United Way of Greater Atlanta is on a journey to improve the lives of children and families throughout the Greater Atlanta area. Nearly half a million children in our region live in communities with low or very low child well-being. Through our Child Well-Being Mission Fund, we invest in nonprofit partners that provide the supports necessary to strengthen the community. We recognize that it takes many different nonprofit partners to meet the complex needs of families. In January, we opened a request for proposals for our 2022 Child Well Being Mission Fund with grant awards being announced in May. For this round of investments, we focused on new nonprofit partners with targeted funding opportunities for small; grassroots; and Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC)-led organizations. Overall, the median budget size for the organizations funded was $550,000. We also debuted organizational capacity building opportunities to provide partners with an opportunity to strengthen their organizational processes in order to undergird their programmatic efforts. Overall, 88% of the organizations funded have a budget size of under $2,000,000 and more than half of those receiving grant awards are BIPOC organizations.

“I am very impressed with the intentionality and thoughtfulness during this open request for proposals, and how amazing it is to be able to transition our investments in this way,” says Angel Maldonado, Co-Chair, Community Impact Committee. I know the team has been working extremely hard. I am really inspired that new organizations had the chance to receive funding, and I love the fact that even for those that didn’t get a chance to be funded in this round, the team will continue to work with them and continue to be a resource to them.”

United Way received a total of 122 applications to review across all investment portfolio areas. After a thorough review of each application, United Way is pleased to announce that 32 applicants were awarded grants ranging from $25,000 – $150,000 under the following strategies:

  • Strong Learners:
    • Build Reading Skills – 4 grants
    • Increase Healthcare Navigation – 1 grant
  • College and Career Ready:
    • Career Pathway – 2 grants
  • Economic Stability:
    • Secure Housing – 1 grant
    • Basic Needs and Equitable Access – 6 grants
    • Build Wealth – 6 grants
  • Brighter Future:
    • Strengthen Resident Leadership & Learning – 3 grants
    • Community Organizing & Civic Engagement – 3 grants
  • Capacity Building:
    • Organizational Capacity Building​ – 5 grants
    • Resiliency Planning Capacity Building – 1 grant

 

In this funding cycle, investments were also made through our strategic partnership with the Georgia Division of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) to address learning loss​ through our College and Career Ready investment portfolio area. Those grant awards are scheduled to be announced by the end of May,” says Mary Benton, Co-Chair Community Impact Committee. I participated as an independent reviewer for grant applications in this open request for proposals. It was very interesting to be able to see the application process and what United Way is asking of the organizations in order to gauge if they will be a good fit to help us reach our goals. I was very impressed with the process and was happy to do it.”

Putting our community’s children on an equitable path to fulfilling their potential requires us to work together toward a single, shared agenda. United Way knows that together, we can ensure this is an equitable, thriving community. That is the work of the Child Well-Being Mission Fund.  For more information on the grant awards for our open request for proposals or to donate to the child well-being mission fund, please click here.

This story was previously published on SaportaReport.com.

United Way of Greater Atlanta is on a journey to improve the lives of children and families throughout the Greater Atlanta area. Nearly half a million children in our region live in communities with low or very low child well-being. Through our Child Well-Being Mission Fund, we invest in nonprofit partners that provide the supports necessary to strengthen the community. We recognize that it takes many different nonprofit partners to meet the complex needs of families.

In January, we opened a request for proposals for our 2022 Child Well Being Mission Fund with grant awards being announced in May. For this round of investments, we focused on new nonprofit partners with targeted funding opportunities for small; grassroots; and Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC)-led organizations. Each of the Requests for Proposals (RFPs) identified specific strategies that we are looking to fund within each Investment Priority area: Strong Learners, College and Career Ready, Economic Stability and Brighter Future. In addition, the fifth priority area addressed was Capacity Building to address significant operational and/or programmatic impacts as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grantees for the Learning Loss grant will be announced later this month. If you have questions about our RFP process, please submit them here

Grantees: Strong Learners

Leap for Literacy | Strategy: Build Reading Skills | Award: $50,000

The Bonner Office for Civic Engagement  | Strategy: Build Reading Skills | Award: $50,000

