Z Smith Reynolds Foundation




Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2015):

Revenue: $21,440,501
Expenses: $20,497,427
Assets: $19,701,765




Winston-Salem, North Carolina


Maurice “Mo” Green

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The North Carolina-based Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation (ZSR)1 utilizes legacy monies from the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco fortune to fund North Carolina-based liberal agendas and organizations. It is one of numerous foundations created in whole or part with Reynolds trust funds, including the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, Arca Foundation (formerly the Nancy Reynolds Bagley Foundation), the Reynolds American Foundation, the Christopher Reynolds foundation and the Tides Foundation.


Smith Reynolds Foundation was founded in 1936 in memory of Reynolds Tobacco founder R.J. Reynolds’s youngest son, Zachary Smith Reynolds, who had died in 1932 at age 20. At a birthday party for one of his friends, held at the family estate Zachary died by an unexplained gunshot wound to the head. 2 Smith was to receive $17 million when he turned 21. After protracted wrangling among his two wives, his siblings created the Foundation in 1936 with $9 million in proceeds from his trust.3

Some Foundation dollars were also provided by Smith’s older sister, Mary Reynolds Babcock, who received her $30 million inheritance in 1936. The recipient of the largest share of her father’s estate, Reynolds Babcock was considered one of the wealthiest people in the world at the time.4 Upon her death from stomach cancer at age 45, her trust created the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation with an initial endowment of $12 million.5

Libby Holman Reynolds gave birth to their son, Christopher Smith “Topper” Reynolds, three months premature. While he grew up as a normal child, questions lingered over his parentage because of the scandal surrounding his father’s death. He also died young, at the age of 17 in a mountain climbing accident that also took the life of his friend and climbing companion.6 Libby used the proceeds from his inheritance to found the Christopher Reynolds Foundation. Libby, whose second husband, Ralph Holmes, committed suicide in 1945, took her own life at her Stamford, Connecticut estate, Treetops, in June 1971.7

Mission Focus

ZSR was founded to perform “charitable works in the State of North Carolina,”8 and thus largely limits its giving to North Carolina-based organizations. Like many foundations, it originally focused on traditional projects, but over time drifted increasingly to the political left. According to Susan Myrick of Civitas Institute, which tracks North Carolina-based organizations and issues:

Once it was one of North Carolina’s oldest and most well-regarded philanthropic foundations, known for building schools and hospitals all across our state. But in the latter half of the 20th century, it morphed into a radical activist organization that now leads the charge for public policy that will grow government, increase regulation and weaken the family.9

By 2002, ZSR had formalized that change, announcing “newly defined goals of promoting social, economic and environmental justice.”10

 ZSR-Funded Groups

Today ZSR provides a support system for a network of North Carolina-based leftwing organizations. Of these, three of the most notable are the NC Justice Center, Democracy NC and Blueprint NC. The Justice Center describes itself as the “state’s preeminent voice for economic, social and political justice,” and is one of the largest progressive groups in the state.11 Democracy NC is a preeminent liberal get-out-the-vote organization,12 whose longtime leader, progressive lobbyist Bob Hall, has been a major player in crafting NC election law and a primary mover in efforts to resist election reform.13

Below is a list of 30 of the most important beneficiaries of ZSR funding, as compiled by the Civitas Institute:

Information from Civitas Institute (2003 – 2014)14
Group Amount
NC Justice Center $15,079,700
NC Community Development Initiative $7,676,600
Southern Environmental Law Center $3,360,000
Democracy NC $2,695,000
The Support Center $2,587,602
NC Center for Voter Education $2,300,000
Planned Parenthood of Central NC $2,250,000
Blueprint NC $2,050,000
Center for Death Penalty Litigation $1,352,500
NC Housing Coalition $1,220,000
Center for Responsible Lending $1,051,600
Sound Rivers (formerly Neuse Riverkeepers & Pamlico-Tar River Foundations) $986,600
NC Sustainable Energy Association $982,300
Center for Participatory Change $957,500
Institute for Southern Studies $941,200
Southern Coalition for Social Justice $910,000
El Pueblo $757,500
NC Council of Churches $719,000
MDC $700,000
Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) $595,000
Carolina Justice Policy Center $501,600
Action Institute NC $450,000
Center For Community Action $425,000
NARAL Pro-Choice NC Foundation $425,000
ACLU-NC Legal Foundation Inc $395,000
Equality NC Foundation $355,000
NC Latino Coalition $355,000
NC Fair Share Community Development Corporation $335,000
NC WARN $285,000
NC League of Conservation Voters Foundation $250,000
NC Advocates for Justice Foundation $131,600



Maurice “Mo” Green serves as executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.

Lloyd P. (Jock) Tate Jr., is president of the organization. He also serves as professor emeritus at NC State University. He is also the grandson of Z. Smith Reynolds and Smith’s only living descendant.15

Jane S. Patterson serves as vice president, and is an independent consultant.

Board of Trustees

Besides the above-named officers, the board of trustees of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation consists of the following members:

Noah Reynolds is board treasurer. Reynolds also serves as executive director of the Reynolds Family Office.

Terry Lockamy serves as assistant treasurer to the board of trustees.

Maurice “Mo” Green is board secretary.

Chapel Thompson is assistant secretary to the board.

Nancy Bagley serves as editor-in-chief for Washington Life Magazine.

