$1.84 million in competitive grants drives awareness of the region’s most pressing needs

Louise Mulherin Great Grant Stories, Press Releases 0 Comments

ATLANTA – Dec. 5, 2018 – Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta recognizes 29 high performing nonprofits with a total of $1.84 million in funding from its annual and highly competitive General Operating Support grants. These organizations meet the high standards of an extremely rigorous review process that is widely viewed as the gold standard of nonprofit excellence. The General Operating Support grant program is funded from the Foundation’s endowment funds made possible by generous donors who have entrusted the Community Foundation to steward their gifts for community betterment in perpetuity.

“These competitive grants are the hallmark of the triangle of trust between the expertise of the Community Foundation, the passion of donors seeking to make a difference, and the nonprofits delivering vital services on the frontlines of need,” said Alicia Philipp, president, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. “Donors place extraordinary trust in us to wisely steward these discretionary grants. The grant signals our trust that the nonprofit will direct funds to the most effective use. The triangle’s third element of trust is with donors and others throughout the community who look to this seal of approval to help inform their own philanthropic decisions.”

The General Operating Support grants are made possible because of gifts left to the Foundation over its nearly 70 years of service to the community, gifts such as the Sundown Fund established by John T. (Jack) Lupton II. In the 1970s and 1980s he transformed his family’s bottling franchise into the largest in The Coca-Cola Company system by expanding into high-growth sun-belt markets. Mr. Lupton’s emphasis on operational scale helped shift the industry model from small bottlers to efficient, multi-state enterprises. As a philanthropist he was equally visionary. He saw the long-range wisdom of enabling his fund to address needs that did not even exist in his lifetime. Today, eight years after his death, the $7.5 million Sundown Fund continues to inject valuable resources for a range of Atlanta regional causes, provided because Atlanta was the birthplace of his entrepreneurial success.

This General Operating Support competitive program attracted 236 applications that were subjected to a rigorous review process, including an assessment of each organization’s volunteer and staff leadership and vision, commitment to diversity, financial management systems and fiscal strength, fundraising and earned revenue, programmatic services, innovation and partnerships, operating efficiency and measures of the impact it is making to improve lives and the quality of life across the region.

“The 29 organizations awarded range from those with a long history meeting the needs of our region to those that are newer, entrepreneurial and innovative with bold plans to meet today’s challenges,” said Lita Pardi, director of resource deployment at the Community Foundation. “We’re excited to recognize the savvy these organizations bring to lifting up and addressing complex needs in our region and driving positive change. We award these grants with no strings attached, confident that the organizations already know where these dollars will be best used.”

(See sample stories of impact in addendum: Digging Deeper, below.)

The Community Foundation focuses its grants in the areas of arts, community development, education and well-being. A comprehensive list of competitive grants follows. (* indicates that grant will be paid out over a two-year period)

Grants supporting the arts:

These grants are awarded to small and midsized arts organizations that provide access to high-quality cultural experiences and diverse artistic programs.

ART Station: $80,000*
Atlanta Celebrates Photography: $40,000
Atlanta Contemporary Art Center: $80,000*
Atlanta Jewish Film Festival: $50,000
Atlanta Shakespeare Company: $80,000*
Callanwolde Foundation: $80,000*
Georgia Ensemble Theatre Company: $80,000*
gloATL: $32,000*
True Colors Theatre Company: $80,000*


Grants supporting community development:

These grants are provided to nonprofits that focus on advocating for equitable economic growth, strong civic growth and safe, sustainable communities.

Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs: $60,000*
Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation: $60,000*
FCS Urban Ministries: $40,000
Georgia Budget & Policy Institute: $70,000*


Grants supporting education:

These grants are provided to nonprofits that focus on improving outcomes and expanding opportunities for all learners across the education spectrum.

East Atlanta Kids Club: $55,000*
Horizons Atlanta: $60,000
LaAmistad: $80,000*
Los Niños Primero: $80,000*


Grants supporting well-being:

These grants are provided to nonprofits that aim to ensure a healthy region where all residents have access to quality health care and nutritious food.

Community Advanced Practice Nurses: $45,000
George West Mental Health Foundation DBA Skyland Trail: $25,000
Georgians for a Healthy Future: $90,000*
Second Helpings Atlanta: $40,000*
Ser Familia: $110,000*
Visiting Nurse Health System: $110,000*
Wholistic Stress Control Institute: $90,000*


Grants supporting well-being through the Atlanta AIDS Fund:

These grants are provided to HIV/AIDS-service organizations. The Atlanta AIDS Fund is a partnership between the Community Foundation and United Way of Greater Atlanta, Jeffrey Fashion Cares and the Allen Thornell HIV Care and Service Fund.

