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Atlanta region receives over $2.48 million in grants from the Community Foundation

©2020 Decisive Moment Event Photojournalism, CFFGA

Atlanta region receives over $2.48 million in grants from the Community Foundation

Investments support affordable housing, Black arts, education, mental health, pandemic recovery and more

Today, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, announces $2,481,250 in grants to more than 60 nonprofits in the metro Atlanta region.

In 2020, the Community Foundation spent much of the year engaged in raising and distributing emergency COVID-19 response funding. While the grants announced today are provided through other funding programs, they were influenced by community knowledge and issues arising from the continued economic, educational and health impacts of the pandemic.

“2020 was a difficult year for so many in the Atlanta region, especially our communities of color, but the systems that primed them to be hit hardest are not new. Inequity is no stranger in Atlanta – unfortunately, we know it well. While these grants address some of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are engineered to address the underlying issues that left so many of our neighbors vulnerable to the pandemic’s brutal impact,” said Patrice Greer, community committee co-chair for the Foundation.

All of these investments reflect the Community Foundation’s commitment to increasing equity in the Atlanta region. In 2019, the Foundation announced a strategic focus on equity, and throughout 2020, the following strides were taken to realize this shift:

Organizations led by or serving people of color were prioritized, with a focus on Black and Latinx populations, and other specific populations as detailed in each of the program sections below. 68% of the organizations receiving grants today meet that criteria, representing 64% of the grant dollars.

Grant applications were updated to dramatically reduce the amount of effort that organizations had to expend to apply. Applications submitted to other programs, such as the COVID-19 Fund, were also leveraged.

The team intentionally sought to fund organizations that have never before received discretionary funding from the Community Foundation or those that serve communities not reached in the past. 46% of the organizations receiving grants have never received discretionary funding.

“This round of grants reflects what the Community Foundation team and our committee worked so hard on in 2020 – striving towards our promise of equity. Equity was considered at every stage of the process, from the crafting of applications that would support a wider, more diverse range of nonprofits to apply, to an emphasis on organizations led by – not just staffed by – people of color and it was our decision-making lens. We continually stopped to ask ourselves ‘is this equitable? If not, what can we do NOW to make it equitable?’ Our north star of equity truly helped us to navigate this journey,” said Dr. Sivan Hines, Greer’s community committee co-chair for the Foundation.

Grants are reviewed in depth and approved by the Foundation’s Community Committee, a sub-committee of its Board of Directors and volunteer community leaders:

· Peter S. Berg, The Temple

· Patrice Greer – Co-chair, Community Volunteer

· Sivan Hines, M.D. – Co-chair, WellStar Health System

· M. von NKosi, Liquid Studios

· Wonya Lucas, Crown Media Family Networks

· Ramón Tomé, Georgia Department of Natural Resources (ret.)

· Ryan Wilson, The Gathering Spot HQ

Today’s grant recipients and grant amounts are listed below, organized by program or funding area. Funding is provided as general operating support, allowing each organization to use grants as they see fit, unless otherwise specified:

The Atlanta AIDS Fund is a partnership between the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, United Way of Greater Atlanta and the Allen Thornell HIV Care and Service Fund. These grants focus on organizations serving young people and the trans population, as well as those providing housing.

1. Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition – $100,000

2. Jerusalem House – $100,000

3. Someone Cares, Inc. of Atlanta – $100,000

As a part of our Equity of Opportunity architecture, the Community Foundation has committed to three pillars upon which to ground our work to increase economic and social mobility in our 23-county region:

The Prosperous People pillar focuses on educational and vocational pathways for individuals, including early childhood education, post-secondary completion and career preparation and access. These general operating support grants were proactively inspired by information-gathering sessions with educational experts and workforce development leaders to reimagine more equitable learning models for marginalized students and to empower innovative delivery models in the workforce development ecosystem. Each organization was selected to be a part of the cohort because of a unique aspect, such as programmatic innovation, geography or population served in the areas of PreK-12 education or workforce development. As a result, grants are awarded to:

