The Golden LEAF Foundation was formed under a charter established by the North Carolina General Assembly. According to the charter, the Golden LEAF Foundation “shall promote the social welfare and lessen the burdens of government [by using its funds] to provide economic impact assistance to economically affected or tobacco-dependent regions of North Carolina in accordance with the Consent Decree [between the state of North Carolina and cigarette manufacturers].”
Activities to be supported include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Education assistance for tobacco farmers and other workers affected or projected to be affected by a decline in production of tobacco products.
- Job training and employment assistance for tobacco farmers and other workers dependent on tobacco farming, production and sales to transition to other sources of income.
- Scientific research to develop new uses for tobacco or for the development of alternative cash crops.
- Economic hardship assistance experienced by tobacco farmers, quota owners, their families and others as a result of decline in quota and/or production of tobacco or tobacco products.
- Public works and industrial recruitment to local governments for upgrading utilities, transportation, and other public service infrastructure to attract new businesses or for more general economic development purposes.
- Health and human services to improve health care and other social services needed to maintain the stability of tobacco-dependent communities.
- Community assistance in the form of grants and/or loans to economically depressed and deteriorating tobacco-dependent communities, to be used exclusively for public purposes.