Fayette FACTOR | Strategy: Healthcare Navigation | Award: $25,000

Family Heritage Foundation Inc. | Strategy: Build Reading Skills | Award: $25,000

Share the Magic Foundation, Inc. | Strategy: Build Reading Skills | Award: $50,000

 

Grantees: College and Career Ready

Cobb Works | Strategy: Expand Career Pathways| Award: $75,000

Strive Atlanta | Strategy: Expand Career Pathways | Award: $100,000

 

Grantees: Economic Stability

Amani Women Center  | Strategy: Build Wealth | Award: $40,000

On the Rise Community Development, Inc. | Strategy: Build Wealth | Award: $35,000

Rainbow Village | Strategy: Build Wealth | Award: $40,000

Refugee Family Assistance Program | Strategy: Build Wealth | Award: $25,000

S.H.A.R.E House | Strategy: Secure Housing | Award: $50,000

Youth Empowerment Success Services | Strategy: Build Wealth | Award: $35,000

Zion Hill Community Development Center | Strategy: Build Wealth | Award: $35,000

Community Farmers Markets  | Strategy: Basic Needs & Equitable Access | Award: $35,000

Concrete Jungle  | Strategy: Basic Needs & Equitable Access | Award: $35,000

Focused Community Strategies | Strategy: Basic Needs & Equitable Access | Award: $35,000

HABESHA, Inc. | Strategy: Basic Needs & Equitable Access | Award: $35,000

The Common Market Southeast | Strategy: Basic Needs & Equitable Access | Award: $35,000

The Pittsburgh Collaborative | Strategy: Basic Needs & Equitable Access | Award: $35,000

 

Grantees: Brighter Future

Canopy Atlanta | Strategy: Strengthen Resident Leadership & Learning | Award: $35,000

Clarkston Community Center Foundation | Strategy: Strengthen Resident Leadership & Learning | Award: $60,000

EndState ATL | Strategy: Community Organizing & Civic Engagement | Award: $150,000

YouthServ360 | Strategy: Strengthen Resident Leadership & Learning | Award: $125,000

Housing Justice League | Strategy: Community Organizing & Civic Engagement | Award: $125,000

Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University (HEART) | Strategy: Community Led Solutions | Award: $300,000*

*This grant is funded in partnership with the Jesse Parker Williams Foundation 

 

Grantees: Capacity Building

Grove Park Foundation | Strategy: Organizational Capacity Building | Award: $50,000

Showcase Group | Strategy: Organizational Capacity Building | Award: $25,000

Common Good Atlanta | Strategy: Organizational Capacity Building | Award: $25,000

Just Bakery of Atlanta | Strategy: Organizational Capacity Building | Award: $25,000

Together Friends Organization | Strategy: Organizational Capacity Building | Award: $25,000

Georgia Center for Nonprofits – GCN  | Resiliency Planning Capacity Building | Award: $71,250

 

 

At United Way of Greater Atlanta, we are focused on the well-being of children, families and communities across Greater Atlanta. When you are able to say that children are doing well in the community, it’s a great indicator that those communities – in turn – are doing well.

Early childhood providers have played a critical role during the pandemic as essential workers – staying open when others closed to ensure children were in safe and quality early learning experience so their families could work. And the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated existing disparities in childcare. Years of underinvestment in childcare met with the challenges of the pandemic underscore the difficulty in accessing high-quality childcare.

That’s why our partnership with organizations like the Black Child Development Institute (BCDI) are so important.

The early childhood development community plays a key role in driving United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Child Well-Being Index both in terms of employment and economic mobility as a significant workforce in our state, but also for their role in supporting early language and literacy driving 3rd grade reading.

Given that early childhood education experiences are the first experiences that children have of education outside the home, curricula and values that empower children’s identity and values, and uphold their rights, are of paramount importance. And building leadership capacity within the early childhood profession is essential as the profession is forced to constantly shift due to changing educational, socio-political, health and economic demands.

The early childhood workforce consists of 40% Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), which for many childcare centers, is not representative of the population served. Educators of color tend to hold higher expectations of children of color and are less likely to misdiagnose them as special needs. We are supporting the work to not only increasing the diversity of the early childhood workforce in general, but more specifically early childhood leadership.

