For 27 years, the Literacy Council of Buncombe County has trained their volunteer tutors using a high quality, researched-based reading and writing program. But like the cobbler’s kids needing shoes, the Literacy Council realized they needed internal training to ensure their own growth and stability. 

To ensure they could effectively continue over the long haul in their mission to provide comprehensive reading instruction and English language skills to people of all ages, the Literacy Council turned to WNC Nonprofit Pathways for help.

“Over the years, our partnership with WNC Nonprofit Pathways has strengthened the integrity of the Literacy Council of Buncombe County, not only internally, but also with our donors and volunteers,” said Executive Director Ashley Lasher. “Through the many programs we’ve participated in, we’re now better prepared to prevent things from falling through the cracks.”

Lasher credits utilizing the Core Capacity Assessment Tool as the catalyst for the Literacy Council of Buncombe County to plan for the future. The CCAT Assessment helps identify specific areas of strength and challenges, including their leadership, adaptive, management and operational capacity.

“Through the CCAT Assessment, we realized our financial capacity was limited. When we participated in Pathways’ on-site financial leadership training, we were coached by experienced consultants on what action steps we could take to jumpstart our financial planning moving forward,” said Lasher. “This was so valuable in recognizing what was working well and what key areas needed to be made stronger for the future.”

Because the Literacy Council of Buncombe County depends so highly on its fundraising efforts, they also realized it was time for the organization to better engage their board in an effective fund development program. Utilizing Pathways’ Fundraising for Sustainability Training, the board, the executive director, and other staff involved in fundraising participated in the three-hour on-site workshop to outline priorities for strengthening their ongoing efforts.

“We have stayed involved with WNC Nonprofit Pathways since 2011 and our relationship with them provides us so many valuable tools,” said Lasher. “The content of their programs are relevant to every level of our organization. We now have a better understanding of how to excel in our roles and best carry out our mission.”

Lasher and her team also attend many of the Duke University Nonprofit Management Program classes hosted by Pathways throughout the region. The courses are designed to provide continued growth to help ensure better-managed nonprofit organizations.

“The Literacy Council of Buncombe County has taken its operational structure to new heights thanks to our participation with Pathways,” said Lasher. “We stay current on ever-changing government regulations by attending their annual Compliance Workshop. WNC Nonprofit Pathways provides us with networking resources so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel.”

For more information about WNC Nonprofit Pathways, email

For more information about the Literacy Council of Buncombe County, visit or call 828-254-3442.