Communist, to the United States Senate, James Goodmon is a self-described pro-business liberal and has used the A.J. Fletcher Foundation to fund left-of-center causes. Goodmon is most interested in public education but has become more active on controversial political and social issues in recent years, including tax cuts and infrastructure funding. 
In 2014, Francis De Luca of the Raleigh-based right-leaning think tank Civitas Institute remarked that “[Goodmon] supports liberal organizations,” and that he did not believe “[Goodmon] is a benevolent media owner.” 
In a 2013 blogpost for Civitas, De Luca wrote that there is a substantial connection between the Goodmon family-controlled Capitol Broadcasting Company and A.J. Fletcher Foundation, and Blueprint NC, a progressive organizing coalition in North Carolina. De Luca went on to write that the “[A.J.] Fletcher Foundation has been a long time funder of Policy Watch…a project of the North Carolina Justice Center, also a large recipient of [A.J.] Fletcher Foundation grants.”  The North Carolina Justice Center is a liberal-leaning think tank active on state issues and is a member of the Economic Analysis and Research Network, an organization associated with the labor union-aligned Economic Policy Institute.
In 2001, the A.J. Fletcher Foundation made a $10 million grant to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts to establish the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute to train future operatic artists.  The institute’s fellowship program covers full tuition and fees, and includes a cost of living stipend. 
The A.J. Fletcher Foundation is the main financial sponsor of The Fletcher Academy. The foundation donated $1,070,000 to the school in 2018. 
In 2018, the A.J. Fletcher Foundation gave $100,000 to the Common Cause Education Fund to support a HBCU education project.  The Common Cause Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) partner organization of Common Cause, a left-progressive advocacy group that focuses on campaign finance law and redistricting.
In 2018, the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, a public interest law group modeled after the controversial Southern Poverty Law Center, received $75,000 for general operations from the A.J. Fletcher Foundation.  The Southern Coalition for Social Justice opposes voter identification laws and supports removing law enforcement officers from schools. 
The A.J. Fletcher Foundation donated $50,000 in 2018 to the NC Institute for Minority and Economic Development, a Durham-based gender and racial justice group that works with ethnic-minority-owned businesses.