Community Development

Advocating for equitable economic growth, strong civic health and safe, sustainable communities.

The Region’s Greatest Asset: Its People

Home to more than five million people, metro Atlanta is one of the fastest growing regions in the U.S. The area remains uniquely complex due to the region’s racial and social stratification, geographic sprawl and divisive politics. As a result, economic and demographic prosperity exists side-by-side with educational disparity, poverty, stagnant social mobility and underemployment.

The Foundation understands that healthy communities develop through a balance of power, as well as access to critical needs and services, such as housing, jobs and transportation. In our experience, the greatest obstacle for many communities is the ability to strengthen, organize and leverage individual and collective civic actions.

However, through focused partnerships and programs, the Community Foundation seeks to ensure that all residents of our region have the resources and tools to accomplish their collective and individual goals. And we’re working with regional stakeholders to advance policies that address core community needs, such as affordable housing, jobs, green space, transit and civic engagement—all to help to connect all of the region’s residents to growth and opportunity.

We’ll measure progress by tracking:

  • Median wages
  • Access to reliable transportation
  • Community/civic engagement (group participation, safety, voting in local elections)
  • Percentage of parks and green space
  • Percentage of affordable housing units

To Learn More About Supporting Community Development, Please Contact:

Katrina DeBerry
Program Officer, Thriving Communities

of the metro Atlanta population lives in poverty
granted in 2014/15 to support community improvement and civic action
of all foreclosure filings in Georgia are on Metro Atlanta homes

Current Grant Opportunities

Since 2013, the Foundation has offered the Civic Engagement Fund, a funding opportunity for nonprofit organizations implementing civic engagement strategies. The Foundation’s Civic Engagement Fund supports the broad range of activities that can strengthen the nonprofit sector and influence community life, such as community education and training, research and forums for public discussion and debate. Get Engaged
Inspired by the lifetime legacy of giving of David and Frances Brain, the Frances Hollis Brain Foundation Fund supports nonprofits that benefit enhance the well-being of individuals living in Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties, with a focus on primary needs and underserved communities. Celebrate Legacy
A General Operating Support (GOS) grant provides a nonprofit with unrestricted funding to help support and maintain the organization as it pursues its mission. This type of grant is flexible and gives grantees the ability to use the funds where they’re most appropriate. Several of the Community Foundation’s competitive grantmaking programs are focused on providing general operating support. Think Generally
Neighborhood Fund builds upon grassroots ideas, energy and passion to inspire community members to improve their neighborhoods. Since 1991, more than 300 neighborhood projects have received an estimated $3,000,000 in grants and technical assistance to support community organizing, neighborhood gardens, youth fitness activities, cultural events and more. Get Engaged
Neighborhood Nexus is an online community information system that empowers metro Atlantans to make informed decisions that transform lives and effectively utilize resources in the region. Neighborhood Nexus offers accurate, up-to-date data aggregated from national, regional and state resources in one place—making vast amounts of data usable through analytic tools that deliver localized insights, geographic comparisons and trends. Crunch the Numbers
The Clayton Fund has been reimagined as Spark Clayton! Established in 1992, this fund was designed to strengthen philanthropic efforts among donors, nonprofits and community members in Clayton County. The inaugural local fund of the Community Foundation, Spark Clayton offers an annual grantmaking program, as well as philanthropic learning opportunities and community awareness activities—all with the goal of strengthening philanthropy in Clayton County. Go Beyond the Big City
Established in 2003, Spark Morgan! (formerly the Morgan Fund) brings together donors, nonprofits and community members in Morgan County. Spark Morgan offers an annual grantmaking program, philanthropic learning opportunities and community awareness activities. Meet Morgan
Spark Newton! (formerly the Newton Fund) responds to the changing needs of the community in Newton County. Since 2000, this fund has offered an annual grantmaking program, philanthropic learning opportunities, community awareness activities. Explore Newton
The Spark Opportunity Giving Circle brings together Community Foundation donors to deepen their understanding and commitment to closing the stark income and opportunity disparities in our region. Spark Change.