Foundation awards $105,000 in grants to 16 area projects

Published 7:14 pm Sunday, October 8, 2017


COLUMBUS — The Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley has awarded $105,000 through its Discretionary Grant Programs in support of 16 projects throughout the Chattahoochee Valley,  according to Betsy Covington, President and CEO.

Ten of those projects have been awarded grants from the Community Endowment Funds, while six have received grants from the Chattahoochee Valley Fair Fund. A total of 16 projects will receive support from the Community Foundation’s Discretionary Funds. The awarded projects from each Fund were chosen by the Fund’s respective selection committee. Between both Funds, the Community Foundation received more than 60 applications totaling $614,540 worth of requests.

“Selecting which projects to support through each of these Funds was definitely as hard as we thought it would be,” Covington said. “Each of our selection committees put in many of hours to determine which projects most closely fit the criteria and funding priorities.”

This year, both grant programs sought to invest in projects that align with one or more of the five action areas outlined in Columbus 2025’s strategic community and economic development plan. These action areas include:

  • An enterprising culture
  • Targeted economic growth
  • Talented, educated people
  • A cohesive image and identity
  • Vibrant and connected places

The Community Endowment Fund and its named sub-Fund, the Moselle W. and H. Quigg Fletcher, Jr., Endowment Fund, supported projects serving persons or communities in the following counties: Chattahoochee, Harris, Marion, or Muscogee, Georgia; or Russell, Alabama. The Chattahoochee Valley Fair Fund supported projects serving persons or communities in the following counties: Meriwether, Talbot, Taylor, Troup, Quitman, Stewart or Webster, Georgia; or Lee, Alabama. These counties represent the Community Foundation’s service area.

Each of the discretionary grants awarded requires a 50 percent match, meaning that half of the funds awarded by the Community Foundation must be matched with cash or in-kind donations.

“At the Community Foundation, we administer many different types of funds. Of those, our Discretionary Funds are the most flexible in that our board can use the Funds’ income every year to address needs in the community … both now and 100 years from now,” Covington said.

In addition to the Discretionary Funds, the Community Foundation administers a variety of Funds, including Donor Advised Funds, which are contributed by individuals, families and businesses for general or specific purposes.

“It was a priority for the Community Foundation to share summaries of all the applications with the advisors of our Donor Advised Funds, as well as with the members of our full board,” Covington said. “Our mission is to enable and promote philanthropy, and one way we do that is by connecting donors to charitable projects in the Chattahoochee Valley that align with the issues they care about.”

Discretionary Grant Program Community Endowment Funds 2017 grant recipients

  • B.R.I.D.G.E. of Columbus, Inc. for GED testing fees and transportation in Columbus and surrounding area, $4,520.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of the Chattahoochee Valley for Boys & Girls Clubs Literacy Initiative in Muscogee County, $10,000.
  • Columbus Alliance for Regional Reinvestment, Inc. for Partners in Educations Readers: Phase II in Muscogee County, $10,000.
  • Ferst Foundation for providing early literacy skills and opportunities to children birth to age 5 in Muscogee County, $9,000.
  • Girls, Inc. of Columbus and Phenix-Russell for SMART Girls Do STEM in Muscogee County, $10,000.
  • Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers for Goodwill Work Ready Program in Russell County, $6,480.
  • Harris County Schools for Early Literacy/Community Initiative in Harris County Schools and communities,  $5,000.
  • MidTown, Inc. for reimagining in underutilized commercial districts within Midtown, and the greater Columbus region, $5,000.
  • Muscogee County School District for Move on When Ready transportation for students in need in Muscogee County, $10,000.
  • Springer Opera House for When Learning Clicks — Increasing community and access to innovative teaching skills in Muscogee County and surrounding southeast counties, $5,000.

Discretionary Grant Program Chattahoochee Valley Fair Fund 2017 grant recipients

  • City of Richland, Richland Better Hometown for Richland Visitors Center in City of Richland area visitors as well as area agri-tourism partners, $5,000.
  • Enrichment Services for employment training scholarship program in rural counties of Georgia, $5,000.
  • Stewart County Historical Commission for obtaining marking signs and marketing for Stewart County Heritage Bicycle Trail in West Georgia, East Alabama mainly, $5,000.
  • Storybook Farms, Inc. for TREASURE Forest in Lee and surrounding East Alabama and West Georgia counties, $5,000.
  • Troup Center for Strategic Planning (Circles of Troup County) for Circles of Troup County job readiness program in Troup County, $5,000.
  • Twin Cedars Youth and Family Services, Inc. for Circle of Care in Troup County, $5,000.

The Community Foundation was founded in 1998 to help people with philanthropic interests easily and effectively support the issues they care about. Since then, the Community Foundation has grown to more than $155 million in assets and has awarded over $140 million in grants through its donor advised, unrestricted, designated, field-of-interest, scholarship, and organization endowment funds.  As a local center for philanthropy, the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley works with individuals, families, corporations, private foundations and not-for-profit organizations to carry out their charitable objectives and address emerging community issues.