Leadership sets the tone and more early childhood leaders of color are needed to ensure that children are cared for in culturally responsive environments. In this challenging time for staffing for early childhood centers, having leadership that reflects the workforce is also important when it comes to recruitment and retention.

Recruitment and retention through knowledge and capacity building, promotion and succession planning will shape a cadre of professionals who can lead and advocate for more culturally responsive policies and practices that are reflective of the children and families they serve.

Learn more about United Way of Greater Atlanta and the Black Child Development Institute (BCDI).

 

This story was previously published on SaportaReport.com.

 It’s no secret that Atlanta is grappling with serious challenges around inequitable outcomes. It’s the driving force behind United Way of Greater Atlanta’s focus on increasing the Child Well-Being of 250,000 children by 2027. This goal is a clarion call for stakeholders across our region, and across sectors, to lean in together to make big changes. Central to that effort are the many nonprofit agencies who work directly with children and families. They are the lifeblood of the social sector, working to deliver their mission with a fraction of the resources available to their for-profit counterparts. If we are to make a sizable impact on increasing Child Well-Being, we need to address the disparities that impact the nonprofit eco-system.

To this end United Way launched a new grantmaking framework in 2020, naming Capacity Building for nonprofits as one of three major approaches to addressing Child Well-Being gaps.  2020 also brought with it an unprecedented global event that continues to deeply impact all of our lives: the COVID-19 pandemic. The fragility of our social safety net and the inequitable impact of public health, economic, and social crises on communities of color were made starkly, undeniably clear.

Throughout the pandemic, Greater Atlanta’s nonprofits have worked around the clock to react in real time: redesigning their service delivery models, adapting to a digital infrastructure, and making sure that the people they served had what they needed to make it through another day.

Overstretched and exhausted, many nonprofit leaders expressed frustration at their Catch-22 of a situation: their organizations didn’t have the capacity to do capacity building, but they still needed capacity building support. One of the top concerns lifted up by local nonprofits was fundraising and resource generation. United Way knew it needed to find the right partner to provide the extra layer of support that their nonprofit partners needed.

Enter Network for Good. In 2020, Network for Good’s Director of Capacity Building & Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Maria Azuri, joined in discussion with local funders around helping support the capacities and infrastructure of nonprofit partner organizations as a necessary conduit in driving positive and healthy community impact.

“What we know is that just as there are structural barriers that inhibit individual’s and family’s equitable health and growth, there are also key historic barriers for nonprofits led by- and serving communities of color,” says Azuri. “Part of the investment that funders have to offer is for infrastructure – and nothing is of greater importance in long-term sustainability than investing in these leader’s access to fundraising capacity building and generating revenue with the leading requisite technology and tools.”

Financial sustainability is often the challenge nonprofit leaders cite as their number one concern. It’s also important to note that the nonprofit sector as a whole is the 3rd largest employer in the United States – nonprofit organizations are a key support pillar to communities in substantial ways. Supporting their economic growth and financial resilience has to be part of the investment made by Greater Atlanta’s philanthropic agents.

In Fall of 2020, United Way identified a cohort of 7 nonprofit organizations, led and serving people of color, to participate in Network for Good’s Jumpstart Capacity BuildingSM program – a year-long program that provides one-on-one coaching, integrated technology tools, fundraising planning, and guidance aimed to help nonprofits build fundraising capacity, diversify revenue, and sustain and grow their programs. Even as the strains of the pandemic continued, the support of the Jumpstart coaches enabled participants to lean in and reap the benefits of the program.

In January of 2022, United Way will sponsor their next cohort of nonprofits in the Jumpstart program. This second effort has grown into a joint funding partnership alongside the Annie E. Casey Foundation Atlanta Civic Site, Jesse Parker Williams Foundation, and the Cobb Community Foundation to expand the participant pool.

Supporting capacity building efforts in the midst of a long-term public health crisis continues to be a journey of discovery. We know that focusing on diverse nonprofits and employing innovative approaches is paramount. With partners like Network for Good, United Way is certain that success lies where capacity building support is accessible, inclusive, and equitable – and centers grantees’ voices in real-time.

This story was previously published on SaportaReport.com.