Improving Communities:Clayton


Clayton County is one of Georgia's smallest counties in land size with an area of 146 square miles. Yet, with nearly 260,000 residents, it is one of the most densely populated. Over the past few decades, the county has experienced a dramatic change in its racial demographics, largely in part to urban gentrification. Today, its minority population is approximately 80% versus approximately 20% in 1980. 

A suburban community just minutes south of downtown Atlanta, Clayton County has a relaxed, small-town feel, but with all the amenities of a major metropolitan area. Parts of Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel Gone with the Wind were set in Clayton, including the location of the fictional Tara Plantation.
Key Demographics: 

  • Population: 259,424
  • Median Household income: 35,672
  • Percent below poverty level: 18.8%
  • Number of nonprofit organizations: 952
  • Cities/towns include: College Park, Forest Park, Jonesboro and Riverdale

Sources: 2010 US Census, Guidestar

The Clayton Fund   
The Clayton Fund of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta was established in 1992 to bring together donors, nonprofits, and community members to make philanthropy happen in Clayton County. The Clayton Fund was the first Local Fund of The Community Foundation. It offers an annual grantmaking program, as well as philanthropic learning opportunities and community awareness activities – all with the goal of building philanthropy and strengthening nonprofit organizations in Clayton County. 

Since 2003, the Clayton Fund has granted more than $180,000 to area nonprofits to respond to the changing needs of the community. Organizations receive grants for general operating support, which gives grantees the ability to use funds where they are most needed. Past grantees include CHRIS Kids, Inc., House of Dawn, Rainbow House, Royal Family Kids Camp, Securus House, Southern Crescent Sexual Assault Center and Southwest Christian Care.
Apply for a Grant
The Clayton Fund grant program aligns with The Community Foundation's Common Good Funds grant program. The Letter of Intent (LOI) is the first step in the application process. Clayton Fund Advisory Committee and program staff will then review all LOIs and invite organizations to submit Final Applications.

2015 Grantmaking 
Information for 2016 grant cycles, including guidelines, applications and deadlines, will be posted beginning in March 2016. Please be sure to sign up to receive the Foundation's e-newsletter in order to be notified when information has been posted.

Recent Grants & Support 
Angkor Resource Center helps refugees and immigrants adjust socially and economically by providing education, information and developmental services to improve their overall health and wellbeing and help them become self-sufficient.The organization received a general operating support grant in 2014 from the Clayton Fund to expand its capacity. 
Calvary Refuge Center has provided emergency and transitional housing and food for Clayton families in need for nearly 20 years. A 2014 general operating support grant will provide resources as the organization continues to provide critical services to its constituents.  
House of Dawn received a grant from the Clayton Fund in 2014 to increase the life and independent living skills of the young mothers in its program while providing them with incentives while they learned.  

Southern Regional Medical Center Foundation received a grant in 2014 to support board development efforts.
Regional Data Mapping Project
To learn more about Clayton County, The Community Foundation along with other partners – the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Families First, United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta and Kaiser Permanente of Georgia – conducted a formal research project on the area in 2010. Please select the below links to read more about the Regional Data Mapping Project’s results on the changing demography, community assets, strategic challenges and nonprofit landscape in Clayton. 

Fact Sheet
Census Tract Comparisons
Nonprofit Survey Results
Focus Group Results

Recent Press & Other News
Clayton Fund awards $20,000 to meet the needs of local nonprofits
Press release, 6/15/2011

Clayton Groups get Community Foundation 2009 Grants
Clayton News Daily Online, 3/6/09

To include a local perspective in this work, the Clayton Fund has created an Advisory Committee of members comprised of knowledgeable leaders representing diverse segments of the community. Committee members live and work in Clayton County and are committed to developing local philanthropy and responding to the needs of their community. 
Ben Loggins, Chair
Carol Hatfield, Vice Chair
Kim Allen
Charlene Craig
Veronica Elie
Pam Ferguson
Tom Giffin
Tammy Stanley
Karen Sullivan
Melody Totten
Kathy Wages

Clayton Contact Information:

For more information about the Clayton Fund, please call Josh Phillipson, program officer, at 404-526-1103 or email


2013 Annual Report

Recently released, our 2013 Annual Report is a guide for philanthropists, nonprofits and community leaders interested in improving the quality of life in metro Atlanta. Last year, The Community Foundation distributed more than $134 million in grants and support to nonprofits and received more than $198 million from donors and funders. Click here to view. We hope this report will help you along whatever philanthropic journey you choose to take.
Strengthening Nonprofits

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