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Grants build capacity of local nonprofits

Grants totaling $210,000+ support technology purchases and organizational planning

(Jan. 10, 2020) – The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis announced grants totaling $210,041 in its Nonprofit Capacity Building funding category. These grants are awarded annually to established nonprofits that are working to become more effective organizations by increasing efficiencies in operations.

“Through these grants, we address how vital but often overlooked it is for a nonprofit to have access to funds specifically to boost its infrastructure, so that its programs and services can be sustained into the future,” said Elizabeth Warren, the foundation’s director of grants & initiatives.

These grants often support projects like technology improvements, evaluation of core programs, and staff or board training.

This year’s grant awards, to a total of 21 organizations, range from $3,000 to $21,487. One grantee is the 168-year-old Elmwood Cemetery, the city’s oldest active cemetery.

The $21,487 grant to purchase and implement the WebCemeteries online platform will enable Elmwood to electronically consolidate and safeguard its collection of records, maps, photos, and 130,000+ pieces of paper in its archives.

“There are not many funders who understand how important technology is when it’s something you can’t touch. This technology grant enables Elmwood to invest in its past and its future,” says Elmwood’s executive director, Kim Bearden. “I can’t stress how big of a project it is and how fundamentally it will change how we operate.”

A complete list of grantees is:

  • Alzheimer's & Dementia Services of Memphis, Inc. ($5,700) for a new server and staff laptops
  • Arkwings Foundation ($9,900) for consulting to build out evaluation tools to assess programming and inform future growth
  • Ave Maria Home ($3,000) for fundraising software to target, retain, and engage donors and volunteers
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis ($5,950) to equip its Career Exploration Program staff with laptops
  • Church Health ($10,000) for its Quality Improvement initiative to train and empower staff to design, deploy, and assess processes and systems across operations
  • DeltaArts ($5,925) for development and fundraising training for board and staff
  • Elmwood Cemetery of Memphis Foundation, Inc. ($21,487) for a software upgrade to safeguard the cemetery's records and streamline services
  • Friends for Life Corporation ($15,000) for a feasibility study to determine future locations in Memphis for HIV prevention clinics
  • Green Dot Public Schools Tennessee ($7,500) for a science instruction pilot to improve science instruction quality and address changes to state science standards
  • Indie Memphis ($20,000) for fundraising and technology consulting services to create infrastructure for effective development processes
  • Knowledge Quest ($15,000) for consultancy to create a marketing, fundraising, and branding plan
  • Let's Innovate through Education (LITE) ($7,269) for technology upgrades to better track the organization's long-term efficacy, to improve community engagement, and to grow its local donor base
  • Memphis Botanic Garden Foundation ($17,500) to develop a visitor experience and wayfinding plan
  • Memphis Brooks Museum of Art ($4,500) to develop and implement data tracking and evaluation strategies
  • Memphis Library Foundation ($9,700) for fundraising software, training, coaching, and support
  • Midtown Development Corporation ($7,500) for a feasibility study for a community improvement district
  • Mustard Seed Inc. ($3,897) for upgraded computers and essential programs in its resource center
  • New Ballet Ensemble & School ($9,000) for the redesign and relaunch of its website
  • Room in the Inn - Memphis ($9,963) for office technology, hardware, and communications platforms to create a viable work hub
  • Tech901 ($15,000) for new virtualized computer infrastructure to allow more students to apply classroom learnings
  • Thistle and Bee Enterprises, Inc. ($6,250) for board development facilitation and leadership coaching

Nonprofit Capacity Building grants, which are awarded from the Foundation’s Immediate Impact Fund, are decided by a committee of community volunteers. Each grantee must raise a dollar-for-dollar match.