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.

2014 Grantmaking 
The Clayton Fund will focus on providing general operating support grants to eligible nonprofits organizations meeting the needs of the Clayton County community. Below are materials and deadlines for the 2014 grant cycle.

Grant Schedule

  • January 10, 2013: Online Orientation, from 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
  • January 21 at noon: Deadline for Letter of Intent to Apply for Grant Funding 
  • March 3 at noon: Final Application Deadline (invitation only)
  • March 24- April 4: Site visits
  • Early June: Grants Awarded



Online Orientation

An online orientation for the Clayton Fund was held on Friday, January 10. To view a recording of this webinar, please click here.


Recent Grants & Support 

Calvary Refuge Center has provided emergency and transitional housing and food for Clayton families in need for nearly 20 years. The organization considers its staff an integral part of the process to help its constituents and the organization used funds received from the Clayton Fund in 2011 to fund staffing costs.
House of Dawn received a grant from the Clayton Fund in 2009 to increase the life and independent living skills of the young mothers in its program while providing them with incentives while they learned. 
The Good Shepherd Clinic has been working hard to implement an electronic health record system that will enable the clinic to provide more accurate statistical data, easier access to patient records and provide more effective scheduling resulting in shorter patient wait times and better utilization of limited staffing resources. In 2011, a grant from the Clayton Fund was used to obtain professional training for the software for the clinic staff.  

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
Melody Totten
Kathy Wages

Clayton Contact Information:

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


Building Our Communities through Philanthropy

While many in the region know The Community Foundation for our grantmaking programs, we play a wide variety of roles in creating philanthropic solutions to our communities’ most pressing problems. These roles are as varied as the challenges our Atlanta region faces, but they each start with the premise that communities are built, improved and strengthened by the passion, ideas and resources of its people.
Now available, "Building Our Communities Through Philanthropy" highlights our community leadership work and our various roles in the 23-county region. Click here to access. 
Strengthening Nonprofits

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