HIV/AIDS Empowerment Resource Center for Young Women, Inc: $40,000
Living Room: $40,000
Open Hand Atlanta: $35,000
Positive Impact Health Centers, Inc: $70,000
Saint Joseph’s Mercy Care Services, Inc: $40,000


The Community Foundation’s investments in the region, by way of both competitive grantmaking and donor-advised fund grants, support robust, sustainable nonprofits as well as those that are innovative and hold great promise. The Foundation’s competitive grants are amplified by more than $100 million in annual grants from donor-advised funds that go to thousands of nonprofits in our region, throughout the U.S. and across the globe. Nonprofits interested in applying for grants should visit cfgreateratlanta.org to create an organizational profile and learn more about upcoming grant opportunities. For more information on competitive grantmaking and how nonprofits can maximize those resources, read articles featured recently on the Saporta Report here and here.

Digging deeper – the stories of impact

The General Operating Support grants provide nonprofits with highly prized unrestricted funding that enables them to more successfully achieve their missions. Three examples illustrate the value and impact of the General Operating Support grants:

  1. Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE) provides loans to entrepreneurs in underserved populations, especially to women and minorities, most of whom have been turned down by traditional lenders. ACE offers an array of training and support for entrepreneurs to give them the knowledge, skills and abilities to build a thriving business. This $60,000 grant follows another investment to ACE made by the Foundation’s GoATL Fund earlier this year. The grant will support basic operations of the organization, which frees up a burden many nonprofits face, covering the cost of day-to-day essentials like rent and utilities. In turn, ACE’s staff can focus their time pursuing donors and partners who are more inclined to support a specific program that directly benefits small business entrepreneurs. In turn, it is those entrepreneurs who open restaurants, salons, shops and service businesses that provide jobs, goods and amenities to enhance quality of life in their neighborhoods. One successful business can often attract other business activity that stimulates growth across the community.
  1. Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (AVLF) provides legal assistance for individuals and families who otherwise would not have access to, or the ability to afford, quality legal representation. Each year, 5,000 individuals receive legal advice or representation from 400 to 600 volunteer attorneys. In the communities they serve, their work helps families avoid unlawful evictions, supports victims of domestic violence and reduces transiency. Addressing these challenges has a positive impact for adults and children alike, helping to stabilize families with resulting benefits such as reducing truancy and keeping children in school. From another perspective, because AVLF staff work directly in neighborhoods, they help build community trust and resiliency. In our region, the need for AVLF’s services continues to surge, they have tripled in size in the last three years. Fortunately, increased funding has supported their ability to respond, however, more than half of their revenue is by way of restricted funding that is directed to specific programs. The $60,000 grant from the Community Foundation will help AVLF maintain an efficient infrastructure, including databases, equipment and staff to better support the expanded case load of volunteer lawyers in the field, all the while helping some of our most vulnerable families.
  1. Horizons Atlanta provides its students with high-quality programs, outside of the traditional school year, to support academic achievement and healthy youth development. Low-income students can face achievement gaps behind their more economically-advantaged peers, as much as three years by the time they are in fifth grade. Much of this is due to the ‘summer slide’ where students lose academic gain if they don’t have access to enriching summertime activities and specialized tutoring where needed. Horizons’ summer programs show consistent gains in both reading and math, often sending children back to school better off than they finished the previous spring. Through these free summer sessions, Horizons reduces gaps in opportunity, skills and achievement that persist for low-income children. As Horizons continues to grow and serve more students, it needs more diverse sources of funding. The $60,000 grant from the Community Foundation will be leveraged to pursue matching grants across multiple channels and will validate to other funders that their resources are wisely invested with Horizons.


About the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

Since 1951, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta has been connecting the passions of philanthropists with the purposes of nonprofits doing that work. With 67 years serving the 23-county Atlanta region and a robust team of experts, the Community Foundation manages the behind-the-scenes details, empowering our donors to focus on the joy of giving. The Community Foundation is a top-20 community foundation nationally with approximately $1.1 billion in current assets and is Georgia’s second largest foundation. Through its quality services and innovative leadership on community issues, the Foundation received more than $144 million from donors in 2017 and distributed more than $100 million that same year to support nonprofits throughout the region and beyond. In 2018 Charity Navigator named the Community Foundation a four-star rated nonprofit, its top distinction. For more information, visit: cfgreateratlanta.org or connect with the Foundation via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Media Contact:
Louise Mulherin, 404.405.1070