(ATLANTA) – Yesterday, 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.
A full listing of grant recipients and grant amounts are listed on the Community Foundation’s website here. Funding is provided as general operating support, allowing each organization to use grants as they see fit unless otherwise specified.
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 and as priorities for grant funding:
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. A total of $455,000 was awarded to 12 organizations working to address the issues in this pillar.
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. A total of $491,000 was awarded to nine organizations working to address the issues in this pillar.
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. A total of $370,000 was awarded to six organizations working to address the issues in this pillar.
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 later selected 10 Black organizations the Arts Fund was unable to support, fueling an additional $150,000 in funding.
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. A total of $206,000 was awarded to four organizations working to support Thomasville Heights residents.
A full listing of grant recipients and grant amounts are listed on the Community Foundation’s website here. For more information and updates, follow the Community Foundation on its blog and via social media on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
About the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta
Since 1951, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta has been leading and inspiring philanthropy to increase the vitality of our region and the well-being of all residents. With 70 years serving the 23-county Atlanta region and a robust team of experts, the Community Foundation expands its philanthropic reach and impact by providing quality services to donors and bold, innovative community leadership. The Community Foundation is a top-20 community foundation among 750 nationally, with approximately $1.2 billion in current assets, and is Georgia’s second-largest foundation. For more information, visit: cfgreateratlanta.org or connect with the Foundation via Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.