The Northwest Georgia Community Foundation supports nonprofits throughout the year with grants, but awards the majority of funds each spring and fall with the foundation’s unrestricted funds. Other areas of support go to managed endowments for specific needs and organizations.
“We serve the entirety of northwest Georgia,” President David Aft said. “The majority of our granting activity occurs in the local market where there are endowments in place that produce income that’s available for these grants.
“The foundation works with charitable organizations, individuals, families and a variety of different groups, as diverse as school systems and churches, as a supporter and a manager of charitable assets. Some of those charitable assets are in the form of community endowments and those endowments every year make grant dollars available in the communities which we serve.”
The $21,000 awarded by the Cartersville-Bartow County Community Foundation was spread over 17 nonprofits in amounts ranging from $450 for New Beginning Food Outreach to $3,000 for Bartow County Education Foundation.
Board members for the Cartersville-Bartow County Community Foundation intentionally choose small projects they believe can best serve the community.
“As we move through the grant decision-making process, one of our goals is to select projects where a small grant award would make a big impact and touch many lives,” said Cartersville-Bartow County Community Foundation Co-chair Jennifer Wiggins-Matthews in a press release. “We don’t have a lot of money to award, so we try very hard to make the most of what we have to contribute to the community.”
The Cartersville-Bartow County Community Foundation received requests from 31 organizations totaling more than $118,000 this grant cycle with the parent organization, Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia, receiving nearly $500,000 in requests. The organization’s greatest challenge is making the final selection for grant awards.
“The competition is always a challenge,” Aft said. “We generally receive requests about four times more than we are able to fund and that varies of course by market. ... The challenge is that a lot of times, the grant sources for agencies, like state funding or local government funding, are not keeping pace with the needs and those organizations are having to look elsewhere. One of the places they look is toward the community foundation. We only wish we could give away 10 times what we do.
“Very few of the requests we receive are not compelling and it’s very difficult to say ‘yes’ to one and ‘no’ to another, but it’s almost exclusively driven by limitations in funding that we have to give away.”
Among the recipient organizations this grant cycle was $500 for Bartow Collaborative. The grant funds will go toward the production cost of the 2013-2014 Bartow County Resource Directory, which had not been updated since 2007.
“The resource directory lists key service agencies in Bartow County and all relevant information — phone number, fax number, location, hours of operation, eligibility, and services,” said Bartow Collaborative Executive Director Tina Grubbs in a press release. “It’s a wealth of information, and people searching for special services can use it as a referral. Our network of care will use it to help efficiently guide people in-need to organizations that can help them with specific issues.
“We plan to print the directories, but also, we will post the directory online and keep the online content current. ... It’s a simple project that will touch many lives and help the people of Bartow County.”
Other projects awarded in the spring grant cycle include the League for Animal Welfare with $1,000 for spaying and neutering of companion pets for low income pet owners; Etowah Valley Humane Society with $1,000 for construction of an outdoor play area for dogs; AIDS Alliance of Northwest Georgia with $1,000 for HIV prevention materials; and Boys & Girls Clubs of Bartow County with $2,000 for the Career Launch Program.
Cartersville-Bartow County Community Foundation spring grant cycle recipients:
• AIDS Alliance of Northwest Georgia — $1,000
• Advocates for Children — $500
• Bartow Collaborative — $500
• Bartow County 4-H — $750
• Bartow Education Foundation — $3,000
• Bartow Give a Kid a Chance — $1,000
• Boys & Girls Clubs of Bartow — $2,000
• Cartersville Little League — $1,000
• Christian League for Battered Women — $2,500
• Church at Liberty Square Harvest House — $1,500
• Etowah Valley Humane Society — $1,000
• Family Promise of Bartow County — $1,000
• Fellowship of Christian Athletes — $600
• Good Shepherd Foundation — $2,000
• New Beginnings Food Outreach — $450
• The Bridge United Methodist Church — $1,200
• The League of Animal Welfare — $1,000