Piper Beveridge is vice president of government and strategic relations at Ellie Mae, a software firm.

Anita Brown-Graham serves as program director and professor of public law and government at the UNC School of Government.

Daniel G. Clodfelter is an attorney at law with the firm of Parker Poe.

Ilana Dubester is executive director of El Vinculo Hispano (the Hispanic Liaison), a local Hispanic community needs organization.

John O. McNairy serves as president and CEO of Harvey Enterprises and Affiliates, a medical evaluation firm.

Mary Mountcastle is the granddaughter of Mary Reynolds Babcock.

David L. Neal is an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center. Neal is also the founder of Blueprint NC.

Virgil L. Smith is chairman of Smith Edwards Group, LLC.

In addition to the board of trustees, Stephen L. Neal and Katharine B. Mountcastle are life trustees.

Community Leadership Council

ZSR also has created what it calls the Community Leadership Council. ZSR describes the council as “a diverse group of leaders, who have their finger on the pulse of the State, [to] partner with us as we continue to work alongside the people and communities of North Carolina.” CLC is comprised of 20 members who serve a three-year term. Initiated in 2013, this is the second council.16

Community Leadership Council
Adam Klein Chief Strategist, American Underground
Adam Tarleton Partner, Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard, LLP
Anna Warburton Munroe Shareholder, Allman Spry Davis Leggett & Crumpler, PA
Charles Thomas Program Director, Knight Foundation
Dawn Chavez Executive Director, Asheville Greenworks
Edward Boyd Chief Strategy Officer, iNvictus Group Holdings, LLC
James Moore Police Chief, City of Rocky Mount
Jamilla Hawkins Extension Agent, Community & Rural Development, Edgecombe County Center, NC Cooperative Extension
Jill Swain Executive Director, Huntersville Chamber of Commerce
Juanita Wilson Director of Snowbird/Cherokee County Services, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
Kate Pett Executive Director, Asheville City Schools Foundation
Lorelei Costa Executive Director, Outer Banks Community Foundation
Marcus Hill Lead Coordinator, Forsyth Community Food Consortium
Mary Joan Pugh Deputy Director, N.C. Zoo
Matt Calabria Wake County Commissioner, Wake County
Misty Chase Director of Greene County Transportation, Greene County
Peter St. Onge Associate Editor, Editorial Board, The Charlotte Observer
Ricky Hurtado Executive Director, Scholar’s Latino Initiative
Shorlette Ammons Community Foods Systems Outreach Coordinator, NC A&T State University, Center for Environmental Farming Systems
Sonja Gantt Executive Director, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Foundation


  1. “Z Smith Reynolds Foundation.” Mapping the Left. Accessed May 16, 2017.
  2. Jonathon Yardley. “Money and Murder in the Old South.” The Washington Post. November 2, 1983. Accessed May 12, 2017.
  3. Joseph U. Dugan. “Two Wives Fight for Smith Reynolds Millions: Wage Court Battle for Tobacco Fortune.” Chicago Tribune. May 5, 1935. Accessed May 16, 2017.
  4. Kate Rauhauser-Smith. “History Makers: Mary Katherine Reynolds Babcock.” Winston-Salem Monthly. Mar 29, 2016. Accessed May 12, 2017.
  5. Kate Rauhauser-Smith. “History Makers: Mary Katherine Reynolds Babcock.” Winston-Salem Monthly. Mar 29, 2016. Accessed May 12, 2017.
  6. “Jane Bowles, Libby Holman Reynolds and Barbara Hutton.” Accessed May 15, 2017.
  7. Harry Day. “Libby Holman, the SLCT and the Treetops Legacy.” Friends of Mianus River Park. Reprinted from Stamford Land Conservation Trust newsletter Open Spaces. Spring 2009. Accessed May 16, 2017.
  8. Susan Myrick. “Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation: Roots of Radicalism.” Civitas Institute. January 27, 2015. Accessed May 11, 2017.
  9. Susan Myrick. “David Neal and the Reynolds Family Connections.” Mapping the Left. February 23, 2015. Accessed May 12, 2017.
  10. Todd Cohen. “Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation shifts grant focus.” Triad Business Journal. Feb 4, 2002. Accessed May 15, 2017.
  11. “NC Justice Center.” Mapping the Left. Accessed May 16, 2017.
  12. “Democracy NC.” Mapping the Left. Accessed May 16, 2017.
  13. Susan Myrick. “Lobbyist Bob Hall and Gary Bartlett Planned Attack on Republican Legislature.” Civitas Institute. December 14, 2012. Accessed May 16, 2017.
  14. “Z Smith Reynolds Foundation.” Mapping the Left. Accessed May 16, 2017.
  15. “Lloyd P. ‘Jock’ Tate.” Activist Facts. Accessed May 16, 2017.
  16. “Leadership Council.” Z. Smith Reynolds. Accessed May 19, 2017.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: May 1, 1939

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2015 Dec Form PF $21,440,501 $20,497,427 $19,701,765 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form PF $20,427,674 $19,172,609 $18,758,691 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form PF $18,767,469 $17,829,764 $17,503,626 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form PF $18,821,522 $17,943,352 $16,565,921 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form PF $18,978,669 $18,072,295 $15,687,751 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Z Smith Reynolds Foundation

    102 W 3RD ST STE 1110
    WINSTON SALEM, NC 27101-3962