Amana Academy – $45,000
Automotive Training Center – $30,000
Communities in Schools Atlanta – $60,000
Habesha – $40,000
Multi Agency Alliance for Children – $40,000
Nobis Works – $25,000
Per Scholas – $50,000
The Place of Forsyth County – $40,000
Science, Engineering and Mathematics (SEM) Link – $20,000
STE(A)M Truck – $45,000
Tekton Career Training – $30,000
Young Americans with Disabilities Association – $30,000

The Strong Families pillar helps families of all shapes and sizes to live healthy, fulfilled lives. This year, the youth development focused-grants prioritized Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC)-led groups and smaller organizations. Other youth development and mental health selections were informed by work throughout 2020 and the COVID-19 Fund.

1. Atlanta Court Appointed Special Advocates, Inc. – $45,000 to provide counseling services for staff and trauma-informed programming for children

2. The Center for Victims of Torture – $50,000 to provide mental health services for immigrants and refugees

3. Destiny’s Daughters of Promise – $36,000

4. Harvard Debate Incorporated, DBA Harvard Diversity Project – $50,000 to provide Saturday programming and community workshops

5. Los Niños Primero – $100,000

6. Self-Discovery: Pain, Positioning & Purpose – $10,000 to provide mental health trainings for nonprofits

7. Street Smart Youth Project – $100,000

8. Youth Villages – $50,000 to provide residential services for persons with mental illness and mental health services for youth

9. youthSpark, Inc. – $50,000 to provide trauma informed case management

The Thriving Communities pillar focuses on community stability and sustainability by supporting access to equitable economic growth, housing affordability, and strong civic and community engagement that encourage the activation of civic voice, the nurturing of grassroots engagement, and the support of policy and advocacy that preserve the access of basic human rights of all metro Atlanta residents. This year, the pillar focused on strengthening civic and community engagement by prioritizing organizations committed to advocacy, policy and social justice efforts.

1. ECO-Action – $25,000

2. Enterprise Community Partners – $75,000 for continued leadership and staff support of the HouseATL Funders Collective

3. Georgia STAND-UP – $50,000

4. Historic District Development Corp – $100,000

5. Radio Free Georgia – $60,000

6. Sweet Auburn Works – $60,000

In addition to these discretionary grants, some Community Foundation donors establish field-of-interest funds to support organizations working to address a wide variety of specific issues, populations or geographies. In many cases, these are legacy gifts entrusted to the Foundation to further causes that the donor is passionate about long after their lifetime. Criteria is dictated by the donor and organizations may have been selected by the donor or members of their family.

1. Mathlanta – $60,000 from the Eldon Wayne Williamson Designated Fund to help eighth grade students in four school districts (12 schools total) build math competency and fluency in a set of target standards critical to their success this year and beyond

2. BestFit – $15,000 from the Eldon Wayne Williamson Designated Fund to provide care packages aimed at narrowing the digital divide and enabling mental support access students

3. Covenant House Georgia and Morris Brown College – $55,000 from the Eldon Wayne Williamson Scholarship Fund to support students that are experiencing homelessness and/or are victims of trafficking

4. Family Promise of New Rock – $10,000 from the Newton Fund to support emergency financial assistance and housing relief

5. Friends of Estherville Library – $20,000 from the Eldon Wayne Williamson Designated Fund to support the Friends of the Esterville Library fund and cover the two current library projects

6. Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power and Potential, Inc. – $28,500 from the William W. McClure Fund to support services for teenagers and/or adults encountering teenage pregnancy

7. Georgia Foundation for Public Education – $25,000 from the Eldon Wayne Williamson Designated Fund to help establish 10 mesh networks (a mesh network is a local network that connects devices) in communities still in need of internet connectivity

8. Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation, Inc. – $20,750 from the M.C. Roberts Fund to provide eye care for children in Cherokee, Fanning, Gilmer and Pickens counties

9. Parents Prosper – $10,000 from the Eldon Wayne Williamson Designated Fund to continue outreach and family engagement efforts in the Westside community

10. Lekotek of Georgia – $15,695 from the Davidson Fund to work with children with learning disabilities, specifically speech and language disorders

