Current Initiatives

From inception to design, funding, duration and target, each community initiative is unique.

Beyond Grantmaking

Most people know the Foundation as a source of funds. But we’re also a catalyst. A partner. A convener. A knowledge broker. With our grantmaking programs and initiatives, we fill unique gaps in the community that no other entity addresses—all to create effective, long-term responses to emerging community issues in the Greater Atlanta region. We are the community’s endowment—a hub for philanthropists, nonprofits and community leaders to come together to collaborate and explore ways to work together.

Our Board and staff rely on careful analysis and research of community trends and issues, data and conversation with nonprofit, business and civic leaders to determine the Foundation’s role.

Here are just some of the initiatives we’re bringing to life in the Atlanta area:

A Place to Perform provides grants to nonprofit arts organizations to assist them in gaining access to performance venues, so they can produce performing arts experiences for the public. Made possible by a gift from the Woodruff Arts Center after the 2014 sale of Atlanta’s 14th Street Playhouse, A Place to Perform continues to support the spirit of the original venue by ensuring performing arts organizations have access to performing venues and facilities. Peek Behind the Curtain
Achieve Atlanta will dramatically increase the number of Atlanta Public Schools students graduating from college. Through partnerships with direct-service organizations, institutions of higher education and key players in the college success community, Achieve Atlanta devotes special attention to low-income students and students who will be among the first in their families to attend college. Reach Higher
The Arts Capitalization Project was officially launched in early 2014 after research showed that Atlanta’s small and mid-sized arts organizations have limited liquidity and capital. Designed to deeply impact the economic viability of rigorously selected individual arts organizations, the innovative capitalization process included capitalization training of 40 arts nonprofits staff and board leadership. Economy and Expression
The Community Foundation is proud to have been an early supporter of HIV/AIDS initiatives, making our first grant to the cause in 1981. Despite tremendous progress since that time, the challenges of HIV/AIDS still remain, particularly in our Atlanta region. The Atlanta AIDS Fund was created in 1991 to support metro Atlanta’s HIV/AIDS advocacy, prevention education and service efforts through funding and leadership. See the Revolution in Action
Public art located throughout Atlanta is an enduring legacy of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. The Atlanta Public Arts Legacy fund was established in 1997 as a mechanism to assure appropriate ongoing care and to provide education and advocacy services for public art in the city. Its charge is to conserve and maintain public artworks and monuments at 19 sites featuring nearly 100 works created by 42 artists in downtown Atlanta. For All of Us
Part of the Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative, BetterLife Growers is an aeroponic lettuce and herb growing operation that provides new living-wage jobs in the Mechanicsville community. This innovative for-profit business concept leverages the purchasing power of education and medical institutions, wholesale produce distributors and retail grocery stores. The greenhouse will create 25 jobs, which will be open to people who might be otherwise difficult to hire, including those with criminal records. Watch Hope Take Root
Since 2013, the Foundation has offered the Civic Engagement Fund, a funding opportunity for nonprofit organizations implementing civic engagement strategies. From community education and training, to research, discussion and debate, the Foundation’s Civic Engagement Fund supports the broad range of activities that can strengthen the nonprofit sector and influence community life. Get Engaged
More than 14 local and national foundations have come together to establish a donor-advised fund at the Foundation to support shared learning and collaborative grantmaking in education. In 2014/15, the Collaborative committed $3.3 million dollars in grants across a variety of city- and state-wide educational efforts. Learn Together
All too often, nonprofits make sacrifices in order to accommodate more pressing, mission-driven needs. That’s why Extra Wish matches the “wishes” of nonprofit organizations with donors interested in making a contribution. This unique giving opportunity provides monetary and in-kind contributions of tangible goods or infrastructure (not services or staff) that contribute in a clear way to the success of organizations and the people they serve. Practical Makes Perfect
In 2014, a donor approached the Foundation with a particular passion: increasing awareness and funding around the issue of family literacy. This approach involves parents (or caretakers) learning alongside their children outside of a traditional school setting, so that learning becomes a lifelong process. The program focuses on driving alliances, awareness and advocacy around the issue of family literacy.
A Lifetime of Learning
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—including Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund, Atlanta AIDS Fund and the Common Good FundThink Generally
Grants to Green transforms the Atlanta area nonprofit sector by encouraging nonprofits to renovate, expand or construct buildings that are energy- and water-efficient. In order to stimulate broad change across the region, Grants to Green works with nonprofits serving diverse community needs and different populations, not just those nonprofits with environmentally related missions. Go Greener
Learn4Life seeks (L4L) is the Metro Atlanta Regional Education Partnership, a collaborative effort that brings together school systems, local communities, business and nonprofits to improve education outcomes based on common goals and shared benchmarks. The program seeks to improve workforce readiness and student achievement using a data-driven, collective impact approach. All in for Education
In 1984, the Community Foundation launched its Managing for Excellence Award competition. This prestigious annual award is presented to a local organization that exhibits outstanding nonprofit management — including board and staff engagement, sound fiscal health, mission driven operations and, of course, commitment to excellence. In addition to the award package itself, winners receive exposure as a nonprofit leader and create connections with potential donors. Join the Winner’s Circle
The Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund provides strategic funds for arts organizations—all to support and strengthen arts organizations so that they may attract, serve and build audiences across the Atlanta region. Since 1993, the Arts Fund has supported 76 unique arts organizations with general operating grants totaling $12 million. Express Yourself
Neighborhood Fund builds upon grassroots ideas, energy and passion to empower community members to improve their neighborhoods. Since 1991, more than 300 neighborhood projects have received an estimated $2,000,000 in grants and technical assistance to support community organizing, neighborhood gardens, youth fitness activities, cultural events and more. Go Local
Neighborhood Nexus is an online community intelligence 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 Community Foundation promises to invest in the region’s nonprofits with management and financial resources that equip them to effectively manage operations and high-performing programs. Get the Tools You Need
Parent Leaders United for Students (PLUS) is an initiative powered by the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. Its goal is to strengthen the voice of parents and community leaders in order to engage and empower Atlanta’s public schools to become a beacon of academic success. PLUS unites the efforts of parents, caregivers, teachers and school leaders to transform our schools and improve student outcomes. Add It Up
At the Community Foundation, we’re passionate about learning. After all, scholarships allow our donors to invest in the future by helping deserving students pursue higher education. Students benefit from the financial assistance as well as the academic recognition of being a scholarship recipient. Build Strong Foundations
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 nonprofit organizations 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 and community awareness activities. Explore Newton
The Foundation’s Strategic Restructuring Fund provides funds as well as management consulting services to support nonprofits as they assess, negotiate, design and/or implement substantive strategic restructuring efforts—all to promote more effective operations and high-performing programs based on community needs and assets. Funding for this project comes from the Foundation’s Common Good Fund. Celebrate Change