11. Melanated Pearl – $10,000 from the Clayton Fund to support homeless prevention services for families led by women of color

12. One Goal – $19,000 from the Eldon Wayne Williamson Designated Fund to support marginalized students transitioning from high school to postsecondary education

13. Visiting Nurse Health System / Hospice Atlanta – $119,200 from the Gausemal-Payne Cancer Fund and Mildred Plunkett Fund to provide hospice care for patients with cancer

14. The W-Underdogs – $24,000 from Elinor LaFeyre DuBois Fund for general operating support in support of the organization’s work with dogs

The Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund supports small- and mid-sized arts organizations in the Atlanta region. In 2020, the Arts Fund provided general operating support to organizations profoundly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic that have responded to the needs of their constituencies with safe, innovative programming to uplift arts. During the summer grant cycle, we received more than 60 applications from arts organizations but were only able to make 28 awards due to budget constraints. An anonymous donor approached the Foundation over the December holidays and selected 10 organizations the Arts Fund was unable to support, fueling these year-end general operating support grants:

Atlanta Black Theatre Festival – $15,000
Caribbean American Cultural Arts Association – $15,000
Dominion Arts Foundation – $15,000
Gospel Heritage Foundation – $15,000
Impact Theatre Atlanta – $15,000
KIDDS Dance Project – $15,000
Music in the Park – $15,000
Sistagraphy – $15,000
Urban Youth Harp Ensemble – $15,000
Youth Ensemble of Atlanta – $15,000

Nonprofit Effectiveness invests in the region’s nonprofits with management and financial resources to equip them to effectively manage operations and high-performing programs. Grants include:

1. Georgia Budget and Policy Institute – $10,000 to support their annual learning conference: Insights 2021: Race, Resilience and Recovery

2. Georgia State University Foundation – $3,000 to support Georgia State University’s Nonprofit Leadership Alliance chapter

3. HOPE Atlanta – $20,000 to support the merger between HOPE Atlanta and Action Ministries

The Public Policy Fund directs discretionary funds to support non-partisan public policy activities related to legislation, budget, administration of laws and regulations at the local, regional, state and federal level that align with the Community Foundation’s Equity of Opportunity architecture pillars. These grants were made possible by the generosity of an anonymous donor:

Enterprise Community Partners – $20,000 to engage the services of an experienced legislative advocate who will lead nonpartisan efforts on affordable housing during the 2021 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly. (Thriving Communities)
Georgia Policy Labs, Metro Atlanta Policy Lab for Education – $20,000 to support new education research projects that will focus on students most detrimentally impacted by COVID-19. (Prosperous People)
March of Dimes of Georgia – $20,000 to support outreach, awareness and advocacy related to maternal and infant health disparities in the state. (Strong Families)
STRIVE Atlanta – $20,000 to provide programming support that increases awareness and advocacy for sustainable employment. (Prosperous People)
Women on the Rise – $20,000 to support advocacy efforts focused on closing the Atlanta City Detention Center, repealing and/or reclassifying 40 “quality of life/broken windows” offenses and building a base of Black formerly incarcerated women. (Strong Families)

The Spark Opportunity Fund, a giving circle of Foundation donors created in 2016, exists to make collective grants to nonprofits and neighborhood coalitions working to improve conditions for local residents with a focus in three areas – community leadership and empowerment, developing nonprofit capacity and supporting “anchor” institutions. At this time, the Fund is focused on the Thomasville Heights neighborhood of Atlanta.

1. Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation – $75,000 to support the Community Advocate staff position at Thomasville Heights Elementary School

2. COR, Inc. – $41,000 to support COR’s “one stop shop” at Carver STEAM Academy where students have access to supportive adults who provide behavioral health services and basic needs

3. CommunityBuild Ventures/THRIVE Thomasville – $55,600 to support a resident-led mini-grant program for community projects addressing neighborhood issues and priorities

4. Purpose Built Schools Atlanta – $35,000 to support an instructional interventionist staff position at Thomasville Heights Elementary school

For more information and updates, follow the Community Foundation on its blog and via social media on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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